The Cubs announced the acquisition of LHP Felix Doubront Thursday from the Boston Red Sox for a player to be named later or cash. The Cubs are expected to send a player to Boston for the southpaw and the two teams will complete the trade after the Rule 5 Draft in December.
The trade with Atlanta for INF/OF Emilio Bonifacio and LHP James Russell cleared two spots on the 40-man roster. The Cubs will use one of those two spots on RHP Kyuji Fujikawa when he is ready to be come off the 60-day DL. Fujikawa is close to returning to the big league team and was expected to be activated for the three-game series in Los Angeles.
The 40-man roster officially stands at 38 players after the addition of LHP Felix Doubront. And the two spots currently open on the 25-man roster will be filled prior to Friday night’s game. The front office was expected to discuss which two players would either be called up or activated from the DL to take the spots vacated by Emilio Bonifacio and James Russell.
With Chris Rusin already on the active roster to fill Russell’s spot as one of the two lefty relievers, the Cubs will likely recall a right handed reliever. After optioning Blake Parker to Iowa prior to Wednesday’s game, the Cubs have two other right handers on the 40-man. Dan Straily started for Iowa on Thursday night and the Cubs see Dallas Beeler as a starting pitcher, not a reliever. With the lack of options on the 40-man, Fujikawa is likely the addition to the pen.
As for a position player, Logan Watkins, Josh Vitters and Mike Olt are on the 40-man. The Cubs are very left-handed and could decide to add a right hander to the 25-man roster. Watkins, Vitters and Olt played Thursday night in New Orleans.
Hoyer said, “We’re not going to change our timetable on any of our prospects based on moves we made at the big league level. When we feel like they are ready, and they can contribute, we’ll do that.”
The Cubs have not ruled out calling up Javier Baez to the majors this season like the front has with Kris Bryant. Baez would have to be added to the 40-man roster, a move that many feel the Cubs will make at some point over the next month.
The Cubs placed Neil Ramirez on the 15-day DL Tuesday with right triceps soreness. Ramirez had been optioned to Triple-A Iowa Saturday in order to give him a breather. But when Ramirez informed the staff that he his right arm was sore, the Cubs placed him on the Major League 15-day DL instead.
The Cubs backdated his DL stint to July 26 and indicated Tuesday he should not be on the DL longer than the required 15 days. According to a report from Patrick Mooney, the MLBPA “quietly” stepped in after the Cubs optioned Ramirez to Iowa and the Cubs placed him on the DL instead, which keeps his service time running and he continues to be paid his Major League salary.
Ramirez described the soreness in his arm as nothing serious.
Reports from Wrigley indicated Neil Ramirez was leaving for Mesa following Thursday’s game and would rehab at the Cubs complex while his teammates are on the road.