The list of players released was published on Baseball America’s official website, BaseballAmerica.com, earlier this week.
They are: RHPs Ryan Bicondoa, Steve Bronder, Jose Caridad, Roger Evenson, Kyle Holden, Robert Ransom, and LHPs Isaac Pavlik and Jesus Yepez.
Evenson and Holden were both mid-round draft picks in 2005. Bronder signed that same year as a non-drafted free agent, while Caridad and Yepez were signed as non-drafted free agents in 2002.
Bicondoa and Pavlik were signed from the Independent Can-Am League this past summer. Ransom was a 2003 draft pick from Vanderbilt University.
“Releases are the most difficult part of the business,” Cubs Director of Player Development Oneri Fleita told Inside The Ivy. “This time of year, if it is clear that someone is not going to make a club, I feel it is best to release the player now so that the player can find a job. It’s a lot easier to find a job now as compared to finding a job towards the end of Spring Training.”
Bicondoa, 27, was 1-3 with a 2.23 ERA in eight appearances, including seven starts at Class-A Daytona this past season. He came to the Cubs from the North Shore Spirit of the Can-Am League in July.
Pavlik, 26, appeared in 12 games for the New Jersey Jackals of the Can-Am League and made six starts for Double-A West Tenn. He finished with a 3.38 ERA in 40 innings.
Bronder, 22, attended Manhattan (N.Y.) College and was 5-3 with a 4.39 ERA in 35 appearances with the Cubs in two seasons. He appeared in 29 games at Daytona this past season and was 4-2 with a 4.60 ERA in 60 2/3 innings.
Evenson, 23, was a 15th-round Cubs draft pick that attended Northwest Nazarene University. He was 5-6 with a 4.39 ERA in 45 appearances in two seasons with the Cubs. He spent 2006 at Class-A Peoria, where he struck out 31 and walked eight in 43 2/3 innings, finishing with a 3.30 ERA.
Yepez, 22, hails from Venezuela and spent all of 2006 at Peoria. He was 5-6 with a 4.30 ERA in 28 appearances, including 19 starts. He placed second in the Midwest League with 68 walks in 127 2/3 innings, striking out 72.
Holden, 23, was a 19th-round pick from Cal State-San Bernardino that made 28 appearances for the Cubs in two seasons. He was 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA in eight games for the Mesa Cubs of the Arizona Rookie League in 2006.
Ransom, 25, was a 23rd-round Cubs draft pick three years ago that missed the past two years due to injury. In his only active season in the Cubs’ system, he was 6-2 with a 2.33 ERA in 17 games spanning 88 2/3 innings. Ransom underwent shoulder surgery in 2005 to repair a frayed labrum.
Caridad, 21, did not pitch for a Cubs affiliate in 2006. In three seasons with the Cubs’ Dominican Summer League squad, he was 8-3 with a 4.71 ERA in 42 games spanning 91 2/3 innings.
Previously this off-season, the Cubs released minor league pitcher Lee Gwaltney. The 26-year-old right-hander was signed by the Cubs in the spring of 2005 after being exiled from the Philadelphia Phillies for his alleged involvement in a Clearwater, Fla., bar fight that resulted in top Phillies pitching prospect Cole Hamels breaking his left throwing hand.
Gwaltney underwent shoulder surgery toward the end of the 2005 season to repair a torn labrum and missed most of 2006.
Randy Bush Promoted to Assistant GM
The Cubs announced on Wednesday that Special Assistant to the General Manager Randy Bush has been promoted to Assistant General Manager.
Bush was hired as a major league scout in January, 2005, after serving as head baseball coach at the University of New Orleans from 2000-05. He was the Cubs’ Minor League Hitting Coordinator for one season in 1999, a position currently occupied by Dave Keller.
As Special Assistant to the GM, Bush was in charge of scouting such major league teams as the Phillies, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Washington Nationals. He also scouted the Cubs’ farm system.
“Randy has played a vital role in evaluating our minor league system along with his major league scouting duties,” Fleita said. “He is a perfect fit in our front office. He works like he played – team first.”