With 19 days to go until Cubs pitchers and catchers report to Mesa, and 24 days until the full squad is due, the Cubs have made another minor-league signing:
As noted, Baxter played his college ball at Vanderbilt, so he was there at the same time as current Cubs minor-league pitching coordinator Derek Johnson.
Baxter was the Padres' fourth-round pick in 2005, but never had any real success in the minors until 2010, when he hit .301/.382/.517 with 18 home runs and 22 steals for Triple-A Portland. The next season he went to the Mets via waivers and hit .263/.365/.413 in 211 plate appearances as a spare-part outfielder. Claimed on waivers again by the Dodgers last offseason, he had just seven big-league at-bats for L.A. (he played in both of the games the Dodgers played in Australia, plus two others in early April) and hit .289/.365/.439 for Triple-A Albuquerque. He's a lefthanded hitter.
He'll almost certainly get a NRI to spring training. I'm expecting the non-roster list to come out sometime next week and as soon as I get it, I'll post it. The Cubs generally have about 25 non-roster invitees in camp, some from the system and some outside signees like Baxter. He's likely headed to Iowa to be an injury-replacement guy.