The Curious Case of Cardenas

The Cubs claimed off waivers today from the Oakland A's, where he was outrighted to make room for Johnny Gomes. To make room on the 40-man, the Cubs DFA'd . Before we get to Cardenas, if I'm reading this correctly, the Cubs most likely cost themselves up to $1.1M? I believe they're on the hook for DeWitt's salary, when they could have just non-tendered him back in December, but of course they didn't know Cardenas was available back then. If DeWitt signs with another team, I believe the Cubs are just on the hook for the dfference in salary, which will likely be the mininum, so a little over $600K. Now a team may also put a claim in or work out a trade and the Cubs will be completely off the hook, but those scenarios seem less likely. Not a big deal overall, as the Cubs have plenty of wiggle room to their payroll, but an odd move nonetheless. Now was it worth it for Cardenas?

The infielder was a supplemental first round pick of the Philies in 2006 (37th overall) out of high school in Florida. He was on the Philles, ranked 2nd behind Carlos Carrasco and ahead of guys like Kyle Drabek and Domonic Brown and #76 among the top 100 overall prospects. In July of that year he was traded along with now-a-Cub Matt Spencer and Josh Outman for Joe Blanton. He was ranked #5 in the and #74 overall. He dropped to #9 in 2010 and out of the top 10 by 2011. I don't have the BA 2012 handbook, but apparently he was ranked #12 although that was before the Gio Gonzalez trade.

As for the player, he seems to be a second basemen for the most part with stints at 3B, SS and even LF. Generally when you're moving around that many positions, you're not particularly good at one of them and from the few scouting reports I've found that seems to be the case.

Baseball America said his “speed, quickness, and range are all fringy,”

It'll be his age 24 season in 2012 and although he hasn't spent a day in the majors yet, he apparently has just 2 minor league options left, but that still leaves some flexibility that the Cubs did not have with DeWitt. Offensively, he does seem to fit more with the Cubs new strategy of making pitchers work, maintaining a walk rate of 9.28% in the minors despite showing almost no power whatsoever. His K rate is just 12.6% so maintaining that .300 batting average is certainly possible. Overall his minor league numbers look decent(303/368/423) considering he reached AAA by the age of 21 and while that level hasn't gone smoothly for him, he's been slowly improving, putting up a .791 OPS last year for Sacramento.

I don't see him overtaking Barney for the full time spot, mostly because of the defense. Offensively, they both seem like guys that can hit around .300, with Cardenas getting on-base a little more. Cardenas doesn't bring much speed though, so it's probably close to a wash offensively, unless there's some untapped power in Cardenas that the Cubs still think may develop, but that seems unlikely. Cardenas does seem like a better utility option than DeWitt, if by just being able to handle shortstop at a level of barely satisfactory which is above DeWitt's level of not-at-all. Regardless of the absurdity of being able to throw $1M out the window like it's nothing, it does seem like the Cubs did make themselves better with the move, if only by the smallest of margins.


damn you hendry. did dewitt get caught recently with an underage albino midget lesbian doing coke while illegally downloading Moneyball?

Hi, Jim Hickmans Bat...

Instead of handing Adrian Cardenas a job in Chicago, maybe we should wonder why he was available. He's a really bad infielder. Darwin Barney shouldn't play every day, but he's a wonderful defender and 80 makeup guy. He'll still be in MLB when Cardenas is forgotten. He can hit, but poor secondary skills, no defensive home. RT @A_Kuhn1: @Kevin_Goldstein what's Cardenas' hit tool now? Power?

given the mood on twitter as feeds roll by, a good number of fans (esp. yanks/LAD) seem to want dewitt. maybe there's enough interest for a trade or someone will take him at face value and the cubs get nothing except the payroll relief. *shrug*

apparently E. Jackson was ranked lower than Pena says Cubs have #6, #43, #54 and I think #65 pick

I'm going to say it:More shuffling of the deck chairs...

fwiw, I may be wrong about the Cubs losing DeWitt for nothing. I believe they can just outright him to the minors if no one claims him or trade isn't made. He'll just be an expensive minor league with one optional assignment left.

MLB Trade Rumors is saying that the Cubs are only on the hook for 1/6th of Dewitt's salary, or about $183,000.
DeWitt and the Cubs had agreed to a $1.1MM salary for 2012 earlier in the offseason, avoiding arbitration. The Cubs could attempt to deal DeWitt, but if they release him, I expect they'll be responsible for one sixth of his salary (approximately $183K).
I don't understand this stuff as well as some others, but I don't think they are right. I think Rob is correct that the Cubs are responsible for all but the league minimum if someone else picks him up. Anybody know for sure?

As I said in the last thread, Jim Hendry got a pile of shit in the return for the best available LH starter at the deadline a couple years back. Kyle Smit? DeWitt? A bag Famous Amos cookies? This is HoyStein attempting to erase Hendry's worthless mistake. Cardenas apparently at least knows what the strike zone is. It is shuffling the chairs, I may agree. Only the chair we have now is newer , better appolstered, and may have more customization available. The chair we got rid of seemed to have just never fit, and seemed like more of a bent rocker or overstuffed Lazy Boy.

if he was reversing mistakes he should have done that before he gave the guy a 1.1m contract a month or so ago...especially with barney/blake around. roster management this offseason has been very weird and occasionally haphazard.

well Phil explained it better, but I'm pretty sure MLB trade rumors was confusing the rules for a player that goes through the full arbitration process vs. a player that agrees to a deal before arbitration.

The Cubs now have 10 days to either trade, release, or outright DeWitt to minors. Since the Cubs could not have anticipated being awarded the Cardenas waiver claim, and since players claimed off waivers must be added to the claiming club's 40-man roster immediately, there was no chance to put DeWitt on Outright Waivers in advance. The earliest the Cubs could have put him on Outright Waivers would have been 2 PM (EST) this aftermoon, but if they didn't submit the request in time, he would go on Outright Waivers at 2 PM (EST) tomorrow afternoon. A player remains on waivers for two business days, and then "clears" on the third business day at 1 PM (EST) at which point the MLB office determines if any claims have been made. If the Cubs do put DeWitt on Outright Waivers and he is claimed, the claiming club gets DeWitt for $20,000 and assumes the contract. If DeWitt is not claimed, the waivers are good for seven days and the Cubs can outright DeWitt to the minors any time prior to the expiration of the 10-day DFA period. But because he has 3+ years of MLB Service Time, DeWitt can refuse the Outright Assignment and be a free-agent (he has eight days to decide). If DeWitt were to get outrighted and chooses to be a free-agent, he can do so immediately, or he can defer free-agency until after the conclusion of the 2012 MLB regular season. If he opts for free-agency immediately, he becomes an unrestricted free-agent, he receives no termination pay (his 2012 contract is voided), and the Cubs receive no compensation if he signs with another club (just as if he was non-tendered on 12/12). If he is outrighted to the minors but defers his free-agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season, he would be paid at the minor league rate if he has a minor league split salary in his contract, and if he does not have a minor league split, he would be paid $1.1M to play at Iowa, and could be recalled by the Cubs (or traded to another MLB club) at any time prior to the conclusion of the MLB regular season. If DeWitt is outrighted and then is recalled prior to the conclusion of the MLB regular season and at least 20 days after MLB Opening Day, he burns an option year (his last minor league option), even though he was outrighted (not optioned) to the minors. If DeWitt is not traded and the Cubs choose not to outright him to the minors, he could be released. If DeWitt has a guaranteed contract for 2012 with no minor league split, the Cubs would be on the hook for the entire $1.1M salary minus whatever he might receive in salary if he signs with another MLB club. If DeWitt is released and signs a major league contract with another MLB club, the signing club would be responsible for a pro-rated portion of the MLB minimum salary ($480K) and the Cubs would pay the balance (at least $620K). But another club could also sign him to a minor league contract for (let's say) $15,000 and the Cubs would be on the hook for the $1.1M minus $15,000 (at least until he is brought up to MLB and starts to get paid the MLB minimum salary) If DeWitt is released and his 2012 contract is not guaranteed, the Cubs would have to pay him 1/6 of his 2012 salary ($183K) regarless of whether he signs with another club or not. If DeWitt is released and his 2012 contract is not guaranteed and he has a minor league split salary, the Cubs would have to pay him 1/6 of his minor league split salary regardless of whether he signs with another club or not. So a lot depends on whether DeWitt signed a guaranteed or non-guaranteed contract, and whether he has a minor league split salary in his contract or not. Generally speaking, players who are eligible for salary-arbitration who sign prior to going to a hearing get a guaranteed contract with no minor league split, but because DeWitt was a candidate to get non-tendered on 12/12, it's possible the contract is not guaranteed and/or there is a minor league split salary.

Phil: Have you seen any/much of Cardenas in AZ? Do you have any impressions, particularly on his defense?

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 7:29pm — John Beasley Phil: Have you seen any/much of Cardenas in AZ? Do you have any impressions, particularly on his defense? ========================= JOHN B: I saw Adrian Cardenas play in the AFL a few years ago when he was an A's Top 10 Prospect, and I've seen him play versus the Cubs in Minor League Camp in March for about three years. I like Cardenas a lot. Cardenas would be best described as an "offensive-first" super-sub (2B-3B-SS-LF) who is younger, slightly faster, and a bit more versatile than Blake DeWitt, so this would be a roster upgrade. The only thing DeWitt has over Cardenas is big league experience. Although he is below-average defensively no matter where he plays (2B is his best spot), Cardenas CAN play SS (DeWitt cannot), and he has more upside than does DeWitt at this point in their respective careers. I wouldn't want to play Cardenas at SS on a regular basis, but he can be a legitimate short-term replacement there if Sveum wants to give Castro a day off. And I would have no problem playing Cardenas at 2B. Cardenas has two minor league options left (DeWitt has only one). is a year younger than DeWitt, and is (at least) three years away from arbritration, so this was a good waiver claim.

This eye-witness appraisal is a bit in-contrast to the scouting report discussed at the link below where it is opined that while Cardenas can spray the ball all over the park, and hits to contact often, he has zero power, and steals at a clip only moderately better than DeWitt (!). Defensively, however, it was stated that Cardenas is quite good in the infield with the most deference towards 2B. So the "below average defensively" that you state - I guess we will all have to ascertain in "real-time" then.

where did you read that he is quite good defensively? The link you posted is the same one I used for the post and it just says he takes poor routes in the outfield and his "speed, quickness, and range are all fringy". Goldstein's tweets all say he is pretty poor defensively as well.

Actually, my error. Sorry! Indeed, he is no Ozzie Smith. This is one point I read: A second baseman by trade, Cardenas also has plenty of experience at shortstop and third base. He also spent a fair amount of time in left field last season. Versatility is always a plus. But, reading further, this is the highest compliment the writer gave in the entire piece. Still though, he seems like an upgrade from DeWitt.

i don't think people mind the guy...just how it came about and the weird treatment of the roster. it started with leaving r.flaherty exposed with 2 open slots while giving baker/dewitt contracts to do what he could do given the 2012 outlook, continued with multiple split contracts, then giving an 18 year old a roster spot, and now this.

Theo is in a lab somewhere rubbing his hands and laughing maniacally.

is manny corpas still a cub, btw? he got a split contract eating a roster space then he's off the roster a month later in order to add kerry wood.

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 9:09pm — crunch New Re: The Curious Case of Cardenas is manny corpas still a cub, btw? he got a split contract eating a roster space then he's off the roster a month later in order to add kerry wood. ========================== CRUNCH: Manny Corpas was outrighted on 1/26 and had eight days to decide whether to elect free-agency immediately or accept the Outright Assignment and be an Article XX-D minor league free-agent post-2012 (if he is not brought back to the big leagues prior to the conclusion of the 2012 MLB regular season). So he had until last Friday (2/3) to elect free-agency (and forfeit his contract), but apparently he chose to accept the Outright Assignment, since there was no report that he elected free-agency. Therefore he will be at Cubs Spring Training as an NRI, and will be paid his minor league split salary until he is recalled (presuming he is recalled prior to the conclusion of the MLB regular season).


I agree this was not well done keeping DeWitt/Baker and not protecting Flaherty. To paraphrase Bubbles from Trailer Park Boys: "something seems a little fucky" in retrospect. But honestly it is 20/20 in hindsight and certainly other than costing Ricketts a few $$ no harm done. Maybe they didn't have a full rebuild plan committed at that point...

no one wants to believe this, but they probably just didn't really like Flaherty or Gonzalez.

Oh, I believe that. They didn't like them and nobody was asking for them, so they let 'em go. Obviously, they didn't like DeWitt either, but him they thought they could trade. At one time, DeWitt was the guy rumored in a trade for Ian Stewart. (But maybe it was our side that started that rumor.) I think it's pretty interesting--and mysterious--what the Epstein group thinks of this Cub or that Cub. Soriano? Byrd? Soto? Barney? Brett Jackson? Junior Lake? The only guys you can be sure about are the ones they just acquired.

Can they offer DeWitt to RSox for Theo or SD for Hoy?

His WAR isn't high enough...

Sure, Jim Hickman's Bat.

I heard the Red Sox are holding out for AZ Phil

For me, I'm willing to watch the whole off-season moves and 2012 season before I make any comment (positive or negative) on Theo, et al. I can go back to John Holland as GM and I don't remember any front office winning the World Series, and that's my only measuring stick for how good a baseball front office/field manager/player development organization is. I'm not locked into any player currently in the Cubs organization or out of it.

Especially a guy like Flaherty. Nothing against the lad, but based on comments here, you'd think TheoCorp had let Bryce Harper's friendlier clone slip through the cracks.

I agree with that, crunch. I'd take Flaherty over either Cardenas or DeWitt. Still hoping we get both Flaherty and Gonzalez back.

awesome info as usual Phil. Thanks.

AZ Phil, you make the Jonah Hill character in Moneyball look like a simpleton who can't read a box score.

scouting report from the Yankees:

Changes in 1st round picks via Team Theo: Weathers, Stewart, Rizzo, and Cardenas added; Cashner, Colvin and DeWitt subtracted. Forgetting anyone?

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 9:11pm — Jim Hickmans Bat Changes in 1st round picks via Team Theo: Weathers, Stewart, Rizzo, and Cardenas added; Cashner, Colvin and DeWitt subtracted. Forgetting anyone? ============================== JIM H: Anthony Rizzo was a 6th round pick. FWIW, Ryan Flaherty was a Supplemental 1st round pick (compensation for losing Jason Kendall).

Phil, what do you feel the odds are the Cubs get both Flaherty and Gonzalez returned to them? Isn't it the case that pitchers usually can get hidden away, but position players rarely are kept? If the Cubs get even one of the two back, then in the end, I imagine Team Theo regards their gamble as worth it. If they are returned, do they need to immediately go on the 40-man?

Tue, 02/07/2012 - 6:49am — Jim Hickmans Bat New Re: The Curious Case of Cardenas Phil, what do you feel the odds are the Cubs get both Flaherty and Gonzalez returned to them? Isn't it the case that pitchers usually can get hidden away, but position players rarely are kept? If the Cubs get even one of the two back, then in the end, I imagine Team Theo regards their gamble as worth it. If they are returned, do they need to immediately go on the 40-man? ========================= JIM H: I would be surprised if the Cubs get either Flaherty or Gonzalez back. Both have enough upper-level minor league experience to hold their own in the big leagues, and being on teams like Houston or Baltimore, they will likely get significant playing time. If the Astros and/or Orioles decide they don't want to keep Gonzalez and/or Flaherty on their 25-man roster, the player must first be placed on Outright Waivers, where any other MLB club can claim the player for $25,000 (the waiver price for Rule 5 and Draft-Excluded players), and then that team would assume the Rule 5 roster obligations. If the player is not claimed off waivers, he must be offered back to the Cubs, and the Cubs can reclaim the player for $25,000. If the Cubs elect to reclaim the player, the player MUST be sent OUTRIGHT to AAA Iowa (the team from which he was drafted). The Cubs could then add the player to their 40-man roster any time during the 2012 season or after the season, but they don't have to add the player to the 40-man roster. In the case of Marwin Gonzalez, he would have to be added to the 40-man roster no later than 5 PM (EDT) on the 5th day following the conclusion of the 2012 World Series or else he can be a Rule 55 minor league free-agent (6YFA) post-2012. In the case of Ryan Flaherty, he would be eligible for selection in the December 2012 Rule 5 Draft if he is not added to the Cubs 40-man roster by 11/20. But again, that's only if the Cubs get one or both back. If the Rule 5 player is not claimed off waivers and if the player's former team does not reclaim the player, the player is no longer a "Rule 5 Player," and the drafting club can send the player to the minors either by outright or optional assignment. In the case of a Rule 5 player who is eligible to be an Article XX-D free-agent if outrighted (player has accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time and/or player has been outrighted previously in his career), the player can refuse to return to his previous team (the AAA team from which he was drafted) and elect free-agency immediately. The Cubs selected RHP Mike Parisi from AAA Memphis (STL) in the Rule 5 Draft a couple of years ago, and he was eligible to be an Article-XX-D minor league free-agent if outrighted because he had been outrighted previously in his career. When the Cubs decided Parisi wasn't going to make their 25-man roster, he was placed on Outright Waivers (and was not claimed), and then was offered back to the Cardinals. Parisi then told the the Cards that if he was reclaimed he would exercise his right to be an Aritcle XX-D FA immediately, so rather than waste $25,000 reclaiming a player who was just going to walk away, the Redbirds decided to decline the opportunity to reclaim Parisi, and the Cubs were able to keep him. The Cubs then outrighted Parisi to AAA Iowa, and Parisi did accept that outright assignment, even though he could have exercised his right to be an Article XX-D FA. (Parisi was OK with going to AAA Iowa because then-Cubs Minor League Pitching Coordinator Mark Riggins had worked closely with Parisi when Parisi was rehabbing from TJS when Parisi and Riggins were both in the Cardinals organization).

Maholm was the 8th pick in the 1st round in 2003. Volstad was the 16th pick in 2005. Trever Miller, 1st round (41st pick), 1991.

So all told, six former 1st rounders added, four subtracted, net gain of two for what it's worth.

The five-tool centerfielder will be a rich man before he sees one pitch in spring training, as industry sources tell that the bidding for the Cuban defector may go as high as six years, $60 million. From levine's latest

Operative word is "may." I'd be surprised if he gets more than $7-8MM/year, Soler $4-5MM/year.

Interesting. I was surprised Fielder got 9 years, though. With the new CBA, it is not surprising to me anymore.

Ahh there's nothing like well-thought-out, statistically-supported bullshit: "Matt Garza Is Fair Compensation For Theo Epstein"

That's hilarious. I love that he's establishing Theo's WAR as 8+.

This paragraph is awesome! I mean did the microwave start beeping half way through it - because, well, it speaks for itself: "The problem with Theo's analogy is that MacPhail (which is a perfect name for a Cubs executive) went from GM of the Twins to President of the Cubs after winning two World Series with his old team. Theo has also gone from GM to President after two World Series, so the move appears to be the same on paper. If you believe Epstein and MacPhail are equals. But how much is the mind of Theo Epstein worth?"

If Epstein really is one of the best executives in baseball, the best compensation is to ask for a player that is worth one year's production by of the best players in the game. don't think after the collapse many felt Theo was the best executive last year....

Wouldn't Jed Hoyer be fair compensation for Theo? Our GM for their GM.

We could have steered Jim Hendry over to Boston.

Jim Hendry signing with the Yankees should be the compensation. Also, that clown seems to think Barney is off limits.

I loved that as well. Especially his justification that "Darwin Barney is too far from free agency" So the Cubs would rather give up Garza? Billy (Chicago): Do you mind elaborating on why you have Concepcion 6th on the Cubs list when you don't sound that high on him?. Kevin Goldstein: Well, I'm not that high on the system, and I think Concepion has a pretty good floor if not the highest of ceiling. Re: Soler Kevin Goldstein: Protypical RF package with plenty of athleticism and raw power. If he was an American high school kid entering the 2012 draft, he'd be a single-digit pick. Re: Cespedes time in the minors Kevin Goldstein: Somewhere between 100-300 at-bats. Re: Cespedes vs. Marisnick Kevin Goldstein: While there is obviously risk, it's hard to find any young outfielder with a ceiling like Cespedes, thus the soon-to-be bidding war. Re: Top bidders for Cespedes Kevin Goldstein: Cubs, Marlins, Orioles, White Sox, Blue Jays, Rangers, mystery team.

If the mystery team is Detroit and they sign him, I'm going to Carmel to kick Clint Eastwood's ass.

Cespedes granted travel visa....looks like Marlins are first on the tour.

at elite pitching prospects and a look at last year's best pitchers and how they rated as prospects only Fister and Wilson were rated as C's.

JUNIOR LAKE: "You won't believe Junior when you see him," Fleita said. "He's grown another couple of inches." TONY CAMPANA: Fleita said he expects former Smokies fan favorite Tony Campana, who saw action in 95 games with the Cubs in 2011, to stick with the big league club. The 165-pound Campana might also sport a new look of sorts in 2012, Fleita said. "He claims he's added 10 pounds. **I couldn't see that**," Fleita said. "I think he's trying to get his weight changed in the media guide. But he's a wonderful kid." EPSTEIN, HOYER, McCLOUD: "When we're in the room, I'm the dumbest guy in the room," Fleita said. "It's been very fun and it's been challenging. The work's expected to be very thorough. He's (TE) raised the bar. I look forward to it."

"When we're in the room, I'm the dumbest guy in the room"--Fleita I'm a little worried that Epstein, Hoyer and McLeod consider Fleita the dumbest guy in the room with Wilken not too far behind. I don't think Junior Lake is their type, either, which means he could get traded any day--although they may think he's someone to watch, especially if he keeps getting bigger. Fleita was speaking at the winter banquet for the Tennessee Smokies. I missed this, but in November they "were named the Minor League Organization of the Year by the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues."
The President's Award is given to the most "complete" franchise. The voting committee looks at stability, contributions to the community, the overall league and the baseball industry. This season the Smokies welcomed their three-millionth fan to Smokies Park, held numerous after-game concerts and shows and delivered charitable contributions to victims of the tornadoes throughout the Southeast last April as well as the Mark A. Forrester Foundation, named for United States Air Force Airman Mark Forrester who was killed in Afghanistan on Sept. 29, 2010.

THEY don't consider him that. HE said that about himself.

the last thing lake needed was more height...wonder if they're going to shift him to 3rd soon...

Kind of hard to believe that he's now 6'5" . Not a bad development for a pitcher though. Here's a tweet from K. Goldstein last fall.... RT @Alan2000XL @Kevin_Goldstein how do you see Junior Lake developing? Goldstein: Into someone who tries pitching at some point. Is Lake’s bat really that bad, or his arm really that good? Goldstein: Little bit of both, really.

It is often mentioned that Flaherty was left available for the draft even though there were spots left on the 40 man roster. That is true, but hardly relevant. The world did not end on draft day. Since the draft, the Cubs have filled the 40 man roster, and had to drop some off because of new acquisitions. If Flaherty HAD been placed on the 40 man roster, he would have been removed by not, or if not, someone else would have been removed. And if he HAD been placed on it and then removed, we would have CERTAINLY lost him for good, since he could have been taken for about half of the draft price and without the need to keep him on the 25 man roster all year. Allowing him to be drafted gives us the likelihood that he will be returned after spring training. The number of position players draftees that are kept is quite low. Given the plans that the new administration had for changing the makeup of the 40 man roster, the move with Flaherty seems to have been a reasonable one. If, for instance, they had released DeWitt before the draft, and placed Flaherty on the 40 man roster, they would now be losing him in order to make room for Cardenas (or would have lost him to make room for Concepcion), or would lose him in order to make room for Cespedes or whoever comes available. I think the odds of Flaherty still being on the Cubs 40 man roster at the end of spring training would have been extremely low.

Tue, 02/07/2012 - 2:24pm — DavidP It is often mentioned that Flaherty was left available for the draft even though there were spots left on the 40 man roster. That is true, but hardly relevant. The world did not end on draft day. Since the draft, the Cubs have filled the 40 man roster, and had to drop some off because of new acquisitions. If Flaherty HAD been placed on the 40 man roster, he would have been removed by not, or if not, someone else would have been removed. And if he HAD been placed on it and then removed, we would have CERTAINLY lost him for good, since he could have been taken for about half of the draft price and without the need to keep him on the 25 man roster all year. Allowing him to be drafted gives us the likelihood that he will be returned after spring training. The number of position players draftees that are kept is quite low. Given the plans that the new administration had for changing the makeup of the 40 man roster, the move with Flaherty seems to have been a reasonable one. If, for instance, they had released DeWitt before the draft, and placed Flaherty on the 40 man roster, they would now be losing him in order to make room for Cardenas (or would have lost him to make room for Concepcion), or would lose him in order to make room for Cespedes or whoever comes available. I think the odds of Flaherty still being on the Cubs 40 man roster at the end of spring training would have been extremely low. ================================ DAVID P: If the Cubs had added Ryan Flaherty to their MLB 40-man roster prior to the Rule 5 Draft, he would be a Draft-Excluded Player and could not be removed from the 40-man roster except by Outright Release or Trade from the time he was added to the 40 up until 20 days prior to MLB Opening Day. A Draft-Excluded Player (presently Clevenger, LaHair, Beliveau, Lake, Szczur, and Vitters) CANNOT be outrighted during the off-season. As for slots not being available on the 40-man roster, wasting a spot by drafting a Rule 5 player (RHP Lendy Castillo) who has been pitching only two years and who has not pitched above low-A (equal to Peoria) was absolutely stupid. Likewise giving a 40-man roster slot to a journeyman 5th starter/long-reliever (Andy Sonnanstine), when other pitchers like him routinely get minor league contracts with an NRI to Spring Training. So there were 40-man roster slots available for both Flaherty and Gonzalez, even given what the Cubs have done in the meantime. The Cubs just decided they were willing to risk losing both in the Rule 5 Draft, and that's exactly what happened.

And I am sure it will be of no consequence at all.

Interesting article. Does money buy wins? It's complicated.

for every team but TB, yeah. =p "So here's the point: Wins and salaries are closely tied, but the relationship between the two has changed over time. There is no doubt that some of the change has been random, or the simple result of individual team successes and failures, but some of it also seems to be related to structural changes in the game. The current state of the game? Despite the outrageous spending ways of the Yankees, it's settled into a pattern that is more competitive than any previous time period, other than the years of collusion." ...then they throw in the * that the wildcard and playoff changes aren't part of this article's consideration, but has helped competitive balance.

Still need a viable plan b at shortstop in case castro continues to flub routine plays.

"Tony Campana will wear No. 1, Matt Garza switches to No. 22, and Jason Jaramillo got Z's 38." i still think wellington or j.lake is going to end up going in compensation, fwiw....which is not worth much because it's speculation. woo. it seems SD is waiting around for BOS to "set the market"...who goes...who goes...

Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated looks at five pitchers under 25-years old who were traded this off-season. Here's what he has to say about Chris Volstad:
5. Chris Volstad, Cubs. Back in 2005 and The Greatest Draft Ever, the Marlins took this high school righthander at number 16, with Jacoby Ellsbury, Matt Garza, Colby Ramus and Clay Buchholz still on the board. Volstad was the first high school pitcher picked that year. He reached the majors at 21 and was given 102 major league starts before the Marlins finally gave up on him, essentially replacing him with Carlos Zambrano. Since 2008, there have been 31 pitchers who made at least 100 starts in the NL. Volstad's ERA of 4.59 is the fourth worst, trailing only those of Kevin Correia (4.88), Zach Duke (4.80) and Livan Hernandez (4.71). Volstad has shown little improvement, but the good news is that he's 6-foot-8 and still only 25 years old, so the Cubs do have hope that he blooms late, as sometimes happens with tall pitchers. "Worth a shot for the Cubs, but I don't think he's the kind of guy who comes back to haunt you after a trade," the evaluator said.

His MLB numbers looked a little better in 2011. His BB/9 dipped and his WHIP stayed steady even as his BABIP jumped 20 points. So... baby steps. Still, No. 3 starter looks like a ceiling for this young man.

agree on the 3 starter type ceiling...also, i wouldn't invest too deeply in his numbers. his old numbers are based on using his curve as his main secondary pitch and it took a while last year for him to get a feel for his most recent favored offspeed pitch, his slider. he ended the year with a pretty sharp slider. i just hope he can manage to keep the ball in the park.

truck is leaving for spring training...extreme lack of interest this year. in BOS it's almost like a small party the past many years...the unofficial start to the year for the baseball desperate in BOS. also...they've already updated the uniform numbers on the roster -- "Tony Campana will wear No. 1, Matt Garza switches to No. 22, and Jason Jaramillo got Z's 38." timely webmaster is timely...about time.

"If I'm a pitcher, I'm not hitting him because he can catch me...he can jump a fence if he has to." - Al Leiter on Y.Cespedes

nice to see dejesus is still addicted to training. Btw, I contribute nothing of value to this site... [edit] Ha, if you search a 4 letter "C" word you get this link:

lol...also, and this... i can't wait til i'm old enough to drive.

type in sausage and see what you get

Hahaha. I was expecting the two Fielders. This was much better. "There's no question we're aggressive in evaluating this player," Samson said. "We think he's a great player and he'll be a great player. And we're prepared to do something spectacular in my opinion. But it may not match what he thinks is spectacular. And it may not match what other teams are prepared to do." ranking the NL central position-by-position, alt title: The Most Depressing Thing a Cub Fan Will Read All Day C: Soto (3rd) 1B: LaHair (5th) (I think he'll do better than Garret Jones though and possibly Carlos Lee) 2B: Barney (5th) 3B: Stewart (5th) (Ramirez 1st) SS: Castro (1st) LF: Soriano (6th) (money quote: Soriano posted a .289 OBP. You can ignore that only in fantasy baseball.") CF: Byrd (5th) RF: DeJesus (5th) #1 Starter: Garza (4th) #2 Starter: Dempster (5th) #3 Starter: Maholm (5th) #4 Starter: T. Wood (4th) #5 Starter: Volstad (5th) Closer: Marmol (5th)

The Cubs suck, but I would dispute several of those "rankings." ESPN has always been a Cub-hating media outlet, so consider the source.

optimistically I may rank it like this keeping the same positions (and I'd argue Volstad is the #3 pitcher, Maholm 4th and Wood or Wells probably battling for the 5th spot). Soto 2nd, LaHair 3rd, Barney 4th, Castro 1st, Stewart 4th, Soriano 3rd, Byrd 2nd, DeJesus 4th, Garza 3rd, Dempster 4th, Maholm 5th, T. Wood 3rd, Volstad 1st, Marmol 2nd but that's if all things go the Cubs way and besides maybe seeing Soriano 6th, I wasn't shocked by any of it and don't necessarily disagree that Soriano should be 6th.

Hate on Soriano as much as one would like, this ESPN d-bag is going to rate him behind three minor leaguers? Really? Sori is coming off an awful season, and yet he still managed a 760 OPS and 104 OPS+. Do you really think ANY of these three minor leaguers--much less all of them--are going to post a 104 OPS+ or better in 2012? Gimme a break. Hell, at this point, I almost want Team Theo to keep Sori and see what he can do in 2012. It would be all kinds of cool if he had a bounce-back year and gave everyone a big bag of STFU.

Presley put up a 121 OPS+ in 231 PA's with the Pirates...Martinez a 104 OPS+ in 215 AB's with the Astros. These two are in their mid-20's, and might improve. Soriano is 36, poor defensively, and his .289 OBP is horrific. Even if he "improves," do we really think that'd be much past a .320 OBP? JHB, I'd like to see Sori have one more good season, but oof....26 HR and making that many outs?

Not a lot of 36 year olds are going to improve while those minor leaguers probably would and did pretty well for themselves last year in limited time. well the guys the Cubs stole from San Diego helped put together the best farm system in baseball according to Law. someone with an account tell me what the Cubs ranked if you don't mind...


I don't have an account, but I'm guessing they're not in the top 20. And when you combine that with what they were putting on the field last year, it sort of shows the world of hurt that TheoCorp walked into.

and you would be wrong

just barely

MLB.COM has their take on the Cubs top prospects

kind of a goofball list, nice that they have write-ups on everybody 1. Rizzo 2. Jackson 3. Baez 4. Szczur 5. Cub Carpenter 6. D. Maples 7. McNutt 8. Dolis 9. Whitenack 10. Golden 11. Lake 12. Vitters 13. Torreyes 14. Wells 15. Vogelbach 16. Candelario 17. Amaya 18. Marco Hernandez 19. Sappelt 20. Pin-Chieh Chen Sappelt over Welington?

of course they had Jackson over Rizzo in their major league rankings

"Sappelt over Welington?" I have a couple of hunches that make me not surprised by Sappelt over Welington. 1) Castillo is not a good defensive catcher and will never have that position with the Cubs. Interesting that they seem to like Brenly. If so, it's for his "D" (defense, not dad). 2) I actually see Sappelt as the LF this season. You still seem to like Soriano, but until he goes, it's still the Soriano era and Epstein is just waiting to put his stamp on the team. It's in Sappelt's favor that they need a righty-hitting LF to offset the lefties in the three other corners.

Sappelt's not going to be starting for anybody unless there's an injury or desperation. Not sure where you get the idea that I still like Soriano, I think he's still here and will play until that ceases to exist. Your take on Welington's defense doesn't jive with most everyone else's.

Yoenis Cespedes in Miami: 'Hopefully I can play for the Marlins' |

I had this one pegged. Walking around yesterday here with the temp hovering at about 22 degrees, I just do not see this kid coming to Chicago. Culturally, flash-heavy, weather, resident ex-Cubans: Miami has to be a slam-dunk unless another team does a Soriano/Pujols signing and blows the other competition away with American $$. If he is not signed by the Cubs, I just do not know who the next serious impact player the Cubs could have an opportunity to sign in the next year or two. It would not be Joey Votto. How cool would it be to have ONE player that puts fear into another team? - sigh -

Of course he is going to say that prior to meeting with the Marlins. He has been coached about putting the best front in order to get the strongest show of interest from the team. Nobody, aside from him and maybe his agent, knows how he is actually feeling.

I don't know if this was E-Man's point, but the dude does have South Beach written all over him.

There is no question that he is going to have more cubans in Miami than he will in Chicago. I would bet that the money is going to make this decision, though...

I got a guy who can get us more Cubans-

Had a feeling someone would post this! :) As O&B alludes to, I just think - barring a huge discrepancy in $$ - that he would fit really well in Miami/South Beach/Calle Ocho. anyway, how does one simulate 35-degree windchill Wrigley for the Latin players? heh

It's not just that he's Cuban, he's Cuban and flashy. He'll fit in perfectly down there. I can see him taking a little less to live that lifestyle. Especially after having it all pent up under Fidel. Says he will leave it up to his representatives to talk about contracts with Marlins and the other interested teams.

well the Miami GM did hint that they already have a lot of money invested in their other signings so that their offer might not be what Cespedes & Co. consider "fair market". Sounds like they will lowball him.

am i the only one who would like the Cubs to take a pass on this guy? He's a unknown. More so than Darvish. Ok, once upon a time in a WBC he performed well. He hasn't faced big league talent on a regular basis EVER!!! In the Dominican he posted a sub .200 avg. Granted it was a small sample size and I doubt he was in playing shape, but still. AAAA guys go down to the Dominican and tear it up. To have to pay 10mil/year or whatever to a guy who hasn't even shown he can do good at the AAA level is absolutely insane. I'd take the gamble on 10mil for 1 year. Then at least you can see WTF happens. Of course that won't happen in the insane world of baseball contracts. Good luck to Miami and this "25" year old. (ya right) It's like a stock pick. There are stocks I've been unwilling to gamble on (aka Netflix when it hit 60ish). but the future is so uncertain, I don't regret it whatsoever.

I'm not terribly worried about his age, the motivation to lie about your age isn't the same in Cuba as the D.R. Or Venezuela. Worrying about his Dominican numbers is silly, guy hasn't seen live pitching in a long time. The upside is getting Soriano from age 26-32 for 10m per year but better defensively. worthy risk IMO, but won't fret over it if it doesn't happen.

If they took the risk and it paid off, I certainly wouldn't complain. So far it sounds like he's a perfect fit in Miami where he'd get a little less home sick. But Miami was playing the press like they had already landed Pujols.. Then again, they may be more aggressive with this guy than Pujols. He'd be a huge draw to the Cuban population down there. (which according to wikipedia is 856,007 in the miami somehow Fielder's contract is #2, but no mention of Pujols

someone added it up and says it comes up with Cubs at 76 wins Soto .282 TAV LaHair .276 Byrd .268 Soriano .266 DeJesus .266 Stewart .263 Castro .263 Rizzo .258 B. Jackson .255 Baker .249 Castillo .246 R. Johnson .245 Cardenas .245 Barney .237 Campana .225 DeWitt .258 fwiw. True Average (formerly Equivalent Average). A measure of total offensive value per out, with corrections for league offensive level, home park, and team pitching. TAV considers batting as well as baserunning, but not the value of a position player's defense. The TAv adjusted for all-time also has a correction for league difficulty. The scale is deliberately set to approximate that of batting average. League average TAv is always equal to .260.

"Peter Gammons says Rich Harden saw Dr. James Andrews, Andrews saw a surgical procedure, and Harden will miss 2012" i was wondering why his name wasn't being thrown around with so many teams seemingly desperate to sign oswalt.

first surgery? been delaying for five years

Naperville Sun// Spring training is not that far away, and the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce is getting into the baseball spirit The Chamber is inviting all members and the community to attend a special membership luncheon Feb. 13 featuring Chicago Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts. Ricketts will discuss the upcoming season under new baseball operations president Theo Epstein, general manager Jed Hoyer and manager Dale Sveum, as well as the long-term plan for the organization and Wrigley Field. He will also respond to questions from the audience. The luncheon will take place 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Hilton Lisle/Naperville, located at 3003 Corporate West Drive in Lisle. A special meet-and-greet session is available for event sponsors. Seating is limited and registration is strongly encouraged. Cost to attend is $25 for members, $30 at the door, and $35 for nonmembers. For information, call 630-355-4141 or visit the Chamber’s website at

yahoo fantasy baseball supposedly going live this morning/early-afternoon, fwiw.

Yahoo can kiss my grits. ESPN's better.

it was "supposedly" going to be rolled out by now, fwiw. woo bad info...or late roll out...whatever.

They usually roll it out the Tuesday after Super Bowl, but they delayed it until today(supposedly). Word on the street is they're delaying it again until next week. Hopefully, they're stepping it up this year because ESPN was quicker, better looking, and easier to use last year.

My "get off my lawn, ya punk" moment for today... An annoyance with the blog is when you go to read new comments in a long thread, and some moke has decided to add a comment very EARLY in the thread like "yeah, i agree". So when you click on new comments, you get dumped to this guy's how-ya-doin thing, and then you have to find the real new comments later in the thread. Which is hard to do with the new blog graphic design, as the New signator is in a small font, in orange, next to the timestamp. So either the blog design could maybe be changed for those of us with middle-aged eyes? Or maybe yucksters could refrain from adding nothing comments once the thread has moved along to other things? Or maybe the threads are getting too damn long on a regular basis? Or maybe I'm just an old pain-in-the-ass. Probably the latter, but I thought I'd throw this out there anyway in case anyone else has the same annoyance factor.

yeah, I agree So, howyadoin?

Yeah, I agree

you moke!


See, this is why we don't tell others how to push our buttons...

You may or may not remember that Rob used this "design" as a fallback because his custom Drupal (that's the blog system he uses) template stopped working. I imagine if you want to file a request for enhancements you'll need to paypal him some money to help pay for it. EDIT: I don't mean to sound harsh, it's more an empathy vote for Rob, who has to try to maintain the site

I'm waiting on some ad money. The new site look is mostly setup, have about a week of tweaks and testing to finish it up and hopefully not fuck up switching the databases on them. I'm hoping to have it by Opening day, but depends on the rest of my life.

It's a fun site no matter. Could use a calendar girl or two, though.

You, Sir, are a genius.

that would certainly increase site traffic and trolling in one blow.

The rest of your life must be pretty satisfying for this to register as something to complain about. Maybe you should get a hot young girlfriend to hit Page Down for you to save you the trouble. Or, if you're married, you should definitely get a hot young girlfriend to hit Page Down for you. Is this too high up?

i don't think the angelfan wife would be happy to hear you say that

I replied to JHB

i see that now. what a moke!

This will be the new TCR meme. Mark my words.

Keith law top 100 out. Someone tell me where the cubs are on the list. Thanks.

I'm told Rizzo is No. 36, Brett Jackson is No. 89 and Baez is No. 95.

twitter confirms, thanks.

looks like his top 10 is out too if someone can give me just the order, I'd appreciate it.

Here ya go: 1. Anthony Rizzo, 1B (36) 2. Brett Jackson, OF (89) 3. Javier Baez, SS (95) 4. Trey McNutt, RHP 5. Zach Cates, RHP 6. Welington Castillo, C 7. Dillon Maples, RHP 8. Josh Vitters, 3B 9. Reggie Golden, OF 10. Matt Szczur, CF

much obliged

Probably closer to how I would rank them as well. infographic on free agents signings Re: Concepcion Athletic LHP, upper 80s fastball, avg curveball, not a great delivery, lacks present command. Re: McNutt Injuries, trouble repeating delivery, poor results. In that order, really. I do still like him quite a bit. Re: Baez He has a nonzero chance to stay at short. I'd give him at least a full year at the position before making any kind of decision. Re: Torreyes I don't think he has a star ceiling, but he could be a top ten guy in a year depending on trades/promotions. He's not just short, but he's slight. If I was about two inches taller, I'd look just like him, and I do not have a big-leaguer's physique. Re: Vogelbach Heavy D? Maybe if he gets to AA and is still productive and conditioned enough to play, we can talk. Re: Cashner as a starter Zero chance. Won't hold up.

Keith Law misses plenty: "Keith, what are your thoughts on Chris Sale?" Klaw(1:25 PM) I ranked him 47th. The White Sox took him 13th. You do the math. This is post-draft 2010. "And, he knows baseball so well that he didn't put Chris Carpenter in his top three for the 2009 Cy Young. Law went with: 1. Tim Lincecum 2. Javier Vasquez 3. Adam Wainwright " Then again, to TRN, Chris Carpenter is not even an "ACE". He also stated the World Champ 2006 Cardinals were "not a good team" after winning the World Series I take anything Law says with a brick of sea salt.

"injuryexpert Will Carroll Jorge Soler is going to be a much, much better player than Cespedes. Just less shills touting him." shills...injuryexpert...will carroll..."injury expert"...shill... *cough hack cough*

entry last week from the other Fitch Park guy on some of the minor leaguers in camp, Sveum's been there for a week or so already.

"After snatching the wayward ball I noticed a guy on the edge of the street giving me a surprised look, he may have parked and gotten out of his vehicle to retrieve the ball. " This guy stole AzPhil's ball!

"Al Yellon said... This comment has been removed by a blog administrator." lulz.

Good. That assbag does enough unnecessary censoring on his site.

most likely someone impersonating Al

They played my song "Cubby Town" on Jonathon Brandmeier's show this morning! Please vote for it on!

post again on a newer thread and post a link...can't find one off wgn or wgn radio. g'luck. says voting doesn't start until Feb 29th though, two nice comments on though on Cubby Town

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  • crunch 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    * all figures stated are in a range of +/- 10m

    yeah, that was me not typing info correctly.  my bad.


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    Bryant got $19.5M 


  • crunch 1 day 15 hours ago (view)

    bryant 9.5m, contreras 6.65m, baez 11.65m, z.davies 8.63m

    looks like happ is going to arbitration.


  • Arizona Phil 2 days 12 hours ago (view)

    RHP Edward Vasquez (2017 IFA - Dominican Republic) has retired.

    E. Vasquez was one of the top SP on DSL Cubs Red in 2019 and was expected to be a SP on one of the Cubs AZL teams in 2020 if the minor league season hadn't been canceled.

    He would have been first-time Rule 5 Draft eligible post-2021. 


  • K Dub 2 days 15 hours ago (view)

    Thanks Phil!


  • crunch 2 days 17 hours ago (view)

    danny hultzen retires and joins the cubs as a "pitching development assistant"

    shame the comeback story didn't last longer...but hey, at least he got to taste the bigs after his body failed him for so many years.


  • crunch 2 days 19 hours ago (view)

    theo joining the commish's front office operation as a "consultant reguarding on field matters"...basically weighing in on the possible impact of rules changes.


  • Arizona Phil 2 days 22 hours ago (view)


  • K Dub 2 days 22 hours ago (view)

    Yeah, to my calculation that suspension should be over by now unless he got caught again...


  • Wrigley Rat 3 days 2 hours ago (view)

    (Not Phil) - Last I saw, he was on the restricted list.


  • K Dub 3 days 4 hours ago (view)

    PHIL: Did the Cubs release Saul Vazquez?


  • Sonicwind75 6 days 21 hours ago (view)

    The 2021 guaranteed amount is $7 + $3 million mutual option buyout. 10>8.  Most media reports summarizes it as a $10 million deal. 


  • CubbyBlue 6 days 21 hours ago (view)

    Thanks Eric. After I put it up I thought.. damn I'm old. I wonder if people even remember back that far. I still think about that day. Uggh. Sorry. 


  • Charlie 6 days 22 hours ago (view)

    I'm always confused by this. They also could have tendered him and then boosted his value by trading him with a million or two in cash considerations. Obviously, that's a million or two more expensive than simply non-tendering--but couldn't you at least get an interesting prospect in return from one of these teams? They obviosuly thought it was worth their return to toss in a few million in the Darvish trade.


  • tim815 6 days 23 hours ago (view)

    The 2021 amount is 7.

    The buyout is 3.



  • crunch 1 week 12 hours ago (view)

    chase strumpf is quickly emerging as a "trendy" organizational hot prospect, even among non-cubs fans.  amaya is having a decent winter league showing so far...taking a lot of walks, too.