The Cubs made some cuts today, sending Jason Jaramillo to minor league camp and optioning Alberto Cabrera, Jeff Beliveau, John Gaub, Josh Vitters, Junior Lake and Matt Szczur to the minors. Here are some Cubs-related news items as the countdown to Opening Day continues...
- Right-hander Aaron Kurcz has been told that he is going to the Red Sox as part of the Theo Epstein compensation package, reports ESPN's Jerry Crasnick (Twitter link). Kurcz, an 11th round pick in the 2010 amateur draft, posted a 3.28 ERA and a 9.9 K/9 rate in 32 games for Class A Daytona last season. After months of negotiation, the Cubs and Sox agreed to righty Chris Carpenter and a player to be named later (Kurcz) as the price for the year remaining on Epstein's Boston contract. The Red Sox still need to send a player to the Cubs to complete the deal.
- The Cubs will take the time to get to know Matt Garza before determining whether to sign him long-term or trade him, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney tweets. The right-hander's on track to hit free agency following the 2013 season.
- There's no everyday job for Cubs outfield prospect Brett Jackson, but he has impressed his new manager nonetheless, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. "It’s been pretty impressive, every part of his game," manager Dale Sveum said. Jackson figures to open the season in the minors and work on his approach at the plate.
- Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune wonders what the Cubs will do with left-hander Travis Wood if he doesn't make the rotation. The Cubs could put Wood in the bullpen or send him to the minor leagues.
- Sveum added that Rule 5 selection Lendy Castillo has been "throwing great," Sullivan writes.