Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Pirates – 07/07/13

Game Eighty-Six: Cubs (37-48) vs. Pirates (53-33)

  • Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 183/844
  • Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Carlos Villanueva (2-4, 3.45/1.17) vs. A.J. Burnett (4-6, 3.12/1.13)

The Cubs wrap up the three-game series with the Pirates this afternoon with a chance at winning another series. The Cubs have won four of their last six series and will face a big challenge with A.J. Burnett returning from the disabled list.

Not only will the Cubs’ offense have the tough task of putting runs on the board against Burnett, but the Cubs will need Carlos Villanueva to go as deep as he can on his 60-70 pitches he is limited to this afternoon in order to minimize the amount of relievers used in “bullpen day.” Villanueva is making his first start since the middle of May after throwing 2 2/3 innings in the opener in Oakland last Tuesday.

Brian Bogusevic could return to the starting lineup this afternoon. Bogusevic was able to take batting practice on Saturday after leaving Thursday’s game with tightness in his left hamstring. Lefties have hit much better than righties against Burnett this season (.245/.376/.310 – .174/.214/.266), so Dale Sveum should load his lineup with as many lefties as possible this afternoon. And if Bogusevic can go, even with Alfonso Soriano hitting two home runs on Saturday, it might be a good day to give Soriano a breather based on Soriano’s career numbers against Burnett.

This afternoon all starts with Carlos Villanueva

Carlos Villanueva is making his first start this afternoon since May 14. Villanueva spent the first month of the season in the Cubs’ rotation before going to the pen once Matt Garza was healthy enough to return to the starting staff. Villanueva was 1-1 in five starts in April with a 2.29 ERA and a 0.82 WHIP.

Villanueva has been inconsistent at best since moving to the pen in the middle of May. In 16 relief appearances, Villanueva posted a 1-1 record with a 2.04 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. In 17 2/3 innings, Villanueva gave up six runs, four earned, on 17 hits with 16 strikeouts and five walks.

Carlos Villanueva is 1-2 in 12 games, five starts, at Wrigley this season with a 3.99 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP.

Villanueva makes his first start of the season against the Pirates today. In three relief appearances against the Mighty Pirates, Villanueva has allowed one run on four hits with three walks and five strikeouts in five innings (1.80 ERA, 1.40 WHIP). For his career, Villanueva is 2-2 in 23 appearances, two starts, with a 2.98 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP.

Pirates Career Numbers against Carlos Villanueva

  • Pedro Alvarez – 1-for-2 with a walk
  • Clint Barmes – 2-for-5
  • Brandon Inge – 4-for-10
  • Garrett Jones – 4-for-6 with two home runs and two walks
  • Starling Marte – 0-for-2

  • Russell Martin – 5-for-10 with a double, a home run and two walks
  • Andrew McCutchen – 2-for-11 with a double
  • Michael McKenry – 0-for-1
  • Jordy Mercer – 1-for-2 with a double
  • Gaby Sanchez – 0-for-2
  • Travis Snider – 0-for-2
  • Jose Tabata – 0-for-2
  • Neil Walker – 1-for-3

A.J. Burnett has been on the DL since June 9 with a strained right calf. The last start Burnett made was on June 8 at Wrigley when he beat the Cubs after coming just two outs short of a complete game shutout. Alfonso Soriano hit a two-run homer off Burnett in the ninth to break up the shutout. Burnett was coming off a rough outing against Atlanta after posting a 1-3 record in six starts in May with a 2.63 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP.

A.J. Burnett has been very good during his career when he has faced the Cubs. Burnett is 7-2 in 10 starts against the Cubs with a 3.08 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. Even with losing on Opening Day to Jeff Samardzija, Burnett is 1-1 in two starts this year with a 3.21 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP (10 hits, four walks and 15 strikeouts in 14 innings).

The Cubs should really make Burnett test his legs early in the game.

Cubs Career Numbers against A.J. Burnett

  • Darwin Barney – 2-for-9 with a walk
  • Brian Bogusevic – 2-for-10
  • Julio Borbon – 1-for-10
  • Welington Castillo – 2-for-6 with two doubles
  • Starlin Castro – 8-for-19
  • Scott Hairston – 2-for-3
  • Dioner Navarro – 6-for-29 with a double and a home run
  • Cody Ransom – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Anthony Rizzo – 3-for-12 with a home run and two walks
  • Nate Schierholtz – 4-for-8 with a double and a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 6-for-29 with a home run
  • Luis Valbuena – 0-for-12 with two walks

Let’s Talk Cubs’ Baseball …

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    Borbon – CF
    Castro – SS
    Rizzo – 1B
    Soriano – LF
    Valbuena – 3B
    Schierholtz – RF
    Barney – 2B
    Castillo – C
    Villanueva – P

  • Ray Ray

    Happy to see Borbon get to start 2 games in a row in lead off spot.

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      Dang Ray, once again you took the words out of my mouth! I saw that and logged on specifically to make the exact same post you just made.

      Look, in the sky….is that…yes it is! A pig! LOLOL

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        I just realized aren’t all 3 left-handed? Crazy times on the North side. Valbuena is a lefty and Rizzo so that leaves us with 3 right handed batters in the starting lineup. Is that a feasible line-up?

        • daverj

          It’s feasible but it would really expose the team to left handed relievers. In terms of the starting line-up, I think you would want a right handed platoon partner for Schierholtz and one of the other two. That doesn’t help with the reliever issue though as you wouldn’t want to use up the bench on “handed” substitutions in the middle innings.

        • paulcatanese

          It would be if they were playing fast pitch softball out here on the West Coast:)

    • Tony_Hall

      It would be nice to see him get a chance to start the rest of the way. Bogusevic really shouldn’t stop this, but Sweeney will start and so will DeJesus when they come back, (I believe DeJesus will be traded in August as he should clear waivers). The biggest obstacle then with Sweeney, Schierholtz both needing to start is the vet who may soon be actually blocking young guys from getting a chance. Let’s hope this hot streak makes some team willing to take a chance on Soriano.

      • Ray Ray

        The thing I will say about Soriano is that…IF a team is not willing to give much for him…AND….the Cubs will have to pay most of his salary….I would just keep him for the next year and a half.

        Here is the thing….the outfield is all lefthanded. I don’t want to see Scott Hairston play everyday for Soriano. Until he is blocking a young right handed hitting outfielder with pop(Soler,Almora etc) I would rather see Soriano play and bat in the middle of the lineup. He is a good influence in the clubhouse and is not a disruption.

        • JasonOfTheBurbs

          I don’t disagree…I just hope that the scenario that unfolds is Soriano is traded (for whatever) and that the FO brings up someone from the farm to see what they can do in the OF.

          Totally agree that I don’t want to see Hairston or some other 4th-5th OF get everyday starts if Soriano is traded. That is the equivalent of having to watch Neifi Perez play SS everyday…just doesn’t make sense and sort of makes you throw up in your mouth a bit.

          Is BJax so horrible that he can’t be brought up? His trade value is nil, so why not give him a run at MLB level and see if you catch lightning in a bottle. Then you can either trade him in off-season or decide he is part of the future (even as a reserve).

          • Ray Ray

            Hopefully BJax gets some playing time in the second half.

          • J Daniel

            If they trade him for whatever people would be complaining about that as well. I agree with CubTex that until he is blocking someone, and if they don’t get much in return, why move him? To play someone else that isn’t the answer either?

        • Tony_Hall

          Junior Lake is going to need a spot in the OF soon as he just hasn’t got the glove for infield.

          Ideally they would trade Soriano and DeJesus, and have Lake in LF, Borbon in CF and Schierholtz in RF with Hairston and Bogusevic as the backups.

          • Ray Ray

            Hasn’t Lake been playing mainly infield at Iowa? I thought they want him to stay there. If they want to play lake everyday in the outfield for Soriano, I wouldn’t have a problem with that….I just don’t want to see Hairston.

          • Tony_Hall

            Mainly, but he has been in the OF at some point in 8 of his 32 games in Iowa. I don’t think with all the LH OF’s that we will see Hairston play against RH’s. I think they would bring up BJAX if they needed another LH before doing that.

          • Ray Ray

            Just checked and they have been playing him mainly at 3B.

          • paulcatanese

            If I could give you triple “up’s” on that one I would, never could see Hairston coming to the Cubs.

          • paulcatanese

            Junior Lake may be as you say, I don’t know enough about him to comment either way.

            But agree with Ray about Soriono, and would not want to see him traded without compensation, he is not the problem with the team, and the only true power at this point. He would be tough to replace for runs produced in this and the next year.

            Schierholtz IMO is not the answer in right field, for my take, he is too deliberate in his play out there, and has not learned the

          • Tony_Hall

            Lake has hit well so far in AAA and is likely going to get a September call-up and a chance to make the team next year. It is getting close to where Soriano will be taking away playing time from a young player, something that hasn’t even been close the last few years. Schierholtz is a short term fill-in and does exceeded expectations.

          • daverj

            I see Lake’s future as a valuable supersub on a good team (hopefully the Cubs by 2015) playing IF and OF.

          • Tony_Hall

            I agree.

  • Ray Ray

    Boardrider- Did you notice that Barret Loux got back to back starts for the first time in a while? Went 6 innings yesterday and 5 IP the start before….so that is encouraging. I have to imagine that he was having some discomfort and that is why he was handled the way he was. Hopefully he can build up some arm strength and possibly get some action in September with the big club.

  • Ray Ray

    Mike Olt is 4 for his last 32 with 16K’s. Stay away from this guy!

    • paulcatanese

      Told ya, he is too Olt:)

      • Ray Ray

        yes you did :)))

    • Denver Mike

      Yeah, I’m not a fan at all. I feel like we have a few more promising options coming up through the system to play 3B than we did a year ago when Olt was involved in talks for Garza. On top of that he has been experiencing some odd eye issues this year that I think have contributed to his slide. I posted a few days back in another thread that I would be sorely disappointed if Perez/Olt turned out to be the return for Garza. If that is all we can get, then we should do whatever we can to extend him for 4 more years.

      • Tony_Hall

        Do you take it if it is the best offer and Garza says no to an extension?

        • Ray Ray

          I imagine Martin Perez is off the table. He has had 3 good starts for the Rangers.

          • Tony_Hall

            I agree. I would take Olt (and count on a rebound) if we could get Perez in the deal.

        • Denver Mike

          That’s like asking if I’d eat Rocky Mtn Oysters if it meant not starving to death, of course I would but it doesn’t mean I’d like it!

          • Tony_Hall

            LOL. But at this point, I believe we have to assume he has rejected an extension and we know have to choose between tagging him where we get a pick and hoping we can work it out in the off-season (or take the pick) or trade him now for the best offer.

          • Ray Ray

            I keep hearing how interested the Rangers are in Garza and I get the feeling that is where he will end up. I just hope they can get something decent from them. Rangers have a good farm system.

          • Denver Mike

            I tend to overvalue players I like (as many of us do) so I’m sure that plays into it a lot. In reality Perez has had some success at the MLB level and has the potential to be every bit as good as Garza someday, which makes it seem more appealing to take on Olt and risk him not panning out. I think I like the idea of a Schoop/Rodriguez package a bit more, even though I can’t tell you exactly why at this point.

          • Denver Mike

            If we didn’t already have a big injury question mark in Vizcaino in the system I would love to see a Bundy/Schoop package, as Baltimore has to be a bit concerned with the elbow of the recent #1 overall prospect.

          • Ray Ray

            Yea. I would too but no way Baltimore would trade Bundy.

          • Denver Mike

            Yeah, I’m feeling pretty greedy this particular Sunday afternoon. Let’s just throw Profar into the Perez/Olt deal while we’re at it :)

          • Tony_Hall

            Not that I would expect Profar, but I would want another player, an arm that was the high risk/high reward type.

          • Ray Ray

            Luke Jackson

          • Tony_Hall

            OK. I have a hard enough time keeping up with the Cubs system to try and keep up with other teams system below the top prospects that are starting to become relevant in fantasy baseball.

          • Ray Ray

            He was the Rangers 1st round 45th pick in 2010. Mid 90′s heat. Is young and needs work on secondary pitches but he would be a nice arm to add.

          • Tony_Hall

            Now you are thinking just like Theo and Jed….

          • Ray Ray

            If they can get Perez it would be a nice arm because he can be more than a 4/5. That is what they need. FOR potential. Perez isn’t an ace but he could be a low 2 or 3. The Rangers also have a young catcher Jorge Alfaro who has big power potential and a cannon for an arm. Luke Jackson is another lefty who throws mid 90′s and I would love to get. I really doubt the Rangers would trade Perez at this point but if they can get Jackson, Alfaro and maybe Justin Grimm. That is potentially 2 starting pitchers and a future catcher.

            Note- Justin Grimm was a Boston Red Sox draft pick in 2007 so keep on eye on that name.

          • Ray Ray

            My bad on Grimm. I was thinking of someone else. He was a Ranger pick.

          • Ray Ray

            It actually was Grimm. I am confusing myself. The Red Sox drafted Grimm out of High School and he didn’t sign and attended Georgia. Lack of sleep.

          • KingKongKingman

            i don’t believe a “real” extension with real money was ever extended. theo has been bent on trading him since day one; which is what should of been done in nov 2011 when the cubs could maximize his value.

            the ejax money plus 20-25M should of been offered to Garza last year when they lost sanchez. only the Indians are a diff team being talked about so far; so if the deals could not be done last yr; not sure what has changed except the cubs have lost a whole lot of leverage.

            I would offer sori, Gregg, Garza to the rangers plus pay all their salary this year plus 6M for sori next yr(they need all 3) for perez, scheppers (closer?) and ross (actually gets righties out not like Russell).
            that would give the team smardz, ejax, wood, villeneuva, perez, arrieta for next yr and ross-Russell-scheppers-strop in the pen.
            the rangers have the money to extend Garza and a rotation of him darvish, Holland, Harrison is set as all are under 30. berkman is on the Dl and sori hits better in hot weather. the AL is wide open.
            its time the trades provide actual MLB ready prospects not like last yr that provided none.

    • J Daniel

      I agree but almost everyone would have been excited if acquired last year. Prospects …

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Here is the daily reminder and a copy of what I posted yesterday.

    A quick note to everyone and I will continue to mention this in the game previews leading up to the break. Due to the actions of a few of the readers/commenters, at some point during the All-Star break I am going to flip the switch on Disqus to where only registered Disqus users will be able to
    leave a comment and engage in the discussions on the site. I have tried to avoid this for a long time but the amount of multiple comments from the same
    user using different screen names just to complain and then agree with themselves has gotten to the point I can no longer ignore the problem. Those
    readers/commenters are not adding to the site or community but are bringing it down. I welcome discussion and the varying opinions and passion for the team. With that said, I have to do something about this issue.

    I apologize to all of the readers/commenters that are being truthful and just stating their opinion for this inconvenience and I hope everyone understands.

    • daverj

      I’m more concerned about the mental health of the people who are taking the time to sign in with multiple names so they can agree with themselves. I wish I had more time during the day to post on CCO with my own name, let alone coming up with others!

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      makes sense…I haven’t been posting to the site that often, but since moving back from AZ, I have Cubs more on the brain once again.

      I was logging in thru Google, but it seemed my username would randomly switch between Jason Douglas and JasonBfromAZ, so I gave up and got this username thru Disqus, which I think works better anyway with the notifications.

      I could be missing something obvious, but couldn’t someone just set up multiple Disqus accounts using different emails, and the same problem might exist?

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        You are correct, but it would be a little more difficult. As a guest, someone can sign in with any email, even one that does not exist, which has been the case too many times.

        I am open for suggestions. That is the reason I started posting this now. I figured there would be questions like this brought up.

        Send me an email.

    • Reality Check

      thank god we all don’t have such pressing issues as this. the “real” world is a scary place. best for some to avoid it behind computer screens.

  • daverj

    I hope I am wrong, but I suspect we are all going to be disappointed with the return we get for Garza. While Garza is a better pitcher than Nolasco, Nolasco has been solid this year and the return for him was far less than we received for Maholm or Dempster last year.

    • Tony_Hall

      The Marlins took the cash over getting a better return with prospects. The Cubs will pay all his salary if we get better prospects back.

      Big difference, let alone the difference in pitchers.

      • daverj

        I realize the cash difference will help get better players, but I don’t think it will help as much as some think. Again, I hope I’m wrong. I could see Garza for a guy like Perez, but I’d be surprised if the got additional prospects.

    • Suzy S

      daverj…if a trade happens…we’ll still have to get the equivalent or better than a supplemental first round pick…so while we might be disappointed…it will still be a quality return…or we hold him, tender him a one year contract…(which he’ll probably decline)…and voila!!!…we have another high pick in next year’s draft.
      So any trade will have to be a better deal than that.

  • Ray Ray

    Castro is noticeably more closed today at the batters box which leads to less movement. Nice to see him drive that ball to right center.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Good call. Castro is more closed today. I would still like to see him adjust the leg kick. Still too much time.

      • Ray Ray

        agreed…baby steps.

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Well put

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Nice double by Castro and Soriano with a sac fly. Castro hustled home …

  • triple

    I’m watching the game probably about 5-10 minutes behind real time… what’s up with Castro coming up limping after bare-handing that ball? Damn announcers didn’t even bring it up till about a minute after it happened. Very poor example of calling the game when one of the clubs most important players has a possible injury, and the announcers fail to immediately recognize this.

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    One of the Hairston clan just jacked a ball outta here…

  • calicub

    hairston can only hit HRs, i’m convinced

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      Soriano Lite?

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Hairston with a pinch-hit HR, his first, 8th on the season. Cubs have hit 4 pinch hit HRs this season.

  • Ray Ray

    Nice to see Sveum yank Russell there. He has proven he cannot be the 8th inning guy.

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      is it just a lack of movement on his pitches? Seems like everyone can hit hard off him…

      • Ray Ray

        He doesn’t have a put away pitch against RH. He is a left handed specialist and that is what he is. Look at his numbers against lefties compared to righties. You will see what I am talking about.

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    time for Rizzo to get hot…

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      that was a horrible swing…even our announcer is like “well…that guy normally isn’t a strikeout pitcher…” right after he finished striking out our future “core” infielders.

      I hold out hope for Rizzo.
      Gonna take a lot to get me believing in Castro.

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    C’mon, Gregg! Let’s get a 1-2-3 ninth, a save, and then hopefully a prospect or two as a result!

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      Crap.
      Note to Thoyer: Should have pulled the trigger on a trade for Gregg before today…stop waiting for the greatest possible haul…Gregg is wearing Cinderella slippers and the ball is almost over.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    And Marte tied the game at three on a 3-2 pitch with two outs in the ninth

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      heard any trade rumors on Gregg? I hope Thoyer didn’t miss an oppty. Closers that were once good, then bad, and then are good again out of the blue, shouldn’t be trusted forever.

      History says Gregg is gonna crash eventually.

      Or do we sign the guy for cheap as our closer for next year?

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        The Red Sox, Orioles, Rockies and Braves have shown interest. Levine said yesterday that seven or eight teams are interested but did not go into any details.

      • Ripsnorter1

        I could be wrong, but…..

        I don’t think he’ll bring much. He’s been lucky, imo, and if I were a GM, I would suspect that he cannot sustain his current level of performance. If I were in a pennant race, I would not trust him to save games for me.

        • Ray Ray

          Agreed, but with Gregg…something is better than nothing. He didn’t cost anything and isn’t part of your future. Trade him while you can.

          • Ripsnorter1

            I guess anybody can blow a save. The NY Yanks have only 4 blown saves all year–that includes Mariano Rivera’s blown save today when he gave up a 2 run tater in the bottom of the ninth to Adam Jones……

  • Ripsnorter1

    Wow. Dave Sappelt had a pinch single. I didn’t think he could do that…..

    • paulcatanese

      And then he thinks he can run:)

  • J Daniel

    Nice job, Neil. Not sure how you keep up? I enjoy a majority of posters as it creates excellent conversation and stimulates ideas and thoughts on a team we all love and hope to win very soon.

    With that said I would hope that people would post their thoughts in a dignified manner and be respectful of other posters opinions. I also suggest not reading posts of people that you do not like as well as not responding back. That would help the situation.

    Tough to stop people from responding to themselves though.

  • Ripsnorter1

    What is Brandon Inge still doing in the majors? He’s “hitting” .192 with no power, no speed, no RBIs, and a lot of K’s. I mean, a .468 OPS isn’t enough to keep a guy in MLB anywhere except…..Pittsburgh.

  • Ray Ray

    Guerrier is doing the job thus far. I know it is early but he has been getting alot of ground balls.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Yup. Maybe the trade helped his concentration …..

  • Ray Ray

    How about a walk off from Rizzo to get him going!

    • Ray Ray

      Almost :) A little too quick on that. Good at bat though

  • Ray Ray

    Alright. Have Barney squeeze the run in after they walk Valbuena and end it

    • Ray Ray

      never mind. pinch hitter

  • Brp921

    We will win this game now…won’t we?

    • Brp921

      Yes we will!!!

  • Ripsnorter1

    These Pirates do not look that strong to me. They do not have enough offense.

    • RynoTiger

      I think their record says otherwise.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat the Pirates 4-3
    in 11 innings on Sunday afternoon – Carlos Villanueva: 1R, 3H, 1BB, 5K in 4IP
    (69 pitches, 40 strikes); at the plate: 1-1, R

    Navarro: SF RBI in 11th
    inning; Hairston: 1-1, HR; Castro: 1-5, 2B, R; Soriano: 1-4, SF RBI; Rizzo: 1-5,
    RBI, R

  • triple

    Great win by the Cubs today… they didn’t give in. Also, I think having Villanueva be able to step into the starters role again is a nice plus, and really softens the blow of the Feldman trade (not like that was a big blow to the team), but also goes to show that Theo/Jed have learned from last years sell off to be better prepared. When/if Garza goes, hopefully Baker will be able to pitch, or Rusin can get some more experience taking the hill in the big leagues.

    The Cubs have now won 5 of their last 7 series they’ve played. And really, they should have taken the A’s series. If this team can play out the year and weather losing some combination of Garza, Gregg, Soriano and DeJesus while not dropping much further than 10 below .500, I think that would show some major improvement over last years big league team. I think most here see the upgrades that have been happening across the entire farm system and that they are finally creeping into the AA and AAA levels. It will not be much longer until those changes are effecting the big league club. Hopefully the FO can build on what they did to prepare the roster for this year and provide one for ’14 that is more ready to compete, especially with the bullpen. Even with a team like this years that has so many holes, if the bullpen was more reliable, they’d be a .500 team or better.

    Having said all that, I’m glad we won’t have to draft like a .500 or better team next year. We can still use another top 7 (or better) pick, and the slot money exception that comes with a higher draft. But I’m sure that the FO can find more good starters to rebuild the rotation for next year, and like I said, hopefully some better bullpen pieces, and maybe next year’s team can be somewhat of a surprise for some of us.

  • Brp921

    How many more days do we have to sign Bryant? Isn’t the deadline the 12th. I know Boras will stretch it out to the last minute and it’s hard to imagine Bryant would want to chance waiting another year, but I can’t help worrying when Boras is involved.

    • Denver Mike

      I can see the concern, especially when 3 of the top 5 picks have already made their debut with their respective clubs, but I still can’t see a scenario where Bryant doesn’t sign, Boras or not. I was hoping they could get it done quickly so that he could get his career started as soon as possible, but I suppose this was to be expected.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      The deadline to sign Bryant is Friday, July 12 at 4:00pm CDT. I do not see a scenario in which Bryant does not sign. Hoyer said multiple times this weekend that he is confident the Cubs will sign him prior to the deadline.