Cubs sign four
Rodriguez, 32, was the Angels 18th round pick in 2003 and the 6-foot-3 right-hander made his big league debut in 2009 for Los Angeles. A starter early in his career, Rodriguez made the switch to the bullpen and signed a free agent deal with the Astros in 2010. He appeared in 118 games in two seasons with Houston and was traded to the A’s before the start of the 2013 season. In 56 games in 2015 for Oakland, Rodriguez went 4-2 with a 3.84 ERA in 58.2 innings with 65 K and 24 BB. He pitched in 34 games last year in Oakland and missed part of the season with a right shoulder strain. Rodriguez throws a fastball in the low to mid-90s with a curve and a cutter. Rodriguez should start the year in Iowa but with his recent big league experience, could be make a trip to Wrigley Field as plenty of bullpen arms are needed to make it through a season.
Ali Soils, 29, has appeared in 13 big league games and spent 2016 in the Red Sox organization, playing in 33 games (.192/.236/.273) between AA and AAA. The Mexico native was originally signed by the Padres in 2006 and later claimed on waivers by the Pirates in 2012 after making his big league debut. In 2014 with Tampa, Soils played in eight games for Joe Maddon and spent 2015 in the Dodgers organization. Soils provides the Cubs catching depth at Iowa and in an emergency, could find himself back in the majors.
The fourth overall pick in the 2007 draft by Pittsburgh, Daniel Moskos spent two years as a starter and went 11-10 with a 3.74 ERA over 149 innings in AA in 2009. The next year, the left-hander was moved to the bullpen and in 2011, Moskos appeared in 31 games for Pirates, sporting a 2.96 ERA over 24.1 innings. He surrendered 29 hits and walked nine while allowing a slash line of .364/.391/.447 against lefties. The White Sox claimed Moskos off waivers in July of 2012 and he spent two years in the organization before being released. The 30-year-old pitched last year in the Padres system, going 5-2 with a 3.39 ERA ( 61 IP, 22 BB, 47 K, .293 BAA, 1.52 WHIP) in 53 relief appearances with AAA El Paso. He relies on a sinker and a fastball in the low 90s.
Oakland selected Jemile Weeks with the 12th pick in the 2008 draft and the switch-hitting infielder made a quick rise through the system and made his debut in 2011, slashing .303/.340/.421 in 97 games with 26 doubles and 22 stolen bases. Weeks saw his batting average plummet the next season in Oakland, hitting .211 over 118 games. Weeks spent most of 2013 in AAA (.271/.376/.369) and was traded to Baltimore before the start of 2014 and then to Boston during the season. A majority of 2015 was spent in AAA and he only played in three games for the Red Sox before electing for free agency. Weeks, 29, signed with the Padres before last season and appeared in 17 games with the Padres before a hamstring injury ended his season in early May. Weeks has spent most of his career at second but has also played at short, third and the outfield. Weeks could be called up if Addison Russell or Javier Baez miss significant time with an injury.
Other players added on minor league deals include RHP Andury Acevedo, RHP Cole Brocker, RHP Maikel Cleto, RHP Daniel Corcino, RHP Seth Frankoff, RHP Jhondaniel Medina, RHP Miguel Mejia, RHP Conor Mullee, LHP Zac Rosscup, and IF Elliot Soto.
Dominican Winter League
RH Juan Paniagua (0-1, 0.75 ERA) took the loss, allowing three runs (one earned) over 2.2 innings of relief as Estrellas lost to Gigantes 5-3. Paniagua surrendered six hit, walked one and recorded one strikeout. It snapped a streak of six games without allowing a run (9.1 IP).