Cubs sign Germen; 1/23 notebook

Cubs claimed for Mets relief pitcher Gonzalez Germen off waivers from the Rangers and added the right-hander to the 40-man roster. The Cubs agreed to term with Dexter Fowler and released several minor leaguers. Northsiders Report takes a look around minors and a winter league playoff recap.

Cubs claim Gonzalez Germen
The Cubs have their 40th man. North Siders claimed RHP Gonzalez Germen off waivers from the Rangers on Friday, bringing the roster total to 40. Its been a busy off-season for Germen as he’s been sold by the Mets and Yankees before being waived by Rangers. A member of the Mets organization his entire seven-year career, the 27-year-old Dominican made his MLB debut in 2013, appearing in 29 games (1-2, 3.93 ERA, 34.1 IP, 4.2 BB/9, 8.7 K/9, 1.40 WHIP). Last season he split time between New York and AAA, appearing in 25 games with Mets (30.1 IP, 1.45 WHIP, 4.2 BB/9, 9.2 K/9). He was a starter his first five years but moved to the bullpen when he reached AAA. Germen throws a fastball in the mid-90s along with a plus change-up and slider. He provides the Cubs some bullpen depth from the right-side if he can keep his spot on the 40-man roster.

Cubs release minor leaguers
The Cubs have released seven minor leaguers. They are RHP Josh Davis, RHP Zak Hermans, RHP Yao-Lin Wang, LHP Alberto Diaz, LHP Nathan Dorris, C Lance Rymel and C Antonio Valerio.

Cubs News and Rumors
Cubs and newly acquired outfielder Dexter Fowler avoided arbitration agreeing on a one-year deal worth $9.5 million. Its likely the two sides discussed the agreement before the trade was finalized. Fowler had asked the Astros for $10.8 million while they had countered with $8.5......... Former Cubs pitcher and current special assistant to the President/GM Ted Lilly was arrested and charged with three felony counts of insurance fraud. Lilly appeared in court in San Luis Obispo’s County and pleaded not guilty to the charges. He is accused of making false claims for a damaged RV totaling around $200,000 in March of 2014. His next court date is Feb. 5. According to Patrick Mooney of Comcast-Chicago, “the Cubs declined comment on the pending legal matter”.............Another player has left Cuba that could be on the Cubs radar—25-year-old catcher Lorenzo Quintana has reportedly defected with OF Guillermo Heredia. Both players are exempt from international bonus pools.

Around the Minors
I’ll try to throw this segment in every once in awhile to keep you informed on what’s going on at the four minor league affiliates as the season approaches.

South Bend—Team is currently in the midst of a contest to name a new mascot as they prepare for the season opener with Bowling Green (Rays) on April 9. Single game tickets go on sale March 11. South Bend’s First Pitch banquet is Feb. 9 with special guests Jamie Moyer and Mark Grace. South Bend Cubs website

Myrtle Beach—The Pelicans are making news as they’ve parlayed the New England Patriots “ball issues” into a April 15 promotion to raise awareness for testicular cancer. Its one of six nights in the team’s Strike Out Cancer Series. Myrtle Beach’s home opener is April 9 against WIlmington. Myrtle Beach Pelicans website

Tennessee—Smokies Park is undergoing some renovation this winter as a new batting tunnel is being constructed as well as updates to the press box. The Smokies have a new logo for the 2015 season, which opens April 9 in Mississippi. Tennessee’s home opener is April 15 vs. Pensacola. Tennessee Smokies website

Iowa—The I-Cubs open the 2015 season at Memphis for four games and then head to New Orleans for another four-game set. The home opener isn’t until April 17 against Oklahoma City. Iowa Cubs website

Venezuelan Winter League
Magallanes and Caribes start best-of-even series on Saturday.

Dominican Winter League
Carlos Peguero’s solo homer was the only run of the game as Gigantes won its fourth straight over Estrellas and moved to within one win of the Caribbean World Series with a 4-2 lead.

Mexican Pacific Winter League
Series continues on Saturday with Culiacan and Jalisco tied at one game apiece.

Puerto Rican Winter League
Mayaguez blanked Santurce 2-0 to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven championship series. Javier Baez went 1-for-3 in the loss.

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