Cubs Busy Shuffling the Deck Chairs

Well my browser crashed in midst of typing out something longer, but here's the quick version.

- Javier Baez debut was very Javier Baez. Lots of K's, lots of power and lots of swinging.

- Cubs activate Kyuji Fujikawa and put Nate Sureouts to rest, DFA'ing him.

- Cubs put in claim for RHP Jacob Turner, former Tigers top prospect and recently put on waivers by the Marlins. He is out of options already at age 23 which will make keeping him tough, but probably worth the chance. While he's sporting an ugly 5.97 ERA this year, the FIP is 4.00 and the velocity seems to be staying consistent. He can't seem to stay healthy, but which pitchers can at this point in the game? The K rates aren't very exciting and whatever made him the #26, #22 and #21 prospect in baseball according to Baseball America in 2010, 2011 and 2012 may not still be there, but might as well let Bosio take a crack at fixing him. He'll get a chance until the end of the year, a winter of work and next spring before Cubs really have to make a decision with him. Between him, Doubront, Wood, Jackson, Hendricks, Strailly and whatever other scrap heaps the Cubs muster, the back-end of the rotation and depth seem to be in good hands. Maybe the Cubs will pony up a ridiculous deal for Lester, Scherzer or Shields afterall.

Of course, I should mention the Cubs and Marlins actually have to work out a deal for Turner in the first place, but considering his $1M salary and the Cubs most likely willingness to take most, if not all of it on, I don't expect that to be an issue.

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Comments

http://www.baseballamerica.com/international/scouts-update-reports-rusne...

earlier mention of Cubs working out Rusney Castillo, BA throws out a Rajai Davis comp with a little more power

I doubt that the Cubs just suddenly decided to DFA Schierholtz, so the Cubs probably secured Trade Waivers on Schierholtz a couple of days ago and knew that no other club was interested enough to make a claim. Therefore, I think it's extremely likely that Schierholtz will just get released, and the Cubs will collect the pro-rated portion of the MLB minimum salary if and when Schierholtz signs with another club and gets called up to MLB (he'll probably get released, sign a minor league contract with a contender before the 8/31 post-season roster eligibility deadline, and then get a call-up when the season ends from whatever AAA club he is assigned).

stars are aligning...climate is changing...and tonight, ed jackson ain't pitching!

it was in the twitter sidebar, but cool article on minor league home run race, love the layout on this one

http://www.baseballamerica.com/great-minor-league-home-run-race-2/?sm_id...

B. LaHair minor league HR Champ in 2011...chuckle

One thing to keep in mind about waiver claims is that a club cannot claim a player off waivers and then trade the player to another club with a lower (worse) waiver claim priority, if another club between the two clubs also made a claim. 

So (for example), if the Cubs were to acquire Jacob Turner by waiver claim and then trade him to the Detroit Tigers, but some other team between the Cubs and the Tigers in the standings (let's say the Cardinals) also had put in a claim (which actually neither the Cubs nor the Tigers would have known about), the trade between the Cubs and the Tigers would be revoked, the Cubs waiver claim on Turner would also be revoked, and instead the team with the next-highest waiver claim priority that put in a claim (we're using the Cardinals in this example) would get Turner. 

Clubs have to be very careful to not claim a player off waivers and then trade the player to another club, at least not without a reasonable amount of time passing between the two transactions (and the MLB Commissioner would decide what is a reasonable amount of time, and who knows what he might consider reasonable?).

The idea here is that two clubs cannot collude to subvert the waiver claim priority process.    

However, a club picking high in the 1st round of the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft CAN select a player and then subsequently trade the player to a team selecting at the bottom of the 1st round, eveh though there were other clubs in-between who would have drafted the player if he had been available. Go figure.  

Also, if a club whose 40-man roster is full is awarded a waiver claim, the club must remove a player from its 40-man roster immediately to make room for the waiver claim, but the player dropped (usually by DFA) cannot be the player who was acquired off waivers. So if the Cubs are awarded Jacob Turner on a waiver claim, they canmot turn around and DFA Turner and trade him or put him back on waivers. Aniother player who was on the 40 when Turner was acquired has to be Designated for Assignment. Not Turner.

claim put in in Hamels, anyone think Cubs would take a shot? Looks like a steal at this point compared to what Lester and Scherzer will end up getting.

Here's what's left of his deal...plus pro-rated 22.5M from this year. He'll be 31 next season.

2015: $22.5 million
2016: $22.5 million
2017: $22.5 million
2018: $22.5 million
2019: $19 million option or $6 million buyout

Phils probably not all that concerned about money though and would want MLB ready players. With Amaro you never know, but I presume 1b and OF are priorties. Obviously Utley and Rollins are past their prime, but still under contract. So is Howard, but seems they're ready to cut him.

Would Cubs trade Castro? I doubt it, especially with Baez's usual learning curve, but could be wrong.

more Hamels contract info

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/08/09/year-by-year-breakdown-of-c...

There’s a slight twist with that 2019 option in that it vests and becomes a $24 million option if Hamels throws at least 400 innings in 2017-2018, including at least 200 innings in 2018, and isn’t on the disabled list at the end of 2018.

There’s also a bunch of bonuses for awards and All-Star appearances, which Zolecki details further, and the contract includes a limited no-trade clause.

getting j.turner for "free" would be neat and all, but unless he starts throwing something other than fastballs and sliders right over the plate i'm not all that interested, much less excited. sure, i'd love for the cubs to give him a shot on the cheap, but meh...

whatever happened to his curve-slider thing, anyway...the one that people were excited about?

his plain slider is kinda cruddy, but he's fallen in love with it recently and it's come at the expense of his curve-slider thing.

there's the whole velocity drop in the minors (before he hit the majors), but he still held promise. i wonder why he's retooled his set of pitches...it's kinda weird.

I guess I was excited because reports where his velocity was back and maybe working with Bosio on the no-pressure Cubs might be worth a shot. But I could easily be living in the past.

i totally believe he's worth a shot. i just wonder why he's retooling the stuff that got him to the bigs...especially when the results are bad enough to get him cut.

at worst he could get a shot at pen work if he wants to be a heavy 2-pitch guy...maybe even get back to that mid-90s velocity if he's only expected to throw an inning of work.

Jacob Turner has been starting right along for the Marlins this season (his most-recent start was last Sunday), and if the Cubs do acquire him they might consider going to a six-man rotation for the balance of the season.

The Cubs do have a 13-man pitching staff so they already have one too many relievers as is, rosters will expand from 25 to 40 in about three weeks which will allow the Cubs to add more bullpen arms from Iowa, and there is only one off day between now and September 4th so each of the six starters would pitch with a fairly common five days rest between starts, plus a six-man rotation would help limit Arrieta's 2014 innings and give Chris Bosio more of a chance to work with Turner between starts (allowing him to have two bullpen sessions between starts instead of just one, which is the case when a pitcher throws with only four days rest between starts).  

fwiw, a scouting report when he was called up by Tigers before trade for Sanchez

Turner is a 6-5, 210 pound right-handed hitter and thrower, born May 21, 1991. Turner can hit 95 MPH but usually works at 90-93, using a two-seamer to generate sinking action and ground balls rather than pure velocity. He mixes in a curveball and changeup, both rated highly-positively by scouts, and he's added a cutter this spring. With a four-pitch arsenal and a good feel for his craft, he has the upside of a number two starter. His velocity has returned to normal over the last six weeks and the Tigers are pleased with the progress of his secondary pitches.

Fangraphs has him at average velocity of 92.6 on his fastball

Btw Alcantara is really struggling. I like him as a 2B a lot more than CF and I don't like him thinking like a lead off hitter, thinking about OBP etc. he seems to like to take his cuts.

His defense at 2B was really slick against the dodgers.

He clearly needs a learning curve to adjust to MLB breaking pitches. He has good contact skills, so I presume he will with more time. As for batting first, he does look overmatched and perhaps deserves to be lower in the lineup, but hey, this season's toast so let him maximize his ABs, I say. He should also likely have almost every day to practice CF at this point as well.

renteria plan on getting the pen going or what? damn.

-edit- single, double, HR, double, single to start the inning and fuji finally gets up in the pen...along with a time buying mound visit by bosio

Not the slickest kid on the block.

Maybe the one stadium in baseball where it'd be nice to not flake out in your young ace. I don't get this guy at all: the players are very well prepared and inspired, and yet as a tactician he's clumsy at best and patently incompetent at worst.

Maybe Matt Clapp should wait until after the ballgame to tweet his astute comments about Arrieta's fine pitching and not giving up homeruns, etc.

yeah Capt. Happy, Arrieta totally deserves to wear this one and destroy his ERA

welcome back to the bigs fuji...here's men on 1st and 2nd, no outs, in colorado...have fun

HBP the bases loaded on his 1st batter.

cubbery rehab is complete.

btw, he's throwing 90-92mph and is a bit wild.

Cubs put claim on Phils Cole Hamels

unlikely to be moved

You mean Schierholtz for Hamels isn't a match made in heaven?

Good overview of the reasons for the unlikelihood of a trade here:

http://www.bleachernation.com/2014/08/07/report-ch...

Why put him on waivers if your expectation is a return of (for example) Bryant, Baez & another Top 10 prospect?

well the Phils didn't know who would put a claim in, that's probably the best answer. If a contender did, there's a chance they'd pony up some good prospects.

I think Almora, Edwards, Alcantara and a few other pieces would be pretty fair presuming Cubs take on all the money, but Phils would be wise to wait until offseason and have multiple suitors if they really wanted to trade him.

Even if the Phillies were inclined to make a trade involving Hamels, and even if Hamels waives his "no trade" and accepts a trade to the Cubs, any player going back to PHI cannot be a player on the Cubs MLB Active List (25-man roster) unless the Cubs have already secured Trade Waivers on that player, because a PTBNL cannot be on an MLB Active List (25-man roster) beginning at the moment the trade is filed with the MLB office until the PTBNL is announced. 

So (for example) if the Cubs were trading a package of prospects not on the 25-man roster to Philadelphia, the trade could get done (presuming the Phillies would be satisfied with the package), but if the Phils want a major legue player back in the deal (like Starlin Castro, Javy Baez, or even Arismendy Alcantara), even if the Cubs would be inclined to do that, the Cubs would have had to have secured Trade Waivers on Castro, Baez, and/or Alcantara before the 48-hour window to trade Hamels closes, and it takes two days to get a player through waivers. 

So unless the Cubs are willing to trade Kris Bryant (very unlikely), or unless the Phils are willing to accept a package of prospects back including the likes of C.J. Edwards, Pierce Johnson, Dan Vogelbach, and/or Billy McKinney (just for example), the trade probably can't happen, even if Hamels waives his NTC and even if the Phillies are willing to trade Hamels.

JON LESTER: If signed by the Cubs as a free-agent post-2014, he would cost the Cubs whatever salary he gets, but he would not cost the Cubs any players or a draft pick (because he was traded during the season, the A's cannot extend a Qualifying Offer to Lester after the World Series).  

MAX SCHERZER: if signed by the Cubs as a free-agent post-2014, he would cost the Cubs whatever salary he gets, but he would not cost the Cubs any players, although he would probably cost the Cubs their 2015 2nd round draft pick (presuming the Tigers extend a Qualifying Offer to Scherzer after the World Series). 

COLE HAMELS: If acquired by the Cubs from the Phillies, he would cost the Cubs whatever salary he is making, plus players (one or more of whom would likely be from the projected future core of the team).  

If Hamels waives his "no trade" and if the Phillies are willing to let him go just to get out from under his contract, then that's fine. Otherwise, signing Lester or Scherzer is the better option, and the Cubs won't know whether or not they will be able to sign Lester or Scherzer until the off season.  

better is a matter of opinion, Cubs have a chance here to get someone for 4 years that no one else can, could be worth having to outbid others for Scherzer and Lester. Yankees are definitely gonna be involved in those. I think both will get over 25M+ and 6-7 years with possibly no-trade clauses.

All depends on the cost of prospects of course....but they do have middle infield depth, sometimes you have to give up something to get something.

That all being said, I'd be disappointed if they moved Russell, Baez, Bryant or Castro. Although I guess if they trade Russell you could consider that they basically traded Samardzija for Hamels and got the extension they wanted.

First find out whether or not you can sign Lester or Scherzer, and if you can't, only then should you consider giving up core pieces for Hamels. And even then maybe not. David Price is FA post-2015. 

David Price might be a FA post 2015.

Hamels might not be available this offseason, might not be available now either, but it's worth a waiver claim and a discussion. Plus in the offseason, there are other teams for Amaro to talk with, who knows, maybe he's starting to feel pressure to make a move right now, although I doubt it.

Scherzer and Lester are probably going to get stupid deals this offseason. This doesn't seem like a front office that does stupid. Is it better to just pay money than give up prospects and pay money? Of course, but Hamels is going to be considerably cheaper and less years, so it could be worth some prospects (as I said Almora, Edwards, Alcantara would be a pretty good package considering the money Hamels is owed, but I'm guessing the Phillies want more than that).

It was a wise claim and worth seeing if they can make something work. They have enough depth that I don't think the "core" is quite set in stone yet. I'm guessing Rizzo, Castro, Baez, Bryant and probably Russell aren't going to get moved though. Soler, Almora, Alcantara I could see though not that I'm advocating it.

I don't understand why everyone is so eager for the Cubs to sign a megadeal for a megapitcher. Let these guys join Tanaka on the Yankee's DL. That's fine with me. The Cubs aren't going to need to worry about going deep in the playoffs next year anyway, most likely. Keep developing some pitchers in house and see if some studs get baked in the oven that way. Arrietta has number one potential - though I'd be tempted to shut him down for the year because his stuff is flattening out some and he seems to be wearing down a bit - AZ's idea of a six man rotation was kinda neat. Keep picking up the Turners and Arriettas of the world and see if something comes of that.

I have a feeling the Cubs will go for broke on a pitcher next year despite my sage advice, but I hope I don't see anybody who's clamoring for that bitching about an albatross contract after the inevitable physical breakdown.

Baez' swing makes for some awkward atbats and he'll clearly need time to adjust.

I am impressed that he has been making contact on his outs (already a slight adjustment from his first game). I think with a power swinger like him, it's going to be a fairly long process of figuring out how to balance power, contact and control - but his bat speed looks like it will play. fans gonna need to be patient tho.

Also - is he the biggest second baseman ever, or is it just me?

Sandberg 6'1 175
Baez 6'0 190
Jeff Kent 6'1 185

Utley is listed at 6'1 200

Dan Uggla 5'11", 210.
Rickie Weeks, 5'10" 215.
Robinson Cano, 6'0" 210.
Ian Kinsler, 6'0" 200.
Howie Kendrick, 5'10" 205.

Just for reference. But none of these guys are 21 and likely to put on more muscle weight.

I forgot Cano is a big guy

He looks more 'stocky' and muscle bound ie stronger than those guys. Just visually.

I'd say in a couple years he'll be one of the heaviest 2B or SS to play the game and may be headed to 3B due to range issues by his late 20s. Hanley Ramirez is listed 6'2 and 225, and he is one of the heaviest SS I can think of.

Even though Baez hates 3B, a projected future infield of Baez-Russell-Castro-Rizzo 3B-SS-2B-1B would probably be the best possible defensive configuration given the players involved.  

And then Bryant-Almora-Soler LF-CF-RF, with the possibility that Bryant & Soler could switch positions (even though Soler is a "natural" RF), or that Alcantara could play CF instead of being the IF-OF "supersub." 

Trading Castro and moving Alcantara to 2B would be another possible projection. 

Again, I'm only talking projection.

Jay Jackson still hanging around. From rotoworld:

Brewers acquired RHP Jay Jackson from the Pirates for cash considerations.

Jackson will report to Triple-A Nashville. The 26-year-old right-hander had registered a rough 4.89 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, and 87/36 K/BB ratio in 84 2/3 innings this season for the Pirates' Triple-A team in Indianapolis.

fwiw, Jayson Stark says Cubs are on Hamels approved trade list

hendricks nine up, nine down

bye bye baez # 2

Castro homer

Bye bye Baez#3

Guy is unreal

baez now slugging .929, due for a few days off

#3 for Baez

Yahtzee!

Moves into a tie for 9th amongst all NL rookies.

I'm trying to bear in mind that wherever Baez is going, Ty Griffin has been there before.

"Griffin was Javy Baez before Javy Baez was born"--David Haugh, Chicago Tribune, earlier this week.

(Griffin had fewer at-bats in the majors than Adam Greenberg.)

Hi power to the opposite field is the best part.

Yep, the good thing is pitchers can't just pitch him outside, he can handle that. He could be a game changer any time he's at bat. The bad thing is, he's a Jim Hendry-style free swinger and he'll swing at things he has no business swinging at. You take the bad with the good with Baez.

Bryant is similar, he'll go oppo, and he's more disciplined.

I think Bryant has a good chance to be the better overall offensive player--40+ HRs and a high OBP, and maybe less prone to long slumps if his eye holds out at the plate. Baez, on the other hand, is probably going to be a wild ride.

or he could adapt and learn with the new regime

I'm thinking as much about Baez's swing as his minor league numbers. Players I can think of with swings like his--big, with a lot of leg and arm motion, big rotation, long stride, powerful rear leg drive--have often been streaky and tended not to walk much. I would figure that's because they have to commit early. From what I've seen of Bryant, his swing looks more balanced and conventional.

Sheffield and Vlad seem like decent comps. I didn't realize Vlad hit .346 in 1250+ minor league PAs. If Javier fucking Baez mirrors the numbers of either one, well, that would be super.

comparing hitters to Vlad is liking comparing pitchers to Maddux, and besides the oft-quoted reference to Sheffield's wrists and bat speed, I don't think they are such decent comps.

Vlad K'd 118 times (less than 10%) versus 96 walks in the minors with 1262 PA's

Sheffield 130 K (8.8%) vs 160 BB in minors in 1473 PA's

Baez 350 K's (26%) versus 88 walks in 1350 PA's

I think Soriano or maybe Andruw Jones are better comps, and both of them had better K rates and K:BB rates in minors. Let's not forget that part of Baez's high profile is that he played SS his whole minor league career and folks think he could stick there, so it's power at a middle defensive position that is part of the hype there. Not that he wouldn't make for a good 3b-men or outfielder, but the shine dulls a bit.

That swing of Baez's isn't going to play well as he gets older. But, the kid's 21 years old. His approach at the plate will gradually change. He'll shorten his swing some on two strikes, at first, and eventually learn how to hit. I look at Baez how I'd look at a young flame thrower who has no idea how to actually pitch. Yesterday, already, he took some pitches out of the zone before he wound up and cranked one out, and reading his quotes he said Flambé (or was it Flande?) wouldn't throw him strikes and "had to throw the ball over the plate" because he had a 2-0 count. So it sounds like at 21 he's already figuring out that pitchers don't want to come near the plate if they can help it.

Comps are hard on him partly because he's so young. I also don't care that much about strikeouts. Better than watching Sureouts and his GDIP routine in the late innings every day. Josh Hamilton had a 28% strikeout rate in his worst strikeout year and still had an OPS of .930. We've seen Baez at 30%+ in the minors. He needs to keep it below that but I'm pretty confident he will just based on how he talks about how pitchers approach him.

As an aside, if these kids like Manny so much, I only have one thing to say...

Bring him up!!

Javier Baez can't understand why baseball is so easy.

Attention Baez. It's time to set some goals for yourself, son, and get a World Series trophy tattooed onto either side of your neck.

Looks like Lester has a perfect game going into the 6th ...

/crunched

Bam! bam!

Tribune tidbit (M Gonzales): Baez joined the Cardinals' Joe Cunningham (1954) as the only players in the modern era to hit 3 HR's in their first 3 major league games.

per Baseball America...

HITTER OF THE DAY: Billy McKinney, dh, high Class A Daytona (Cubs)

For all the talk of Addison Russell and his prospect status and his start in the Cubs organization, McKinney's great beginning has gotten obscured. McKinney, who was Oakland's No. 2 prospect before the trade, is slashing .330/.424/.464 in 28 games at Daytona and has knocked in 26 runs. That includes Thursday's 3-for-4 against Clearwater.

It was a heck of a night for the minors last night:

Bryant: 1-2, 2 BB, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI
Soler: 1-3, BB, R
Schwarber: 3-4, 2 BB, HR, 3 R, 3 RBI
Vogelbach: 1-4, 2 BB, HR, 3 R, 3 RBI
McKinney: 3-4, 2 BB, 2 R, RBI
Chesny Young: 2-5, 2B, R, RBI (hitting .409 in A-ball)
Caratini: 1-4, 3B, 2 RBI
Zagunis: 1-4, HR, R, 2 RBI

And don't forget Baez clubbed two homers yesterday afternoon. Oh, wait.

AZ Fall League News, season begins Oct 7th...

Mike Mordecai, a former big league infielder, will manage the Mesa Solar Sox, which will have players from the Cubs, Angels, Athletics, Blue Jays and Nationals. Southpaw Ron Villone (Cubs) and Matt Wise will serve as the pitching coaches, and Greg Sparks of Oakland's organization will be hitting coach.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article//managers-larry-pa...

The Trade Assignment Waivers 48-1/2 hour "claim window" for both Turner and Hamels closes at 1:30 PM (Eastern) today, so the Cubs will know for sure one way or the other regarding both players prior to today's game at Wrigley Field.  

If the Cubs acquire one or both players, they will have to remove a player from their MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) immediately, and the Cubs will also have to remove a player from their MLB Active List (25-man roster), too, but only when the player actually reports to the Cubs (players have 72 hours to report after being acquired in a trade or via waiver claim). 

AZ Phil, Marlins had a relief pitcher go down to injury last night. If they revoke Jacob Turner's waivers, can they just put him back on the roster? Any opinion if this is likely?

I believe because he was DFAed if the pull him back he will then have to go on outright waivers. There is no real incentive for them to do that, so they will almost certainly work out a trade.

keithlaw@keithlaw ·

Cubs acquire RHP Jacob Turner from Marlins for a couple of minor leaguers. Love this pickup for Chicago.

Yes! (Though I'd like to know which minor leaguers...)

Josh Vitters hasn't played for Iowa since Tuesday (he went 0-5), so he is probably the #1 DFA candidate if the Cubs get Turner. 

And then Chris Rusin would probably get optioned back to Iowa to make room for Turner on the 25-man roster once he reports (presuming the Cubs get him). 

If Junior Lake spends less than 20 days on Optional Assignment to the minors in 2014 he will not burn his last minor league option, and the Cubs will be able to send him down next season for an extended period of time. So Lake might get optioned to Iowa on August 13th and then get recalled on September 1st when rosters expand (for a total of 19 days on Optional Assignment in 2014, so his last option would not be spent). 

Mike Olt is using his second minor league option this season, so he will have one more next year, too.

Jorge Soler (4th option), Christian Villanueva, Logan Watkins, Matt Szczur (4th option), Chris Rusin, Blake Parker, Dan Straily, Justin Grimm, and Brett Jackson will all be using their last minor league options next year if they are optioned to the minors and spend at least 20 days on Optional Assignment (presuming they are all still on the 40 in 2015). So a lot of guys presently on the Cubs MLB 40-man roster will probably be out of options going into the 2016 season. 

And Neil Ramirez, Hector Rondon, Josh Vitters and Ryan Kalish will be out of minor league options in 2015. Rondon was eligible for a 4th minor league option this season, but it hasn't been used (and very likely will not be) and his eligibility for a 4th option will expire after this season. 

Turner a Cub for a pair of minor leaguers

Nice pick up.

Sullivan says "two low class-A pitchers"

https://twitter.com/PWSullivan/status/497799160041...

Hope it's not Blackburn or Tseng...or Underwood....or Torrez! LMAO

Hope it's not Blackburn or Tseng...or Underwood....or Torrez! LMAO

Law says "low A relievers, not prospects" https://twitter.com/keithlaw/status/49780068504464...

That couldn't be a much better deal if this is true.

Not sure if this piece on Turner vs. Perez has been posted here yet:

http://rotoscouting.com/one-mans-jacob-turner-is-a...

Tyler Bremer is one, 24 year old at Kane County

http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=bremer001tyl

Jose Arias is the other, new thread up.

Gotta say, I like the Doubront and Turner acquisitions to go along with the other pitching moves this front office has made (Arrieta, Strop, Ramirez, Grimm, Hammel, Feldman, Wood, Edwards, Black). The buy-lows have mostly paid off, with the exceptions of Jackson, Villanueva, Fujikawa, and maybe Vizcaino (have to wait and see), and you figure you've got to lose some.

Maholm as well, who became Vizcaino.

Oh yeah. Also, Villanueva probably don't belong on a list of failed buy-lows, since his peripherals are actually solid and this year's ERA is probably not indicative of his actual performance. But the ERA did seem to prevent the front office from flipping him this year.

There's been some other misses, Volstad and Scott Baker come to mind. Still, I would consider 50% success rate pretty good in the pitcher scrap heap market. If Doubront/Turner finds similar success as Baker/Feldman, I will be happy. Side note, not sure I would call 4 yrs/$52M for E-jax a buy low.

James McDonald has been a waste of $1 million.

Yeah whatever happened to that guy?

"buy low" isn't the right term for a few of these guys, but E-Jax was supposed to be a smart buy--the right age, the right peripherals, possibly undervalued because of lack of success in traditional statistical categories. Turns out he's been even worse than his past ERAs and W-L record had indicated. I had completely forgotten about Volstad and Baker, which is one of the nice aspects of the scrap-heap strategy--as long as there are a handful of successes (especially if you can turn them into rotation starters or flip them for quality prospects), the failures pretty much are free to fade into oblivion. As you say, even a 50% success rate is good for this maneuver.

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