Deadline One Month Away

The Deadline for signing players selected in this past June's Rule 4 Draft ("1st-Year Player Draft") is a month from today (August 17th). The deadline is normally  August 15th, but MLB has extended it by two days because August 15th falls on a Saturday in 2009. There is no deadline for signing college seniors who have exhausted their eligibilty, but the Cubs have already signed all of the college seniors they drafted this year.

The Cubs have signed 25 of the 50 players they selected in the June Draft, but two of the players they signed (17th round pick RHP B. J. Dail and 23rd round pick OF Jeffrey Pruitt) had their contracts voided last week and are now free-agents. (Even though their contracts were voided, Dail and Pruitt have probably lost their remaining college eligibility) 

The exact reason for the contracts being voided has not been disclosed, but it could be because a player tested positive for a banned substance, or a pre-existing medical condition was discovered, or because the club failed to submit a contract to the MLB office in a timely manner, or failed to add a player to a minor league reserve list within 15 days after signing the player. Since the Cubs got fined a reported $500K for screwing up contracts last year, I'll put my money on a club error as the reason Dail and Pruitt have been declared free-agents.

Of the remaining 23 players selected in last month's draft who are on Cubs minor league rosters, INF D. J. Fitzgerald (22nd round pick out of Dyersburg State CC) and catcher Richard Jones (9th round pick out of The Citadel) have had the most-impressive debuts. Fitzgerald hit .500+ for the AZL Cubs (Mesa) before getting promoted all the way up to Peoria, and Jones led the AZL in HR before getting moved up to Boise yesterday.

1st round pick CF Brett Jackson (Cal) has been every bit as good as advertised and is doing very well at Boise, and 4th round pick LHP Chris Rusin (U. of Kentucky) made his pro debut last night for the AZL Cubs at Fitch Park (throwing two shutout innings), and should get moved up to Boise shortly. Drafted as a college senior, Rusin is a polished lefty starter with a full-array of pitches, and so he could move quickly through the system.

Also, LHP John Mincone (11th round pick out of Suffolk CC - West in New York) and Canadian 3B-LF Bobby Wagner (38th round pick out of Panola JC in Texas) have looked good at Mesa, and both could get promoted up to Boise very soon, too.

And SS Wes Darvill,(Langley, BC) has reported to Fitch Park and is playing for the AZL Cubs after completing his U. S, and Cuban tour with the Canadian Junior National team.

2nd round pick 2B D. J. LeMahieu (LSU), 3rd round pick LHP Austin Kirk (Owasso HS - Owasso, OK), and 6th round pick LHP-CF Brooks Raley (Texas A&M) are the highest 2009 draft picks who remain unsigned, although LSU Coach (and Jim Hendry's good buddy) Pat Mainieri has told the local Baton Rouge media that LeMahieu should be signing soon with the Cubs.

If the Cubs are unable to sign LeMahieu or Kirk by August 17th, they would receive compensation picks in next June's draft (a pick one slot lower in the 2nd round for failing to sign 2nd round pick LeMahieu, and a "sandwich" pick between the 3rd and 4th round if they can't sign 3rd round pick Kirk). Clubs receive no compensation if they are unable to sign a player selected in a round below the 3rd, however.

And if it turns out that the Cubs are unable to sign LeMahieu, Kirk, and/or Raley, they might take the money they have put away to sign those three and seriously pursue one or two of the high risk/high reward high school kids who otherwise might be considered "unsignable," like Chad Taylor, Keenyn Walker, Sergio Burruel, Daniel Sheppard, Eric Whaley, Addison Dunn, or John Nasshan.   

 

2009 RULE 4 DRAFT

SIGNED:

NOTE: click on player's name for current minor league stats

1. Brett Jackson, OF (Cal) - at BOISE
4. Chris Rusin, LHP (Kentucky) - at AZL Cubs
5. Wes Darvill, SS (Langley, BC) - at AZL Cubs
7. Blair Springfield, IF-OF (MacArthur HS – Decatur, IL) - at AZL Cubs
8. Robert Whitenack, RHP (SUNY – Old Westbury) - at BOISE
9. Richard Jones, C (The Citadel) - at BOISE
10. Charles Thomas, 3B-1B (Edward Waters College) - at AZL Cubs
11. John Mincone, LHP (Suffolk CC – West) - at AZL Cubs
12. Runey Davis, OF (Howard JC) - at BOISE
14. Danny Keefe, RHP (U. of Tampa) - at BOISE
15. Cody Shields, OF (Auburn U. – Montgomery) - AZL Cubs 60-day DL (TJS)
18. Matt Williams, C (Duke) - at BOISE
21. Greg Rohan, 1B-3B (Kent State) - at BOISE
22. D. J. Fitzgerald, INF (Dyersburg State CC) - at PEORIA
25. Justin Bour, 1B (George Mason) - at BOISE
26. Steve Grife, RHP (Mercyhurst College) - at AZL Cubs
27. Corey Martin, RHP (Western Carolina) - at BOISE
28. Jordan Petraitis, INF (Miami U. of Ohio) - at AZL Cubs
29. Tim Clubb, RHP (Missouri State) - at AZL Cubs
32. Trey McNutt, RHP (Shelton State CC) - at AZL Cubs
38. Bobby Wagner, 3B-OF (Panola JC) - at AZL Cubs
41. Jake Schmidt, RHP (Concordia U. – St. Paul) - AZL Cubs 60-day DL (unknown)
46. Glenn Cook, OF (U. of Miami) - at AZL Cubs

2009 Non-Drafted Free-Agents (NDFA) SIGNED:

Daley Cox, LHP (Santa Fe CC) - at AZL Cubs
Jesse Ginley, RHP (St. Petersburg CC) - at AZL Cubs

 

SIGNED - CONTRACT SUBSEQUENTLY VOIDED:

17. B. J. Dail, RHP (Mt. Olive College)
23. Jeffrey Pruitt, OF (Cal State – Northridge)

 

UNSIGNED (deadline is August 17th):

2. D. J. LeMahieu, 2B (LSU) - draft-eligible SOPH
3. Austin Kirk, LHP (Owasso HS – Owasso, OK) - signed NLI with U. of Oklahoma
6. Brooks Raley, LHP-OF (Texas A&M) - draft eligible SOPH
13. Chad Taylor, SS-RHP (Jefferson HS – Tampa, FL) - signed NLI with U. of South Florida
16. Keenyn Walker, OF (Judge Memorial Catholic HS – Salt Lake City) - signed NLI with Central Arizona JC
19. Sergio Burruel, C (Trevor Browne HS – Phoenix, AZ) - signed NLI with Central Arizona JC
20. Eric Erickson, LHP (U. of Miami) - JR (rehabbing from TJS)
24. Gerardo Esquivel, RHP (De La Salle Institute – Chicago, IL) - signed NLI with Kansas State
30. Daniel Sheppard, C (Downers Grove North HS – Downers Grove, IL) - signed NLI with U. of Iowa
31. Andrew Clark, 1B (U. of Louisville) - JR
33. John Lambert, LHP (NC State) - JR
34. Rett Varner, RHP-OF (UT – Arlington) - JR
35. Kevin David, C (Oklahoma State) - draft eligible SOPH
36. Brandon May, IF-OF (U. of Alabama) - JR
37. Peter Mooney, SS (Palm Beach CC) - JC FRESH
39. Nick Struck, RHP (Mt. Hood CC) - JC FRESH (will transfer to U. of Hawaii)
40. Eric Whaley, RHP (Cardinal Gibbons HS – Ft. Lauderdale, FL) - signed NLI with LSU
42. Trey Ford, SS (Chaparral HS – Scottsdale, AZ) - signed NLI with Chandler-Gilbert CC
43. Colin Kaepernick, RHP (U. of Nevada) - JR
44. Frank DeJiulio, RHP (Daytona State CC) - JC FRESH
45. Addison Dunn, RHP (Warren Area HS – Warren, PA) – signed NLI with Kent State
47. Joey Jocketty, 3B (Ladue Horton Watkins HS – St. Louis, MO) - will attend Mami U. of Ohio 
48. John Nasshan, RHP (Niles West HS – Skokie, IL) - signed NLI with Bradley U.
49. Christian Segar, OF (McQuaid Jesuit HS – Brighton, NY) - signed NLI with Bradley U.
50. Zach Cleveland, RHP (Central Arizona JC) - JC SOPH (will transfer to U. of New Mexico)

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Comments

Walt's son chose college over the Cubs which induced a snicker from the Reds announcer, Marty Brennaman. Go figure. Marty's son THommy mentioned something interesting last night on the Red's broadcast; It seems the Reds haven't been doing pregame defensive practice drills. Hmmm. I remember hearing this about Dusty's Cubs. How about Dusty's "emphasis on the fundamentals?"

Az Phil, any updates on Dae Eun Rhee?
Thanks

The Red Sox have designated shortstop Julio Lugo for assignment.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4337127

"According to a baseball source, at least three teams have indicated some interest in Lugo. The teams are the Mets, Cardinals and Cubs, according to the source."

http://myespn.go.com/blogs/sweetspot/0-4-70/Red-So...

Expensive. Guess it depends on if he can play some good defense, I don't really know much about his defensive game.

On the bright side, Brett Myers and Julio Lugo would have something to talk about when the Phillies came to town.

Can he play second base?

I think I'd heard that Boston would be willing to eat his salary.

And I'd love to give him a shot at outproducing Fontenot.

They'd surely eat most of it. It will probably come down to which team will pay the most, and they'll get a minor league roster filler in return.

It would be a good play for the Mets who could use him until Reyes returns, while hopefully he builds some value, and then flip him for a better prospect on July 31st.

I see that Lugo has played 84 games as a 2b in his MLB career... I believe that makes him more than qualified to potentially beat out the current levels of suck the Cubs have there...

Nice word on the Cubs system from the latest Goldstein chat at BP, Manny cover your eyes:

"Raisin (LA): Has the Cubs system improved quite a bit this season with the emergence of guys like Cashner, Castro, Jackson and Carpenter (amongst others)?

Kevin Goldstein: I think so. It's interesting, in that nearly every couple of weeks I'm talking to someone who sees some Cubs guy he really likes. Add shortstop Darwin Barney to your list."

Pretty much not anywhere to go but up. If people like them, let's trade them for people who can actually help the team.

What's there to trade for that really makes any sense that will cost any of our top talent? Add in our limited budget (whatever it is, most people acknowledge that we don't have that much room, some perhaps).

__________________________________________

I think our system is probably still in the bottom third of the game. That said, it's improving, and there's a good case that we have 4-5 top 120 guys and perhaps 3-4 top 100 guys, depending on how the rest of the season goes. I think our pitching depth is much better than a lot of minor league followers realize. I've said it before, but I think this is as close to 2003 level pitching talent as we've had in these 6 years since.

I really hope we get those 2nd, 3rd and 6th picks into the fold.

Lugo's quote (comparing to the Bosox as a good looking girl) seems a bit odd albeit out of context

...from the above link:

“When you see a good looking girl, you get married and sometimes things don’t work out,” Lugo said.
---
from wikipedia:

On April 30, 2003, Lugo was arrested and charged with assaulting his wife. Mabely Lugo had reported that Julio had hit her in the face and had then slammed her head against a car hood. She was treated at a local hospital for injuries.[5] His wife filed a restraining order but later rescinded it. Lugo was found not guilty of misdemeanor assault after his wife stated that she had exaggerated the story; despite the fact that she had signed a sworn statement to the contrary.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julio_Lugo

Wittenmeyer/sun-times via twitter:

Soriano out of lineup with a jammed finger from his baserunning gaffe (single, then picked off between bases)

Fukudome, Theriot, DLee, ARam, Bradley, Hoffpauir (LF), Fontenot, Hill, Z

http://twitter.com/cst_cubs

Was watching the game with no volume. Was it a gaffe on his part or a miscommunication by the 1st and 3rd base coaches?

sure looked like a gaffe, he saw the throw go over through to home plate and took off w/o looking to see if Lee was going home. Catcher took the throw 5-10 ft in front of the plate and Soriano was hung out to dry. Morgan was playing pretty shallow, so there was no way Lee was going home.

Jeff Pruitt, out of CSUN, signed and then failed his physical.

Do you have anymore information on what was wrong? How does a player fail a physical when he just finished a season of baseball?!?!?! He must have hurt himself after the draft.

Or he was playing hurt.

it happens sometimes.

andrew brackman was a 1st round pick by the yanks a couple years ago and you didn't even need a doctor to tell the dude was gonna have to get his arm cut up.

yanks gave him a bunch of loot anyway.

bum hip (persistent) and a bum arm...but he's a lefty who throws high 90s...whatever, it's their money.

from what i hear is that jeff pruitt failed his physical based on a mistake by the cubs doctors.... And that there is a appeal in the works for him to retain his signing bonus!

After the 2006 season, I was one of the ones clamoring for the Cubs to sign Lugo.

Then of course, DeRo signed which I also was in favor of, so it was a moot point.

But now we have Fontenot (who is having "a monster July"), as well as the offensive machine Jeff Baker, so what could Lugo do at 2nd?

Lugo batted .237 for the Red Sox in 2007.

At some point I remember being a proponent of signing Lugo and Matthews... I can't remember what the alternative being bandied about was, and I think it was during the 2006 season.

AZ PHIL: Thanks as always for keeping us filled in.

In your estimation, do you believe the minor league system is headed in the right direction?

Is there an overall improvement in talent evaluation from such bombs as patterson, pie, and pawelek (the three p's), brown, etc.?

Do you feel Tim Wilken has made at least some positive steps?

What overall grade might you be willing to place on the minors as of today's date?

Thanks!

brown=brownley

If you think Cubs fans are bad... this snippet taken from the comments foxsport.com story on Mitre being the Yankee's 5th starter.

"well I want Joba out of the rotation. I don't want andy or wang back next year or matsui. My wishes are to have Roy Halladay, Erik Bedard, and Jake Peavy in our rotation. I want Johnny Damon back but would welcome Matt Holliday. I also want to get Derek Jeter's extension over with so we make huge plays for Carlos Beltran, Albert Pujols, and Joe Mauer when the time comes. Is the video about Ted Williams saying he wants to be a Yankee on youtube?"

He went on to clear some things up:

"I should have explain that better, Pujols and Mark split time at DH and 1B and I wouldn't be opposed to say goodbye to Cano if Soriano is ok with playing 2B for us again but maybe Jeter will have to slide that way in which case we need Hanley Ramirez."

Mitre's minor league numbers, in case you're curious:
4-1 54.3 IP 3 HR, 7 BB, 43K 2.97 GO/AO ratio

He may actually be a pretty good fit, since flyballs seem to be death in that new stadium.

Or he could say,

"Did you see that All Star Game? I want all those guys on the Yankees. It's not fair that so many good players play for other teams."

per wgn radio broadcast...

Lilly's start pushed back to monday in Philly due to knee inflammation

Wells starts saturday and Hart will start sunday in DC.

...and ARam flashes his power swing (first since May 6th, two days before his injury)

HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AZ Phil (aka cesspool dude) has NOT given us the date for the "Creature of the Black Lagoon".

Which means he sucks.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs...
-----
Tribune article says Soriano dislocated his "pinky" (little) finger and reduced it himself. He'll be out for a few days.
--
Soriano said he dislocated the finger when second baseman Alberto Gonzalez tagged him out while he was diving back to first during a fourth inning rundown Thursday night. He popped it back in and continued to play, but the finger swelled up overnight. Soriano was scratched from the starting lineup Friday night and is expected to miss at least a couple more games.

"I don't have power in my hand because I can't grab the bat," he said.
-----
more on Lilly too...

Piniella said Lilly had problems with his left knee the last few starts. Lilly is scheduled tentatively to pitch Monday night in Philadelphia, but in essence the Cubs are only buying some time before deciding whether or not to put the left-hander on the 15-day disabled list.
--
If Lilly can't go on monday, expect Sean Marshall to get that start.

Z had 113 pitches in 5 ip...but he was good after the 2nd inning and the bullpen was better (even Heilman was decent...shocking).

Pujols with 2 more HR's tonight... looks like he's going to be the first post testing guy with 60 HR's.

Two in a row? NICE!! Can this be the run we all have been waiting and hoping for? Go Cubs!!

Oh sorry, I never post after a win, so just disregard this post...:)

P.S. Good job by Hendry signing Ryan. While I don't think he has anything left in the tank, it is a no lose situation for the Cubs. I just Lou doesn't use him in a high leverage situation until he proves he is reliable if he makes the team.

Wow, posting after two wins and complimenting Hendry....Really?

I like the passive aggression, but you played it a little too heavy handed.

Thanks, maybe next time I will tone it down slightly...:)

Zambrano has won 6 of 17 starts this year, but that doesn't reflect how well he has pitched. (I don't care what Steve Stone says to the contrary.)

Is he throwing his splitter more? That pitch was filthy against the Cardinals Sunday, but it looked like his command of it was so-so today.

Seems like he's gone away from the four-seamer that he threw all the time 2-3 years ago. I wonder if this is a reaction to the shoulder scare(s) of 2008. He's back to the heavy two-seamer/splitter combo with the occasional slider.

He's basically reverted to the 2003 Zambrano, i.e., he doesn't give up homers anymore.

My name is sam zell. I will hire AZ phhil fkldkdnd and then \ cough them too. I beweef in fookin trory troy I belelieve in fu somthg howsjd

whew.

Zell. I feel like darth vader, as he reaches against the fiery shore.

Fuck heads.

what?

Blogging under the influence.

Bradley coming out of the break and has gone 1 for 9. What was he saying about hitting the whole rest of the way? It is really tough to route for a douche bag like him.

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