Gooz Gets Outrighted to Iowa
The Cubs reinstated RHP Angel Guzman from the 60-day Diabled List today, and then outrighted the 28-year old righthander to Iowa. Guzman missed the 2010 season after undergoing shoulder surgery at the end of Spring Training, and spent most of the past seven months rehabbing at Fitch Park.
Guzman was signed by the Cubs as a 17-year old Non-Drafted Free-Agent (NDFA) out of Venezuela in November 1999 after a contract he had signed earlier that year with the Kansas City Royals was voided due to a pre-existing medical condition. He was long considered one of the Cubs best pitching prospects, and was rated by Baseball America as the Cubs #2 overall prospect in 2003 and then their #1 overall prospect in 2004. He finally established himself as a solid member of the Cubs bullpen in 2009, going 3-3 with a 2.95 ERA and 1.05 WHIP, with 41 hits allowed and 23/47 BB/K in 61 IP (55 games). However, Guzman's career in the Cubs organization was marked by frequent stints on the disabled list as the result of shoulder and elbow injuries, including surgery for a torn labrum in 2003, an elbow ligament transplant (Tommy John Surgery) in 2007, and then another shoulder surgery in 2010.
Because Guzman has three-plus years of MLB Service Time, he has the right to be a free-agent under Article XX of the CBA if he is outrighted to the minors. Guzman has up to seven days to decide whether to exercise this right, but since he is unsigned for 2011 (he was arbitration-eligible), he will almost certainly exercise this right immediately. The Cubs could then try and re-sign Guzman to a minor league contract for 2011 at a low base salary with a pre-arranged MLB split salary in case he is added back to the Cubs 40-man roster at any point during the 2011 season. Or Guzman could choose to look elsewhere.
Last year the Cubs non-tendered LHP Neal Cotts on 12/12 as the lefty was still rehabbing from July 2009 Tommy John Surgery, and then offered him a minor league deal at a low base salary that would have allowed him to continue his medical rehab uninterrupted at Fitch Park in 2010, but Cotts opted to sign a minor league deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates instead (Cotts spent the entire 2010 season at the Bucs Minor League HQ in Bradenton, FL).
The Cubs choosing to ourtright Guzman now instead of waiting to non-tender him on 12/2 means they probably feel they need his roster spot ASAP, either for an MLB free-agent they plan to sign later this month, or for a minor league player they want to add to their 40-man roster by the November 20th roster filing deadline. The Cubs already had two roster slots on their 40-man roster available (I'm not counting John Grabow being on the 60-day DL, because he will be reinstated soon), so now they have three.
The Cubs would have been a bit hamstrung by having a rehabbing Guzman on the 40-man roster going into the 2011 season, because he is eligible for salary arbitration and he has no minor league options left. So it was just a case of whether he would be non-tendered, released, or outrighted.
The Cubs also saved about $800K in 2011 payroll by dropping Guzman from the 40-man roster prior to tendering him a 2011 contract (by offering him salary arbitration), since players eligible for salary arbitration usually don't get pay cuts while recovering from an injury. (Guzman made $825K in 2010).
Everytime I recall Szcur's bne marrow donation to a stranger, it makes me smile:
If Matt is out will Kawasaki get the call-up? Or "Shane"?
"Matt Szczur will undergo an MRI on his right hamstring on Tuesday."
One of the reasons I think Maddon is a great manager -- he has changed the conversation on Baez from HR & strikeouts to great defense, versatility and an all-around good ballplayer. He rarely talks about his offense, which is the only thing anybody used to talk about with Javy. He took a lot of pressure off the kid, and he seems to have responded.
Good pitching and some nifty D tonight -- nice win.
In case you didn't see it -- it was the Little League play where the guy on first gets caught in a rundown on purpose and the guy on third tries to score. It worked.
Gotta love the Pirates pitcher intentionally hitting Zobrist, then allowing Zobrist to score on a 2-out wild pitch.
Also, glad to see Zobrist coming around with RISP after my remarks last week. Heh!
ESPN reporting heyward day-to-day with an injured wrist
ESPN game tonight, btw.
Cardinal way #48
"negligent transmission of STDs"
Heyward getting the night off.
Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd
Twitterverse reporting that Heyward is dealing with a sore right wrist
Cardinal way #47
See ya on parrot chat
In what was probably the last start for RHSP Jeremy Null at EXST...
Intrasquad game this morning on Field #5 at Riverview Baseball Complex:
4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 5/4 GO/AO, 75 pitches (50 strikes)
Next stop is likely either South Bend or Myrtle Beach (TBD)
There does seem to be something funky about closers pitching in non-save situations -- they never seem to be as effective. But, to your point, there could not have been a save situation in that game, so why not use your best reliever?
Your thought: don't pitch Rondon at all, since a save can't happen in extra innings at home.
Maddon's thought: might as well pitch him now, because there's no later.