Hendry on Wellemeyer Trade

Relief pitcher Todd Wellemeyer, who was out of options and was unspectacular in spring training, was dealt to Florida on Tuesday for a pair of minor-leaguers.

Wellemeyer, who is 5-3 with a 6.19 ERA in 57 major league appearances over the past three seasons, needed to pitch well this spring because the competition for the bullpen was fierce. The Cubs figured that if he weren't set to make the parent squad, they would try to move him because he would be lost on waivers otherwise.

Wellemeyer had an 8.25 ERA in eight appearances this spring.

"He's been a little inconsistent the past couple of years," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said. "We came to camp with a little tighter club to make in the 'pen with the additions of (Scott) Eyre and (Bobby) Howry. But there was still a job to be won, and we felt like we gave enough time -- pretty much down to the wire -- to see if he could fit in ahead of some of the other guys."

The Cubs received right-hander Lincoln Holdzkom and lefty Zach McCormack from the Marlins.

NOTES, QUOTES:

--OF Marquis Grissom announced his retirement Tuesday after hitting .205 in 44 at-bats in camp. The 38-year-old said he felt good but felt it was time to leave the game. He was one of four players battling for the final two roster spots.

--OF Angel Pagan, who won the team's Ron Santo-Billy Williams spring training rookie award on Tuesday, likely will make the team as a backup outfielder after Marquis Grissom announced his retirement. The switch-hitting Pagan hit .406 with four homers and seven RBIs in his first 32 at-bats in camp.

--RHP Jae Kuk Ryu, who was a candidate for the fifth starter's spot or a long relief role, was sent to Triple-A Iowa on Tuesday.

--LHP John Koronka, who had a streak of 8 1/3 scoreless innings, has become a candidate for one of the final bullpen spots. His chances of making the roster increased when RHP Todd Wellemeyer was traded Tuesday. Cubs manager Dusty Baker said he would have no problem opening the season with three southpaws in the bullpen. LHPs Scott Eyre and Will Ohman figure to be the other two.

--RHP Angel Guzman was sent to Triple-A Iowa on Tuesday but still has a slim shot to come back to the majors as the team's fifth starter. The Cubs won't need a fifth starter until April 15, and Guzman, LHP Rich Hill and LHP Sean Marshall are under consideration.

--RHPs Mark Prior and Kerry Wood were officially placed on the disabled list. Wood, who had arthroscopic knee surgery earlier this month after shoulder surgery last year, hopes to be pitching for the Cubs by the end of April. Prior's timetable for returning from a strained shoulder muscle is unclear.

--RHP David Aardsma was optioned to Triple-A Iowa, while C Casey Kopitzke was reassigned to minor league camp.


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