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Cubs veteran Chris Gimenez caught off guard by roster decision, vows to be ready

Gimenez

MIAMI — After a 4-2 loss to the Red Sox in their final exhibition game Tuesday, the Cubs take a day off Wednesday before making their roster official ahead of Thursday’s season opener against the Marlins.

With all the roster candidates wrapping up camp healthy, no surprises are expected — at least none since second-year catcher Victor Caratini was awarded the backup-catcher job over veteran backup Chris Gimenez.

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“I still think I match up very well with what I need,” said Gimenez, who has the added value of familiarity with new starter Yu Darvish, having been Darvish’s one-time personal catcher with the Rangers.

The Cubs agree with Gimenez. And the move might yet be temporary, depending on how much playing time manager Joe Maddon can find for Caratini, one of the organization’s top 10 prospects, who presumably would benefit from regular at-bats.

“The consensus was that he was ready, and there’s no denying that at all,” Gimenez said. “He deserves a chance, and I think they’re just going to try to see if they can make it work with the amount of at-bats he might potentially or might not be getting.”

Gimenez opens the season at Class AAA Iowa.

Extension talks tabled

As it has done every spring since taking charge, the front office explored contract extensions for some young core players this spring, but it was unable to reach agreements.

“We’ve made it clear that we’d love to extend some of these guys,” general manager Jed Hoyer said. “I won’t go into who we’ve talked to over the course of the spring. But obviously we have a lot of good young players, and we’d love to keep them longer than the six or seven years we control them. And we’ll keep talking to them.”

Nothing appears close, and talks typically go dormant once the season starts.

This and that

Right-hander Cory Mazzoni, a reliever acquired on waivers from the Giants in November, was claimed off waivers by the Dodgers.

• Setup man Pedro Strop made his fourth and final appearance, allowing a two-out double to Mike Olt in a scoreless inning. He’s expected to be on the roster for the opener.

Follow me on Twitter @GDubCub.

Email: gwittenmyer@suntimes.com

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