Cubs Trade Ruggiano
The Cubs cleared some 40-man roster space and made room for a "clubhouse dude" by sending OF Justin Ruggiano to the Seattle Mariners for 25-year old relief pitcher Matt Brazis. Ruggiano was acquired from the Marlins last offseason for Brian Bogusevic and put up an 111 OPS+ with an .846 OPS versus lefties in limited, albeit effective action. He can also handle all 3 OF positions which is a nice added benefit. For whatever reasons that do not particularly interest me, the Cubs seem to want a veteran "clubhouse dude" as Maddon calls them and Johnny Gomes or someone similar seems to be the target. Eh, whatever.
As for Brazis, his career minor league numbers look like this: 2.89 ERA in 158.2 IP, 1.109 WHIP, 7.1 H/9, 2.8 BB/9, 10.9 K/9, 0.5 HR/9...so quite spectacular across the board, although he's probably been a bit old for his leagues. I can't seem to find any worthy scouting reports, but guessing by those K totals, he features a good fastball/slider combo. He touched AA last season, so it's not inconceivable that he'll see the majors this year.
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 hour 45 min ago (view)
I believe this is the correct take. It's surprising that Len is leaving. He's good, but he had gotten a little too rationalizey over the past few years for me.
However, it seemed he was heavily invested in the Cubs. His departure feels like there is some Ricketts-ish bullshit going on behind the scenes at Marquee that Len wants no part of. Anyway, I wish him well with the other Chicago team
crunch 2 hours 22 min ago (view)
is everything the ricketts touch just falling to shit in 2021? ....well, except their heavy investments in taking over the state of Nebraska politically with one of the sons and heavy investment in supportive state legislators...
Dolorous Jon Lester 3 hours 52 min ago (view)
This makes a whole lot of sense. Thanks Phil!
(And that HR off Hader was unforgettable)
Hagsag 6 hours 16 min ago (view)
Wrigley Rat 11 hours 44 min ago (view)
Len Kasper is leaving the Cubs for the White Sox radio booth.
Charlie 16 hours 1 min ago (view)
I would be happy to see the Cubs no longer spend DH time on Victor Caratini. Provided there's a Kyle Schwarber or better alternative, of course.
Arizona Phil 1 day 3 min ago (view)
DJL: I don't think Ildemaro Vargas being out of minor league options is much of a concern to the Cubs because as things stand right now he projects as the team's primary utility infielder in 2021. He can play all four INF positions (1B, 2B, 3B, and SS, plus corner OF, too), and he is switch hitter with some pop, especially from the right side (remember the 9th inning HR he hit off Josh Hader in September?).
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 47 min ago (view)
I'm a little surprised Ildemaro Vargas was tendered, given that he's out of options. He has value and isn't expensive as he is pre-arb this year, but still a bit surprised. Have to think he's got an inside track to an Opening Day spot at this point
waveland 1 day 9 hours ago (view)
really appreciate the years and years of your updates
Arizona Phil 1 day 11 hours ago (view)
BRADSBEARD: Strumpf was wearing a cast on his hand in Minor League Camp before everything got shut-down in March so his not being at South Bend might have had something to do with that. I don't know why Rivas wasn't at the ATS.
bradsbeard 1 day 12 hours ago (view)
Do you have any idea why Rivas and Strumpf weren't at the alternate site in South Bend? I thought Rivas especially showed enough in ST games to be viewed as a legitimate depth option, especially with the DH.
Arizona Phil 1 day 12 hours ago (view)
Alfonso Rivas reminds me a bit of Rafael Palmeiro when Palmeiro first came up to the big leagues and was a "doubles machine" (before he started hitting home runs).
Rivas played D-1 baseball at the University of Arizona, so (just like Nico Hoerner, who also played in the PAC-12) I don't think he needs a lot of additional time at AAA before he's ready for MLB. He's a very advanced hitter, as long as you are OK with lots of doubles & lots of walks but not many HR.
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 13 hours ago (view)
I hadn't thought of that but I really like that option
bradsbeard 1 day 13 hours ago (view)
I really hope Rivas has a chance at the LF job. Would ease some of the sting of Schwarber being cut loose.
Arizona Phil 1 day 13 hours ago (view)
CRUNCH: I got the impression that Ross had seen enough of Schwarber in LF, so implementing the universal DH may be necessary before Schwarber returns to the Cubs in 2021. I think the Cubs would be fine with Schwarber as their main DH going forward.
BTW, I strongly suspect that the universal DH will be included in the next CBA, but whether there will be a DH in the National League in 2021 is still TBA (which is really stupid, since clubs need to know right now for sure one way or the other whether or not there will be a DH in the N. L. in 2021).
Arizona Phil 1 day 14 hours ago (view)
Besides the guys on the 40, Cubs 2021 NRI relievers with a legit chance to win a bullpen slot in Spring Training include LHRPs Josh Osich and Rex Brothers, and RHRPs Jake Jewell, Trevor Megill, Dakota Mekkes, Michael Rucker, and Joe Wieland (presuming they are not taken in the Rule 5 Draft).
Brothers and Wieland are out of minor league options, however, so if added to the 40 they could not ride the "Chicago - Des Moines Shuttle" like the others could.