Cubs sign outfielder Mitch Maier
The Cubs have signed former Kansas City outfielder Mitch Maier to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training. Maier spent 2013 in the International League in the Red Sox organization playing 31 games, including two stints on the DL. He hit .310/.431/.882 for Pawtucket with 3 HR and 22 RBI.
Maier was a first-round pick of the Royals in 2003 out of Toledo University, and after six seasons in the organization, became the Royals starting center fielder in 2009. He played in 127 games, hitting .243/.333/.331 and batted .263/.333/.375 in 117 games in 2010. He was relegated to the bench in 2011 and 2012 splitting the seasons between Kansas City and AAA Omaha, before being granted free agency at the end of 2012.
The 31-year-old provides the Cubs more outfield depth and joins Ryan Kalish, Justin Ruggiano, Darnell McDonald, Casper Wells and Aaron Cunningham as off-season additions. Others in the Cubs outfielders on the 40-man roster include Junior Lake, Ryan Sweeney, Nate Schierholtz, Brett Jackson, Jorge Soler and Matt Szczur.
Also added during the off season include pitchers Jonathan Sanchez, Jose Veras, Liam Hendricks, Tsuyoshi Wada, Wesley Wright, Tommy Hottovy, Paula Espino, and Carlos Pimentel; catchers Eli Whiteside, George Kottaras, John Baker, and position players Ryan Roberts, Jeudy Valdez, Walter Ibarra, and Chris Valaika.
Venezuelan Winter League
Luis Valbuena (.311) went 1-2, walked twice, and scored twice in Lara's 6-5 loss to Zulia. Yeiper Castillo worked 1.2 innings to earn the win but was charged with a blown save for allowing a sacrifice fly after coming into the game in the eighth. Castillo (5-1 3.82 ERA) yielded a walk and fanned one.
Dominican Winter League
Alberto Cabrera (0-0 9.00 ERA) worked a 1-2-3 inning of relief in Toros 5-4 win over Gigantes.
Mexican Pacific Winter League
Walter Ibarra (.192) went 2-3 with a RBI single, and then doubled and scored in Mazatlan's 9-7 loss to Obregon. Darnell McDonald (.102) was 1-4 with a run scored for Obregon.
Puerto Rican Winter League
Rubi Silva went 1-4 and scored in the sixth in Ponce's 3-2 loss to Caguas. Jonathan Mota (.250) delivered a RBI double in the 8th, finishing 1-4. Mota has a five-game hitting streak and is hitting .351 in his last 10 games.