The Chicago Cubs and interesting seems like an oxymoron this year…until now. Tuesday was a busy day for the North Siders as they optioned LHP Zac Rosscup to AAA, recalled SP Kyle Hendricks, activated Emilio Bonifacio from the DL, and designated 2B Darwin Barney for assignment. Oh, and they won as well, that seems to be a rarity now a days. However, the biggest news is that Barney’s days as a Cub are now over. Once a fan favorite, Barney fell from the graces because he could not hit with consistency. The Cubs now have ten days to trade him.
The night didn’t end there, Theo Epstein promoted Jorge Soler to AAA Iowa, and Albert Almora to AA. In the grand scheme of things, Tuesday might not seem like that important 0f a day, but it is clear sign of where this organization is going. Now that Barney is off the roster, that leaves room for rookie Arismendy Alcantara to continue to play in the major league level. Although it was supposed to be a temporary promotion, Alcantara has earned his stay in the big leagues. Brought up as a second baseman, manager Rick Renteria has slotted Alcantara in center field, which might be his future position. Now that Barney is gone, Alcantara playing the outfield, and Bonifacio will most likely be traded in the next week, the Cubs have a hole to fix at second base…enter Javier Baez.
Today was a big day for Jorge Soler as he moved one step away from playing at Wrigley Field. Soler signed a nine year $30 million dollar deal at the age of 20. Health has been an issue for Soler since joining the Cubs two years ago, but he has crushed pitchers when playing. Already a part of the 40 man roster Soler will most likely make his major league debut in September. Most fans have been in awe of Kris Bryant this year, but he will not make his way to the bigs until 2015. If the Cubs call up Bryant this year his major league service clock will start, meaning he will reach free agency a year sooner then if promoted in 2015, so why call him up when the Cubs will lose upwards of 100 games. This is not the case for Soler, since he is on the 40 man roster his major league service has already started, so if he gets promoted it won’t affect his contract.
Watching the Cubs won’t get any easier the rest of the season, but the pieces are finally starting to come together. Top prospects Arismendy Alcantara and Kyle Hendricks have made their way to the North Side with Soler and Baez to come later this year. Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro have continued their dominant play, and with Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, and Albert Almora reaching the bigs in 2015 the Cubs just got a whole lot better. This sets the Cubs up perfectly for a very low pick in next years draft, and look for them to make a major splash in free agency. 2014 may be hard to watch, but 2015 will be hard not to.