Cubs Finally Begin to Address Roster

After what felt like months of chatting about compensation, GM's, presidents and managers, the new powers-that-be finally get around to some player juggling. The deadline to protect players from the Rule 5 draft is soon approaching and the Cubs had some decisions to make. The lucky 4 deemed worth protecting were Josh Vitters, Matt Szczur, Jeff Beliveau and Junior Lake. The Cubs cut some dead weight by outrighting Esmailin Caridad, Luis Montanez and Kyle Smit and according to the press release, their roster stands at 34 at the moment. Ideally AZ Phil will come along here shortly and remind us who that leaves unprotected, although I do believe the big surprise is Ryan Flaherty being left off. I wonder what the Cubs brass knows that I'm not seeing.

UPDATE: I recovered Phil's work and on the lower right sidebar, you'll see an updated list through 11/4/11 with whom is eligible, including such names as Ryan Flaherty, Jay Jackson, Blake Parker, Dae-Eun Rhee and Marwin Gonzalez.

AZ PHIL UPDATE: I have updated the 2011 Rule 5 Draft eligible list, the post-2011 Minor League FA list, and the current Cubs Roster & Contract Status lists on the right side-bar to reflect today's roster moves, and I have also updated the 40-man roster file in AZ PHIL'S CORNER.

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Comments

flaherty pretty much has to be added...unless he's going to boston/SD pretty soon...or something really weird is going on with him, which isn't likely.

well he wasn't, so what are you saying?

was the deadline today or are there still 2 days?

office staying open and accepting through the weekend?

-edit- well, friday deadline it is...unless he's on his way to BOS or SD then *shrug*

-edit 2- is flaherty even eligible? i've seen his name brought up a lot, but i don't think he's tipped his years eligibility yet. i haven't been following the flaherty talk too closely...just know his name was brought up a lot as him being eligible.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 9:00pm — crunchNew
Re: Cubs Finally Begin to Address Roster

was the deadline today or are there still 2 days?

office staying open and accepting through the weekend?

===========================

CRUNCH: The MLB office is closed on Saturdays and Sundays, except during the month of March when it is open every day.

During the season (Spring Training through the conclusion of the World Series) clubs can make roster transactions on weekends even if the MLB office is closed, but during the off season transactions can only be made (officially) when the MLB office is open.

So even though they are transmitted via ebis (MLB's "electronic baseball information system"), the reserve lists still must be received while the MLB office is open. Since the normal dealine of 11/20 falls on a Sunday this year and the MLB office is closed on weekends, rosters must be filed by close of business today.

BTW, the last time 11/20 fell on a Sunday, the MLB office stayed open through Saturday and clubs had until the close of business on that Saturday to file their reserve lists.

Is this it? Are they going into the Rule 5 draft with a 34 man roster?

yes, this is it for protecting their own players...they may add FA's, or add and subtract players through trades, waivers and so forth, as such it may be above or below 34, but the deadline is Sunday as Phil noted earlier and offices are closed as of now.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball...

Theo says they want Wood back and met last week.

another angle on the Z, Marmol and Castro comments as well.

“[Fielder's] a great player,” Hoyer said. “He provides a ton of production and that goes without saying. Dale [Sveum] has great respect for him. As for whether we will be involved, we can’t comment. But I think he fits anyone’s team, especially anyone that needs a first baseman.”

well that doesn't completely rule him out and if anything the new guys seem well-versed in driving the price up for their competitors.

Someone should explain to our new GM the tampering rules... or the difference between the words "can't" and "won't".

Prince Fielder is a free agent. So how does this involve tampering?

Should I tell you, or do you want to read the quote again and figure it out for yourself?

Do you want to read it again, or do you want me to tell you how you're misinterpreting what Hoyer is saying?

So your interpretation is that because Hoyer used the word "can't," that he doesn't understand MLB tampering rules?

Really?

My interpretation is exactly what I wrote. He doesn't know basic usage, or the tampering rules. Pick whichever you like.

My interpretation is the you are the least happy person in the USA.

Did that make you feel better to post that, Newport? Was your miserable little day greatly improved?

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/ignoramus

There is a large, easily discernible difference between, "I cannot tell you." and "I will not tell you."

Move along people. There's nothing to see here.

It certainly was very surprising (or more like puzzling) that Ryan Flaherty was not added to ther Cubs 40-man roster. A 25-year old LH power-hitting corner IF-OF with AAA experience who can also play 2B (and SS in a pinch) should get plucked in the Rule 5 Draft. This could be an example of a new management team under-valuing the players in its new team's farm system, which is fairly typical. Leo Durocher thought that way, so did Dallas Green, and so did Larry Himes. ("Cubs 'prospects' are guys I never liked much, while my former club's prospects were 'my guys' so therefore they must be better").

Also, switch-hitting IF-OF Marwin Gonzalez and RHSP Jay Jackson have AAA experience, and should be ready to play in the big leagues in 2012. Like Flaherty, both are likely Rule 5 Draft picks.

M. Gonzalez can play anywhere in the infield & outfield (and he is a legitimate SS), and projects as a Geoff Blum-type utility guy at ther big league level. I saw a lot of Gonzo when he was at Extended Spring Training at Fitch Park with Starlin Castro and Junior Lake in 2008, amd he is a very versatile player who should develop some HR power as he matures (he's only 22).

24-year old Jay Jackson was selected in the 9th round of the 2008 Rule 4 Draft (June draft) out of Furman and rocketed through the Cubs system, reaching AAA in just his first full season (2009). He appears to have regressed over the course of the past two seasons at AAA, however, but he still has the stamina to be a rotation starter, and he has maintained solid strikeout totals. He is an outstanding athlete who can field his position, and he also one of the best hitting pitchers in the minor leagues.

22-year old former Korean bonus baby RHP Dae-Eun Rhee (who had TJS in 2009 but showed he was all the way back in 2011) and 21-year old LHP Jeffry Antigua (probably the Cubs #1 lefty starter prospect) are the most-tatented guys left off the 40-man roster, but neither have pitched above Hi-A Daytona, so it would be reasonable to assume that even if one or both were to be selected in next month's Rule 5 Draft that they would probably end up getting returned. Still, it is a risk to leave them unprotected.

The Cubs 2009 Minor League Player of the Year back when he was still an outfielder, 23-year old LHP Kyler Burke has progressed nicely since being converted to pitcher at 2011 Extended Spring Training, and would probably project (at the very least) as a future MLB LOOGY if not something more. He features a mid-90's fastball, a plus-curve, and a decent change-up, and he was working on a slider at Instructs. Burke has not pitched above Boise, though, so it would seem unlikely that he would get selected in the Rule 5 Draft, and even if he were to be selected, he would probably get returned. But (as with Rhee and Antigua) it is still a risk to leave him unprotected.

The Cubs had 33 players on their 40-man roster prior to making today's roster moves, and with Esmailin Cardidad, Kyle Smit, and Lou Montanez having been outrighted as Beliveau, Lake, Vitters, and Szczur were added to the 40, the Cubs roster now stands at 34. So there certainly would have been room to add Flaherty, M. Gonzalez, J. Jackson, Rhee, and Antigua if Team Epstein had been so inclined.

One thing to keep in mind about adding players to the 40-man roster is that it is ALWAYS better to risk losing a player in the Rule 5 Draft (with at least a 50% chance that you will get the player back) than it is to add a player to the 40-man roster too soon only to find out later that you need his roster slot, and if that happens and you put him on waivers and he gets claimed, you lose the player and you won't get him back (like what happened with Casey McGehee three years ago). So there is a balance.

And you never know what another club might be thinking. All is takes is one scout from one club to remember a certain player as somebody he once scouted and liked, and that player (sometimes somewhat surprisingly) gets selected in the Rule 5 Draft.

One other thing that is unique to this off-season is that the Cubs and Padres and the Cubs and Red Sox have apparently agreed to defer the question of compensation for front office personnel recently signed by the Cubs until after next month's Rule 5 Draft, meaning it is possible that Flaherty, M. Gonzalez, J. Jackson, Rhee, Antigua, and/or Burke could be on the compensation list of one or both of the clubs, and were left off the Cubs 40-man roster intentionally for that reason.

For instance, it is possible that the Sox (let's say) might want Flaherty and Rhee, and/or the Padres might want Antigua or Burke, but only if they don't have to add them to their 40-man roster. So they will wait until after the Rule 5 Draft to make the transaction, and if one or more of those players are selected by another MLB club in the Rule 5 Draft, then they will wait until the end of Spring Training to see if they get returned to the Cubs (and then they will consummate the deal), or other players could be made available as compensation.

AZ Phil,

I think you're on to something with the 6 guys you mentioned as possibly being on the compensation list to Boston. From what I've read, Rhee would be the one I would hate to lose the most given his upside. I'm not sure if Flaherty will be in your Top 15 or not, but I wouldn't be sending anymore than one of them to Boston as compensation.

Phil,

33 seems...what's the word, uncommonly (needlessly, recklessly?) low? Would you think it indicates the Cubs are going to be very active in the FA market?

I wouldn't be shocked to see Antigua or Burke get grabbed, in addition to the guys you think are going to be gone. Left handed potential starters with 3 pitches and 90+ fastballs don't grow on trees.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 8:58pm — The Real Neal
Re: Cubs Finally Begin to Address Roster

Phil,

33 seems...what's the word, uncommonly (needlessly, recklessly?) low? Would you think it indicates the Cubs are going to be very active in the FA market?

I wouldn't be shocked to see Antigua or Burke get grabbed, in addition to the guys you think are going to be gone. Left handed potential starters with 3 pitches and 90+ fastballs don't grow on trees.

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TRN: Given that 10 roster slots were available (slots belonging to the seven free-agents plus Caridad, Smit, and Montanez), I am very surprised that so many potential Rule 5 draft picks were left off the Cubs 40-man roster. It would be different if the Cubs 40-man roster was full, but that is just not the case at this time.

Certainly, PHIL, you didn't mention that the former Boston crew may have solid information on Red Sox players that were left off the Red Sox 40-man as well that may project as being more valuable to the Cubs than the dudes they cut loose.

I have been reading about Jay Jackson as one of our studs for years. Perhaps he will end up as a Rick Ankiel, but I would have hoped to have at least seen him as a September call-up. Never happened.

Gonzalez reminds me of Andres Blanco.

I am going to wait a couple of weeks to see just what HoyStein does with this roster.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 9:18pm — The E-ManNew
Re: Cubs Finally Begin to Address Roster

Certainly, PHIL, you didn't mention that the former Boston crew may have solid information on Red Sox players that were left off the Red Sox 40-man as well that may project as being more valuable to the Cubs than the dudes they cut loose.

I have been reading about Jay Jackson as one of our studs for years. Perhaps he will end up as a Rick Ankiel, but I would have hoped to have at least seen him as a September call-up. Never happened.

Gonzalez reminds me of Andres Blanco.

I am going to wait a couple of weeks to see just what HoyStein does with this roster.

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E-MAN: No question Epstein & Co know the Red Sox farm system VERY well, and it's possible that a few Sox prospects (or former Sox prospects) will end up in the Cubs organization.

But they likewise also probably don't know the Cubs system all that well (other than from routine scouting reports filed by Sox scouts they may have read in passing), and as a result they should err on the side of protecting too many players rather than too few until they have a chance to get a good look at the players first-hand over a longer period of time.

The Cubs just aren't good enough right now where Team Epstein can to afford to make mistakes evaluating players who are under team control within their own organization.

They probably know the Padres system very well too. I am almost expecting a Rule V draftee off of one of their teams, but that goes a little against the grain of trying to be competitive this year.

Seeing that both Fleita and Wilken are still holding influential positions with the organization, and they have been following these youngsters for quite some time, I would hope that their input was requested.

Rhee, Antiga, and Flaherty are the three players that gives me some pause, and I hope that we are able to keep two of the three if not all of them.

I also think that for their first actual player personnel decision, they may have been looking for the players who fit into their philisophical frame of mind.

I do think that AzPhil does have a point that this may be a case of "my guy" being better than someone I didn't draft/develop. That said, really, only one guy unprotected bothers me, and that's Rhee. Even then, they might be taking a calculated risk that no one is going to take a righty in High A and stash him in the pen for the entire year (and while Rhee was hitting mid-90's as a starter last year with a plus change/decent slider, it's debatable if he can sit mid-90's out of the pen, so he might be a dime a dozen arm in middle relief). If any of this talk about possible compensation issues and keeping guys off the 40 are true, it wouldn't surprise me that, if the Cubs got word that Rhee might be taken, that maybe they pull him back.

As for the rest ...

Antigua - Intriguing lefty with 3 good pitches, but does he have a plus pitch? Add in his inconsistent 2011, and this may be a case of the Cubs deciding that it's not worth it to use a 40 man spot when the chances are high that he might get returned if picked. If he's picked and sticks, I think you swallow hard and tip your cap and move on.

J. Jackson - Used to be really high on him, and he can still bring the velo. I think he could probably ramp it up to mid-90's out of the pen. But the slider has disappeared (compared to quality before). Tip your cap and move on if he succeeds.

M. Hatley/K. Burke - Raw guys with power stuff. Maybe a scout gambles on Hatley if they saw something they liked in AFL, but another case of tipping your cap and moving on.

B. Parker - Not often discussed on the names of guys that could get picked, but he finished strong in 2011. Good enough pen stuff, solid slider, gets decent movement on the fb around 92/93 IIRC That said, he's a middle reliever. Tip your cap and ....

Marwin Gonzalez - I'm fascinated by the kid, but he doesn't have a plus glove at short and his bat is a work in progress. It's no lock that the power develops, and there's been plenty of middle relievers with average bats that have been passed over (Diory Hernandez had a better glove than Marwin and was passed over in Rule 5). Another tip your cap and ...

Ryan Flaherty - Rhee's the only one that really bugs me. Flaherty bothers me a bit. Yes, he's probably a super-util guy. The Cubs have Baker and enough other options to fill util type roles. That said ... you leave 6 spots open, and you certainly aren't going to land 6 starters in one off-season (barring a lot of luck). That means some additions are likely to be role guys, particularly positional role guys. Are you going to spend for a veteran when you have Baker? If not, that means you go looking in Rule 5. Are you going to find better than Flaherty? I can understand why they didn't roster Flaherty, but I'm not sure they'll find better. He had a bad run in AAA where he was expanding his strike zone a bit, but I believe he would've gone back to normal over time.

Anyhow, my 2 cents. Was looking forward to Rhee in the Smokies rotation. I had him much higher than most (6th), but BA hinted that he was going to be a top 15 prospect for us.

Sat, 11/19/2011 - 12:26am — toonsterwu
Anyhow, my 2 cents. I really wonder, if the Cubs get word that Rhee could be picked, if they may just pluck him back themselves. Or at least, I'm somewhat hoping. Was looking forward to Rhee in the Smokies rotation. I had him much higher than most (6th), but BA hinted that he was going to be a top 15 prospect for us.

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TOONSTER: Minor league players eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft cannot be be moved up to an MLB 40-man roster, traded, or released beginning with the filing of reserve lists (today) and the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft.

So Dae-Eun Rhee will be eligible for selection in next month's Rule 5 Draft.

Also, players on an MLB 40-man roster can be outrighted to the minors up until two days prior to the Rule 5 Draft, and then no players can be outrighted for a period of two days until after the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft.

BTW, any minor league free-agent who signs prior to the Rule 5 Draft is eligible for selection. While it might not sound like it would make sense that a minor league FA would get selected, it does happen. (The Cubs lost Jason Smith in the Rule 5 Draft that way a few years ago). Sometimes a certain team wanted to sign a particular minor league FA but either never got the chance or was outbid, and so the club selects the player in the Rule 5 Draft. That's why a lot clubs don't (ahem) "officially" sign their minor league free-agents until after the Rule 5 Draft.

I meant plucking him back in Rule 5 when they have their pick. Doesn't happen often, but has happened once or twice, to the best of my recollection (a team using their pick to take their own guy). Admittedly doubtful.

Sat, 11/19/2011 - 12:43am — toonsterwu
Re: Cubs Finally Begin to Address Roster

I meant plucking him back in Rule 5 when they have their pick. Doesn't happen often, but has happened once or twice, to the best of my recollection (a team using their pick to take their own guy). Admittedly doubtful

======================

TOONSTER: I misundestood you. Sorry about that.

Remember, if the Cubs believe that Dae-Eun Rhee is going to get selected in the Rule 5 Draft and decide they don't want to lose him, and then they select Rhee themselves before someone has a chance to pick him (which they can do), then the Cubs would have to keep Rhee on their MLB 25-man roster next season, just like any Rule 5 player. That might be REALLY tough to do.

yeah, don't disagree. a bit wishful thinking. i admittedly get "viewer bias" at times when i see a guy, and i saw rhee hitting 95/96 (while sitting 92/93) as a starter late in the year, and almost all his K's were coming off that split-change pitch the game i saw. still, even on a one game sample, that's fascinating as a talent, and it'd really be disappointing to lose that guy from a possible AA rotation imo.

If the Cubs took Rhee, and wanted to outright him, how would that work? They can't really offer him back to themselves.

Sat, 11/19/2011 - 11:42am — Koyies BansawNew
Re: Cubs Finally Begin to Address Roster

If the Cubs took Rhee, and wanted to outright him, how would that work? They can't really offer him back to themselves

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K BANSAW: If the Cubs selected Dae-Eun Rhee in the Rule 5 Draft next month, they would have to keep him on their 25-man roster (or 15-day or 60-day DL) for the entire 2012 season (with at least 90 days on the Active Roster not counting September) before they could send him to minors without placing him on waivers. (Just like any Rule 5 draft pick).

If the Cubs select Rhee in the Rule 5 Draft and then decide they do not want to keep him on the 25-man roster for the entire 2012 season, they would have to place him on Outright Waivers and any of the other 29 MLB clubs could claim Rhee for the $25,000 Rule 6 (the Rule 5 return process) waiver price and assume the Rule 5 roster obligations. So this way a club could actually acquire Rhee for $25,000 (the Rule 6 waiver price) instead of $50,000 (the Rule 5 draft price).

If no teams claim Rhee off waivers, only then can he be sent outright to the minors. But if no teams claim Rhee off waivers, then that means he probably wouldn't have been selected in the Rule 5 Draft, either, since a club could get him more cheaply off Rule 6 waivers than they could by selecting him in the Rule 5 Draft.

The step a lot of people miss in the Rule 5/Rule 6 process is that the drafted player has to be placed on Outright Waivers (where any of the other MLB clubs can make a claim) before the player is offered back to the team from which he was drafted.

Right, right I forgot about that. Thanks as always, AZ Phil!

A few notes regarding the Cubs roster moves today:

1. OF Luis Montanez was outrighted to the minors, and he can be a free-agent immediately per Article XX-D of the CBA (because he was outrighted previously in his career) and per MLB Rule 55 (because he would have been eligible to be a 6YFA if he had been on a minor league reserve list after the conclusion of the World Series).

2. RHP Kyle Smit (acquired by the Cubs in the Ted Lilly deal last year) was outrighted to the minors, but he is not eligible to be a minor league FA until after next season. Meanwhile, he will be eligible for selection in next month's Rule 5 Draft.

3. RHP Esmailin Caridad was outrighted to the minors, but he is not eligible to be a 6YFA until after the 2014 season. Meanwhile, he will be eligible for selection in the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Rule 5 drafts (presuming he is not released or added back to a 40-man roster in the meantime).

4. OF Matt Szczur will get four minor league options as long as the 4th one is used prior to the 2016 season. That's because Szczur completed only one "full season" prior to being added to a 40-man roster, and a player gets a 4th minor league option as long as it is used prior to completing five "full seasons."

5. Because they were added to the Cubs 40-man roster after August 15th, Jeff Beliveau, Junior Lake, Josh Vitters, and Matt Szczur have "Draft-Excluded" status (as do Bryan LaHair and Steve Clevenger, BTW), meaning they cannot be optioned or outrighted to the minors until 20 days prior to 2012 MLB Opening Day (essentially the same as a Rule 5 Draft pick, although a Rule 5 player must clear waivers before he can be sent to the minors). Draft-Excluded players can be traded or released at any time, however. In the case of Bryan LaHair, being a "Draft Excluded" player doesn't mean much, because (#1) he is out of minor league options, and (#2) he has the right to be an Article XX-D FA if outrighted because he was outrighted previously in his career (by SEA).

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 11:17pm — The E-Man

Seeing that both Fleita and Wilken are still holding influential positions with the organization, and they have been following these youngsters for quite some time, I would hope that their input was requested.

Rhee, Antiga, and Flaherty are the three players that gives me some pause, and I hope that we are able to keep two of the three if not all of them.

I also think that for their first actual player personnel decision, they may have been looking for the players who fit into their philisophical frame of mind.

================================

E-MAN: I would be surprised if Fleita and Wilken have much influence with the new regime. After all, Hoyer did say just this week that one of his goals is to "rebuild the farm system," and I would find it very hard to believe that either Fleita or Wilken would agree that the farm system needs to be "rebuilt." (Improved, yes. But rebuilt?).

Remember, Fleita signed his contract extention before anybody knew who the new GM would be, and Wilken has just one year left on his contract and could leave at any time.

I also doubt that the players who were added to the Cubs 40-man roster today were added because they fit into some New Way. You would be hard-pressed to find two more aggressive hackers than Junior Lake and Josh Vitters, while conversely Flaherty is a reasonably patient hitter who takes a fair number of walks. And it can't be because of Flaherty's questionable defense, either, because both Lake and Vitters are defensively challenged (big-time), even more than Flaherty.

I think age might have been a factor, though. Flaherty is 25, while Vitters is 22 and Lake is only 21. Also, both Lake and Vitters had very strong AFL performances. And while some here might downplay the significance of the AFL, there are scouts from every MLB organization at every AFL game, and a lot of AFL players are there because they are "on the bubble" 40-man roster-wise.

i missed all the flaherty talk from threads past...can someone tell me why he's eligable for the rule 5 in the first place?

Sat, 11/19/2011 - 12:41am — crunch

i missed all the flaherty talk from threads past...can someone tell me why he's eligable for the rule 5 in the first place?

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CRUNCH: Ryan Flaherty is eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft for the first time this year (the 4th Rule 5 Draft after he signed) because he signed prior to 9-1-2008, and he was at least 19 on the June 5th immediately prior to signing. If he had been 18 on 6-5-2008 (even if he turned 19 prior to signing), he would not have been eligible for selection until the 5th Rule 5 Draft after signing (December 2012).

That's why Josh Vitters (who signed in 2007, a year before Flaherty) was not eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft for the first time until this year (which is the 5th Rule 5 Draft since he signed). Vitters was 17 on the June 5th immediately prior to signing.

That's odd, but interesting. It would make 17 year old seniors and 18 year old JUCO players a little more valuable in the draft since you get a year longer to make a decision on them.

The next question is which of the 48 Cubs players presently eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft have been placed on the AAA Iowa roster and which were not.

There is a 38-man reserve list limit for AAA clubs, so at least 10 Cubs minor leaguers eligible for selection in next month's Rule 5 Draft were placed on the rosters of Tennessee, Daytona, Peoria, Boise, AZL Cubs, or DSL Cubs today. (Actually it is almost certainly more than 10, because at least five or six slots on AAA rosters are usually left open for minor league free-agents who might sign after the Rule 5 Draft).

The reason this matters is because players selected off a AAA roster in the "Major League Phase" of the Rule 5 Draft cost $50,000 and must be kept on a club's MLB 25-man roster (or MLB DL) for the entire next season, with at least 90 days spent on the club's MLB 25-man Active Roster (time spent on an MLB Active Roster in September does not count toward the 90 days).

If the drafting club decides it cannot keep a Rule 5 player on its Active Roster for at least 90 days, the player must be placed on waivers (BTW, this procedure is MLB Rule 6) and any other MLB club can claim the player (and assume the Rule 5 roster restrictions) for $25,000. If the player is not claimed off waivers, the drafted player's former club can reclaim the player for $25,000, and the player is automatically outrighted to the minors (player cannot be optioned, so if the player is eligible to be a free-agent if outrighted the player can opt for free-agency). Only if the player is not claimed off waivers AND the player's previous club declines to reclaim the player can the drafting team send the Rule 5 pick to the minors.

Conversely, players on a AA reserve list who are eligible for selection in the "AAA Phase" of the Rule 5 Draft can be selected for an MLB club's AAA affiliate for only $12,000 with NO ROSTER RESTRICTIONS, meaning the player does not have to play at the AAA level the following season (he just has to be given a "fair trial" in Spring Training), and does not have to be offered back to the player's previous club if he doesn't. This happened with LHP Casey Lambert and RHP Ronny Morla, who were drafted off the Cubs AA Tennessee roster by BAL and NYM (respectively) in the AAA Phase of last year's Rule 5 Draft. (BTW, Lambert was one of the Orioles players assigned to the Mesa Solar Sox this year).

And players on a Class-"A" reserve list who are eligible for selection in "AA Phase" of the Rule 5 Draft can be selected for an MLB club's AA affiliate for only $4,000 (again, with NO ROSTER RESTRICTIONS). In practice players eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft who are placed on a Class-"A" reserve list (eligible to be drafted by AA clubs) are usually players the parent club WANTS to be selected (finding someone who is willing to buy the player for even $4,000 is considered a victory).

BTW, because the Cubs added a second DSL team in 2008 (which effectively added 35 players to the organization), the Cubs could have as many as 70 or 80 players eligible for selection in next year's Rule 5 Draft. That's when it's going to get tough to decide who to place on the AAA Iowa roster, not to mention who to add to the MLB 40-man roster.

Considering wilken, fleita and randy bush are still around, among I'm sure many others, I have my doubts they didn't have enough info or any type of favoritism. Being part of a deal makes more sense to me especially in flaherty and rhee's case. Flaherty very much seems like a guy the new guys would like.

Protecting Lake over Flaherty is really a surprise, in the "these guys value OBP" sense. I wonder if they did it solely as a function of what they've gathered about their player's trade value, or if they are simply convinced Lake is going to be a valuable player. I don't see how you get much value out of a defensively challenged shortstop with an upside .295 OBP, but there must be something. It could also be a move simply to appease the incumbents who all swear by Lake's tools, or something.

I'd guess this is your pure upside protect. I mean, tools wise, Lake is one of the most talented guys in the system and maybe they figure they'll give it a year to see if he can learn to hit a breaking ball.

Still don't love the idea of not protecting Flaherty, though. With 6 spots, they almost have to add an upper level positional depth guy or two, and I have high doubts they'd find better. I understand the reasons for not protecting Flaherty (age, poor run in AAA where he was expanding the zone a bit, super-util guys that haven't proven themselves don't have that much value, util guys can be found, and the system has other util options), but I just have my doubts they find a better guy to slot in the upper levels for a year or two.

As far as the Cubs 40-man roster is concerned, the next date of importance is November 23rd (next Wednesday). It is on that date that MLB clubs must offer salary arbitration to their Type "A" and Type "B" Article XX-B MLB free-agents in order to receive a compensation draft pick (Type "B") or draft picks (Type "A") if the player signs a Major League contract with another club.

Free-Agents offered arbitration then have until November 30th to decide whether to accept the offer.

If the player accepts the salary arbitration offer, the player must be immediately added back to his club's 40-man roster, and the player and the club proceed onward to the arbitration process. The player does NOT receive automatic "no trade" rights through 6/15 (the right that free-agents who decline the offer of salary arbitration receive), and the contract the player ultimately receives could even be non-guaranteed.

How this affects the Cubs is that Aramis Ramirez, Kerry Wood, and Carlos Pena are their three Type "B" MLB free-agents. Ramirez almost certainly will not accept the salary arbitration offer (he clearly wants a multi-year deal, or else he would not have declined his $16M player option for 2012), and so the Cubs will get a 1st round Supplemental draft pick when Ramirez signs elsewhere.

Wood and Pena, however, might very well accept the offer of salary arbitration, especially KW, who has said that he will either re-sign with the Cubs or retire, and recent rumblings in the media make it sound like the Cubs new regime would like Woody back.

Pena accepting the offer could complicate matters if the Cubs sign Prince Fielder or have a chance to acquire some other attractive first-baseman, but if that were to happen, the Cubs could always just trade Pena (it's likely somebody would want him, although the Cubs might have to eat some salary), since he would NOT have the "no trade" rights that MLB Article XX-B free-agents get if they do not accept salary arbitration and sign elsewhere.

And then the next date of importance after November 23rd is December 2nd. Clubs must decide by 12/2 whether to tender contracts to their auto-renewal and aribitration eligible players (albeit not including any free-agent who accepts a salary arbitration offer). A player who is not offered a contract on 12/2 is said to be "non-tendered," and the player immediately becomes a totally unrestricted free-agent. The club receives no compensation if the player signs with another club.

The non-tender process is sometimes used to remove a player from a club's 40-man roster without having to release the player (where the player cannot be re-signed until May 15th) or place the player on Outright Waivers (where the player could be claimed by another club).

After non-tendering a player, the club can attempt to re-sign the player to a Major League contract with more than the normally max 20% cut, or perhaps to a minor league contract with an NRI to Spring Training. Sometimes these deals are pre-arranged.

Koyie Hill (eligible for salary arbritation and out of minor league options) and perhaps Blake DeWitt (also eligible for salary arbitration) are the most-obvious 12/2 non-tender candidates, along with Marcos Mateo (who is out of minor league options).

Since he is out of options, the Cubs might prefer to work out a deal with Mateo in advance where they non-tender him on 12/2, and then sign him to a minor league contract for "big league money" (around $420K) and an NRI to Spring Training. That would remove him from the 40-man roster without having to place him on waivers, while also giving him the same money he would have gotten if he had remained on the 40-man roster. And then if he does not make the Cubs Opening Day MLB 25-man roster, he would not have to pass through waivers before he can be sent to the minors, since he would already be signed to a minor league contract.

As far as the Cubs 40-man roster is concerned, the next date of importance is November 23rd (next Wednesday). It is on that date that MLB clubs must offer salary arbitration to their Type "A" and Type "B" Article XX-B MLB free-agents in order to receive a compensation draft pick (Type "B") or draft picks (Type "A") if the player signs a Major League contract with another club.
---
I've heard that the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (which we should heard details about on Monday) will change some of the above. Supposedly, there will be no compensation draft pick for Type B free-agents even if offered salary arbitration. If true, this changes the gamesmanship involved and the players that were on the borderline of missing Type A status (like Ramirez) really screw the clubs that offer arbitration but who now won't get any compensation if the F-A declines it. Hendry never did play that game as he usually just let the player go without offering arbitration (like Kerry Wood), which made them a bit more valuable to the team signing the free-agent since they wouldn't lose a draft choice in the signing. I guess we'll see how that plays out shortly. This certainly would be a perk to going after Type B free-agents .

I think I read somewhere that the scope of Type A free agents will change so that guys who are in the upper tier of B become A. Sorry, I don't have a link for that, just something I think I saw somewhere, like on baseball prospectus or something like that, not Phil Rogers.

Cubster, there's no penalty for type B free agents right now. The losing team gets a pick, but the signing team doesn't give up anything, so it won't have much bearing on free agency prices, other that to possibly create a few more arbitration offers to type B FA's because the club is no longer as encouraged to see them leave.

If they change who the type A agents are (making Madson a type B, is one rumor) then that would have a big impact on a few guys, but as it is, teams aren't worried about losing picks for signing type B's, they're more worried about offering arbitration and having the player they don't really want accept it.

Sat, 11/19/2011 - 8:05am — Cubster
I've heard that the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (which we should heard details about on Monday) will change some of the above. Supposedly, there will be no compensation draft pick for Type B free-agents even if offered salary arbitration. If true, this changes the gamesmanship involved and the players that were on the borderline of missing Type A status (like Ramirez) really screw the clubs that offer arbitration but who now won't get any compensation if the F-A declines it. Hendry never did play that game as he usually just let the player go without offering arbitration (like Kerry Wood), which made them a bit more valuable to the team signing the free-agent since they wouldn't lose a draft choice in the signing. I guess we'll see how that plays out shortly. This certainly would be a perk to going after Type B free-agents .

============================

CUBSTER: One class of Type "A" free-agent (relief pitchers) is being immediately reclassified as Type "B" only, but players who were rated Type "B" post-2011 will remain Type "B." So the Cubs will get a 2012 Rule 4 Supp-1st round comp draft pick if they offer salary arbitration to Aramis Ramirez, Carlos Pena, and/or Kerry Wood and then they sign elsewhere.

Any other changes in compensation wouldn't take effect until post-2012. Apparently the somewhat byzantine Elias statistical rankings will be scrapped, and Type "A" and Type "B" ratings will instead be determined after the fact based upon the value of the contract signed by the free-agent.

Interesting attempt at a study over at BP by MGL... he screwed it up though (he uses "average hitting pitchers versus average hitting PH's to calculate the numbers, even though the managers are actually never actually faced with that decision", but it features the 2010 Cubs prominently.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php...

Makes me wonder how it would have worked out had he done it correctly.

Still don't love the idea of not protecting Flaherty, though.
---
Is Flaherty comparable to Casey McGehee (from about 3yrs ago) before the Brewers took him?
McGehee's last yr in Iowa (2008) stat line: .296/.345/.429/.774

vs. Flaherty: 173AB/.237/.277/.399/.676 (2011,Iowa)
although his 2011 TN numbers were good: 302AB/.305/.384/.523/.907

Also seems odd to leave Flaherty off since they might need some competition for DJ LeMahieu as a prospect for the opening at 3B.

Also, what are the chances for Marquez Smith going in the rule 5 draft? He was Iowa's 3B last year. Not much upside considering he will be 27 next March?

Also, what are the chances for Marquez Smith going in the rule 5 draft? He was Iowa's 3B last year. Not much upside considering he will be 27 next March?

Extremely low, since he was left available last year coming off a better season and wasn't taken.

Vitters and Lake also play third base, and at least by BA are more highly regarded than LeMahieu and Flaherty.

flaherty has much more fielding upside than mcgeheheheheh...he can play 2nd, SS in a pinch, and 3rd adequately...all things mcghehehehe can't do...well, i guess he's as good at 3rd as flaherty is at SS...

blake dewitt...yes, that won't excite many, but blake isn't trash (imo).

Sat, 11/19/2011 - 8:23am — Cubster
Is Flaherty comparable to Casey McGehee (from about 3yrs ago) before the Brewers took him?
McGehee's last yr in Iowa (2008) stat line: .296/.345/.429/.774

vs. Flaherty: 173AB/.237/.277/.399/.676 (2011,Iowa)
although his 2011 TN numbers were good: 302AB/.305/.384/.523/.907

Also seems odd to leave Flaherty off since they might need some competition for DJ LeMahieu as a prospect for the opening at 3B.

Also, what are the chances for Marquez Smith going in the rule 5 draft? He was Iowa's 3B last year. Not much upside considering he will be 27 next March?

==============================

CUBSTER: To me, Ryan Flaherty compares more to somebody like Rob Mackowiak than Casey McGehee. That is, an offensive-first LH platoon multi-positional guy (who kills the Cubs every chance he gets).

Marquez Smith would probably be a better McGehee comp.

As for the chance that Marquez Smith could get selected in the Rule 5 Draft, I would say there are a number of Cubs Rule 5 eligibles who conceivably could get taken. All it takes is one scout from one organization to strongly recommend somebody he once scouted and liked, and that player gets picked.

However, if M. Smith wasn't valued enough to get selected last year (when he was coming off a much better season), I doubt that he would be valued enough to get selected this time around, either.

The main problem with Marquez Smith is that while he has played some 2B, he isn't any good at it, so unless some team projects him as an everyday MLB 3B, he probably won't get selected. He just doesn't have the defensive versatility needed to be an MLB bench guy.

(Actually, the one team that might be looking for an everyday 3B next season is the Cubs!)

But that said, you just never know what some GM might decide to do.

One example of an off-the-wall (WTF!?) surprise Rule 5 draft pick in recent years was IF-OF Jason Smith, who was selected by Toronto in the 2006 Rule 5 Draft three weeks after the Cubs signed him as a 6Y minor league FA.

Every now & then I hear from a scout that so-and-so will get taken in the Rule 5 Draft if he is not added to a 40-man roster. I heard that about Andy Sisco (and he was taken by KC), Donald Veal (he was taken by PIT), and Rafael Dolis (who was added to the Cubs 40-man roster after only one full season at Hi-A and so he wasn't selected).

BTW, in the case of Sisco and Veal, the particular MLB organization I thought would take them never got a chance.

The one Cubs 2011 Rule 5 Draft eligible who I know for a fact was highly-valued by (at least) one organization (pre-TJS) is Dae-Eun Rhee, and that scout projected Rhee as a two-pitch (fastball/splitter) set-up man or closer at the big league level, so they would probably have no problem stashing him in the bullpen as their #7 reliever.

Also, Rhee has the type of medical history (2009 TJS) where he could be placed on the DL for half a season with some vague elbow problem related to his TJS rehab (with one or two 30-day minor league rehab stints at AA included along the way) to help get him through his Rule 5 year (as happened with Veal after the Pirates drafted him).

I can't say if that organization will absolutely, positively draft Rhee (there could be roster issues that preclude the club from drafting anyone, or maybe they aren't convinced he is 100% back from the TJS), but the scout is still with that team, and he was right about Sisco and Veal, so it will be interesting to see what happens...

http://twitter.com/PepeBeisbol

PepeBeisbol Raul Lopez
Big Z Carlos Zambrano took a shot that hit him in the face ..blood can be seen ...he came out looking ok in the 5th...
13 hours ago

Carlos Zambrano has been taken to a local hospital as precaution...should get some stitches in face ..#cubs #mlb
12 hours ago

Carlos Zanbrano at this time is ok and asked NOT to be taken out of the rotation of his Venezuelan team in Winter Ball
10 hours ago

Levine... also stuff on Fielder, Cespedes (McLeod is there and Epstein and Hoyer are going to the DR to see him Monday) and Darvish.

A team’s baseball budget and baseball payroll are two different things. The Cubs will have around a $200 million budget in 2012, which represents the entire amount of money the Cubs will allocate for major league salaries, employee salaries, running the minor leagues, amateur draft signings and international free agent signings.

http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/i...

random thought for Az Phil...

What are the chances for Angel Guzman to stick around the Cubs organization given all the management changes?

Any update on his status?

Sat, 11/19/2011 - 2:29pm — Cubster
Re: Cubs Finally Begin to Address Roster

random thought for Az Phil...

What are the chances for Angel Guzman to stick around the Cubs organization given all the management changes?

Any update on his status?

===========================

CUBSTER: Because of his sunny attitude, work ethic, and positive influence on the young Latin players, Angel Guzman was a favorite of the Hendry regime, and they were always willing to give him as much time as he needed to rehab from his various injuries.

He did not do too well at Daytona once he left Fitch Park, though, so it could be the end of the line for Gooz.

He could end up as a coach if he retires as a player.

AFL championship game on MLB Network, btw.

looks like there's 200 or so people in attendance =p

really small crowd.

Maybe they chose not to protect him because they've noticed that he tends to have a relatively long adjustment period to each level, and he hasn't yet adjusted to AAA. Could be they are thinking that his adjustment period will mean he'll never stick as a Rule V guy unless the team just stashes him, and he doesn't have enough upside to justify that.

quoted in rotoworld...

"He's a bull," Caribes GM Sam Moscatel said. "He's OK. We spoke the night he had the surgery, and he said he wants to make his next start on Friday." Zambrano is slated to undergo more tests in the coming days. A source with knowledge of the situation confirmed he received 18 stitches after being hit on the side of the head.

Surgery or stitches? Apples or oranges?

Surgery or stitches?
---
Might be one of those things lost in translation (and I don't mean Spanish translation). Stitches (in the press) usually means lacerated skin being repaired. Suturing/stitching can be in layers though including deep tissue layers like joint capsule, ligaments, tendons, vital organs, etc. Surgery (at least to me) implies something more extensive, beyond something that is done in the emergency room and usually requires a more sterile environment. Certainly there are examples that would be considered surgery that don't hold to the above.

But if Z gets a bill for a rhinoplasty...it was surgery.

HGH testing in the new CBA according to j.heyman.

pee or blood? *shrug* penalty for testing positive? *shrug*

we'll find out.

I think they still have a bit of research to do with the urine hgh testing. The pos/neg cutoff value for instance. Urine hgh testing has little clinical significance, so the data isn't really available already like the blood hgh testing. But MLB has shit tons of money, so I'm sure they and/or the douches with the olympics could easily take care of that.

yeah, urine is far from ready...

MLB Network said it's blood, and going into effect this Feb...still dunno about any penalty associated or if this is another "let's see how many people are actually doing it" test periods with no repercussions for a few years.

Why are you assuming that it would fall outside of the current penalty system?

because a CBA involves 2 sides negotiating how things are going to be implemented, especially something major and ground-floor like this.

it probably won't be exempt, but until it's spelled out it could be implemented in a number of ways.

fwiw...via rotowurld

Mark Cuban isn't interested in buying the Braves should they be put for sale, he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in an email Saturday.
"I like franchises that need a lot of help," Cuban wrote. "The Braves have a great franchise."

Heard on radio that the penalty for positive hgh testing will be the same as for anabolic steroids

Ken Rosenthal Full details on draft-pick compensation changes.

http://t.co/nenU9iWi

lookie, an unblocked Bruce Miles article...

http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20111118/s...

but this Wittenmeyer article hints that Sveum is considering Chris Bosio as pitching coach.

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/...

Abridged from Wiki on Bosio's coaching career:

After retiring from playing...He was a special assignment pitching coach in the Seattle Mariners organization in from 1998 to 2002. In 2001 he was the pitching coach for the Tacoma Rainiers. In that season Tacoma won the Triple-A title and led the pitching staff to the lowest earned run average in the Pacific Coast League, working with future-Major Leaguers Brian Fuentes, Brett Tomko, and Joel Piniero.

In 2003, he was the Tampa Bay Devil Rays pitching coach for Lou Pinella. Leaving baseball after the 2003 season for family health reasons, he moved his family to Appleton, Wisconsin.

Bosio joined the Cincinnati Reds organization in 2008, serving as pitching coach at their Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts. In 2009, he served as the Triple-A Nashville Sounds pitching coach. He helped lead the Sounds Pitching staff to the lowest earned run average in the Pacific Coast League... On August 12, 2009, he replaced Bill Castro as pitching coach for the Milwaukee Brewers.

He is currently the pitching coach of Nashville Sounds of the PCL league, replacing Rich Gale who left the team for personal reasons.

ESPN article on Z with video of the play he was hit in the mouth. Z fielded the ball and got the out at first. Amazing.
http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/725...

His agent is quoted saying he got 18 stitches and was hit in the side of the mouth

2nd video link (larger):
http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:7256751

That's what I hate about Z. It's almost impossible not to love the guy on so many levels.

Boston Globe, Nick Cafardo sunday schtick...
http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/...

ETC.
1. The Cubs should give up outfielder Tyler Colvin to the Red Sox as compensation for Theo Epstein and call it a day;

on Cespedes...

3. Yoenis Cespedes, OF, free agent - Cespedes has faced mostly pitchers who throw in the mid-80s, which is why teams like the Phillies and Red Sox have held private workouts. Said one scout who watched him last week, “He has too long of a swing for me. He could strike out a lot. He reminds me of Wily Mo Pena a little with his power, but whether you can devote those kinds of dollars and project him as a top major league player, that’s quite a leap of faith.’’

on Garza...

4. Matt Garza, RHP, Cubs - Epstein will listen to offers on Garza and just about anyone on his team. The reason? Epstein needs players to fill his farm system. The Cubs likely are not going to be really competitive for a while, so rather than keep resources that won’t be able to make your team better instantly, why not trade assets for younger players until that moment comes? Epstein always coveted Garza when he was Red Sox GM. Will Cherington take a shot?

and on Sveum...

9. Dale Sveum, manager, Cubs - Sveum’s personality wouldn’t have gone over in Boston. He’s a nice guy with great baseball passion, but very quiet and not someone who could take the attention away from his team and put it on himself, which is what managers need to do in big markets. He’s better for the Cubs in a rebuilding mode. That’s the way one Major League Baseball executive put it recently. I think he’s right.

Colvin for Theo? Do it yesterday.

Cards really know how to pick their managers
http://m.deadspin.com/5861228/mike-matheny-go...

robin ventura for manager with little/no experience...check

mike matheny for manager with little/no experience...check

ryne sandberg for any MLB level job...check back next year, guy...wait, can you operate a washing machine and make runs to Sam's Club? no? well, do you have charlie montoyo's number?

And so ends the Bears season.

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is expected to be sidelined six to eight weeks with a broken thumb on his right throwing hand...According to a source, surgery could be an option...Caleb Hanie will assume the quarterback duties as Cutler recovers.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/football...

Bummer. They were really starting to gel on offense. Cutler made some amazing throws today, the one with the guy hanging onto his leg and the one to Knox, which was overlooked a little probably because of Knox's great catch on it.

Phillies get Ty Wiggington from Rockies for ptbnl or cash

"Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that Colorado will cover half his 2012 salary." ($3.5m)

I wouldn't bury the Bears yet JACOS.

Hanie is an athletic QB who has had a couple years under this system, and is well-liked by the players.

He has a VERY good arm.

We'll see soon enough. On the Bears D and special teams alone, factoring in their WC competition, they STILL are right in it (now).

On the Bears D and special teams alone, factoring in their WC competition, they STILL are right in it (now).

That is scary if we are now relying on the Bears' D. The Bears D has been mediocre, at best, this year. 12th in points, 25th in yards, etc. They are not a very good defense.

+11 turnover ratio. 3rd in NFL (SF 1, +17; GB +12; Bears + 11 which includes Jhonny Knox falling down creating a pick on the "thumb" play)

I am not saying they are the '85 Bears D, but post-Harris the D has been playing well (see Detroit) and with Matt Forte, renewed OLine, and Bennett back, I am not counting them out by any means sitting at 6-3.

I'm not counting them out either... but that has much more to do with their easy schedule than their mediocre defense.

They have done very well at creating/capitalizing on turnovers this year though.

Having been to a few games sitting at the 50 the past couple years (my brother's pricey seats) it is amazing to note how frequently Peppers is blatantly held. Just freaks me out.

We don't really see this at home as the viewer is at the mercy of the broadcast view only (at least in 2012).

But from what I know of the rules, the guy seems to be held frequently, and rarely draws flags.

Maybe the refs would just slow down the game too much?

Scoring the football is the #1 goal of Lovie defenses, so in that regard they're doing well. They are starting to look awfully slow though. How many cornerbacks in the NFL dozen Jackson run past? Not too many.

And this is the thing, Bears are going to need to be able to run and gun with better offenses, because they are the ones that expose Bears' defense.

Jackson is geting 19 yards a catch..he's geting past some people....

He's got average speed for an NLF receiver, but he's been more of a "chuck it up and I'll out-jump the other guy" receiver. He shouldn't be getting behind you with any regularity.

Agreed, but he is doing it.
Also said, The Bears Corners are slow....

Hope so

CM posted the Cubs 2012 Spring Training schedule...

http://muskat.mlblogs.com/2011/11/21/1121-cub...

Wittenmeyer article...Jaramillo is on Sveums staff. Dernier and DeJesus are not. Not confirmed regarding Strode and Listach (both under 1 yr contracts, article says to expect them to be back). Sveum talked to Mark Riggins but nothing final on him yet.

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/...

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php...

Minutes 35 to about half way through 43, followed by their rundown on the Red Sox system.

Highlights: They still like Vitter's swing and think he eventually gets there. Same as everyone else on B Jackson. Divided on Szczur, and were puzzled by the money given to Duston and Gretzky.

SEA swing-and-miss power prospect Greg Halman stabbed to death in the netherlands...brother arrested as prime suspect.

Sandberg takes AAA IronPigs gig for 2nd season...so much for MLB coaching experience on the resume (for now).

http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/news/artic...

there are guys like him toiling in the minors while collecting awards and props from players (charlie montoyo jumps to mind)...none have the "name brand" of sandberg, though...unless he doesn't want a non-managing coaching job it's a little weird no one wants him on their staff. maybe they're afraid of being upstaged via "name-brand" like gibson/mattingly/etc. have done recently.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-11-19...

"I'm going to look for moves that make us better in the long run but don't negatively impact us in 2012," Epstein said.

But Epstein added he would "err on the side of the long haul" over 2012 if it comes down to it.

"I think that's the position we're in right here," he said.

This comment makes me happy.

http://sbb.scout.com/2/1130952.html

19. Junior Lake, SS, Chicago Cubs
The Cubs may have a star on the rise in Starlin Castro but Lake's emerging power bat certainly gives them some depth at the position.

technical depth at SS =p

it's a shame he's got blake dewitt disease trying to play 3rd...both guys have the tools to do it, but put it in motion in-game and it's not pretty.

For those of you who like to think ahead, AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW here is where we will be this time next year:

ARTICLE XX-B MLB FREE-AGENT POST-2012:
Jeff Baker
Marlon Byrd
Ryan Dempster
Koyie Hill
Sean Marshall
Carlos Zambrano

================================

ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE POST-2012:
Andrew Cashner (could qualify as a “Super Two”)
Starlin Castro (could qualify as a “Super Two”)
Blake DeWitt
Matt Garza
James Russell
Jeff Samardzija
Geovany Soto
Randy Wells

============================

ARTICLE XX-D MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT POST-2012:
NONE AT THIS TIME

============================

RULE 55 MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT POST-2012:

SIX-YEAR MINOR LEAGUE FA:
Jim Adduci, OF
Kyler Burke, LHP (ex-OF)
Matt Camp, IF-OF
Marwin Gonzalez, IF-OF
Blake Lalli, C-1B
Oswaldo Martinez, RHP
Jonathon Mota, INF
Blake Parker, RHP
Nate Samson, INF
Kyle Smit, RHP

PREVIOUSLY RELEASED MINOR LEAGUE FA:
Adrian Aviles, LHP (previously released by LAD)
Dan Berlind, RHP (previously released by MIN)
Carlos Figueroa, INF (previously relased by COL)

=================================

ELIGIBLE FOR SELECTION IN DECEMBER 2012 RULE 5 DRAFT:
Abner Abreu, OF
Jeffry Antigua, LHP
Smaily Borges, OF (player-coach)
Justin Bour, 1B
Jane Bremon, RHP
Michael Brenly, C
Justin Bristow, RHP
Michael Burgess, OF
David Cales, RHP
Esmailin Caridad, RHP
Matt Cerda, 3B-2B
Hung-Wen Chen, RHP
Evan Crawford, OF
Willengton Cruz, LHP
Manolin DeLeon, RHP
Antonio Encarnacion, RHP
Eduardo Figueroa, RHP
Darlyn Figueroa, OF
Ryan Flaherty, IF-OF
Luis Flores, C
Carlos Galvez, LHP
Ramon Garcia, RHP
Gregori Gonzalez, IF-OF
Miguel Gonzalez, C (player-coach)
Yohan Gonzalez, RHP
Gian Guzman, INF-RHP (player-coach)
Marcus Hatley, RHP
Ty’Relle Harris, RHP
Graham Hicks, LHP
Brett Jackson, OF
Jay Jackson, RHP
Alvido Jimenez, RHP
Richard Jones, 1B
Austin Kirk, LHP
Jordan Latham, RHP
Luis Liria, RHP
Jeff Lorick, LHP
David Macias, IF-OF
Brandon May, INF
Hector Mayora, RHP
Trey McNutt, RHP
Pedro Medina, OF
Tarlandus Mitchell, RHP
Jose Montesino, INF
Jesus Morelli, OF
A. J. Morris, RHP
Craig Muschko, RHP
Jon Nagel, RHP
Jake Opitz, INF
Enyelberth Pena, RHP
Felix Pena, RHP
Starling Peralta, RHP
Nelson Perez, OF
Manuel Pestana, OF
Roderik Pichardo, RHP
Brooks Raley, LHP
Ramon Reyes, RHP
Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP
Rebel Ridling, 1B-OF
Gregorio Robles, OF
Jhon Rodriguez, RHP
Santo Rodriguez, RHP
Greg Rohan, IF-OF
Carlos Romero, C
Melvin Rosa, RHP
Jose Rosario, RHP
Zac Rosscup, LHP
Chris Rusin, LHP
Julio Sanchez, RHP
Ryan Searle, RHP
Deuris Severino, RHP
Marquez Smith, 3B
Matt Spencer, LHP (ex-OF)
Nick Struck, RHP
Larry Suarez, RHP
Charles Thomas, RHP (ex-3B)
Jose Tineo, RHP
Francisco Turbi, RHP
Brett Wallach, RHP
Logan Watkins, IF-OF
Rob Whitenack, RHP
Ty Wright, OF

AZ Phil: At this time, who do you think will merit the strongest consideration for a 40-man roster spot? Jackson and McNutt look like no-brainers.

Mon, 11/21/2011 - 7:09pm — John Beasley

AZ Phil: At this time, who do you think will merit the strongest consideration for a 40-man roster spot? Jackson and McNutt look like no-brainers.

===========================

JOHN B: Of course it's very much subject to change, but...

First of all, LHP Kyler Burke (if he continues to progress) and IF-OF Marwin Gonzalez and possibly RHRP Blake Parker (presuming they are not selected in next month's Rule 5 Draft, and are returned if they are selected) would need to be added to the 40-man roster no later than the 5th day following the conclusion of the 2012 World Series to keep them from being minor league free-agents after next season.

RHP Dae-Eun Rhee and LHP Jeffry Antigua will be one year more-advanced (both will likely be rotation starters at AA Tennessee in 2012), and presuming they are not selected in next month's Rule 5 Draft (and returned if they are selected) they would be strong candidates to get added to the 40-man roster after next season.

Among those who are Rule 5 eligible for the first time post-2012, pitchers Trey McNutt, Chris Rusin, and Nick Struck and OF Brett Jackson are probably the most-likely candidates to be added to the 40 after next season (if not sooner) due to their ceiling and the fact that all four should be at AAA next season. (BTW, all four should get NRIs to Spring Training).

IF-OF Ryan Flaherty and RHP Jay Jackson didn't get added to the 40-man roster this time, but could after next season, presuming they are not selected in next month's Rule 5 Draft. And 3B Marquez Smith and 1B-OF Rebel Ridling could perhaps play their way onto the 40 with strong seasons at AAA.

Also, RHPs Ryan Searle, Larry Suarez, and Marcus Hatley and LHP and Zac Rosscup could get consideration if they pitch well at AA. (Rosscup was one of the players acquired from Tampa Bay in the Matt Garza deal). Hatley was apparently "on the bubble" this year, but lost points after he got hit hard in the AFL.

Pitchers Austin Kirk, Luis Liria, Starling Peralta, and/or Willengton Cruz could be candidates to get added to the 40 after next season, but only if they have VERY strong seasons at Daytona.

And position players like 1B Justin Bour, IF-OF Logan Watkins, 3B-2B Matt Cerda, and/or OF Evan Crawford could be candidates with break-out seasons at AA.

RHP Rob Whitenack would normally have been a strong candidate to get added (he has Top-of-the-Rotation stuff), except he will spend most of the 2012 season at Fitch Park rehabbing from TJS. That doesn't mean Whitenack won't get selected in the 2012 Rule 5 Draft, though, because Cubs LHP Luke Hagerty was selected by BAL in the 2004 Rule 5 Draft while rehabbing from TJS (the Cubs did get him back, however).

Something else to remember:

If Blake Parker, Esmailin Caridad, Brian Schlitter, and/or Kyle Smit are selected in next month's Rule 5 Draft and the player does not make the drafting team's 25-man roster and then is not claimed off Outright Waivers, the player can refuse his return to the Cubs organization and declare himself a free-agent under Article XX-D of the CBA, because all four of them have been outrighted previously in their career.

The Rule 5 return process (known as MLB Rule 6) requires a Rule 5 player to be sent outright to the minors if he is returned to the organization from which he was drafted. That's because when a player is selected in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft, he is technically selected from a AAA reserve list, and so when he is returned, he goes back on the AAA reserve list from which he was drafted.

This happened with RHP Mike Parisi a couple of years ago. He was selected by the Cubs from Memphis (STL AAA Affiliate) in the December 2009 Rule 5 Draft, did not make the Cubs Opening Day 25-man roster, and was not claimed off Outright Waivers.

At this point, Parisi told the Cardinals that he would exercise his right to be an Article XX-D free-agent if the Cards re-claimed him (Parisi had been outrighted previously in his career), and so the Redbirds (Memphis) did not take him back, opting instead to keep the $50,000 they got from the Cubs when Parisi was drafted. (It would have cost them $25,000 to re-claim Parisi, money spent for nothing if Parisi refused the outright assignment and became a FA).

So when Memphis declined to re-claim Parisi, the Cubs were able to send him to Iowa.

Same thing could have happened a few ago when Toronto selected IF-OF Jason Smith from the Cubs in the Rule 5 Draft three weeks after the Cubs signed the veteran utility player as a 6Y minor league FA.

If J. Smith had not been claimed off Outright Waivers (and he was claimed by AZ from TOR, and then later in the season he was claimed off waivers by KC from AZ), he could have refused to go to Iowa, because he had been outrighted previously in his career (by TB in 2003 and by DET in 2005).

The more I think about it, the more likely I think it is will lose Burke. There's got to be one team that has a spot for him as a 25th man who can spend some time working with the big league pitching and bullpen coach and also do some pinch running and defensive replacement duties too. Essentially a Kieshnik type, with a worse bat but better defense and higher upside as a pitcher.

brett jackson?

don't think that one should be there.

Players are eligible for selection in the Rule 5 draft who are not on their major league organization's 40-man roster and:

– were signed at age 19 or older and have been in the organization for four years; or

– were signed at age 18 or younger and have been in the organization for five years.

seems to apply...

B. Jackson was signed in 2009 (thus 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012).

Just for clafication, the age of a player when he signs is not the determining factor. It's the age of the player on the June 5th immediately prior to signing that matters. So if a player signs when he is 19, but he was 18 on the June 5th prior signing, then he is considered to have signed at age 18 for Rule 5 purposes.

Also, if a player signs prior to September 1st in a given year he is considered to have signed that season, but if he signs on September 1st or later in a given year (and this would obviously apply only to players not affected by the August 15th signing deadline, like international free-agents and college seniors with no eligibility left), the NEXT SEASON is considered the player's "first season" for Rule 5 eligibility purposes.

Geez, these rules are almost more complicated than our fantasy baseball keeper rules.

Mon, 11/21/2011 - 7:14pm — crunch
Re: Cubs Finally Begin to Address Roster
brett jackson?

don't think that one should be there.

=============================

CRUNCH: I can absolutely, positively guarantee you that Brett Jackson will be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft after next season.

It is also likely that B-Jax will get called up to the big leagues sometime during the 2012 season (and in fact he could actually make the Cubs Opening Day 25-man roster with a strong showing in Spring Training).

Az Phil;
Has Camp Colvin begun yet?

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 7:29am — Hagsag

Az Phil;
Has Camp Colvin begun yet?

============================

HAGSAG: Yes. It's been in full-swing since the end of Instructs.

Players will get breaks over the Thanksgiving & Christmas holidays.

Those aren't breaks. Those are carb-loading sessions.

It was Ineri's idea so it should be called Camp InFleita.

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