Cubs acquire Justin Germano, scratch Casey Coleman

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It looks like the Cubs are preparing for an inevitable Ryan Dempster trade.

The team today acquired right-hander Justin Germano from the Red Sox for cash considerations and scratched Casey Coleman from his start for Triple-A Iowa.

It’s assumed that Coleman would be promoted to pitch tomorrow against the Cardinals if a Dempster trade gets done before then.

Germano, who was designated for assignment by Boston earlier this week, was 9-4 with a 2.40 ERA and a 72/13 K/BB ratio in 105 innings for Triple-A Pawtucket this season. The veteran right-hander could soak up innings at the back of the rotation or in middle relief once the Cubs trade their prized pitchers.

Coleman made 16 relief appearances for the Cubs earlier this season, but he started eight games in 2010 and 17 last year. The 25-year-old is 7-12 with a 5.70 ERA in 25 starts and 22 relief appearances overall for the club.

Dominic Smith likely to start the season at Triple-A

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Following the Mets’ recent signing of first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that fellow first baseman Dominic Smith is likely to start the season with Triple-A Las Vegas. That is contingent, of course, on the veteran Gonzalez’s ability to remain healthy, which isn’t a guarantee.

Smith, 22, struggled last season, batting .198/.262/.395 in 183 plate appearances. The Mets have also expressed concern about Smith’s conditioning. Puma reported in November that as a result of better dietary choices and a daily exercise regimen, Smith had already lost 11-12 pounds.

Gonzalez, 35, didn’t exactly have a stellar 2017 campaign. Along with battling back issues, Gonzalez hit .242/.287/.355 in 252 PA. That the Mets’ Plan A is to go with Gonzalez over Smith says something about their confidence in Smith.