Cubs Claim Catcher Off Waivers
The Cubs have claimed 26-year old C-1B Max Ramirez off waivers from the Boston Red Sox.
The Red Sox claimed Ramirez off waivers from the Texas Rangers last Wednesday, and immediately placed him back on waivers again the next day, obviously hoping they were the only club with interest in Ramirez and that they could sneak him through. But what the BoSox did not foresee was that during the time that Ramirez was on waivers the Cubs would make an eight-player deal where they would trade four players who were on their 40-man roster for two players on the other club's 40 (thus opening up two slots on the Cubs 40-man roster), and that one of the players the Cubs would trade would be a catcher (Robinson Chirinos).
Ramirez was signed out of Venezuela by the Braves in 2002, and was traded in stretch drive deals twice, from ATL to CLE in July 2006 (for RHRP Bob Wickman), and from CLE to TEX in July 2007 (for OF Kenny Lofton).
Ramirez was a Rangers Top 10 Prospect as recently as 2009. He is an offensive-first right-handed hitting catcher with plus-power who has also played some 1B in recent years, with a 298/396/476 minor league line in 563 career minor league games. If his minor league numbers are averaged out over 140 games per season, he would average 18 HR, 89 RBI, and 33 doubles per season. He has hit 217/343/357 with four HR and four doubles in 45 MLB games (2008 and 2010 with Texas).
He doesn't have much of an arm, throwing out just 18% of opposing base-stealers in his minor league career, and his all-around defensive skills are rated below-average. He is also a very slow runner.
Ramirez will be competing in Spring Training with Koyie Hill and Welington Castillo for the Cubs back-up catcher gig, but (like K. Hill) Ramirez is out of minor league options, so if he does not make the Cubs 25-man roster coming out of Spring Training he would have to pass through Ourtright Waivers without being claimed before he could be sent to the minors.
I think you're very much overvaluing Schwarber if you think he can fetch Sale by himself. An unproven rookie with demonstrable offensive flaws he hasn't had the chance to show he can overcome and with no defensive upside will never fetch an ace of the quality of Sale in today's market where pitchers are fetching insane prices, especially with Sale's team friendly contract. You'd for sure need to throw in a pitching prospect in return at least.
best relievers in baseball tend to not be the best relievers for very long though...
also, when you start just trading away guys for marginal benefits, that window will shrink. The window is easily through 2021, just have to look how long Rizzo is signed for and how long they have rights to Bryant, Russell and so on down the line.
Can't say I'm too worried about the SP, they've done nothing but land guys on the cheap and on the expensive since they've arrived. TheJedi will figure that out.
Not sure I agree with this logic. The Cubs are one of the best teams in baseball, they have spent heavily on the team over the past couple of seasons, have more hitting prospects than they have places for them to play (and more on the way), a clear weakness in the bullpen, and have a 1.5 year window with Arrieta (to say nothing of the likely declines of Lester and Lackey).
Unless you think (maybe even if you do think) Schwarber is the next coming of Babe Ruth, I would certainly consider trading him if it brought back a couple of the best relief pitchers in baseball.
Miggy was going to sit anyway with Lester starting.
In related news, do any of the Cubs pitchers want to throw to Contreras?
Only Russell and Miggy failed to reach base yesterday. Both sit today.
Trading Schwarber actually makes a lot of sense because his actual position is currently being taken by Anthony Rizzo, unless they vote in the DH this offseason.
Trading him for a reliever is never going to happen though. I don't think you can trade Schwarber unless you get a CF'er for a few years (presume Fowler finds his multi-year deal next offseson) or a couple of high end young starters...or an established starter...a good one like Chris Sale.
I don't see what the Yanks have that the Cubs need.
peter gammons on MLB network pushing the yanks/schwarber angle...says insiders from the yanks say brian cashman highly covets him.
unless that conversation starts with a.miller (2/18m left on contract) i dunno how you even start that conversation given the "not trash, but no stars" state of the yanks minor league system.
they got corner OF'r aaron judge, C gary sanchez, RHP james kaprielian's questionable elbow, RHP domingo acevedo...all interesting, none expected to impact the game like schwarber's power potential.
Zo, Heyward, KB, Riz, Contreras (LF), Baez (SS), Szczur (CF), Ross, Lester
damn. low sample size blah blah whatever, but that slash got sneaky good. 10 hits, 4 walks, 2hr, 1 double through 39 PA...nice
Buddy Ryan takes his place alongside George Allen as the great Bear head coaches who never were.
Well, at least he can still hit: Jake slashing .294/.368/.868. Forget hitting 8th -- he should hit 6th.
Curious to see today's lineup vs. a LHP: Ross needs to catch Lester, Joe likes Javy at 3B when Lester pitches. Heyward with back-to-back good games at the plate, and is actually hitting a little better against LHP (.247/.341) than RHP (.232/.321), although neither is much to write home about. But, tomorrow is an early day game, so some regulars will probably sit either today or tomorrow.
Maybe Willson in LF, KB in RF and Almora in CF? If so, Albert Jr., assume every ball is yours.
"Pitching prospects not looking so hot"
That reminds me that Lucas Giolito will start for the Nats tonight.
Well, there you go. Federowicz is one of the best at balls in the dirt.
Reds pitching meeting tomorrow:
"Hey coach...maybe we should walk Bryant?"
"No...keep challenging him with fastballs! What kind of man are you?! The Cubs walked Harper, and look what happened there! They got teased for it, by one of the Nat players! Is that what you want?"