Hunter Ackerman, LHP Arismendy Alcantara, INF Gioskar Amaya, INF Jose Arias, RHP Frank Batista, RHP Xavier Batista, OF Dallas Beeler, RHP Justin Bour, 1B Sergio Burruel, C Esmailin Caridad, RHP Marcelo Carreno, RHP Lendy Castillo, RHP Javier Castro, RHP Zach Cates, RHP Hunter Cervenka, LHP Pin-Chieh Chen, OF Casey Coleman, RHP Gerardo Concepcion, LHP Willson Contreras, C Wes Darvill, INF Antonio Encarnacion, RHP Luis Flores, C Anthony Giansanti, OF Enyel Gonzalez, RHP Carlos Gutierrez, RHP Jae-Hoon Ha, OF Eric Jokisch, LHP Dong-Yub Kim, OF Austin Kirk, LHP Luis Liria, RHP Matt Loosen, RHP Jeff Lorick, LHP Eric Martinez, RHP A. J. Morris, RHP Chad Noble, C Loiger Padron, RHP Juan Carlos Paniagua, RHP (see NOTE) Amaury Paulino, RHP Felix Pena, RHP Starling Peralta, RHP Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP Kevin Rhoderick, RHP Greg Rohan, IF-OF Jose Rosario, RHP Zac Rosscup, LHP Victor Salazar, RHP Brian Schlitter, RHP Ryan Searle, RHP Elliot Soto, INF Nick Struck, RHP Luis Villalba, LHP Yao-Lin Wang, RHP Oliver Zapata, OF NOTE: Player not eligible for selection if added to MLB 40-man roster by 11/20. Also, 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.
The news broke last night that MLB and Frank McCourt came to an agreement to sell the Dodgers...possibly at gun point.That's real good news for baseball and Dodger fans that truly couldn't stand the guy. That's bad news if you thought any bargains were going to be had in free agency for the big names. For let's remember the Cubs offseason of 2006 when they were ready to sell and Tribune racked up a giant bill that they didn't have to pay.
Rumors on XM radio and from Ned Colletti were that the Dodgers already had some money to spend this offseason, agent and former player Dave Stewart commented that they approached him about an extension for Matt Kemp and he took that as they're not as handcuffed as some want to believe. And they very much need a big bopper in that lineup and I wouldn't be too surprised if they made a run at Jose Reyes as well. Anything can happen of course and they may go after Pujols instead, but I wouldn't be surprised in the least that McCourt makes one more fame grab and tries to load up the Dodgers this offseason and then take as much credit as he can if they're successful, even after he sells it.
As for the Cubs, Ryan Dempster exercised his $14M option for next year, so his Type A status is a moot point. But the Cubs did exercise their $16M option on Aramis Ramirez last night and it seems to be a mere formality at this point that Ramirez will decline it to seek a multi-year deal. That saves the Cubs $2M on the buyout and the Cubs will likely get a supplemental draft pick if and when Ramirez signs somewhere else as he just missed Type A status and is a Type B free agent. Carlos Pena also qualified at Type B status and his situation is a bit trickier as he could potentially accept the Cubs arbitration offer.
Time for another shot at wonderful prizes with the TCR Free Agent Frenzy Contest. MLB.com actually runs it and we just piggyback off of them, but it's been great fun. The prize this year for first place is a brand new copy of Cait Murphy's Crazy '08, which I know Dr. Hecht strongly endorses.
We've upscaled it this year and you can enter your choices by filling in this survey. A few things to note, it's limited to 100 responses although we've never had more than that. Second, it won't double check your work so if you put the same confidence level on two players, your ballot will be thrown out. If you wish, feel free to put your choices in the comments as well for a backup and so we can all mock you.
I have a couple advertising related questions. One regards this site. Who names their small business insurance company HISCOX? WTH is wrong with people? I guess it's better than HERCOX.
And the other is the Cubs games. I guess I've been away from Chicago too long, but, "The Fifth Third Bank?" What kind of a name is that? But worse is the tagline. "The Curious Bank." I guess it works if you're looking for memorable advertising, but I don't want to do business with a curious bank, to be honest. My bank has plenty of information about me.
Hot Sheet Chat:
What is Jorge Soler's upside and or MLB comp? Thanks
Jim Shonerd: Scouts do worry about his swing mechanics a bit, but overall he’s got plenty of power and blends it with a feel for hitting. His offense was in a bit of funk after he got back from his suspension, but now he’s hitting .324 in May and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him end the year in Double-A.