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).
Eric S 1 hour 13 min ago (view)
Not a hill I’m going to die on for sure, but compare the 2019 defense vs 2016, I believe Cubs are bottom half on defense. Also, last info I saw on the topic, Cubs lead the majors in outs recorded on the basepaths. At six games over .500, Four teams in the NL have better records than the Cubs, who are now tied with the Phillies and just a game ahead of the Brewers. I think it was Bill Parcells who said you are what your record says you are - have to agree here too.
CubbyBlue 1 hour 48 min ago (view)
I've lost the joy of making this Cub fan blow himself up.
If I had continiued today, Dan would have dragged himself back into frame as a bloodied Leonardo DiCaprio and said, "I ain't afraid to die any more. I done it already."
Dolorous Jon Lester 5 hours 16 min ago (view)
I wonder if Joe will talk about how he feels re: next years contract to media today?
Dolorous Jon Lester 5 hours 17 min ago (view)
I don’t think Kintzler threw a single pitch where a Pirate swung and missed. All swings led to foul balls or that walk off hit. It was obvious he had nothing. The guy hadn’t pitched in over a week, so I can’t really blame him.
Jackstraw 6 hours 14 min ago (view)
Cubs at home = Roadrunner
Cubs on road = Wile E. Coyote
crunch 13 hours 7 min ago (view)
23 years old and carving up the hopes and dreams of the very young kids he was pitching against...
hard to take a 23 year old in DSL too seriously, but his numbers were filthy. 0.87 era, 0.48 whip, 11.6 k/9
Arizona Phil 13 hours 23 min ago (view)
RHRP Marcos Encarnacion (DSL Cubs #2 closer) busted for PED (the ever-popular stanozolol), gets 72-game suspension that will carry through the 2020 season (he will be 25 in November 2020). Encarnacion formerly pitched in the Reds organization and was signed as a 23-year old second-contract FA by the Cubs in June.
crunch 13 hours 50 min ago (view)
Charlie 13 hours 56 min ago (view)
By the end of this road trip, Bill might really have seen some things. No shortage of stuff to discuss in therapy.
crunch 14 hours 3 min ago (view)
obligatory farnsworth flashback video...
some nice bonus "pissed off sarge" gary matthews in there, too...and dusty baker handling shit. say what one wants about his lineup construction, dusty put up with some insane baseball attitudes with players he managed. i still can't believe a clubhouse with jeff kent and barry bonds didn't result in attempted murder at the very least.
Charlie 14 hours 13 min ago (view)
I think they are better than slightly above average in every area but the bullpen. Fangraphs WAR numbers suggest they are top 4 offense in the NL, top 5 rotation in NL, and bottom 5 bullpen in the NL. But that still suggests they should be right where they are, struggling to stay in the back of the pack of contenders for the postseason. So, that's probably close to what you are saying, but we could maybe attribute it mostly to one flaw--the bullpen.
Eric S 14 hours 21 min ago (view)
Brandon Morrow says hello too re the front office’s best laid plans
Charlie 14 hours 30 min ago (view)
Started to feel like I was watching Kyle Farnsworth and just knowing that he didn't have a way of getting the batter out.
For those looking to identify the particular nightmare I was reliving: https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/sports/2004...
Charlie 14 hours 35 min ago (view)
Kyle Ryan and Brandon Kintzler handling a 1-run lead in a 9th inning following a sweep to the Phillies. This is not the bullpen the front office has been trying to assemble. The closer, the setup man/backup closer (Strop), the future closer (Edwards), and the replacement closer (Kimbrel) have all fallen through in one way or another. If they can make the playoffs, I suppose we expect Kimbrel and Cishek as reinforcements? It's still going to be rough with Strop underperforming.
crunch 15 hours 5 min ago (view)
this has been a particularly rough set of losses...ow.
Eric S 15 hours 6 min ago (view)
The thing is, this Cub team has so many flaws you really can’t take the inevitable meltdowns too harshly. The Cubs are a slightly above average team - that’s all