10/29 Notebook: Camp, Barney & more
* Cubs reliever Shawn Camp became a free agent on Monday, one of 137 players to do so. Teams have exclusive negotiating rights with their own free agents for five days after the completion of the World Series. Free agents can negotiate with all teams beginning at 12:01 a.m. ET Saturday.
* The Rawlings Gold Glove winners will be announced on Tuesday. The Cubs’ Darwin Barney is the leading candidate to be named top defensive second baseman in the NL.
* According to Baseball America, the Cubs have hired Derek Johnson as their new Minor League pitching coordinator. Johnson was the associate head coach/pitching coach at Vanderbilt, and tutored six pitchers who were drafted in the first round, including David Price and Sonny Gray.
“I saw him as a lab technician almost,” Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin told the Tennessean newspaper in confirming the Baseball America report. “The guy immersed himself in pitching. He immersed himself in the development of the kids. It was on his mind 24 hours a day. The thing I like about him the most is there’s no gray with D.J. It’s black or white. And he’s very loyal to the kids and loyal to the program. He stood for all the right things.”
Johnson recently finished his 12th season at Vanderbilt. He was named National Pitching coach of the Year in 2004 and National Assistant Coach of the Year in 2010. He helped guide the Commodores to the College World Series in 2011. Vanderbilt’s pitching staff that year led the Southeastern Conference in ERA and strikeouts, and had eight players who were selected in the Major League First-Year Player Draft, including first-round picks Sonny Gray and Grayson Garvin. A native of Normal, IL, Johnson began coaching at Eastern Illinois in 1994, and was Southern Illinois’ pitching coach for three seasons, beginning in ’95.
– Carrie Muskat