CHICAGO -- After weeks -- nay, months -- of build-up, Theo Epstein and the Cubs have finally pulled the trigger on a trade, just under two weeks until the deadline.
But it's not Ryan Dempster or Matt Garza. Not even Alfonso Soriano or Darwin Barney.
The Cubs gave cash to the Boston Red Sox for right-handed reliever Justin Germano.
Germano was pitching for Boston's Triple-A affiliate before they purchased his contract on July. He only appeared for the big-league club once, hurling 5.2 scoreless innings in relief on July 7. He was designated for assignment on July 13.
The 29-year-old has pitched for the Padres, Reds and Indians in addition to the Red Sox. He carries a 4.91 ERA and 1.38 WHIP with 5.6 K9. He has thrown 258.2 big-league innings spanning 80 games, including 36 starts.
His best season came as a reliever with the Indians in '10, in which Germano had a 3.31 ERA and 0.99 WHIP.
Germano was working as a starter in Triple-A, with a 2.40 ERA and .90 WHIP in 16 starts.
He is expected to be available for the Cubs Friday night in St. Louis.
Germano figures to be Plan B in case Dempster -- who is slated to start Friday -- is dealt.
The Cubs designated Jairo Asencio for assignment to make room for Germano on the roster.
Among the reactions to the news that Bobby Valentine was possibly being considered to be the US amassador to Japan in President Donald Trump’s administration was this beauty from Kevin Youkilis.
Valentine famously called out Youkilis early in his stormy tenure as Red Sox manager in 2012. Remember? "I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason," Bobby V said of Youk at the time.
The Red Sox traded Youkilis to the White Sox for two not-future Hall of Famers, outfielder Brent Lillibridge and right-hander Zach Stewart, later that season.
Youkilis, now Tom Brady’s brother-in-law by the way, had a 21-game stint playing in Japan in 2014 before retiring from baseball.
Major league manager. Inventor of the wrap sandwich. Champion ballroom dancer. And…
US ambassador to Japan?
Bobby Valentine is on the short list for that position in President Donald Trump’s administration, according to a WEEI.com report.
The former Red Sox manager (fired after a 69-93 season and last-place finish in 2012), and ex-New York Mets and Texas Rangers, skipper, also managed the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons.
When asked by the New York Daily News if he's being considered for the post, Valentine responded: "I haven't been contacted by anyone on Trump's team."
Would he be interested?
"I don't like to deal in hypotheticals," Valentine told the Daily News.
Valentine, 66, has known the President-elect and Trump's brother Bob since the 1980s, is close to others on Trump’s transition team and has had preliminary discussions about the ambassador position, sources told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford.
Valentine, currently the athletic director of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., is also friendly with current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who, like Valentine, attended the University of Southern California.