Archive - 2016

December 24th

Cubs Sign Five More Players to 2017 Minor League Contracts

1/6 UPDATE #2: Baseball America is reporting that the Cubs have signed 32-year old switch-hitting catcher Carlos Corporan to a 2017 minor league contract. He will almost certainly get an NRI to Spring Training.

Corporan has considerable MLB experience (232 games and 780 PA over the course of six seasons with MIL, HOU, and TEX), and he will battle Ali Solis (signed by the Cubs to a 2017 minor league contract last month) for the veteran catcher slot at AAA Iowa and for the Chicago Cubs unofficial #3 catcher gig (would be called up to Chicago if anything happens to Willson Contreras or Miguel Montero). Corporan has hit 218/280/342 over the course of his MLB career (4+019 MLB Service Time).

A native of Puerto Rico, Corporan was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers out of Lake City CC in the 12th round of the 2003 draft. He is a solid defensive catcher, but he struggled mightily at the plate in 2016 (hitting just 197/246/323 in 57 AAA games), first at Durham (TB) and then at New Orleans (MIA), getting released both times. However, Corporan is currently hitting a robust 321/379/425 for Carolina in Liga de Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente (the Puerto Rican winter league), and is 3rd in the PWL in hitting, 5th in OBP, and 6th in doubles.


1/6 UPDATE #1
: Baseball America is reporting that the Cubs have signed 3B-1B Chris Dominguez to a 2017 minor league contract. I would think that he will probably get an NRI to Spring Training, and then will provide depth at AAA Iowa.

Now 30 years old, Dominguez was selected by the San Francisco in the 3rd round of the 2009 draft out of the U. of Louisville. He hit 21 HR and drove in 101 runs in his first full season (Lo-A Augusta) in 2010 and was ranked one of the Giants Top 10 prospects by Baseball America and was rated as having the organization's top infield arm going into the 2011 season, but he never reached his potential, spending the past five seasons in AAA with San Franicisco (2012-14), Cincinnati (2015), and Boston (2016).

Dominguez hit 241/275/439 at Pawtucket in 2016 with 13 HR in 77 games (298 PA), missing considerable time with an oblique strain. He has hit just .175 with two HR in two "cups of coffee" in the big leagues (eight games with the Giants in 2014, and 14 games with the Reds in 2015).   


ORIGINAL POST (12/24): Baseball America is reporting that the Cubs have signed five more free-agents to 2017 minor league contracts.

All five will likely receive an NRI to Spring Training with the big club.

One of the players is a former Cubs minor leaguer, and the other four have varying degrees of big league experience with other MLB clubs.   

December 16th

December 13th

Cubs Sign Four Free-Agent Pitchers to Minor League Contracts

12/14 UPDATE: Baseball America reports that the Cubs have re-signed three of the four players who were non-tendered on 12/2 to 2017 minor league contracts: LHP Gerardo Concepcion, RHP Conor Mullee (claimed off waivers from NYY last month), and LHP Zac Rosscup.

All three will presumably receive an NRI to Spring Training. 

The fourth non-tendered player (3B Christian Villanueva) did not re-sign with the Cubs, so he will probably try his luck with a new organization (could be seeking a major league deal). Villanueva would be blocked by both Kris Bryant and Jeimer Candelario if he were to remain with the Cubs. 

Concepcion was non-tendered so that the Cubs would not have to pay him a $600,000 minor league "split salary" in 2017, Mullee missed the last half of the 2016 season with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (may have undergone surgery), and Rosscup underwent shoulder surgery last March. 

By non-tendering Concepcion, Mullee, and Rosscup and then re-signing them to minor league contracts, the Cubs were able to remove the trio from the MLB 40-man roster without exposing the players to waivers, and by waiting a week to re-sign them, the Cubs did not risk losing them in the Rule 5 Draft. 


ORIGINAL POST (12/13) - Baseball America is reporting that the Cubs have signed four free-agent pitchers to 2017 minor league contracts.

All four will likely receive an NRI to Spring Training with the big club.

Three of the names are probably somewhat familiar, as two of them have pitched in the big leagues with other MLB organizations, and a third was in the Cubs minor league system last season. 

As a practical matter the four were officially signed after the Rule 5 Draft so that they would not be eligible for selection, but the contracts were likely negotiated sometime earlier in the off-season.   

December 9th

December 7th

2016 Winter Meetings (Day Four) - Rule 5 Draft

The 2016 MLB Rule 5 Draft will be the last order of "official" business at the Winter Meetings Thursday morning.

: The Cubs acquired LHP Caleb Smith from the Milwaukee Brewers for a Player to Be Named Later (or cash) after the conclusion of the draft. Smith was selected by the Brewers from the New York Yankees AAA Scranton affiliate in the Major League Phase (so the Cubs assume the Rule 5 obligations that go with selecting a player in the Major League Phase). Smith must be added to the Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) immediately (and tendered a major league contract by 5 PM Eastern), so the Cubs now have 36 players on their MLB 40-man roster (four slots are open).

Armando Rivero, RHP (by Atlanta Braves from Cubs AAA Iowa affiliate)

Danny Lockhart, INF (by Arizona Diamondbacks AAA Reno affiliate from Cubs AA Tennessee affiliate)

Kevin Cornelius, INF (by Cubs AAA Iowa affiliate from New York Yankees AA Trenton affiliate)

December 6th

2016 Winter Meetings (Day Three)

UPDATE: Soler for Davis is done.

The Cubs appear to be close to acquiring Wade Davis from the Royals for a deal that would include Jorge Soler. In 207.2 IPs over the last three seasons (including the postseason), here’s what Davis has done: 1.08 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 118 Hits, 272 K, 64 BB, and 3 HR. Not too shabby. Late interest from Nats probably added more to the deal since the early word from the Cubs was that they wanted more in return.

2016 Winter Meetings (Day Two)

The Cubs were quiet after the first day in Maryland. The loudest chatter involves them trading Soler to KC for Wade Davis. KC, along with the Rangers and many other AL clubs, are said to like Soler, although Baez seems to be the player most inquired about. The Cubs are also linked to Jansen and the rehabbing Tyson Ross, who is going to get an incentive-laded contract from someone.