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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  • I agree, but just wanted to point out that Hendricks didn't really have a significant difference between his first and second half like Hammel did. Instead he had alternating good and below average months last year, without much fluctuation in his peripherals except a BB-heavy August and some up-and-down in opp avg. Mostly the team just couldn't win games for him in the months he pitched well. His 16 starts in May, July, and Sep/Oct (in which he limited opponents to OPS+ of 88, 75, and 44) resulted in a 4-2 record.

  • I think with Hammels and Hendricks struggles the 2nd half we forget how dominate of 1st halves they had and how many games they won us as the offense was struggling. We also forget they are back of the rotation guys and we can't be expecting ace quality there.

  • Maybe it's just Werth & Ross I'm noticing. Weird.

  • CRAIG: Jose Albertos is not chunky like Fernando. He's built more like Dylan Cease. Exact same body type. And his delivery is free & easy. He's definitely not a "max effort" guy.   

  • Hendricks after 50 MLB starts: 17-11, 3.45 ERA, 1.12 WHIP. Not bad for a #5 starter. He may be a 6-inning max guy, but, if he can keep those stats up, I will gladly take it.

    Speaking of WHIP -- last year, he was tied for 11th in the NL. Tied with Hammel.
    Last year's NL rank in WHIP: Arrietta 2nd, Lester 9th, Haren 10th, Hammel T11th, Hendricks T11th. Wow.

  • I went to a Nats game in DC two years ago while looking at colleges with my son -- it's a fun park, worth a visit if you are in the area.

    I also saw the "slowness" thing -- particularly Werth, who would mosey out of RF about 5 seconds before the inning started.

    Weird.

  • It's Dusty's fault. It'll be the end of them.

  • Speaking of how teams "look", my take on the Nats- It's really weird, but the pace of the entire team seems slow. Slow walking to the plate, slow on the mound, even on some routine groundouts, it looked as if there wasn't a ton of hustle. Don't get me wrong, when the ball is hit to their outfielders, they get after the ball, I'm really referring to non-critical action- they mosey around. It's kind of odd. Maybe that "calm power" is part of the Nats ethos, idk.

  • My favorite moment of Hendricks' performance last night was the last strikeout he rung up- the cajones it took to throw a high, 86MPH fastball to Zimmerman on a 0-2 count. And he swung the bat like it was a 96MPH heater. I literally laughed out loud.

  • In listening to Maddon's post-game, he is interested in how these other teams "look" to him. He is assessing for today...and tomorrow. I love this guy.

    One observation from last night: Joe Ross is incredibly slow. 20-30 seconds between pitches at times. Hendrix had a nice, peppy rhythm which is great to see.

    I know there are plenty of purists here which I applaud, but the game just will not sustain itself unless change of pace rules come into play. Pitch clock, improve the shit-ass reviews, mound visits (there is a clock for this), batter time outs, etc.

  • Thanks, Phil. Albertos at 17, and having gotten a good signing bonus ($1.5, even though as Mexican prospect I think his team gets half of that?), throwing in the 90's and showing some command of a curveball sounds pretty interesting, even if that control is only for a dozen-pitch sample.

    What kind of a frame does he have? Is he on the stocky and short-ish side (I'm recalling Fernando Valenzuela!), or somewhat taller? A lot of 17-year olds have projection, "when he fills out" projection. Would that apply at all for Albertos?

  • A-Team

  • Ha

  • I definitely hang around here looking to reply to your comments as noticed by my nearly year long absence.

    there's a fine line between posting something relevant, useful or at least humorous versus posting something irrelevant, useless or unfunny...actually it's rather quite a thick line and easy to see for most people not named crunch.

  • I certainly am digging the RISP machine Zobrist version.