DeJesus, the Roster and Cubs Minor League News and Notes

The Cubs roster shuffle continued on Monday when they dealt David DeJesus to the Washington Nationals for a player to be named later. The Nationals claimed DeJesus on waivers and the two teams worked out a trade that will save the Cubs around $2.5 million. DeJesus has around $1 million left on his $4.5 million contract for this season plus the $1.5 million buyout on the $6.5 million club option for 2014.

Washington has six months to send a player to the Cubs for David DeJesus.

The Nationals turned around and placed DeJesus on revocable trade waivers “almost immediately after acquiring him from the Cubs on Monday” according to a report from Ken Rosenthal. The Nationals might not want to be on the hook for the remaining money on DeJesus’ contract. According to multiple reports, the Nationals placed a claim on DeJesus and were granted the claim after the Cubs did not pull him back. Buster Olney reported it could turn out to be a waiver-claim mistake by Mike Rizzo and the Nationals.

David DeJesus was the first free agent signing by Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer and neither the team nor DeJesus closed the door on him re-signing with the Cubs during the upcoming off-season. The Cubs could end up signing him for less than the $6.5 million club option they had on DeJesus for the 2014 season.

The Cubs are going to use the remainder of the season as a chance to get an extended look at Brian Bogusevic and Ryan Sweeney. Bogusevic was activated from the 15-day DL on Monday and is expected to be in the starting lineup on Tuesday. Jed Hoyer said Ryan Sweeney is almost ready to begin a rehab assignment and will see significant playing time when he returns. Sweeney has been on the 60-day DL since June 30 and cannot be activated until August 30. Look for Sweeney to be back in the lineup once rosters expand on September 1.

By working out a trade with the Nationals for David DeJesus, the Cubs opened a spot on the 40-man roster, which currently stands at 39 players. The spot will be needed when Ryan Sweeney is activated.

David DeJesus

According to a report from Comcast SportsNet, David DeJesus’ time with the Cubs might not have come to an end on Monday. Jed Hoyer said, “We really like David a lot. I’ve told his agent and I know Theo told David directly. I’m willing to talk to him about bringing him back at some point. I think he’s a good mentor for our young guys. I like his approach at the plate. But that doesn’t close the door on David with the Cubs in the future because he represents himself well, he’s a pro and a lot of things he does we’d like to have in our clubhouse again.”

For as much as the Cubs like DeJesus, according to Patrick Mooney, they found a way to save the $2.5 million over the next 39 games. The Cubs could re-sign DeJesus at a lesser cost, and as a fourth outfielder.

Brandon Hyde

Brandon Hyde, the Cubs Director of Player Development, joined Barry Rozner and Connor McKnight during Hit and Run (670 the Score) on Sunday morning and discussed the Cubs’ farm system.

Javier Baez was the first player that Hyde was asked about and if the Cubs planned on leaving him at shortstop. Hyde said, “Absolutely.” Hyde explained that Baez is only 20 years old and he’s had his issues this year but he is a “special defender.” Baez has the tool set to play short and the Cubs are going to leave him at short as long as they can.

Defensively there are a lot of factors that have gone into the errors that Baez has committed this season. Baez is just a couple of years out of high school and the game does speed up and it is even faster at the Double-A level. This is a new experience for Baez according to Hyde. He went onto explain that a majority of shortstops like him are super athletic and he is still growing. A lot of Baez’s errors on all balls he is getting to that other shortstops cannot. Then once Baez makes a play, he tries to force something that is not there trying to get an out. Hyde and the Cubs feel that his maturity will subtract the number of errors. Hyde pointed out that Baez is a very smart player and is very serious about the game.

The Cubs feel that Baez is physically is a shortstop and he is athletic enough with quick feet and hands which will allow him to play short.

Hyde acknowledged that Mike Olt is going through a tough year. The Cubs are hoping to get him back on track. Hyde saw Olt play last week while he was in Des Moines. Hyde believes that Olt is caught in between this year and is having a tough time getting out of it. The Cubs are excited to have him and are looking forward to getting Olt back on track.

Barry Rozner asked about the pitching prospects in the system and if there are any pitchers in the system that could be with the big league team in the near future. Hyde raved about Kyle Hendricks. Hyde said that he can really pitch and is extremely intelligent. Hyde said that Hendricks will be considered for the rotation next year and will go into camp competing for a spot.

Hyde has liked what he has seen from Armando Rivero and really “all of the guys in Daytona”, especially C.J. Edwards. Hyde mentioned that it has gotten “a lot more interesting on the mound this season” in the system. The goal for the system is to show steady improvement throughout the year and they feel players are getting better. The Cubs are excited about the entire system, players and pitchers.

Arodys Vizcaino is getting healthy and is progressing well. Hyde said that Vizcaino will either pitch in the fall league or somewhere this off-season. Hyde reiterated that Vizcaino has an 80 fastball as well as a plus slider and the Cubs were excited to get him last year from the Braves. Vizcaino will be in the mix for a spot in the rotation next season according to Brandon Hyde.

When asked about the National League adopting the designated hitter and Dan Vogelbach, Hyde quickly cautioned to not pigeon-hole Vogelbach into a DH. Vogelbach is more athletic than he seems. Hyde mentioned Prince Fielder as a possible comp, then quickly said that he’s probably not as athletic as Fielder. Hyde said he could not count out Vogelbach playing first base. The Cubs have worked a lot with him physically and will continue to do so. The Cubs are “excited about Dan,” Hyde said. Vogelbach is playing good defense and Hyde is going to see him and the D-Cubs this week. Hyde pointed out that Vogelbach has a lot of power potential, they just need to smooth out his defense.

Hyde was asked about players in the system that he is high on that do not make headlines. Hyde said a lot of guys are making a push in the second half. Hyde discussed how well Jae-Hoon Ha has played and that he is a plus defender in center at a very young age. Christian Villanueva has played very well, not only is he a plus defender but he is really hitting at the Double-A level. Rubi Silva and Arismendy Alcantara have made “huge steps forward” and the Cubs are very excited about both of them.

Kris Bryant

Kris Bryant made the most of his first week with the Daytona Cubs. Seven days after being named the Northwest League Player of the Week, Bryant was named the Florida State League Player of the Week after hitting .360/.385/.760 with one double, three home runs and five RBI in seven games (9-for-25).

Kris Bryant has hit safely in 23 of his first 27 games and is hitting .344/.391/.688 with 10 doubles, a triple and seven home runs.

News and Notes

According to a report from Bruce Levine, there is no finger pointing in the Cubs clubhouse.

The Cubs promoted James Pugliese to Kane County from Boise on Monday. The 21-year old right hander posted a 4-3 record in 12 games, 11 starts, with a 2.32 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP (55 hits, 12 walks and 47 strikeouts in 62 innings).

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