CHICAGO – The Cubs are clearing the way for highly touted Cuban prospect Jorge Soler.
They created a spot on the 40-man roster by designating pitcher Randy Wells for assignment before Wednesday’s series finale against the Mets. Right-hander Rafael Dolis was recalled from Triple-A Iowa.
Although general manager Jed Hoyer said Tuesday he had no updates regarding Soler, the move of Wells suggests the signing of the 20-year-old Cuban outfielder is imminent.
Though the Cubs and Soler have agreed to a nine-year, $30 million deal in principal, he must obtain a work visa and pass his physical. If Soler does not sign by July 2, the new collective bargaining agreement kicks in, which prevents international signings from exceeding $2.9 million.
Because Wells was designated for assignment and not sent to Iowa – which the Cubs could have chosen since they already used one of his options this season – another team can claim him off waivers. In 12 outings (four starts) with the Cubs, Wells posted a 1-2 record with a 5.34 ERA.
“The command and the walks still are a major issue that he’s got to get better at,” manager Dale Sveum said of Wells. “Those things are killing him, and the pitch count gets up so high he can’t even get to five innings. He’s got to go down and get better at that.”
Marmol’s milestone: Lost in the hoopla of Anthony Rizzo’s debut Tuesday, Carlos Marmol recorded his 100th career save.
In his seventh season, Marmol became the fourth reliever in Cubs history to reach the mark joining Lee Smith (180), Bruce Sutter (133) and Randy Myers (112). Marmol has regained his confidence on the mound since losing the closer role May 3 at Cincinnati. Since then he’s saved three games in three chances.
“It means a lot for myself,” Marmols said of his milestone. “ … I work to be as comfortable as I can be on the mound with my pitches working like they used to.”
Quick hits: In his second big league game with the Cubs, Rizzo went 1 for 4 with a double and a strikeout. … Starlin Castro leads National League shortstops with 92 hits and a .301 batting average.