Fittest loser
Article updated: 11/20/2012 7:14 PM

Cubs designate LaHair for assignment

The Cubs have designated first baseman Bryan LaHair for assignment.

The Cubs have designated first baseman Bryan LaHair for assignment.

 

Associated Press/September 2011

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The Cubs made a flurry of 40-man roster moves Tuesday, most of them procedural.

The biggest name to be left out was all-star first baseman Bryan LaHair, who was designated for assignment. It should turn out well for LaHair, though, as it's more than likely the Cubs will sell him to a team in Japan in the coming days.

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The 30-year-old LaHair made a major-league team out of spring training for the first time in his career in 2012 and was chosen by the players to the National League all-star team. However, he lost his job in late June to phenom Anthony Rizzo and spent most of the second half on the bench.

LaHair wound up with a hitting line of .259/.334/.430 with 16 home runs and 40 RBI. Despite the lack of playing time, LaHair's 16 homers were second most on the team to Alfonso Soriano's 32.

The Cubs also added four minor-league players to the 40-man roster: infielder Logan Watkins, third baseman Christian Villanueva and pitchers Trey McNutt and Rob Whitenack.

Among those not added to the 40-man and eligible to be taken by another team in December's Rule 5 draft was right-hander Nick Struck, the Cubs' minor-league pitcher of the year for 2012. Watkins was the organization's minor-league player of the year.

Cubs make minor trade:

The Cubs traded minor-league right-hander Jake Brigham to the Texas Rangers for minor-league right-hander Barret Loux and a player to be named later.

Brigham came to the Cubs July 31 from the Rangers in a trade for catcher Geovany Soto. But Brigham made only 2 starts for the Cubs' Class AA Tennessee club before an elbow strain ended his season.

Loux, 23, was the 2012 Class AA Texas League pitcher of the year after going 14-1 with a 3.47 ERA in 25 regular-season starts with Frisco, helping his club advance to the Texas League championship series.

TV talk:

Former big-league pitcher Jim Deshaies reportedly is a candidate for the analyst's job in the Cubs' TV booth, which became open when Bob Brenly left for a similar job in Arizona. Deshaies has been working as an analyst on Houston Astros broadcasts.

WGN-TV had no comment on the reports Tuesday. Deshaies is popular in Houston and is considered a sharp and witty analyst.

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