From beat writer Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com …
That move cleared up two 40-man roster spots for the Cubs’ first wave of September callups.
Russell, a 29-year-old left-handed specialist, was sporting a 5.29 ERA through 49 appearances this season for the Cubs. Soriano allowed eight hits and four earned runs in 5 2/3 innings with Chicago before landing on the disabled list August 4 with right shoulder inflammation. The 35-year-old right-hander will probably have to settle for another minor league contract this winter if he wants to continue his playing career.
Braves outfielder Nick Swisher swatted a home run from both sides of the plate on Saturday afternoon at Wrigley field against the Cubs. Batting left-handed against starter Dan Haren in the second inning, he clubbed a home run to the opposite field to give the Braves a 2-1 lead. Then, in the fifth inning, he capped off a five-run frame when he drilled another two-run shot to left field against lefty reliever Travis Wood.
The Braves went on to lose 9-7 to the Cubs.
Swisher, 34, was traded by the Indians to the Braves along with outfielder Michael Bourn and cash in exchange for third baseman Chris Johnson. He entered play Saturday batting only .160 with one home run and four RBI in 28 plate appearances with his new team.
Watch Swisher’s two homers:
Released by the Brewers at the end of spring training, left-hander James Russell has signed a minor-league deal with the Cubs.
Russell pitched for the Cubs from 2010 until the middle of last season, when he was traded to the Braves. He has a 3.74 ERA in 219 career innings, but it comes with mediocre strikeout and walk rates.
He’ll head to Triple-A for now and has a good chance of rejoining the Cubs’ bullpen at some point this season in a middle relief role.