The Cubs this morning made the Geovany Soto trade official, sending their veteran catcher and cash considerations to the Texas Rangers for right-handed pitcher Jake Brigham and a player to be named later or a cash consideration.
Brigham, 24, is 5-5 with a 4.28 ERA in 21 starts for Class AA Frisco this season. The Cubs, in their news release, point out that “Brigham entered the 2012 campaign ranked as the seventh-best right-handed relief prospect in the Rangers organization by Baseball America after pitching exclusively in relief the second half of the 2011 campaign.” He was 3-1 with a 3.60 ERA in 21 relief outings last season.
The 6-foot-3, 210-pound righthander was originally selected by the Rangers in the sixth round of the 2006 draft out of Central Florida Christian Academy in Orlando, Florida.
Soto was the NL Rookie of the Year in 2008. I’ll always remember him coming up in late 2007 and helping the Cubs to the playoffs. He hasn’t been able to put a consistent career together since the ’08 season, but I’ll miss him. He was always there after games, win or lose.
We’ll see what happens today with Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza. You’ve seen the rumors. Oftentimes, when a trade happens, it’s one that no one has “rumored.”
We met with Jed Hoyer at 11:15 last night. He didn’t want to address a question on whether there was friction or ill will between the front office and Dempster. Dempster said there wasn’t. Dempster also said he wasn’t concerned about negative fan backlash over his refusing to go to the Braves last week.
"I don't mean it in an offensive way, but I know who I am as a person," he said. "I'm going to try to do everything I can here what I can do in the clubhouse and do right by the guys. People are going to have all different kinds of opinions, and I understand that, especially in today's world of social media. I'm just trying to handle it the best way I can and be as professional as I can and be ready every fifth day to go out there and pitch.
"The nice part is every day I go on the field whether it's during batting practice or during the game, I hear nothing but great things from a lot of the fans, telling me they don't want me going anywhere and they want me to stay, and if I do, they appreciate everything that I've given on the field. I'm truly grateful for that and will continue trying to do that."
Obviously, there was no ill will between the Cubs and Braves, as they got the Reed Johnson-Paul Maholm trade done.
Cubs players, naturally, said they’d miss the traded players.
“There’s something you can take from every single one of them,” said pitcher Jeff Samardzija. “If could can’t take anything good from playing with a guy like Reed … he comes to play every day and he never (complains) about, ‘I’m not in the lineup every day.’ He does his job and does it very, very well. He’s a professional. They got a great player in Paulie, too. There’s a reason they’re getting traded. It’s because they’re great character guys and they come to work every day regardless of the uniform.”
There was a game played last night, and the Cubs beat the Pirates 14-4. Here is one interesting leftover.
--Second baseman Darwin Barney said he was not angry at the Pirates or showing them up when he hit his 3-run homer. He said he was mad at himself for a bobble in the field. "I was so upset with myself, not turning the double play," he said. "I was angry, at myself. That was all I could think about, because of the bobble." He added that he made sure he got that clear with some of the Pirates.