Cubs Acquire Eddie Butler from Rockies
The Cubs have acquired 25-year old RHSP Eddie Butler from the Colorado Rockies for 24-year old minor league RHRP James Farris. To make room for Butler on the Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster), RHP Dylan Floro (acquired off waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays last month) has been Designated for Assignment;
As part of the transaction, the Cubs and Rockies also will exchange 2016-17 International Signing Bonus Value (SBV) slots, with the Rockies acquiring the Cubs #28 SBV slot and the Cubs acquiring the Rockies #74 SBV slot. The difference between the two slots is $211,800 in International Signing Bonus Pool (ISBP) "cap space," meaning the Rockies can now spend $211,800 more in signing bonuses in the 2016-17 International Signing Period (ISP) than they otherwise would have been able to spend without incurring a penalty, and the Cubs can spend $211,800 less than their original 2016-17 ISBP (which was $2,063,200) before incurring a penalty. However, the Cubs are restricted from giving an Intenational free-agent subject to ISBP limits a signing bonus in excess of $300K in the 2016-17 ISP because they exceeded their 2015-16 ISBP by more than 15%, so the loss of $211,800 in 2016-17 ISBP "cap space" probably doesn't matter a whole lot to the Cubs. Colorado has no such restriction in the 2016-17 ISP, however, so adding $211,800 in 2016-17 ISBP "cap space" is obviously seen as a "plus" for the Rockies. Again, this part of the trade involves adding/subtracting ISBP "cap space." No money was exchanged.
About the players...
6'2 180 Timothy Edward "Eddie" Butler was selected by the Rockies out of Radford University in the Supplemental 1st round (#46 overall) in the 2012 draft ($1M signing bonus), taken with a compensation pick awarded to the Rockies for losing FA 2B Mark Ellis. And Butler was a stud MLB pitching prospect right from the gitgo. He was rated by Baseball America as the #6 prospect in the Pioneer League in 2012 and the Rockies #6 prospect after the 2012 season, and his fastball (clocked at 99 MPH at Instructs post-2012) was rated best in the Rockies system in 2012. He was also rated by BA as the Rockies #2 prospect and the #24 prospect in baseball after the 2013 season, and the #3 prospect in the Texas League in 2014 and the Rockies #6 prospect and the #77 prospect in baseball after the 2014 season. He featured a 94-96 MPH fastball (touched 97-99) with sinking action, a plus-change-up, a curve, and a slider back then, offset by command issues. So he was considered one of the top pitching prospects in baseball as recently as two years ago (heading into the 2015 season).
Butler had his contract selected and he was called-up to Colorado on June 6, 2014, but finished the season on the DL with a right rotator cuff injury. He has really struggled at the big league level, posting a 6.50 ERA and 1.77 WHIP in 159.1 IP (36 games - 28 GS) 2014-16, and he struggled at AAA Albuquerque 2015-16 as well. His fastball velocity has been down ever since the shoulder problem (blamed on "overthrowing" his fastball after getting called up to the big leagues in 2014), his breaking ball has been flat, and his once plus-change-up has been MIA. His star has fallen to such an extent that he was Designated for Assignment last week (making room on the Rockies MLB 40-man roster for FA RHRP Greg Holland).
Although he has used three minor league options through the 2016 season, Butler is eligible for a 4th minor league option in 2017, so the Cubs can send him to the minors in 2017 without exposing him to waivers. Ideally he would go to Iowa and (hopefully) get both his stuff and his confidence back and get himself ready to compete for a job in the Cubs MLB starting rotation in 2018 (Jake Arrieta, John Lackey, and Brett Anderson are free-agents after the 2017 season). and also be available for a recall if the Cubs need an extra starter at some point in the 2017 season. Maybe Butler just needs a change of scenery (getting out of the "launching pads" in mile-high Denver and Albuquerque can't hurt) and a fresh start (and maybe a new pitching coach, too!). Getting traded to the Cubs worked pretty well for Jake Arrieta, and maybe it will work for Eddie Butler as well. Time will tell.
James Farris was a 9th round draft pick of the Cubs out of the University of Arizona in 2014. He has moved rapidly through the Cubs system and ended the 2016 season as the closer at AA Tennessee (13 saves and a 2.59 ERA, .204 OppBA, a 0.98 WHIP, and 17/74 BB/K in 66 IP combined between Myrtle Beach and Tennessee in 2016). He then pitched very well in the Arizona Fall League (no runs and only five hits allowed with 2/12 BB/K in eight appearances and 10 IP for the Mesa Solar Sox), earning him an NRI to Spring Training. While he doesn't throw particularly hard (low 90's fastball), Farris has a decent breaking ball and outstanding control and keeps the ball down in the zone. He reminds me a lot of RHP Zack Godley (like Farris, a polished college pitcher selected in the first ten rounds of the June Draft), who was sent to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Miguel Montero trade a couple of years ago. I would not be at all surprised if Farris makes his MLB debut in 2017, and he's the type of pitcher who could do very well in Coors Field.
The fact that the Cubs were able to claim Dylan Floro off waivers last month means no other club put in a claim (the Cubs have last waiver claim priority), so it's very possible that the Cubs will be able to get Floro through waivers now. If they can, Floro will get assigned outright to AAA Iowa and will very likely get an NRI to Spring Training (he was already coming to Spring Training with the big club anyway before he was Designated for Assignment).
Mike Wellman 31 min 33 sec ago (view)
One 2 women umps in MiLB worked the SB series. Pal of our son’s from LL days was SB clubhouse mgr. this year. He spoke highly of Emma’s work but said visiting teams often did not. Also spoke highly of B-Zo on his brief rehab stay when he bought the team McD’s, a la Prez Dollar Menu. So, 2 Cub branches made playoffs so far. Can the big Cubs make it 3?
JustSayin' 8 hours 46 min ago (view)
South Bend won seven post-season games. No team they played won any against them. So the Midwest League Cubs run the table and win the Championship! A couple recurring offensive stars, solid defense and lots of strong pitching did the trick.
crunch 11 hours 37 min ago (view)
home or away for WAS...they can throw scherzer, strasburg, or corbin at anyone down the stretch and still have an ace for the 1-game wildcard.
that should play well into their advantage in the last couple weeks as well as the WC playoff. if the cubs can't luck their way back into 1st it's going to be a hell of a Wild Card if WAS is in no matter who's on top of the WC standings.
Charlie 12 hours 11 min ago (view)
Might as well catch the Cards while they're at it ;)
Last time I can remember the division and the Wild Card race this tight was 2015. Funny how similar and yet how different that situation was!
crunch 13 hours 10 min ago (view)
the funny thing is, like early-career randy johnson, batters are extremely uneasy in the box when facing him. part of that helps lead to weak contact and Ks...it also leads to walks and HBPs, though...
Craig A. 13 hours 55 min ago (view)
Cubs better aim for the first wild card. There’ a very slim chance we beat Washington at home.
Craig A. 13 hours 57 min ago (view)
So we keep Maples for intimidation?
crunch 14 hours 31 min ago (view)
maples showcasing how he can fall apart from batter to batter...from a sick 3-pitch K to a 2-2 HBP to a 3-1 HBP.
it's all wild, not retalitory...umps in a bad place since warnings were given based on early HBP's by PIT and maples is tossed. even PIT doesn't think it was intentional and their dugout is calm.
crunch 15 hours 20 min ago (view)
236 homers...franchise record previously set in 2004.
hoerner puts the team over the top.
crunch 16 hours 18 min ago (view)
maddon (whether he's here next season or not) seems to be in no hurry to get him work. it's actually a bit impressive how we've not heard even a shred of shade about his lack of use from descalso.
...but he did see what the organization did to pretty much end tony barnette's career...so there's that. i think lastella ruined throwing roster movement and player use tantrums for everyone.
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 3 min ago (view)
I can’t imagine they go into next season like that. He’s been insanely bad.
crunch 1 day 5 hours ago (view)
Eric S 1 day 9 hours ago (view)
He gets infrequent pinch hitting appearances - and seemingly K’s in each one.
I guess Descalso is the back up plan to start at second next season should Hoerner get injured while cliff diving or hit by falling space debris in the off season
Hagsag 1 day 11 hours ago (view)
Roller coaster crunch.lol
crunch 1 day 12 hours ago (view)
i keep forgetting descalso is back with the cubs. he's practically been shelved on the pine.
crunch 1 day 12 hours ago (view)
South Bend Cubs (YouTube)