Cubs' Ramirez offers perspective on deadline
Traded in 2003, slugger sheds light on dealing with rumors
HOUSTON -- In July 2003, Aramis Ramirez's wife was expecting their first child. He began that month playing for the Pirates, but on July 22, the third baseman was dealt to the Cubs in a five-player trade.
"You never know what the future holds for you -- I'm glad I got traded," Ramirez said.
With the non-waiver Trade Deadline Saturday at 3 p.m. CT, the countdown is on. Ted Lilly (3-8, 3.88 ERA), who has drawn interest from teams looking for starting pitching, is scheduled to start Tuesday against the Astros. Cubs general manager Jim Hendry is not on this trip, opting to stay in Chicago.
There also were rumors Monday that teams were interested in first baseman Derrek Lee, who will be a free agent at the end of the season. However, Lee has a full no-trade clause -- Lilly has a partial no-trade clause -- and is owed nearly $5 million for the rest of the season. He's also batting .251.
"You can't worry about [the rumors]," Ramirez said. "I've been traded before, and I know what it's like. It's not fun when you're traded in the season. You have to move your family to another state, get a new place, meet new teammates. It happens everywhere and you can't worry about that. It's something you can't control."
Has anyone asked Ramirez about what happens at the deadline?
"The only one who always asks me is [Carlos] Marmol," Ramirez said of the Cubs' closer, "but I don't think he's going anywhere."
Ramirez said he likes what he sees of the Cubs' prospects.
"The future is bright here," he said. "You have three young good players in [Tyler] Colvin, [Starlin] Castro and [Andrew] Cashner. They have the talent to be good here for awhile. They have the pieces. That's [Hendry's] decision to decide what direction they're going to go."
Ramirez does have a $14.6 million player option for 2011.
"We'll wait and see," he said. "I want to stay here. We still have two months, and I haven't talked to my agent about it. Everybody knows I want to stay here. I'm guessing I'll stay here."
Soto day-to-day with injured foot
HOUSTON -- Cubs catcher Geovany Soto is day-to-day after fouling a ball off his left foot in the third inning of Monday night's 5-2 win over the Astros.
Soto had another at-bat in the sixth and was then lifted on defense. He tried to stay in the game, but his foot stiffened up, and the Cubs athletic trainers decided treatment was a better option. The ball hit him in the arch of his foot.
What about Tuesday?
"Let's see," Soto said. "It's not the bone, it's not a major thing. It's in a tough area. If I'm putting some weight on it now after ice, it's not a big thing."
Cubs manager Lou Piniella said he felt Soto would definitely be available Friday, when the team opens a weekend series in Colorado.
Ill Cashner rejoins Cubs in Houston
HOUSTON -- Cubs reliever Andrew Cashner rejoined the team after staying home Sunday to rest and get treatment for a sore throat.
Cashner, who received antibiotics, flew separately to Houston on Monday on a commercial flight. He's one of four rookies in the Cubs' bullpen.
"It's not easy to have a young bullpen and win baseball games," manager Lou Piniella said. "Experience is necessary, but our kids compete pretty well. What it forces our offense to do is score quickly, because you can't expect these kids to pitch four, five, six scoreless innings. They're gaining experience and rather quickly."
Josh Vitters, the Cubs' No. 1 Draft pick in 2007, most likely is done for the season after getting hit by a pitch on his left hand. His middle finger is broken. He was to be examined by a hand specialist in Chicago. ... Chris Archer threw six shutout innings, striking out five, in Double-A Tennessee's 4-0 win over Mississippi. Archer is 4-1 and has not given up an earned run in 28 1/3 innings since he was promoted from Class A Daytona to the Double-A team. On Monday, Archer was named the Southern League Pitcher of the Week for July 19-25. For the week, Archer was 2-0, giving up eight hits over 11 1/3 scoreless innings. He struck out 11. ... Ryan Dempster raised $225,000 at his foundation fundraiser last Wednesday at the House of Blues in Chicago. Proceeds benefit children with 22q (DiGeorge syndrome). ... The 2010 Under Armour All-America Baseball game will be played at Wrigley Field on Aug. 14. The game will showcase 36 of the top high school juniors and seniors. The game will be broadcast live on MLB Network at 12 p.m. CT.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.