The Cubs claimed Adrian Cardenas off waivers from the Oakland As on Monday and designated Blake DeWitt for assignment, switching in a slightly younger, cheaper infield option.
Last year Cardenas, 24, hit .314 with five homers, 70 runs scored, 51 RBI and a .374 on-base percentage in 127 games with Triple-A Sacramento.
Cardenas was originally selected by the Philadelphia Phillies with the 37th overall pick in the 2006 draft. He has primarily played second base in his minor-league career.
DeWitt was acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers at the 2010 trade deadline as part of the Ted Lilly deal. He never grabbed the second-base job, but was a decent player off the bench, hitting .265 in 121 games with the Cubs.
The 26-year-old DeWitt who was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter had previously agreed to a 1.1 million deal with the Cubs and will now go through waivers.
Javy Baez should win a gold glove in tattoos.
The kid with the MLB logo inked on the back of his neck now has an absolutely epic 2016 World Series Champions tattoo on his left deltoid:
That. Is. Awesome.
Javy apparently has had the tattoo for a little while, though it wasn't quite as eye-popping as it is now (or what we could see of it back in January):
That's some good ink work, Javy.
Now just make sure you don't spend too much time in the gym working on those delts. That tattoo would look awfully weird stretched out:
MESA, Ariz. – Whatever frustrations Pedro Strop may have kept bottled up during the playoffs didn't change how he feels about his Cubs teammates or living in Chicago or the energy at Wrigley Field.
"I think if there were any hard feelings we wouldn't be doing this extension," general manager Jed Hoyer said Friday after announcing the deal that could keep Strop in a Cubs uniform through the 2019 season.
The Cubs framed Strop's fade into the postseason background as a matter of bad timing after he tore the meniscus in his left knee in August. Otherwise, manager Joe Maddon wouldn't have felt the need to push Aroldis Chapman so hard during the World Series.
The Cubs backed up their story by avoiding an arbitration hearing with a $5.5 million settlement for 2017 before camp opened in Arizona. The two sides continued negotiating, agreeing to a one-year extension worth $5.85 million and a $6.25 million club option for 2019 with a $500,000 buyout. For that sense of comfort and security, Strop sacrificed the chance to sell himself as a possible closer next winter.
"I just feel happy that I know I'm going to be here," Strop said. "I don't care about the role or whatever.
"I like to win better than roles."
With Wade Davis and Koji Uehara positioned to become free agents after this season, the Cubs wanted to invest in their bullpen and clubhouse, where Strop is among the most popular players and a bilingual presence buzzing around the room.
"We don't want to be in a position of always having to rebuild the bullpen," Hoyer said. "Pedro's been a rock for us down there. His pitching is a big part of why we wanted to bring him back. But it's also who he is.
"He puts every person around him in a better mood every day. This guy's always beaming. He's always in a great mood. But under that huge smile, he's an awesome competitor, and this guy wants the ball in the biggest spots. We want more guys like that."
Since coming over in the franchise-altering Jake Arrieta trade with the Baltimore Orioles in the middle of the 2013 season, Strop has notched 84 holds, put up a 0.98 WHIP and a 2.68 ERA and accounted for 232 appearances. During that time, the right-hander with the nasty slider leads all National League relievers with a .173 batting average against and ranks third in opponents' OPS (.530) and fourth in strikeouts per nine innings (10.82).
Maddon didn't show that same level of trust in Strop during the playoffs, but the force of his talent and personality – the crooked-hat look, chest-pounding celebrations and love for the game – helped change this team's identity and turn the Cubs into World Series champs.
"I felt for Pedro," Hoyer said. "I felt like he rushed as much as he could to get back on the field for the postseason, but he probably wasn't vintage Pedro Strop at any point down the stretch, just by nature of the timing. But when you look at the numbers he's put up over the last three years, he's been one of the best setup guys in the game."