Cubs Lose Two Hurlers in Rule 5 Draft
The Cubs lost two minor league pitchers in the AAA Phase of today's Rule 5 Draft at the Winter Meetings in Florida.
Players selected in the AAA Phase cost $12,000, and "all sales are final" in the two minor league phases, meaning neither player will be returning to the Cubs.
Morla was one of three players acquired by the Cubs from Oakland a year ago (RHP Jeff Gray and 1B Matt Spencer were the other two) for INF Aaron Miles and C-IF-OF Jake Fox. Morla spent the 2010 season at Peoria, where he went 4-4 with a 4.00 ERA and 1.22 WHIP, allowing 76 hits in 78 IP, with a 20/86 BB/K. I was very surprised that Morla was made available in the AAA Phase and was not protected on the Iowa roster.
Lambert was the Cubs 6th round pick out of the University of Virginia in 2007. He was the Cavs closer in college and was used aa a reliever his first two years in pro ball before being moved to the starting rotation at AA Tennessee in 2009. He was sidetracked by Tommy John Surgery at the end of the 2009 season, and spent most of the 2010 season rehabbing at Fitch Park, before moving up to Daytona in July, where he posted a 1-0 record with a 2.95 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in 14 games (21 IP).
There were 48 Cubs minor leaguers eligible for selection in this year's Rule 5 Draft, and with a 38-man AAA Reserve List limit the Cubs could not put all of their Rule 5 eligibles on the Iowa roster. But I would have thought that both Morla and Lambert had enough upside to be protected on the Iowa roster, making them available in the more restrictive Major League Phase, where the Cubs at least might have been able to get them back next Spring.
The Cubs did make one selection in the Major League Phase, tabbing RHP Mason Tobin from the Angels. But Tobin was subsequently traded to the Texas Rangers for cash, in what was obviously a pre-arranged deal. (The Rangers had the 26th pick. while the Cubs were picking 9th). The Cubs have done this before, spending $50,000 to draft a player (most famously Josh Hamilton in 2006), and then selling the player to the team for whom they made the pick for maybe $100,000 (thereby making a tidy $50K profit).
It's also possible that the Tobin deal could be the pre-cursor to a trade involving Chris Davis.
BTW, the Cubs were able to make a selection in the Major League Phase only because they still had one slot open on their 40-man roster, as Carlos Pena was not officially added to the Cubs MLB Reserve List until after the draft.
jdrnym 8 hours 48 min ago (view)
All makes sense, but I think there is one important point of clarification in there -- are you using "practice squad" and "Club Player Pool" interchangeably? If so, I understood the first sentence of your third-to-last paragraph above to mean that Mills/Sadler/Underwood could be outrighted and still be in the Pool, therefore retaining their eligibility to re-selected to the major league active roster later in the season.
Arizona Phil 11 hours 14 min ago (view)
jdrnym: Zack Short is still on Optional Assignment to the minors (as are Alzolay, M. Amaya, R. Garcia, Maples, T. Miller, Norwood, Rea, M. Rodriguez, and Steele), but he can be recalled at any time without restriction (no "ten-day rule") because he was optioned to the minors prior to the transaction freeze in March.
crunch 15 hours 37 min ago (view)
the toles update is worse than his troubled past. toles has been diagnosed bipolar + schizophrenia and has been in/out of institutions over the past couple years. he can't seem to stick to any program long enough to get good treatment.
hope he turns whatever corner he needs to in order to get enough treatment to decide what kind of future he'd like to have.
Dolorous Jon Lester 18 hours 28 min ago (view)
Those two are definitely on more precarious ground once the roster is trimmed to 26, I would say.
jdrnym 18 hours 30 min ago (view)
Right, just went through the roster quick. Underwood, Sadler, same deal.
Dolorous Jon Lester 20 hours 46 min ago (view)
Can't answer the Short thing. But I'd agree with your assessment of Mills if he weren't basically a lock to make the roster.
jdrnym 20 hours 54 min ago (view)
Is Zack Short's official designation still "on optional assignment" even though he's not on the Pool? If so, he can't just be recalled even though he's on the 40-man roster, right?
And someone like Alec Mills who's on the Pool and out of options... he's virtually locked onto the active roster because he can't get taken off (via an outright) and remain eligible to be re-added. Seems like the kind of player you'd prefer to leave off the initial Pool.
crunch 21 hours 18 min ago (view)
though he went to the hospital for treatment he was never admitted, so he's yet another person who got dragged hard by Covid, but who's case isn't showing up in the hospital admission, ICU bed, or death numbers most of us are looking at.
there's a whole slew of people who have had to shut down their lives for 2-4-6-etc weeks to get over this that are falling outside of the numbers we're tracking most closely.
Cubster 21 hours 47 min ago (view)
"In yet another reminder of how insidious this particular disease can be, Hottovy says he had acted quite cautiously in public before coming down with it. Fortunately, he was able to self-isolate and avoid transmitting it to his family."
crunch 22 hours 58 min ago (view)
it'll be interesting to see how things go down when people have to start playing games in AZ. they're damn close to being "early NYC level" screwed with a lack of planning and action.
with the early plan of playing games in AZ/FL, they could have been huge economic winners with 15+ teams playing all their games in AZ (and spring training 2.0). now it's looking like some teams may not even want to fly into AZ for a few dozen "away" games.
crunch 23 hours 14 min ago (view)
cubs pitching coach tommy hottovy was diagnosed with covid-19 earlier this spring, but he is currently assumed fully recovered.
he had a 100+ degree temperature for 6 days, lost 18 pounds, and it took 30 days for him to test negative.
he's 38 years old, btw.
Hagsag 1 day 6 hours ago (view)
crunch 1 day 22 hours ago (view)
at least the cubs got elston back for pretty much nothing. also, ha.
Rob Richardson 2 days 3 hours ago (view)
How many coachs, managers, and other "tier 1" individuals around the league are in higher risk groups?
Rob Richardson 2 days 3 hours ago (view)
Well said Crunch.