Cubs Sign Kawasaki to Minor League Deal

Jon Paul Morosi at Fox Sports reports that the Cubs have signed veteran utility infielder  to a 2016 minor league contract, and Paul Sullivan at the Chicago Tribune further reports that Kawasaki will receive an NRI to Spring Training with the big club.


Kawasaki essentially takes the place of (who elected free-agency after being outrighted to the minors in October), although Kawasaki will have to beat-out and/or (as well as fellow NRI utility INF and ) for a spot on the Cubs 25-man Opening Day roster.

I suspect Kawasaki will likely end up at AAA Iowa (at least until June 1st - see last paragraph below), providing insurance in case something happens to either or Baez. 

Playing nine-plus seasons for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks in the NPB Pacific League, the left-handed hitting Kawasaki was an eight-time NPB All-Star, a two-time Gold Glove award winner, and he led the league in stolen bases once. He was a member of Team Japan in both the 2005 and 2009 World Baseball Classic.

Kawasaki signed a contract with the Seattle Mariners after the 2011 season, and he has bounced back & forth between AAA and MLB over the past four seasons (one with the Mariners, and then three with the Toronto Blue Jays).   

The speedy but light-hitting 34-year old has hit 234/314/284 in 262 MLB games (712 PA) 2012-2015, providing glove-first plus-defense at SS-2B-3B.  

Because of previous service time accrued in Japan (NPB) prior to signing his first contract with an MLB organization, Kawasaki is considered an Article XX-B player, and in fact he has been declared an Article XX-B MLB free-agent three times: post-2013, post-2014, and post-2015. (Kawasaki wasn't declared an Article XX-B MLB FA post-2012 because the Mariners released him in October, prior to the conclusion of the World Series). 

An Article XX-B MLB free-agent who signs a minor league contract at least ten days prior to MLB Opening Day and then is either not released by 12 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day prior to MLB Opening Day or added to an MLB Active List (25-man roster) or MLB Disabled List by 3 PM (Eastern) on MLB Opening Day automatically receives a $100,000 retention bonus, and the player can unilaterally opt-out of the minor league contract on June 1st if he has not been added to an MLB Active List (25-man roster) or an MLB Disabled List by that date.

Comments

I would have to think that Kawasaki and Maddon are going to be best friends.

If he doesn't make the team, they should hire him as an ambassador. He and Demp would be a riot.

MLB trade deadline is now Aug 1 for 2016...neat. the extra day is because of concerns over sunday afternoon games or some blah blah blah whatever. http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/14620922/ma...

CRUNCH: The MLB "non-waiver" trade deadline was changed to 4 PM (Eastern) on August 1st in 2016 only, because  July 31st falls on a Sunday. (This is the first time the trade deadline was extended because Juily 31st falls on a Sunday). 

The "non-waiver" trade deadline actually matches up exactly with the end of the waiver period that extends from the 31st day of the MLB regular season through July 31st (the next waiver period extends from August 1st through November 10th), but apparently the waiver periods were not changed. 

This little dude is a trip. I wish him the best in his battle for player number 25 on the roster.

hopefully he knows how to use a rally gum bucket if he's taking that role. that's kinda important.

mets/cespedes...3/75, supposedly. looks like he traded out years+security for big pay on the short term. supposedly he has a 1-year opt out and getting 27+m in his 1st year. crazy loot...

27.5m his 1st year with an opt-out confirmed...on a 3/75 contract. that is a bigass single-season paycheck for a position player who's not a top-tier player (though his power is top-tier and he's got a nice arm).

Gallardo, Desmond, and Fowler are left on the TCR Board. billybucks has a good lead, with viable predictions left. Unless jacos runs the table or the Cubs make another trade, billy can't lose (but could tie).

So, instead of winning Powerball, I might win this. So far, Greinke and Upton are the only two that everybody whiffed on.

I am surprised more people didn't pick Heyward to the Cubs. That was the only prediction I made I had any confidence in at all.

I had Kawasaki to the Cubs

Bloom County type expression of alarm: The Spreadsheet is wrong! You have six points now!

BILLYBUCKS: Be careful what you wish for... 

link 

Ugh.

i got your back bruh... if you win the lottery just stay cool and calm...don't tell anyone...mail the ticket to me...i'll handle all that stress. you're welcome.

So great to be part of the supportive, selfless TCR community. Of course, living in Illinois -- the state is currently paying lottery winners in IOUs, because there is no money in the state budget because there's no state budget. Theo for mayor/governor! He can fix anything!

Even Theo has his ceiling.

Maybe Crane Kenney for Mayor/Governor? Now that he's figured out how to work the politicos, although he still feels Alderman Tunney nipping at his heels. Illinois Politicians have a long history of badness...here is where the original stash of lottery money went. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-02-24...

Nick Cafardo's Sunday Notes, he ranks the off-season winners and losers. Cubs on the winner side after Boston and Detroit. Also a comment that the Cubs are one of four teams interested in Austin Jackson (and Brewers, Angels, Rangers).
3. CUBS — This was already a 97-win team, but mix in John Lackey and veteran hitters Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward, and the Cubs can certainly say they’ve separated themselves from the Cardinals and Pirates.
https://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2016/01/23...

Recent comments

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • crunch 2 hours 28 min ago (view)

    the indians waited too long to get trevor bauer away from influencing clevenger as a professional and human being...

    there's a reason bauer has been sold "below cost" by 2 teams now.

    also, do they even care that carlos carrasco is coming back from a boatload of chemo and has decided to participate in this season when he could have just taken his $$ and gone home for a year?

     

  • Cubster 3 hours 8 min ago (view)

    Per Jon Heyman: Hear Indians starter Mike Clevinger sat through a team meeting yesterday and defended Zach Plesac knowing he’d been out with Plesac, then flew back with the team.

     

  • crunch 6 hours 10 min ago (view)

    thursday stl/det double header postponed.

    cards have played 5 games and might not play a 6th until the weekend...maybe.

    some other teams will be 20+ games played at that point.

     

  • Eric S 6 hours 52 min ago (view)

    Dietrich ends up with the Rangers on a minor league deal and sent to their alternate training site.

    https://twitter.com/rangerblake/status/1292857617321205760?s=21

     

  • Cubster 7 hours 34 min ago (view)

    No new Cardinals tested negative on Sunday. They need two days in a row of neg. testing to get the OK to resume the season. Today's tests are not back. 

     

  • crunch 9 hours 1 min ago (view)

    STL is going to go 1/2 month without playing a game...more at this point are possible.

    they've played 5 games.  some teams have played 16-17 games.

     

  • Childersb3 9 hours 26 min ago (view)

    Why isn't Ryan Jensen at South Bend these days?

    Regardless of if he gets called up. He should be there if he's healthy and able

     

  • crunch 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    "Zach Plesac (CLE) was sent home by the Indians and will be quarantined for 72 hours going out with friends in Chicago on Saturday night."

    dude, wtf...

     

  • Eric S 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    Cubs have reset the rotation ahead of the series against the Indians: Lester, Hendricks, Darvish, Chatwood and Mills

    Mills and Hendricks no longer back to back which makes sense given their similar styles

     

  • Mornington Crescent 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    They actually did a Strat-O-Matic simulation of the 1981 all star game at Municipal Stadium in Cleveland when the game was cancelled due to the strike, complete with scoreboard display.  Bob Feller did the ceremonial first dice roll.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    Derek Dietrich getting released and opening up a slot on the Cubs MLB Club Player Pool roster (which was full prior to Dietrich getting released) would allow Mark Zagunis to opt back into the season (if he so chooses) and return to the Club Player Pool, if being on the Restricted List was going to prevent him from being a first-time minor league 6YFA post-2020. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    The path for Dietrich to the Cubs MLB Active List roster was always based on a potential injury to Rizzo, Kipnis, Schwarber, or Heyward, so I can see why Dietrich would request his release - IF - he has a for sure MLB gig with another club waiting for him, but otherwise no.     

     

  • Eric S 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    Cubs released Derek Dietrich from his minor league contract - at Dietrich's request - so he can pursue other MLB opportunities.  Wouldn't be surprised if he hooks on with the Braves as 2B Ozzie Albies was put on the IL last week with a wrist injury that may take considerable time to heal. In any event, the Cubs player pool back to 59 of a possible 60 players. 

     

  • Cubster 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    Phillip Evans suffered a broken jaw and a concussion in his ugly collision with Gregory Polanco Per Jon Heyman.

     

  • Cubster 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    Pirates-Cardinals series also cancelled. Maybe they can play the games on Stratomatic with dice or All-Star baseball with spinners?

    This was the Pirates only trip to StL but they do have a mid Sept series vs StL in PIT. 
    at least the Cardinals can't whine about losing home attendance revenue (but they do lose in Park advertising revs).

     

  • Jackstraw 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    So much for his offseason workouts with Kimbrel.