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.
Reader "Chad" sent me along this file of Jim Hendry doing a "phoner" on the Jim Rome show. I believe it was from yesterday's program. I can't say there was anything too revealing in it, but I'm sure some of you will want to take a listen.
The Cubs and Diamondbacks play in Tucson, their first meeting since the clubs matched up in last season's NLDS. (I don't recall who won.) Carlos Zambrano makes his second appearance of the Spring after pitching two scoreless innings against the Giants last Friday. Kosuke Fukudome had a big day in yesterday's loss to the Brewers, collecting three hits while batting in the two hole. Plus he has learned how to yank Bruce Miles's chain.
It's not often that I take something from the comments and put it on the front page, but I found myself agreeing so strongly with the following "tirade" that got buried in amongst yesterday's Bears talk (guys, you should know better, follow real football - you know, the one in which they use their feet) that I thought I'd give it a little attention...
433-- I just don't get why Hendry has started agreeing to the player option to become a FA mid-contract. All that does is give the player leverage to renegotiate the deal at that point -- if the player CAN become a free agent, he essentially IS a free agent for negotiating purposes.
If the player is unable to use the FA opt-out as leverage (because it's unlikely that he would be able to get a better deal elsewhere), that will just mean that he is being paid above market by the Cubs at the time.
The thing I dislike most about that option is that it's self-defeating. Here's how. We have to assume that Hendry offers the option as a way to secure a salary that's slightly less attractive to the player in some way (amount, years, structure, etc.) than the player might accept without the option. (If that's not true, then the option wouldn't be offered in the first place.)
But if the player agrees to a salary that isn't the absolute best he can get, it just makes it that much more likely that the player will be at a below-market salary when the option kicks in, and consequently able to use the option as renegotiating leverage. So even if the option "works", it backfires.
I know that each deal is a unique negotiation and it's likely that Hendry gets something in return for this concession (i.e. it may be the final throw-in in order to get the player comfortable with the dollars offered). But this term really has the potential to blow up in Hendry's face.
It is indeed a trend amongst Hendry's deals of late, and it's one I also don't like. I'm also really not a fan of the more traditional player option at the end of a contract, which can be used to similar ends, and which is the only reason Glendon Rusch has himself a shiny new two-year deal right now. Not that it's a terrible deal in this market - as you probably know, I'm a bit of a Glendon Rusch fan. Still.
"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."
then maybe the greater story is that when he pitched here on the 6th the balls he was using, at least in the 1st inning that day, were PCL's...otherwise, as that Gilda Radner character used to say on SNL, 'never mind...'
MIKE: MLB rehab pitchers always get to use MLB baseballs when they pitch in a minor league game, even at Extended Spring Training. Healthy MLB pitchers use MLB baseballs when they pitch in a Minor League Spring Training game, too. You'll notice the home plate umpire changing out his baseballs every half-inning (unless two MLB pitchers are pitching against each other in the same minor league game).
However, MLB position players rehabbing in a minor league game or playing in a Minor League Spring Training game have to hit minor league baseballs.