The 43-62 Cubs are turning things over to the kids.
According to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com, third base prospect Josh Vitters and outfielder prospect Brett Jackson are headed to Los Angeles, where they’ll be added to the active 25-man roster before the Cubs’ series-finale Sunday against the Dodgers.
Vitters, the third overall selection in the 2007 MLB Amateur Draft, has registered a cool .304/.356/.513 batting line, 17 home runs and 68 RBI in 110 games this season for the Triple-A Iowa Cubs. The 22-year-old from Anaheim, California will take over starting third base duties from Luis Valbuena.
Jackson, 24, was the 31st overall pick in ’09. He was batting .256/.338/.479 with 15 home runs, 27 stolen bases and 47 RBI in 106 games this summer at Iowa and will presumably play all over the Chicago outfield.
The Mets signed left-hander Matt Purke to a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Purke will also receive an invitation to spring training, where he could presumably beef up the club’s left-handed relief options alongside Jerry Blevins and Josh Smoker.
Purke has not appeared in the majors since 2016, when he was used in a dozen relief appearances by the White Sox. The 27-year-old racked up a 5.50 ERA, 6.0 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 in his first 18 innings with the team, and was demoted to Triple-A Charlotte in June to finish out the season. He spent the entire 2017 season in Triple-A as well, showing more promise with a 3.84 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 in 48 appearances.
While Purke may not amount to much more than a depth piece in New York’s ‘pen, the veteran lefty figures to be part of the Mets’ new bullpen-first strategy next year. Reports from MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo indicate that the club will be focusing on improving their relief options in order to ease the workload of their starting pitchers, and will likely add a few more arms before the offseason comes to a close.