A trio of Cubs migrated to a new camp as Kris Bryant, Albert Almora and Jorge Soler were reassigned by Chicago in a busy day of movement Wednesday. The Indians also opted to send their top prospect, Francisco Lindor, to the Minor League camp.
None of the three had been expected to open the season with the Cubs. Bryant, MLB.com's No. 9 prospect, saw little action in Spring Training, slugging two homers in nine at-bats. Almora also achieved success in little playing time, going 5-for-9, while Soler finished 2-for-8.
"We're glad they're Cubbies," manager Rick Renteria told MLB.com's Carrie Muskat. "They've shown their ability to be professionals here in terms of how they carried themselves, some of the performances they had in the course of the spring. Now it's time for them to get down there and start getting more at-bats and start getting ready for the regular season for themselves and continue to develop and improve on their skill sets. It's like anything, all players are a little disappointed, but they know there's a reason and purpose for what we do."
There remains a strong chance that the trio could end up together this year, with Soler being assigned to Double-A Tennessee. Bryant finished 2013 in Class A Advanced Daytona, making him a fair bet to play for the Smokies this year. Almora, MLB.com's No. 18 prospect, spent last season in Class A Kane County.
Lindor, a 20-year-old shortstop who follows Bryant on MLB.com's overall rankings at No. 10, split last season between Class A Advanced Carolina and Double-A Akron. Lindor missed the final month of 2013 with a lower back strain and ended the season with a .303/.380/.407 slash line while stealing 25 bases.
Meanwhile, Justin Nicolino was assigned to Minor League camp by the Marlins and is expected to begin the year in Double-A Jacksonville, making the Southern League a hot ticket for prospect watchers. MLB.com's No. 81 prospect was 8-4 in 27 Minor League starts, nine of which were made for the Suns.
And former teammates A.J. Cole and Robbie Ray were reassigned by their respective clubs, Cole by the Nationals and Ray by the Tigers. Ray was traded to Detroit by Washington during the offseason for pitcher Doug Fister. Cole stands at No. 69 on MLB.com's Top 100 while Ray checks in at No. 97. The pair pitched together last year in Double-A Harrisburg.