Anthony Varvaro Waiver Claim Voided

The Cubs waiver claim of RHP has been voided by the MLB Commissioner and he has been returned to the Boston Red Sox, where he will be placed on the BoSox MLB 60-day DL. Varvaro  later this week.

Varvaro was Designated for Assignment by the Red Sox on April 23rd, and was claimed off Outright Assignment Waivers by the Cubs on May 3rd. The Cubs almost immediately placed Varvaro back onto waivers, and the Cubs sent him outright to AAA Iowa on May 8th after Outright Assignment Waivers were secured.

The elbow injury was detected after Varvaro threw a bullpen side-session, at which point the Cubs requested through the MLB Commissioner's office that their waiver claim be voided and that Vavaro be returned to the Red Sox, because he had a pre-existing injury and therefore should not have been placed on Outright Assignmmt Waivers. Varvaro remained inactive on the Iowa Reserve List for two weeks while the matter was under review by MLB.

This is similar to what happened with RHRP a few years ago, when the Yankees claimed Schlitter off waivers from the Cubs in January 2011, and then the Phillies subsequently claimed Schlitter off waivers from the Yankees in February 2011, only to find out in Spring Training that Schlitter had a pre-existing elbow injury and needed a UCL elbow ligament transplant (TJS).

The Phillies then contacted the MLB Commissioner and requested that Schlitter be returned to the Cubs, with all previous waiver claims voided. And Schlitter was indeed returned to the Cubs at the end of Spring Training, underwent TJS on the Cubs dime, and spent the balance of the 2011 season on the Cubs MLB 60-day DL. The Cubs also had to return the $50,000 waiver fee they received from the Yankees (although the refund actually was channeled to the Phillies, since the Yankees got their money back in February when Schlitter was claimed off waivers by the Phils).  

The Cubs faced a similar-type situation earlier this month, when they wanted to remove RHRP from their MLB 40-man roster to open up a slot for LHRP. Because Parker was on the AAA Iowa Cubs 7-day DL with right elbow inflammation and was not physically healthy enough to play, he could not be placed on Outright Assignment Waivers at that time. So in order to remove Parker from the MLB 40-man roster, the Cubs had to either recall Parker from his minor league Optional Assignment and place him on their MLB 60-day DL (and pay him a big league salary for at least two months), or release him and then try and re-sign him to a minor league contract (for his minor league split salary). The Cubs chose the latter (although of course Parker had to agree to go along with it), and Parker is now rehabbing his elbow injury at Extended Spring Training in Mesa.  



"Schlitter was indeed returned to the Cubs at the end of Spring Training"

Herrera in for Russell today. Sunday is usually a day that backups get into the lineup. i.e. Mike Olt gets to take the lineup card to home plate.

Javy cranking up -- 2 HRs (so far) today, now hitting .326 with OPS of .949. But. what's up with all the errors (11 in 22 games)?

HR: Alcantara, A (6, 1st inning off Gaviglio, 0 on, 0 out), Baez, J 2 (5, 1st inning off Gaviglio, 0 on, 1 out; 5th inning off Gaviglio, 0 on, 0 out). ...and Christian Villaneuva 3-3 with a double. 7-2, I Cubs in the 5th. What are the chances CV becomes a MLB 3rd baseman? He seems to have improved offensively. From a third baseman perspective, on a marginally-related note, Casey McGehee was DFA'd by Giants.

I think they should move Castro to LF, Russell to SS, and bring up Baez to play 2B. Castro is making too many errors at SS and Russell is not super comfortable at 2B. I am getting tired of waiting for Castro to grow into this. At some point he has to develop or they have to move on.

I agree with you except Coughlin is playing great and maybe Castro should just go to NYC or somewhere outside of Chicago.

Don't think Castro has the bat to play LF. LF needs to be an impact offensive position. Castro is a good offensive player for a middle infielder -- not so much a corner IF or OF. I agree on Starlin -- Castro is on place for a 30+ error season. Still seems to be a guy who relies on talent and makes little effort to learn the game.

Well, Castro had a .777 OPS in 2014, which would have placed him 10th in MLB among left fielders. His 14 HRs would have been 13th. His 33 doubles 12th. Now he had the second-best OPS among short stops (behind only Peralta) so moving him to LF would certainly be a step down. He'd go from a top offensive talent to middle of the pack. But if Baez can produce at an above average level at 2B then some of that would even out. And if team defense would be improved a lot, and the bench strengthened by making Coghlan the first bat off, it might be worth it. Though I am certain Castro would pout, not hit well because of it, and probably make some blunders in LF, so perhaps it's a bad idea.

Looking all of the comps on BR and digging into it a bit more, it just seems like to me that Castro is a worse fielding version of Edgar Renteria. He'll get 2,000+ hits, 400-500 doubles, 150 HR, put up an OPS in the mid-700s, and be worth 30-ish WAR for his career. He'll have a great career. But he'll be solidly in that second tier seet of short stops. I'm running out of hope that he is going to turn the corner and turn into an excellent defender, improve his batting eye and walk more, or start hitting for more power. Any of that could still happen, of course, he's only 25. But we said that at 22, 23, and 24 as well, and at some point we won't be able to say that anymore.

Castro overall is a perfectly fine, average to above average middle infielder lineup slot who should probably be batting 6th on a team with a George Soler who ultimately starts to hit like I think he will. People make too much out of Castro's errors and gloss over his good fielding. He's had 9 errors this year so far, which is about 5 too many at this stage in his career, and they're still related in my mind to a lack of concentration. Ritalin isn't allowed in the MLB but they should try an exception for him. That late inning error the other day cost him a few fans who may have been on the fence about him. I even turned on him that night on comments here, and I usually am a defender. Castro has progressed some on the fielding front, but most people don't notice it because he's not making some of the errors he used to make. He's charging the ball more on easy grounders than he has in the past. That saves errors. He's getting the ball out of the glove quickly and turning the dp pretty well with an inexperienced second baseman. Easy stuff to gloss over since it doesn't produce a stat. All in all, he sure gets a lot of hate for a 25 year old with 894 hits. Moving him to left field is no answer. He'll be a middling player there on a team bursting at the seams with young talent. TheoCorp is playing this right. Until Russell and/or Baez can push him out of the lineup, or unless someone can offer up decent value - not easy when guys like Bob Brenly and Valentine are berating him and building up his legend as a bad player, he's probably not going anywhere. Ultimately I see Russell at short and Baez at second, especially if Baez keeps showing some progress, but I don't think anything can happen until Baez comes up and can show he won't swing at everything coming within 50 feet of the strike zone. Improvement in the minors is a positive, but it's not the same as facing these MLB pitchers with ridiculous breaking stuff. I'd be very wary of pushing out a 25 year old ball player who has gotten 894 hits against modern pitching staffs. He drives me crazy sometimes, too, but not a lot of players are perfect. The ones that are are superstars. Barring injury, Castro is going to be the shortstop for the rest of the year, so may as well get used to it.

Unfortunately, his OPS this year is down to .646 (10th among NL SS), which makes his batting clean-up even more problematic and seems to have amplified his weaknesses as a hitter. And, through yesterday's game, he was the only "qualified" NL SS with a negative WAR, for what that's worth. If he were hitting 6th or 7th, his bat would be a bonus on a good team -- right now, he is counted on to do too much.

scrubs lose. hell of a fun series to watch...except for the cubs coming out on the wrong side of the W/L.

Cubs lose 2 out of 3 with top of rotation pitchers ... ouscoring the d-backs for the three game series. So ugly.

Lost both games due to one bad pitch that Goldschmidt hammered. Bummer. Some Baez related quotes from I-Cubs hitting coach Brian Harper

"That's the key for Javy. What he's done the most lately is not overswinging. He's not trying to hit 800-foot home runs any more. He's just trying to hit 350- to 400-foot home runs, that's all. He's working really hard at calming things down." if that's true (and it's working for him) then he is basically down there successfully re-inventing himself. calming down his violent swing while retaining most of the power is ideal for everyone involved. can't wait to see it in person. hope it's legit and it sticks.

That would really be impressive -- a young, talented kid who realizes he needs to change and listens to coaching. Hope it works out.

AZ PHIL - Regarding the Valvaro situation. How many CURRENT Cubs and Cubs prospects have under gone Theos Tommy John Surgery collection? - Jason Motte, Tsuyoshi Wada, Hector Rondon, Brian Sclitter, Dallas Beeler, Chris Denorfia, Corey Black, Dylan Cease, Drake Britton, Daniel Schlereth, Ryan McNeil, Josh Conway, Austin Reed, Jose Rosario, Erling Moreno, Barrett Loux, Stephen Bruno, Taylor Teagarden, Will I missing any?? I think theo likes TJS players more than Boston players

CUBBIES 4EVER: I can't think of anyone else.

The only other one I thought of is Tim Saunders, but he just got released so he is not a current player. 

That is quite a lengthy list!

Good gracious. First reading and I got Tim Souers. Drawing cartoons suddenly became WAY more stressful on the elbow than I realized.

A pretty compelling summary of the rift between Thibs and the Bulls FO:

84 pitches for wada today...removed with 0 on and 1 out. maybe he can pitch 86 the next outing...maybe make it to 100 pitches in a game by august.

...and just like that the pen turns a tie game into a WAS lead. great job. awesome.

Another daytime loss -- now 3 under during the day and 7 over at night. Time to set a curfew for the young guys.

Daily Castro watch: 0-4 on 8 pitches. OBP now below .300. Struggling, as they say.

Speaking of TJS, Mrs. Newport had our first son Friday.........Tommy John's birthday.

hell yeah. congrats.

Congrats to the Newports!!!


NEWPORT: Congratulations! 

And just one piece of advice:

Teach the kid to throw left-handed. 

Thanks guys. Our 4 year old daughter likes to hit left handed, but she will only hit from where the catcher would stand and hits everything towards where the dugout would be. Stubborn kid, she's not very coachable, like every 4 year old ever.

Congrats, and welcome to the highly confusing world of having a boy and a girl. Very, very different creatures, right from the beginning. I completely agree with Phil -- the first time your son picks up a bat, make sure he swings it left-handed. It is such a huge advantage to be a lefty hitter. Watching my son deal with RH curveballs in high school has made me lament the fact that I didn't make him swing lefty when he was young....

Recent comments

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • crunch 15 hours 9 min ago (view)

    fyi for anyone who bought

    for "some reason" getting a cancel+refund via phone is like pulling teeth, but if you contact them via a webpage contact request many people are getting a cancel+refund confirmation within an hour or 2...


  • bradsbeard 22 hours 40 min ago (view)

    I imagine because the new labor agreement freezes rosters as of whenever the agreement is approved by the owners and it might affect what those guys are paid under the agreement. 


  • Hagsag 1 day 32 min ago (view)

    AZ Phil. what was the reason that a whole bunch of teams optioned or assigned players to the minor leagues yesterday on March 26 ? Thanks.


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    jdrnym: Ordinarily, players on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) who are on Optional Assignment to the minors do not accrue MLB Service Time, are paid at the minor league rate rather than at the MLB rate if the player has a "split" contract, and if the player gets hurt or becomes sick after being optioned, he can be placed on a minor league IL instead of on an MLB IL (so that he cannot accrue MLB Service Time or be paid at the MLB rate while he is on the IL). Also, a player who is optioned to the minors for at least 20 days will burn an option year.   


  • jdrnym 1 day 17 hours ago (view)

    AZPhil, what are the technical ramifications of optioning/not optioning guys during this period of no baseball? Seems like some teams are more eager than others to trim their roster down.


  • crunch 2 days 20 hours ago (view)

    "Major League Baseball has agreed with the MLBPA to grant a full year of service time to players in 2020 regardless of how many games the schedule includes.

    Rosenthal adds, however, that the two sides have agreed to "table discussions" on how much service time the players would receive if the worst-case scenario plays out and the 2020 season has to be canceled entirely due to the coronavirus pandemic."



  • bradsbeard 4 days 15 hours ago (view)

    This one has me scratching my head too. Surely they knew Lakins would have a hard time clearing waivers. Hate to just lose Pereda like that. Feels like they gave up more for Lakins than for Sadler, and I'm guessing Sadler might have been slightly more likely to clear waivers since he's out of options. 


  • Arizona Phil 4 days 15 hours ago (view)

    I think the most puzzling aspect to the Travis Lakins Caper is that the only plausible reason for the Cubs to have struck a pre-emptive trade with the Red Sox instead of waiting and hoping to win a waiver claim is that the Cubs believed that another club with a better waiver claim priority would almost certainly claim him. So to ensure that they would be able to acquire Lakins, the Cubs must have offered the Red Sox something more than the $50,000 waiver price, otherwise there would have been no point in the Red Sox agreeing to the deal. 


  • crunch 4 days 18 hours ago (view)

    RedSox acquire catcher Jhonny Pereda from the #Cubs, completing the January 21 trade for RHP Travis Lakins

    ...cubs lost lakins on waivers to BAL, btw


  • erich081 5 days 7 hours ago (view)

    I wore my Rick Wilkins #2 shirsey today and kept thinking real baseball was only a week away. And then I remembered this weird alternate reality we've seemed to have slipped into. Hope everyone stays healthy and safe.


  • Hagsag 5 days 11 hours ago (view)

    I am installing a padded room to sit in until this hell is over.


  • Charlie 5 days 15 hours ago (view)

    Watched it yesterday with my girlfriend and while Skyping my dad. It was fun to give her running commentary since she's only been a Cubs fan for the last five years.


  • crunch 6 days 8 hours ago (view)

    MLB is sidestepping this "to the surface" pushing issue by choosing to "finacially support" minor league players according to a press release from a couple days ago.  minor league pay has been a recent source of embarrassment for MLB...

    i have no idea how robust this assistant will be, but anything less than 100% for most players (no matter the source) would be a disservice to future of the game.


  • JustSayin' 6 days 9 hours ago (view)

    Does anyone know if the minor leaguers are eligible for unemployment compensation once the season would have started?  Not in the normal off-season, I know.  Spring training is room and board only, I know.  But these guys are under contract and not able to play due to COVID 19.  They can't legally go play someplace else, even if there were a someplace else to play.


  • crunch 6 days 16 hours ago (view)

    it probably (maybe) happened before, but i remember this game was so "woah" that they cleared their evening programming in order to show a replay of the game for those that may have missed the day game.

    hell of a way to make your mark as a cubs legend.


  • Charlie 1 week 13 hours ago (view)

    I did not realize this. I figured with that game having a DVD for sale they would've hunted this down on other sites!