Ryan PTBNL, Medina DFA
The Cubs received infielder Brendan Ryan from the New York Yankees as the player to be named later in the Starlin Castro trade. To make room for Ryan on the 40-man roster, right-handed reliever Yoervis Medina was designated for assignment. A former 7th round pick of the Cardinals in 2003, Ryan played four years with St. Louis before being dealt to Seattle. Ryan was traded to the Yankees in Sept. of 2013 and played sparingly for the Yanks the past two seasons. A career .234/.295/.315 slash, Ryan, 33, is known for his defense with over 700 big league games at short.
Cubs add John Baker as special assistant
John Baker is back with the Cubs—in the role of baseball operations assistant. Baker, 34, recently retired after 14 professional seasons as a catcher (2002-15), including the 2014 campaign with the North Siders. During his MLB career, Baker totaled seven seasons with the Marlins (2008-11), Padres (2012-13) and Cubs (2014). In his new role, Baker will contribute to all elements within the club's baseball operations department, including player development and scouting with an eye towards catching and mental skills. He will visit the club's affiliates to work with the minor league players on and off the field, evaluate amateur players leading up to the draft, and spend time around the major league club among additional responsibilities and opportunities. Baker was originally selected in the 4th round in 2002 by the Oakland Athletics out of the University of California-Berkeley and made his major league debut with the Marlins in 2008. He batted .247/.330/.341 with 14 home runs and 120 RBI in 359 games and got the win in his only career appearance on the mound for the Cubs (1 IP). Good move for the Cubs as Baker has a good relationship with minor league field coordinator Tim Cossins and was one of the few people on social media last summer supporting Kyle Schwarber behind the plate due to his athleticism. Baker has been looking for a baseball related job and I’m glad the Cubs got him.
Former Cubs on the move
The Seattle Mariners signed three former Cubs players to minor league deals with an invite to spring training—right-handed pitchers Casey Coleman and Blake Parker along with OF Mike Baxter. Emilio Bonifacio, who signed a minor league deal with the Cubs at the end of last year, has agreed on a one-year deal with the Braves. Rubi Silva, released last summer after breaking team rules and being suspended by the Pacific Coast League, has signed a minor league deal with the Orioles after playing for Lara in the VWL. Other minor league signings involving ex-Cubs include Jeff Beliveau (Orioles), Felipe Paulino (Indians), Rafael Dolis (Tigers), Quinten Berry (Angels), Ryan Buchter (Padres), Donn Roach (Mariners), Brian Schlitter (Rockies), and J.C. Boscan (Royals).
Komberg new Pelicans play-by-play announcer
Scott Kornberg has been named the team's Play-by-Play Announcer and Media Relations Manager. Kornberg will broadcast Pelicans games on the radio and serve as the club's primary contact with the media and front office. "It is such an honor to join the Pelicans organization," Kornberg said. "They made an incredible impression on me from my time in the Carolina League and I'm so excited to have the opportunity to work with the great fans of the Pelicans and Chicago Cubs. There are so many wonderful people to thank for helping me reach this point in my career and I am absolutely thrilled to serve as the next Voice of the Pelicans." The 24-year-old spent the 2015 season in the Carolina League as the Broadcast and Media Relations Assistant with the Winston-Salem Dash. Prior to his time in Winston-Salem, Kornberg served in the same role with the Quad Cities River Bandits, the Class A affiliate of the Houston Astros in the Midwest League. He spent time with Colgate University (N.Y.) and the High Point-Thomasville HiToms of the Coastal Plain League. During the off-season Kornberg serves as the football and men's basketball radio broadcaster at Western Illinois University. The Belle Mead, New Jersey, native graduated in 2013 from the University of Maryland, where he called Terps men's basketball, football, baseball and soccer games as the co-Director of the student-run station WMUC Sports.