John Koronka Rumors
Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune has several Cubs issues packed into his latest article. Here are the highlights:
- After meeting with new president Theo Epstein, Carlos Zambrano has told friends he thinks he will remain a Cub in 2012. Sullivan writes that Zambrano will still have to convince both new and pre-existing front office members that he's serious about making amends with his teammates.
- Epstein praised Carlos Pena and said that the club's arbitration offer by no means shuts the door on Pena's time with the team. Epstein expects Pena to decline arbitration but will continue discussions to bring him back. "He'd be an asset to the Cubs or any team," said Epstein of Pena.
- The Cubs have interest in bringing back Rodrigo Lopez as rotation depth.
- Starlin Castro won't be moved from shortstop in the near future for defensive reasons. Epstein feels defense is one area players can "absolutely, 100 percent get better with hard work."
- New manager Dale Sveum may bring in Dave McKay, a longtime coaching associate of Tony La Russa, as a coach.
- The Cubs made former big league pitcher John Koronka a regional scout in charge of Florida. Koronka , 31, last pitched for the Marlins in 2009.
Here are a few of the noteworthy names involved in this week's minor league transactions, as compiled by Baseball America's Matt Eddy...
- Fernando Cortez was signed to his second go-around with the White Sox organization. The utilityman last played in the majors in 2007 as a member of the Royals, and has a .665 OPS in 3948 career plate appearances in the minor leagues.
- The White Sox also released Justin Fuller, best known as the minor-leaguer acquired last summer from Los Angeles in the Jim Thome trade.
- John Koronka was released by the Dodgers. The veteran southpaw made two starts for Florida in 2009 before signing with L.A. in January.
- Jason Lane was released by the Marlins. Best known for his time with Houston from 2002 to 2007, Lane's finest year came in 2005 when he hit 26 homers and posted an .815 OPS in 561 plate appearances for the Astros. He last appeared in the majors in 2007 with San Diego.
- Texas dealt right-hander Jailen Peguero to the Astros for future considerations. Peguero posted a 7.50 ERA in 25 relief appearances for the Diamondbacks in 2007-08.
- Cleveland released Josh Phelps just a few weeks after signing him to a minor-league deal.
- The Mariners signed pitcher Billy Traber. The left-hander has a 5.65 ERA in 96 career major league appearances, 28 of them starts. He appeared in one game last season, allowing five runs in 3 2/3 innings of mop-up duty for Boston.