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).
Mike Wellman 9 min 56 sec ago (view)
The Hey, Hoe, Hen alignment...
crunch 33 min 22 sec ago (view)
zobrist / cast / bryant / schwarb / contreras / caratini / heyward / hoe / hendricks
this lineup seems to be a popular thing.
Dolorous Jon Lester 4 hours 8 min ago (view)
Lots of games where they failed to add on.
Lots of games Strop has single handedly blown, too.
Charlie 4 hours 38 min ago (view)
There are so many candidates. The early season losing streak comes painfully to mind.
Charlie 4 hours 39 min ago (view)
JHey's swing looks like it slipped into groundout mode. That Nico lineout was heartbreaking. :(
Charlie 4 hours 39 min ago (view)
Threw Vanmeter a curve and changeup that both looked great on TV, though Vanmeter didn't offer.
Mike Wellman 6 hours 24 min ago (view)
First thing I'll point to, depending on the final order of finish, is the fact that, for the second year in a row we took the lead off of Hader in the 8th inning of a key late-season game @ Milwaukee & couldn't keep it. The second thing will be the game we led 5-0 after 7 & managed to lose. Nats next face Marlins. Cards come to town licking their chops/beaks to finish us off...
Dolorous Jon Lester 9 hours 30 min ago (view)
They’re toast. Can’t finish games, can’t finish series, and it looks very much like they won’t finish this season.
Hagsag 10 hours 47 min ago (view)
The Cubbies are in a tough situation. If they make the playoffs, they will have earned it!. Enjoy the ride folks.
Eric S 17 hours 14 min ago (view)
Reds win season series 11-8 - possibly the first thing you point to should the Cubs miss the post season
Eric S 17 hours 20 min ago (view)
Long looking swing for JHey ... and Nico - oof
Eric S 17 hours 22 min ago (view)
Heard Len say Descalso’s name and about had a heart attack. Then heard him say “pinch runner” and settled down a bit
Charlie 17 hours 26 min ago (view)
Contreras's receiving didn't do Norwood any favors in that Vanmeter at-bat. And Norwood needed some favors.
Eric S 17 hours 31 min ago (view)
Gotta do better than three hits in nine innings in a start by Mahle - this one is on the bats
crunch 17 hours 36 min ago (view)
4th pitcher of the inning coming in...neat
crunch 17 hours 40 min ago (view)