According to Bruce Levine, teams are still talking to the Cubs about Dioner Navarro as the end of the month approaches. The Cubs have had numerous discussions with the Cardinals about Navarro according to Levine. St. Louis has major concerns about Yadier Molina’s health and the Cardinals would like to have a veteran, such as Dioner Navarro, on their roster to back up Yadier Molina.
Dioner Navarro is having a career year as the Cubs’ backup catcher. The Cubs signed Navarro to a one-year deal last off-season for $1.75 million that included a $250,000 performance based incentive package.
After going 2-for-4 with a RBI, a walk and a run scored on Tuesday night, Dioner Navarro is hitting .291/360/.505 this season with six doubles and 11 home runs for a .865 OPS. The Cubs and Navarro have voiced an interest on him re-signing with the team in the off-season. And if he does, Navarro’s price tag figures to increase significantly from a year ago.
Cubs Prospects and the Arizona Fall League
The focus for the Cubs this fall will be in Arizona with the four top prospects in the system all participating in the AFL. Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler are expected to see regular playing time with the Mesa Solar Sox when games begin on October 8. Albert Almora is on the taxi squad, which means he will be available for games on Wednesday and Saturday.
It is unknown at this point how much time Arodys Vizcaino and Dallas Beeler will see. Both pitchers are coming back from injury and Vizcaino has not pitched in a game in two full seasons.
Matt Loosen should make his share of starts for the Solar Sox and Armando Rivero figures to see quite a bit of action out of the bullpen.
Javier Baez will be making his second straight trip to the fall league. Baez should split time with Oakland’s top prospect, Addison Russell, at shortstop.
Jed Hoyer addressed where Baez will play during the AFL season. Hoyer said that Baez will play short, but will see time at other positions. Hoyer did not indicate which positions but did say, “The more versatility our guys have, the better.”
Hoyer went onto explain, “You will see some guys move around the diamond. It doesn’t mean we’re thinking about moving them off their primary position. It just means it can help the Major League club in the future it they can move around.”
Dale Sveum is looking forward to watching Baez, Soler, Bryant and Almora play in the AFL.
Daytona Combines on a No-Hitter
Ben Wells, Kyler Burke and Zach Cates combined on a seven-inning no-hitter on Tuesday night in the second game of a doubleheader against the Dunedin Blue Jays. Tuesday was the second time this year that Daytona no-hit the Blue Jays.
Both ends of the doubleheader were resumptions of two games that were suspended by rain. Daytona took game one 6-4 that was the resumption of Monday’s game then became the visiting team in their park as the second game was the conclusion of the game that was started on August 21 in Dunedin.
Daytona reduced their magic number to two to win the Florida State League North second half title by sweeping both ends of the double header on Tuesday.
Luis Valbuena made his first rehab start with the AZL Cubs on Tuesday night. Valbuena hit second in the lineup behind rehabbing Ryan Sweeney. Valbuena was the designated hitter in his first game action in nearly a month. Valbuena could be activated from the DL as soon as Sunday when rosters expand.
According to a report from Carrie Muskat, the Cubs’ September call-ups “will likely be a few pitchers and Luis Valbuena and Ryan Sweeney.” Muskat reported last week that the Cubs could make several changes to the 40-man roster, which currently stands at 40 players, and call-up players in September that would have to be added to the roster over the winter. The report contradicted other reports that indicated the Cubs would not be adding any players to the active roster that were not already on the 40-man big league roster.
Teams can add as many players as they would like from the 40-man roster to their active roster starting on Sunday.
News, Notes and Rumors
Bruce Levine has heard the Cubs could be interested in signing Jacoby Ellsbury this winter. Levine is not sure if the Cubs are interested in Shin-Soo Choo.
MLB.com has updated their ranking of the top prospects in the Cubs’ system and Neil Ramirez has been inserted at No. 12. Javier Baez, Albert Almora, Jorge Soler, Kris Bryant, Mike Olt, Arodys Vizcaino, Pierce Johnson, Arismendy Alcantara, Matt Szczur and Dan Vogelbach comprise MLB.com’s top 10 Cubs’ prospect list.
Donnie Murphy is just hoping to stick with the Cubs according to a report from Comcast SportsNet.
Mike Quade has a few regrets but was glad for his chance with the Cubs according to the Sun-Times.