Cubs Complete Travis Lakins Trade

The Cubs have sent minor league catcher Jhonny Pereda to the Boston Red Sox to complete a January 21st trade in which the Cubs acquired RHRP Travis Lakins from the Red Sox for Future Considerations. (Lakins had been Designated for Assignment by the Red Sox on 1/17). 

The Cubs then lost Lakins off waivers to the Baltimore Orioles (who have the #2 MLB waiver claim priority) ten days later when the Cubs attempted to remove him from the MLB 40-man roster to make room on the 40 for free-agent RHRP Jeremy Jeffress. 

Pereda was signed by the Cubs as a 16-year old IFA out of Venezuela in 2013, and he spent seven seasons in the Cubs system (first two with VSL Cubs, then two with AZL Cubs, and then one each at South Bend, Myrtle Beach and Tennessee).   

While the 23-year old Pereda hit just 241/336/305 at AA this past season, he did win the 2019 Rawlings Minor League Gold Glove Award as the top defensive catcher in the minors. He was eligible to be a minor league 6YFA post-2019 but signed a 2020 minor league successor contract that kept him under Cubs club control for another season, and he also received an NRI to MLB Spring Training.

Pereda was projected to be the back-up catcher at AAA Iowa in 2020 with legit potential to be an MLB back-up catcher, and is (once-again) eligible to be a minor league 6YFA after the season. 

Presuming there are no other "future considerations" still pending from the Lakins trade, the Cubs essentially exchanged Pereda for $50,000 (the waiver price they received from the Orioles for Lakins).  

Comments

I think the most puzzling aspect to the Travis Lakins Caper is that the only plausible reason for the Cubs to have struck a pre-emptive trade with the Red Sox instead of waiting and hoping to win a waiver claim is that the Cubs believed that another club with a better waiver claim priority would almost certainly claim him. So to ensure that they would be able to acquire Lakins, the Cubs must have offered the Red Sox something more than the $50,000 waiver price, otherwise there would have been no point in the Red Sox agreeing to the deal. 

So when the Red Sox return was reported at the time of the trade as "Future Considerations" instead of the standard "PTBNL or cash," that would seem to indicate (to me) that the Cubs were giving the Red Sox something of value beyond just a PTBNL or cash (the cash amount typically being $50,000, equivalent to the waiver price), like maybe $50,000 (the waiver price) initially - PLUS - a PTBNL or another $50,000 (Red Sox choice) at a later point in time. 

Which still doesn't explain why the Cubs struck a pre-emptive trade with Boston to acquire Lakins if they were fine with placing him onto waivers (and likely losing him for $50,000) just a week later. I guess it's possible that the Jeremy Jeffress signing (which required a 40-man roster slot) was unexpected and might have come out of nowhere, but even then, why would Lakins be the one to go? 

It's one thing to claim a player like C. D. Pelham off waivers for $50,000 and then place him back onto waivers a few days later (to make room on the 40 for Steven Souza Jr) and risk losing him for the same $50,000 you paid to get him, but to acquire a player (Lakins) in a trade for what must have been more than the $50,000 waiver price only to place the player onto waivers and risk losing him for $50,000 ten days later just does not make a lot of sense. 

This one has me scratching my head too. Surely they knew Lakins would have a hard time clearing waivers. Hate to just lose Pereda like that. Feels like they gave up more for Lakins than for Sadler, and I'm guessing Sadler might have been slightly more likely to clear waivers since he's out of options. 

"Major League Baseball has agreed with the MLBPA to grant a full year of service time to players in 2020 regardless of how many games the schedule includes.

Rosenthal adds, however, that the two sides have agreed to "table discussions" on how much service time the players would receive if the worst-case scenario plays out and the 2020 season has to be canceled entirely due to the coronavirus pandemic."

---

"As for scheduling matters, Rosenthal writes that "the players and owners are discussing a variety of options, including doubleheaders, the reduction of days off during All-Star week and the extension of the regular season past its scheduled Sept. 27 conclusion.""

(subscription required) https://theathletic.com/1699559/2020/03/25/rosenth...

AZPhil, what are the technical ramifications of optioning/not optioning guys during this period of no baseball? Seems like some teams are more eager than others to trim their roster down.

jdrnym: Ordinarily, players on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) who are on Optional Assignment to the minors do not accrue MLB Service Time, are paid at the minor league rate rather than at the MLB rate if the player has a "split" contract, and if the player gets hurt or becomes sick after being optioned, he can be placed on a minor league IL instead of on an MLB IL (so that he cannot accrue MLB Service Time or be paid at the MLB rate while he is on the IL). Also, a player who is optioned to the minors for at least 20 days will burn an option year.   

However, MLB and MLBPA are in the process of negotiating how the delayed/postponed season will affect MLB and minor league roster limits, MLB Service Time, salaries, and option years, so the "normal" rules may not apply in 2020 (TBD).  

I do suspect that if and when the MLB regular season commences that it is very likely that MLB Active List roster limits will be expanded (to allow clubs to carry additional pitchers) for a period of time (TBD). 

fyi for anyone who bought MLB.tv

for "some reason" getting a cancel+refund via phone is like pulling teeth, but if you contact them via a webpage contact request many people are getting a cancel+refund confirmation within an hour or 2...

COVID 19 + a short draft + Manfred's obsessive drive to shrink the minor leagues will change baseball forever.  It WAS still America's grass roots sport.  Where I live, from June through August, you could see a quality live game any day of the week, within an hour's drive.  I believe that era is over.  What's going on will have ripple effects, contracting serious college ball, college summer leagues and independent pro ball just as much as the MiLB systems.  With those changes, some of the game's charm will also go.  I've seen a kid from Cape Cod play in the Cape Cod League and former MLB and Japanese pro players in the Can-Am League.  Stuff like that may be rare or nonexistent if MLB goes to a player development model more like the NFL or NBA.

i miss baseball.  it could happen in june...it may happen in late may...it might not happen either way.

there's so many things getting messed up right now i would get lost making a list.  there's some college guys making a serious "okay, we need to look at that guy" push that's dead.  former cubs draft pick russell smith (2017, LHP highschool) took last season off for injury (TCU college) and returned with a low 90s fastball, impressive control, and a MLB-quality changeup.  his "comeback" was 4 games and done thanks to this current situation...

"Jeff Passan of ESPN writes that the players and league agreed that the 2020 season won't start until "there are no bans on mass gatherings that limit the ability to play in front of fans, there are no travel restrictions and medical experts determine games will not pose a risk to health of teams and fans." Passan does add that the two sides "will consider the feasibility of playing in empty stadiums" and also at neutral sites. The players will be advanced $170 million for the months of April and May and the money can be kept if the season is canceled, service time will be pro-rated and the international signing period can be pushed back from July to January. Additionally, the Draft has been shortened to five rounds and picks will only receive $100,000 of their bonuses in 2020."

additional info... https://www.mlb.com/news/mlb-players-association-s...

this isn't the "end plan"...there's owner/player committees to flesh out future issues.  the players wanted expanded rosters (supposedly 29 player rosters for the first month), but they couldn't agree on that issue right now.

also, a couple days ago the STL/CHC "London Series" in june was cancelled...not surprising.

Recent comments

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  • JustSayin' 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    The organizations will cut rosters down, as if the full-season teams were breaking camp to start the season, THEN pay the remaining minor leaguers $400/week or whatever.  That's similar to what costs would have normally been but the "one last chance" players who got spring training invitations this year and didn't have an obvious roster spot won't be getting their last chance.

     

  • crunch 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    "According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, all minor league players will be receiving $400 per week from MLB through at least May 31."

    so that's where that promise landed.  the scary thing is that's still more than some in the low minors make on a weekly basis.

     

  • crunch 4 days 1 hour ago (view)

    "Jeff Passan of ESPN writes that the players and league agreed that the 2020 season won't start until "there are no bans on mass gatherings that limit the ability to play in front of fans, there are no travel restrictions and medical experts determine games will not pose a risk to health of teams and fans." Passan does add that the two sides "will consider the feasibility of playing in empty stadiums" and also at neutral sites.

     

  • crunch 4 days 7 hours ago (view)

    i miss baseball.  it could happen in june...it may happen in late may...it might not happen either way.

    there's so many things getting messed up right now i would get lost making a list.  there's some college guys making a serious "okay, we need to look at that guy" push that's dead.  former cubs draft pick russell smith (2017, LHP highschool) took last season off for injury (TCU college) and returned with a low 90s fastball, impressive control, and a MLB-quality changeup.  his "comeback" was 4 games and done thanks to this current situation...

     

  • JustSayin' 4 days 9 hours ago (view)

    COVID 19 + a short draft + Manfred's obsessive drive to shrink the minor leagues will change baseball forever.  It WAS still America's grass roots sport.  Where I live, from June through August, you could see a quality live game any day of the week, within an hour's drive.  I believe that era is over.  What's going on will have ripple effects, contracting serious college ball, college summer leagues and independent pro ball just as much as the MiLB systems.  With those changes, some of the game's charm will also go.  I've seen a kid from Cape Cod play in the Ca

     

  • crunch 5 days 7 hours ago (view)

    fyi for anyone who bought MLB.tv

    for "some reason" getting a cancel+refund via phone is like pulling teeth, but if you contact them via a webpage contact request many people are getting a cancel+refund confirmation within an hour or 2...

     

  • bradsbeard 5 days 14 hours ago (view)

    I imagine because the new labor agreement freezes rosters as of whenever the agreement is approved by the owners and it might affect what those guys are paid under the agreement. 

     

  • Hagsag 5 days 16 hours ago (view)

    AZ Phil. what was the reason that a whole bunch of teams optioned or assigned players to the minor leagues yesterday on March 26 ? Thanks.

     

  • Arizona Phil 5 days 20 hours ago (view)

    jdrnym: Ordinarily, players on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) who are on Optional Assignment to the minors do not accrue MLB Service Time, are paid at the minor league rate rather than at the MLB rate if the player has a "split" contract, and if the player gets hurt or becomes sick after being optioned, he can be placed on a minor league IL instead of on an MLB IL (so that he cannot accrue MLB Service Time or be paid at the MLB rate while he is on the IL). Also, a player who is optioned to the minors for at least 20 days will burn an option year.   

     

  • jdrnym 6 days 9 hours ago (view)

    AZPhil, what are the technical ramifications of optioning/not optioning guys during this period of no baseball? Seems like some teams are more eager than others to trim their roster down.

     

  • crunch 1 week 12 hours ago (view)

    "Major League Baseball has agreed with the MLBPA to grant a full year of service time to players in 2020 regardless of how many games the schedule includes.

    Rosenthal adds, however, that the two sides have agreed to "table discussions" on how much service time the players would receive if the worst-case scenario plays out and the 2020 season has to be canceled entirely due to the coronavirus pandemic."

    ---

     

  • bradsbeard 1 week 2 days ago (view)

    This one has me scratching my head too. Surely they knew Lakins would have a hard time clearing waivers. Hate to just lose Pereda like that. Feels like they gave up more for Lakins than for Sadler, and I'm guessing Sadler might have been slightly more likely to clear waivers since he's out of options. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 week 2 days ago (view)

    I think the most puzzling aspect to the Travis Lakins Caper is that the only plausible reason for the Cubs to have struck a pre-emptive trade with the Red Sox instead of waiting and hoping to win a waiver claim is that the Cubs believed that another club with a better waiver claim priority would almost certainly claim him. So to ensure that they would be able to acquire Lakins, the Cubs must have offered the Red Sox something more than the $50,000 waiver price, otherwise there would have been no point in the Red Sox agreeing to the deal. 

     

  • crunch 1 week 2 days ago (view)

    RedSox acquire catcher Jhonny Pereda from the #Cubs, completing the January 21 trade for RHP Travis Lakins

    ...cubs lost lakins on waivers to BAL, btw

     

  • erich081 1 week 2 days ago (view)

    I wore my Rick Wilkins #2 shirsey today and kept thinking real baseball was only a week away. And then I remembered this weird alternate reality we've seemed to have slipped into. Hope everyone stays healthy and safe.

     

  • Hagsag 1 week 3 days ago (view)

    I am installing a padded room to sit in until this hell is over.