Cubs Claim Rays Pitcher off Waivers

The Cubs have claimed 26-year old RHP Dylan Floro off waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays.

Tampa Bay's 2012 13th round draft pick out of Cal State - Fullerton, Floro spent most of his pro career in the minors as a starting pitcher before moving to the bullpen at AAA Durham in 2016. He made his MLB debut last July and spent 40 days with the Rays (4.20 ERA and 1.87 WHIP in 15.0 IP and 12 games), before being optioned back to Durham in August. He was Designated for Assignment by the Rays last Wednesday. 

Floro is an extreme ground-ball pitcher and strike-throwing machine (allowing just 9 BB in 50 IP at AAA in 2016) who features a 92-93 MPH sinker and 86-88 MPH cutter/slider combo, and he will likely provide depth as a SP/RP "swing-man" at AAA Iowa in 2017. 

The Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) now stands at 39 (one slot is open), although it is possible that the Cubs will try and outright Floro to the minors right away (once waivers can be secured) since the Cubs have the #30 (last) waiver claim priority and no other MLB club was interested enough in Floro to make a claim. (Floro cannot refuse an Outright Assignment to the minors, and if outrighted he would not be eligible to be a minor league 6YFA until after the 2018 season).   

Comments

Olney says Cubs looking at other SP's now that they missed out on Ross...Brett Anderson was mentioned (I presume as a joke).

Some others still out there...

T. Wood, E. Jackson, V. Worley, S. Feldman, B. Norris, J. Hammel, M. Latos, T. Lincecum, C. Lewis, W. Perez, H. Alveraz, J. De La Rosa, D. Fister, J. Weaver, M. Harrison. R. Detwiler, L. Harrell, J. Parker, N. Eovaldi, CJ Wilson, J. Peavy, K. Medlen, A. Simon, J. Niese

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In reply to by Rob G.

Also Justin Masterson, Joe Wieland, Kyle Kendrick, Casey Kelly, and Deck McGuire, all of whom the Cubs could probably sign to minor league contracts and stash at AAA as SP injury insurance, which might not be possible with most all of the MLB free-agent SP out there. (Masterson and Kelly were drafted by the Boston Red Sox when Theo & Jed were there).

on that note...

@StokkeTommy As #Cubs search for pitching depth, they're among teams to show interest in former #RedSox 1st rounder Casey Kelly.

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In reply to by Rob G.

It is possible that Casey Kelly is pitching-challenged with a career 1.74WHIP. He is "only" 27, but maybe he could serve as roster filler somewhere? Maybe he could pay the Cubs to let him pitch?

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In reply to by The E-Man

E-MAN: It hasn't translated to success at the big league level, but Casey Kelly has quite a lengthy pedigree: 

Son of 2B Pat Kelly (played in MLB 1991-99, mostly with the Yankees) 
Louisville Slugger 1st team All-American in 2008
Florida 6-A Player of the Year in 2008
Florida "Mr. Baseball" in 2008 - was a "two-way player" in HS (SS/RHP)
Two-time All-Regional HS QB at Sarasota HS - signed NLI with U. of Tennessee to play football & baseball 
Drafted in 1st round (#30 overall) of 2008 draft as a shortstop by Boston Red Sox ($3M signing bonus) - gave up football
Ranked Gulf Coast League #6 prospect (as a shortstop) by Baseball America in 2008
Played SS in his first year in pro ball - converted to RHP at Instructs post-2008
Ranked Boston Red Sox #6 prospect (as a RHP) by Baseball America after the 2008 season
Rated Best Curveball in the Boston Red Sox system by Baseball America after the 2008 season
Futures Game All-Star 2009
Ranked South Atlantic League #2 prospect by Baseball America in 2009
Ranked Carolina League #6 prospect by Baseball America in 2009
Ranked Boston Red Sox #2 prospect by Baseball America after the 2009 season
Red Sox Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2009
Rated Best Fastball in the Boston Red Sox system by Baseball America after the 2009 season
Rated Best Curveball in the Boston Red Sox system by Baseball America after the 2009 season
Rated Best Changeup in the Boston Red Sox system by Baseball America after the 2009 season
Rated Best Control in the Boston Red Sox system by Baseball America after the 2009 season
Ranked Eastern League #10 prospect by Baseball America in 2010
Ranked Arizona Fall League #8 prospect by Baseball America in 2010
Traded to San Diego Padres with 1B Anthony Rizzo, OF Raymond Fuentes, and IF-OF Eric Patterson for 1B Adrian Gonzalez in December 2010
Ranked San Diego Padres #1 prospect by Baseball America after the 2010 season
Ranked Texas League #7 prospect by Baseball America in 2011
Ranked San Diego Padres #3 prospect by Baseball America after the 2011 season
Contract selected & added to SD MLB 40-man roster August 2012
Ranked San Diego Padres #1 prospect by Baseball America after the 2012 season
Had TJS April 2013 - missed all of 2013 season and most of 2014 season 
Ranked San Diego Padres #5 prospect by Baseball America after the 2013 season
Ranked San Diego Padres #17 prospect by Baseball America after the 2014 season
Traded to Atlanta Braves for C Christian Bethancourt in December 2015
Declared minor league 6YFA after being outrighted to AAA Gwinnett in November 2016

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In reply to by Arizona Phil

Yikes PHIL! And as others may have noted, he was the darling of all of Jed, Theo, Jason. He just has NEVER translated all of this to any success. Is it possible? Sure. Look at Rich Hill, Jake, countless others. However, at least they had SOME success in MiLB or MLB. I just don't see much for this player. I mean if they can sign him for $1 and make EVERYTHING else incentive-laden, then sure. Aren't there dozens of players like this guy with the same level of "potential" with zero success at all?

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In reply to by The E-Man

The injury might be why his career went off the rails--but I'm not using it suggest he has more upside. If anything, I'm saying he also carries significant injury concerns, which ought to keep his cost down and put him on the very low end of the free agent risk spectrum, somewhere above career minor league infielder who is now 32 but way below injured pitcher with a solid track record types like Tyson Ross.

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In reply to by Charlie

he was never a fireballer with his fastball at 92/93mph, but he can barely touch 90mph now...lot of 89/90mph on his fastball last season. when he was still solid minor league material he could occasionally bring it 95mph and he was expected to grow into a guy who could consistently bring it low/mid 90s, but he didn't. his curve and change were supposed to develop into solid plus pitches, but he never got comfortable with his change and he crutched a lot on his curve. *shrug*

Raines, Bagwell and Ivan Rodriguez make the Hall

Trevor Hoffmann misses by 1%, Vlad at 71.7% so those two should make it soon.

Sosa stays alive at 8.6%

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In reply to by Rob G.

RHP Zach Neal was Designated for Assignment by the Oakland A's yesterday, and Neal is the type of pitcher (SP/RP "swing-man") the Cubs would probably claim off waivers if another club doesn't put in a claim.

The Cubs have last (#30) waiver claim priority through the 30th day of the MLB regular season, at which point the 2017 standings on the day the player clears waivers will be used to determine waiver claim priority. So if they are interested in him, the Cubs could try and make a trade with Oakland before Neal is placed on waivers. 

Last year the Cubs went into Spring Training with Clayton Richard, Trevor Cahill, and Travis Wood as the potential #6 (injury insurance and doubleheader) starter, but after being stretched-out as starting pitchers in Spring Training all three were moved to the bullpen once the regular season started, leaving Drew Rucinski and later Rob Zastryzny and Jake Buchanan at AAA Iowa as the only potential #6 starter (should one be needed).

But the Cubs were able to get through the 2016 season without actually needing a #6 starter (Mike Montgomery was inserted into the rotation as the 6th starter in August, but that was a move made to help reduce the innings workload on the Big 5 once the Cubs took a commanding lead in the N. L. Central). And because they were able to avoid losing any of their five SP (Arrieta, Lester, Hendricks, Lackey, and Hammel) to injury, not actually needing a 6th starter (other than the choice to add Montgomery to the rotation for five starts as a 6th starter) was perhaps the single-most significant break the Cubs got in 2016.

So with Jason Hammel leaving via free-agency, right now the Cubs would project Arrieta-Lester-Hendricks-Lackey-Montgomery as the five rotation starters in Chicago, with Zastryzny, Buchanan, Brooks, and Beeler as the only projected starting pitchers at Iowa in 2017 with MLB experience, and (other than Rule 5 pick Caleb Smith, who has yet to pitch above AA) no pitchers projected to be in the Opening Day Cubs bullpen who fit the profile of a Cahill-Richard-Wood type swingman (a reliever who can make spot starts).

A pitcher like Zach Neal could go to the head of the list if the Cubs are able to get him, because he is essentially a younger version of Trevor Cahill, but unlike Cahill, Neal has options left and cannot refuse an optional assignment to the minors. So he could either be optioned to Iowa and stay stretched-out as a starter, or he could work out of the Cubs MLB bullpen in the Cahill role and make occasional spot-starts when needed. 

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In reply to by Arizona Phil

Probably the most "boring" numbers of any pitcher in the last decade. I was intrigued when I took a glance. I wonder if he's worth an "and one" in trade to get him. Like a Daniel Spingola or a Tyler Peitzmeier. I love boring pitchers. P.S. Hope to see you again in about two months out yonder.

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In reply to by tim815

TIM: Other than being a SP/RP "swing-man" there is otherwise nothing special or certainly nothing elite about Neal, but over the last couple of seasons he has become an extreme ground ball pitcher, and while he doesn't strike out too many hitters (only 6.0 K/9 in his minor league career), he allowed only 20 walks in 131.1 IP between AA and AAA in 2015, and then only 14 walks in 131.2 IP between AAA and MLB (Oakland) in 2016. That is almost ridiculous. There aren't too many MLB-ready guys like that out there. 

I believe Neal would be an upgrade over Buchanan, Brooks, or Beeler at Iowa (only Zastryzny is better), and he could even be more-useful at the big league level than Grimm. (Again, unlike last season, the Cubs have no SP/RP "swing-man" on their projected MLB pitching staff this year, what with Montgomery likely replacing Hammel as the #5 starter).

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In reply to by Arizona Phil

I say boring with respect. Hendricks is boring. Zastryzny is boring. Boring is strike one-strike two. Also, intrigued by the catcher on the DFA wire in Graterol, for much the same reason. Could toggle between Iowa and Chicago ad nauseum without needing to clear waivers, like with Federowicz. Just not sure if he's a decent clubhouse guy. Or can get along with the home plate umpires.

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In reply to by tim815

TIM: I agree with you regarding Juan Graterol. He is a veteran minor league catcher with two minor league options left, he is a good defensive catcher, he doesn't have any HR power but he did hit 300/340/370 at AAA in 2016 (and he has struck out only 213 times in 1,898 caerer minor league PA), and (most-importantly) the Cubs have a slot open on the 40, and I expect there to be two slots open in the near future, because I strongly suspect the Cubs will put Dylan Floro back on waivers again very soon (if they haven't already).

As I mentioned in the post, the fact that Floro got through waivers all the way to the Cubs (#30 waiver claim priority) means he probably won't get claimed if the Cubs put him back on waivers again right now.

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In reply to by tim815

TIM: I think Zach Neal would probably cost the Cubs more than a Peitzmeier or a Spingola, because the A's know that the Cubs know that Neal will never make it through to the Cubs once he's placed on waivers. I would say if the Cubs do make a pre-emptive trade for Neal, that it would probably cost them a RP prospect like Ryan McNeil or James Farris, or maybe a SP prospect like Jake Stinnett, Zach Hedges, or Ryan Kellogg. I don't know if the Cubs would do a pre-emptive strike (trade) for Juan Graterol, though. I think they'll probably put in a claim and just hope he gets through to the Cubs #30 slot.

Cub-reject Dan Strailly goes from Reds to Marlins for 3 prospects, 2 allegedly aren't too bad. He's also an A's, Astros and Padres reject, but nice flip by the Reds.

Cubs got him in Addison Russell trade and sent him to Houston in Dexter Fowler trade with Bat Flip Valbuena.

"Cubs signed RHP Jim Henderson to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training." neat...wonder if the cubs will ease him off being a mostly 1-pitch pitcher. he doesn't throw his slider like he used to and the numbers bear that out.

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

So sad. Such a waste. Wondering again if alcohol + speeding involved once more? Curious what kind of counseling players from poverty-type background get - if any - when they all of a sudden are sitting on more money than they can't spend fast enough?

[ ]

In reply to by The E-Man

you can't go through spring training on any team without having a slew of speeches from people who did irresponsible things and want to warn others about it. hell, ventura himself was a good friend for oscar taveras. it sucks. it keeps happening, especially lately. it would almost seem as if it's not being addressed.

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

Per statistics from the the World Health Organization compiled in 2010, the Dominican Republic had the highest rate of traffic-related fatalities per 100,000 population of any country in the Americas. (Belize was a distant second). There were only eleven countries with higher rates than the Dominincan Republic (nine of the countries are in Africa, and the other two are Thailand and Iran).

Five MLB, minor league, or KBO players have been killed in vehicle crashes in the Dominican Republic within the last year:

1. Jose Rosario, RHP (GCL Astros) - 1/24/2016
2. Ramon Ramirez, 3B (GCL Orioles) - 1/30/2016
3. Sandy Acevedo, 3B (DSL Yankees) - 4/23/2016
4. Andy Marte, 3B (KBO KT Wiz - ex-MLB) - 1/21/2017
5. Yordano Ventura, RHP (Kansas City Royals) - 1/22/2017

Also, OF Oscar Taveras (St. Louis Cardinals) and his girlfriend were killed in a crash in the Dominican Republic in October 2014.

In addition, four Cubs minor leaguers (INF Frandy de la Rosa, OF Kevin Encarnacion, RHP Jeferson Mejia, and RHP Jose Zapata) were injured in a crash in the Dominican Republic three years ago while en route to the Cubs Dominican Academy.

Encarnacion suffered a career-limiting shoulder injury and third-degree burns on his upper torso and was released last February, and Zapata sustained a broken neck and has yet to return to the mound (he has been serving as an assistant pitching coach for the AZL Cubs the last couple of seasons).

Mejia and de la Rosa recovered from their injuries and were eventually traded (Mejia to Arizona in the Miguel Montero deal in December 2014 and de la Rosa to Texas for RHRP Spencer Patton in November 2015).

[ ]

In reply to by The E-Man

Another NFL game with a parade of injuries. Then Steelers star RB Bell goes out. Unlike any other sport, games are decided by backups playing against backups, and announcers use the expression "decimated by injury" several times each game. NFL's decline will continue. It's really a crappy product.

[ ]

In reply to by billybucks

I don't know about the "more than any other sport", thing. But certainly the team's assemblage of talent (back-ups can turn into starters for more than injury-related reasons) combined with a unique cap in place, can make for some interesting decisions for fantasy football - not to mention Head Coaches. It is remarkable to me that several of the organizations have maintained success over a long period seemingly more than others. Three of them were in the games yesterday. And then, there's the Bears...

[ ]

In reply to by jacos

Who replaced David Carr? Or Teddy Bridgewater? Brady is an exception, not the norm ("Hey, it's easy to find a great QB in the 6th round! Look at Brady!") What other sport has 5-10 players from each team knocked out of virtually every game? And has an All-Star game where half the players are replacements due to injuries?

vague tweet from Brett Anderson

@BrettAnderson35 Wheels up to Chicago...I bet it's cold there.

Dodgers traded Jose DeLeon for 2B Logan Forsythe...nice deal on both sides.

Ben Badler at Baseball America reports Cuban RHP Hector Mendoza has been cleared by MLB and will sign sometime after he turns 23 on March 3rd.

link

Because he has accrued at least five professional seasons combined between Serie Nacional (Cuba) and NPB (Japan), Mendoza will not be subject to International Signing Bonus restrictions, which means the Cubs can sign him with no restrictions. (Because they exceeded their ISBP by more than 15% in the 2015-16 ISP, the Cubs cannot give a signing bonus in excess of $300,000 to any international free-agent who is subject to International signing bonus restrictions until July 2, 2018).

Although he has been used as a two-inning closer with la Isla de la Juventud in Serie Nacional, the 6'3 195 Mendoza projects as a MOR starter in MLB because of his polish and repertoire (90-94 MPH fastball, curve, and change-up), and with the dearth of starting pitching in MLB right now, there should be a strong market for Mendoza during Spring Training.

So I would not be surprised if the Cubs make a strong push to sign Mendoza and (if they can) stash him in AA or AAA to get used to the U. S. and get work as a starter until he's needed in 2018.

Javy Baez to get a street sign with his name in Humboldt Park. Hope he can crack the 2017 lineup.

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In reply to by crunch

Ignore the first 22 on any list. Pick your top ten, in your order of preference. Since you asked, I went with MLB.com's to 50, and thwacked the top 22. Beyond that, my Top Ten is as follows. 1. Jake Burger, 3B Missouri State 2. Mark Vientos, 3B HS-FL 3. Cole Brannen, OF HS-FL 4. MacKenzie Gore, P HS-NC (You're gonna wat to see this kid's wind-up and change-up.) 5. Alex Scherff, P HS-TX 6. Michael Gigliotti, OF Lipscomb 7. Seth Romero, P Houston 8. Hagen Danner, C/P HS (CA) 9. Evan Skoug, C TCU 10. Ricardo De La Torre, SS HS (Dom. Rep.)

Trump warned Chicago that if it doesn't put its house in order, he will send in the Feds. I hope the Bears were copied on that.

FANTASY BASEBALL OPPORTUNITIES!

I've got 2 spots opening up in our Ottoneu league. The trade/keeper deadline is end of the month so a chance to get in and make some changes before that. This is NOT for casual players. But if you want to manage a long-term full 40-man roster it's damn fun.

@JonHeyman Brett Anderson: 3.5M plus 500K for 11 games, 750K for 14 and 17, 1M for 20, 23 and 26, 1.5M for 29 games. 10M max #cubs

Cubs MLB Roster

Cubs Organizational Depth Chart
40-Man Roster Info

+++++++++++
 
36 players are on the MLB RESERVE LIST (four slots are open)  

Last updated 12-2-2022
 
* bats or throws left
# bats both

PITCHERS: 20
Adbert Alzolay
Javier Assad 
Ben Brown
Jeremiah Estrada
Kyle Hendricks
Codi Heuer 
* Brandon Hughes
Ryan Jensen
Caleb Kilian 
Mark Leiter Jr
Ethan Roberts 
Manuel Rodriguez
Michael Rucker
Adrian Sampson
* Justin Steele 
Marcus Stroman
Keegan Thompson
Erich Uelmen 
Hayden Wesneski
Rowan Wick

CATCHERS: 3 
Miguel Amaya
Yan Gomes
P. J. Higgins 

INFIELDERS: 7
Nico Hoerner
Nick Madrigal
* Miles Mastrobuoni
* Zach McKinstry
Christopher Morel
* Alfonso Rivas
Patrick Wisdom

OUTFIELDERS: 6
Kevin Alcantara 
Alexander Canario
Brennen Davis
# Ian Happ
Seiya Suzuki 
Nelson Velazquez

++++++++++++++++++++++

Minor League Rosters
Rule 5 Draft 
Minor League Free-Agents