What does a .279 career batting average and .769 OPS make you? Untouchable. At least according to Cubs general manager Jim Hendry.
Sources tell Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com that the Cubs have no plans to deal utility man Jeff Baker to a contender.
The Red Sox and Indians are among the teams that have reportedly shown interest in the 30-year-old, but the Cubs envision him as a member of their team next season.
The versatile Baker is batting .304/.324/.442 with two homers and 18 RBI over 139 plate appearances this season, including a .375 batting average (27-for-72) and .920 OPS against left-handed pitching. He is earning $1.175 million this season and will be arbitration-eligible for the final time this winter.
The Nationals recalled 19-year-old outfield prospect Juan Soto from Double-A Harrisburg on Sunday, per a team announcement. Soto is poised to become the youngest player in the league once he makes his official debut with the club, and the Nationals’ first teenager to enter the majors since Bryce Harper made his first appearance back in 2012.
Entering the 2018 season, Soto was ranked no. 2 in the Nationals’ system and 15th overall. He’s certainly lived up to the hype during his first two years of pro ball, blazing through Single-A, High-A and Double-A levels in 2018 alone. While he logged just eight games at the Double-A level prior to his promotion to the majors, he proved consistent across all three levels this spring and slashed a cumulative .362/.462/.757 with 14 home runs and a 1.218 OPS in 182 plate appearances.
It’s not entirely clear how soon or in what capacity the Nationals will utilize their youngest player, but Soto’s tear through the minors is sure to pave the road for a few opportunities on the big-league level. He’ll be available off the bench for Sunday’s series finale against the Dodgers.