Two More Minor League Free-Agents Re-sign with Cubs

Pitchers Marco Carrillo and Justin Berg will be back in the Cubs 0rganization next year, as two more post-2011 Rule 55 Minor League Free-Agents have re-signed with the Cubs.

The two pitchers join OF Jim Adduci and INF Jonathon Mota, who re-signed with the Cubs earlier this month. Two other Cubs minor league free-agents (OF Brad Snyder and INF Scott Moore) have signed 2012 minor league contracts with the Houston Astros.

So far, the Cubs have not signed any minor league free-agents from outside the organization.


While Berg will be spending most of 2012 rehabbing from TJS at Fitch Park, Carrillo should have a decent shot at making the AAA Iowa Cubs roster as a rubber-armed "swing-man" (starter/reliever). The 24-year old Carrillo is presently pitching for Obregon in the Mexican Pacfic League (LMP), and is 3rd in the league in ERA among starting pitchers.

Like Adduci and Mota, both Berg and Carrillo will be eligible for selection in next month's Rule 5 Draft. (Free-agents who sign minor league contracts prior to the Rule 5 Draft are eligible for selection).

Here is the updated list of Cubs minor league free-agents who have not signed contracts for 2012:


SIX-YEAR MINOR LEAGUE FA:
Angel Guzman, RHP
Dylan Johnston, RHP (ex-OF)
Mario Mercedes, C
Chris Robinson, C (played for Team Canada in World Cup)
Carlton Smith, RHP (acquired from CLE in Kosuke Fukudome trade)
Alvaro Sosa, RHP (ex-C)
Jeff Stevens, RHP (acquired from CLE in Mark DeRosa deal post-2008)
John Urick, 1B (player-coach - Whitey Herzog's nephew)


PREVIOUSLY RELEASED MINOR LEAGUE FA:
Austin Bibens-Dirkx, RHP (Christian Rock artist in the off-season)
Robert Coello, RHP (acquired from BOS last February for 2B Tony Thomas)


NOTE: As an Article XX-D minor league FA (he was outrighted previously in his career), OF Luis Montanez had until Friday 11/25 to decide whether to accept his outright assignment to AAA Iowa. If he did accept the assignment, he would be deferring his free-agency until the day after the conclusion of the 2012 regular season (unless he is added back to a 40-man roster in the meantime).

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Comments

Phil
I was looking through the minor league rosters trying to figure out who would be at each level. I got curious after Goldstein predicted these assignments:

BJackson, Castillo, Vitters, Dolis to AAA
Szczur, McNutt, Lake to AA
JaBaez to Low A
Maples, Hernandez to compete for full season leagues

I ended up with some questions:
AAA 1B: Ridling/LaHair/both/other?
AA OF: If Nelson Perez comes back to AA, how would a Szczur, Ha, Perez outfield line up? Crawford has to be in AA this year, right?
AA Rotation: McNutt, Antigua, Searle, Raley/Jokisch, Suarez?
C Lineup: Cubs - Soto/Clevenger, AAA - Castillo/Robinson, AA - Brenly/Lalli, HiA - Gibbs/Noble, A - Lopez/Burruel, LowA - Rosario/Cabezas
AA 3B (Assuming Lake as SS): Cerda?
Low A IF : Lopez, Vogelbach, DeVoss, Hernandez, Baez?

Do you think Whitenack will get any meaningful innings this year?

Would you keep Cashner in the pen this year or let him start at AAA? What do you think the Cubs will do?

hopefully castillo will be in the majors come april...unless he's being groomed to take over for soto full time in 2013 and needs to hone everyday skills.

If they think he's a starter then I would imagine they let him play everyday and work on something, maybe his patience. If Soto gets hurt then you DL him and let Castillo get his starts.

I wouldn't have him back up Soto unless they think he can't start.

Sat, 11/26/2011 - 4:10pm — JumboNew
Re: Two More Minor League Free-Agents Re-sign with Cubs

If they think he's a starter then I would imagine they let him play everyday and work on something, maybe his patience. If Soto gets hurt then you DL him and let Castillo get his starts.

I wouldn't have him back up Soto unless they think he can't start.

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

JUMBO: Welington Castilo has only one minor league option left, and he probably could use another year at AAA to work on polishing his below-average receiving skills.

Steve Clevenger actually fits the profile of an MLB back-up catcher more than Castillo. Clevenger is a year older than Castillo, he is a solid LH hitter with a short-stroke, and he can play 1B, and even 2B, SS, or 3B in an emergency (he played SS in college and 2B in his first year of pro ball).

Castillo profiles as a 20+ HR & 500+ SLG guy with a plus-arm (consistent 40% CS through 2010 season, before struggling with a thumb injury on his throwing hand in 2011).

Bryan LaHair is out of options so I doubt that he will go back to Iowa.

Rebel Ridling will likely be assigned to Iowa, and will play 1B and LF.

Josh Vitters will likely play 1B, LF, and RF at Iowa. I doubt that he will be playing much 3B anymore. He just looks more-comfortable at 1B and corner OF.

I don't think Matt Szczur will be starting the season at Tennessee. If the Cubs had planned that, Szczur would have played in the AFL. I believe the Opening Day OF at Tennesee will probably be Evan Crawford in LF, Jae Hoon Ha in CF, and Michael Burgess in RF, with Nelson Perez the 4th OF.

As things stand right now, I think the AA rotation will probably be McNutt, Searle, Jokisch, Rhee, and Antigua.

If the Cubs don't re-sign Chris Robinson (and it probably would be in his best interests to try his luck with another organization) the Cubs will probably sign a veteran minor league catcher to be the back-up at AAA. Perhaps somebody like long-time Red Sox minor league receiver Mark Wagner (who is presently a 6YFA).

Michael Brenly should be the #1 guy at Tennessee until Luis Flores completes his 50-game PED suspension at the end of April. Blake Lalli could finally get a chance to play at AAA, or he could go back to AA (again). Or Lalli could end up being a player-coach (he will be a minor league FA after next season).

Micah Gibbs should be the #1 catcher at Daytona, and it's possible that (after a strong Instructs) Rafael Lopez could get jumped to Daytona from Boise (Lopez is also 24 years old, so he needs to move along).

I think Yaniel Cabezas and Sergio Burruel will share the catching duties at Peoria. Cabezas had a really strong Instructs at the plate, and the Cubs probably want to get him moving after investing $500K in him when they signed him last December.

Chad Noble or possibly Taylor Davis (NDFA signed out of Morehead State after the draft) would be fall-back options at both Daytona and Peoria, and it's possible that Noble could even be the back-up catcher at Tennessee for the first month of the season (until Flores is reinstated).

No player looked worse at Instructs (both offensively and defensively) than Neftali Rosario. I would be surprised if Rosario gets to Peoria in 2012.

I think Matt Cerda will play both 3B and 2B at Tennessee, Logan Watkins will play 2B and SS (and possibly some CF), and Junior Lake will play SS and 3B and some RF, too. In fact, having seen Lake take fly balls last month, I am beginning to thnk that he will eventually end up in RF, where his rocket arm would be a big plus.

While I'm sure that Dan Vogelbach and Javier Baez wil be given opportunities at Minor League Camp to win starting jobs at Peoria, I think it's just as likely that one or both will end up at Extended Spring Training and then go to Boise. They don't need to be rushed. Same goes for Marco Hernandez and Gioskar Amaya.

Zeke DeVoss is a terrible defensive 2B and will probably be moved to the OF full-time in 2012. ZDV should be the lead-off hitter at Peoria, and I suspect he will play mostly LF (he has a below-average arm). Reggie Golden will very likely be the RF and hit 5th at Peoria, and Pin-Chieh Chen will probably be the starting CF and #2 hitter.

Conversely Rubi Silva actually looked pretty good at 2B in Instructs, and so I think he'll be the #1 2B at Daytona.

I would say Taiwan Easterling will play LF and Matt Szczur will play CF at Daytona, with either Abner Abreu, Jesus Morelli, Anthony Giansanti, or Ben Klafczynski in RF. 24-year old Cuban defectors Eliecer Bonne and Mayke Reyes will compete for OF jobs at Daytona and Peoria, and Silva might play both 2B and RF at Daytona.

Rob Whitenack probably won't see game action until July or August, and then it will likely be very limited duty in the AZL. Then he'll probably go to Instructs post-2012 to get innings (same thing happened with Dae-Eun Rhee post-2009), and get back into full-swing in 2013.

I think Andrew Cashner will probably be in the bullpen in 2012. But because he could qualify as a "Super Two" post-2012, the Cubs probably won't think twice about sending him to the minors for a couple of months if he struggles in Spring Training.

Thanks a lot, AZP

AZ Phil, what's your take on Goldstein's comments about Vitter's defense at 3B?

"He has made significant improvements defensively, and more scouts than ever believe in his ability to stay at the hot corner as an average defender with a slightly above-average arm."

Are Cubs people feeding Goldstein a line to keep from completely destroying Vitter's limited trade value?

Sat, 11/26/2011 - 10:32pm — QuietMan
Re: Two More Minor League Free-Agents Re-sign with Cubs

AZ Phil, what's your take on Goldstein's comments about Vitter's defense at 3B?

"He has made significant improvements defensively, and more scouts than ever believe in his ability to stay at the hot corner as an average defender with a slightly above-average arm."

Are Cubs people feeding Goldstein a line to keep from completely destroying Vitter's limited trade value?

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

Q-MAN: I don't know what Kevin Goldstein is talking about. Josh Vitters is way below-average at 3B.

Vitters does look OK at 1B, though, probably because throwing accuracy isn't very important there, and he can afford to bobble a ball and still have time to get an out. He also should be able to handle a corner OF spot, although he just started playing there in the AFL.

I believe Goldstein was off-base on Jae-Hoon Ha, too.

Ha is the best defensive CF in the Cubs system, he has an accurate arm with plus arm-strength, he has above-average speed (although he is not a good base-stealer), he is a good hitter with plus bat-speed, and he has occasional HR power that should increase as he matures (he just turned 21 last month, and he was the youngest position player in the Southern League until the Rays promoted Hak-Ju Lee to AA in mid-August). The only thing is, Ha does not project as a top of the order guy because he's a hyper-aggressive hitter and doesn't walk much. But he looks like he should be a solid #5 or #6 hitter with lots of XBHs.

If it turns out that Jae-Hoon Ha, Brett Jackson, and Matt Szczur end up in the same outfield together someday, it will probably be B-Jax in LF, Szczur in CF, and Ha in RF, just because Ha has a true "RF arm." But Ha does have the range and ballhawking skills needed to play CF.

Thanks AZ Phil.

Awesome write-up AZ Phil. Kinda bummed to hear you think Cashner is in the pen next year, though. I really hope they let him build up some arm strength and get some innings in AAA, then promote him during the season as a starter.

On another note, do you have any thoughts on prospects who could have a breakout year next year?

Sun, 11/27/2011 - 12:04am — Koyies Bansaw

On another note, do you have any thoughts on prospects who could have a breakout year next year?

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

K BANSAW: By this time next year, I would not be surprised if Rick Reuschel-clone Ben Wells is considered by many to be the Cubs #1 pitching prospect. I think he is ripe for a break-out season at Peoria. He is a horse.

I suspect Jeffry Antigua is another Cubs pitching prospect who could well have a break-out season in 2012. He is probably the Cubs #1 lefty starter prospect.

LHP (ex-OF) Kyler Burke had an outstanding Instructs and the sky's the limit for him. He throws a mid-90's fastball, a curve, and a change-up, and he was working on a slider at Instructs. Burke is eligible to be a minor league FA post-2012, so if he continues to show progress, the Cubs will need to add him to their 40-man roster after next season to keep him from going elsewhere, even if he doesn't get past Daytona in 2012.

22-year old Cuban Defector LHP Frank Del Valle looked VERY good at Instructs, and I could see him having a very strong 2012 season at Daytona.

DSL Cubs RHP Jose Arias also looked good at Instructs, and he could move fast. He is a big, strong kid.

Among the position players, 2011 draft pick Taiwan Easterling moved fast once he signed and then looked great at Instructs. I think he will probably start the 2012 season as the LF at Daytona, but I could see him getting fast-tracked if he can start to show some HR power in games. Despite having above-average speed, Easterling really isn't a top-of-the-order type. He probably projects as more of a middle-of-the-order guy.

I wrote a lot about Jeimer Candelario when I posted my AZ Instructs reports, but Candelario might be the best Cubs position-player prospect to come out of the Dominican since Starlin Castro. Candelario is a switch-hitter with a sweet lefty swing, and he really drives the ball with authority hitting LH. I don't know if he can stay at 3B long-term, though (he might end up at 1B), but he has the body-type and bat-speed that should result in some big-time power as he matures. I think it is conceivable that he could start the 2012 season at Peoria.

Reggie Golden came to Minor League Camp last March out of shape, but he is particpating at Camp Colvin at Fitch Park this off-season, and it will be interesting to see if he can get off to a strong start at Peoria in 2012 if he is in better condition from the gitgo. There is no question about Golden's HR power and he has a strong "RF arm," but he needs to keep in mind that junk food and fried foods can kill ya.

Micah Gibbs went to Instructs to work on his hitting, and he really showed a lot of improvement there. He should be the #1 catcher at Daytona in 2012 no matter what, but if he can continue to show improvement as a hitter at Daytona he would become a legit MLB prospect. He already is the Cubs best all-around defensive catcher.

Thanks again AZ Phil, you're the best. Three other guys I was wondering about are Eric Jokisch, Graham Hicks, and Zac Rosscup. What are your thoughts on them? Jokisch seemed to have a pretty good year last year, and from what I saw (in boxscores) Rosscup and Hicks were pretty solid when healthy.

Sun, 11/27/2011 - 11:45am — Koyies BansawNew
Re: Two More Minor League Free-Agents Re-sign with Cubs

Thanks again AZ Phil, you're the best. Three other guys I was wondering about are Eric Jokisch, Graham Hicks, and Zac Rosscup. What are your thoughts on them? Jokisch seemed to have a pretty good year last year, and from what I saw (in boxscores) Rosscup and Hicks were pretty solid when healthy.

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

K BANSAW: After struggling in his first pro appearances in 2010, Eric Jokisch made a lot of progress in 2011, leading all Cubs minor leaguers in victories with 10. But that was because he was used frequently at the back-end of the "piggy-back" at Peoria, where the starter got pulled with a lead before completing the five innings necessary to get the win.

Jokisch is a polished college pitcher (three years at Northwestern and one summer in the Cape Cod League) who should be a rotation starter at AA in 2012. His stuff might be a bit marginal (he is the classic "soft-tossing" lefty whose change-up is his best pitch), so he could be more J. R. Mathes than Jamie Moyer. We'll see.

Both Zac Rosscup and Graham Hicks got back late in the 2011 season to throw some innings (Hicks at AZL Cubs and Rosscup at Instructs), so hopefully they will be 100% in 2012. If they are, both will likely begin the season as rotation starters at Daytona. Rosscup is more advanced than Hicks, so he could eventually end up at Tennessee once it starts to warm-up.

Two other pitchers I should mention are a couple of RH relievers who were selected in the 2010 draft, Kevin Rhoderick and Aaron Kurcz. Both have big-time stuff (Rhoderick has one of the best sliders in minor league baseball, and Kurcz features a mid-90's fastball/power-slider combo), and one or both could get called up to Chicago at some point next season.

Rhoderick was an underachieving college closer at Oregon State, and signed with the Cubs with literally just minutes to spare at the August deadline in 2010. Rhoderick had previously told the Cubs northwest area scout that he was absolutely, positively returning to to OSU for his senior season, before he (quite unexpectedly) contacted the Cubs just before the deadline to ask if the Cubs offer was still on the table. It took a couple of phone calls to get last-minute approval, but Rhoderick got his money.

Rhoderick made his pro debut at Instructs post-2010, and then really moved fast in 2011, making the Daytona Opening Day roster out of Spring Training, getting a mid-season call-up to AA Tennessee, and then finishing the season at AAA Iowa in what was just his first pro season. His one negative is occasionally misplacing the strike zone, but his slider is a wipe-out pitch.

Kurcz began his college career at the Air Force Academy, before transferring to the College of Southern Nevada after his freshman season. He was the closer and a teammate of 2010 #1 overall pick Bryce Harper on a CSN team that advanced to the 2010 JUCO World Series. The Cubs converted Kurcz to a starter at Instructs post-2010 and kept him in the starting rotation at Daytona (like Rhoderick, Kurcz skipped Peoria) through the first half of the 2011 season, but he just didn't have the stamina or secondary stuff needed to excel in that role. Kurcz was moved back to the bullpen at Daytona mid-season 2011, and was virtually unhittable after that.

There is a lot to be sorted-out at Minor League Camp and both pitchers will have to compete with others for jobs, but don't be surprised if Kevin Rhoderick is the closer at Iowa and Aaron Kurcz is the closer at Tennessee on Opening Day 2012.

Thanks again, AZ Phil!

Hey AZ Phil. Thanks for the info! I have a couple questions for you about some lesser-known corner infielders. Where do you think that Justin Bour starts next year? And does Matt Cerda seem like a guy who might develop moderate power, or does that appear to be extremely unlikely?

Sun, 11/27/2011 - 12:14am — Charlie
Hey AZ Phil. Thanks for the info! I have a couple questions for you about some lesser-known corner infielders. Where do you think that Justin Bour starts next year? And does Matt Cerda seem like a guy who might develop moderate power, or does that appear to be extremely unlikely?

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

CHARLIE: Justin Bour should be the everyday 1B and #4 or #5 hitter at Tennessee in 2012.

I have a lot of doubts about Matt Cerda ever developing anything more than incidental HR power.

Thanks, Phil! Good to know. Matt Cerda is a frustrating player. I love his discipline, but he doesn't seem to have much future if he doesn't have any power.

Gotta figure that Szczur starts back in Hi-A ball.

LaHair is the starting Rf'er in Wrigley right now. Out of options means he sticks or leaves.

Tom Ricketts interviewed by Liz Claman and David Asman on Fox Business from Tuesday, Nov 22nd...

Not very informative unless you ladder bonds.

http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/1290463644001

via the rotowurld:

"According to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, there is "strong suspicion" that the White Sox have no plans to prevent Mark Buehrle from signing a free-agent deal elsewhere."

fwiw, boourlee has already allegedly turned down a very nice 2-year deal from the WSox in order to look for more years.

also, Z is expected to sit out another week in winter ball to heal.

Jon Heyman tweeting...not sure why.

Carlos pena unlikely to accept arbitration offer. has a multiyear market after nice season on north side.

also said in a previous tweet that the Tigers are inquiring about ARam

https://twitter.com/SI_JonHeyman/status/14093...

-deleting a post with duplicate info as above post-

jinx

i know, right.

good news for r.chinirorosoorosoros in TB...

"Mariners acquired C John Jaso from the Rays for RHP Josh Lueke and a player to be named later or cash considerations."

And we thought Bradley was carrying baggage...

He (Lueke) was charged with rape and sodomy in a May 2008 incident and served 42 days in jail.

42 days in jail? Hopefully someone returned the favor while he was there.

Does anyone know if the new CBA addresses this point:
Currently if you can't sign your first rounder (say #9 pick) you get the #10 pick the following year in addition to your usual pick.

Thanks

there doesn't seem to be anything in the Memorandum of Understanding (remember the CBA has yet to be ratified, they've just agreed on the main points), so I presume it hasn't changed.

http://minors.mlblogs.com/2011/11/28/more-cba...

you cannot punt a signing and keep your pool money...failure to sign a pick, reduces your overall bonus pool money according to that slot number.

and per jumbo's question, you do get a pick the following year for failing to sign a 1st, 2nd or 3rd rounder.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/Albert-puj...

mentions Cubs, Nationals, Mariners & Rangers as pursuers of Fielder

throws Garza and Wells in as possible SP's that could be moved

says Cubs getting calls on Marmol, I presume not just to laugh at them.

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

Also says the White Sox are paying a setup man $12 mil for the next two years and signed Donnie Veal.

Didn't take nearly as long to clean house. Fired the president Tal Smith and Ed Wade today.

Muskat blogs...

Both FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi and ESPN’s Buster Olney reported on Monday that the Cubs are letting teams know that Matt Garza is available. However, moving Garza doesn’t make much sense.

http://muskat.mlblogs.com/2011/11/28/1128-mat...

mlbtr covers the Olney/Morosi info with this speculation:

What will it take to acquire Garza? The Cubs' farm system is light on top-shelf young pitching, based on rankings from Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus. With Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, and Martin Perez, the Yankees and Rangers' top arms could be of particular interest to the Cubs.

anyone know of these pitching prospects? Chris Archer redux?

Banuelos, age 21 season next year, took a step back in 2010, although doing it at AA-AAA

http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/play...

#41 on BA's top 100 last year, Archer was #27

throw in Montero and Banuelos and that would be interesting

his report before the 2011 season from BP
Year in Review: After missing the first part of the year following an emergency appendectomy, Banuelos blew away Florida State League scouts, and more than held his own in a trio of Double-A starts as a 19-year-old.
The Good: Banuelos added significant velocity in 2010, with a fastball that suddenly was sitting at 92-94 mph while touching 96. His changeup is a true plus offering with excellent fade and deception, and he shows the kind of consistency with it rarely found in a pitcher so young. He'll flash a good curve, and has extremely easy mechanics and clean arm action that combine to provide above-average command and control.
The Bad: Banuelos' curveball can be inconsistent, and he clearly loses feel for the pitch at times. Despite the quality of his stuff, his small frame is cause for some concern, and he has yet to throw more than 109 innings in a season, so his ability to handle a big-league workload is unproven.

Betances, #43 last year

will be his age 24 season in 2012

http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/play...

from BP before the 2011 season, they had Betances as Yanks #4 prospect (5-star), Banuelos as #2 (5-star)
The Good: When Betances has everything going at the same time, he's unstoppable. His fastball sits in the low to mid-90s, consistently touches 97 mph, features some natural tailing action, and that's not even his best pitch, as he generates downright embarrassing swings with his power curveball, which comes in hard and then falls off the table. He has made some progress with a changeup, a pitch that can flash plus, and his delivery is much cleaner than the one from his pre-surgery days.
The Bad: Like Banuelos, Betances is anything but a proven commodity. He only pitched 85 1/3 innings last year, has thrown less than 300 in his five years as a pro, and he needs to prove that he can maintain his stuff over a full season. His changeup is still highly inconsistent, as he can lose feel on it and overthrow. He has put significant bulk on his frame over the past three years, and conditioning could be an issue down the road.

okay Montero and Betances...

Why would the Cubs trade starting pitching right now? I only see this happening if they get MLB ready starting pitching in return, maybe two MLB ready pitchers in return for Garza. Who's going to give that up?

those 3 names at least all pitched in AAA last year, about as close to the majors as you'll get...

Garza to Braves for Heyward and Teheran would be neat :)

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 3:00pm — Rob G.

Garza to Braves for Heyward and Teheran would be neat :)

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

ROB G: Garza to the Reds for Yonder Alonso and Brad Boxberger would be OK with me.

Alonso would solve 1B long-term and provide a LH bat in the middle of the order, and I saw Boxberger throw in the AFL, and he and the Cubs' Chris Carpenter were the two most-dominating relievers there.

I'd be nice to get one more arm in that deal.

Agreed, based on his minors track record, Alonso isn't all that.

Yeah. He seems neither a guarantee for huge power nor a strong average. Decent discipline, though.

he's got strong power...it'll come.

he's got an awesome logan morrison quality swing (who's an eventual 30+hr guy).

Martin Perez will play his age 21 season next year for Rangers, #24 in BA's Top 100

http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/play...

BP had him as the Rangers #1 prospect last year, also a 5-star
The Good: Because he's armed with three plus pitches, Perez has the ability to become an impact starter. His low-90s fastball can touch 95 mph at times, and features plenty of movement. His slow, looping curveball is a plus pitch when he has a feel for hit, and an outstanding changeup is his best secondary offering, one that features plenty of late drop. While he's a bit undersized, it isn't a major concern for scouts due to his picture-perfect delivery and easy arm action.
The Bad: Perez struggled with attaining consistency in 2010, mixing dominating outings with terrible ones throughout the year. His velocity fluctuated wildly, ranging from 87-95 mph, and he was often guilty of aiming his pitches and reducing their effectiveness by doing so, while also losing snap on his breaking ball.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/11/agent-a...

after saying they weren't all that interested in Aramis, his agent says Angels are among 4-5 teams with "serious" interest.

but allegedly a Rule 5 preview on BA says Ryan Searle and R. Flaherty the two likeliest Cubs to be selected.

http://t.co/lOOJyQiD

unless he's in BOS or SD soon i have no idea why they'd expose r.flaherty.

i usually shrug off exposed Rule 5 picks, but i can't understand this one even if he's blake dewitt-ish.

unless he's in BOS or SD soon i have no idea why they'd expose r.flaherty.

someone needs to explain this to me, but how does not protecting Flaherty make MORE SENSE as him being the compensation?

because that's the only reason i could fathom for keeping him unprotected...him going somewhere else fast and letting them deal with the situation.

there's $$ (though minor) involved in paperwork moving players, especially to the 40man...along with rights that come with being on the 40-man that also cost money. this is a pretty minor thing in the grand scheme, though...it's probably not the thing keeping him off the 40-man. i have no idea why his stock is low right now.

there's a lot more to the guy than his numbers. he's not very slick at 2nd, and can't make 3rd "work" though he's got the tools for it...still, guys like casey mcgehehehehe are even worse at it. imo, he could play 2nd full time for someone (probably not in 2012) and definitely help the bench at 2nd/3rd in 2012.

i have a hard time understanding how he's not valuable to the cubs, especially with roster space to burn.

because that's the only reason i could fathom for keeping him unprotected...him going somewhere else fast and letting them deal with the situation.

so to settle compensation, they've orchestrated an elaborate scheme to involve a 3rd party now?

I presume the only thing that could make sense is if the Padres or Red Sox are only interested in Flaherty if he doesn't cost them a 40-man spot, but that seems like quite a reach.

don't think hard about it...take it at face. yes, it's unlikely and odd.

i cannot understand why the cubs wouldn't protect the guy unless some other club wanted it on their watch. it's unlikely to work out like that, but that's just how much i don't understand why he's being unprotected.

he's the type of guy you can stash on your bench for a year and get 150-200ab out of him without ruining his ceiling.

there's plenty of roster space and the cubs seem willing to let a guy walk on their watch that's most likely going to be snagged early by someone else. it's not like someone had to be dropped to add him to the roster. it's not like he's likely to be offered back to the club without some disaster-level D in spring, too.

i dunno, though...maybe the guy is a known alcoholic pillhead with a gambling and male prostitute problem...f'n baseball.

i cannot understand why the cubs wouldn't protect the guy unless some other club wanted it on their watch.

have you realized yet this makes no sense?

obviously Boston or San Diego isn't going to take him, doing so requires keeping him on the 25-man as well as the 40-man and if they wanted him, a trade where he just needed to be on the 40-man would make more sense.

so the only things that make any sense are the Red Sox and Padres only want Flaherty if he doesn't take up a 40-man spot, but exposing him means there's little chance he'll get to the Red Sox or Padres since he seems very likely to get picked (of course people said that about Chirinos 2 years ago). Or the Cubs just don't like something about Flaherty all that much.

----> "don't think hard about it...take it at face. yes, it's unlikely and odd."

the important part is flaherty going...not the weird off-chance that takes this risk out of the cubs hands.

it's my belief that unless his D gets disaster-level in spring we're not going to see the guy offered back.

i also think there's a near 0% chance of him going unselected based on his bench-friendly ceiling, lefty hitting, 2nd/3rd familiarity, and low risk.

the important part is flaherty going

yes

not the weird off-chance that takes this risk out of the cubs hands.

no idea what that means, but obviously he's not part of the Boston or San Dieogo compensation talks as you first wrote.

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 5:27pm — Rob G.
Re: Flaherty

obviously Boston or San Diego isn't going to take him, doing so requires keeping him on the 25-man as well as the 40-man and if they wanted him, a trade where he just needed to be on the 40-man would make more sense.

so the only things that make any sense are the Red Sox and Padres only want Flaherty if he doesn't take up a 40-man spot, but exposing him means there's little chance he'll get to the Red Sox or Padres since he seems very likely to get picked (of course people said that about Chirinos 2 years ago). Or the Cubs just don't like something about Flaherty all that much

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

ROB G: Dae-Eun Rhee, Kyler Burke, and Jeffry Antigua (none of whom have pitched above "A" ball) would probably be the more-likely candidates to be the compensation going to Boston and/or San Diego after the Rule 5 Draft, since even if they are selected in the draft they probably would not be able to stick on a 25-man MLB roster next season and would be returned to the Cubs at the end of Spring Training.

Ryan Flaherty is 25 years old and has AAA experience, so he would have a good chance to actually make an MLB Opening Day roster and stay there for an entire season. Same goes for Marwin Gonzalez and Jay Jackson.

With Epstein having already said that the Cubs & Padres agreed to wait until after the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft before addressing compensation, the most-likely reason to wait is because the compensation will involve a player eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft.

I could see a scenario where the Padres will get their pick of any Cubs Rule 5 eligible who is not selected in the draft as compensation for losing Hoyer/McLeod.

That way SD could get an attractive young pitcher with upside who probably isn't ready for the big leagues, without having to mess around with Rule 5 roster restrictions and a $480K salary next season, and it would also give the Padres a year to evaluate the pitcher to see if he continues to progress before deciding whether to add him to their MLB 40-man roster post-2012.

I don't know if the compensation going to the Red Sox would be related to the Rule 5 Draft, though. It might (maybe one of the players), but the compensation going to Boston also could involve at least one player who is already on the Cubs 40-man roster.

When Ryan Searle signed with the Cubs, there was another MLB club that almost signed him instead. I'm pretty sure it was Cleveland, so they may select him.

As I have said before, all it takes is one scout from one team to highly recommend a player, and that player could get taken in the Rule 5 Draft. Especially if that team wanted the player, but missed out on signing him when the player waa an amateur..

From the BA rule 5 possible picks, my thinking is Theo wants a Boston prospect he knows like (nope, it's not David Patton):

Josh Fields, rhp, Red Sox: Fields fits the description of the kind of pitcher who could stick. The 26-year-old was an unsigned second-round pick in 2007, teamed with Gordon Beckham to help lead Georgia to the 2008 College World Series and was the Mariners' first-rounder that year. Traded to the Red Sox in the Erik Bedard deal, Fields was almost 24 when he signed and had his healthiest season in 2011, throwing 56 innings. He has just 118 innings as a pro, walking 82 and striking out 128. Despite his small frame, the 6-foot, 185-pounder has big arm strength, regularly hitting 96 mph, and his curveball can be a plus pitch when it's on. He went 4-2, 3.67 in 2011 between Double-A Jackson, Triple-A Tacoma and Double-A Portland, striking out 64 and waling 42 in 56 innings.

6.25 BB/9?

Marmol even thinks he has control problems.

and regarding Flaherty...

...and his best-case scenario appears to be as a lefty-batting Mark DeRosa, though he's less athletic and therefore less skilled defensively...He's as safe a bet as any Rule 5 player available to stick because of his lefthanded bat, defensive versatility, good performance track record and solid makeup.

Seems like Flaherty has more power potential than DeRosa.

DeRosa didn't have double digit HR season until he got to Texas (13 in 2006) after 4 seasons with the Braves (not counting short stints). He did have 2 seasons of 20+ HR's including his last with the Cubs in 2008 and in 2009 with Cleve/Stl.

So something clicked in Texas after about 1200 mlb AB's. Jaramillo's biggest success story?

If Flaherty sticks he's got a shot at showing more power than DeRosa although he has to stick for more than 1200 AB's, which obviously isn't a given.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/d/d...

speaking of Boston prospect...Matt Murton re-ups for another year in Japan.

keeps delaying his hof mlb career

I don't think Gingers have fared well in the MLB since Rusty Staub.

on a related note, Goldstein has a tweet saying that "Scouts have never been thrilled with him", him being Flaherty.

Can DH be implemented in NL in 2013 or does the CBA have to be part of it?

/hopefully in time for Sori's last two years

would have to be negotiated...

players would be for it, that's generally 15 more high-paying offensive spots, just a matter if tradition and owners would let it happen.

so can't be done until current cba ends?

if someone really pushed for it, I'm sure they could amend the current one once it gets approved.

but unlikely until the next CBA...

Doesn't sound like either party is really pushing for it one way or another. Once the new expanded interleague happens, I could foresee people wanting it though.

"/hopefully in time for Sori's last two years"

Aren't DHs usually considered reasonably good hitters?

http://www.csnchicago.com/blog/cubs-talk/post...

listening on Garza, but not Marshall? (in things that make no sense)
kicking the tires on David DeJesus (about 4 years too late)

That must just mean they haven't gotten any offers on Marshall that match up with how they value him.

Or that they think he'll be worth more after 3 months as a starter than he is now.

story claims they feel he's too valuable in the bullpen, fwiw.

also, if they do intend to stretch him out as a starter, they would be wise to start that process over the winter. They could be keeping it hush, but certainly nothing has been reported on that front.

Whose choice would that be? Is that up to the manager (who is new), or the GM (who is slightly less new), or would they all be expected to get together and talk it out?

I'm hoping that they just haven't talked about it to the press yet. Maybe this regime will play things close to the chest. (But I'm probably just thinking wishfully.)

Both parties would have to agree, doubt Marshall would object if they approached him

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 7:59pm — Rob G.
story claims they feel he's too valuable in the bullpen, fwiw.

also, if they do intend to stretch him out as a starter, they would be wise to start that process over the winter. They could be keeping it hush, but certainly nothing has been reported on that front.

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 9:06pm — Rob G.

Both parties would have to agree, doubt Marshall would object if they approached him

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

ROB G: Sean Marshall is a free-agent after next season, and a FA LHSP is going to have more value on the open market than a LH set-up guy. So I would think that Marshall would want to at least be given a chance to start next season, even if it doesn't work out and he ends up back in the bullpen.

And I would be surprised if Marshall does not get an opportunity to start next season and then agrees to a multi-year contract for LH reliever money with the Cubs.

If he is a LH reliever (even a good one), the Cubs are not going to offer Marshall a guaranteed contract for 2013 equal to the average salaries of the 125 highest-paid players in 2012 (which the Cubs would have to do to get a compensation draft pick if Marshall is a FA and signs elsewhere after next season). So if the Cubs don't intend to at least try him as a starter next season, they should just trade him and get the best deal they can for him before he hits free-agency post-2012.

re: phillies trying to lure b.wagner out of retirement...

“No, I’m done. I’ve got a major role on a JV baseball team,” Wagner said of his current post at the Miller School of Albemarle in Charlottesville, Va. “I’m JV baseball coach.”

ha. he went out kinda bitter...felt people gave him way too much hell for injuries vs. what he did while healthy.

whatever...he got paid and he's got a trip to the HOF waiting on him...and an awesome coaching job, evidently.

I wonder if he's breaking all his pitchers' throwing arms.

Astros ask and get permission to talk to Andrew Friedman from Tampa

http://blog.chron.com/ultimateastros/2011/11/...

via rotowurld...

"Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that the Cubs have interest in the Rockies' Ian Stewart.

The level of interest isn't clear, but Renck writes that the Rockies are currently exploring trades for Stewart."

Some guys are good buy-low candidates. Some guys are just low candidates. For whatever reason, it looks like Stewart peaked at age 19.

Stewart could be Theo's Ortiz. Doubt it, but if he's cheap it'd be the year to try him...

Someone has to play 3b next year

Someone has to play 3b next year
---
but can he play flugelhorn?

http://tinyurl.com/83thpp5

I think you're agreeing with what I agree with indicating a general agreement between you and me.

Ian Stewart always killed me on MLB The Show for whatever reason. Ipso facto- I am a fan of the Cubs acquiring Ian Stewart.

Sabermetrics... p'shaw.

Rosenthal, Cubs after Pujols>Fielder, blah-blah, yakity-yak...

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/Albert-Puj...

boston press has nice rapport with red sox management...

I reached Lucchino briefly in his office yesterday morning. He said he couldn’t talk to me. He said there would be no announcement yesterday.

I followed that up with, “Do you have any comment on how indecisive this makes you guys look?’’

“Goodbye, Dan,’’ he answered. “Nice to talk to you.’’

Click.

Dial tone.

http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/...

I think what has become pretty clear during the last several months is not so much that the Boston press doesn't have a great rapport with Boston management, but that Lucchino and Henry are dicks.

"Lucchino and Henry are dicks"

That was my impression before I read up on them a little. They're both very self-made and accomplished. It would be tough to have them as bosses, though, which is probably why Theo was spotted in that near-north Starbucks.

I heard Rosenthal this AM on the SCORE - WSCR in Chi.

His point, assuming you have read his piece on the new CBA affecting the new draft money pool, loss of 1st rounder for going over the cap, blah...blah...and that there are not going to be FA players near the caliber of the two Superstars in the next several years.

My personal theory is if there were Vegas odds on the Cubs signing Pujols to a long-term deal, I'd bet $100 against this ever happening from what Hoy-Stein has been preaching since day one.

Moreso, I believe he wants the Cardinals to suffer with having to get kicked in the balls by having the price escalated above the $200MM point.

If they truly have the go-ahead to sign one of these dudes, my money is on Fielder. Even then, they might just use Garza as ROB G alludes to, and trade for an up-and-comer like Alonso.

Better have Dh rule in place if they get either.

I actually believe this may happen sooner than you think.

You may be right, and if so, it's the most depressing thing I've heard in a while. They should have got rid of that damned rule when they did the last expansion.

2013 my guess

Gets 1/4m with 1m in incentives from Royals

Sounds like a decent deal for the Royals.

if there's some unmentioned plan for Soria, sure...

otherwise a very expensive 8th inning guy, although the Royals certainly could be close to competing this year.

If Broxton gets healthy and the Royals are out of it, they could get a pretty good return on him mid-season. If they're in competition, then that's obviously good for them. If they're out of it and he sucks or isn't healthy, then they are out $4 mil on a gamble. Sounds okay to me.

Hard to fathom making business decisions where there's little downside to a $4 million gamble, isn't it?

Yeah. But isn't $4 million basically John Grabow these days?

Perusing Rangers' top prospects lists, interesting that SP prospect Roman Mendez was originally a Red Sox prospect who went to Texas as part of Jarrod Saltalamacchia deal.

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