Cubs Release Tazawa... But He Could Be Back

3/26 UPDATE 

The Cubs have indeed re-signed RHP Junichi Tazawa to a new (different) 2019 minor league contract. 

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3/23 ORIGINAL POST 

The Cubs released NRI RHRP Junichi Tazawa today, but that might not be the end of the Tazawa-Cubs connection.

Because Tazawa was a post-2018 Article XX-B MLB free-agent who signed a minor league contract more than ten days prior to MLB Opening Day (he was signed on January 26th), the CBA mandates that if the Cubs did not release Tazawa by today (five days prior to MLB Opening Day), the Cubs would have had to either add him to their MLB 40-man roster (and 25-man roster) by MLB Opening Day or else pay him a $100K retention bonus with a June 1st opt-out. 

So it's possible that the Cubs will re-sign Tazawa to a new (different) minor league contract without the automatic Article XX-B retention bonus and/or the June 1st opt-out (the Cubs actually did exactly this in 2016 with Shane Victorino, Manny Parra, and Munenori Kawasaki).

Comments

Right on, he is back.

r.rosario makes the team over k.ryan for the assumed open lefty slot vacated by duensing.

I just gotta say - is JHey going to give us his typical struggle to break the .250 mark and .700 OPS? He has slightly improved actually the last 2 years.

But his D is slghtly declining, can't hit lefies much, can't hit righties THAT much better (but one can always count on him for a nice 4-3 to kill an inning).

Its interesting that BR has his most similar comps as:

  1. Lloyd Moseby (942.0)
  2. Jeff Francoeur (940.3)
  3. Claudell Washington (929.5)
  4. Chili Davis (928.0)
  5. Melvin Upton Jr. (923.3)
  6. Willie Davis (918.0)
  7. Bob Bailey (914.8)
  8. Jose Cardenal (912.0)

My general *feeling* about Hewyard's offense is pessimism. I've only seen bad Heyward for the last 3 years, and it's difficult not to expect more of the same.

Giving away my youth a bit here, but the two names that jump out at me on that list are Francoeur and Upton. I see the comparitive value in that they both had some high value years early in their careers and then declined sharply. But Francoeur and Upton had clearer causes to their struggles at the plate. Francoeur had that super aggressive approach and Upton had strikeout issues, each of which were exploitable. Heyward is weird in that his plate discipline numbers have been pretty stable during his decline, but the quality of his contact is terrible. (I'm relying on the eyeball test a lot there, as the numbers available for that are pretty limited.)

I have the sense that quality of contact issues are less predictable from one season to the next than plate discipline issues and that their causes are difficult to pinpoint. The narrative around Heyward has been that his swing mechanics are the issue. But I don't think there's a lot of rigorous analysis out there so far about how effectively players can really adjust mechanics at the MLB level or what the side effects of those adjustments are. May Heyward will be the touchstone when those articles get published?

new rule...no more massive multi-year $23m/yr contracts to guys with a .350-ish ob% that hit 10-15 homers just because they handle their 2 defensive chances a game in RF really well.

physically, heyward looked great coming into spring.  he's not massively bulked, but he looked very fit with a bit more muscle on his arms.  no homers and 2 doubles in 42 spring PA, though.

he spent of most the spring setting up in the back of the box with a wide stance which did him no favors with anything breaking.

all that aside, we'll probably see a good bit of mark zagunis in RF/LF (especially vs lefties) and heyward will probably see a bit more time in CF with happ gone.  though zag will probably K a bit on the high side, he will take a walk and he's not slow...he could emerge as a solid cubs leadoff hitter when he plays.  personally, i'm very excited about zag and what he showed this spring.

rob zastryzny is now in the dodgers organization...good for him.

Glad to hear that.

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  • crunch 10 min 22 sec ago (view)

    j.means throws a no-hitter for the O's...first since jim palmer in 1969.

    also, this is the 3rd no-hitter on the year that would have been a perfect game if not for a sole "mistake" (2x hbp (rondon/musgrove) + dropped 3rd strike (means)).

     

  • Charlie 1 hour 12 min ago (view)

    That is a solid recap--thank you!

     

  • Eric S 3 hours 9 min ago (view)

    Charlie - Here's a link to a fine - and free - recap of Hendricks outing:

    https://www.bleachernation.com/cubs/2021/05/05/hey-i-recognize-this-guy-kyle-hendricks-had-a-very-good-game/

     

  • Childersb3 8 hours 46 min ago (view)

    Since Jake Arrieta won't be ready to pitch in four or five days, I hope they keep Keegan up there. I'd say he deserves to start one more game for them until Jake comes back.

     

  • Arizona Phil 17 hours 45 min ago (view)

    RHP Kohl Stewart was recalled from AAA Iowa as the "27th man" for Game # 2 of the doubleheader but he did not pitch in the game.

    The 27th man is only available for both games if the doubleheader was scheduled as the resuilt of a postponed game from a previous series, so since the doubleheader resulted from the first game of the current series being postponed, the 27th man was only available for the second game.  

     

  • Arizona Phil 18 hours 20 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have released RHRP Brandon Workman. He was Designated for Assignment last Thursday. 

    So the Cubs are now on the hook for Workman's $1M salary, but it would be offset by the pro-rated MLB minimum salary if he were to sign an MLB contract with another club, or sign a minor league contract with another club and then have his contract selected to an MLB 40-man roster. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 18 hours 22 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have signed second contract minor league FA LHP Alex Katz (ex-KC) and RHP Austin Krzeminski (ex-LAA) to minor league contracts.  

     

  • Charlie 18 hours 34 min ago (view)

    If you predicted the Cubs take both sides of the doubleheader vs Kershaw and Bauer, I hope you put some money on it.

     

  • crunch 19 hours 48 min ago (view)

    TIED!

    wow.  baez.

    i wish i didn't have to crash and get up early.  hate missing the rest of this.  wow.

     

  • crunch 20 hours 7 min ago (view)

    ...and a solo HR to follow it up.  that's neat-o.

     

  • crunch 20 hours 8 min ago (view)

    hey, look...runner scores on a wild pitch.

    sigh.

     

  • crunch 20 hours 11 min ago (view)

    hol up...we really bringing maples into a game where a guy starts on 2nd with 0 out?

    alright...we're living dangerously.

     

  • crunch 20 hours 26 min ago (view)

    kimbrel blew the save, giving up a solo homer, but this isn't a case of "kimbrel sucking"...he looked good.

    still...boo.

     

  • crunch 21 hours 14 min ago (view)

    damn this is a good game.

    bauer keeps coming close to screwing up badly and gets out of it.  cubs have a 1 run lead and it seems like it should be a few more.

    thompson looked great since an "average at best" 1st inning.

     

  • Jackstraw 22 hours 3 min ago (view)

    "Go get 'em, kid.  We've got three of the best guys on our roster out there behind you, and the other guy on the bump, well, his Cy Young should come with an asterisk."

     

  • Childersb3 22 hours 50 min ago (view)

    It's the opening night for MiLB, I knew SB was now A+ ball, and of course I get confused the first time I look at the GameDay for SB just now.

    That's going to take the full season to get used too.