“This is likely going to be a much more major wave (of promotions) than what we saw around the All-Star break,” a spokesman for one of the Cubs minor league affiliates warned InsideTheIvy.com Monday.
At least three of those affiliates and their rosters are already experiencing the effects stemming from the early part of those moves.
Monday, the Cubs traded Class-A Daytona OF Chris Amador to Baltimore along with Triple-A Iowa INF Bo Hart. This could hardly be considered a major trade, but it likely signals the beginning of this expected bevy of changes.
The 24-year-old Amador batted .260 in 87 games with Daytona, garnering mid-season Florida State League All-Star honors. He signed with the Cubs as a minor league free agent this past off-season after spending seven sub-par seasons in the Chicago White Sox farm system.
Hart, meanwhile, is best known for his half-season in the major leagues with St. Louis in 2003, in which he batted .277 in 77 games at second base. The now 30-year-old Hart batted .188 in 19 games with Iowa, appearing semi-evenly at first, second and third base, respectively.
It is believed that the Cubs will receive a player (or players) to be named at a later date from the Orioles to complete the deal. As of yet, no current major league players are known to be involved in the trade.
As for who replaces Hart on the Triple-A roster, Chris Robinson becomes the second catcher to be promoted to Iowa from Double-A this season.
Robinson batted just .230 in 63 games at Tennessee and joins a catching corps that currently consists of Tony Richie and 34-year-old part player/part coach Mike Mahoney.
Defensively, Robinson threw out 21 of 63 opposing runners (33 percent) and had a .987 fielding percentage with two passed balls and five errors.
Joining Robinson in the journey from Eastern Tennessee to Omaha, where Iowa is currently stationed, is outfielder Jorge Cortes. The 26-year-old Cortes batted .280 in 79 games with Tennessee and recently secured mid-season All-Star honors in the Southern League. He signed with the Cubs as a minor league free agent this past November.
With Cortes getting the bump up from Tennessee to Iowa, it is possible that Chris Walker will return to Double-A after recently being demoted from Iowa to Daytona as the result of limited playing time. Walker has seven hits in 14 at-bats with Daytona in three games thus far.
Additionally, pitchers Rocky Cherry and Juan Mateo were added to the Iowa roster recently after completing rehab assignments at Class-A Peoria and the Arizona Rookie League, respectively. Moreover, fellow right-hander Billy Petrick was recalled to Chicago Monday.
In Daytona, two players were added to the Advanced A roster following brief stints in the Arizona Rookie League with the Mesa Cubs.
INF/OF Jeffrey Rea (pronounced “RAY”) appeared in 11 games with Mesa, batting .341 (14-for-41) with a pair of doubles and five RBIs before joining Daytona Monday. Rea was the Cubs’ 18th-round draft pick from Mississippi State last month. In 59 games with the Bulldogs this past season, he batted .343.
Accompanying Rea from Arizona is pitcher Yusdel Tuero. A 25-year-old right-hander, Tuero appeared in five games in the AZL and was 1-3 with a 4.00 ERA in 18 innings. He struck out 18 and walked four.
To coincide with these moves, OF Jesus Valdez was released. In 83 games, he batted .250 with one home run, 11 doubles and 39 RBIs. The 22-year-old Valdez was named to the Florida State League mid-season All-Star team.
Additional roster moves are expected to follow soon.