Cubs notes: Hoyer confident free agents will keep coming

Cubs notes: Hoyer confident free agents will keep coming
July 8, 2013, 11:45 am
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The Cubs' selloff continued Monday morning, as the team made official a trade that sent utilityman Scott Hairston to the Washington Nationals for 21-year-old right-hander Ivan Pineyro.

Hairston followed starter Scott Feldman out the door less than 24 hours after belting a game-tying home run in Sunday's 4-3, extra-inning win over Pittsburgh, his eighth of the season in 112 plate appearances.

"He's a real pro, I think as far as bench guys who can hit lefties he can hit a homer against a lefty as good as any bench bat in baseball," Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said on a conference call Monday.

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Hairston signed a two-year, $5 million deal with the Cubs in the offseason, angling for a chance to continue his career. Along similar lines, Feldman signed a one-year deal in the offseason following a year in which he had a 5.09 ERA in 123 2/3 innings for Texas.

Before Feldman, there was Paul Maholm, who came to the Cubs on a one-year deal in 2012 and was shipped off to Atlanta before the trade deadline. With those moves in mind, Hoyer was asked Monday if he was concerned free agents would shy away from short-term deals with the club knowing there's a chance they'd be dealt away from Chicago at some point.

"I don't think so, no," Hoyer said. "Certainly looking at Scott Feldman's situation, I think Scott, we gave him a great opportunity. I think a lot of places weren't willing to give him a rotation spot coming off a so-so year, I guess. We were willing to do that. I think he really appreciated the fact we were willing to give him that opportunity. And I know with Scott, he looks at this as an opportunity to get more playing time."

Roster update

Hoyer said left-hander Brooks Raley would remain in the majors for the next few days, mainly as insurance for a taxed bullpen. Once the bullpen, which threw seven innings Sunday, gets rested and back to normal, the club will look to add another right-handed bat to the roster to replace Hairston.

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Shortstop Junior Lake, who's hitting .315.362/.504 in 33 games with Triple-A Iowa, could fit that bill, although Hoyer said he and second baseman Logan Watkins (who hits left-handed) still have work to do in the minors.

"They both played well and they both got our attention for how they played and have been part of the discussions," Hoyer said. "Both those guys still have development left, but it's nice to see them performing well at Triple-A. They're both well for our future, they forced their way into the discussions, but they both still have development waiting."

Quick hits

• Hoyer remains confident the Cubs will sign first-round pick Kris Bryant by Friday's 4 p.m. deadline. The Cubs and 2012 first-round pick Albert Almora didn't have a deal until the deadline neared last summer.

• Brett Jackson is nearing a return from the disabled list, Hoyer said. The outfielder has a .223/.300/.367 slash line in 61 games with Triple-A Iowa this year. "He's gotta get out there and play and earn it," Hoyer said, "But he's still a guy we're very high on."