As has been the case for many recent sports transactions, we learn of this one via Twitter, and in one case the player's own Twitter account, which has (apparently) now been deactivated.
First, this tweet from our friend Brett Taylor at Bleacher Nation, retweeting from Dave Sappelt's tweet:
Sounds like there's a shakeup coming. RT @sappysappelt6: See ya later Chicago going to the trenches— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) May 6, 2013
The thing is, it appears that Sappelt's account is no longer active -- click on it, you get nothing. But here's the mystery, apparently, solved:
It's official: C.R., native and #IowaCubs OF Ryan Sweeney is headed to Chicago. #Cubs #PCL— Tommy Birch (@TommyBirch) May 6, 2013
There has been no official announcement from the Cubs yet, but I'd say this means Sappelt is being demoted to Iowa, and Ryan Sweeney is headed to Chicago to join the Cubs, presumably in time for Monday night's game against the Rangers.
Sweeney has 1,900 major-league plate appearances since 2006, between the White Sox, Athletics and Red Sox. His best year was 2009, when he hit .293/.348/.407 in 534 PA for the A's. Sweeney, a good defensive outfielder without much power or speed, has been crushing Triple-A pitching; through Sunday he's hitting .337/.396/.627 with two doubles, two triples and six home runs in 83 at-bats. Sheer caution leads me to note that Sweeney has never done anything like that at the major-league level.
It makes the Cubs more lefthanded, which may or may not be a bad thing. Sweeney will serve as a LH bat off the bench, and presumably will play some center field, though in his big-league career he's a .225/.298/.281 hitter against lefthanded pitching (in 342 plate appearances). Here's a quote from Sweeney:
Sweeney: "It's a good feeling. I put in some hard work down here and hopefully I'll go up there and transfer it over." #IowaCubs #Cubs #PCL— Tommy Birch (@TommyBirch) May 6, 2013
Perhaps this is the first of several moves to come. Viewed by itself, it doesn't make that much sense. Stay tuned.