After the World Series
With the World Series having concluded last night, the MLB 2013-14 "off-season" has officially begun.
So there are a number of things that now come into play, including:
ARTICLE XX-B MLB FREE-AGENT:
Per Article XX-B of the CBA, any player on an MLB Reserve List who has accrued at least six years of MLB Service Time and who is not signed for the following season automatically becomes a free-agent at 9 AM (Eastern) on the first day after the conclusion of the World Series. The player's former club retains exclusive negotiating rights with the player up until midnight (Eastern) on the 5th day after the after the conclusion of the World Series, after-which the player is free to sign a Major League contract (or minor league contract) with any club, including with the player's former club.
CUBS ARTICLE XX-B MLB FREE-AGENTS:
Scott Baker, RHP
Kevin Gregg, RHP
Matt Guerrier, RHP
Dioner Navarro, C
An Article XX-B MLB free-agent who signs a Major League contract after 11:59 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series receives automatic "no trade" rights that extend through June 15th of the following season, even if the player re-signs with his former club. An Article XX-B MLB Free-Agent who receives "no trade" rights this way can waive the right, but if he does, his club can trade the player only for player contracts and/or cash with a maximum aggregate value of $50,000. Note that a player who signs a Major League contract after becoming a free-agent by any other means (Outright Release, Non-Tendered, or Article XX-D or MLB Rule 55 minor league free-agent) does NOT receive automatic "no trade" rights through June 15th.
If an Article XX-B MLB free-agent signs a minor league contract at least ten days prior to MLB Opening Day, and then is either not released by 12 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day prior to MLB Opening Day or added to an MLB Active List (25-man roster) or MLB Disabled List by 3 PM (Eastern) on MLB Opening Day, the player automatically receives a $100,000 retention bonus, and the player can unilaterally opt-out of the minor league contract on June 1st if he has not been added to an MLB Active List (25-man roster) or an MLB Disabled List by that date.
ARTICLE XX-B QUALIFIED PLAYER (QUALIFYING OFFER):
An Article XX-B free-agent is designated a "Qualified Player" if the player spent the entire immediately-preceding MLB regular season on a club's MLB Active List (25-man roster) and/or on one or more of the club's inactive lists (7-day, 15-day, and/or 60-day Disabled List, Military List, Bereavement List, et al) and/or on the Active List or an inactive list (7-day or 60-day Disabled List, Military List, Bereavement List, et al) of one or more minor league affiliates of that club, and the club offers the player a guaranteed contract (known as a "Qualifying Offer") for the following season.
The Qualifying Offer must include a salary at least equal to the average salary of the 125 highest-paid MLB players from the previous season. The exact amount of the average salary of the 125 highes-paid MLB players from the previous season will be communicated by the MLB Labor Relations Department (LRD) simultaneously to all MLB clubs and the Major League Baseball Player's Association (MLBPA) within ten days after the conclusion of the MLB regular season.
To be valid, a Qualifying Offer must be extended by a club no later than 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day following conclusion of the World Series. The LRD then provides the MLBPA with a list of players receiving valid Qualifying Offers and the amount of each offer.
The Qualified Player has until 5 PM (Eastern) on the 7th day after receiving the offer to decide whether to accept or decline. If the Qualified Player accepts the offer, he is considered "signed" and must be immediately added back to his club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster). If he declines the offer, the player is free to sign with any MLB club, including his former club.
A club receives one compensatory draft pick between the 1st and 2nd rounds in the next MLB Rule 4 Draft (First-Year Player Draft) if the Qualified Player subsequently signs a Major League contract with another MLB club. If more than one club receives this type of compensatory pick, the draft order for the picks is the same as it is for all other rounds in that draft (clubs select in inverse order of league standings from the previous season, and in the case of two clubs finishing with the same record the previous season, league standings from two seasons back will be used to break the tie, and if If the clubs are still tied, league standings from three seasons back, four seasons back, etc, will be used to break the tie).
MLB clubs are not permitted to extend a Qualifying Offer to an Article XX-B MLB free-agent if the player has agreed in advance to decline the offer so that the club will obtain a compensatory draft pick once the player signs with another club.
An MLB club that signs a Qualified Player forfeits its 1st round selection in the Rule 4 Draft, unless the club selects in the Top 10 of the 1st Round, in which case it forfeits its next-highest pick. The next highest draft pick (or draft picks) will be forfeited if the club signs more than one Qualified Player (one draft pick forfeited for each Qualified Player signed). Draft picks subject to forfeiture include the club's own Rule 4 picks, compensatory draft picks awarded to the club after losing an Article XX-B Qualified Player, and draft picks that were awarded as the result of the Competitive Balance Lottery or as the result of the Rule 4 SBP Forfeited Draft Pick lottery (including any lottery draft pick originally awarded to another club and then subsequently acquired in a trade). A compensatory draft pick awarded to a club for failing to sign a pick from a previous Rule 4 Draft is NOT subject to forfeiture. NOTE: A Rule 4 Draft pick forfeited as the result of a club signing a Qualified Player is not transferred to any other club (it just disappears).
A Qualified Player who signs a Major League contract after 11:59 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series receives automatic "no trade" rights that extend through June 15th of the following season, even if the player re-signs with his former club. A Qualified Player who receives "no trade" rights this way can waive the right, but if he does, his club can trade the player only for player contracts and/or cash with a maximum aggregate value of $50,000.
If a Qualified Player signs a Major League contract with a new club after the MLB Rule 4 Draft, or if a Qualified Player signs a minor league contract with a new club and either remains in the minor leagues or is later added to the new club's MLB 40-man roster, the player's new club does NOT forfeit a Rule 4 Draft pick, and the player's former club does NOT receive Rule 4 Draft pick compensation. However, MLB clubs are not permitted to sign a Qualified Player to a minor league contract just to avoid losing a draft pick.
It is VERY unlikely that the Cubs will extend a Qualifying Offer to any of their Article XX-B MLB free-agents, although nothing will preclude the Cubs from re-signing any or all of the players to a 2014 major league or minor league contract.
MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENCY:
ARTICLE XX-D: Any MLB player who has accrued at least three years of MLB service time, or who was eligible for Salary Arbitration as a "Super Two" after the previous season, and/or who has been outrighted previously in his career, has the right to be a free-agent if the player is outrighted to the minors. The player can exercise this right upon being outrighted, or (but only in the case of a player who has accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time and/or has been outrighted to the minors previously in his career) he can opt to defer the right until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season (he is given three days to decide if he is outrighted during Spring Training or the MLB regular season, and he has eight days to make up his mind if he is outrighted during the off-season). If a player eligible to be a free-agent under Article XX-D elects to be a free-agent immediately after being outrighted, the player's contract is terminated and the player receives no termination pay. (Because unsigned players do not receive termination pay, players eligible to be minor league free-agents under Article XX-D who are outrighted during the off-season before being tendered a contract for the following season almost always opt for free-agency immediately). But if the outrighted player accepts the Outright Assignment, the player's existing contract remains in force, and the player can elect free-agency beginning on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season up through October 15th. (A player who had the option to elect free-agency upon being outrighted only because he had been eligible for Salary Arbitration as a "Super Two" after the previous season does NOT have the right to defer free-agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season). However, an outrighted player who deferred the right to be an Article XX-D minor league free-agent until the conclusion of the MLB regular season is NOT eligible to be a free-agent if the player is added back to an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) prior to the conclusion of the MLB regular season.
MLB RULE 55: Sometimes called a "Six-Year Minor League Free-Agent," an unsigned minor league player is automatically declared a free-agent per MLB Rule 55 if the player has spent all or any part of at least seven separate seasons on a minor league club's Active List and/or Disabled List (including all or parts of any season spent on Optional Assignment to the minors), and/or if the player has been previously released or non-tendered in his career and his present contract (known as a "second contract" even if it's his third or fourth minor league contract) has expired. Note that a player who ordinarily would have been declared a Rule 55 minor league free-agent is NOT eligible to be a free-agent if the player is either added to an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) or agrees to a minor league successor contract with his previous club by 5:00 PM (Eastern) on October 15th or by 5:00 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series (whichever is later). The deadline for an MLB club to tender a contract to an unsigned minor league player who had previously agreed to a successor contract is January 15th. If an unsigned minor league player is not tendered a contract by January 15th, the player becomes an unrestricted free-agent.
A minor league free-agent can sign a contract with any major league or minor league club (including the player's former club) without any restrictions. A club receives no compensation for losing an MLB Rule 55 or Article XX-D minor league free-agent.
ARTICLE XX-D CUBS MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENTS POST-2013 (DEADLINE TO FILE WAS 10/15):
J. C. Boscan, C (filed)
Michael Bowden, RHP (filed)
Darnell McDonald, OF (filed)
Henry Rodriguez, RHP (did not file)
Eduardo Sanchez, RHP (filed)
Four of the five players who were eligible to file for free-agency per Article XX-D did so, but nothing would prevent the Cubs from re-signing any or all of them to 2014 minor league contracts (if the player agrees).
MLB RULE 55 CUBS MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENTS POST-2013 (PENDING):
SIX-YEAR MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT:
Jeffry Antigua, LHP
Kyler Burke, LHP
Alex Burnett, RHP
Yeiper Castillo, RHP
Jaye Chapman, RHP
Johermyn Chavez, RHP (ex-OF)
Rafael Dolis, RHP
Eduardo Figueroa, RHP
Cole Gillespie, OF
Marcos Mateo, RHP
Edwin Maysonet, INF
Thomas Neal, OF
Brad Nelson, 1B
Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP
Henry Rodriguez, RHP (was Article XX-D FA eligible - did not file)
Nate Samson, IF-OF
Tim Torres, IF-OF
Casey Weathers, RHP
Ty Wright, OF
Because he had accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time when he was outrighted to the minors on July 19th and did not elect to be a free-agent at that time, and then was not added back to an MLB 40-man roster prior to the conclusion of the MLB regular season, Henry Rodriguez was eligible under Article XX-D of the CBA to file for free-agency starting on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season up through October 15th. He chose not to do so. However, he is also eligible to be a Rule 55 Six-Year Minor League Free-Agent (6YFA) post-2013, and Rule 55 does not require the player to file. Unsigned minor league players eligible to be a Rule 55 6YFA are automatically declared a free-agent at 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series (meaning 5 PM Eastern next Monday), so Rodriguez will automatically be declared a free-agent at that time unless he is added back to the Cubs 40-man roster (not going to happen) or unless he and the Cubs agree to a minor successor contract for 2014 (very possible, given his choice not to file for free-agency per Arcticle XX-D when he had the chance).
So far, four players who were eligible to be a Rule 55 6YFA post-2013 have signed minor league successor contracts with the Cubs for 2014:
Edgar Gonzalez, INF
Marcus Hatley, RHP
Jonathon Mota, INF
Ryan Searle, RHP
Although these four players will not be a 6YFA next Monday, they will be eligible for selection in the December 2013 Rule 5 Draft. As a matter of fact, the player the Cubs selected in the Rule 5 Draft last December (RHP Hector Rondon) was a Rule 55 6YFA post-2012, but he and his club (the Cleveland Indians) agreed to a minor league successor contract. So while the Cubs never had a chance to sign him as a minor league FA (which would probably have been their preference), they were able to acquire him by selecting him in the Rule 5 Draft.
To entice a 6YFA to sign a minor league successor contract, a club will usually offer no less than "40-man roster split contract money" (at least $40,000 for players who have not been on a 40-man roster before, or at least $80,000 for players who have previously been on an MLB 40-man roster). In other words, the player's salary is what he would have been paid (or maybe even a bit more) if he had been added to the MLB 40-man roster, he just isn't on the 40. Depending on the pending minor league free-agent's leverage (estimated value on the open market), an NRI to Spring Training and/or a player "opt-out" right if he doesn't make the club's MLB 25-man Opening Day roster (or AAA roster in some cases) might be part of the offer, too.
If a player and a club cannot agree to a minor league successor contract for the following season, the only other way the club can be sure to keep the player from becoming a minor league free-agent is by adding him to their MLB 40-man roster prior to the deadline (5 PM Eastern next Monday). The only player eligible to be a minor league 6YFA post-2013 who might be added to the Cubs 40-man roster prior to the deadline is LHP Kyler Burke, who was also eligible to be a 6YFA post-2012 before agreeing to a minor league successor contract just prior to last year's deadline. But Burke might not be as willing to re-sign a minor league deal this time around.
SECOND-CONTRACT MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT
Michael de la Cruz, RHP (previously released by TEX)
Carlos Figueroa, INF (previously released by CHC)
Humberto Garcia, INF (previously released by CHW)
Nate Maldonado, C (previously released by CHC)
Yomar Pacheco, RHP (previously released by PIT)
Zach Putnam, RHP (previously non-tendered by CHC)
Brohiglyn Rivero, RHP (previously released by TB)
Orbandy Rodriguez, RHP (previously released by AZ)
Roberto Vahlis, C (previously released by TOR)
When a club signs a minor league free-agent who has not yet completed the "seven minor league seasons" needed to be automatically declared a 6YFA, the player (known as a "second-contract player" even if it's the player's second, third, fourth, fifth, et al contract) can be signed to a multi-year contract covering as many seasons as the player has left before becoming a 6YFA. But that's only if the player agrees. The player might only want to sign a one-year contract so that he can be a minor league FA again the next off-season and possibly score a contract with a higher salary. (Carlos Figueroa and Nate Maldonado are Cubs minor league coaches who signed 2013 player contracts, so they probably signed for only one-year and both probably will not sign a 2014 minor league successor contract at this time).
So it is possible that at least some of the nine Cubs minor league players eligible to be a Rule 55 "second-contract" minor league FA are already signed for 2014 (TBD). Note that of the nine potential Rule 55 second-contract free-agents, H. Garcia, B. Rivero, and R. Vahlis would NOT be eligible for selection in the December 2013 Rule 5 Draft if the player agrees to a 2014 minor league successor contract, but the other six (M. de la Cruz, C. Figueroa, Maldonado, Pacheco, Putnam, and O. Rodriguez) would be eligible for selection if the player signs a 2014 successor contract.
In addition to the pending MLB and minor league free-agents, a couple of roster deadlines are now in play:
PLAYERS WHO WERE OUTRIGHTED TO MINORS AFTER SIGNING 2013 MAJOR LEAGUE CONTRACTS:
Besides players who are eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league free-agent, any player not eligible to be a Rule 55 6YFA or second-contract FA who was outrighted to the minors after signing a major league contract for the previous season cannot be added back to the club's MLB 40-man roster beginning at 5 PM (Eastern) next Monday up through the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft. These players are:
Julio Borbon, OF
Gerardo Concepcion, LHP
Trey McNutt, RHP
Starling Peralta, RHP
Dave Sappelt, OF
It is VERY unlikely that any of the five players listed above will be added back to the Cubs 40-man roster by next Monday's deadline.
The four players on the Cubs MLB 60-day DL must be reinstated to the MLB 40-man roster no later than 5 PM (Eastern) next Monday, and a player cannot be placed onto a club's MLB 60-day DL until after ther start of Spring Training (and then only if the club's 40-man roster is full and the injured player is replaced on the 40-man roster by another player).
Kyuji Fujikawa, RHP
Mat Gamel, INF
Matt Guerrier, RHP (already reinstated from the 60-day DL and he remains off the Cubs MLB 40-man roster because he is an Article XX-B MLB FA)
Arodys Vizcaino, RHP
OUTRIGHTING UNSIGNED PLAYERS NOT ELIGIBLE TO BE MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT:
Beginning at 5 PM (Eastern) next Monday, any player on an MLB 40-man roster not eligible to elect free-agency per Article XX-D who would have been eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league FA if he had been on a minor league roster at 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day folllowing the conclusion of the World Series cannot be outrighted to the minors until he signs a major league contract for the following season. The player can be traded or released at any time or non-tendered on 12/2, but he cannot be outrighted to the minors after 5 PM next Monday until he signs a 2014 major league contract.
These players are:
Alberto Cabrera, RHP
Welington Castillo C
Junior Lake, OF
Josh Vitters, INF
(BTW, that's how and why Cleveland released OF Thomas Neal last January instead of outrighting him... he was a Rule 55-eligible player, but he hadn't signed a 2013 major league contract yet).
OUTRIGHTING INJURED PLAYERS:
An injured player (including a player rehabbing an injury) who accrued any MLB Service Time the previous season cannot be outrighted to the minors after 5 PM (Eastern) next Monday. However, an injured player who did not accrue any MLB Service Time the previous season and who does not qualify to be a minor league FA per Article XX-D or MLB Rule 55 (until he signs a major league contract for the folllowing season) can be outrighted to the minors anytime up until 15 days prior to the start of the 2014 season. (The injured player could also be optioned to the minors during Spring Training anytime up until 15 days prior to MLB Opening Day).
So for example, Arodys Vizcaino (who spent the entire 2013 seaason on the Cubs MLB 60-day DL and thus accrued a full season of MLB Service Time) cannot be outrighted to the minors after 5 PM next Monday, but if Matt Szczur (who did not accrue any MLB Service Time in 2013) was to suffer a serious injury during the off-season or during Spring Training, the Cubs could outright him to the minors or option him to the minors (even though he was injured), as long as they do so at least 15 days prior to MLB Opening Day.
A "Draft-Excluded Player" is any minor league player eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft whose contract is selected and who is added to an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) between August 15th and the Rule 5 Draft.
While a "Draft-Excluded Player" can be non-tendered on 12/2 and released or traded at any time, he cannot be sent to the minors by Optional Assignment beginning with the conclusion of the MLB regular season up until 20 days prior to MLB Opening Day, and a Draft-Excluded Player can be outrighted to the minors prior to the Rule 5 Draft only if Outright Assignment Waivers are requested no later than 2 PM (Eastern) on the 4th day following the conclusion of the World Series.
If Outright Assignment Waivers are not requested by 2 PM (Eastern) on the 4th day following the conclusion of the World Series, Outright Assignment Waivers cannot be requested until 25 days prior to MLB Opening Day, and the player cannot be sent outright to the minors any earlier than 20 days prior to MLB Opening Day.
At present the only player on the Cubs 40-man roster with "Draft-Excluded" status is LHP Zac Rosscup, who would have been eligible for selection in the December 2013 Rule 5 Draft if he had not been added to the Cubs 40-man roster on September 3rd. However, any minor league player eligible for selection in the next Rule 5 Draft who is added to the Cubs 40-man roster between now and the November 20th deadline will have"Draft-Excluded" status up until 20 days prior to 2014 MLB Opening Day. What that means is the Cubs cannot add a minor league player who is eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft to their 40-man roster between August 15th and the Rule 5 Draft and then outright him to the minors if they need a slot on the 40-man roster sometime later during the off-season. They could trade him or release him, or non-tender him on 12/2, but he cannot be sent to the minors (outrighted or optioned) until 20 days prior to 2014 MLB Opening Day.
RULE 5 DRAFT:
The Cubs have until November 20th to decide how many and which of their minor league players eligible for selection in the December 2013 Rule 5 Draft they wish to "protect" from selection.
The Cubs also must decide by 11/20 which of their Rule 5 eligibles to place on the AAA Iowa 38-man reserve list, making them eligible for selection in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft only. This is an important decision, because the Cubs (at present) have 50 players eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft (51 if Juan Carlos Paniagua is declared eligible by MLB), but there are only 38 roster slots available on the AAA roster. Most clubs leave three or four AAA roster slots open for free-agents who sign minor league contracts prior to the Rule 5 Draft (most free-agents who sign minor league contracts prior to the Rule 5 Draft want to be placed on the AAA reserve list so that they are eligible for selection in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft), so the Cubs will probably place about 17 or 18 of the Rule 5 eligibles on the AA (Tennessee) reserve list or on a Class "A" reserve list to leave more slots open on the Iowa roster.
This matters because if a club decides not to keep a player selected in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 draft on its MLB 25-man Active List (and/or MLB DL), the player must be placed on Outright Assignment Waivers, where any of the other 29 MLB clubs can claim the player for the $25,000 Rule 5 waiver price and assume the Rule 5 obligations. If the Rule 5 player is not claimed off Outright Waivers, the player then must be offered back to the minor league club from which he was drafted, and the player's former club can reclaim the player for $25,000, with the player being automatically outrighted to the Reserve List of the minor league club from which he was drafted.
There is no such "right of return" for players selected in the AAA and AA phases of the Rule 5 Draft, so if a player is selected in the AAA or AA Phase, he is gone.
Which players the Cubs might decide to add to their MLB 40-man roster is unknown at this time, although it is a virtual lock that one will be Arismendy Alcantara. So while there are presently 50 players eligible (51 if Juan Carlos Paniagua is declared eligible by MLB), the final number will be dependent on how many players are added to the MLB 40-man roster by the 11/20 deadline, and how many minor league free-agents are signed (or re-signed) prior to the Rule 5 Draft
CUBS ELIGIBLE FOR MLB RULE 5 DRAFT POST-2013(last updated 10-31-2013):
NOTE: Any player eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft who is added to the Cubs 40-man roster by 11/20 will be removed from the list, and any Cubs minor league player eligible to be Rule 55 6YFA or second-contract minor league free-agent who signs a minor league successor contract between now and the Rule 5 Draft will be added to this list, as will any FA from another organization who signs a minor league contract with the Cubs prior to the Rule 5 Draft.
Players who are most-likely (as things stand right now) to be placed on the AAA Iowa reserve list roster are in bold
(The players most-likely to get selected in the AAA or AA phases are Flores, Giansanti, Lorick, Morris, Noble, Paulino, Rohan, Soto, and Zapata).
Arismendy Alcantara, INF (will very likely be added to the MLB 40-man roster by 11/20)
Gioskar Amaya, INF
Frank Batista, RHP
Dallas Beeler, RHP
Julio Borbon, OF
Justin Bour, 1B
Marcelo Carreno, RHP
Lendy Castillo, RHP
Javier Castro, RHP (release candidate)
Zach Cates, RHP
Hunter Cervenka, LHP
Pin-Chieh Chen, OF
Casey Coleman, RHP
Gerardo Concepcion, LHP (Cubs would probably be thrilled if another organzation would assume what's left of Concepcion's contract)
Willson Contreras, C
Wes Darvill, INF
Antonio Encarnacion, RHP (release candidate)
Luis Flores, C
Anthony Giansanti, OF
Edgar Gonzalez, INF (was a post-2013 6YFA - re-signed for 2014)
Enyel Gonzalez, RHP (release candidate)
Carlos Gutierrez, RHP
Jae-Hoon Ha, OF
Marcus Hatley, RHP (was a post-2013 6YFA - re-signed for 2014)
Marco Hernandez, INF
Eric Jokisch, LHP
Austin Kirk, LHP
Matt Loosen, RHP
Jeff Lorick, LHP
Eric Martinez, RHP (release candidate)
Trey McNutt, RHP
A. J. Morris, RHP
Jonathon Mota, INF (was a post-2013 6YFA - re-signed for 2014)
Chad Noble, C
Alan Oaks, RHP (acquired from independent club and signed for 2014)
Juan Carlos Paniagua, RHP (see NOTE)
Loiger Padron, RHP
Amaury Paulino, RHP (TJS rehab)
Felix Pena, RHP
Starling Peralta, RHP
Greg Rohan, INF (back surgery last off-season - never came back 100%)
Jose Rosario, RHP
Victor Salazar, RHP (release candidate)
Dave Sappelt, OF
Brian Schlitter, RHP
Ryan Searle, RHP (was a post-2013 6YFA - re-signed for 2014)
Elliot Soto, INF (on RESTRICTED LIST - will be serving a 50-game suspension in 2014 after testing positive for Drug of Abuse)
Nick Struck, RHP
Yao-Lin Wang, RHP
Oliver Zapata, OF
NOTE: Juan Carlos Paniagua signed his first contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks as "Juan Callado" on 5-8-2009 and pitched for the DSL Diamondbacks in the Dominican Summer League in 2009-10, but the contract was "pending" for almost two years and was never officially approved by MLB. The contract was eventually rejected by MLB due to "fraudulent paperwork" and Paniagua (Callado) was suspended for one year and then was declared a free-agent. He signed with the New York Yankees in March 2011 but then was suspended again and that contract was rejected, too, because his birth certificate could not be verified. Paniagua was cleared by MLB in 2012 and he signed with the Cubs on 7-9-2012. Therefore, Paniagua could be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft for the first time in December 2013, since 2009 was his "first season" on the field, and he was 18 on the June 5th immediately preceding the signing of his first contract, or he might not be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft for the first time until December 2015 if 2012 is considered Paniagua's "first season" for Rule 5 eligibility purposes (TBD).
Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.
Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.
How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?
Call me lost.
Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.
I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:
Carl Crawford $20MM
Brandon McCarthy $17MM
Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
Darwin B $2.2MM
Dan Haren $10MM
Matt Kemp $18MM
Brian Wilson $10MM
Ryan Webb $2.2MM
Dee Gordon $2.5MM
Enjoyable read on David Ross.
Er, they won the first one. My bad. Carry on.
BOB: I doubt very much that Matt Szczur will be on the Cubs LDS roster.