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A couple weeks ago, the Chicago Cubs designated infielder Blake DeWitt for assignment.

That is, of course, a technical baseball phrase, indicating a very specific type of transaction, which involves a multilayered procedure, spanning 10 days, that can result in any number of outcomes ranging from a trade to a release to a waiver claim to an assignment to a minor league team. It’s not an uncomplicated thing.

When the Cubs so designated DeWitt a couple weeks ago in order to make room on the 40-man roster for Adrian Cardenas, no one knows for sure what outcome they were rooting for. Even DeWitt didn’t know.

In fact, according to DeWitt, he didn’t even really know what was going on. And he didn’t get a call from the Cubs.

“My agent called me,” DeWitt explained in Mesa today, according to Carrie Muskat. “It was all unknown to me. I didn’t know what was going on, I didn’t know the rules. Maybe that’s why I wasn’t too worried about it, I guess.”

I’m not going to assume that it isn’t protocol for these things to be communicated by way of a player’s agent, but I will confess that I’m surprised to learn that DeWitt wasn’t contacted directly when he was designated for assignment. I would have expected a phone call from Theo Epstein or Jed Hoyer, explaining what was happening, why it was happening, and what the possible outcomes were. Again, I don’t know the protocol. Maybe that phone call never happens. If it doesn’t, it kind of seems like it should.

After the designation, DeWitt was placed on, and cleared, waivers, and accepted an assignment to AAA Iowa. He also accepted a non-roster invite to Spring Training, where he arrived earlier today.

“I had a decision to make and I’m extremely happy being here today,” DeWitt said. “Driving out here, it was one of those things, I’m ready to get back on the field, ready to get back to playing. That’s one of the things that I think was weird about the whole situation. This time of year as a player, you’re ready to get back on the field, and to not know where you’re going to be was kind of strange.”

To his credit, DeWitt was ready to fight for a job whether he was a rostered player or a non-roster invitee.

“It’s no different,” he said. “Regardless, you’re coming in to win a job. It’s the same approach I’m going to take. I’m not going to put any stress on myself to try to make this team. I’m just going to go out and play and have fun and let things happen.”

DeWitt has a battle ahead of him this Spring, not only with Cardenas, but also other infield back-up competitors, including Bobby Scales, Edgar Gonzalez and Matt Tolbert. It’s hard to imagine the Cubs carrying more than one from that group (with a five-man bench including a back-up catcher, two outfielders, and Jeff Baker), and DeWitt doesn’t play shortstop.

  • Fishin Phil

    I agree that communication between front office and player in a situation should be the norm. If it is not now, it should be made part of “The Cub Way”. It is the decent thing to do.

  • florida Al

    I feel bad for DeWi, I don’t think he has really been given a chance here! Hope it works out for him!

  • Joe

    +1. Good point re: Cubs Way.

  • Matt

    I agree that this is a case where I think that the front office should be able to tell the play himself. It shows more respect to that player and makes the organization itself look better and more attractive to potential future players.

  • al

    Kind of in between two bad spots. Not really needed now and will be needed even less in the future.

  • Dan

    Side note, Brett: I love that you get to keep using that pic. It’s the cat’s pajamas.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      And I love that you said cat’s pajamas.

  • Mick

    If only Blake had sacrificed a live chicken instead getting the KFC bucket…

    • butlerdawgs

      He has no hats for bats

  • TonyP

    FYI– Ryan Braun won his appeal and will not be suspended.

    • jerry

      MLB said they are not happy with it.

  • Brittney

    I agree he should have been contacted by the FO. But maybe there was a mix up with the FO and giving him the respect of a phone call. They way Jed and Theo have handled everything this off season I don’t see why they didn’t call.

    ON A DIFFERENT NOTE:::: Braun’s 50 game ban was overturned! I am shocked. I think he got off on a technical error. He’s a Brewer so I instantly don’t care for him, and now that all this came about I really am not a fan of him one bit. If he got off on a technical error the MLB has some more issues to fix it and he should still be held accountable in some way!

  • TeddyBallGame

    Absolutely bull shit….Ryan Braun just won his appeal and will NOT be suspended. He won the appeal by a 2-1 vote. 3 guys decide this?? I officially know Selig is a total dirtbag after this complete non-sense. Obviously the 3 on the panel are strongly influenced, but the first time a baseball player wins an appeal over PED’s is the reigning MVP for Selig’s Brewers?? Completely gives me a different oppinion about how corrupt Selig is.

  • die hard

    Too bad he can’t catch as he would provide back-up while kids receive more minor league reps. He could provide a .250 AB and 7-10 HR with 150 AB spelling Soto. Thought he caught in minors.

  • Kevin

    I too am losing respect for Selig, he’s a dirtbag. Get rid of him and Reinsdork and baseball will be better place. I’m tired of a two tier judicial system.

  • Barroof

    I think DeWitt should start at second and let Barney become our super sub. Another LH bat never hurts. He’s never really had a great shot here for some reason. Former high pick who’s still fairly young.

  • Bob

    Crappy situation for Dewitt but lets be honest he is not who you want at second. No more charity cases. Its baseball theres thousands of players with hurt feelings. Part of the game. Barney and many other cubs in their respective positions are not the answer either. Not saying there horrible but not the future. Can’t really tell them that tho as management. Kinda diminishes the player and any future plans via trade or back up role etc.

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