Results tagged ‘ Rangers ’

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

7/31 Dempster moves on

The Cubs’ deal with the Rangers for Ryan Dempster was finalized less than five minutes before the 3 p.m. Trade Deadline. Dempster wanted to go to the Dodgers but when no trade was possible, he gave Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer other teams, which opened the door for the Yankees and Rangers.

“Once the Dodgers were out, there were two teams that got in on it and the Rangers moved really fast,” Dempster said. “They obviously have a very good team and I’m going to go down there and hopefully be a small piece of what they have going there. They’re in first place and proven winners the last couple years. I’m going to go down there and hopefully sneak in the back door and try to blend in and do my job when asked to do my job.”

Now that the Trade Deadline has passed, Dempster said he felt relief.

“There’s definitely a lot of excitement to go to a first place team and a winner,” he said. “There’s some tough feelings and emotions. I played here for a long time and I pitched a lot of games on that mound. It’ll be weird not putting on that Cubs uniform.”

He had talked to Greg Maddux, now on the Rangers front office, in Spring Training, and the former Cubs pitcher raved about Texas manager Ron Washington.

Dempster sat in Hoyer’s office while the details were finalized.

“Within a matter of minutes, before the Trade Deadline, I was a Texas Ranger,” he said.

— Carrie Muskat

7/31 Dempster to Rangers

Ryan Dempster apparently said yes to the Rangers. The Cubs’ makeover continued Tuesday when they traded Dempster to the defending American League champions, finalizing the deal minutes before the 3 p.m. CT Trade Deadline. The Cubs get two Class A players in return.

The 35-year-old right-hander, who ranks among the National League leaders with a 2.25 ERA, had favored a deal to the Dodgers but apparently altered his wish list. The Yankees also were believed to be in talks with the Cubs. <p> The Cubs thought they had a deal last week which would’ve sent Dempster to the Braves but the right-hander exercised his 10-and-5 rights (10 years of service, five with the same team) and rejected that move. He had given Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations, a list of teams he would prefer.

Dempster will be a pure rental. Players must be with a team for an entire season in order to qualify for draft-pick compensation. This is in the last year of his four-year contract with the Cubs, which was paying him $14 million this season. His career has come full circle. Dempster was selected by the Rangers in the third round of the 1995 First-Year Player Draft by the Rangers, then traded in ’96 to the Marlins.

— Carrie Muskat 

7/31 Soto to Rangers

It’s now official. Geovany Soto moved up in the standings, traded by the Cubs to the Rangers for Minor League right-handed pitcher Jake Brigham and a player to be named or cash consideration. Soto, 29, has been in the Cubs system since he was drafted in 2001. The trade was reported Monday night as Soto was pulled from the game after the Pirates sixth inning, but wasn’t finalized until Tuesday morning.

As he left the game Monday, Soto was greeted in the dugout by handshakes and hugs from his teammates. He was batting .199 this season in 52 games this season. He missed time because of a torn meniscus in his left knee. The 2008 National League Rookie of the Year, Soto was being paid $4.3 million this year, and on track to go to arbitration for the third time this offseason.

“When you get a good feel with a catcher, that’s hard to replace,” Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija said. “We’ll make sure we get [Steve Clevenger] back there to catch all my flat grounds and my bullpens.”

The defending American League champion Rangers lead the West division by 3 1/2 games.

The Cubs were expected to call up catcher Welington Castillo from Triple-A Iowa on Tuesday with Clevenger taking over as the regular catcher. Clevenger was in the weight room, preparing in case he was needed to pinch hit when he got word that he had to get into the game to catch.

“It was a little strange, a little weird,” Clevenger said about Monday’s game. “Geo’s always been good to me. I’ve been with the Cubs since ’06, and in big league camp since ’08, and he always treated me really well. I’m going to miss him. I learned a lot for him and he treated me well.”

Brigham, 24, was 5-5 with a 4.28 ERA in 21 starts for Double-A Frisco this season. He went 3-1 with a 3.60 ERA (16 ER/40.0 IP) in 21 relief outings last season. In 2012, Brigham was named to the mid-season Texas League All-Star team.

He was selected in the sixth round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft out of Central Florida Christian Academy in Orlando, Fla. In 135 Minor League appearances, Brigham is 27-42 with one save and a 4.40 ERA.

— Carrie Muskat

3/18 Brotherly love in Texas

Greg Maddux said it was hard for him to leave the Cubs organization but he couldn’t pass up the chance to work with his brother, Mike, who is the pitching coach with the Rangers.

“We’ve always wanted to be on the same team and we could never do it playing but we have it worked out now,” he said. “I know before I took the job with the Cubs three years ago, there was some discussion about it and it never really set up right. This time it did.”

Maddux was a special assistant to then Cubs GM Jim Hendry; now he has the same job with the Rangers. Mike Maddux had interviewed for the Cubs managerial job. Did he and Greg talk about Greg possibly being the pitching coach?

“I’m not ready to go all in yet,” Greg said. “It definitely would’ve been a good opportunity. Where his family life was at the time didn’t make sense for him. He’s got his family together again for the first time since he moved to Texas. He didn’t want to lose them again. I think he’ll be a good manager one day. When the time’s right, I think he’ll be good at it. He’ll gain some more experience and knowledge and down the road sometime he’ll be even more of a candidate.”

Did Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations, talk to Greg about staying?

“I think everybody understood,” Greg said. “When Jim and [scout] Gary Hughes and everybody kind of left, that was kind of my click. The thing here opened up with my brother and it just felt like the right thing to do for me personally and have him help me out doing what I’m doing and maybe I can help him a little, too.”

Greg is doing more coaching than scouting now.

“I enjoy working with the players here, just like I did in Chicago,” he said. “I enjoy being around the coaches, I enjoy learning around the coaches, just like Chicago. It’s pretty much the same thing, just new faces.”

Does he feel he’s still part of the Cubs?

“Always, always, always,” Maddux said. “Chicago’s a huge part of my baseball career. Always. We just got a new house last month and redecorated and there’s a lot of Cubs stuff there. I have a lot of great memories. Absolutely.”

— Carrie Muskat

12/8 Cubs, Rangers reportedly talk re: Garza

ESPN reported late Wednesday the Cubs have talked to the Rangers about a possible deal involving pitcher Matt Garza. However, the price is likely very high. Theo Epstein has said Garza is the type of pitcher a team builds around. The Cubs sent five players to the Rays for Garza, including top prospects Chris Archer, Hak-Ju Lee and Robinson Chirinos. Early Thursday morning, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported the Rangers are not confident about their chances of acquiring Garza, saying the Cubs’ asking price is too steep.

— Carrie Muskat

12/16 Remember Ryan Harvey?

Ryan Harvey, the Cubs’ first-round pick in 2003, has signed a Minor League deal with the Red Sox, according to Harvey is trying to convert to pitching after eight Minor League seasons. This year, Harvey batted .213 with 11 homers, 36 RBIs in 68 games with the Rangers’ Double-A Tulsa team.

— Carrie Muskat

7/28 Lee says no to deal

Derrek Lee has invoked his 10-and-5 rights and rejected a proposed trade to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Lee did not want to comment prior to Wednesday’s game, saying he had talked to Cubs general manager Jim Hendry about his options but was keeping those discussions private. Hendry confirmed Wednesday that Lee was invoking his rights and wanted to finish the season with the Cubs.

The Angels were looking for another bat after Kendry Morales was injured. Lee does have a full no-trade clause and is owed about $4.95 million for the rest of the season. But he also has been in the league for 10 years and five with the same team, which gives him the right to veto any deal.

Lee, who will be a free agent after this season, is batting .248 with 11 home runs and 44 RBIs, well off his usual pace. In 17 games since July 6, he is hitting .333 with 17 runs, seven doubles, one homer and eight RBIs.

The Rangers also were looking at adding a right-handed bat who could play first but Lee, 34, was not a good fit.

— Carrie Muskat

10/16 Hitting coach update

The Cubs have asked the Rangers for permission to talk to Rudy Jaramillo about filling their hitting coach vacancy. Jaramillo, 59, broke ties with the Rangers when the team offered a one-year deal for 2010, not a multi-year contract. Jaramillo is at the top of the Cubs’ list to fill the job. Cubs GM Jim Hendry would not confirm whether he’s talked to Jaramillo, who has been the Rangers hitting coach since 1995, and is still under contract until Oct. 31.

— Carrie Muskat 

9/4 Cubs claim RHP Diamond

The Cubs have claimed right-handed pitcher Thomas Diamond off the waivers from the Rangers. He will join Triple-A Iowa’s roster.

Diamond was 2-3 with a 4.20 ERA in 38 games with Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Oklahoma this season. He missed time in early May because of right shoulder tendinitis. A first-round pick in the 2004 Draft, Diamond was named the Nolan Ryan Minor League Pitcher of the Year in ’05 after going 13-4 with a 3.53 ERA at Class A Bakersfield and Frisco.

— Carrie Muskat