Right-hander Justin Germano was ready for anything when he arrived in St. Louis after being acquired by the Cubs from the Red Sox for cash amid all the heated Dempster trade talk.
``We read stuff,'' said Germano, whose last outing was a 5 2/3-inning relief appearance two weeks ago and who didn't know if he'd be asked to start Friday. ``I had no idea. I saw that he could be traded [Friday], and I saw that I could start today. I still don't know what's going on.''
For now, the plan is to use him out of the bullpen in a similar role to Jairo Asencio, who was designated for assignment Thursday to make room for Germano.
-- The Cubs confirmed the $1.5 million signing of 22-year-old Dominican right-hander Juan Carlos Paniagua - a player who pitched two seasons in the Dominican Summer League under a different name before his contract was voided for fraudulent paperwork and he was made ineligible to sign for a year after that.
--Dale Sveum clarified recent comments to say his goal for the second half is to finish .500 or better for the season - acknowledging the degree of difficulty. ``You might come up a little short, but you're a lot better off than setting a crappy goal and coming up short with that,'' he said. ``Then you're really screwed.''