Cubs Acquire Alec Mills from Royals
The Cubs acquired 25-year old RHSP Alec Mills from the Kansas City Royals Wednesday evening in exchange for minor league OF Donnie Dewees.
LHRP David Rollins has been Designated for Assignment by the Cubs to make room for Mills on the MLB Reserve List (40-man roster).
Mills had been Designated for Assignment by Kansas City earlier Wednesday after the Royals signed free-agent (and ex-Cub) RHSP Jason Hammel, so the Cubs did not waste any time going after Mills once he hit the DFA list.
Mills was selected by the Royals in the 22nd round of the 2012 draft out of UT - Martin, and he had a couple of decent (but not exceptional) seasons as a SP/RP "swingman" in the lower minors before sustaining a torn elbow ligament. He underwent Tommy John Surgery in July of 2013, but he recovered from it very well and returned to action as a full-time starting pitcher in late 2014, and he is actually a better pitcher (and a much better prospect) now than he was before the TJS.
The 6'4 190 Mills was rated the Royals #12 prospect by Baseball America coming into the 2016 season. He made his MLB debut (working in relief) on May 18th (he was called-up as the "26th man" in a doubleheader), and was optioned back to AAA the next day. He then made two more relief appearances for the Royals in September. Meanwhile, Mills had a fine season in the minors in 2016 (split between AA Northwest Arkansas and AAA Omaha), putting up a 3.22 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and a .252 Opp BA, and an outstanding 31/122 BB/K in 125.2 IP (24 games - 23 GS).
Although he was not used as a starting pitcher at the big league level with the Royals, Mills projects as an MLB rotation starter going forward, with excellent control (just 45 BB allowed in 239 IP 2015-16), a 90-92 MPH fastball that touches 94, a plus-change, a serviceable breaking ball, and legitimate swing & miss stuff (233 punch-outs in 239 IP over the past two seasons). He will likely be in the AAA Iowa starting rotation in 2016 (he could even be the #1 starter there), available to get a recall if an "emergency" starter is needed and it's his turn to pitch, and he will very likely compete for a job in the Cubs MLB starting rotation in 2018 (Jake Arrieta, John Lackey, and Brett Anderson are free-agents post-2017).
Mills has two minor league options left, so the Cubs will have no problem sending him back & forth to Iowa in both 2017 and 2018.
Dewees was the Cubs 2nd round draft pick out of the University of North Florida in 2015, and while I am a big Donnie Dewees fan (I considered him to be one of the Cubs Top 15 Prospects post-2016), I did not see a long-term future for him with the Cubs. He is an excellent "fly-hawk" albeit with a well below-average arm, he has plus-speed (50 SB in 195 minor league game), and his "ceiling" is probably a Brett Butler-type lead-off hitter (high contact/good bunter/not much power), but because he has a rag-arm he might have to play LF in MLB (although because of his plus speed, CF is still a possibility), and also because of his weak throwing arm he really does not project as a "4th outfielder" at the big league level because he can't play RF (an MLB 4th outfielder needs to be at least passably-adequate at all three outfield positions).
David Rollins has been claimed off waivers five times (twice by the Cubs) since the end of the 2016 season, and so now the Cubs will (once again) try to secure Outright Assignnment waivers, and if they can (if no other MLB club claims him), he will be sent outright him to AAA Iowa (most certainly with a standing NRI to Spring Training). If waivers can be secured and the Cubs outright Rollins to the minors, he will remain under club control through the 2018 season (presuming he isn't traded, released, or selected in the December 2017 Rule 5 Draft).
Arizona Phil 1 min ago (view)
Cubs pinch-hitters (so far) in 2019 (top ten sorted by PA):
Charlie 1 hour 24 min ago (view)
Wind howling out at the start of game 3, and the Cards have a pretty good groundball pitcher on the mound whom the Cubs have not seen this season. Get psyched.
Charlie 1 hour 24 min ago (view)
Four double plays, too. Ugh.
Jackstraw 3 hours 7 min ago (view)
I just think Kemp has a Sharpie, and access to Joe's magic pocket card.
"Oh look, Kemp is hitting .438 in this situation. TK, grab a bat".
erich081 6 hours 22 min ago (view)
Justin Grimm must have forwarded his Maddon blackmail material to Tony Kemp.
crunch 13 hours 42 min ago (view)
baseball is fun.
Jackstraw 15 hours 38 min ago (view)
Cubs were 1 for 9 with RISP.
Neither of the Cards who scored had to take the bat off of their shoulder.
With the game on the line, Joe sends up Tony Kemp.
2019 season in microcosm.
crunch 15 hours 41 min ago (view)
p.alonso (NYM) gets #50...not bad for a rookie.
also, MIL wins because of course why not.
cubs are 2 games behind in the WC standings for the 2nd slot...5 games behind STL in the central.
crunch 17 hours 15 min ago (view)
i'll be over here watching Corner Gas DVDs waiting for 2020.
Charlie 20 hours 30 min ago (view)
Welp. I guess I will continue to pay attention to the Wild Card race? Dropping the Michael Wacha game is bad.
crunch 21 hours 11 min ago (view)
Dolorous Jon Lester 21 hours 34 min ago (view)
Another game, another set of golden opportunities to add on to a lead wasted.
Eric S 21 hours 37 min ago (view)
And nine hits ... with one run to show for it
crunch 22 hours 43 min ago (view)
6 innings, 5 pitchers used...and the cubs are down by 1 to show for it.
Dolorous Jon Lester 23 hours 21 min ago (view)
I hate Tommy Edman, and those of his ilk. The pissbirds are masters of getting a few good years out of middling prospect types like him. DeJong, Jon Jay, Matt Adams, Tommy Pham, Allen Craig, Matt Carpenter... the list goes on and on.
Arizona Phil 1 day 44 min ago (view)
Trades involving players on minor league reserve lists are prohibited beginning at 12 PM (Eastern) on the 7th day prior to the originally-scheduled conclusion of the MLB regular season through the last day of the MLB regular season (including a day in which a Game #163 and Game #164 tie-breaker game is played or a day in which a re-scheduled game is played after the originally-scheduled conclusion of the MLB regular season).