7/9/2013 12:39 A.M. ET
Cubs, Bryant working to beat Friday deadline
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- The Cubs and representatives for first-round pick Kris Bryant are continuing to talk in hopes of finalizing a deal before Friday's deadline.
Bryant is one of four first-round picks who remain unsigned, joining Colin Moran (Marlins), Phil Bickford (Blue Jays) and Aaron Judge (Yankees).
"There's no update," Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said Monday. "We basically have four or five days left of discussions. We're confident we'll get it done. We'll make it an exceptionally fair offer. If Kris wants to be a Cub and be a professional baseball player, I'm confident we'll get a deal done. Sometimes it takes a deadline to make a deal, and we have a deadline coming up shortly. In a lot of ways, I think it's a plus at this point."
Bryant was the second player taken in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft. The third baseman starred at San Diego, hitting 31 home runs, and was named College Player of the Year by Baseball America.
Wood not expected to pitch in All-Star Game
CHICAGO -- Cubs pitcher Travis Wood is an All-Star, but he most likely will not pitch in the July 16 game because the lefty is scheduled to start Sunday night.
Major League Baseball used to have a rule that stated any pitchers who started on the Sunday before the All-Star Game could not pitch in the actual game. But that rule was changed, and it's up to the team and the pitcher.
Wood is scheduled to start Sunday night against the Cardinals in the Cubs' last game before the break.
"Obviously, if there are no rainouts or anything like that, he'll pitch Sunday, so obviously he won't be able to pitch [in the All-Star Game]," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Monday. "The good thing about it is he'll be pitching Sunday night, which is a pretty good venue for a guy who deserves as much as anybody to be in the [All-Star] Game, and to pitch Sunday night against the Cardinals leading into the All-Star Game is promoting the All-Star Game as much as anything. That's about as good as you can get other than playing in it."
The Cubs aren't going to tweak the schedule so Wood can get one inning in the game, which will be played at Citi Field in New York.
"Hopefully, he gets to pitch in a lot more All-Star Games," Sveum said. "He made the team, and it's going to be a great experience. Whenever you go for the first time, it's an unbelievable experience. Sunday night will be a good venue to let him showcase and let everybody know he's in the All-Star Game."
Wood is the first Cubs left-hander to make the All-Star game since Ted Lilly in 2009. Lilly did not pitch in that game either.
The 84th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM also will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
Left-hander Raley fills bullpen need for Cubs
CHICAGO -- The Cubs needed a fresh arm, and recalled left-hander Brooks Raley from Triple-A Iowa to take the roster spot of outfielder Scott Hairston, who was traded to the Nationals earlier Monday.
Raley has been a starter at Iowa, posting a 6-6 record and 4.91 ERA. He did make one relief appearance.
"I've had some really good starts, and I've had some not-so-great ones," Raley said. "The numbers are what they are. You try to find a way to be consistent. I felt the last couple starts down there, I really found my repertoire again and was able to pound the zone and keep the ball down and good things happened."
He made his big league debut last August, going 1-2 with a 8.14 ERA in five starts. He was called up June 12-13, but did not appear in a game.
"It's nice to come into a locker room where you know some players," Raley said. "I've never played in [U.S. Cellular Field], and it's nice to come out here early."
How long will the Cubs go with an extra pitcher in the 'pen?
"That'll be dictated on what happens the next couple days with how long our starters go," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.
The Cubs don't have many options at Iowa to fill the outfield.
"[Junior] Lake is playing well, but we want to let him develop more," Sveum said. "There's not a whole lot of options right now. Right now our bullpen concern is more important than anything right now."
• Welington Castillo was scratched from the lineup Monday against the White Sox because he was feeling ill, and Luis Valbuena was inserted as the designated hitter.
Sveum wanted to have Alfonso Soriano as the designated hitter, but he changed course after outfielder Scott Hairston was traded earlier in the day to the Nationals.
"Fortunately or unfortunately, Sori was going to play either way, but I can't give his legs a day off," Sveum said.
Soriano began the day batting .342 in his last nine games, with three doubles, five homers and 14 RBIs. He then went 3-for-4 with a homer, four runs scored and a walk in the Cubs' 8-2 victory.
• Brian Bogusevic, sidelined with a sore left hamstring, is making progress but is still not available to play in the outfield.
"Each day, he's been better and better," Sveum said.
Sveum said he was hesitant to use Bogusevic as a pinch-hitter "unless he walks around the bases."
• Double-A Tennessee's Matt Szczur, Arismendy Alcantara, Christian Villanueva and Kyle Hendricks were named to the Southern League North Division All-Star team, and all of them will start the game. Szczur will bat leadoff and play left field, Alcantara will bat second and start at shortstop and Villanueva will bat seventh and play third base. Hendricks will start the game, to be played July 17.
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.