Barring Late Moves, Cubs Opening Day Roster All But Set

The Cubs basically announced the seventh round of spring roster cuts on Tuesday when Alberto Gonzalez and Zach Putnam were informed they would not be making the team out of camp. While the moves are not official, the Cubs have 32 players remaining on the Spring Training roster.

The Cubs are watching the waiver wire, but have not found a fit yet. Steve Clevenger would fill the last spot on the bench, unless a player is added, and the final job in the pen is down to Hisanori Takahashi and Cory Wade.

Dale Sveum said that they are watching the transactions throughout the league, but the Cubs have not found anyone that fits their needs. Sveum acknowledged that Jon Garland would have been a good fit.

The Cubs would like to have a utility infielder that hits left handed on the bench to start the season … and they have not ruled out trying to add a pitcher or two.

Alfonso Soriano

Alfonso Soriano feels he can help the Cubs win games if he is healthy. Soriano credited his renewed sense of mental health and confidence to the Cubs’ new bosses according to a report from the Sun-Times.

Soriano explained that no one talked to him over the last few years of the previous regime. Soriano felt like he was the “negative” on the team. Soriano added that when the Cubs won everything was fine but when they lost “everybody pointed” at him.

Full Report from the Sun-Times

Dioner Navarro

Dioner Navarro has an excellent reason for why he wears No. 30 and why Travis Wood switched numbers from 30 to 37 for him.

According to Carrie Muskat, Dioner Navarro’s wife had a brain aneurysm on September 27, and her surgery on September 30 then was given a four percent chance to live. Navarro has worn No. 30 ever since.

The Cubs announced Travis Wood (37), Carlos Villanueva (33) and Dale Sveum (4) switched their uniform numbers.

Rumors and News Bits

Ian Stewart was able to hit in the cage on Monday. Stewart will stay behind in Arizona to continue his rehab. Timetables have varied from two-four weeks on when Stewart could begin a rehab assignment.

Matt Garza will also remain in Arizona to work at the Cubs’ facility at Fitch Park. Reports have suggested that Garza could throw off a mound by the first week of April.

Brett Jackson has been sidelined for more than 10 days with inflammation in his throwing (right) shoulder. Jackson is expected back in the Cubs’ lineup on Thursday when the Cubs take on the Mariners at the HoHoKam Park finale. Jackson will begin the year with the Iowa Cubs. The team has not announced whether or not the shoulder injury will delay the start of his season.

According to Bruce Levine, the Cubs liked what they saw from Chris Rusin. Rusin could be part of the rotation by May if the Cubs need another starter.

Bruce Levine confirmed that the Cubs are looking at RHP Chris Young.

Jeff Samardzija has liked what he has seen from his team this spring … and thinks the absence of ‘me’ players will help the Cubs this season.

According to Bruce Levine, the Cubs are not really committed to Josh Vitters as the third baseman of the future. There are organizations that feel Vitters will hit, but the problem with Vitters is that he does not have a position.

The Cubs are very high on Pierce Johnson according to Bruce Levine.

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Quote of the Day

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  • Brp921

    If the cubs do end up starting the season with Clevenger, one positive is, it will give Sveum the option to pinch hit Navarro.

  • Ray Ray

    Heard on MLB radio this morning the name Kevin Kouzmanoff. He didn’t make Marlins roster but had a good spring. He could at least be a serviceable platoon at 3rd for a short time.

    • mutantbeast

      Kouz would be better than either Valbuenna or Lillibridge. I suggested him as a thought last winter.

    • Aaron

      Koozie lives near me…he’s fun to hang out with…I met him because he tried to buy my friend’s Jeep. Anyway, he’s a real cool dude, and I hope the Cubs get him

      • John_CC

        Because the Cubs need more cool dudes or do you really think he can contribute?

  • 07GreyDigger

    I saw that Don Kelly of the Tigers was told he would not make the team. At 33, Kelly is not young, but he’s lefthanded and has experience at every position.

    In 691 career ABs, Kelly has hit 17 HRs, 65 RBIs and stole 8 bases. He owns a career .232/.283/.344 line and has shown a penchat for walks in the minors. Could he be a potential bat for the Cubs?

    • John_CC

      Why?

      • 07GreyDigger

        Hits for power, can play multiple positions and bats lefthanded. Why not?

        • John_CC

          Because he’s 33, owns a career .232/.283/.344 line and has 17 HRs in almost 700 AB.

          He is Luis Valbuena but six years older.

          I wouldn’t really say that he hits for power. .344 SLG% is pretty low.

  • calicub

    I think Phonzie and Shark’s comments tell the whole story as to just how maligned this organization was prior to the take over. This paragraph says it all:

    “The last few years, nobody talked to me, and they [treated me] like I’m the negative thing on the team,” he said of getting bounced around the lineup and eventually stuck in the 7hole under previous managers. “When we won, it was fine. But when we lost, everybody pointed at me like it was my responsibility that we lost. . . . Now if we lost, we lost like a team; if we won, we won like a team.”

    I’ll be the first to admit that I was wrong about Phonzie, and while I hope someday the Cubs will be able to get a core prospect out of him, I’d be content to have him end his contract with the Cubs. His positive attitude is refreshing to see, even after being bashed for the first five years of his contract.

    Also, now that the Ricketts’ seem to have the green light for a few of their projects, I think its time to tear out the troughs and stick in some video game urinals!

    http://mlb.mlb.com/cutfour/#contentId=43339684

    • 07GreyDigger

      C’mon. The troughs are an institution!

      • calicub

        Lol.. I know! but they weren’t there when I was there this summer, so I assume they are beginning to move on?

        Could you imagine the lines if every drunk bleacher bum was rushing to the bathroom to best their high score in Pee Skiing?

  • paulcatanese

    Marmol is toast, he is not improving but getting worse.

    • gary3411

      He hasn’t been good, hasn’t even been competent as a closer in YEARS. There is a reason we cannot move him: we will get nothing in return.

  • calicub

    Here’s a good article for everyone outlining the International Signing period. Fortunately or unfortunately, this system, in combination with the draft under the whole new CBA, seems to incentivize losing in order to build a strong organization from with in. There’s no denying that prior to the CBA it was far easier for a big market team to be a bull in international and national drafting markets, but as it is, this CBA certainly came about at a preferable time, rather than in a few years. Last year and now are when the Cubs needed to lose and hard (by shedding veteran/burdensome contracts and promoting from with in) in order to gain the full benefit of the agreement.

    http://sbb.scout.com/2/1277773.html

    here are a few pertinent excerpts:

    – Any player that was previously eligible in a past July 2nd period is a free agent, so players aged 17 to 22 frequently sign throughout the year, particularly from Latin countries.

    – This years class seems to be weaker than in the past

    – Last year, every team was limited to $2.9 million and this year the amounts are staggered by the 2012 standings. Like the draft slot values…the top teams are up around $4 million and the bottom teams are in the $1.5 million to $2.0 million range. Teams can trade up to 50% of their assigned cap from other clubs. The clubs with the highest pools (same as top picks in the draft, so Houston, the Cubs, Colorado, Minnesota, Cleveland, etc.) stand to gain the most.

    – The Astros could have potentially up to $7mm to spend this year.

    • SuzyS

      Thanks for posting this info…good stuff.