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MLB roundup: Cubs prospect suspended

The SportsXchange

The Chicago Cubs have had to deal with baseball's two oddest stories of the past two days.

Cubs highly prized prospect Jorge Soler was suspended five games Thursday for wielding a bat at the opposing dugout in a Class A baseball game.

Soler, a Cuban who signed a nine-year, $30 million contract with the Cubs during the offseason, was suspended by the Florida State League for his actions during Wednesday night's game between Cubs affiliate Daytona and Clearwater.

Soler exchanged words with Clearwater's Edgar Alonso after a play at second base, causing both dugouts to empty. After teams returned to their benches, Soler ran out of the Daytona toward the Clearwater dugout with a bat in hand.

"Jorge is tremendously remorseful about what happened. He understands what he did was wrong. He didn't sleep all night, up all night thinking about it. Very apologetic. He understands this can't happen again," said Cubs president Theo Epstein on Thursday. "According to Jorge, there was some back-and-forth with a player on the other team throughout most of the game. And then eventually something was said about Jorge's family, and that's when he lost his cool."

On Wednesday, a goat's severed head was left in a box addressed to Chicago Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts outside Wrigley Field, leading to a police investigation.

An unidentified man in an unmarked truck dropped the package off at the stadium, according to WBBM. The delivery was confirmed by the Cubs and captured on surveillance footage.

Cubs spokesman Julian Green told reporters that staff at the stadium discovered the package and phoned police.

The goat is symbolic of a curse that dates to the 1945 World Series, when Chicago tavern owner Bill Sianis was denied entry to Game 4 against the Detroit Tigers with his pet goat, "Murphy." He then cursed the team, and they haven't won since.

--Right-handed pitcher Aaron Harang is close to being traded for the second time in a week, going from the Colorado Rockies to the Seattle Mariners.

The 35-year-old Harang was acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers along with more than $4 million for Rockies catcher Ramon Hernandez on Saturday.

Thursday's deal to Seattle was pending approval of the commissioner's office because it also includes cash.

--Los Angeles Angels shortstop Erick Aybar received good news as X-rays on his bruised left heel showed no structural damage, according to MLB.com.

Aybar, 29, left Tuesday's game and was replaced by Brendan Harris. He's expected to miss another few games but should avoid a stint on the disabled list. A switch hitter, Aybar hit .321 in the team's first seven games.

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