Baez Scheduled for Second Base This Week, Arrieta to Throw Live BP and Other Cubs News and Rumors

Rick Renteria said Saturday that Javier Baez will play second base either Monday or Tuesday. The Cubs have two games Monday, one in Phoenix against the Athletics and they host the Angels at Cubs Park. The team travels back to Surprise to take on the Rangers under the lights Tuesday night.

CubsMesaLogo-pubRenteria said Baez’s work at second base during practice “has been real good” and he does not think Baez will have any problems moving to the other side of the bag. Baez said he is feeling more comfortable at second base and he thinks a transition to second base would be easier for him.

Darwin Barney is expected to start at shortstop in the game Javier Baez makes his spring debut at second base.

Jake Arrieta

Jake Arrieta will throw his first live BP session on Sunday according to multiple reports. The Cubs have not said when Arrieta might appear in a Cactus League game. But with less than two weeks of practice games left, it is highly unlikely that Arrieta will begin the season on the active roster. The fifth spot in the rotation is up for grabs right now with Carlos Villanueva, Chris Rusin and James McDonald the leading candidates for the last spot in Rick Renteria’s Opening Day rotation.

Nate Schierholtz

According to Bruce Levine, the Cubs and Tigers have had discussions about a deal for Nate Schierholtz. Jon Paul Morosi reported last week that it was unclear if Detroit was interested in Schierholtz. Morosi indicated that Schierholtz could be available with Ryan Kalish an option for the Cubs to fill his roster spot. Levine added the Cubs have talked to Dombrowski about their other left-handed hitting outfielder, Ryan Sweeney, as well.

The Cubs would want pitching in return for Nate Schierholtz. It is doubtful the Cubs could pry Rick Porcello away from the Tigers for Schierholtz, but could a Casey Crosby be available in a deal for Nate Schierholtz?

The Cubs are not in a rush to deal Schierholtz and might want to hold onto him until the July deadline.

Schierholtz should be one of many players traded around the July 31 deadline. Jose Veras, Carlos Villanueva and Jason Hammel figure to be dealt as well for long term assets.

Roster Moves

The Cubs reassigned Kyle Hendricks to minor league camp Saturday and reduced the spring roster to 53 players in the process. The Cubs optioned Dallas Beeler to Triple-A Iowa on Friday and assigned Marcus Hatley to minor league camp.

Kyle Hendricks, Eric Jokisch and Dallas Beeler should be the first three pitchers in Iowa’s Opening Day rotation followed by Carlos Pimentel.

The Cubs have optioned the following players down to the minors: RHP Dallas Beeler (AAA), Arismendy Alcantara (AAA), Matt Szczur (AAA), Logan Watkins (AAA) and Jorge Soler (AA).

Kyle Hendricks, Marcus Hatley, Kris Bryant, Albert Almora, Carlos Pimentel, Jeudy Valdez and Eric Jokisch have been reassigned to minor league camp.

The Cubs have cut 13 players from the spring roster.

News, Notes and Rumors

According to a report from Jim Bowden, the Cubs and Dodgers have not had a conversation yet about a deal for Darwin Barney.

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  • Zonk

    With Jose Iglesias missing most of the year, the Tiger’s priority has shifted to SS; much higher than finding an OF to cover for Dirks. I bet that kills any Schierholz talks.

    They can pony-up $$$$ and draft pick for Stephen Drew, but a less expensive option would be Darwin Barney……I wonder if they would be interested in him as SS.

    • Tom U

      Packaging Schierholz and Barney, along with a minor league pitcher, may be a good option.

      The Cubs can also dangle someone like Luis Valbuena in front of the Orioles, who are looking at Manny Machado missing some time.

      • cubtex

        you lost me at dangle Valbuena in front of the Orioles :)))

        • Tom U

          Desperate times call for desperate measures.

          • Ripsnorter1

            They just ain’t that desperate yet. LOL

          • Tom U

            :-)

          • Ripsnorter1

            In Tom U’s opinion, who starts at 2B for the Cubbies on opening day?

            And at SS?

          • cubtex

            unfortunately Rip…unless Barney is moved he is starting at one of those spots. If Castro is not healthy we will probably see Barney at SS with Bonifacio at 2nd and Valbuena at 3rd. That would be my guess. If Casto is good to go. Castro and Barney.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Then this could be our year!
            3B–Valbuena
            SS-Barney
            2B–Bonifacio
            1B–Rizzo
            All could hit .230 or less!

            C–Castillo/Kotteras

            Add in an OF of…
            CF–Lake
            RF–Schierholtz
            LF–Sweeney/Ruggiano

            The entire team could hit .230 or less!

          • cubtex

            and look at that starting rotation. Top 2 pick here we come

          • SuzyS

            This year, it’s not about who starts at any position at the beginning of the year…it’s going to be who is starting at the end of the year…AND who had great years in the upper minors.
            This entire year at Wrigley…it’s just ST for next year.

          • Tom U

            Sorry Rip, cooking this afternoon. Castro still opens at short, with Bonifacio at second.

    • cubtex

      They should be able to do a heck of a lot better than Barney. Nick Franklin is still available. Jimmy Rollins would be a nice option(he and Sandberg have had some issues already) Of course JRol is a 10-5 guy so he would have to waive his no trade.

      • cubtex

        and there is also Didi Gregorious

        • texcubnut

          Not to mention Stephen Drew.

          • Tony_H

            Guys, those are all more angles for Detroit than the Orioles. Machado is not going to be out long, if at all. Iglesias is out for at least half a season if not longer.

          • cubtex

            that is who we are talking about. Replacements for Iglesias

          • Tony_H

            Sorry, then it makes more sense. I was reading down from where Tom mentioned Valbuena as a fill in for Machado and thought the rest about him.

          • cubtex

            with Corbin going down for the DBacks….a deal including Gregrorious for Porcello makes sense

          • cubtex

            maybe a Gregorious and Delgado for Porcello and a prospect. I can see something like that

          • Tony_H

            I don’t see AZ doing that.

          • Tony_H

            Too many pitchers have gone down this year, shows why you need lots and lots of them.

            I doubt they would trade Gregorius when they have Delgado as their 6th.

  • cubtex

    I understand the huge need for pitching but I don’t get why Theo and Co insist on trading every player for pitching. Watching a little of that White Sox vs Dodger game last night….The Sox got Adam Eaton(Lenny Dykstra re-incarnated) and others for short term assets. Schierholtz will not bring back a decent pitching prospect but you might be able to get a catcher(James McCann) or outfielder who could end up helping down the road. Cubs still have plenty of holes to fill besides pitching.

    • SuzyS

      If it’s not a TOR pitcher…then the catching corps is a strong # 2 in my list of objectives.

  • Chris K.

    Great article by MLBTraderumors on spending for free agency this season. While the Cubs are fourth from the bottom, they spent more than the Pirates, Reds and Nationals, teams expecting to contend this season. Free agency is just one place you can acquire talent, looks like some winners feel like they don’t need it.

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2014/03/2013-14-free-agent-spending-by-team-to-date.html

    • cubtex

      who doesn’t spend more than the Pirates or Reds? lol There is also a very good chance that 3 out of the 4 top spending teams will be in the playoffs Rangers,Dodgers and Yankees. And the Dodgers are favorites to win the WS

    • cubtex

      and last years WS champs did wonders in the FA market. Victorino, Napoli,Stephen Drew, Johnny Gomes,Uehara. They would not have won a WS without those Free Agents.

      • Chris K.

        I was more intimating that you can build a team with just FA’s, you need a good core of players first.

  • cubtex

    Junior Lake has been playing almost exclusively CF in spring training. He is in the lineup there again today. That is where he will have the most value. So barring any trades it looks like Sweeney Lake and Schierholtz from left to right with Ruggiano platooning on the corners against lefties. Bonifacio probably makes the team as a super utility. The last spot will more than likely be a left hand bat. Hopefully Schierholtz can get moved before the start of the season.