Cubs Acquire Eddie Butler from Rockies
The Cubs have acquired 25-year old RHSP Eddie Butler from the Colorado Rockies for 24-year old minor league RHRP James Farris. To make room for Butler on the Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster), RHP Dylan Floro (acquired off waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays last month) has been Designated for Assignment;
As part of the transaction, the Cubs and Rockies also will exchange 2016-17 International Signing Bonus Value (SBV) slots, with the Rockies acquiring the Cubs #28 SBV slot and the Cubs acquiring the Rockies #74 SBV slot. The difference between the two slots is $211,800 in International Signing Bonus Pool (ISBP) "cap space," meaning the Rockies can now spend $211,800 more in signing bonuses in the 2016-17 International Signing Period (ISP) than they otherwise would have been able to spend without incurring a penalty, and the Cubs can spend $211,800 less than their original 2016-17 ISBP (which was $2,063,200) before incurring a penalty. However, the Cubs are restricted from giving an Intenational free-agent subject to ISBP limits a signing bonus in excess of $300K in the 2016-17 ISP because they exceeded their 2015-16 ISBP by more than 15%, so the loss of $211,800 in 2016-17 ISBP "cap space" probably doesn't matter a whole lot to the Cubs. Colorado has no such restriction in the 2016-17 ISP, however, so adding $211,800 in 2016-17 ISBP "cap space" is obviously seen as a "plus" for the Rockies. Again, this part of the trade involves adding/subtracting ISBP "cap space." No money was exchanged.
About the players...
6'2 180 Timothy Edward "Eddie" Butler was selected by the Rockies out of Radford University in the Supplemental 1st round (#46 overall) in the 2012 draft ($1M signing bonus), taken with a compensation pick awarded to the Rockies for losing FA 2B Mark Ellis. And Butler was a stud MLB pitching prospect right from the gitgo. He was rated by Baseball America as the #6 prospect in the Pioneer League in 2012 and the Rockies #6 prospect after the 2012 season, and his fastball (clocked at 99 MPH at Instructs post-2012) was rated best in the Rockies system in 2012. He was also rated by BA as the Rockies #2 prospect and the #24 prospect in baseball after the 2013 season, and the #3 prospect in the Texas League in 2014 and the Rockies #6 prospect and the #77 prospect in baseball after the 2014 season. He featured a 94-96 MPH fastball (touched 97-99) with sinking action, a plus-change-up, a curve, and a slider back then, offset by command issues. So he was considered one of the top pitching prospects in baseball as recently as two years ago (heading into the 2015 season).
Butler had his contract selected and he was called-up to Colorado on June 6, 2014, but finished the season on the DL with a right rotator cuff injury. He has really struggled at the big league level, posting a 6.50 ERA and 1.77 WHIP in 159.1 IP (36 games - 28 GS) 2014-16, and he struggled at AAA Albuquerque 2015-16 as well. His fastball velocity has been down ever since the shoulder problem (blamed on "overthrowing" his fastball after getting called up to the big leagues in 2014), his breaking ball has been flat, and his once plus-change-up has been MIA. His star has fallen to such an extent that he was Designated for Assignment last week (making room on the Rockies MLB 40-man roster for FA RHRP Greg Holland).
Although he has used three minor league options through the 2016 season, Butler is eligible for a 4th minor league option in 2017, so the Cubs can send him to the minors in 2017 without exposing him to waivers. Ideally he would go to Iowa and (hopefully) get both his stuff and his confidence back and get himself ready to compete for a job in the Cubs MLB starting rotation in 2018 (Jake Arrieta, John Lackey, and Brett Anderson are free-agents after the 2017 season). and also be available for a recall if the Cubs need an extra starter at some point in the 2017 season. Maybe Butler just needs a change of scenery (getting out of the "launching pads" in mile-high Denver and Albuquerque can't hurt) and a fresh start (and maybe a new pitching coach, too!). Getting traded to the Cubs worked pretty well for Jake Arrieta, and maybe it will work for Eddie Butler as well. Time will tell.
James Farris was a 9th round draft pick of the Cubs out of the University of Arizona in 2014. He has moved rapidly through the Cubs system and ended the 2016 season as the closer at AA Tennessee (13 saves and a 2.59 ERA, .204 OppBA, a 0.98 WHIP, and 17/74 BB/K in 66 IP combined between Myrtle Beach and Tennessee in 2016). He then pitched very well in the Arizona Fall League (no runs and only five hits allowed with 2/12 BB/K in eight appearances and 10 IP for the Mesa Solar Sox), earning him an NRI to Spring Training. While he doesn't throw particularly hard (low 90's fastball), Farris has a decent breaking ball and outstanding control and keeps the ball down in the zone. He reminds me a lot of RHP Zack Godley (like Farris, a polished college pitcher selected in the first ten rounds of the June Draft), who was sent to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Miguel Montero trade a couple of years ago. I would not be at all surprised if Farris makes his MLB debut in 2017, and he's the type of pitcher who could do very well in Coors Field.
The fact that the Cubs were able to claim Dylan Floro off waivers last month means no other club put in a claim (the Cubs have last waiver claim priority), so it's very possible that the Cubs will be able to get Floro through waivers now. If they can, Floro will get assigned outright to AAA Iowa and will very likely get an NRI to Spring Training (he was already coming to Spring Training with the big club anyway before he was Designated for Assignment).
tim815 3 hours 42 min ago (view)
On what days of the calendar do players get to decide if they're going to opt out of their contracts?
Australian football games are being played before empty stadiums. I doubt that's a conducive environment to opting out.
Dolorous Jon Lester 6 hours 50 min ago (view)
SheffieldCornelia 7 hours 56 min ago (view)
Hey all, just checking in to say that yesterday was a really sad but appreciative day in my household. It is still completely mystifying that the Cubs couldn't find a way to extend Rizzo and Javy especially, and there's still some hope here that one or both guys can come back next year along with a Contreras extension. While they were here, Rizzo, Javy and KB especially gave us so much as players and made the last half decade really special for Cubs fans. Thanks guys.
(Also, please let some of these prospects become the next Hendricks or Arrieta and not the next Mike Olt.)
Hagsag 8 hours 40 min ago (view)
Pay Willy now please!
crunch 11 hours 31 min ago (view)
mlb.com has already updated their "top 30" team prospect rankings post-trade deadline. https://www.mlb.com/prospects/cubs/
pete crow-armstrong #6 (mets)
alexander canario #7 (giants)
alexander vizcaino #8 (yanks)
kevin alcantara #11 (yanks)
caleb kilian #16 (giants)
greg deichmann #20 (A's)
i like caleb kilian more than the mlb.com ranking of #16. if he manages to finish the season strong he should have no problem working his way into the top-10.
Arizona Phil 13 hours 37 min ago (view)
Anderson Espinoza will get a 4th minor league option in 2023 and Alexander Canario will get a 4th minor league option in 2024 (if needed).
Dolorous Jon Lester 16 hours 58 min ago (view)
He looked really good. Rucker didn't look bad either
crunch 17 hours 9 min ago (view)
m.rodriguez throws 1ip 0h 0bb 2k, 11 pitches
hell of a debut.
crunch 17 hours 58 min ago (view)
already hit his 1st yankee homer, btw.
crunch 18 hours 46 sec ago (view)
hey yo. hopefully the offseason and going into 2022 will be worth whatever the hell this is that happened today.
Jace 18 hours 11 min ago (view)
QuietMan 18 hours 51 min ago (view)
Maybe after he's done pitching for Team USA at The Olympics.
Sonicwind75 19 hours 2 min ago (view)
Maybe Cubs can counter by bringing Edwin Jackson back.
crunch 19 hours 19 min ago (view)
dbacks see the cubs making a serious tanking move and they have 5 players go on the COVID list.
hell of a counter-play dbacks...good job.
crunch 19 hours 44 min ago (view)
your new 2021 chicago cubs...day 1
ortega / contreras / happ / wisdom / bote / heyward / duffy / alcantara / arrieta
crunch 19 hours 47 min ago (view)
woo! go not-cubs!
break out a list of 17 year old highschool kids and college sophmores to mull over for the next 10 months!