2/18/2013 6:10 P.M. ET
Cubs deal Campana to desert for two righty prospects
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
MESA, Ariz. -- Tony Campana has spent the last week paying to hit at a batting cage in the Phoenix area. Now, the Diamondbacks will pay him.
The Cubs dealt the popular speedster to the Diamondbacks on Monday for a pair of 17-year-old Venezuelan right-handed pitchers: Erick Leal and Jesus Castillo.
"I had a feeling," Campana said as he packed his Cubs gear into a box. "I'm excited that I get to go somewhere else and try it out. I'm excited to go over there."
Campana, 26, led the Cubs with 30 stolen bases last season, but he didn't get on base consistently enough to utilize his speed. He was designated for assignment on Feb. 10. In 89 games last season, Campana batted .264 with a .308 on-base percentage.
"It's difficult to lose Tony from the organization," Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said. "Great person, he's a fantastic base stealer and a guy we really enjoyed getting to know. But ultimately you can only protect 40 guys on the roster, and he got caught up in the roster crunch. We have a little bit of depth in the outfield and less depth in pitching, and given that, it led us to designate Tony for assignment."
There was simply no room in the Cubs outfield for Campana.
"It's a little crowded here," Campana said. "It's good to get over there."
It's been a long week as he waited for some decision.
"I found a cage -- I was paying to hit in a cage and paying for a gym for the last week," Campana said. "I'm glad to be able to go hit and lift for free now.
"I knew there was a chance of this happening," he said about being designated. "I kind of made myself ready just in case it happened. I was glad there was a team out there that wanted to go get me. I'm excited now."
Campana was a hot topic at the Cubs Convention in January as fans asked Hoyer and others where the outfielder would play.
"It was kind of crazy," Campana said of the support. "I wasn't expecting that. I kind of expected [to be designated]. When [the fans] got so mad, it was a humbling experience for me."
Leal could play in the U.S. this year, but Castillo will likely stay in the Dominican Republic and play in the Dominican Summer League. Leal was 6-2 with a 2.44 ERA in 14 appearances for the DSL last season, striking out 70 over 70 innings. Castillo was 2-4 with a 5.40 ERA in 14 appearances in the DSL.
Garza to undergo MRI on strained lat muscle
MESA, Ariz. -- Cubs pitcher Matt Garza will undergo an MRI to determine the extent of a strained lat suffered Sunday during his first session of live batting practice.
Garza, who was facing batters for the first time since July 21, ended what was supposed to be a 40-pitch session after 20 because of discomfort in his left side. He missed the latter part of the season with a right elbow injury.
"The good news is his arm felt really strong and he was throwing really well," Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said Monday. "It's unfortunate for sure, and it's going to set him back a little bit, but we're still really confident."
There is no timetable for when Garza can resume throwing.
"At this point, it's a little bit of a wait and see," he said.
Garza was expected to have the MRI within the next 24 to 48 hours.
Hoyer was behind the batting cage when Garza was pitching. The right-hander stepped off the mound and started stretching.
"It wasn't the most fun live BP session to watch," Hoyer said. "He looked great and free and easy where you feel really good about what you're watching, and the next thing you know, you see a guy stretching his side.
"Right away, when you see a guy like that stretching, you think the worst. It was a bummer, but I'm glad his arm feels good, and Matt's in real good spirits because of that. It's the kind of injury that you're thankful happened in the first live BP. When these injuries happen in the last start of Spring Training, it really hurts you in the season."
A strained lat can be a lingering injury. Hoyer said the Cubs hope it's a mild strain and nothing more.
Garza, who was 5-7 with a 3.91 ERA in 18 starts last season, was one of the candidates to start Opening Day, but Cubs manager Dale Sveum said that decision doesn't have to be made until March 20.
"You can't do anything earlier than that just because unfortunate things like yesterday might happen, and then you'd have to regroup to do different things to get guys set up for the first day, third day of the season," Sveum said. "By [March 20], everybody needs to know what's going on and what their roles are going to be and when they're going to pitch."
Jeff Samardzija and Edwin Jackson are the other candidates for the Cubs' Opening Day assignment. Samardzija avoided injury in his live BP session on Monday, when he danced off the mound to avoid being hit by a comebacker from Darwin Barney.
"We don't need that," Barney said.
The Cubs' bunting tournament got under way in earnest on Monday, and bullpen catcher Andy Lane upset outfielder Dave Sappelt in first-round action.
The 64-player field has pitchers in one bracket and position players in another. Lane and video staffer Nate Halm, who beat front office and clubhouse staffers to secure the 64th spot, are the only non-roster personnel. Halm also advanced with a win over Rule 5 Draft pick Hector Rondon.
Outfielder David DeJesus won last year's inaugural tournament. He will face top prospect Jorge Soler in the first round.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.