The Cubs fell to 23 games under .500 after Saturday’s 12-5 blowout loss to the rival Cardinals, but they continue to sit tight as the trade deadline approaches. In fact, they’re actually making some of their more coveted players unavailable.
According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Cubs have begun informing interested teams that first baseman Carlos Pena will not be traded this summer.
Pena signed a one-year contract with Chicago this past winter and will become a free agent in November. But the Cubs want to keep him around for reasons that can’t be fully explained. According to MLB Trade Rumors’ most recent Elias Rankings, Pena is not likely to become a Type A or Type B free agent this offseason, so the Cubs do not stand to gain compensatory draft picks when (or if) he signs elsewhere.
Pena, 33, has posted an .860 OPS since May 1 and is up to 20 home runs for the season.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals have signed free agent reliever Neftali Feliz, pending a physical. The Brewers designated Feliz for assignment last week and released him on Monday.
Feliz, 29, opened the season as the Brewers’ closer, but struggled and was eventually taken out of the role in mid-May, giving way to Corey Knebel. In 29 appearances spanning 27 innings with the Brewers, Feliz posted a 6.00 ERA with a 21/15 K/BB ratio.
The Royals have had bullpen issues of their own, so Feliz will try to provide some stability given his track record. It’s not clear yet if the Royals want to let Feliz get his feet wet at Triple-A or throw him right into the bullpen mix.
Newsday’s Marc Carig reports that the Mets may move Asdrubal Cabrera to second base when he returns from the disabled list. Cabrera has been on the disabled list since June 13 with a sprained left thumb, but he’s expected to be activated on Friday.
Cabrera, 31, last played second base in 2014 with the Nationals. He has played shortstop exclusively as a Met the last two seasons. Jose Reyes would continue to play shortstop if the Mets were to go through with the position change. Cabrera would displace T.J. Rivera, who has been playing second base in place of the injured Neil Walker.
In 196 plate appearances this season, Cabrera is hitting .244/.321/.392 with six home runs and 20 RBI. He has made 11 defensive errors, which is tied for the third-most among shortstops behind Tim Anderson (16) and Dansby Swanson (12).