Cubs Give a Wink and a Nod to a Righty Reliever
The Cubs have signed RHRP Dan Winkler to a 2020 MLB contract. The deal reportedly includes a $750K MLB salary and $750K more in potential performance bonuses with a $200K minor league split salary.
Winkler features a 90 MPH cutter (his bread & butter pitch), a low 80's slider and a low-90's FB, and an occasional CH, all thrown from a low 3/4 arm slot, somewhat like Steve Cishek. So think of Winkler as Cishek's probable bargain-bin replacement in the pen.
Now 29 (he will be 30 in February), the 6'3 205 righthander graduated from St. Anthony HS in Effingham, IL in 2008, and was the 20th round selection of the Colorado Rockies in the 2011 draft out of Central Forida (he was also selected by the Cubs in the 43rd round of the 2010 draft out of Parkland JC but did not sign).
He led minor league baseball in strikeouts in 2013 and was rated the #16 prospect in the Texas League by Baseball America in 2014 even after sustaining a torn UCL in his right elbow and undergoing TJS in June 2014.
He was left off the Rockies 40-man roster post-2014 (he was expected to miss most of the 2015 season while rehabbing) and was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the Major League Phase of the December 2014 Rule 5 Draft. He spent most of the next three seasons on the Braves 10-day and 60-day DL, first rehabbing from the TJS and then after undergoing surgery for an elbow fracture sustained in April 2016. So his Rule 5 Draft restrictions remained in effect until he accrued 90 days of MLB Service Time, which didn't happen until late April 2018 (more than three years after he was drafted!).
So Winkler was (finally!) healthy in August 2017 and quickly established himself as a reliable member of the Braves bullpen. However, he was optioned to AAA Gwinnett by the Braves in June 2019 after struggling over the first 2-1/2 months of the season, and he was one of two pitchers sent to the Giants in the Mark Melancon deal at the Jule 31st trade deadline. Winkler was then immediately Designated for Assignment by SF and was outrighted to AAA Sacramento on 8/3 after waivers were secured.
Winkler was a post-2019 Article XX-D minor league FA (he had the right to elect free-agency immediately after being outrighted, but he chose to defer free-agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season).
Winkler has two minor league options left, but because he spent so much time on the Braves MLB DL 2015-17 he has already accrued more than four years of MLB Service Time, and so once he acrues another 109 days he will hit five years of MLB ST and his remaining options will be effectively not usable since he would have to give his permission before he can be optioned once he reaches 5+000 MLB Service Time.
If he is still on the Cubs MLB 40-man roster by the end of the season, he will be eligible for salary arbitration post-2020.
Eric S 1 hour 24 min ago (view)
Childersb3 7 hours 1 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 16 hours 26 sec 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 16 hours 35 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 16 hours 37 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 16 hours 49 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 18 hours 3 min ago (view)
i wish i didn't have to crash and get up early. hate missing the rest of this. wow.
crunch 18 hours 22 min ago (view)
...and a solo HR to follow it up. that's neat-o.
crunch 18 hours 23 min ago (view)
hey, look...runner scores on a wild pitch.
crunch 18 hours 26 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 18 hours 41 min ago (view)
kimbrel blew the save, giving up a solo homer, but this isn't a case of "kimbrel sucking"...he looked good.
crunch 19 hours 29 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 20 hours 18 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 21 hours 5 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.
crunch 21 hours 18 min ago (view)
thompson's got some good movement on his stuff (not extrodinary).
his mid-90s fastball looks effortless. he's got a cutter he can bring 90+.
crunch 21 hours 21 min ago (view)
it's also harsh considering javy only got a fine for jumping out the dugout to confront him. it'll probably be reduced to 3-5 or something.