A Baker's Dozen of Cubs Playing Winter Ball South of the Border
In addition to the nine Cubs minor leaguers playing for the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League, 13 other Cubs minor leaguers are playing winter ball in Latin America:
LIGA DE BEISBOL DOMINICANO (Dominican Republic):
Daury Torrez, RHP (eligible to be minor league 6YFA post-World Series)
Roberto Caro, OF (was eligible to be minor league 6YFA but has signed 2019 minor league successor contract)
Oscar de la Cruz, RHP (on Cubs Restricted List - serving 80-game suspension for violation of MLB-MLBPA JDPTP)
Jose Paulino, LHP (eligible to be minor league 6YFA post-World Series)
NOTE: Although de la Cruz is on the Cubs Restricted List and thus cannot participate in the Arizona Fall League, he is not prohibited from playing winter ball in Latin America.
LIGA MEXICANA DEL PACIFICO (Mexico):
Casey Coleman, RHP (eligible to be minor league 6YFA post-World Series)
Jesus Camargo, RHSP
Mario Meza, RHRP (was loaned to Yucatan and Saltillo in Mexican League in 2018)
Carlos Sepulveda, INF (missed 2018 season after undergoing shoulder surgery)
NOTE: Sepulveda is on the Obregon reserve list and can play in LMP only if medically cleared by Cubs
LIGA VENEZUELA BEISBOL PROFESIONAL (Venezuela):
Erick Castillo, C (was eligible to be minor league 6YFA but has signed 2019 minor league successor contract)
Jeffrey Baez, OF (eligible to be minor league 6YFA post-World Series)
Enrique de los Rios, RHP (eligible for selection in December 2018 Rule 5 Draft)
Yapson Gomez, LHRP (eligible for selection in December 2018 Rule 5 Draft)
Eugenio Palma, LHRP (eligible for selection in December 2018 Rule 5 Draft)
Liga de Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente (the Puerto Rican winter league) begins play in a about a month and rosters have not yet been announced.
Unlike the Arizona Fall League, free agents are eligible to play in the Latin Winter Leagues, so while Baez, Coleman, Paulino, and Torrez are presently under control of the Cubs, they might not be by the time the leagues conclude play.
In addition to the 13 Cubs minor leaguers on the rosters of Latin winter league clubs, more than 30 former Cubs major leaguers and minor leaguers are playing winter ball in Latin America as well, including INF Arismendy Alcantara, RHP Pedro Araujo, OF Junior Lake, OF Felix Pie, RHP Carlos Pimentel, RHP Ivan Pineyro, LHP David Rollins and LHP Raul Valdes (Dominican Republic), RHP Dallas Beeler, C Sergio Burruel, LHP Gerardo Concepcion, OF-IF Anthony Giansanti, RHP Aaron Kurcz, RHP Sergio Mitre, LHP James Russell, INF Issmael Salas, RHP Nick Struck, and OF Jesus Valdez (Mexico), and RHP Jose Ascanio, RHP Francisco Carrillo, INF Ronny Cedeno, LHP Hunter Cervenka, RHP Dayan Diaz, RHP Greyfer Eregua, RHP Eduardo Figueroa, INF Bryant Flete, RHP Ramon Garcia, RHP Mark Malave, RHP Jhondaniel Medina, RHP Miguel Mejia, INF Andruw Monasterio, RHP Williams Perez, and RHP Carlos Zambrano (Venezuela).
crunch 13 hours 55 min ago (view)
j.odorizzi accepted his qualifying offer (17.8m) from MIN...so did j.abreu (CWS)....everyone else is gonna play the FA market.
w.smith (SF) immediately signed with the braves for 3/39 (13m team option/1m buyout on the backend). braves lose a 2nd round pick...which they'll probably get back when someone signs j.donaldson.
crunch 1 day 13 hours ago (view)
it's not like i think he's something special, but if he had 5mph more on his stuff he'd probably be a top prospect in the system combined with his command/control. he's got highly repeatable junk and he's still young enough there might be a little more velocity to discover.
Arizona Phil 1 day 17 hours ago (view)
CRUNCH: As long as Carrera is placed on the AAA Iowa reserve list on 11/20 he should be safe from selection, and I would say he is in fact close to a lock to be placed on the Iowa roster.
Presuming he is on the Iowa reserve list going into the Rule 5 Draft, I doubt very much that he would get selected in the Major League Phase because he hasn't pitched above Lo-A.
crunch 1 day 17 hours ago (view)
i'm low-key keeping an eye on faustino carrera if he's not protected...which he may not be protected.
he throws junk, but he throws it well, and with great control.
Arizona Phil 1 day 17 hours ago (view)
I've talked to Player Development people over the past many years about the Rule 5 Draft and how an organization goes about deciding whether to protect or not protect a player from selection.
STEP 1: How many of your Rule 5 Draft-eligible players are actually legit candidates to get selected in the Major League Phase?. Usually there a dozen or more who could conceivably/realisticaly get selected. You need to identify them and then carefully evaluate them.
EXAMPLES: See my lists above.
crunch 1 day 20 hours ago (view)
"There are no untouchables," Epstein said.
In truth, the Cubs boss has said the same every year, but it certainly sounds like he means it this time. "We're in the 'information collecting' stages of the process," one general manager put it on Tuesday.
Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 22 hours ago (view)
I think, in relation to the higher profile guys like Javy or Contreras, they're trying to put some pressure on to sign extensions.
That said I do think they're listening on everyone with the only name I haven't seen being Rizzo.
crunch 3 days 14 hours ago (view)
i wonder where the cubs will go with things.
there's a lot pointing to the cubs being expected to listen to offers on almost anyone. as it is, on paper, the cubs could roll right into 2020 with no changes whatsoever and still field a very competitive team. the whole "shakeup" thing seems to be a very hot topic from a variety of sources, though.
bryant, contreras, schwarber have all been linked to "cubs may be listening" rumors...probably listening to anything on happ, bote, almora, russell, too...
Hagsag 3 days 15 hours ago (view)
Even the Cubs should be able to out bid the Marlins!
crunch 3 days 15 hours ago (view)
"According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, the Marlins are "believed" to have interest in free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos."
by interest, i assume they mean they'd like to have some baseball rookie cards or his or maybe a hug from him. i can't imagine they actually want to spend money on someone they could use to make their team better because that makes no sense.
Arizona Phil 4 days 8 hours ago (view)
Prior to joining the Cubs in 2012 Scott Harris was Director of Baseball Operations in the MLB office, which means he received, reviewed, and approved all major league and minor league contracts and transactions, as well as providing MLB clubs with schedules, rules updates, and draft information.
Cubster 4 days 16 hours ago (view)
Giants hire Scott Harris, from Cubs front office, as GM
Charlie 5 days 18 hours ago (view)
For anyone else who immediately wonders but is not invested enough to look it up, this is not Chris (Ryan) Young, former Padres starter and fisticuffs partner of Derrek Lee, but rather the two-years younger Chris Matthew Young.
crunch 6 days 5 hours ago (view)
rev up those off-season rumor fryers...
Jeff Passan @JeffPassan
Multiple teams in search of catching help believe Cubs catcher Willson Contreras will be available this winter. The Cubs will get creative this winter, and with a deep catching free agent market, they could trade Contreras and begin retooling under new manager David Ross.
crunch 6 days 10 hours ago (view)
former padres manager andy green is gonna be ross's bench coach.
green was c.rea's manager in SD, btw.
Arizona Phil 6 days 16 hours ago (view)
Last year the Cubs signed four free-agents to minor league contracts prior to the Rule 5 Draft: LHP Alberto Baldonado, OF Wynton Bernard, RHP Corey Black, and RHP Jose Rosario. All four were members of the Cubs organization in 2018 but declined to sign a 2019 minor league successor contract prior to being declared a free-agent, but then came back to the Cubs after briefly testing the free-agent waters.