Cubs exploring trade targets for center field

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More from Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune:



The Cubs clearly aren’t blown away by any of the center fielders on the free
agent market, preferring to explore trades. One name to file away is Fernando Perez.




Perez, who turns 27 in April, owns a
.289/.375/.402 batting line in parts of six minor league seasons with
the Rays organization. A switch-hitter, Perez is blessed with supreme
speed — 199 stolen bases in 584 minor league games — but he has yet to find a real opportunity on the major league
level. He was limited to just 35 games between the minors and the
majors last season due to a broken left wrist suffered during an attempted diving catch in spring
training. He underwent surgery on his left shoulder in October, an injury likely caused by the same play, but
he is expected to be ready for the start of the 2010 season.




It would be a nice move for general
manager Jim Hendry in the sense that the Cubs wouldn’t have to add much
payroll to an already bloated outfield, but since Perez is under team
control through 2013, it would probably cost them a premium prospect. The club remains linked to Marlon Byrd, Scott Podsednik and Rick Ankiel in free agency.

Kris Bryant exits game with sprained right ankle

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The Cubs had a scare on Wednesday night when third baseman Kris Bryant left with an apparent ankle injury. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Nationals catcher Matt Wieters hit a pop up that veered just into foul territory near the third base bag. Bryant caught it but his momentum took him back into fair territory. In doing so, he stepped awkwardly on the third base bag and appeared to twist his ankle. Bryant needed the assistance of manager Joe Maddon and the team trainer to get off the field.

Bryant was diagnosed with a mild ankle sprain, CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports.

Bryant was 2-for-3 on the night before departing and being replaced by Jeimer Candelario. He’s now hitting .264/.395/.520 with 16 home runs and 32 RBI in 329 plate appearances. Needless to say, the 39-39 Cubs would see their playoff odds hurt immensely if Bryant were to miss a significant amount of time.

Miguel Sano will participate in the 2017 Home Run Derby

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Hector Gomez reports Twins third baseman Miguel Sano will participate in the 2017 Home Run Derby, to be held in two weeks at Marlins Park in Miami. So far, Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is the only other confirmed participant.

Sano, 24, is having an outstanding season, batting .274/.375/.548 with 18 home runs and 53 RBI in 293 plate appearances. According to MLB’s Statcast, only Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (96.7 MPH) has a higher average exit velocity than Sano (96.4 MPH).

Brian Dozier was the last member of the Twins to participate in the Home Run Derby. In 2014 at Target Field, Dozier failed to make it into the second round after hitting only two home runs. Justin Morneau is the only Twin to have ever won the Home Run Derby, as he beat Josh Hamilton 5-3 in the finals of the 2008 Derby at Yankee Stadium — although Hamilton out-homered him in total 35 to 22.