Cubs Acquire Eddie Butler from Rockies

The Cubs have acquired 25-year old RHSP from the Colorado Rockies for 24-year old minor league RHRP . To make room for Butler on the Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster), RHP (acquired off waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays last month) has been ;

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 (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 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 (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).


Baseball America's Top 25 Prospects in baseball when Eddie Butler was ranked #24 in 2014: 1. Byron Buxton, OF 2. Xander Bogaerts, SS 3. Oscar Taveras, OF 4. Masahiro Tanaka, RHP 5. Javier Baez, SS 6. Miguel Sano, 3B 7. Carlos Correa, SS 8. Kris Bryant, 3B 9. Archie Bradley, RHP 10. Gregory Polanco, OF 11. Taijuan Walker, RHP 12. Jonathan Gray, RHP 13. Francisco Lindor, SS 14. Addison Russell, SS 15. Dylan Bundy, RHP 16. Noah Syndergaard, RHP 17. Maikel Franco, 3B 18. George Springer, OF 19. Robert Stephenson, RHP 20. Kevin Gausman, RHP 21. Lucas Giolito, RHP 22. Jameson Taillon, RHP 23. Kyle Zimmer, RHP 24. EDDIE BUTLER, RHP 25. Nick Castellanos, 3B

That's a loaded list.

Cubs with 3 of the top 14 -- and they all made it!

This is a great trade. Let's hope Bosio can get him straightened out.

PHIL: Since Eddie will be probably working with Rod Nichols out in Iowa, what do you know of this guy? Is Nichols well-liked? Is he on-board with the "Cubs Pitching Way", which I assume is something along the lines of "we will work with your uniqueness and quirks to make you better"? Unlike the former Red Sox Golden Boy pitcher recently discussed, he at least had SOME success in the Minors before the Rockies brought him up.

E-MAN: I don't know a lot about Iowa Pitching Coach Rod Nichols, but all of the Cubs minor league coordinators and coaches are now on the same page when it comes to instruction and player development. I suspect that either Minor League Pitching Coordinator Jim Brower or Assistant Pitching Coordinator Mike Mason or one of the Cubs "special assistants" (Kerry Wood, Ryan Dempster, or Ted Lilly) will be assigned to work directly with Eddie Butler as a "Special Project" in Spring Training and at Iowa once his Player Development Plan has been approved, and then Nichols would monitor and supervise Butler on a day-to-day basis during the season.

I bet Butler gets Floro's #21 and if Floro gets through waivers he gets either 53 or 54.

another article on Butler losing his way

AZ PHIL: I assume if Butler isn't called up this year, his option doesn't carry over to 2018. Is that accurate? Thanks for all the great information your provide!

K-DUB: Eddie Butler's 4th minor league option expires after the 2017 season (it would not be available in 2018 even if it is not used in 2017) - UNLESS - he is injured prior to being optioned to the minors (like if he injures his elbow in Spring Training and has TJS) and spends the 2017 season on the MLB DL. Only then could it carry-over to 2018.

BTW, Jorge Soler's 4th minor league option also is still available in 2017 should the Royals wish to send him to AAA at some point during the season. and (as is the case with Eddie Butler) the 4th option will disappear in 2018 (even if it not used in 2017) unless Soler suffers a season-ending injury prior to being optioned.

Just as an example of how it works, last year the Cubs optioned RHP Andury Acevedo to AA Tennessee during Spring Training, and then he suffered a torn ACL in April and missed the balance of the season. But because he was optioned to the minors prior to suffering the season-ending knee injury, the option year was spent and Acevedo did not accrue any MLB Service Time in 2017. If he had suffered the knee injury in Spring Training and was placed on the MLB DL, a minor league option year would not have been spent and Acevedo would have accrued a full season of MLB Service Time (and he would have been paid $500K+ in salary instead of the $40K+ split salary he received after being optioned to the minors.

Zac Rosscup, Dallas Beeler, and Aaron Brooks each suffered an injury in Spring Training (prior to being optioned to the minors) and spent the entire 2017 season on the MLB DL, so Rosscup, Beeler, and Brooks did not use up an option year in 2017 (and that's why Rosscup, Beeler, and Brooks still have one minor league option left) but did accrue a full season of MLB Service Time (and earned $500K+ in salary instead of the much-lesser minor league split salary they would have been paid if they had been optioned to the minors prior to sustaining their respective season-ending injuries).   

Which is why the cut-down date on March 15-ish is for real.

Thanks, Phil. I'll be looking for ya on the backfields this spring. As always, your info is much appreciated.

Jeff Sullivan alleges that 2016 Jorge Soler faced the easiest slate of pitchers by a hitter since at least 1969.

Totally off-topic: I just saw Miguel Cabrera mentioned in an article, so I decided look up his stats -- Holy Cow! At age 33, he has 2519 hits and 446 HR, with a career OPS of .961. Seems to be a lock for 3,000 hits and 500 HR. Pretty amazing -- the other 4 to do it: Aaron, Mays, Murray....and Raffy Palmeiro. And yet, you don't hear him talked about very much. Imagine if he played here or in NY.

cubs got d.floro through to iowa with him.

Dylan Floro is not eligible to be a minor league 6YFA until after the 2018 World Series, so unless he is traded, released, or selected in the December 2017 Rule 5 Draft, he will remain under club control through the 2018 season.

Also, although he was sent outright to AAA Iowa, Dylan Floro is getting an NRI to Spring Training.   

The Cubs presently have 314 players under club control (40 players on the MLB Reserve List and 274 players signed to minor league contracts). Given the number of minor league affiliates they have, the maximum number of players the Cubs can have under control is 325 (40 major leaguers and 285 minor leaguers), but players who were Signed for Future Service do not count against a minor league reserve list until Opening Day and players on the Restricted List do not count against a minor league reserve list until the player is reinstated, and the Cubs have 24 minor league players who were Signed for Future Service (first contract was for 2017 season) and one player on the Restricted List, so while the Cubs would appear to have only eleven minor league roster slots left open at the moment, they actually have 36.

The San Diego Padres are adding a second AZL team in 2017, the first MLB club with an affiliate in the Arizona League to do that. The Yankees and Tigers each have two affiliates in the Gulf Coast League (the Florida version of the AZL). The Colorado Rockies are the only MLB organization with a Spring Training base in Arizona that does not field a team in the AZL. (All 15 MLB clubs with a Spring Training base in Florida field at least one team in the GCL).

All 30 MLB clubs have at least one affiliate in the Dominican Summer League, and twelve of the 30 (Astros, Cubs, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Mets, Orioles, Phillies, Rangers, Rays, Red Sox, Reds, and Yankees) have two. In fact, the Yankees are the only MLB organization with two affiliates in the DSL and two in a U. S. Spring Training complex-based rookie league (GCL), but I would not be surprised if the Cubs become the second one, and (like the Padres), add a second AZL team in the near future.

Cubs minor league first-baseman (and Boise State linebacker) Joey Martarano talks about the Cubs winning the World Series last November, two weeks before he suffered a season-ending broken leg in a football game versus UNLV.


dodgers snag s.romo. their pen is shaping up nicely. ...and now jon heyman says the deal isn't done and romo's deciding between the dodgers and another team. anything that would make LA weaker works for me. go other team.

Baseball America lists the Cubs signing Williams Perez to a minor league contract. He pitched for Atlanta in 2016 with little success as a starter. ( eleven starts with 6.04 ERA)

HAGSAG: Given Williams Perez's previous MLB experience with the Braves, I would think he would likely get an NRI to Spring Training with the Cubs, and then eventually compete for a job in the Iowa starting rotation.

However, Perez missed the last four months of the 2016 season with a right shoulder injury (rotator cuff strain), so first-things-first he will have to prove that his shoulder is healthy.

"According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, free agent Jason Hammel received a one-year offer from the Mariners with a $10 million option for 2018 earlier this offseason." this point i really wonder what his medicals say about him. that's a rather low-ball offer in assumed money and years, even for an early offer. 8-10 days until most team's pitchers/catchers report.

Beer Sure

No deal for Hammel or Travis yet. Hmmm....

wood is supposedly busy negotiating with 4/6/8/29+ offers depending on what rumor you're checking out...multiple ones as a starter. royals rumors have been hot for a few days. astros, braves, angels, brewers, etc... he probably won't be a FA much longer, maybe before the weekend ends.

NFL announces MVP the night before the Super Bowl, choosing one SB team's QB over the other's. What the hell?

With Cutler and Barkley splitting votes on many ballots, one of those other guys was bound to sneak through.

Hanging Chad Hutchinson, in another close election!

Bears great former 1st Round draft choice Shea McClellan sighting (special teams player for NE). Results in a penalty in the SB for his mis-timed leap on an EP. What a shitty player. Picked by a shitty GM. -EDIT- Who now has a Super Bowl Ring...

There's an outside chance the Patriots know what to do with football players better than the Bears, who tried to make him a defensive end. My goodness, what a horrible franchise.

New news? Jon Morosi ‏@jonmorosi Outfielder John Andreoli (@JAndreoli7) of @Cubs and @UConnHuskies will play for Italy in @WBCBaseball, source says. @MLB @MLBNetwork

That Falcons loss was vintage pre-2016 Cubs. Julio Jones makes a heroic catch, so just run the ball 3 times, kick a medium-length field goal, and win the Super Bowl for the first time ever. Instead, they try to pass, get sacked (WTF?) and a holding penalty. Very rough night be be a Falcons fan.

Remember the Atlanta punt in Q3 where the NE player had to make an over-the-shoulder catch? That was actually a decoy play like the one the Bears (almost) pulled off with Hester a few years ago. My son (who sees everything in these games) noticed that the punt returner ran away from the punt, toward the other sideline. Buck and Aikman and their crew of spotters missed it.

I thought something looked weird on that play -- odd way for a returner to catch a punt. Heck of a catch, actually.

Hammel to KC.

supposedly...2 year deal, mutual option for a 3rd year, guaranteed 16m, incentive goals add more.

With Hammel and Napoli off the board (and unless the Cubs trade La Stella or Baez before camp opens), it looks like we have a tie in the Predications Content. Congrats to Charlie and Java, who both ended up with 10 points.
I'll post an official congrats along with the next contest after camp breaks.

fowler 2016, never 4git.

Recent comments

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  • Arizona Phil 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    CHARLIE: Austin Riley is actually a third-baseman but he had to play LF for the Braves in 2019 because he was blocked by Josh Donaldson, and Cristian Pache is considered to be the best defensive centerfielder in the minors and his bat has improved enough over the past year or two to where he is now rated in or just outside the top ten overall prospects in MLB.

    So a package that includes Riley and Pache and one of the Braves young MLB or MLB-ready SP would probably be more than enough to get the Cubs to bite.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    Max Fried or Bryse Wilson


  • crunch 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    t.skaggs story keeps getting deeper.

    allegations the team knew about skagg's drug abuse (also his family).  teams are required to report this to MLB.


  • Charlie 1 day 19 hours ago (view)

    Except for the headline, the linked post reads more like a trade hypothetical than a trade rumor. I like the idea of looking at this package as a discussion point for expected return for Bryant. I would say it feels a little light to me. It's deep, with two decent outfield prospects with upside and two OK pitching prospects. But Riley doesn't help the team solve the CF problem right now, so he's either redundant to Bote or sort of a Schwarber replacement. Muller's inflated BB% at AA this year worries me a bit too.


  • Cubster 2 days 2 hours ago (view)

    I might have missed something and it's been talked about regarding a KB trade rumor from about 10-9-19. 

    Braves receive: 3B Kris Bryant 


  • crunch 3 days 15 hours ago (view)

    they get 3 guys and the cubs get 1 guy.  sounds like a slam dunk for the angels.  pencil trout in the cubs lineup.  he's got upside.


  • Jackstraw 3 days 17 hours ago (view)

    I'd hate to part with both Kemp and Chatwood, but if it will bring that Trout guy back, we could even throw in Almora.


  • crunch 3 days 20 hours ago (view)

    the ricketts got a brazillian dollar tax break...they need to trickle that down and flex on the entire league.

    we gonna get grandal, rendon, castellanos, g.cole, strasburg, ryu, a.chapman...maybe sign bumgarner and odorizzi to work the pen.


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 21 hours ago (view)

    CHARLIE: If the Cubs trade Quintana and his new club pays 100% of his 2020 salary his new club assumes 100% of his salary AAV liability, but if the Cubs agree to pay a portion of Quintana's 2020 salary as part of the trade, whatever portion of Quintana's 2020 salary that is paid by the Cubs would count against the Cubs 2020 AAV. 


  • Charlie 3 days 22 hours ago (view)

    PHIL: Thanks for that Boston context--I hadn't realized the trend there. If the Cubs did decide to pick up Quintana's option and then trade him (assuming the Cubs would not agree to pay part of the contract as part of the trade), do they have to do that by a certain date in order for Quintana's contract not to count against them for the CBT? I haven't been able to find any dates attached to the CBT in a quick internet search.


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 22 hours ago (view)

    My presumption in the Cubs declining Jose Quintana's 2020 club option as well as declining the club options on the veteran relievers who have one and non-tendering Addison Russell (and this also applies to Joe Maddon not returning as manager in 2020) is that after the monumental late-September collapse of 2019 on the heels of the 2018 Game #163 and Wild Card game defeats Ricketts will no longer accept the Cubs payroll going over the CBT threshold ($208M AAV in 2020) or extending a manager making $5M a year.   


  • crunch 4 days 4 hours ago (view)

    i actually like ATL the team...the fans and the 3+ hours of tommy hawk chawpin' non-stop is beyond annoying before even getting into how messed up it is they're still doing that in 2019.  it's all they do, just that 1 single thing...for hours...

    fans were so upset about not getting foam hatchets pre-game yesterday (that was the club's way to "dial it back") they were busy letting the "PC police" know they're here to chant and chop as loud as they could before the first pitch was even thrown.

    it took about 10 runs to shut them up.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 4 days 18 hours ago (view)

    Damn. Atlanta was the only team in the NL I was hoping would advance. I don’t know what I was hoping in LA vs WAS series. Cataclysmic event? (Side note, I live in the DC area, what a dreadful group of fans. They deserve nothing good ever.)


  • crunch 4 days 20 hours ago (view)

    i live in the south.  my personal hell has been ATL fans by a huge amount more than STL (or even CWS) fans.

    i've made my decision to sell out my people for personal comfort.


  • Hagsag 4 days 20 hours ago (view)

    No more reports. I am sick.


  • crunch 4 days 20 hours ago (view)

    ...and m.fried walks j.flaherty (STL's starting pitcher) to make it 5-0

    they were highschool teammates, btw.

    ...and d.fowler gets a 2 RBI double.  7-0, 1 out, men on 2nd/3rd

    ...and wong makes it 9-0...still only 1 out.

    the lack of tommy hawk chawping is it's own music.

    10-0 on a passed ball.  pile it on.  see you in 2020 ATL.