Cubs Complete Trade for Nevin

The Cubs acquired AA pitcher Adam Harben from the Minnesota Twins to complete the Phil Nevin deal from last week. They also called up pitcher Jae-kuk Ryu and catcher Jose Reyes. To make room on the 40-man roster for Harben, the Cubs also put Jerome Williams on waivers and he was claimed by the Oakland Athletics. Sayonara Sir Williams! Harben was a 15th round pick of the Twins back in 2002 out of community college in Arkansas. Scout.com had him at #11 in their pre-season Twins prospect ranking but dropped him down to #38 when they revisited the list mid-season. Harben recently turned 23 and finished his AA season going 4-9 with a 3.96 ERA with 74K/67 BB/5 HR in 122.2 IP. I believe he's been shuttled between the pen and the rotation. Judging from his splits this year, he's pretty decent at getting righties out (.197 BA against) and keeps the ball on the ground (2.03 GO/FO ratio). Harben once threw in the high 90's, but his velocity starting taking a dip in 2005 and he throws in the low to mid 90's. He also features a slider and a change, both of which he seems to have trouble commanding. Sounds like he's about what you'd expect for an aging, one-month rental. A kid with some upside and tools, but all kinds of trouble putting them together. He was expected to go to the AFL for the Twins, so we'll see if the Cubs do some switching around. This will probably have to suffice for today's preview. Stupid job getting in the way. It's Juan Mateo versus Victor Santos. A loss and the Cubs take over last place in the division. Yeah 2006!
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Can anyone tell me, was J. Williams out of options?

yes

No he was in the minors. I am just glad that we kept John Mabry around to help with the pennant drive. Jerome Williams was obviously not going to help this team. Only a stupid franchise like Oakland would waste their time on a guy like that.

alright fine, I'll clarify. He would have been out of options next year and with the minor league season over, it's a moot point. Nobody wanted to give up anything for him, so it was either release him now or or release him later.

I doubt we'll see any great days from Jerome Williams. There's also about 10-15 guys in front of him on the depth chart here.

Bah... Williams. Who cares. I know, I know, he was a feel good story and everyone liked him. I'm more concerned with how they are going to dump Rusch. They can't leave him on the roster if they plan on doing any sort of winning next year.

Harben has only touched high 90s. He's always been 89-94 iirc.

Anyways, look at his K:BB pre/post all star splits. It was sub 1.00 the first half and over 2.00 the second half.

in the literal battle for last place (division and entire NL)...

J. Pierre cf
R. Theriot 2b
A. Ramirez 3b
D. Lee 1b
J. Jones rf
M. Murton lf
H. Blanco c
R. Cedeno ss

With Barrett down, you would think we would at leas some Soto. We know what we have in Blanco.

We need to know if Soto will be a worthwhile #2 catcher.

if anyone cares...

LHP Scott Koerber and 3B Josh Lansford are going to the Hawaii winter league. So far, that's all I've heard.

Koerber was supposed to go to instructs in Arizona and was a non-drafted FA in 2004. Was last in Peoria. Lansford was a 2006 draftee, round 6, played in Boise.

I am concerned about what offense the Cubs will be able to muster next year even if everyone is healthy.

I don't think that there is any way the Cubs can afford to start Pierre, Izturis and Cedeno next year without suffering greatly on offense. Of the positions that they play, the one to upgrade offensively is probably second base.

The problem is worsened if you figure that Barrett catches 130 games a year, tops, and sits the rest of the time.

Possible ways around this would include the following:

1. Sign Ray Durham (preferable) or Mark Loretta or Adam Kennedy as a second baseman and get rid of Cedeno.

2. Try to get Barrett in the lineup when he doesn't catch.

3. See if Pie can replace Pierre.

4. Obtain a righty bat to platoon with Jones and/or replace Jones with an OF that can hit lefties. Can Barrett play the OF?

For MLB to award the waiver claim to Oakland today, because of Sunday being a day when the MLB office is closed and with yesterday being a National Holiday, Jerome Williams had to have been placed on waivers last Friday, and it would have been unrelated to the acquisition of Adam Harben.

Once Harben was acquired and if the Cubs needed a spot on the 40-man roster for him (which was the case), Mark Prior could have been transferred to the 60-day DL (and having already spent close to 60 days on the DL, he would be eligible to be reactivated on September 12th, if he were in a position to return to action).

So it was not necessary to drop Jerome Williams to make room for Harben. The two transactions appear to be related, but were just coincidental.

#1 of 11: By Ryno (September 5, 2006 04:54 PM)
Can anyone tell me, was J. Williams out of options?

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RYNO: And Adam Harben has two options left.

Also, the only two players currently on the Cubs roster who will be out of minor league options next Spring Training are Freddie Bynum and Les Walrond, although it's likely that Walrond will be dropped from the 40-man roster after the close of the regular season to make room on the 40 for prospects like Jake Fox, Ryan Harvey, Chris Shaver, and Randy Wells, and Bynum could be dropped from the 40 as well, although that's a little less likely.

And I still don't know if Angel Guzman will get a 4th minor league option next season or not. If he doesn't get a 4th option year, he will be out of options next Spring Training. However, if Guzman has accumulated less than five "full seasons" (at least 60 days on an active MLB or minor league roster in a given season) by the end of this season, he gets a 4th option year.

I know 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2006 will be considered "full seasons" and 2004 and 2005 will not be. So it all depends on how many days Guzman spent on the active roster with the Cubs now defunct Venezuelan Summer League club in 2000. (And don't go by how many innings he pitched there... VSL clubs have 30-man rosters, and players are not removed from the roster if they are deactivated or placed on the DL unless there are more than 30 players needing spots, which was never the case in the VSL).

As ROB G said, the Twins had originally assigned Adam Harben to the Mesa Solar Sox in the AFL, but now that he has been traded, Harben's AFL assignment is canceled. However, the Cubs could assign him there, if one of the pitchers they originally assigned to the AFL (Grant Johnson, Lincoln Holdzkom, Clay Rapada, or Carmen Pignatiello) can't pitch for some reason. The trade also means the Twins will need to assign another pitcher to the Solar Sox to replace Harben.

BTW, the Mets still owe the Solar Sox two AA or AAA pitchers (perhaps RHP Matt Lindstrom and LHP Eddie Camacho?) and one AA or AAA outfielder. I suspect Lastings Milledge was originally going to be the outfielder, but now that he has been recalled and is playing with the Mets and could be part of their post-season roster, the Mets will probably have to find somebody else.

Cubs could have known by Friday that they were targeting Harben and needed to make a move. They also might have been trying to sneak Williams through hoping no one would notice in the middle of the pennant chase compared to the off-season. They knew they were going to have to make a move with him in the very near future.

ROB G: You could be right. It's possible that Hendry had decided last Friday to outright Williams to make room on the 40-man roster for Harben. But he also could just as easily have transferred Mark Prior to the 60-day DL.

But I doubt very much that Hendry was trying to sneak Jerome Williams through waivers during a pennant chase, because even if Williams had cleared waivers and had ben assigned outright to Iowa, he would have ben a six-year minor league FA on October 15th anyway.

On the positive side, the Cubs got $20,000 out of the deal when otherwise they would have lost him for nothing if he had cleared waivers and became a 6Y MLFA next month.

Adam Harben's last seven starts at AA:

2-3
3.97 ERA
40.1 IP
41 H
20 R (16 ER)
18 BB
36 K
2 HR
5 HBP
3 WP
1.46 WHIP

Not great, but his control was greatly improved from where it was in April-June. I have not seen Harben pitch, but he would seem to project along the lines of Justin Berg (the RHP the Cubs got about a year ago from the Yankees for Matt Lawton) or Todd Blackford (the RHP the Cubs got from the Braves about a year ago for Todd Hollandsworth), except Harben is slightly more advanced.

I agree, our lineup is gonna be mighty soft next year. Let's bring in Soriano baby.

Pierre
Murton
Aram
D-Lee
Soriano
Barrett
Jones
Izturis or Cedeno
and opening day Barry Zito starting opening day...now we are talking...of course the Cubs will probably pick up someone like Cliff Floyd instead...oh well

The Cubs fired Jerome Williams, plain and simmple. They apparently felt that they had tried everything with him, that nothing had worked, and it was time to move on.

And with Williams being out of options in 2007, his trade value was nil.

Maybe Williams doesnt amount to anything from here on out. But he is still only 25. has won double diget games in a season. And was still cheap. My point is why roster trash like Blanco,Mabry,Waldrond that has no future in the organization? Williams is the type of player you should be taking a chance on.

"I doubt we'll see any great days from Jerome Williams. There's also about 10-15 guys in front of him on the depth chart here."

That may be true Rob, but this still qualifies as one of the dumbest moves of Hendry's tenure. Sure, I know it's more important see a month of Mabry or Miller. Or that Les Walrond or Glendon Rusch have a brighter future than Williams. Or that it's more important to get Prior back to the majors this year rather than transfer him to the 60 day DL to make room for the stiff from Minnesota. The mgmt of this team is devoid of rational thought. Shit the A's stated they've been after Williams since he was with the Giants. Ya think Hendry could have gotten something rather than just set Williams adrift on the wiaver wire.

I would venture a solid guess that Hendry did try and get something for Williams and he's been trying all season.

For whatever reason, he fell far out of the Cubs favor very quickly.

"I would venture a solid guess that Hendry did try and get something for Williams and he's been trying all season."

So why not keep trying until the end of ST next year? Giving up now seems short sighted and totally silly. Typical Cubs managment, I guess.

Any chance Mulder coming to the Cubs Million Dollar Rehab Club in 2007?

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2...

If he was a minor league free agent after this year as AZ Phil says, they had until October I believe to move him. You don't get put on waivers before being floated to other teams usually.

This is nothing more than JVB part 2, no one is going to miss him.

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