01/27/11 5:38 PM EST
Cubs invite 21 non-roster players to camp
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
On Thursday, the Cubs announced they agreed to terms with right-handed pitcher Braden Looper and infielder Augie Ojeda on Minor League contracts with the Spring Training invites. Looper, 36, holds a 72-65 career record with 103 saves in parts of 12 big league seasons. He has made 670 appearances, with 97 coming as a starter. His last season in the Majors came in 2009, when Looper posted a 14-7 record and 5.22 ERA with the Brewers.
Ojeda, 36, was a fan favorite at Wrigley Field during his stint with the Cubs from 2000-03. The utility infielder has played second, third and shortstop during his career, and the switch-hitter batted .190 in 59 games for Arizona last season.
Angel Guzman, 29, returns for his 12th year in the Cubs' organization after missing the 2010 campaign following season-ending arthroscopic right shoulder surgery last Spring Training. Guzman's absence was a huge loss for the Cubs' bullpen, after the right-hander produced a 3-3 record with a 2.95 ERA over 55 appearances in 2009.
Reed Johnson, 34, is part of this non-roster invitee list, coming back to the Cubs after playing for the Dodgers during the 2010 season. The hard-nosed outfielder played two seasons for the Cubs from 2008-09, hitting .287 with 31 doubles, 10 home runs, 72 RBIs, 75 runs scored and a .348 on-base percentage over 174 games. Johnson is a career .281 hitter.
Top prospects such as pitchers Chris Carpenter and Trey McNutt, outfielder Brett Jackson and infielder Josh Vitters all will be part of 2011 Spring Training, beginning on Feb. 13, when pitchers and catchers report to Mesa, Ariz. Their first workout comes on Feb. 14, with position players reporting to camp on Feb. 18 and the first full workout of the Mike Quade era taking place on Feb. 19.
Jay Jackson, Todd Wellemeyer and left-hander Scott Rice round out the non-roster pitchers with a Spring Training invite, as well as catchers Steve Clevenger and Chris Robinson. Seven infielders -- Matt Camp, Bryan LaHair, Scott Moore, Ojeda, Bobby Scales, Marquez Smith and Vitters -- have also been invited. Jim Adduci, Luis Montanez and Brad Snyder complete the outfield invites.