Chicago Cubs release OF Dave Sappelt, sign 5 minor leaguers


The Chicago Cubs made several roster moves today, releasing outfielder Dave Sappelt and signing right-handed pitchers Paolo Espino and Carlos Pimentel, second baseman Chris Valaika, shortstop Jeudy Valdez, and outfielder Casper Wells, according to Baseball America.

Jun 2, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Chicago White Sox outfielder Casper Wells (39) makes a catch against the Oakland Athletics in the seventh inning at O.Co Coliseum. The Athletics defeated the White Sox 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Sappelt, 26, was acquired from the Cincinnati Reds along with left-hander Travis Wood and second baseman Ronald Torreyes in 2011 for Sean Marshall. In two seasons with the Cubs, Sappelt hit .257/.310/.361 with nine doubles, two home runs and 12 RBIs in 57 games.

Wells, 29, spent parts of the 2013 season with the Oakland Athletics, Chicago White Sox, and Philadelphia Phillies. He hit a mere .126 in 102 plate appearances and posted a .334 OPS in 2013. He can play all three outfield spots and even pitched with the White Sox and Phillies. Wells will receive a spring training invite.

Espino, 26, was originally drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 10th round of the 2006 MLB Amatuer Draft from high school and has spent his entire career in their farm system. The Panamanian has spent parts of the last three seasons between Double-A and Triple-A. In 2013, he went 6-11 and gave up 156 hits and 74 earned runs, while striking out 141 and posting a 1.408 WHIP and 4.69 ERA over 142 innings.

Pimentel, 23, also has spent his entire career with the team who drafted him, the Texas Rangers. In 2013, he made his first appearance in Triple-A and posted a 3.87 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 133:44 strike-out to walk ratio over 128 innings between Double-A and Triple-A.

Espino and Pimentel should provide some depth for a position the Cubs need to improve on. Both will join a pool of great pitching prospects in the minors.