7/6 Baez & Bryant
* GM Jed Hoyer said it was time for shortstop Javier Baez to be promoted from Class A Daytona to Double-A Tennessee. Baez was batting .274 and led the Florida State League with 17 home runs.
“He’s similar to [Starlin} Castro,” Hoyer said of Baez on defense. “I think he’s going to have to eliminate some careless errors. He’s got great hands and can certainly play the position. He’s run the bases well, he had a monster month at the plate, played better defense, has been a good teammate. It’s time for a better challenge for Javy.”
Hoyer said Baez is ahead of schedule by about a month. They did expect him to get to Double-A, just not this quickly.
“We thought it was time for a new challenge for him,” Hoyer said.
There will be some growing pains, Hoyer said. Is there a chance Baez could join the Cubs in September?
“I think it’s highly unlikely,” Hoyer said. “I hate saying ‘no chance’ to take the carrot away from someone. That’s not our plan. The best thing to do is go prove he can dominate at Double-A.”
* The July 12 deadline to sign Draft picks is fast approaching. The Cubs have yet to agree to terms with their first-round pick, third baseman Kris Bryant. He’s one of five first-round picks who have not signed with their respective teams.
“We’re optimistic it will get done on the 12th, or hopefully before that,” Hoyer said. “We’re going to be fair to him with what we offer. We want him to be a Cub, and hopefully our offer will enable that to happen.”
— Carrie Muskat