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...

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  • Dolorous Jon Lester 7 hours 17 min ago (view)

    I think, in relation to the higher profile guys like Javy or Contreras, they're trying to put some pressure on to sign extensions.

    That said I do think they're listening on everyone with the only name I haven't seen being Rizzo.

     

  • crunch 23 hours 39 min ago (view)

    i wonder where the cubs will go with things.

    there's a lot pointing to the cubs being expected to listen to offers on almost anyone.  as it is, on paper, the cubs could roll right into 2020 with no changes whatsoever and still field a very competitive team.  the whole "shakeup" thing seems to be a very hot topic from a variety of sources, though.

    bryant, contreras, schwarber have all been linked to "cubs may be listening" rumors...probably listening to anything on happ, bote, almora, russell, too...

     

  • Hagsag 1 day 6 min ago (view)

    Even the Cubs should be able to out bid the Marlins!

     

  • crunch 1 day 13 min ago (view)

    "According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, the Marlins are "believed" to have interest in free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos."

    by interest, i assume they mean they'd like to have some baseball rookie cards or his or maybe a hug from him.  i can't imagine they actually want to spend money on someone they could use to make their team better because that makes no sense.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    Prior to joining the Cubs in 2012 Scott Harris was Director of Baseball Operations in the MLB office, which means he received, reviewed, and approved all major league and minor league contracts and transactions, as well as providing MLB clubs with schedules, rules updates, and draft information. 

     

  • Cubster 2 days 45 min ago (view)

    Giants hire Scott Harris, from Cubs front office,  as GM

     

  • Charlie 3 days 2 hours ago (view)

    For anyone else who immediately wonders but is not invested enough to look it up, this is not Chris (Ryan) Young, former Padres starter and fisticuffs partner of Derrek Lee, but rather the two-years younger Chris Matthew Young.

     

  • crunch 3 days 14 hours ago (view)

    rev up those off-season rumor fryers...

    Jeff Passan @JeffPassan
    Multiple teams in search of catching help believe Cubs catcher Willson Contreras will be available this winter. The Cubs will get creative this winter, and with a deep catching free agent market, they could trade Contreras and begin retooling under new manager David Ross.

     

  • crunch 3 days 19 hours ago (view)

    former padres manager andy green is gonna be ross's bench coach.

    green was c.rea's manager in SD, btw.

     

  • Arizona Phil 4 days 1 hour ago (view)

    Last year the Cubs signed four free-agents to minor league contracts prior to the Rule 5 Draft: LHP Alberto Baldonado, OF Wynton Bernard, RHP Corey Black, and RHP Jose Rosario. All four were members of the Cubs organization in 2018 but declined to sign a 2019 minor league successor contract prior to being declared a free-agent, but then came back to the Cubs after briefly testing the free-agent waters. 

     

  • crunch 4 days 5 hours ago (view)

    chris young to be named new bullpen coach (former phillies pitching coach)

    mixed messages on whether lester strode will have a new cubs role or leaving the cubs...

     

  • crunch 4 days 22 hours ago (view)

    t.clifton straight up falling off a cliff sucked to watch happen last year.

    i had a lot of faith in the guy to at least hold his own in AAA, even if he needed another season or 2 after to get ready for prime time.

    he ended up giving out homers like candy on halloween while retaining his high walk and injury rate.

    that said, his career is far from done.  most likely many other teams willing to give him a minor league deal.

     

  • Arizona Phil 5 days 3 hours ago (view)

    Keep in mind that most free-agents who sign a 2020 minor league contract prior to the Rule 5 Draft are eligible for selection. (The only exception would be a free-agent who is not yet eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft, such as a player whose only previous pro experience was in a foreign major league or in an independent minor league, or a player who was released by another MLB organization but is still not yet eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft).  

     

  • Arizona Phil 5 days 3 hours ago (view)

    If you're wondering if players who sign minor league successor contracts ever get taken in the Rule 5 Draft, the answer is most definitely - YES -. 

    The Cubs selected RHP Hector Rondon in the 2012 Rule 5 Draft after the Indians signed him to a minor league successor contract, and the Baltimore Orioles selected RHP Pedro Araujo in the 2017 Rule 5 Draft after the Cubs signed him to a minor league successor contract. 

     

  • Hagsag 5 days 4 hours ago (view)

    Got to get Taylor Davis back.

     

  • Arizona Phil 5 days 4 hours ago (view)

    So the Cubs were ultimately able to retain five of their seven most-valuable post-2019 minor league free-agent eligibles (Rea, Pereda, de la Cruz, Lugo, and Burks), losing only Clifton and Leal (both of whom are probably looking for a fresh start in another organization after maybe feeling stalled in the Cubs system).