Chicago Cubs: Javier Baez optioned to Triple-A Iowa; Bryant and Russell assigned to minor league camp


Cubs make fifth round of cuts, Baez headed to Triple-A

After believing he would break camp with the Chicago Cubs–only to later be told he wasn’t guaranteed a spot–

Javier Baez

was officially optioned to Triple-A Iowa today in the fifth round of roster cuts for the team this spring.

Along with Baez, Kris Bryant and Addison Russell were each assigned to minor league camp. Neither of those moves came as a surprise, but the Baez news did.

If you’ve listened to Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon this spring, it’s clear that he is a Baez fan. He loves his defense, as he’s praised him all spring on it. And he likes his hustle, which should be a staple of any ballplayer. But in the end, his struggles at the plate were an issue enough that the team feels some work in Iowa will be beneficial.

Remember, Baez is only 22 years old. This isn’t the end for the young slugger. If anything, this solidifies the team’s stance that nothing is guaranteed, and the opportunity must be earned.

The re-assigning of Bryan and Russell were expected, and this means the service time rule that has been the talk of camp can officially be put to rest. Bryant will be under Cubs’ control for seven more seasons. On a side note, this will be the first time a Spring Training home run leader doesn’t break camp with the team (assuming no one goes home run crazy these last few days).

For Russell, his time isn’t far off either. The Cubs will likely use Arismendy Alcantara and Tommy La Stella on the infield for now, but Russell’s time is right on the horizon. His camp this year showed that everything is starting to come together for his as well.

With the moves today, the roster currently sits at 35. With the team needing to get to 25 before Opening Night, there are still likely to be six more players cut. That is due to Jacob Turner opening the season on the DL, as well as the likelihood that Tsuyoshi Wada, Dallas Beeler and Chris Denorfia–all on the 40-man roster–will join him and open on the DL.

Next: Lester's Opening Night status in question