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The Cubs today acquired right-handed pitchers Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop as well as two international signing bonus slots (slot numbers three and four) from the Baltimore Orioles for right-handed pitcher Scott Feldman and catcher Steve Clevenger.
Arrieta will be assigned to Triple-A Iowa while Strop is expected to report to the Cubs later this week.
Arrieta, 27, is a former top prospect with front-of-the-rotation stuff, but he’s yet to put everything together at he major league level. In parts of four seasons with Baltimore, he’s 20-25 with a 5.46 ERA in 69 appearances, all but six as a starting pitcher. He was originally selected by the Orioles in the fifth round of the 2007 Draft and made his major league debut in 2010 at the age of 24. He was a 10-game winner for the Orioles in 2011, going 10-8 with a 5.05 ERA in 22 starts.
The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Arrieta, whose fastball averages in the low- to mid-90s, was a member of Baltimore’s 2013 Opening Day roster and has had three stints with the big league club this season, going 1-2 with a 7.23 ERA in five starts. With Norfolk, Arrieta went 5-3 with a 4.41 ERA in nine appearances (eight starts).
Arrieta was drafted by the Orioles out of Texas Christian University and made his professional debut in 2008. A year later, he advanced as high as Triple-A, combining to go 11-11 with a 3.40 ERA in 28 starts between Double-A Bowie and Norfolk. He began the 2010 campaign by going 6-2 with a 1.85 ERA in 12 appearances (11 starts) with Norfolk to earn his first promotion to the big leagues.
Strop, 28, has struggled so far this season, but served as one of Baltimore’s primary set-up men last season, going 5-2 with three saves, 24 holds and a 2.44 ERA in 70 relief appearances. He tied for seventh in the American League in holds and limited opponents to a .283 slugging percentage, the sixth-lowest mark in the majors among pitchers who made at least 70 appearances.
The 6-foot, 175-pounder is 7-6 with three saves and a 4.14 ERA in 144 major league relief appearances with Texas (2009-11) and Baltimore (2011-13). He missed time on the disabled list this year due to a lower back strain and has gone 0-3 with a 7.25 ERA in 29 relief outings.
Feldman, 30, signed a one-year contract with the Cubs prior to the 2013 campaign and went 7-6 with a 3.46 ERA (35 ER/91.0 IP) in 15 starts this season. Overall, Feldman is 46-50 with a 4.66 ERA (424 ER/818.2 IP) in 219 major league games (116 starts) with Texas and the Cubs. Left-hander Chris Rusin (7-7, 3.27 ERA at Iowa) will pitch tonight for the Cubs in place of Feldman.
Clevenger, 27, batted .125 (1-for-8) in eight games with the Cubs this season before straining his left oblique on April 13. He batted .327 (17-for-52) in 15 games with Iowa this year.
The Cubs came to terms with RHP Tyler Skulina, the club’s fourth-round selection in the 2013 draft, on Thursday. The 21-year-old enjoyed a solid season at Kent State University, going 6-4 with a 3.36 ERA in 93.2 innings, striking out 102 and walking 34. He held opponents to a .209 batting average last year and surrendered five home runs. He was also a member of the All-MAC second team for the second consecutive year.
Skulina, a 6-foot-5, 235 pounder, was named a 2013 Louisville Slugger Preseason Second Team All-American heading into the year after going 11-3 with a 3.77 ERA in 18 starts in 2012.
He was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 46th round of the 2010 draft, but did not sign.
The Cubs have now signed 18 players, including eight of the top 10 picks.
(Photo by Stephen Green)
The Cubs designated right-handed reliever Carlos Marmol for assignment Tuesday and selected the contract of outfielder Brian Bogusevic from Triple-A Iowa.
The 30-year-old Marmol was 2-4 with a pair of saves and a 5.86 ERA in 27.2 innings this season. He fanned 32 hitters and walked 21.
An NL All-Star in 2008, Marmol is the franchise leader in holds with 82, and his 117 saves are third-best in Cubs history. For his career, he is 23-32 with a 3.50 ERA over 542.1 innings.
Bogusevic, a 29-year-old outfielder, joins the Cubs after hitting .319/.418/.512 with 10 homers, 14 doubles, 16 stolen bases and 32 RBI at Triple-A Iowa this year. The Oak Lawn, Ill., native spent all or part of the last three seasons with the Astros, including 146 games with the major league club last year, when he hit .203 with seven homers and nine doubles to go along with 28 RBI.
This past offseason, Bogusevic signed a minor league contract with the Cubs that included an invite to big league Spring Training. He batted .410 (16-for-39) with a .452 on-base percentage, a .692 slugging percentage and a 1.144 OPS before becoming one of the final cuts of the spring.
The Cubs finalized deals with two of their selections from the 2013 First-Year Player Draft Thursday morning, signing outfielder Jacob Hannemann and right-hander David Garner.
Hannemann, the team’s third-round pick out of Brigham Young University, was the West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year this season. The 22-year-old, who spent two years on a Mormon mission before returning to school, hit .344/.415/.553 (AVG/OBP/SLG) with five homers, 16 doubles, seven triples and 29 RBI. He also stole 14 bases in 15 attempts.
Garner, a seventh-round pick from Michigan State University, struck out 70 batters in 83.1 innings in his junior season. The 20-year-old went 4-5 with a 4.10 ERA. He spent last summer in the Cape Cod League, where he posted a 3.12 ERA with 41 strikeouts in 43.1 innings and made the All-Star team.
The Cubs have now signed 11 of the 40 players they drafted.
The Cubs have come to terms with left-handed pitcher Rob Zastryzny, the club’s second-round pick in the 2013 draft. The 41st overall selection reportedly signed a $1.1 million deal after going 2-9 with a 3.38 ERA in his junior season at the University of Missouri. This season, the 21-year-old southpaw fanned 82 batters over 90.2 innings and held opponents to a .266 batting average.
An Edmonton, Alberta native, Zastryzny had 228 career strikeouts as a Tiger, eighth-most in the school’s history.
He is the eighth player to sign with the Cubs from the 2013 draft class. The other prospects include right-handed pitcher Zachary Godley (10th round), catcher Cael Brockmeyer (16th round), shortstop Giuseppe Papaccio (18th round), second baseman Zak Blair (20th round), left fielder Kevin Brown (22nd round), left-handed pitcher Tyler Ihrig (23rd round) and right-handed pitcher Zak Hermans (30th round).
(Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty)
To bolster their bullpen, the Cubs acquired right-hander Henry Rodriguez from the Nationals Tuesday night in exchange for Kane County right-hander Ian Dickson.
In 17 relief appearances with the Nationals this season, the 26-year-old Rodriguez was 0-1 with a 4.00 ERA and 11 strikeouts in 18 innings. He limited opponents to a .203 batting average against, including a .194 mark by right-handers and a .211 mark by left-handers. Rodriguez was designated for assignment by the Nats on June 4.
The Venezuelan native, whose fastball has averaged 98 MPH over his career, has pitched all or part of five seasons with the Athletics and Nationals, posting a career 5-7 record with 11 saves and a 4.23 ERA in 143 innings. He had career-high nine saves last year in Washington.
Dickson was 2-2 with a 6.88 ERA in 35.1 innings this year for Single-A Kane County. The 22-year-old was a 35th-round pick by the Cubs in the 2011 Draft.
To make room for Rodriguez on the 40-man roster, the Cubs designated Eduardo Sanchez for assignment. They had claimed the right-handed pitcher off waivers from the Cardinals on May 21.
The Chicago Cubs tonight selected right-handed hitting third baseman Kris Bryant out of the University of San Diego with the second overall pick in the 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
Bryant was recommended by area scout Alex Lontayo.
“Kris had an incredible season at San Diego, hitting for both power and average,” said Jason McLeod, Cubs vice president of scouting and player development. “He is a big, strong, athletic player, and we feel he has the attributes of someone who could fit into the middle of a lineup at the major league level. He has the ability to hit for average along with power to all parts of the park.”
Bryant, 20, hit .329 (75-for-228) with 80 runs scored, 13 doubles, three triples, 31 home runs and 62 RBI in 62 games for the Toreros this season, his junior year. His 31 home runs led the nation and are a USD single-season record. Bryant also led the nation in runs scored, walks (66) and slugging percentage (.820). His 54 career home runs in three years at USD are a school record.
Named a finalist for the 2013 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award, the 6-foot-5, 215-pound Bryant also led the Toreros in total bases (187), while striking out just 44 times in 302 plate appearances. In addition, Bryant was named the Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Year to go along with All-Tournament Team honors at the West Coast Conference Championships. The Louisville Slugger National Player of the Year sported a .946 fielding percentage at third base (9 E/166 TC).
Baseball America listed Bryant as the top position prospect available in the draft, and the third-best overall. The publication ranks him as the top college power hitter available and third-best with regards to strike zone judgment.
In 2012, Bryant reached base safely in 53 of his 57 games and logged a .366 batting average (78-for-213). He led the team in RBI (57), home runs (14), runs scored (59), hits (79), walks (39), on-base percentage (.483) and slugging percentage (.671). Bryant earned All-Conference honors for the second-straight year, and was named to the WCC All-Academic Team after posting a 3.34 GPA. He was named WCC Co-Player and Co-Freshman of the Year in his first year at USD in 2011.
Originally from Las Vegas, Nev., Bryant graduated from Bonanza High School in Las Vegas. As a senior, he hit .489 with 22 home runs and 51 RBI en route to being named an AFLAC All-American. He was drafted by Toronto in the 18th round of the 2010 MLB June draft, but did not sign, electing to attend USD.
The 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft continues this evening with the second round, in which the Cubs have pick No. 41. The draft continues tomorrow with rounds three-through-10 and concludes Saturday with rounds 11-through-40.
The Houston Astros selected Stanford pitcher Mark Appel with the first overall pick.
(Photo by Stephen Green)
The Chicago Cubs today selected the contract of right-handed pitcher Zach Putnam from Triple-A Iowa and optioned right-handed pitcher Alex Burnett to Triple-A. To make room for Putnam on the 40-man roster, right-handed pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa was transferred to the 60-day disabled list. It was announced yesterday the 32-year-old Japanese reliever will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery.
Putnam, 25, will be available for the Cubs this afternoon against the White Sox at Wrigley Field. So far this season, he is 1-1 with four saves and a 3.26 ERA (7 ER/19.1 IP) in 17 relief appearances with Iowa. He has struck out 22 and walked only six in 19.1 innings, an average of 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings. Putnam has a 0.82 ERA (1 ER/11.0 IP) in his last 10 outings beginning April 28.
The 6-foot-2, 225-pound right-hander has a 1-1 record and a 4.82 ERA (5 ER/9.1 IP) in 10 major league relief appearances since making his debut with Cleveland in September 2011. In 2012, he had two scoreless appearances for the Rockies (2.0 IP) in two stints with the major league club.
Putnam is 20-13 with 30 saves and a 3.86 ERA (135 ER/315.0 IP) in 188 career minor league games, all but 15 as a reliever. He was originally selected by Cleveland in the fifth round of the 2008 draft before Colorado acquired him in January 2012 for pitcher Kevin Slowey. The Cubs claimed Putnam off waivers from Colorado in November 2012.
Burnett, 25, was claimed off waivers from Baltimore on Monday and tossed a scoreless ninth inning yesterday in his Cubs debut.
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
The Cubs claimed right-hander Alex Burnett off waivers from the Orioles Monday afternoon.
The 25-year-old reliever had his finest season last year, going 4-4 with a 3.52 ERA and 10 holds in 67 relief appearances for the Twins. Prior to the All-Star break he had a 2.49 ERA, fourth among AL relievers. During the spring, the former 12th round pick of the 2005 draft was claimed off waivers by the Blue Jays before being designated for assignment and signing on with Baltimore on April 12.
Burnett is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in 12 innings in Triple-A this season. He is currently on the Cubs’ 25-man roster.
(Photo by Jason Wise)
Albert Almora has always felt most comfortable when he’s on a baseball diamond. For the first time during the 2013 regular season, he’ll get that opportunity.
The Cubs’ 2012 first-round draft pick was transferred to Single-A Kane County on Wednesday after missing the first portion of the season with a broken hamate bone in his wrist. The sixth overall pick of last year’s draft entered the season as the organization’s second-best prospect and minor league baseball’s No. 33 overall prospect, according to Baseball America. The publication also lists Almora as the best hitter for average and the best defensive outfielder in the Cubs minor league system.
After signing with the Cubs in early July, he split time between the Arizona Rookie League and Short-Season Boise. In 33 combined games, the outfielder hit .321/.331/.464 (AVG/OBP/SLG) with 12 doubles in 140 at-bats.
Almora joins an impressive list of former first rounders to play for the Cougars including Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez and Joe Blanton.