MESA, Ariz. – The Cubs moved closer to setting their Opening Day roster while continuing to look for outside help.
The Cubs told infielder Alberto Gonzalez and reliever Zach Putnam that they will not make the team. Those decisions left utility guy Steve Clevenger, right-hander Cory Wade and lefty Hisanori Takahashi on the bubble through Tuesday night’s game against the Cincinnati Reds at HoHoKam Stadium.
With the truck leaving for Chicago on Wednesday, the final bench job is Clevenger’s unless the Cubs find a better external option. Manager Dale Sveum likes the idea of Clevenger’s left-handed bat off the bench, but in theory they could find a more experienced infielder.
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The Cubs also might try to find another Shawn Camp, the veteran reliever released by the Seattle Mariners late last March who wound up being one of the team’s most reliable players. Otherwise, the last bullpen spot goes to Wade or Takahashi.
But this is just working at the outer edges of the roster. Sveum was asked if the Cubs could find an extra piece for their rotation and didn’t sound that optimistic or interested. The manager mentioned Jon Garland, who opted out of his deal with Seattle and quickly signed a major-league contract with the Colorado Rockies.
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“So far the only one that probably would have been even a thought was Garland,” Sveum said. “But obviously he got picked up right away. I look at the transactions, and so far from what I’ve seen, there hasn’t been anything that fits our needs. As of now, there’s nothing going on at all.”