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

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  • Dolorous Jon Lester 3 hours 48 min ago (view)

    Down three in WC with 6 to play, if the answer isn’t “everyone” you’re doing it wrong.

     

  • Hagsag 4 hours 29 min ago (view)

    Do you know who was available to pitch in relief?

     

  • crunch 5 hours 19 min ago (view)

    cubs lose their 6th in a row, 5 in a row by 1 run.

    MIL won and has a 4 game lead for the 2nd WC slot.

    xrays negative on bryant's ankle.

     

  • Charlie 5 hours 25 min ago (view)

    I liked the idea if not the result.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 5 hours 36 min ago (view)

    Another Joe Maddon baffling decision. I wonder if Wittenmyer will say it was Theos fault.

    Edit: to stem the tide, he goes with Pedro Strop. Gotta give Pedro the chance to work his way back into postseason favor!

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 5 hours 39 min ago (view)

    Even if we allow Hendricks to be called the ace, Lester is a 4. The others are 5s. That’s not a rotation that leads anyone to the postseason.

     

  • crunch 5 hours 42 min ago (view)

    ...and the cardinals have the lead.

    sigh.

     

  • crunch 5 hours 48 min ago (view)

    why is darvish still pitching...

     

  • crunch 5 hours 49 min ago (view)

    you'd assume they have to bring in an ace of some sorts because none of those 6 are any better than a 2-3 slot rotation type as we know them now.

    well, to be fair hendricks is an ace on paper, but even if he keeps doing what he's doing for another decade i dunno if i would ever feel comfortable calling the dude throwing 86mph an ace.  he's earned ace status, though.  meh, semantics...and prejustice against soft tossers...

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 6 hours 12 min ago (view)

    We’d be in deep, deep trouble if that’s the starting 5 next March. I’d think only one of those 3 start the year in the rotation. Trades or maybe FA signings will fill out rotation.

     

  • crunch 6 hours 12 min ago (view)

    that would make the offseason interesting if he did.

    no ham, no darvish, lester pitching like a middle/end rotation guy...

    Q and hendricks locked in with lester...graveman + a.mills + chatwood could compete to slot in, but it's highly unlikely they're the full answer for both slots...

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 6 hours 52 min ago (view)

    Anybody else getting the feeling Yu might opt out?

    Words I’d never thought I’d say. I’m even more surprised that I’d rather he not opt out!

     

  • crunch 7 hours 31 min ago (view)

    ...and k.bryant screws his leg/knee/ankle reaching trying to beat out a single...which he didn't.

    he's being helped off the field.  neat.

    i.happ playing 3rd because whatever.

     

  • crunch 8 hours 7 min ago (view)

    cards have caught one hell of a case of cubbery in the bottom 1st.

    3 miscues, 1 cubs run.

     

  • Charlie 9 hours 34 min ago (view)

    What a millstone Yelich must have been!

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 14 hours 22 min ago (view)

    I think he made a few good points but was misguided in laying next to no blame on Maddon. He’s made many questionable decisions and plenty of those decisions have cost the team games.

    Gordo was correct in laying blame on ownership. They hamstrung the front office. I have a hard time believing all they would have added was Descalso and Brach if they could have. Every time they had more money become available they added.