It’s been reported by Chris Cotillo of SBNation that the Chicago Cubs have released left-handed reliever Phil Coke after designating him for assignment last week. Previously of the Detroit Tiger and New York Yankees, Coke was signed in the preseason in hopes that he could bolster a bullpen in need of lefty support and experience.

Coke, 32, appeared in 16 games for the Cubs this season, logging just 10 innings. He has a 6.30 ERA to go along with nine strike outs and three walks. His WHIP this season is a career worst 1.700.

As we near the end of Major League Baseball’s second month, eyes look toward to the July 31st trade deadline. Although still two month away, it’s in the back of everyone’s mind. This is big for a Cubs organization heading towards the deadline as a major buyer rather than as a seller because if it’s stockpile of young, prototypical position players.

Photo Credit to: Bob Levey/ Getty Images North America

Photo Credit to: Bob Levey/ Getty Images North America

One such possible target is standout utility man Ben Zobrist. Cubs skipper Joe Maddon seems to really enjoy having a utility player in the roster, and he is one of the best in the game.

Zobrist, 34, is in the last year of his contract and will be a free agent at the end of this season. His salary for 2015 is $7.5 million. Billy Beane, the Oakland A’s general manager, doesn’t like holding onto players as they head into free agency. He’s apt to listen to offers for his All-Star utility player. The Cubs, having some good young talent to possibly tempt Billy Beane into a deal  considering their current list of utility players haven’t quite worked out.

Photo Credit to: Christian Petersen/ Getty Images

Photo Credit to: Christian Petersen/ Getty Images

In Minor League news C.J. Edwards has been promoted to Triple-A Iowa. He started this season in Double-A Tennessee, but had done quite well for himself after an injury riddled 2014 campaign.

Edwards, 23, is 2-2 with a 2.66 ERA in 13 games this season. He’s tossed 23 2/3 innings and has tallied 36 strikeouts and 17 walks in that span. Edwards has also only given up one home run and 11 hits during his nearly two dozen innings pitched. He’s been talked about in “starter role” discussions, but for now he still looks to be getting primed for a reliever role. Most of what’s keeping him away from serious starter discussions is the fact that he’s yet to develop a solid backup pitch and decent third option. He does have three pitches (a 4-seam fastball, curve ball and change-up) but only his fastball is dependable. His curve is mediocre at best and the change-up lacks respectable accuracy more than half the time. As he’s promoted to Triple-A, his accuracy may be coming along, but time will tell if he’ll be Major League ready anytime soon.

About The Author

Robert Villarreal

Rob began his writing career in 2013 with SportsBlog.com. He was promoted to editor in 2014 and has had multiple works published both nationally and abroad. A 1999 graduate of Kishwaukee College, he's an experienced public address announcer who aspires to be in sports radio. Robert joined Baseball Essential in December 2014.

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