7/31 The new kids on the Cubs

The Cubs get third baseman Christian Villanueva and right-handed pitcher Kyle Hendricks from the Rangers in exchange for Ryan Dempster. Both were playing at Class A Myrtle Beach.

“One was a young third baseman signed out of Mexico not for a big signing bonus and the other was a late round draft pick out of a sma;ll northeast college,” Rangers GM Jon Daniels said of Villanueva and Hendricks, “and they brought back an All-Star big league pitcher. These are two guys in addition to being talented, they have tremendous makeup. They are going to get the most out of their ability. The Cubs got two good players.”

Hendricks, 22, was an eighth-round pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of Dartmouth, and was 5-8 with a 2.82 ERA in 20 starts for Class A Myrtle Beach. He had 112 strikeouts and had walked 15 over 130 2/3 innings.

“He’s not a hard thrower, but not a soft tosser either,” Cubs GM Jed Hoyer said. “Our reports had him up to 93 [mph], and he mixes his pitches well. When you look at his performance, he’s done a nice job.”

Villanueva, 21, was batting .285 with 19 doubles, one triple, 10 home runs and 59 RBIs in 100 games with Myrtle Beach.

“Villanueva is a guy we’ve liked for a while,” Hoyer said. “He has a good approach a the plate, has some power.”

It’s not known where the two will be assigned in the Cubs Minor League system.

On Monday night, the Cubs acquired right-handed pitchers Arodys Vizcaino and Jaye Chapman from the Braves. Vizcaino, considered the top prospect in the deal, was recovering from Tommy John surgery, while Chapman was pitching at Triple-A Gwinnett this year.

“We’re getting there,” Hoyer said about the organization’s depth. “We have to have a lot more good drafts and make more good trades. I think the best teams are able to replenish the bullpen internally and able to bring up starters from the Minor Leagues whenever they need to and we’re not at that point yet. Since we got here, we’ve worked hard to build up that depth. I don’t think the job is complete.”

— Carrie Muskat

1 Comment

Carrie, I’m a bit perplexed about the Cubs and their 3B ideas in the farm system. Why isn’t Baez considered an option for 3B? Everything that I have heard is that he profiles at 3B better than SS and we should be set at SS with Castro. Baez continues to tear up the minors-why isn’t he considered an option for the future at 3B? He’s closer to the Majors than Villaneuva. Help me understand the thinking here.

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