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Today, the Chicago Cubs announced that they’ve acquired reliever Justin Germano from – surprise – the Boston Red Sox for cash considerations. In a corresponding move, the Cubs designated reliever Jairo Asensio for assignment.

Germano, 29, made just one appearance for the Red Sox this year – a 5.2 inning relief appearance, in which he looked good. But, when Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford were ready to return to the team, the Red Sox needed 40-man space, and DFA’d Germano. The Cubs presumably claimed Germano when he was waived, and then the two sides worked out a cash deal (the Cubs probably paid the Red Sox a nominal fee for taking on Germano’s contract, a minor league deal).

Before this year, Germano was an up-and-down reliever for the Indians in 2010 and 2011, with modest success in 2010, and very little success in 2011. He’s a cheap lottery ticket with a low payout, and it’s fine with me that the Cubs picked him up. After a 5.2 inning outing with the Sox, who knows? Maybe the Cubs will try to convert him into a starter and see what happens. Indeed, Germano pitched quite well as a starter this year for AAA Pawtucket (2.40 ERA and 0.905 WHIP in 16 starts). I suspect the Cubs will have an open rotation spot or two soon.

Actually, the more I think about it, I think that’s exactly what will happen – when/if Ryan Dempster and/or Matt Garza are traded, Germano will get a shot in the rotation. It’s not as if he’s blocking a host of other great options.

And, the more I think about it, I think Germano might even be taking Dempster’s spot in the rotation as soon as tomorrow. That’s why the Cubs can say, honestly, that Casey Coleman is heading to St. Louis in case Germano can’t get there in time – Coleman isn’t technically the back-up for Dempster. He’s the back-up for Germano. But Germano is the back-up for Dempster. Coleman might stick in the bullpen right now either way, because if Dempster is dealt, the Cubs will need an additional pitcher anyway.

As for Asensio, he put up a decent ERA in his 14.2 innings with the Cubs (3.07), but was obviously way down on the totem pole, and his peripherals weren’t exciting (including an hilarious 0.73 K/BB ratio). He had no future with the team, so they’ll prefer to take a chance on Germano.

  • Njriv

    Jairo Asensio was a pretty bad ass name though…

  • LaHair4MVP

    I like the move.

  • http://BeacherNation TobaccopouchinIvy

    Gotta love the F.O. Buyers & sellers all the while:)

  • Jason “Thundermug”

    Jairo Ascensio name has nothing close to Paul Assenmacher, Brian Omogrosso, and Antnnio Bastardo !!

    • Toby

      I liked Assenmacher, but you got to love the name Fukudome if you prounounced it phoenetically.

      • MoneyBoy

        Assenmacher hasenfeffer = rabbit

    • Bric

      And Justin’s got way more street cred. When he walks through Spanish speaking areas everyone calls him brother.

    • rhino70

      Paul Assenmacher…..

      Years ago, my wife and I got tickets for a Cubs/Cardinals series in St. Louis. We stayed at the Marriott right next to Busch Stadium. Same hotel as the Cubs.

      We were in the lobby, watching and waiting for the Cubs. We saw Hector Villenueva and Rick Wilkens come down the elevator and leave. Rode the elevator with Steve Stone (damn, he is SHORT). Best appearance was Paul Assenmacher. He wandered around the lobby in a Cardinals t-shirt and jeans, and nobody realized who he was. It took me a few minutes to figure it out, but everyone left him alone.

    • Ash

      Never enough love for Charlie Furbush. By cracky.

  • Toby

    The snowballing of moves begins.

  • João Lucas

    That’s a nice move by the Cubs. If we’ll have to settle for a replacement level guy to fill in for Dempster, then we should at least get someone who’s actually pitching well in AAA!

  • Mick

    Hey Brett, what’s the speculation with the Giants “heavily scouting” the Cubs AAA team?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Was writing that up in today’s Lukewarm Stove when all hell broke loose on Coleman/Germano/Dempster/Paniagua. It’s still coming later today, but the short answer is: no real good idea.

      • Mick

        I read it in a blurb which also included a note that Pablo Sandoval made a start at 1B and that the Giants might be looking to move him there and look to acquire a 3B so, maybe Josh Vitters? Also in the bullets mentioned having interest in relief pitching but isn’t Dolis up with the Cubs currently?

        • Dob2812

          Well Jesus if they’re thar low on belt, can the Cubs have him please? Seriously what they’ve done to that guy… I know we have a first baseman now but stick him in the outfield and let him play every day, God knows he’d be better off than he is with Bruce Bochey.

  • Josh

    Sounds like a great deal, but I just want to know what they are getting for Dempster. HURRY IT UP! It’s killing me.

  • ROKMC

    I’ve seen Justin pitch when he was with the Samsung Lions over in Korea. He’s got pretty good stuff, but then again it was off Korean batters.

  • Pete Nole

    He blanked the Yankees on July 7 with 0 runs and 7 SOs over 6 IP of relief.

  • Burt Sox Nation

    His 7 SOs in 6 innings vs. Yankees was the most SOs by a Red Sox reliever since Tim Wakefield did it in 1999 and Pedro Martinez did it in same year’s ALDS final.

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  • cubmig

    Is anyone else getting dizzy from all the Dempster trade talk? Everything posted seems to entangle/strangle itself in one way or another with pending speculations concerning moving Dempster. Pass the asprins please……..

    • Cubbie Blues

      Nope all good. Don’t have a clue what you are talking about. Seems pretty straight forward. Everyone is posing and just before game time a big trade will be announced. Oh wait, that was a couple hours ago. Heck, who knows.

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