ARTICLE XX-D MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT: Brent Lillibridge, IF-OF Ian Stewart, 3B Hisanori Takahashi, LHP
MLB RULE 55 MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT:
SIX-YEAR FREE-AGENT: Jeffry Antigua, LHP Brian Bogusevic, OF J. C. Boscan, C Kyler Burke, LHP Yeiper Castillo, RHP Jaye Chapman, RHP Johermyn Chavez, OF Dayan Diaz, RHP Jair Fernandez, C Eduardo Figueroa, RHP Marcus Hatley, RHP Marcos Mateo, RHP Edwin Maysonet, INF Darnell McDonald, OF Jose Morales, C-IF Guillermo Moscoso, RHP Jonathon Mota, INF Donnie Murphy, INF Brad Nelson, 1B Blake Parker, RHP Larry Suarez, RHP Tim Torres, OF Casey Weathers, RHP Ty Wright, OF
SECOND CONTRACT (PREVIOUSLY-RELEASED): Michael de la Cruz, RHP Carlos Figueroa, INF Humberto Garcia, INF Nate Maldonado, C Zach Putnam, RHP Brohiglyn Rivero, RHP Orbandy Rodriguez, RHP
1. A minor league player eligible to be an ARTICLE XX-D FREE-AGENT who accepts an Outright Assignment and defers free-agency until the end of the season is not eligible to be a free-agent if the player is added back to an MLB 40-man roster by the end of the MLB regular season. If the player is not added back to a 40-man roster by the end of the MLB regular season, the player can file for free-agency beginning on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season up through October 15th.
2. A minor league player eligible to be an MLB RULE 55 FREE-AGENT is not eligible to be a FA if the player is added to his club’s 40-man roster by 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series.
UPDATE 4:56 CST: One of our readers tipped us to this fantastic piece on Rich Harden's mechanics (with video) by Carlos Gomez at The Hardball Times. Can't recommend it enough....
I've had a little time to digest the trade since my initial reaction and a little time to actually write about it now. I don't think there's too many warm-blooded Cubs fan out there who aren't happy about the deal...other than maybe a Chicken Little or two that are never happy with anything the Cubs do.
We all know the risks. Rich Harden has all the durability of a roll of toilet paper caught in a rainstorm. He was called up half way through the 2003 season, proceeded to make 31 starts in 2004 and has battled injuries ever since. The list is too long and complicated for me to dive into, so we'll wait for the good Dr. Hecht to chime in on that side of the trade. Harden's 13 starts this year are his highest total since 2005 and he spent almost a month of this year already on the disabled list. But in those 13 starts, he's gone 5-1
with a 2.34 ERA, 10.75 K/9, 2.97 K:BB and 0.58 HR/9.
He once had a fastball that could hit 100, although he seems to have dialed it back a bit this year. He compliments that fastball with a fantastic change-up and that's pretty much it. He'll occasionally throw a slider in there, but seems to have scrapped it for the most part this season. A quick and dirty comparison with some of the best in the game using career numbers:
Orioles owner Peter Angelos has finally decided to let GM Andy MacPhail trade Brian Roberts to the Chicago Cubs. In a privately held conversation, Angelos was said to give MacPhail permission to trade Roberts (who, as we darn well know, is Angelos' really, really, really all-time favorite baseball player) for Sean Gallagher, Eric Patterson, Matt Murton, and another undisclosed prospect plus the HOF Yosh Kawano hat. MacPhail plans to call Cubs GM Jim Hendry tomorrow morning to tell him the good news--that their organizaton was FINALLY able to come to this MOMENTUS DECISION. MacPhail doesn't expect any other obstacles to affect this long anticipated transaction.
As reported by the Trib's Paul Sullivan, the Soriano-less Cubs will have Mike Fontenot leading off, Mark DeRosa will be manning left field, and Eric Patterson will be in the wings. (This will be the first time in Fontenot's Major League career he has been penciled into the leadoff spot.)
As for E-Pat, he was hitting just .222 at Triple-A, with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 12 K/3 BB in 36 at-bats for the I-Cubs. He stole one base.
Wrigley Field will be drowning in Pattersons tonight as the Cubs' Eric will be in the dugout opposite the Reds' Corey. E-Pat has been called up from Triple-A Iowa as Alfonso Soriano and his strained right calf muscle go on the 15-day DL.
"Some of the best advice I've gotten is, I was sitting with Ian Stewart, talking about hitting and I was feeling for my swing as you do early in the season," Jackson recalled. "He asked if I was comfortable at the plate and I said I'm not very comfortable right now. He's like, 'You need to be yourself at the plate and be comfortable and be the type of hitter [you] want to be.'"
Interesting tweet in the tweet box: z'Remember when Rizzo was striking out a lot? No K's in last 31 AB's..tied for 2nd longest active streak in majors"
Don't know if that includes last night, but it sure goes a long way to explaining his improved hitting. It's a curious thing, though, the difference between the way his season started and now. How does that happen?
The Cubs will wait to see how Matt Garza (lat) feels and how his bullpen session goes Saturday before they make a decision about activating him.
Garza declared himself ready to rejoin the Cubs' rotation after six scoreless innings during Thursday's rehab start. It's probably just a formality at this point before the team announces that he'll rejoin the rotation next week. Carlos Villanueva is the likeliest candidate to be demoted to the bullpen.
Remember Albert Almora? The Cubs’ first-round pick last June is almost all the way back after breaking his hamate bone in mid-March. He’s been playing center field and hitting in extended spring games in Arizona and should soon be assigned to the low-A Kane County Cougars. There’s no sign yet of Junior Lake, who suffered a stress fracture to the top rib on his right side in mid-March. Outfielder Reggie Golden, a second-round pick in 2010 recovering from two torn ligaments in his left knee, appears close to completing his recovery.
"Analysis: This is Appel or Gray, assuming one of them goes first, with Appel the preference. The Cubs are in the catbird seat in this draft -- they don't have to pay the premium that comes with picking first overall but are guaranteed to get one of the two huge arms in the class."