Cubs Deal Ohman, Infante to Braves

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Chicago Cubs today acquired right-handed pitcher Jose Ascanio from the Atlanta Braves for left-handed pitcher Will Ohman and infielder Omar Infante.

Ascanio spent the majority of 2007 with Double-A Mississippi and was named to the 2007 Southern League All-Star Team while going 2-2 with 10 saves and a 2.54 ERA (22 ER/78.0 IP) in 44 games (one start). The 22-year-old righthander also enjoyed his first taste of major league action with 13 relief appearances, earning three promotions directly from Double-A to the majors in the second half of the season.

The Maracay, Venezuela native struck out a career-high 71 batters while walking just 18 with Mississippi last season. Ascanio's 2.22 walks and 10.36 baserunners allowed per 9.0 innings pitched both ranked fourth among Southern League relievers. In addition, Baseball America named his fastball the best in the league this past year.

The six-foot, 170-pounder allowed two runs or fewer in all but one of his Double-A outings, producing a 1.89 ERA (16 ER/76.1 IP) in those 43 games. Additionally, he limited the opponent to a .234 batting average while surrendering just one home run in 314 batters faced.

Ascanio made his major league debut July 13 vs. Pittsburgh and finished his first campaign in the majors with a 1-1 mark and a 5.06 ERA (9 ER/16.0 IP) in 13 relief outings, collecting his first major league win September 14 at Washington with 2.0 shutout innings in the Braves 8-5, 13-inning victory.

Originally signed by Atlanta as a non-drafted free agent in October of 2001, Ascanio owns an 18-13 career minor league record with 19 saves in 135 games (19 starts). He has posted a 3.54 ERA (119 ER/302.1 IP) while striking out 259 compared to 105 walks. Ascanio has allowed just 15 home runs to 1,286 batters faced (one per 85.7 batters faced).

Ascanio has posted a 2.70 ERA (2 ER/6.2 IP) with no record in six relief appearances for Leones del Caracas in the Venezuelan Winter League this year.

Ohman, 30, went 6-8 with one save and a 4.33 ERA (77 ER/160.0 IP) in 220 career relief appearances with the Cubs after he was selected by Chicago in the eighth round of the 1998 Draft. He was 2-4 with one save and a 4.95 ERA (20 ER/36.1 IP) in 56 relief appearances for the Cubs in 2007.

Infante, 25, was acquired by Chicago November 12, 2007, from Detroit in exchange for outfielder Jacque Jones and a cash consideration.

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