Cubs Trade for La Stella
The Cubs have acquired 2b Tommy La Stella from the Braves and their #4 international bonus slot for former Brave RHP Arodys Vizcaino and Cubs international bonus slots #2, #3 and #4. The Braves end up with about $832K more in international bonus money. So with the Braves getting more cash, the silent agreement between the two clubs is that La Stella was the better bet going forward as a player, certainly in the Cubs' collective minds.
La Stella came into 2014 as high as the #2 Braves prospect according to John Sickels (B grade), a left-handed hitting second basemen with good contact abilities. He put up some nice numbers in the minors (322/407/474 in just under 1200 career minor league plate appearances). The numbers weren't great in AAA to start the season, but he got the call-up when the Braves cut bait on Dan Uggla and put up a 251/328/317 line in 360 PA's with the big league team. Nothing too exciting for a 25 year old, but just the beginning.
I guess we'll find out what the Cubs intend to do here, La Stella is very capable of being a high contact, high OBP with a minor league walk rate over 11% and K rate just over 8%. Anytime you can walk more than you K, there's a lot of potential there. Now the tools and ceiling aren't Hall of Fame projectable, but I certainly think La Stella may get a chance to start and that means either Baez is moving to shortstop next year, another team or starting the year in the minors. A lot of moving pieces for the Cubs...gonna be an interesting offseason.
tim815 6 min 56 sec ago (view)
Is Brailyn Marquez getting any time in big league camp? Having him around the veterans would seem a solid use of resources.
Thanks, as always.
Charlie 27 min 31 sec ago (view)
Hot take: The Cubs should be considering PJ Higgins as the potential 26th man. 3rd catcher / infield sub who can put the bat on the ball.
I think I'm just stealing an AZ Phil projection from a while ago, actually. But it makes sense!
Charlie 1 hour 29 min ago (view)
Zagunis's stock has dropped a lot since his first exposure to MLB pitching. His 2019 at AAA is particularly alarming given the power spike in that league.
Hagsag 7 hours 5 min ago (view)
I see that Dillon Maples hasn't pitched yet. Is he injured or spending time in the lab?
Arizona Phil 14 hours 24 min ago (view)
The Cubs have purchased the contract of 26-year old RHRP Jonathan de Marte from Quebec (Frontier League) and he has been assigned to AZL Cubs Blue.
He is the closer for Team Israel and has no previous experience in affiliated ball.
He was a NDFA out of the U. of Richmond in 2017 and has been playing independent ball for the past three seasons in the Atlantic League and Can-Am League as well as winter ball in Australia this past winter.
Arizona Phil 16 hours 15 min ago (view)
DJL: Nothing from Sunday or Monday.
Arizona Phil 16 hours 16 min ago (view)
W-RAT: Mark Zagunis was sent outright to the minors last September, and because he did not have the right to elect free-agency after being outrighted he remains under club control through the 2020 season, and so he is signed to a minor league contract that expires at 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day after the conclusion of the 2020 World Series.
Wrigley Rat 16 hours 46 min ago (view)
Thank you AZ Phil! Does that mean he's been signed to a minor league contract, then? Because he's out of options.
Dolorous Jon Lester 17 hours 41 min ago (view)
I love these scouting reports. Thanks Phil!
You wouldn't happen to have this info for the road games Sun and Mon?
Arizona Phil 17 hours 51 min ago (view)
W-RAT: Mark Zagunis is assigned to AAA Iowa but he did not get an NRI to MLB Spring Training. He is eligible to be a minor league 6YFA post-2020 World Series if he is not added back to an MLB reserve list (40-man roster) in the meantime.
Arizona Phil 18 hours 15 min ago (view)
Most of the pitchers who threw today pitched Saturday night, so not a lot of new pitch/velo info.
NOTES: First Cactus League game outing of 2020 for Lester... looked uncomfortable on the mound and even when he was warming up in the bullpen before the game... stuff and command were not sharp... hopefully Lester has at least one good year left in him...
Wrigley Rat 18 hours 23 min ago (view)
Whatever happened to Mark Zagunis? I thought we still held his rights, but he was just out of options? Haven't heard anything about him in awhile & I think he would make a good platoon partner with Schwarber.
crunch 19 hours 30 min ago (view)
3h 43m game today.
at least i've seen a lot of "i need to hop on baseball reference" cubs minor leaguers and new hires in the past 2 days.
rex brothers looked good again.
crunch 21 hours 28 min ago (view)
1h 50min into the game and they're through 4 innings.
yesterday's game was 3h 45m.
crunch 22 hours 47 min ago (view)
lester seems to be leaving off where he was for the last couple months of the season in 2019.
no one should take anything from a february spring training start...NONETHELESS...this outing looked a lot like the ones he spent in the last couple months of the season with batters sitting around waiting to swing at lester fastballs and laying off everything else.
crunch 1 day 19 hours ago (view)
he paced for 20+HR last year and might have done it if he wasn't on unpaid leave for a while. i'd handicap him as a 15-20HR guy at worst rather than saying 20HR solid. it's probably a safer range.
his D isn't up there with the all-time greats of the game, but it's well above average for a young guy (turned 26 last month) who can also provide some pop. i think more than a few teams could slot him in as a middle IF starter without having much internal competition.