Cubs add Archer, Guyer to 40-man roster

Cubs add Archer, Guyer to 40-man roster

Friday, Nov. 19, 2010
6:13 PM
By Kevin Czerwinski
CSNChicago.com

The Cubs rewarded Chris Archer and Brandon Guyer for their spectacular regular seasons on Friday by placing the pair on the 40-man roster, thus protecting them from next months Rule 5 Draft.

Chicago also placed pitchers Alberto Cabrera and Kyle Smith on the 40-man, leaving the quartet eligible to join the parent club for Major League spring training in February. Rosters had to be set by midnight Friday to keep players protected from the Rule 5 Draft.

Ive gotten called up to some big-league games in Spring Training before but Ive never participated in big-league spring training, said Guyer, who earned the Cubs 2010 Minor League Player of the Year Award after hitting .344 and leading Double-A Tennessee into the Southern League finals. Im excited. I always work as hard as I can in the off-season but now this gives me extra motivation. Not that I need it. I just want to go out, do the best I can and see if I can make the club.

Guyer also just finished a month-long stint with the Tigres de Aragua of the Venezuelan Winter League. He hit .348 in 69 at-bats and was on base in every one of the 19 games in which he appeared after finishing second in the Southern League in batting. He had an 18-game hitting streak in August, during which he hit .471.

I just tried to do what I did during the regular season while I was in Venezuela and that was just put the ball in play and make solid contact, said Guyer, who led the league in slugging percentage .588 and OPS .986. I got to bat third or lead off most of the time and I was playing center field so I think I got a lot out of the experience.

I also knew coming into this year that I would be up for the 40-man. I didnt think about it during the season, though. I was just trying to help the team out and it all worked out.

It also worked out very well for Archer, who was named as the Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Year, after combining to go 15-3 with a 2.34 ERA at Class-A Daytona and Tennessee. He was 8-2 with a 1.80 ERA for the Smokies.

Smith made 12 relief appearances for Tennessee after coming over in a July 31 deadline deal that sent Ted Lilly to the Dodgers. He went 5-1 with a 1.96 ERA in Tennessee and was 10-4 overall with a 2.28 ERA overall. He was 3-2 with a 4.05 ERA for Mesa in the Arizona Fall League.

Cabrera, meanwhile, split the year between Daytona and Tennessee going 7-9 with a 4.24 ERA.

Kevin Czerwinski can be reached at ktczerwinski@gmail.com

Koji Uehara would add another dimension to Cubs bullpen

Koji Uehara would add another dimension to Cubs bullpen

The Cubs are reportedly on the verge of adding another pitcher who’s notched the final out of a World Series as Theo Epstein’s front office builds out the bullpen for manager Joe Maddon.

The Cubs are nearing a one-year, $4.5 million deal with Koji Uehara, according to Nikkan Sports in Japan, which would open up even more possibilities for the defending champs in front of All-Star closer Wade Davis.

The Cubs made their biggest splash during this week’s winter meetings at National Harbor in Maryland by trading young outfielder Jorge Soler to the Kansas City Royals for Davis, who finished off Game 5 in the 2015 World Series.

Uehara closed out the 2013 World Series for the Boston Red Sox, the beginning of three straight seasons where he put up 20-plus saves. The Cubs have not confirmed an agreement is in place.

The Cubs needed another lefty presence with Mike Montgomery – the pitcher on the mound when the 108-year drought ended in November – moving to the rotation and Travis Wood likely leaving as a free agent.

Uehara throws right-handed, but he shuts down left-handed hitters (.183 batting average, .555 OPS across 800 at-bats) and has appeared in seven postseason series after a distinguished career in Japan.

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Uehara will turn 42 the day after Opening Day. But an array of relievers should help preserve Uehara, strengthen Carl Edwards Jr. (who’s generously listed at 170 pounds) and maybe prevent the late-season injuries that marginalized Hector Rondon and Pedro Strop during the playoffs.

“We’re going to try to build up a ton of depth,” Epstein said. “We’re going to try to build up a really talented, deep bullpen with a lot of different options that you can use in close games.

“Instead of three late-game options, it would be ideal if you had five or six. And you could always like who you’re turning to in the ‘pen and not feel the need to use a Rondon four out of five times.

“(We could) use them every other day and occasional back-to-backs. And that would help keep them fresh down the stretch – and help keep them strong in October.”

Cubs unveil championship Trophy Tour

Cubs unveil championship Trophy Tour

The Cubs announced their World Series championship victory lap Thursday afternoon.

The Cubs Trophy Tour presented by State Farm will take the World Series hardware around throughout the Midwest, beyond just the Chicagoland area.

“We’re excited to share our cherished trophy with fans this offseason as we celebrate such a historic World Series Championship,” Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts said in a statement. “This year’s World Championship team is unparalleled, and so are our fans. We can’t wait for them to experience the joy of seeing this piece of history in person.”

The tour begins Friday, Dec. 9 at the official Cubs Team Store on Michigan Ave. from Noon to 3 p.m.

From there, the trophy gets the weekend off before surfacing again Thursday, Dec. 15 at Chicago City Hall from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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The Trophy Tour hits the road after that, with stops in central Illinois; the Quad Cities; South Bend and Indianapolis; Des Moines, Iowa and other Midwest locations.

Of course, the trophy will also be with the Cubs in spring training in Mesa, Ariz. and at Wrigley Field for the Cubs' home opener on April 10.

Check out Cubs.com/trophytour for more info, including a schedule, social media post and highlights from each stop along the way. 

Also be sure to follow @Cubs on Twitter and Instagram for more updates while CSN will document the Trophy Tour.