The Cubs will start Javier Baez at second base on either Monday or Tuesday, according to Cubs manager Rick Renteria. The report comes from Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Baez, rated the fourth overall best prospect by Baseball Prospectus, has played exclusively at shortstop throughout his three-year professional career. As Wittenmyer notes, it would be Baez’s first start at second base since high school. With Starlin Castro already at shortstop, the Cubs have comparatively more flexibility at second base with Darwin Barney.
Baez, 21, has already survived a round of cuts and despite never having played above Double-A, he has a legitimate chance to make the Cubs’ 25-man roster.
Last Thursday, it was reported that the Twins and Braves had struck a deal involving starter Jaime Garcia. The deal hit a snag, but it’s now official, the Twins announced on Monday. The Twins get Garcia and catcher Anthony Recker, as well as cash considerations. The Braves receive minor league pitcher Huascar Ynoa.
Garcia, 31, has a 4.30 ERA and an 85/41 K/BB ratio over 113 innings this season. He started on Friday against the Dodgers and wound up hitting a grand slam while also tossing seven innings of three-run ball.
Recker, 33, has played in only six games in the majors this season, registering just one single in seven plate appearances. With Triple-A Gwinnett, he batted .223/.301/.381 in 156 trips to the dish.
Ynoa, 19, signed with the Twins for $800,000 out of the Dominican Republic in 2014. This year, with the Twins’ rookie ball team in Elizabethton, the right-hander gave up 16 runs (15 earned) on 28 hits and 14 walks with 23 strikeouts in 25 2/3 innings. Ynoa was the Twins’ No. 22 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.
Ken Rosenthal reports that the Twins are assuming the remainder of Garcia’s salary (about $4.55 million) and $200,000 of Recker’s $300,000 salary. The Braves are sending $100,000 to the Twins.
Long-time rotation mainstay Tom Koehler was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans on Monday and reliever Hunter Cervenka was recalled, the Marlins announced.
Koehler, 31, made 131 starts out of the Marlins’ rotation over the last five years, but his 12 this season have not been good, so the club hopes he can figure things out with a stint in the minors. He’s carrying a 7.92 ERA with a 44/29 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. Koehler battled bursitis in his right shoulder in May and June, which may partially explain his struggles.
Cervenka, 27, posted a 4.50 ERA with a 34/21 K/BB ratio in 34 innings of relief with New Orleans. He hasn’t pitched in the majors yet this season, but compiled a 3.53 ERA over 43 1/3 innings in the bigs last year in the Marlins’ bullpen.