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Thursday, July 31, 2014
Cubs notes: Fallout from trade deadline

By Jesse Rogers

CHICAGO – Another trade deadline has come and gone and, predictably, the Chicago Cubs were sellers. Their trade of reliever James Russell and versatile position player Emilio Bonifacio to the Atlanta Braves for Class A catcher Victor Caratini went down at about 2:45 p.m. CT -- 15 minutes before the deadline.

"In the world of trade deadlines, that’s a fair amount of time," general manager Jed Hoyer joked afterward.

Here’s some fallout from the move:

Schwarber effect: Hoyer was asked if the addition of the switch-hitting Caratini to Class A Kane County meant a permanent position change for Class A Daytona catcher and 2014 first-round pick Kyle Schwarber.

"No, he’s catching less, but that’s more to rest him after a long season." Hoyer said. "He'll do a lot of catching in instructional league. This does not affect him."

Pitcher Felix Doubront: The lefty starter/reliever was acquired for a player to be named later from the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday but is going on the disabled list with calf soreness.

"Sometimes, guys need a change of scenery," Hoyer said. "He’s been struggling. That's no secret. Different ballpark, different league. Hope that clicks together."

Doubront is 2-4 with a 6.07 ERA in 17 games, including 10 starts, this season. The Cubs plan to use him as a starter once he comes off the disabled list, most likely at Triple-A Iowa.

Pitcher Dan Straily: Acquired from the Oakland Athletics in the Jeff Samardzija deal, Straily's struggles were likened by Hoyer to Doubront's in that both have had success previously in the majors, though not this season.

"Straily not that much different than Doubront," Hoyer said of the right-hander. "He’s not having as strong a year. We know he can do it in the big leagues. We just need to get him back to that point."

Straily is 0-3 with a 5.85 ERA in four starts for Triple-A Iowa.

Cespedes/Milone: Hoyer was asked if there were any talks about outfielder Yoenis Cespedes or pitcher Tommy Milone, both of whom were traded by the Athletics on Thursday.

"[Our] deal with Oakland was pretty defined," Hoyer said.

In other words, minor league shortstop Addison Russell was the Cubs' target.

Waiver deals: Starting Friday, teams can put players through waivers, and if they clear, they can still be traded.

"We've already started work on that," Hoyer said. "That starts up tomorrow. I don’t know what’s going to happen in August."

Kyuji Fujikawa: His rehab stint is almost over, and the Cubs will soon recall the right-handed reliever, who has been recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Russell on playing in a pennant race: "That will be exciting. Something I’ve never experienced," the 28-year-old lefty said of joining the Braves, who are in the thick of the National League East and wild-card chases. "I’m sure there will be a lot of adrenaline, a lot of emotion. It will be fine. I'll see what I’m made out of."