The Cubs received good news on the Scott Baker front. After throwing four simulated innings at the Cubs’ facility in Mesa, Baker flew to Chicago and met with the coaching and medical staff. Baker completed a bullpen session and threw mostly fastball and changeups under the watchful eye of Chris Bosio on Thursday afternoon.
The Cubs announced afterwards that Scott Baker would begin a rehab stint with the Kane County Cougars on Sunday. The plan is for Baker to complete at least four rehab starts (four to five) and if all goes well he could make his Cubs debut at the end of July … around the trade deadline. Baker can be on a rehab assignment for 30 days before the Cubs would have to make a decision on whether he is healthy enough to activate or not.
Scott Baker addressed his possible future with the Cubs on Thursday. Baker likes what he is seeing in the organization and would like to be a part of the team moving forward because he feels the Cubs are going in the right direction.
Jed Hoyer said the team has discussed re-signing Baker for next season if he is healthy.
The Cubs are expected to formally announce the signing of Kris Bryant on Friday. The Cubs agreed to terms with Bryant on a contract reportedly worth the slot value of $6,708,400. Bryant is expected to report to the Cubs’ facility in Mesa prior to the Boise Hawks. Jed Hoyer mentioned Bryant could end up in Kane County before the end of the season depending how he plays after not being on a baseball diamond since May.
The Cubs reportedly signed 24th round pick, Tyler Alamo, for slot value of $100,000, which came as a surprise. Many thought the high school catcher would fulfill his commitment to Cal State Fullerton and when he signed with the Cubs the general thinking was the Cubs gave him quite a bit over slot to get him in the system.
Other draft signings will be made official and announced prior to Friday afternoon’s deadline (4:00pm CDT/5:00pm EST).
Matt Garza is slated to face Lance Lynn on Saturday night. The Cubs are trying to move him according to multiple reports and the front office is trying to max out his value … which means every start he makes diminishes his value just a little bit. As Jed Hoyer pointed out on Wednesday, the ups and downs of a player this time of year has less impact on his value than people think. But if the Cubs are trying to get as much as they can for Garza, every start he can give his new team is very valuable. Especially with the way Garza has been pitching as he tries to increase his own value heading into free agency.
The Cubs and Indians might not be a fit after all for Matt Garza. According to a report from Jerry Crasnick, the Indians are looking for a starter but would prefer a pitcher they have control over for a couple of years. As Crasnick pointed out, that criteria would make Garza a tough fit for the Indians.
Ken Rosenthal thinks the Indians shouldn’t make a big play for Matt Garza. Rosenthal does not think the addition of Garza would be able to push the Indians past the Tigers and it would cost them too much from a thin farm system.
According to a report from Danny Knobler, one of the teams that have been connected to Garza has put buying on hold. The Giants slide has apparently taken them out of the buyer’s market and could make them sellers before July 31.
Dale Sveum said prior to Thursday’s game that Travis Wood was the Cubs’ MVP in the first half. And he plans to call Bruce Bochy and let him know that it is okay with the Cubs that he pitches in the All-Star game.
Travis Wood faces Adam Wainwright on Sunday night in the last game prior to the break. Wood has made 17 quality starts in 18 tries this season. Wood became the first Cubs’ pitcher since Greg Maddux (1988) to record 17 quality starts prior to the All-Star break.
News, Notes and Rumors
Iowa manager, Marty Pevey, gave an update on Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters on Thursday. Pevey said he was not sure when Vitters and Jackson would be able to return to the I-Cubs. As Tom reported, Josh Vitters started at third for the AZL Cubs on Thursday night.
According to a report from Bruce Levine, numerous teams are calling the Cubs to express interest in trading for Kevin Gregg and James Russell.
David DeJesus will spend the All-Star break in Arizona working out at the Cubs facility in Mesa and possibly see some game action. The Cubs have not announced a timetable for his return. At this point it would figure to be the first week of August before DeJesus would be ready to return to the lineup.
Edgar Gonzalez signed a minor league deal with the Cubs earlier in the week and reported to Iowa on Thursday.
Juan Carlos Paniagua made his first start stateside on Thursday night and tossed three shutout innings while striking out four batters.