Jim Hendry, barely taking a breath today, sent another pitcher to the American League. This also answers the question, "Who replaces Rich Hill on the 40-man roster?"
photo via cache.daylife.com
The Chicago Cubs today acquired outfielder Richie Robnett and infielder Justin Sellers from the Oakland Athletics for right-handed pitcher Michael Wuertz.
Robnett, 25, was selected by the Athletics in the first round (26th overall) of the 2004 Draft and has played the last five seasons in Oakland's system, advancing as high as Triple-A Sacramento. The left-handed batter and thrower was a Texas League mid-season and post-season All-Star with Double-A Midland in 2007 when he batted .267 (131-for-490) with 39 doubles, 18 home runs and 74 RBI in 120 games to earn a promotion to Triple-A for the second season in a row.
In 2008, Robnett was limited to 82 games due to early-season surgery to remove a tumor from his stomach. Upon his return, the five-foot-10, 212-pound Robnett spent the majority of the season in Triple-A and hit .236 (49-for-208) with 15 doubles, three home runs and 19 RBI. In five minor league campaigns, Robnett has hit .256 (444-for-1732) with 114 doubles, 58 home runs and 252 RBI in 449 games.
Robnett has been added to the Cubs' 40-man roster and will report to major league spring training later this month. Sellers will report to minor league camp.
Sellers, who turned 23 yesterday, was drafted by Oakland in the sixth round of the 2005 Draft. He spent an entire season in Double-A for the first time in 2008, batting .255 (112-for-439) with 15 doubles, eight triples, six home runs, 46 RBI and 10 stolen bases in 123 games for Midland. The five-foot-10, 155-pounder tied for third in the Texas League in triples and tied for 12th with 72 runs scored.
A middle infielder, Sellers played 63 games at shortstop and 60 games at second base in 2008. In four seasons in the Athletics minor league system, Sellers has played 285 games at shortstop and 128 games at second base. The right-handed batter and thrower has hit .256 (385-for-1504) with 70 doubles, 15 triples, 15 home runs and 145 RBI in 417 games.
I know nothing about either of these guys, and despite Robnett making the 40-man roster, he has little chance of making the team out of spring training. This probably gives Angel Guzman a better shot at the bullpen.