Cubs News and Rumors
Baseball America is reporting the Cubs have signed catcher Taylor Teagarden and RHP Jorge De Leon to minor league contracts. Teagarden, 31, was a former top prospect in the Rangers organization, making his pro debut for Texas in 2008 after being selected in the 3rd round in 2005 out of the University of Texas. He spent four years with the Rangers bouncing between the big league club and AAA, playing in 118 games for Texas (.220/.286/.417). He was traded to Baltimore in 2011 and played two years for Orioles (43 games) and spent last year with the Mets (9 games). Teagarden provides the Cubs minor league depth at AAA and a backstop with big league experience to work with youngsters C.J. Edwards and Pierce Johnson........Jorge De Leon was released by Oakland on Dec. 17 after the A’s claimed the right-hander off waivers from the Astros in October. A shortstop to start his pro career, De Leon played four years in the infield before making the switch to the mound. With a fastball topping out at 98, the 6-foot, 185-pounder worked his way onto the Astros 40-man roster and made his MLB debut in 2013. The reliever appeared in eight games for the Astros last season and was placed on waivers in October. De Leon will provide bullpen depth at Iowa and his fastball averages in the mid 90s and also throws a slider, change-up,, and cutter but all of them are inconsistent. Despite the velocity, De Leon, 27, is not a strikeout pitcher and allows more fly balls than grounders but does a good job of keeping the ball in the park.
Since the off-season started the Cubs have added several players to the minor league roster including RHP Anthony Carter (free agent), RHP Donn Roach (waivers), 2B Jonathan Herrera (free agent), IF Chris Valaika (free agent), OF Adorn Chambers (free agent) and RHP Fernando Cruz (free agent). RHP Donn Roach, and 2B Logan Watkins were both designated for assignment, cleared waivers and were outrighted to Iowa. LHP Mike Kickham was claimed off waivers, placed on the 40-man and designated for assignment but has yet to clear waivers.
Venezuelan Winter League
Caribes improved to 6-2 with a 9-6 win over Aragua (2-5). La Guaria (3-4) beat Zulia (3-4) 2-1. Magallanes had the day off and is 4-3......Joseph Ortiz earned his second hold of the playoffs, retiring the only hitter he faced in the ninth in La Guaria’s win.....Former Cubs reliever Carlos Marmol surrendered a three-run homer in the 8th of Aragua’s loss.
Cubs pitching prospect Fernando Cruz has made two relief appearances for Santurce, allowing two hits with a strikeout in two scoreless frames. In 14 relief outings during league action, Cruz, 24, sported a 1.52 ERA in 23.2 IP with 9 BB and 22 K. The Puerto Rican native was signed as a free agent by the Cubs during the off-season and made the switch to the mound after staring pro career as an infielder.
Dominican Winter League
Estrellas (7-6) held its two-game lead for the finals with a 7-1 win over Gigantes (10-3). Aguilas (5-8) kept pace with a 6-4 win over Toros (4-9)....CF Junior Lake (.260) went 1-for-5 and knocked in his 6th run of the playoffs in Estrellas’ win.
Mexican Pacific Winter League
The semi-finals began on Sunday as Jalisco defeated Obregon 6-1 and Mexicali downed Culiacan 5-0. Christian Villanueva was 0-for-3 with a walk in the Obregon loss and is hitting .143 in eight playoff games.
Puerto Rican Winter League
Both Santurce (5-2) and Mayaguez (4-3) lost as the league tightened up with Carolina (3-4)taking down Santurce 10-4 and Caguas (2-5) beat Mayaguez 6-5 in 11 innings......SS Javier Baez was 1-for-3, scored twice, drew two walks, and stole a base in the Santurce loss.