See, The Winter Meetings Were Productive for the Cubs
The Cubs finalized some deals that certainly were discussed over Winter Meetings and made a number of roster moves today.
First, they claimed 25-year old RHP Liam Hendriks off of waivers from the Minnesota Twins. He was a roster casualty with the Phil Hughes signing. While he has done nothing remotely good in 156 innings at the major league level, he's put up at the very least an outstanding 2.99 ERA in the minors over 580.1 IP. Those numbers were good enough to get him on the BA's Twins Top 10 list for 2011(#6) and 2012(#7).His strikeout rates are trending the wrong way and I don't know if that's an arm issue or just more of the Twins pitch-to-contact approach, but certainly seems worth the risk as a possible back-end starter/in-season depth.
The Cubs also signed non-tendered OF Ryan Kalish, formerly of the Boston Red Sox. A 9th round pick in the 2006 draft, Kalish was the 98th rated prospect in baseball before the 2008 season and usually in the middle of the pack of the top 10 Boston prospects lists back then. Injuries though have curtailed his career and he got a minor league deal with a spring training invite from the Cubs. Again, he'll be playing his age 25 season next year so certainly worth a flyer.
And of course yesterday, they traded left-handed hitting OF Brian Bogusevic for right-handed hitting OF Justin Ruggiano. Ruggiano has some decent splits versus lefties (.834 career OPS/.506 SLG), so he'll certainly come in as an occasional short-side platoon-mate for Schierholtz or Sweeney and bench bat and if he plays like he did in 2012 or in the minors, maybe he'll get some more at-bats.
On the minus side, the Braves ended up signing INF Mat Gamel to a minor league deal with a spring training invite, which is a shame as I was hoping the Cubs would give him a chance this spring.
As I hypothesized yesterday and anyone can tell by reading the stories from the last few days, the Cubs will likely sign some type of starting pitcher, maybe Scott Baker, maybe Jason Hammell, maybe someone else in that price range and then probably 1-2 right-handed relievers and there are plenty of those names still out there. Otherwise, the only headling grabbing move anyone should expect is if they end up dealing Jeff Samardzija or sign Masahiro Tanaka. They can always surprise I suppose, but they seem pretty committed to Rizzo, Castro, Baez, Bryant, Soler and Almora and whomever else pushes their way into the conversation.
Certainly not the type of offseason manuevering that will get the casual fan to even remotely acknowledge the Cubs existence and certainly not the type of moves that anyone can hope for more than 70 wins next year, but certainly the type of moves that will allow them to start bringing up the next class and let some of the current guys figure things out at the major league level. I can't say I like all these moves, frankly, they're flat out boring, but I understand the process and understand what they're trying to do.
KingKongvsGodzilla 2 hours 25 min ago (view)
Are these guys out of the org now?
K Dub 7 hours 2 min ago (view)
PHIL: Any velo readings on Ramos? Earlier reports also had him sitting 98-99. Thanks!
George Altman 13 hours 3 min ago (view)
Phil, serious question: How good is the Cubs Player Development Department? Scale of 1 to 30 with 1 being best. I mean, I can think of 5 teams right now who don't have near the Cubs resources but do better year after.
I mean there are organizations across sports who seem to coach the crap out of their draft picks and signees. They just got 4 teenagers for Darvish, but do they have the coaches to get any of them to the show?
My pessimistic grade would be about 24.
Arizona Phil 13 hours 18 min ago (view)
DJL: How about Eddy Julio Martinez as a spectacular miss? A $3M signing bonus out of Cuba and he never made it out of AA.
Dolorous Jon Lester 13 hours 24 min ago (view)
Wow, that's a pretty spectacular miss. He was so highly thought of when he signed.
Arizona Phil 13 hours 56 min ago (view)
TIM: Richard Gallardo doesn't seem to be progressing as a SP, so he has apparently been moved to the bullpen. He has a tendency to labor through innings and nibble too much and throw a lot of pitches.
tim815 14 hours 10 min ago (view)
Anything on Gallardo, of interest, from today?
Arizona Phil 14 hours 12 min ago (view)
The Cubs have released LHP Ryan Kellogg, RHP Alex Moore, 3B Fidel Mejia, OF Jose Gutierrez, OF Eddy Julio Martinez, and OF Zac Taylor from Minor League Camp.
Arizona Phil 14 hours 18 min ago (view)
And despite what you might read elsewhere, It was - NOT - a "hot" gun.
Arizona Phil 14 hours 44 min ago (view)
He certainly could have forced the Cubs to release him with full salary as termination pay, so he must like it with the Cubs.
Charlie 16 hours 34 min ago (view)
Follow-up on last week's discussion of Baez's contact and plate discipline woes. Another Fangraphs article notes that he is among league leaders in combined positive change in zone swing rates (swinging at more pitches inside the strike zone) and reduction in chase rate (swinging at pitches outside the zone). See the last table: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/lets-look-at-some-earl...
This makes his 45% strikeout rate and 1.7% BB rate all the more strange.
crunch 19 hours 36 min ago (view)
he may not be worth much to us as fans, but every indication points to him being quite popular in the dugout. nice to see him stick around as an emergency callup catcher.
Wrigley Rat 1 day 8 hours ago (view)
Tony Wolters clears waivers and is sent to the Alternate Training site in South Bend.
bigsky33 1 day 12 hours ago (view)
Hi Phil, are they letting you into Sloan? Great to see your write-ups!!
crunch 1 day 16 hours ago (view)
crunch 1 day 16 hours ago (view)
uh...welcome back hendricks...i guess. meh.