Cubs Give a Wink and a Nod to a Righty Reliever
The Cubs have signed RHRP Dan Winkler to a 2020 MLB contract. The deal reportedly includes a $750K MLB salary and $750K more in potential performance bonuses with a $200K minor league split salary.
Winkler features a 90 MPH cutter (his bread & butter pitch), a low 80's slider and a low-90's FB, and an occasional CH, all thrown from a low 3/4 arm slot, somewhat like Steve Cishek. So think of Winkler as Cishek's probable bargain-bin replacement in the pen.
Now 29 (he will be 30 in February), the 6'3 205 righthander graduated from St. Anthony HS in Effingham, IL in 2008, and was the 20th round selection of the Colorado Rockies in the 2011 draft out of Central Forida (he was also selected by the Cubs in the 43rd round of the 2010 draft out of Parkland JC but did not sign).
He led minor league baseball in strikeouts in 2013 and was rated the #16 prospect in the Texas League by Baseball America in 2014 even after sustaining a torn UCL in his right elbow and undergoing TJS in June 2014.
He was left off the Rockies 40-man roster post-2014 (he was expected to miss most of the 2015 season while rehabbing) and was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the Major League Phase of the December 2014 Rule 5 Draft. He spent most of the next three seasons on the Braves 10-day and 60-day DL, first rehabbing from the TJS and then after undergoing surgery for an elbow fracture sustained in April 2016. So his Rule 5 Draft restrictions remained in effect until he accrued 90 days of MLB Service Time, which didn't happen until late April 2018 (more than three years after he was drafted!).
So Winkler was (finally!) healthy in August 2017 and quickly established himself as a reliable member of the Braves bullpen. However, he was optioned to AAA Gwinnett by the Braves in June 2019 after struggling over the first 2-1/2 months of the season, and he was one of two pitchers sent to the Giants in the Mark Melancon deal at the Jule 31st trade deadline. Winkler was then immediately Designated for Assignment by SF and was outrighted to AAA Sacramento on 8/3 after waivers were secured.
Winkler was a post-2019 Article XX-D minor league FA (he had the right to elect free-agency immediately after being outrighted, but he chose to defer free-agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season).
Winkler has two minor league options left, but because he spent so much time on the Braves MLB DL 2015-17 he has already accrued more than four years of MLB Service Time, and so once he acrues another 109 days he will hit five years of MLB ST and his remaining options will be effectively not usable since he would have to give his permission before he can be optioned once he reaches 5+000 MLB Service Time.
If he is still on the Cubs MLB 40-man roster by the end of the season, he will be eligible for salary arbitration post-2020.
Cubster 47 min 35 sec ago (view)
high fives followed by Rizzo passing out hand sanitizer
how do you socially distance the dogpile?
crunch 15 hours 23 min ago (view)
cubs in 11!
7-2 record to start the year.
the "socially distanced high-5s" in the middle of the infield is good stuff.
crunch 16 hours 5 sec ago (view)
been a while since i've seen a solid home plate collision...couldn't be avoided.
crunch 16 hours 14 min ago (view)
game on...stupid rain delay...
Charlie 17 hours 4 min ago (view)
Any other readers in southern Il.--are you blacked out of Cubs games? My dad is always blacked out as of this year even though MLB tv lists his zip as blacked out for Cards only.
Sonicwind75 17 hours 36 min ago (view)
When then is ever over, gonna have to have some of them Magic City wings, they must be something!
Cubster 17 hours 52 min ago (view)
For all the heat Lester took to this point, he's really "pitched" excellent in both starts. In fact, the entire starting staff has been really good. Bullpen not so much although I've liked Jeffress.
crunch 18 hours 3 min ago (view)
cepedes is "opting out" of 2020, but didn't let the team properly know. glad they found him.
Eric S 18 hours 16 min ago (view)
60 game schedules are a perfect fit for Lester. Hell, if we know 2021 will also go 60, Cubs could do a lot worse than re-signing Big Jon
crunch 18 hours 16 min ago (view)
we're 10-ish games in and the future is looking dim for finishing the season, much less forming a 16-team post-season.
at this point it seems making it to playoffs with enough people to fill a roster is a wiser move than actually winning games.
Eric S 18 hours 19 min ago (view)
Magic City wings could be in play here.
Eric S 18 hours 22 min ago (view)
Well done, Dr Cubster
Cubster 18 hours 24 min ago (view)
more on Cardinals...
Jeff Passan says: The latest round of coronavirus tests from the St. Louis Cardinals are, in the words of someone with the team, "not good." There are expected to be multiple new positives, sources tell ESPN. Cardinals took more tests this morning, and results of those should arrive by tonight.
Robt Murray: The St. Louis Cardinals have multiple new positive tests, according to sources with direct knowledge.
crunch 18 hours 35 min ago (view)
...and no one seems to know where y.cespedes (NYM) is...didn't show up for the game today and isn't answering calls. they're on the road @ATL.
Cubster 18 hours 40 min ago (view)
Telecast with Len/JD saying that several more Cardinals tested positive this am. Can't find it on twitter or net yet.
Another Pirate pitcher removed with injury.
KB in Covid protocol even though he had a negative rapid test today.
This is stressful.
crunch 18 hours 52 min ago (view)
contreras breaks up the no-hitter with a double in the 5th.
lester needs to throw a complete game today.