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).
crunch 8 min 48 sec ago (view)
schwarber / bryant / rizzo / baez / heyward(CF) / caratini / cargo(RF) / ham / descalso(2nd)
Eric S 1 hour 42 min ago (view)
Kimbrel pitched the 7th inning for the Iowa Cubs today - he threw 8 pitches (6 strikes) to three batters getting a fly out to center, a groundout to third and swinging K. Nice start!
Karl Pagel Blues 3 hours 11 min ago (view)
Thank you, Phil. Have you ever considered doing your own podcast? Your grasp on baseball history is fantastic.
Karl Pagel Blues 3 hours 19 min ago (view)
Thank you, Mike.
Mike Wellman 12 hours 18 min ago (view)
And 71 games in, the C-Cubs & I-Cubs are in a dead heat @ 39-32...
Craig A. 14 hours 52 min ago (view)
Thanks very much, Phil.
Arizona Phil 17 hours 1 min ago (view)
CRAIG A: SS Ernie Banks and 2B Gene Baker arrived on the same day in September 1953, although Banks made his MLB game debut three days before Baker.
crunch 19 hours 4 min ago (view)
i think gene baker was technically the first signed, but ernie banks was the first to suit up and play. baker was injured when ernie made his debut.
JoePepitone 19 hours 8 min ago (view)
He only mentioned his second wife in his autobiography, Mr. Cub. I was surprised to find out from his Wikipedia page that he had been married before Eloyce (wife #2), having read Mr. Cub back in 1971 right after it came out. I guess when you write your autobiography, you get to put in only the parts you want to talk about.
Craig A. 19 hours 56 min ago (view)
Banks was the first African- American Cub wasn’t he? Was there a lot of drama with that?
BobbyD 20 hours 46 min ago (view)
He was a hero to me growing up, and now maybe not so much. Sad and probably (?) better how things have changed. I'm sure in the 60s whatever Addison did would have never bubbled up to us fans... But thanks for the review-so-far!
crunch 21 hours 35 min ago (view)
m.carpenter (STL) just got a stand up double bunting against the shift on a ball that barely got to the lip of the outfield grass.
a little more of that from many more players would be interesting.
crunch 21 hours 57 min ago (view)
another young fan took a foul ball for an injury...off the bat of castro (MIA) @STL
crunch 1 day 21 hours ago (view)
hell of a loss.
killer 9th inning drama all going LA's way. wow.
it says a lot that the packed house in LA was still almost all there through the last pitch of the game.
crunch 1 day 21 hours ago (view)
ESPN...it's all bad, all the time.
BobbyD 1 day 21 hours ago (view)
I'm just glad it worked out for the diarrhea girl and her date. I don't know which is worse, Arod or that fucking commercial 8 times a game.