Cubs Acquire Henry Rodriguez from Nats

The Cubs have acquired 26-year old Venezuelan flame-throwing RHRP Henry Rodriguez from the Washington Nationals for minor league RHP Ian Dickson.

Dickson was the Cubs 35th round draft pick out of Lafayette College in 2011, and was used as both a starter and a reliever at Kane County this season, posting an ugly 6.88 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in 35.1 IP and 11 Games (3 GS). He was a candidate to get demoted to Boise (and probably released post-2013) if he hadn't been traded. 

Rodriguez was Designated for Assignment by the Nats on June 4th to make room on their 40-man roster for LHP Ian Kroll, so they had until Friday (6/14) to either trade him, release him, or send him outright to the minors. However, because it takes two days to get a player through waivers, Washington really only had until 2 PM (EDT) Wednesday (today) to trade him. (He was NOT placed on waivers, otherwise he could not have been traded).

Despite the 102+ MPH fastball, Rodriguez has struggled big-time with control this season (16 BB in 18 IP, and a career 98 BB in 144.2 IP), and that's probably why the Nationals lost their patience with him.  

Rodriguez is out of minor league options, and he will be (first time) eligible for salary arbitration post-2013. NOTE: Darwin BarneyCody Ransom, James Russell, Jeff Samardzija, Nate Schierholtz, Luis Valbuena, and Travis Wood are the other players presently on the Cubs 40-man roster who will be arbitration-eligible post-2013 (and Julio Borbon will probably be eligible for salary arbitration as a "Super Two"). 

The Cubs will need to drop a player from the 25-man roster when Rodriguez reports, and that will probably just be a matter of placing RHP Zach Putnam (sore elbow) on the 15-day DL.

RHP Eduardo Sanchez (who was Designated for Assignment to make room on the Cubs MLB 40-man roster for H. Rodriguez) does NOT have the right to elect free-agency if outrighted (he has not been outrighterd previously in his career, he has not accrued three years of MLB Service Time, and he was not a "Super Two" player post-2012). However, if he is outrighted he would automatically become an MLB Rule 55 minor league FA (so-called "six-year minor league free-agent") at 5 PM on the 5th day following the conclusion of the 2013 World Series, unless he agrees to a 2014 minor league successor contract prior to the deadline, or is added back to an MLB 40-man roster prior to the conclusion of the 2013 MLB regular season.

C-1B-3B Steve Clevenger (strained oblique) is eligible to be reintstated from the Cubs 60-day DL tomorrow (Thursday 6/13), and as much as Manager Dale Sveum likes the flexibility provided by having a 3rd catcher on the roster, it does not look like there will be room for Clevenger on the 25-man roster at this time. So look for the Cubs to reinstate Clevenger from the DL and then option him to Iowa. (He will get recalled if anything happens to Welington Castillo or Dioner Navarro, or whenever Navarro gets traded), Another player will need to be removed from the 40-man roster when Clevenger is reinstated, and that could very well be (that man) Putnam again, who could be transferred to the 60-day DL after spending one day on the 15-day DL.

MLB Article XX-B free-agents signed to Major League contracts after last season received automatic "no trade" rights through June 15th, so therefore Scott Baker, Shawn Camp, Scott Feldman, Edwin Jackson, Carlos Villanueva, Dioner Navarro, and Scott Hairston can be traded without having to give their permission beginning this coming Sunday. NOTE: Carlos Marmol and Alfonso Soriano also have "no trade" rights, but their "no trade" rights are contractural (Marmol through the 2013 season, and Soriano through 2014). 


AZ Phil - The Cubs took in quite a bit of cash when they sold the rights/contracts of Micah Hoffpauir, Bobby Scales, and Bryan LaHair (with their approval) to teams in Japan. Can the Cubs sell Ian Stewart to a team in Japan without his okay or would he need to approve the deal? I think I already know the answer here. But the movie Mr. Baseball sticks in my head. And as we all know evrything that happens in movies is true.

Q-MAN: When an MLB club sells a player to Japan, they don't sell his contract. 

What happens is, the player is given permission (in advance) by his MLB club to negotiate with an NPB (Japanese) club. So it's the player's choice to negotiate with an NPB club, but only after he receives permission from his MLB club. 

Then if the player reaches agreement on a contract with the NPB club, the player requests his Outright Release and the NPB club sends a cash payment to the MLB club (as happened with Hoffpauir, Scales, and LaHair). This cash payment is negotiable, and if it's not enough, the MLB club can just refuse to release the player.

If the NPB club and the MLB club do agree to the cash payment amount, then the MLB club releases the player.

If it's a minor league player (as was the case with Scales and would be the case with Ian Stewart), he just gets released. If the player is on the MLB club's 40-man roster (as was the case with  Hoffpauir and LaHair), the club places the player on Outright Release Waivers with the stipulation that the player is being given his release so that he can sign with a Japanese club. If he were to be claimed (and he could be), the player can decline the claim (all Outright Release Waiver claims have a player refusal right). 

The whole thing is kind of similar to the NPB posting system. It's just that the quality of player going from the U. S. to Japan doesn't match the quality of player who usually comes to the U. S. after being posted. Of course an NPB free-agent is not bound by the posting system, and an MLB free-agent doesn't have to request his release, so it only applies to players who are under a club's control.  

Thanks Phil. I appreciate the education.

Theo on Baez (and more):

“A lot of his errors have been extreme plays at the end of his range or weird things on rundowns or trying to do too much,” Epstein said. “He needs to polish that up. We actually feel better at this moment about his ability to play shortstop every day in the big leagues than we did on Opening Day because of the way he’s playing shortstop. He needs to clean it up but I have no doubt he can play shortstop at the big league level.”

"We actually feel better at this moment about his ability to play shortstop every day in the big leagues than we did on Opening Day"

You listening, Starlin?

26 pitches to get through the Cubs order the first time. Way to make 'em work.

Not making this up....the player in today's starting line-up with the highest Slugging % is....Travis Wood.

so can they do 100 losses again?

looks like they're going to try.

Might as well. Hopefully there are three outstanding players in the draft next year too.

Cubs are 7-21 against NL Central and 18-17 against the rest of baseball.

the Astros were weighing down the division clearly...

apparently twitter updated their widgets without telling anyone...anyway upper left box is fixed now.

It is a far more appeasing aesthitic...and any images tweeted show up now.

Jim [email protected]
#Cubs sign 9th-rder Charcer Burks for $170k. Texas HS OF, great workout right before the draft, ran 6.5 in 60, held own w/wood. #mlbdraft

for the 2nd time in 2 years i.stewart has closed his twitter account after saying/writing something stupid.

Hey everybody - as a daily reader I feel like I know some of you so I thought I'd pass on that we had our third child and first boy this morning. Drinks are on me - Cheers!

congrats on having sex. high-5!

...also on the kid...but mostly the sex.

Mazel Tov! How nice for you! As one who has three girls, I am confident you'll enjoy the male energy around the house.

Way to go Wang!

Make him a lefty.

Very impressed that you remembered my temporary user name during one of the site changes.

Thanks, everyone, for the well wishes. An exciting day, for sure

congrats Jumbo....

I presume he's named Ryno or Hawk?

I keed.

Ata boy, way to knock it straight

btw, there's a lot of "100mph" thrown around about h.rodriguez, but he's dropped his velocity the past few years.

he throws a lot more 96-98mph that touches 99+mph on occasions more-so than he's bringing 99-100+mph. he was bringing it at/near/over 100mph more consistently 09-10.

...still...97mph...hell yeah.

c.archer didn't fare so well tonight after a promising showing last time out vs BAL...though it didn't sting his ERA too badly.

103 pitches in 4 innings...ton of pitches in the 3rd and 4th. his control issues were worse than the 4 walks show (58-103 strikes-pitches).

4ip 4h 4bb 7k, 2er

Would the Cubs undo the Cashner and Archer trades today? Archer obviously ... Cashner TBA.

Rizzo is struggling again (5 for 32 in June), but I'm not as concerned about him as I am Castro.

I am beginning to question if Sveum is the right guy for this team right now. I know Sveum can't make these guys hit, but your two top core guys are looking really bad lately, and are clearly not on an upward trend. The Cubs have invested a ton of money on their success, and it's not happening.

And I know we don't expect much out of Barney hitting-wise, but a .281 OBP from a non-OPS second baseman isn't acceptable for a major league team.

Castillo should also be a better hitter than he is. He shows flashes, but ...

If a manager is supposed to get the best out of your players, either TheoCorp is doing a really lousy job of getting good players, or Sveum is doing a lousy job of getting the best out of these kids.

The TheoCorp regime is going to be measured by how well guys like Castro and Rizzo do. These guys are in their formative years in terms of development at the mlb level and right now Sveum is lording over some seriously bad numbers.

I was thinking the same -- it will be a tough mid-year performance review meeting for Dale.

Theo: "OK Dale, we agreed that your top prioriy this year was to develop the kids, who will be part of our future core -- and, of course, we hired you because you are a good hitting coach. Let's talk about the progress Castro, Rizzo, Castillo and Barney have made this year."

Dale: "Each has regressed significantly since last year. Castillo is the only one hitting over .250, and he has all of 11 RBI. Castro and Castillo openly reject the concept of OBP. Barney is god-awful; this could be his last year as a professional baseball player. Rizzo has hit one HR since May 6. On the plus side, Travis Wood is really clobbering the ball."

Theo: "uh, Dale?"

Dale: "Yeah?"

Theo: "Get the hell out of my office."

My first thought is that Theo is probably smart enough not to put much stock in a mid-year review, because he knows that 60 games or so is not enough of a sample size to gauge performance.

Rizzo's BABIP is 40 points below where it was last year, and his OPS is still comparable (.778 vs .805) and he has 100 fewer at-bats at this point, and he has been admittedly slumping the last few weeks. I would expect a natural rebound over the remaining 3.5 months, and he will end up having a nice season for his first full big league campaign at age 23.

Castillo's BA is about the same as last year, but his walks are way down and he has hit fewer home runs (though the same number of doubles). But we only have 194 PAs from this year to compare to 190 PAs from last year at this point. But he's a career .265 minor league hitter and a career .258 major league hitter, and hitting .256 this year. So I would guess his power will bounce back a bit and he will draw a few more walks as the season continues and that OPS will creep up by the end. And if he plays good defense and has an OPS close to 700 or so during his first full big league season at age 26 then I think everyone will be happy.

I think the main thing with those two guys is to see them get 150 games under their belts and not see any major regressions.

Over the last month (since May 14th) Barney's OPS is .645 and his career OPS is .647, last year it was .653. He just really struggled the first 25 days or so after coming off the DL. Does his defense makeup for the fact that his OPS is about 75-100 points worse than most starting second basemen? I don't know. But he's almost 28 and has nearly 1500 PAs. He is what he is I think, and expecting Dale or anyone else to improve him is probably unrealistic.

Castro is really scuffling, there is no denying that. But from comments from the Cubs brass it sounds like they think its growing pains as he works on parts of his game at the plate, and are hoping he will come out of this slump a better hitter for it. But we won't know that until the end of the season or even next year.

On the plus side, Valbuena's OPS is .760, which is 110 points higher than last year. I don't know if he can keep it up, but he sees a lot of pitches per at bat and walks a lot.

if the kids understand their roles...are putting their work in...aren't pissy towards outlook/organization...dale is doing his job, imo.

you can't really look at production and tie it to the manager unless it's being dragged down by "headcase issues" aggravated by the issues above.

if castro is sucking because he hates showing up for work, can't understand why he's being bounced around in the lineup, has to deal with a clubhouse he doesn't want to show up to, is getting a bit lazy with work because of a lack of being appropriately pushed, etc...that's a manager issue.

if workplace/environment issues are solid i can't blame castro's regression on the manager anymore than i can give total credit to him for valbuena/ransom becoming one the best 3rd base combos in the league.

COL/gray agree to terms.

assigned to Grand Junction (R)...season starts in about a week.

WAS gets a toss-in on the h.rodriguez trade from daytona (not really)

Mostly fluff on Vogelbach:

“He’s had a good year, so far,” said Brandon Hyde, the Chicago Cubs director of minor leagues. “He’s athletic. He has improved defensively. He has stayed on top of his conditioning. He does some things physically that we didn’t anticipate him doing.”

Despite his 6-foot, 250-pound frame, Vogelbach has deceptive speed on the basepaths to match his prowess as a power hitter. He has stolen three bases in four attempts.

“I’ve lost a lot of weight,” said Vogelbach, who has weighed as much as 268. “My body fat has gone down a ton. At 250, I’m in better shape than I’ve ever been in before.”

Wake me when trading season least Castro got a hit today.

...and then an error, sigh.

tie game though, my fantasy team would appreciate the win for Gregg at least.

and then a double...en fuego.

and now a second error...quite the game.

Third hit. And even on the outs, his plate discipline looks way better today. I hope it's not a fluke.

make that 2 errors...even though it wasn't a bad one because he had to hurry the throw and didn't miss by much (ball caught by rizzo, pulled him off the bag)...could have just as easily ruled a base hit without much argument.

cubs tie in 8th with 2 outs...woo.

wtf castro...bouncing a hiiiiigh one off the wall...because he's jogging to 1st not only did it not have a chance for a was a double that he didn't even reach 1st before the ball bounced off the ball because he was jogging to 1st.

he at least made it to 2nd...

So much Cubbery

tulo, cargo, and fowler all leave the COL game with injuries...damn.

fowler d2d with bruised knuckle (HBP), tulo going for a MRI on his ribs, cargo d2d with foot contusion (fouled ball off foot)

tulo broken the DL. the 12th 13th 14th.


...cubs pitchers with 20Ks through 14...masterful pen work all around (8ip 3h 0bb 14K, 6 pitchers)

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  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 4 hours 44 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 4 hours 45 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 14 hours 26 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 17 hours 24 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 17 hours 36 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 17 hours 45 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 17 hours 51 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 18 hours 9 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 18 hours 45 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 19 hours 3 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 19 hours 5 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 19 hours 23 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 19 hours 30 min ago view
  • so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.

    im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.

    crunch 20 hours 26 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 20 hours 43 min ago view
  • 9 pitches in and this game already rules.

    HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).

    ...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.

    crunch 20 hours 48 min ago view