Cubs Announce Full List of 2013 Non-Roster Invites to Spring Training: Javier Baez Included

javier baez daytona cubsToday the Chicago Cubs formally announced their non-roster invites to Spring Training this year, and it includes many of the names we already knew – namely, the guys recently signed on minor league deals – and also some prospect names we didn’t yet know.

The big name on the list is Javier Baez.

Now, before you go gettin’ crazy, prospects are frequently invited to Spring Training for a variety of reasons – it isn’t always about “this is a guy who could make the 25-man roster in April.” Sometimes it’s to give him a brief taste of the caliber of players he’ll be around in the future. Sometimes it’s to give him different instruction in the Spring. And sometimes it’s a reward.

That said, it’s pretty rare for the Cubs to give a big league Spring Training invite to a kid who is years away from the bigs. Take this invite together with his recent participation in the Cubs’ rookie development camp (which was geared to be a get-you-ready-for-the-big-leagues kind of thing), and it’s quite obvious that the Cubs see Baez’s potential big league time line as including some part of 2013. Again: heavy emphasis on potential. I doubt anyone expects Baez to make the big league team, even as a September call-up (he’s not on the 40-man roster). But the Cubs are clearly bracing for the possibility that he plays himself right up the ladder this year. Seeing him in 2014 is becoming almost expected at this point.

The only other prospects who got an invite are pitchers Barret Loux and Nick Struck (but, keep in mind, many of the Cubs’ other prospects are already on the 40-man roster). Minor league catchers Michael Brenly and Rafael Lopez were also invited, but they’re pretty borderline, insofar as prospectdom is concerned.

The full list of non-roster invites, 22 in all:

Pitchers: Drew Carpenter, Jaye Chapman, Casey Coleman, Dayan Diaz, Jensen Lewis, Barret Loux, Blake Parker, Zach Putnam, Nick Struck, Hisanori Takahashi, and Cory Wade.

Catchers: J.C. Boscan, Michael Brenly and Rafael Lopez.

Infielders: Javier Baez, Alberto Gonzalez, Brent Lillibridge, Edwin Maysonet and Brad Nelson.

Outfielders: Brian Bogusevic, Johermyn Chavez and Darnell McDonald.

Of the non-roster invites, most of the pitchers have a legit shot of cracking the roster (though only a couple spots are open in the bullpen). Of the position players, the guys to watch as possibilities are Lillibridge, Maysonet, Bogusevic, and McDonald. Lillibridge probably has the best shot out of that foursome.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

108 responses to “Cubs Announce Full List of 2013 Non-Roster Invites to Spring Training: Javier Baez Included”

  1. TonyP

    Any news on Castillo’s DFA yet? When should we know something?

    1. ETS

      hasn’t been 10 days yet has it?

    2. Grant

      For what it’s worth, Chris Carpenter cleared waivers. I can’t see someone letting Carpenter go but claiming Castillo.

  2. Toby

    The catchers were invited because extra catchers are always needed in SP to uh, catch.

  3. Hugo

    Castro to 2B in 2014????

    1. Drew7

      No

    2. Featherstone

      just no

  4. MightyBear

    I still like Blake Parker and believe he could make the pen this year and contribute mightily. He has to stay healthy.

    1. Edwin

      Just curious, what do you like about Blake Parker? I’ve never seen him pitch.

  5. Melrosepad

    Has anyone heard if Adrian Cardenas got an invite anywhere? I’ve been trying to keep an eye out as I had started following his minor league career with the Phillies.

  6. TonyP

    I’m trying to not get to excited about Baez because I’ve had about 35 years of busted prospects but there is a lot to be excited about….

    1. willis

      Ha…exactly. Keep the excitement tempered and you’ll be only mildly disappointed when all these dudes are busts. :)

  7. Tommy

    Does anyone know how we got Barret Loux from the Rangers for Jacob Brigham? That seems like a completely one-sided trade in favor of the Cubs, but I don’t remember hearing any details on it when it happened.

    1. TonyP

      Brigham had some health issues so we traded him back to the Rangers for Loux after the season.

    2. TWC

      See: http://www.bleachernation.com/2012/11/21/a-closer-look-at-new-cubs-pitching-prospect-barret-loux/

      The gist:
      “Apparently, when the Cubs and Rangers made their Geovany Soto deal, which sent the Cubs Brigham and a PTBNL (on which the Cubs are still waiting, by the way), they had a gentleman’s agreement to revisit the deal if Brigham’s elbow should give him problems. He was shut down after just two starts with the Cubs, so this trade is actually just the Rangers making things right.”

      1. Drew7

        Hippies….smh

        1. TWC

          I know, right?

      2. Tommy

        Thanks for the link, Tommy. I think we made out like bandits on that deal looking at the two player’s bio’s and stats.

        1. Kyle

          The way the trade worked out proves that both the Cubs and Rangers considered them equivalent values before the elbow injury.

    3. TonyP

      yeah what TWC said…

  8. Spriggs

    I’m glad to see that Baez is included. He is out here already in Mesa getting ready. I also saw Dunston Jr and Vogelbach today and yesterday.

    1. davidalanu

      Is Vogelbach looking like a lean, mean, raking machine or is he still…uh…husky?

      1. Spriggs

        Yes, still a little “husky”, but lost a little weight since last I saw him – in August. The part about the mean, raking machine is accurate!

  9. Kyle

    Feels like the Cubs have been laying the groundwork all winter for an aggressive Baez promotion schedule.

    1. Spriggs

      It will be fun watching him in spring training. Can’t wait.

  10. Hawkeyegrad

    I have a weird Baez question. My son got Baez’s autograph at the Cubs Convention and I noticed he was signing with his left hand. I know he bats and throws righty so I was thrown off by this. Has he ever been a switch hitter or is he one of those mixed handedness people?

    1. TWC

      Oh, sweet! You’ve got an reverse-negative autograph. It’s kinda like a baseball card error. That one can be worth a lot of money someday. Just ask Billy Ripken.

      1. Hawkeyegrad

        He was signing them all that way so it does not appear that he recieved a rare limited run reverse-negative autogrpah.

        1. TWC

          Honestly, the real reason is that Javier Baez does whateva the frack he wants.

      2. Stinky Pete

        You mean &^%* Face?

        1. TonyP

          I spent a lot of money on that damn card :-(

          1. Jimmy James

            I had that card out of the pack…my friend and I fought over it and bent it lol….

  11. Edwin

    It will be interesting to see if Baez can get better at drawing walks.

    1. manntastic

      If his autograph is any indication, I bet he can draw some walks with his left hand (ahthankyou)

      1. TWC

        ::rimshot::

  12. 5412

    Hi,

    This Baez thing is interesting to me. Recall a year ago he was getting nailed by opposing pitchers for admiring home runs in the AZ league. He had more than one occasion where he reacted like a young punk and needed to be taken aside for a little talk.

    I am wondering if the invite is as much for the mental side of his development as it is his skills. He didn’t do squat in the FSL league and I wondered if it may be because he was too close to where he grew up.

    Hopefully he lives up to his billing. If not, this also has the potential for the Cubs to be building him up for a super trade for a 28 year old stud on some other team.

    regards,
    5412

    1. Drew7

      1) him getting “nailed” was blown out of proportion. Sounded to me like an opposing coach throwing a tantrum after Baez owned his pitcher.

      2) Small. Sample. Size. Not to mention his team played once a week when got there due to all the rainouts.

      3) People need to quit being turned-off by swagger.

      1. TWC

        “3) People need to quit being turned-off by swagger.”

        That’s what I keep TELLING people. I do whateva I wanna do.

        1. DarthHater

          Clown comment, bro.

  13. RebuildMe

    This is probably a stupid question but everyone on the 40 man roster will be in ST as well correct?

  14. Colocubfan

    Not to throw a bucket of cold water on the Baez invite, but sometimes young players are also brought up to be showcased for a possible trade. Don’t yell at me, I’m just sayin’.

    1. Edwin

      How dare you.

    2. Kukini

      I still feel like we’re showcasing him to move him next off season for Stanton, or the like. Just seems too odd to me that we’re keeping him at SS.

      1. Drew7

        His value at SS is far greater than at 3B. If he can play handle it, you keep him rhere until he’s forced off of the position.

  15. Rcleven

    Freaking Brent Lillibridge?
    Has the glove. Can’t hit off a tee.
    Please Cubs don’t consider for the bench.

    1. Kyle

      He’s positioned quite nicely to be this year’s Mather and waste a couple of wins needlessly.

      1. davidalanu

        I remember a couple of years ago when he was with the White Sox and he was actually good. He hit a number of big home runs, and overall had a nice year. I remember thinking at the time: but wait, this is Brent Lillibridge, right? And since then he’s turned back into, well, Brent Lillibridge.

  16. Blublud's now Campana

    I stated a few months back before Brett commented on it that Baez would see the Major in 2013 and I was basicly call crazy. One of these days yall gone learn to listen to me. :-)

    1. Kyle

      You are still crazy and that’s still not happening.

    2. Tommy

      You’re crazy…not basically.

    3. Crazyhorse

      NO Chance too many things have to go wrong,,,,,,,,,,,,,, wait IT is the Cubs and it might be third base. This is just a developmental stage for him to interact with the major league team . It gives him insight on being on a 25 man roster even if its just spring training, It lets the veterans on the team to know this lean machine of potential .

      The only way Baez hit the show in 2013 is that the Cubs have three failures at Third base and the teams calls him for a spell in September but the probability of that happening is so low cause , i doubt Jed will rush a prospect prior to his baseball IQ given more experience in the minors so he can physically and mentally succeed at a major league level…

      1. Rich H

        I think it would be five failures at 3rd base before Baez so far. That would be Stewart, Vitters,Lake, Valbeuna, Watkins, and maybe even my dog Leo will get tried at 3rd base before Baez jumps from High A to the majors in one year.

        That being said I like that he is getting his feet wet this spring. Hopefully he sticks through a couple of cuts. Reassigning to minor league camp in the first cut may hurt his development more than not getting an invite at all.

      2. cheryl

        Could this spring training invite be meant to show him what the competition will be like there and if he does have a swelled head to kind of introduce him to reality? There’s nothing wrong with swagger as TWC says but there is something wrong when you start getting a reputation for showing people up or show-boating. I haven’t followed him that much so you all would know if that’s part of his makeup or if its a non-issue.

        1. AB

          Personally I love the attitude. Baseball is entertainment. Are you not entertained???

        2. TWC

          My take on this is that this is a no-lose deal for Theo and Jed. On one hand, they get to (hopefully, if he performs) showcase our #1 prospect for a while, as a PR thing or as a potential trade chip, and on the other hand, gets to give their #1 prospect a taste of real major leaguers.

          I mean, if you’re a #1 prospect in *any* system, you’re going to be invited to Spring Training, right? If you *were* a consensus #1 and you *weren’t* invited to ST, wouldn’t you be a little ticked?

          1. cheryl

            It may be great. But he’s not that far up the ladder and most didn’t see him up there this soon. And being he’s fairly new I wouldn’t be ticked. What would get me is having to spend too much time on the various levels before I get a shot at The Show.

            Your first paragraph TWC is what I hope of him. I’m looking forward to srring him in the spring.

  17. fromthemitten

    This list makes me wish that they would bring in a couple aging relievers who might still have some left in the tank on a minor league deal

  18. FastBall

    I would not doubt if Baez would be ready to play in the Majors this year. I have said it several times. It’s a trend in baseball to bring these position players up early and let them play. If he was a pitcher that would be kind of silly unless he was a phenom. But position player not so much. If he can hit .. he can hit anywhere. I actually think it’s harder to hit at the lower levels. The pitchers don’t have as much control and you can go entire games without seeing a good pitch to hit. I mean in the strike zone. At least at the major league level the ball is in the right zip code. I don’t believe Theo would be willing to start the Baez clock this year for any reason. That is unless he faces some good ML pitching in ST and just knocks the cover off the ball. Then he becomes like a Manny Machado with Orioles or a Starlin Castro. I would take the results those put up at a really young age. If he is good enough and he is ready enough let him play in the Majors.

    1. Rcleven

      That bat is just too raw.
      Wish you are right but he just seems to swing at everything presented to him right now.
      Another year at AAA would serve him well.

      1. Rcleven

        AA

        1. EvenBetterNewsV2.0

          Let’s just get through High A before we jump him up the organizational ladder.

          1. DarthHater

            Right. Because I’m sure you know a lot more about player development than does the FO.

  19. harold

    why cant we just get olt from rangers and the infield will be set for years . then get soriano and marmol out of here and now we build . the pitching is better than you think it is . go cubs go

  20. FastBall

    Wonder how Mark Grace is doing in the County Jail? 4 months in a County Jail is hard time to do. He is probably a little nervous about now. He still has a few hours of daylight left. Those 30 person community cells suck. But how would I know. I never got in trouble for anything in my life. You watch enough of those Prisoner and Jail shows on CNBC and all you can get the picture. Hope he shaved his head and got some swastika tatoo’s or he’s gonna be somebodies girlfriend.

    1. MichiganGoat

      Well I’ve worked and done research in detention (the school/education side both in juvenile and adult at the state and county level) yes it is quite rough although the shows make it out to be a little more dire than the actual experience. Still Gracey may be getting a new definition of slumpbuster in those four months ;)

  21. FastBall

    Ooops… I am sorry I didn’t mean to make anyone mad with my off color comment at the end of my last post. I take that one back.

    1. Mirky Waters

      Hey fastball, He’s in the work release program. So he leaves at 6 in the morning and doesn’t come back to jail until 6 at night. By that time all prisoners would already by back in their cells for the night. He will most likely not even be in contact with any prisoners. Even on weekends hell be lock up in his cell for 23 out of 24 hrs a day. Rest assured his manhood will be just fine

      1. MichiganGoat

        Oh in that case he has it much easier, the coverage and security is much higher during the hours that they have “day treatment” crowd in the center. He will also be participating in non-stop classes and therapy during those hours… if he was in Michigan he might even meet a goat.

  22. JoeCub23

    Brett,
    Do you see Greg Rohan getting any shot at making the club as a utility player? He plays several positions and has hit really well at every level.

  23. Kevin

    Arod is a douche!

    1. MichiganGoat

      a filthy stinking rich douche

  24. DReese

    What ever happened to Casey Weathers? From the Rockies deal? Is he gone?

    1. TWC

      He’s still sucking it up at Tennessee (AA).

      http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=weathe001cas

  25. Die hard

    Struck will break camp with team- a bulldog who will surprise

    1. Spriggs

      Small chance. If he does, he won’t stick

      1. cub2014

        how are you so sure

        1. AB

          Probably because the Cubs are paying Garza, Samardzija, Feldman, Villanueva, and Jackson starters money (Baker too, but sounds like he’ll start on the 60-man), and the cubs are thin at starting pitching in the upper minors.

  26. Joe Smith

    What about Johermyn Chavez I haven’t heard much but he seemed to be a prospect with huge power from the corner outfield. Where does he stand with te orginozation and can he make the big club or still not ready?

  27. Mike Taylor (no relation)

    Johermyn Chavez has a huge strikeout rate, but tons of power. He’s the right-handed version of Adam Dunn.

    Dayan Diaz could end up on the roster next year. He has a great K/BB ratio that the FO loves.

    Javier Baez will stay at SS until the FO figures out if he’s overvalued trade bait or not, before moving him to 2B or 3B.

    I’d say Jorge Soler is ahead of Baez in development. I’m really surprised he doesn’t get this NRI privilege as well.

    Luke on here seems to think that 1B/LF Greg Rohan (who played 3B in the winter league?) could make the club out of Spring Training. He has the bat for it and could be a good option at LF (vs RHP) and 3B (vs LHP) if we move Marmol and Soriano to make room.

    As for Mike Olt, if we acquire him for Soriano some how, I’d grant this off season a success. A core of Olt, Castro, Baez, Rizzo, Soler and possibly Almora, Castillo, and Jackson would be exciting to watch.

    Barring any trades, my Opening Day 25-man Roster prediction for 2013:
    LF Alfonso Soriano
    CF David DeJesus (L) / Dave Sappelt
    RF Nate Schierholtz (L) / Scott Hairston
    1B Anthony Rizzo (L) / Greg Rohan
    2B Darwin Barney
    3B Ian Stewart / Luis Valbuena (L)
    SS Starlin Castro
    C Welington Castillo / Dioner Navarro

    SP Matt Garza
    SP Jeff Samardzija
    SP Edwin Jackson
    SP Scott Baker
    SP Scott Feldman

    LR Carlos Villanueva
    LR Travis Wood (L)
    RP Cory Wade
    RP Shawn Camp
    SU James Russell (L)
    SU Kyuji Fujikawa
    CL Carlos Marmol

  28. 5412

    Hi,

    Guys, Baez is a kid with a chip on his shoulder which is not uncommon if you know his background. His maturity between the ears is just as important as his skills in the field.

    We are dealing with a kid who is incredibly talented, now has a lot of money, and a lot of growing up to do. He has a long way to go, and hopefully can do it in a short period of time.

    Don’t discount the incident where he got plunked, that is merely an example.

    regards,
    5412

    1. Spriggs

      Don’t underestimate the kid’s heart or what’s between his ears

    2. DocPeterWimsey

      If maturity between the ears was important to playing baseball, then how were guys like Ruth, Mantle, Brett, etc., so great? In Neverland, people who don’t grow up are said to have MLB syndrome….

    3. Drew7

      “Growing-up between the ears” simply isn’t as important as your average traditionalist makes it out to be. As Doc said, a majority of the all-time greats never did, and it certainly didn’t hinder them.

      The only maturity levels that matter to me are those of his bat and his glove.

  29. wiscubfan

    Having Baez invited to spring training make be a wake up call to Castro

    1. TWC

      Uh huh.

      “Hey, awesome, All Star shortstop of ours. Look, there’s a prospect that’s at least a season away from the majors who might, possibly, maybe, be pretty good when he gets up to the pros. So, you know, like, wake up. Or just continue being awesome. Whatever works for you. We’ll figure it out eventually. If we need to.”

      Something like that?

      1. MichiganGoat

        or hey Castro WAKE UP, we are about to give you another player of your caliber to give us an amazing young and talented IF, so WAKE UP and start dancing.

    2. DocPeterWimsey

      How would it be?

    3. MichiganGoat

      I don’t follow, if (and its an if that just is going to happen) Baez is progressing amazingly it will mean he is either 1-going to get packaged for a major trade next year or 2-will start to get groomed to play 3B. Either way it doesn’t do anything to Castro, the dream is for Castro and Baez to handle the left side of the IF but not to push either one of them out of a job.

    4. MichiganGoat

      Wow this comment prompted the beginning of a great joke: A hippie, robot, and goat walk into a bar.

      1. DocPeterWimsey

        Where they display zero emotional maturity and then wake up a lot of people on the way home. (Along which, the robot collects $$$ for a citizens arrest after turning in the hippy and is on his way to the goat jerky factory…..)

        1. MichiganGoat

          LOL… I was thinking somewhere in there the Hippie and Goat get into the a discussion about the scrappiness of IPA vs. Stout and then the Robot interrupts with a PhD course on Craft Beer Sabermetrics.

          1. DocPeterWimsey

            heh, I did used to homebrew in college! It was (and might still be) legal to buy beer-making equipment and ingredients at the age of 18, even if you couldn’t buy what you made until 21! I loved brewing: but back then (mid-1980′s), that was the only easy way to get a bock, IPA, etc. I wish that I had the time to do it.

            Still, funny and almost true story. The Biology GRE (which stand for Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Levels, I think) has (or had in the 1980′s) three sections: Ecology/Evolution, Anatomy, and Microbiology (Cellular stuff, genetics, etc.) I was good at the first two topics as an undergrad, but I took the bare minimum of micro because, well, it bored me. How well I remember getting 2 or 3 questions about yeast life cycles: which were the only ones I got right in that section!

            (OK, almost true: according to the scores, I got some others right, but I suspect that was like Matt Garza getting a hit; fill in enough dots and you are bound to do something right.)

        2. TWC

          Note to self: be wary of the robot.

          1. DocPeterWimsey

            Note to self: give TWC his note next time he has to call Little Jackie Paper….

            1. TWC

              Ha!

              This Doc/Bender guy is all right.

  30. macpete22

    Marlon Byrd minor league deal with the Mets
    For anybody that cares lol