Cubs Sign a Cuban, But Not That One

The Cubs did sign an acclaimed player out of Cuba, but it's not Yoenis Cespedes or Jorge Soler. Rather 18-year old LHP Gerardo Concepcion. A player Kevin Goldstein called polished for his age, but with the ceiling of a #4/#5 starter and whom Goldstein would put at #6 on his Top 11 Cubs prospect list.  Standing at 6'2", he throws in the upper 80's to 90mph with a curve and a change-up (what's up Ted Lilly?). Considering his age and alleged polish, he should start in Peoria rather than hang back in Arizona and then join Boise or the Arizona Rookie League in June. Enrique Rojas says the deal is for a total of $7M and a major league deal, which means a 40-man roster move would be necessary. ESPN Chicago adds that incentives can take the deal up to around the $8M mark. All this makes the Jeff Samardzija draft deal look good.

The Cubs have also signed Ryan-Rowland Smith to a minor league deal. The 29-year old Aussie pitched in the Astros minor leagues after spending parts of 4 seasons in the majors with the Mariners, but I'll always remember him from this commercial. I presume he'll be added to the non-roster invite list for spring training.

Also, with Edwin Jackson signing with the Nationals, the Cubs at the moment own the #6, #43, #55 and #65 picks in the 2012 draft. Derek Lee and Raul Ibanez are the last two Type B free agents out there and there's no guarantee they'll sign, but if they do, they both rank higher than Carlos Pena in the Elias Rankings, so those last two picks I mentioned could drop to as low as #57 and #67 if I did my math correctly. BA put out an early top 100 prospect list for the 2012 draft for some early obsessing.

Comments

If YOU were the GM, then doing the above with Jackson/Byrd makes sense.

However, Theo has made clear on several occasions that he will not move minor league talent to the big leagues before the braintrust feels they are ready. Under this scenario, I don't mind a useful DeJeezus.

Useful. Well ok....if he's useful, I guess? Just color me not too excited to lock up a "useful" guy to a2 year deal, with an option....useful doesn't mean good. So spend $4.2 million this year and next on a 32 y/o OF putting up .275./350/.420.

Wooooooooo......get the championship banners ready.

The DeJesus deal hinges on 2 things:
1. Whether or not you believe his next two seasons will be roughly his career averages
2. If you believe in the WAR calculations/projections and the cost of a WAR on the open market.

If DeJesus produces at his career averages 284/356/421/776 he will be worth just under 3 WAR. The current price of 1 WAR is about $5MM. So DeJesus will pay for his contract with a single career average year. Translation: It's a pretty fucking good contract for the Cubs.

Please excuse my lack of excitement for signing league average players.
The cost analysis, $$ vs WAR is right...for the $$, if he produces at his career avg...great? He's 32, coming off a season where he had hand injuries. I'm just not going to jump up and down over a guy hitting 10 HR, 60 RBI, and hitting .280/.350/.400....

I'm a long-time DeJesus fan and my exuberance for him is, admittedly, completely strange and unjustified.

http://mobile.boston.com/sports/baseball/reds...

Cafardo's latest:
- Lannan for Bourjos talk
- New red sox front office harder to deal with for other teams
- 8 offers came in for fielder
- prior gonna keep trying, possible workout in march

I was stunned that he's apparently run out of things Cub to bitch about.

I also enjoyed the bit about the Sawks front office, and they said "But it's not BCherington's fault, he's a good dude."

More evidence LLucchino is a moron.

Go Giants!!!

"Charlie Haeger will miss the 2012 season after he "ripped up" his elbow while playing soft-toss this winter, according to the Boston Globe."

a knuckleball pitcher tears his arm up playing soft toss. *golf clap*

Happened to Canseco

I play soft toss after my wife goes to bed. No injuries thus far.

Aka the Silent Towel drill

Aka, the wet towel drill.

BTW, for those following the weirdness, here's a Matt Murton as a Lamassu (winged lion).
http://cubkaiju.blogspot.com/2012/02/lamassu-...

Like the new site, but alas, there's a typo in your opener.

And it took less than an hour for you to bring spam to our beloved TCR...

... Shame.

what spam? where? i love spam! especially on toast w/ strawberry jam and cheese.

Yeah, I didn't really want to spam, that'll be the last one:) I just like using blogger more than flickr. Typos are awesome. I don't like proofreeding.

End of America in 2012? Click on this link for important information on how to protect you and your investments:

http://www.thedailycrux.com/content/9701/End_...

Oh Roooobbb... ^^^^

Chicago Cubs @Cubs
Cardenas hit .314 with 28 doubles, 4 triples, 5 HR, 70 R and 51 RBI in 127 Triple-A games last year while fielding at 2B, SS, 3B and LF.

Chicago Cubs @Cubs
#Cubs claimed IF Adrian Cardenas off waivers from the #Athletics. In a corresponding move, IF Blake DeWitt was designated for assignment.

Former 1st round pick of the Phillies.

Bats left, which makes him a younger, cheaper version of DeWitt.

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

yawn. Puts baseball cap over eyes, goes back to sleep.

So comforting to know that Jim Hendry got a pile of useless shit, and the Cubs gained not a single decent prospect out of Ted Lilly.

Fuck you Hendry.

BTW, how many former/current 1st round draft picks does this make for the Cubs?

They add one by getting rid of another one, so whatever the number is, it stays the same.

too bad they didn't give Hendry more time and money.

now instead of getting something in return for dewitt the cubs can give him away for free when someone claims him. brilliance shared all around.

is dewitt a seattle M yet?

maybe there's enough interest to get a low-A ball guy with control issues if teams decide to trade before letting a lower team claim him. =p

I'm not quite as ho-hum as you are about this. DeWitt was one of the Cub players I actively disliked. Only one big bum left on the active roster, and we have all of spring training to trade/release. Weakest link, etc.

Addition by subtraction.

I never really disliked him, but I think he kinda sucks. He never lived up to his billing as a hitter. Even his best stretches scored his a 99 OPS+. He's not a good enough defender to play 2B, which is the only place his bat could justify him. His defense at 3B is supposed to be better, but he's not really a defensive asset anywhere. Just a bunch of unfulfilled potential that really gets frustrating to watch. I can't fucking believe that he couldn't beat out Barney after he cooled off partway through last season. Maybe that's all on Quade, though

he's too slow for 3rd.

people taking moving a guy to 3rd like it's nothing.

imo, a guy used to playing SS or 2nd doesn't mean they can shift to 3rd like 1st. it's very very very fast at 3rd and you get 1/2 your horizontal range taken away. your "view" goes from right-left wide to short-left/short-right and more of a vertical focus. it's claustrophobic as hell to some guys...not comfortable. you have less space to cover, but everything is faster and more reaction-based rather than smooth-mechanic-based.

that said, i don't find his 2nd base D bad...i wouldn't mind seeing him start if his bat was a bit more stable. he's got 30 double - 15 HR power in the bat, but it's inconsistent.

Among recent Cub prospects, Cardenas reminds me of Marwin Gonzalez, with a better bat and a lesser glove. (Gonzalez mainly has played shortstop, Cardenas second.)

To the question, why did the Cubs expose Gonzalez in the Rule 5 draft, Cardenas is the answer: another team will expose somebody just as good.

Can Cardenas challenge Barney at second? It's doubtful, since Barney is also a very serviceable SS behind Castro.

Cardenas/Baker platoon, Barney is your reserve utility IF. Problem solved.

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Recent comments

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  • KKVG: Isaac Paredes is the most-impressive of the 2015-16 IFA. He has legit game power and handles himself well at SS, although I think he will likely end-up at 2B or 3B (maybe not this year, but down-the-line). It is possible that Paredes will get assigned to Eugene (and skip AZL) next month, and I would say he's the only one of the 2015-16 IFA position players who could. To accommodate Paredes at SS, the Cubs have been moving Andruw Monasterio (who was the #1 SS at AZL Cubs in 2015 and the presumptive Eugene SS going into Minor League Camp) around the infield (SS-2B-3B) at EXST. 

  • Having been a mediocre HS player, I would think at a professional level - and in their 20's - doesn't it sound actually FUN to have a chance to play different positions in a 162-Game, uber-long season?

    It has to take some of the monotony out of the job and keep you on your toes.

    In fact, the best manufacturing floor job satisfaction training theories include job rotation as a way to improve employee satisfaction.

    I hope Maddon can keep it going.

  • (It's usually KK, because his DNA is more like ours.)

  • Not just Maddon, but the organization as a whole. If the rumors are to be believed, they did a good job of letting Baez learn that he needed to change his approach, and Baez has done a good job listening to their instructions an adapting. Hopefully the same is true of Alomar, who is ripping up AAA.

    Previous management teams haven't been as good at this (e.g. Corey Patterson).

  • Man, this team makes you greedy. Going into Pittsburgh -- with Cole vs. Hammel Game 1 -- I was hoping for 2 out of 3. After winning the first 2 games 14-3, I now want a sweep. Same thing happened in STL. Very, very fun.

  • Repeating myself, but I give Maddon a lot of credit for Baez's success. Instead of talking about monster HRs and high K totals, he has talked up his defense, versatility and being a "special" player. The kid seems to have responded.

  • BOB: The attendance has taken a big hit since you left. 

  • K-DUB: I think the Cubs might consider skipping Dylan Cease past South Bend and starting him at Myrtle Beach next season, especially if he gets some time at South Bend this season and pitches well there. As a southern kid with TJS history, pitching at Myrtle Beach in April is probably a lot more attractive than pitching in South Bend, but Cease can't go to Myrtle Beach if he isn't ready for Hi-A. 

  • His story makes him someone I completely root for to succeed but it's interesting that he's not succeeding in the way anyone thought when he was just a prospect. Great defense and contact instead of power. I think failing so glaringly and getting sent back down might have been the best thing for him and his ego.

    He still swings at too many balls out of the strike zone but he's making a lot more contact on them which I think is helped by the less violent swing. So we might not get all the HRs we were expecting but I'll gladly take what he's giving.

  • "KingKongVsGodzilla"? So - was there a winner?

  • Baez is looking like a pretty special player.

  • Hey AZPhil,

    Love checking TCR for your writeups. Quick question - any of these 2015 positional IFAs stand out to you yet? I'm most specifically referring to Kwon, Sierra, Paredes, and Amaya, but I know there's a couple other guys from that class in EXST as well.

  • bored...looking at stats for the hell of it...

    felix pena (26yo) moving to the pen in AAA is looking like an insanely good fit so far in a smallish sample size

    13ip 4h 3bb 20K

    remembering back to spring training he was regularly hitting mid-90s (though he didn't have a good spring stats-wise). as a starter in the minors he usually worked low-90s.

    this could be an arm worth keeping an eye on even if he's only a 1-inning guy who was "demoted" to the pen to start the year.

  • Phil, historically this front office has been patient with their prep pitchers keeping their IP low and moving them one level at a time. I know I'm getting ahead of myself, and you may not be able to formulate an opinion on this, but you've seen a lot of pitchers over the years, so...

  • nice.

    also, after tonight's loss, STL is 13-14.

    also also, the wsox are 19-8.

  • Win tomorrow, and the Cubs would have a 6-game lead. On May 4.