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 7 hours 37 min ago (view)
plus, on road trips he's within limitations of carry on luggage size so he doesn't need a ticket. that adds up over time and that's how you end up signing guys like c.kimbrel.
Eric S 8 hours 4 min ago (view)
Good. He’s been a hell of a lot more productive in relief than some higher salaried guys in the Cubs pen.
QuietMan 9 hours 18 min ago (view)
Tim Collins opted to stay in the organization afterall. Pitched for ICubs today.
Hagsag 12 hours 2 min ago (view)
Barnette that is.
Hagsag 12 hours 3 min ago (view)
Any guess who will be leaving when Kimbrel arrives? It’s got to be Brach unless they drop Barnett’s.
Eric S 12 hours 34 min ago (view)
Nice job by Strop - fastball 94 and slider looking good.
crunch 12 hours 35 min ago (view)
cubs win, brews win, STL plays tonight.
night game vs ATL tomorrow. STL+MIL off day.
btw, the next 3 games vs ATL will be wrigley night games.
Eric S 12 hours 50 min ago (view)
It’s about time the Mets craptastic bullpen showed up for this series
Eric S 12 hours 55 min ago (view)
El Mago with the three run shot to right field!!!
Nice job by Hamels - 7 innning quality start and kept the game close.
Back to back three hit games by JHey also encouraging
crunch 13 hours 8 sec ago (view)
baez makes career #100 count. unf.
Eric S 14 hours 33 min ago (view)
Cubs doing a nice job of elevating Alonzo’s player of the week candidacy. Freddie Freeman having a week/month too.
Eric S 14 hours 44 min ago (view)
Who can forget Joe reaching for and pulling an imaginary beard from the mound to signal for Schlitter? It was all good until a 97 mph sinker was slammed over outfield wall. Good times.
Eric S 14 hours 47 min ago (view)
Seems to me the Cubs/Jedstein would lean to acquiring an impact outfield bat vs infielder, all things being equal. A healthy and productive Zobrist would be nice as well.
Eric S 14 hours 56 min ago (view)
Caratini‘s regression to the mean weekend continues. Sigh
Thankfully Hamels comes through with a two out rbi single
Arizona Phil 16 hours 30 min ago (view)
Busy day for ex-Cub pitchers: Mariners call-up Matt Carasiti (ST NRI released by Cubs earlier this month), A's call-up ex-Cub Brian Schlitter (hasn't pitched in MLB since 2015), and Marlins outright ex-Cub Dan Straily (acquired along with Addison Russell and Billy McKinney from OAK in the Samardzija/Hammel trade in 2014, and then traded to HOU with Luis Valbuena for Dexter Fowler in 2015).
Eric S 18 hours 12 min ago (view)
Righty reliever Tony Barnette activated and Rowan Wick optioned to Iowa. Barnette has been pitching well of late in AAA.