Munenori Kawasaki, Manny Parra and Shane Victorino re-signed with the Cubs on Minor League contracts
It was a rather busy Tuesday as the team finalized its Opening Day Roster prior to the Cactus League game with the Athletics. The Cubs break camp following Wednesday’s practice game with the Rockies and Joe Maddon said Monday the goal was to set the first roster of the season before the team left Arizona.
The Cubs released INF Munenori Kawasaki, LHP Manny Parra and OF Shane Victorino early in the day. At that point, the roster questions cleared up and the only one the Cubs had left to answer was about Javier Baez and his status for Opening Day. Baez will begin the year on the DL with a bruised thumb and Neil Ramirez and Matt Szczur were informed they made the team.
As the new shifted to Baez’s injury Tuesday and the first 25-man roster of the season, the Cubs announced the team re-signed INF Munenori Kawasaki, LHP Manny Parra and OF Shane Victorino. Terms of the minor league contracts were not released.
By the Cubs releasing and then re-signing all three players to restructured minor league contracts, the team avoided paying a $100,000 retention bonus to Kawasaki, Parra and Victorino.
Kawasaki played in Tuesday’s game, as scheduled, and responded to the large crowd at Sloan Park chanting his name by hitting a three-run homer in the eighth inning.
Joe Maddon thinks Kawasaki will have an impact on the team this season.
Kawasaki told the Japan Times even though he knew it was coming, he was hurt when the Cubs “fired him.” Kawasaki said he signed immediately when approached about a new contract 30 minutes later.
Munenori Kawasaki and Manny Parra will begin the season with Triple-A Iowa. Parra likely received an opt-out in his minor league deal. Parra had a good spring and lefty relievers are always in demand.
Shane Victorino will continue his rehab at the team’s facility in Mesa. The plan is for Victorino to recreate Spring Training over the next month. Once healthy, Victorino will report to Triple-A Iowa. The two sides will determine what’s best for him and the team once he shows he is healthy enough to play at the highest level.
Details on the contracts Kawasaki, Parra and Victorino signed have not surfaced yet.
It’s unknown if Victorino will be able to stay on the field at this point in his career to help a Major League team. The Cubs kept two players in Kawasaki and Parra that provides depth and are just a phone call away at Triple-A Iowa.