The Chicago Cubs have optioned third baseman Kris Bryant, shortstop Addison Russell down to minor league camp, and demoted second baseman Javier Baez to Triple-A Iowa where they will start the season in the minors, according to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com.
#Cubs option Baez to Iowa. Bryant and Russell assigned to Minor league csmp
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) March 30, 2015
As expected the 23-year old Bryant will start the season in Iowa so that the Cubs can have him, essentially, for one extra season. He will likely be called up in late April or early May. This will put a hold on his service time and will help the Cubs out financially over the years. His agent, Scott Boras, is known for taking his clients to free agency, so this was a no-brainer.
Baez, 22, was more of a surprise, but nobody can argue against the demotion. The power-hitting second baseman posted a dismal 51 wRC+ in 229 plate appearances with Chicago last season and struck out 41.5% of the time.
Russell, 21, was acquired by the Cubs from the Athletics in the Jeff Samardzija trade last year and is considered a top prospect. He hasn’t seen the big leagues yet, but will likely be in Triple-A Iowa to start off the season. In 1041 minor league PA, he’s slashing .300/.379/.522 with 37 home runs.