ARTICLE XX-D MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT: Marcos Mateo, RHP
MLB RULE 55 MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT:
SIX-YEAR FREE-AGENT: Jeffry Antigua, LHP Lars Anderson, 1B Alberto Cabrera, RHP Marcelo Carreno, RHP Lendy Castillo, RHP Hunter Cervenka, LHP (see NOTE) Charlie Cutler, C Eduardo Figueroa, RHP Luis Flores, C Edgar Gonzalez, INF Marcus Hatley, RHP Jonathon Mota, INF Starling Peralta, RHP Carlos Pimentel, RHP Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP Jose Rosario, RHP Chris Valaika, INF Eli Whiteside, C NOTE: Hunter Cervenka will be eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league 6YFA post-2014 if he signed a 2008 contract when he signed his "first contract" with the Boston Red Sox on 8-15-2008. However, if he was “Signed for Future Service“ (first contract was a 2009 contract), he will not be eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league 6YFA until post-2015.
SECOND CONTRACT MINOR LEAGUE FA: Jesus Arias,RHP Humberto Garcia, INF Yeiker Lovera, RHP Nate Maldonado, C Yomar Pacheco, RHP Manny Ramirez, OF Brohiglyn Rivero, RHP Julio Sanchez, RHP Roberto Vahlis, C
1. 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.
2. 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.
2014 Draft Signings
Cubs have $8,352,200 in draft pool money (and if they don't mind paying a a 75% tax on $417,600, they can go up to $8,769,810).
Players in bold have allegedly signed. Anyone after the 10th round signed for over $100K counts against their draft money as well.
If the player has yet to sign or there's no media report on the bonus, the third column is the recommened slot money.
Currently the Cubs have paid $8,754,000 out and have $15,810 of their draft pool money left before having to worry about losing draft picks.
Back in April, I put up some polls for our readers to rank the position players and number one pitchers in the division. I originally intended to get them up before the season started so any hot starts wouldn't influence the results. I failed miserably at that and the poll results showed that (Derrek Lee second?). Nonetheless, let's revisit the fun.
I had to take a little break to bash Brenneman yesterday, but NL Central Smackdown is back. I was going to just try and cover all the pitching in one post and have you guys vote on the pitching staffs as a whole. But who really want to decide between Brandon Backe vs Braden Looper. On the other hand, the crown for the best staff ace is worthy of discussion.
Before we examine left field, I remind you to check out and vote on center field and right from this weekend if you missed it. As for the left fielders, I think it's an intriguing group and something that should really test the "homer" vote that's been going around
in the previous installments. I think Soriano is as good as they get
out there in the division, but he seems to be quickly falling out of
fans' good graces as of late.
Before we head to the outfield, we take on the field generals. A difficult position to evaluate with the numbers just because there's just no great way to numerically measure a catcher's defense, leadership and ability to work with his pitching staff...but we'll do our best. I did want to note, I'll keep going with these through the weekend just so we can finish this up by early next week. If you take the weekends off from TCR, be sure to check back Monday and vote on the polls you missed.
We march on around the diamond. Today it's the double play partner of yesterday's vote. The Cubs so far have the 2nd best first basemen and second basemen in the division. Can Ryan Theriot keep the streak going? Answer - no!
I started off with the first basemen yesterday and I'll leave the poll up until I get through all the positions. If you need a primer on all this, be sure to check out that first post as well on the first basemen.
Today though we move to the second basemen. While Hendry tries to win by sheer numbers, it's about quality, not quantity. Your contestants after the jump....
I was going to try and get this up before the season started, but that clearly didn't happen for a variety of reasons. But that's no excuse to let the work go to waste. Basically I thought it would be fun to go through each position player in the division and the starting pitchers and see how we rank them. Who’s the best now? Who will be the best over the next 3 years? I'll be using Baseball Prospectus's WARP-3 numbers for the most part, which includes both offense and defense and most importantly for this exercise, projections for the next three years. Once we get through the eight positions and the starting pitchers, I'll finish it off with a Bill Simmons inspired (ripped off) trade value chart.
Here are the ground rules. We're trying to figure out who you'd rather have on your team. Do your best to take your Cubs bias out of the equation if possible (that shouldn't be hard for some of you). But we're also trying to figure out who has the best players on the their team right now, so I'm going to use the players projected to get the most playing time this year. Sure, Jay Bruce will eventually take over center field duties in Cincinnati, but who knows when. The chart after the jump includes their 3-year WARP-3 averages (2005-2007) and their projected 2008-2010 averages.The final column, appropriately labeled "Rob's Rankings", are simply how I ranked them before looking at any stats. For the most part I was pretty close to what the numbers bear out. I should also note that I did my rankings before the season started.
We'll start off with the toughest and most talented position, the first basemen. Your gladiators after the jump....
Law's Midseason Top 5 Farm Systems (ESPN Insider)
1. Chicago Cubs
I know Cubs fans have heard this before, but just wait 'til next year, because this club is going to get good in a hurry, at least on the run-scoring side of the ledger. The system already had the minors' best collection of high-end bats, and it added several more during the past seven weeks, including the fourth-best prospect in the minors in shortstop Addison Russell, who came over with promising left fielder Billy McKinney in the Jeff Samardzija trade with the Athletics.
Yes. And the Cubs are the ideal team to do this with as there will be a wave of young players coming up - so it's not like he is going to frustrate a bunch of veterans as he adjusts, or blow a pennant race with inexperience. Granted by the time he arrives the cubs should be more competitive, still they will be youth oriented. And the kid seems like a baseball rat, so I think he'll work hard if that's his course.
Yes, it's certainly possible that Jackson was going to be a good player and the coaches messed with him and he tanked. But it's also possible that he was going to tank anyway because he strikes out a ton (20-25% of his at-bats in the low minors, and about 33% of his at-bats in AAA--even in 2011 that you seem so fixated on) and pitchers adjust to that and exploit it.
Somewhat related article from Fangraphs about how Castro (and Rizzo) are pulling the ball more this season. Curious to how much this is due to change in coaching and the approach the players are being instructed to take.
In terms of Sveum being "historically influential and terrible" if I'm right that his fingerprints are all over the downturns of Castro, Barney and Jackson--it may just be hard to fight off the influence of your hitting coach if he's also your manager. Sveum was in the group that worked with Barney in Arizona after the 2012 season.
Sveum said last year that Barney could be a .300 hitter but he has to prove it. Sveum, hitting coach James Rowson and assistant hitting coach Rob Deer worked with Barney in November in Arizona to boost his slugging percentage.
The Kansas City Monarchs disbanded after the 1955 season, and it was at that time that Buck O'Neill was signed by the Cubs as a scout (he became a member of the College of Coaches in 1962), and the contracts of OF George Altman, OF Lou Johnson, and INF J. C,. Hartman were purchased by the Cubs.
Speaking of the Lou Johnson trade, I was thinking back about Willie Smith (the player the Cubs got back from the Indians for Lou Johnson), and he was an unusual character. Not only was he a 1B-OF and ace LH PH, he also was a part-time LHRP (he was the rare pitcher-converted-to-position player while a member of the Angels organization), and he was a professional blues singer in the off-season.