Andreoli to play for Italy
According to reports, Cubs minor league outfielder John Andreoli will play for Italy in the World Baseball Classic. Andreoli, 26, was the Cubs 17th round pick in 2011 out of the University of Connecticut and spent his sixth season with the Cubs in Iowa. Andreoli led the PCL in walks (94), stolen bases (43) and strikeouts (162) while slashing .256/.374/.396 and hitting a career-high 12 homers in 140 games. Italy is in Pool D with Venezuela, Puerto Rico and Mexico and they open play with Mexico on March 9. Cubs infielder Javier Baez will play for Puerto Rico.
Cubs sign Williams Perez
Cubs have signed former Braves starter Williams Perez to a minor league contract. The 25-year-old Venezuelan made 11 starts for Atlanta in 2016, going 2-3 with a 6.04 ERA in 53.2 innings. Perez was put on the 15-day disabled list in early June and then added to the 60-day DL with a right rotator cuff strain. He made a few rehab starts in the minors in late August but didn’t return to Atlanta and was released in December. In 2015, Perez made 20 starts for the Braves with a 7-6 record and a 4.78 ERA in 116.2 innings. Signed in 2008 by the Braves, Perez made his way through the Atlanta system and sported a 2.91 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in 25 AA starts back in 2014. Perez throws a sinker in the low 90s and mixes in a curve and change-up. He provides upper level pitching depth for the Cubs minors.
Floro clears waivers
Right-handed relief pitcher Dylan Floro has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Iowa. The 26-year-old was claimed off waivers from the Rays back on Jan. 17 but designated for assignment after the Cubs traded for Eddie Butler. Floro made his pro debut in 2016 for the Rays, appearing in 12 games, fanning 14 over 15 innings while sporting a 1.86 WHIP. Floro relies on a sinker and a slider, and spent his minor league career as a starter—logging 178.2 innings in 2014 in the Southern League.
Caribbean World Series
Rusty Castillo (Red Sox) went 2-for-5 and knocked in three runs, including a first inning two-run blast, to help lead Puerto Rico (1-3) to a 10-2 win over the Dominican Republic (0-3). RH Miguel Mejia tossed a scoreless inning of relief in the win. Venezuela (2-1) handed Cuba (2-1) its first defeat with an 8-3 win.