PTBNL Named in Van Buren Deal

The Cubs apparently acquired OF Matt Ciaramella from the Boston Red Sox to complete the Jermain Van Buren deal from a few weeks back. He was a 13th round pick in 2004 who went to the University of Utah, 23 years old, throws lefty, hits from both sides of the plate, can play both corner outfield positions. Put up a line of .302/.360/.422 in A ball last year in 222 at-bats. A scouting report that was posted over at says:
Hits for both average and power. Good Speed. Very Intelligent with great baseball instincts. Athletic and strong.

Here's some more links if you care to read up on the kid. Sounds like a quality guy: Interview in Sept, 2004 with his alma mater His old Sox Prospect page A bit on him from Sons of Sam Horn

Thanks to ShawndGoldman for the scoop...


23 and in A ball? not even a remote prospect...happy new year to the sox, they got van buren for free.

apperently he had some shoulder problems when he first signed, slowed his progress. He's no blue-chipper but neither is Van Buren. Despite what we like to all believe, there's not a huge market for middle relief prospects. I'm guessing Ciaramella begins in Daytona next year.

Looks like he didn't come out early. Last year was only his first year--doesn't mean he isn't a good prospect.

Chris, He was 23 in A-ball because he finished college at the University of Utah, as the post says. As far as I am familiar, I believe all the guys who *finish* college need a year to adjust to professional ball, and the highest level of A-ball is where they start. So I think he is right on track as far as that is concerned...

I take it this guy was NOT on their 40-Man roster as we have no space. So, with no space availible, all these PTBNL we are owed (BALT, BOS, AZ), we really can't expect anyone too good. That is another reason why Grissolm has to be signed to a minor league deal. We have no room left on the roster.

"He's no blue-chipper but neither is Van Buren." JVB was a 2nd round pick...he had success as a closer at AA, and at AAA...then came to the bigs for a cup of coffee, and, while wild, pitched reasonably well. I would much rather have JVB in the pen than Roberto "Where's the plate" Novoa, or even Wuertz. This Ciaramella sounds like a decent player, but 4 HRs in 225 ABs in A ball does not sound like much of a power hitter to me. I'm just sayin'...

23 is 23, it's great that he played college ball for 4 or 5 years but that doesn't make him a better player...probably makes him a worse player actually. he's behind on the development curve because of it.

Let's fix a few things,,, Ciaramella has been with the Red Sox since June of 2004. He played in SS A ball in 2004 and played like crap, but he was suffering from shoulder problems which apparently plagued him his junior year in Utah as well. He must have still been suffering from the same problem or had other injuries last year as he only got 280 AB's between rookie ball and A ball last year. He did not play in the highest level of A ball last year. He played in Greenville, equivalent to plaing at Peoria. Wilmington is the Red Sox Advanced A team (equivalent to Daytona). As I said, no blue chipper, but he's apparently intending to hit the weight room and if he fills out and gains some power he could be something. He's not that far behind the curve, he'll turn 24 in October and if he gets a promotion to AA, he's right about where he should be for a kid out of college. I'm guessing we're not getting any players from Baltimore(replacement Dave Crouthers)or Arizona (Stephen Randolph deal?) , probably just got some cash that was never reported. I could be wrong.... Grissom should be signed to a minor league deal cause he doesn't deserve guaranteed money, but yeah the 40 man is full at the moment.

"23 is 23, it's great that he played college ball for 4 or 5 years but that doesn't make him a better player...probably makes him a worse player actually. he's behind on the development curve because of it." I for one believe that if you have it, you have it. It doesn't matter what age you are. Wade Boggs and Randy Johnson both started much later, and both are HOFers.

"He's no blue-chipper but neither is Van Buren." Please explain your comment, I don't get it. JVB is on the Red Sox 40 Man Roster. Ciaramella, LITERALLY, isn't even in the same league with JVB.

I take it this guy was NOT on their 40-Man roster as we have no space. So, with no space availible, all these PTBNL we are owed (BALT, BOS, AZ), we really can't expect anyone too good. Just because someone isn't on the 40 man doesn't mean they're not a good prospect, it just means they're not ready yet this year. Look at Matt Murton, he was a good prospect who wasn't on the 40 man until the middle of last year.

Oops Rob G, looks like you posted over me. I imagine you're done explaining.

Apparently, part of the reason he's a little behind is injuries to his shoulder. The following quotes are from the SoSH article Rob G. linked to above: ---- "Immediately after his signing with the Red Sox and heading to Lowell, Matt discovered through the Red Sox trainers that he had a shoulder injury that he played most of his college season with and it ruined most of his early appearances even putting him on the DL that summer. His dad mentioned how amazing the Pro trainers were in drawing up a rehab plan to strengthen Matt's shoulder. Part of that shoulder stregthening program is explained in the Ciaramell interview on" and... "Matt's 2004 partial season at Lowell was limited to only 45 games where he only hit .189 by the end. But he started healthy at Wilmington as a 22yr old and had a much better season at low-A ball this year posting a .302/.360/422 line in approx 246 pa. He did get hurt again during the season and sent to rehab so I am not sure if it was related to his shoulder or not." ---- I think this year will be an important one for him. He needs to stay healthy and start advancing through our system. But i think its too early to judge his development speed, given the short amount of time he's had as a professional and the aforementioned injuries.

JVB ain't no Maddux with the control, you know? He's barely better than Novoa in those terms. But he'll turn 26 midway through this year. I liked Van Buren as well, but his inconsistent mechanics are going to always lead to control problems and/or an injury. Would have preferred something better in return or just kept him, but this will likely be 2 inconsequential baseball souls trading uniforms. It's not that big a deal, other then further proof that Hendry needs an assistant "40 man roster" GM, along with his assistant "Middle infielder" GM and assistant "bench" GM

what the hell does being on the 40 man have to do with being a good prospect? Felix Pie didn't get on the 40 man until this year and he'd be no lower then #3 in most any teams system. Just means that he hasn't been in baseball long enough to have to be protected.

Maybe Hendry got him to be the hitting coach because from the interview Rob posted seems like he knows more about hitting than Sargeclines. Good work on getting the info on him Rob. Overall he sounds like a switch-hitting version of Sing.

thanks, but I stole that all from the forums at; can't really take credit.

Sing's become ultra-patient in his later years and is a big boy. I mean big boy with unreal power. Ciaramella is closer to Murton it appears. Doesn't K a lot, doesn't walk a whole lot either but he's not swinging at bad pitches. Seems to have gap power at the moment. If he bulks up a bit, he may one day be useful.

"what the hell does being on the 40 man have to do with being a good prospect? When was that the question? And when was a 222 AB career in "A" ball enough to properly evaluate an obscure prospect, much less equate him with JVB. One thing seems to be sure, if you have an unconventional looking delivery, the Cubs can't wait to get rid of you.

didn't you mention something about JVB being on the Red Sox 40 man and Ciamarella not being as some reason that this trade is skewed towards the Red Sox. Manny mentioned something as well about the 40 man... 225 Ab's aren't much, but he's got a college track record too and you can tell from his peripherals and scouting reports what type of player he was. What type of player he'll be? Only time will tell.... He's got some stuff going for him, we'll see if it pans out. Do you really know if JVB is going to pan out? Exactly. The Cubs scouts must like him for whatever reason, so we'll see.

The point is Van Buren could of nabbed a whole hell of alot more than that. The way overpriced bullpen arms are these days he has some value. He would of been nice as a sweetener in any trade. But no we gave him away for virtually nothing. I have a feeling a bullpen anchored by Wuertz, Ohman, and Williamson would of done just as good a job as Eyre and Howry. Everyone glosses over the fact that Will Ohman had a pretty good season for us last year out of the pen. Did we really need to spend 3+ million a year on Eyre when Ohman was doing just as good of a job in the same role? Eyre - 86 games (68 IP), 2.63 ERA, BAALefties - .182, BAARighties - .213. Ohman - 69 games (43 IP), 2.91 ERA , BAALefties - .173, BAARighties - .231. Wuertz had an awesome first season out of the pen. He struggled against lefties but he plain dominated right handed hitters to the tune of a .197 BAA. I hope Eyre and Howry keep doing what they have done in the past but if they faulter even the slightest bit Ohman and Wuertz should be moved up in priority in that bullpen. It won't happen, but they should be. Hopefully Ohman and Wuertz will get some regular time out of the pen next year to keep developing and not go a few weeks between relief appearances.

my guess is that eyre/howry will be the set-up men for dempster and will be used more often then not in full one inning stints. Ohman's going to be a full-fledged LOOGY next year and I'm not sure where Williamson will be used exactly, but he should have a lot better year then last year.

Rob G.: "what the hell does being on the 40 man have to do with being a good prospect?" I was thinking the same thing.... 99.9% of all players were in the minors at some point and not on the 40-man. But maybe someone was trying to just say this guy is a good prospect, in a round about way or something. But he is a big question mark right now till he can get healthy and some real AB's under his belt. My point about the 40-man is that if he is not on there, more than likely he isn't going to be helping the big club soon.

Eyre isn't a one inning pitcher though. He comes in most times to get 1 hitter out. Howry is the guy you bring in for a full inning to get most anyone out. In my opinion Howry is worthy of his contract, Eyre is vastly overpaid to do 1 batter gigs. If Williamson is fully recovered (which spring training should tell) then he should be Dempsters primary setup guy. If everyone does what they are supposed to out of the pen then yeah it could be vastly improved. But the only problem is the only guys with track records of being good are Howry and Williamson. Everything else is a crap shoot. Hell Williamson is a crap shoot also because of his injury. So basically we are down to Howry being reasonably dependable.

Felipe's gone a bit whacky with the pitching changes late in innings, can't imagine Dusty will be that bad, but who knows. Still think Eyre was signed to be a 7th/8th inning setup guy along with Howry. Williamson is the fallback in case one of them gets injured. But hey, it's Dusty, only he knows how he'll actually end up using them. Curious what our bullpen will be next year.... CERTAINTIES Dempster Eyre Howry Williamson Ohman THE REST Novoa Wuertz Rusch/Williams Hill, Guzman, Koronka all still lurking And what the hell are we doing with 4 catchers anyway? Gives Baker something to do this spring I suppose.

Rob G.- Good point about looking a the pen. I agree with your Certainties, and with most teams carring 12 pitchers that means we need to add 2 more. A lot depends on Wood. If he does not make it for Opening Day, then things will work out fine with Novoa and Weurtz making the final two spots. Starters (w/o Wood): Z Prior Maddux Rusch Williams Releivers (w/o Wood): Dempster Williamson Eyre Howry Ohman Novoa Weurtz *** The only problem with this is we would have no long relief. So maybe WElly, Hill, Guzman or Koronka would step in the 12th pitcher spot sending Weurtz or Novoa down. *** If Wood does make Opening Day (yeah, I know) then things get a bit tight. Starter (w/ Wood): Z Prior Wood Maddux Rusch/Williams Relievers (w/ Wood): Dempster Williamson Howry Eyre Ohman Novoa/Weurtz Rusch/Williams Of course all this is contingent on no trades between now and opening Day and no injuries.

Too much pitching is a nice problem to have, but once again it is contingent on Wood being healthy.

Wood will be fine, probably won't miss more then a few starts in April. As I said yesterday, for all our moaning this off-season, if Wood, Z and Prior make 30+ starts this year, the Cubs will probably be contending in September and Hendry/Baker will look like geniuses for stressing speed and defense.

eyre was a 1-inning guy. last year he became an inning guy...alou (skitzo pen handler..use 38274239847 arms a game) used him in both inning and spot roles. expect him to take remlinger's role and with ohman around, expect him to be a 1-inning guy. he's not a bad pitcher at all.

Crunch- I agree he will take Remmy's role of the left handed one inning guy. That was a big misconception of Remmy last year, thinking he was a LOOGY. But all but maybe 2-3 times ALL year he was used as an inning guy (he had 35 appearences and 33.0 IP). He shouldn't of been used as a LOOGY at all, clearly, but I find it even more funny that EVERY TIME a switch hitter came up the opposing manager/player never went to the left side.

#28 Rob G. Great point Rob. With improved defense Prior and Z might both be Cy young contenders. Imagine the defense (Don't think about hitting) if we have Cedeno at SS and neifi at 2nd. However, IF Williamson comes back 100% AND we used Wood in the pen how would a 7, 8, 9 of Williamson, Dempster, Wood look? Remember the nasty boys of the 90 reds? Dibble, Franco Myers...... How sweet would that be. Makes it a 6 inning game.

except that we signed howry, eyre for the 7th/8th most likely. Wood should be a starter and this being his walk year, I doubt he'll be as willing to go to the bullpen this year.

I would much rather have JVB in the pen than Roberto "Where's the plate" Novoa, or even Wuertz. Jermaine Van Buren might - MIGHT - be qualified to shine Michael Wuertz's shoes. Anything beyond that, no. Hey, Jermaine! - Go get your shine box!

Ummmm, actually the last 3 years Eyre has been a specialty pitcher who usually goes 1-2 batters max. Before that he usually went more than 1 inning and didn't have very good results. Like I said Eyre isn't dependable on a regular basis to pitch a full inning. His success as a reliever has come in the very short outings role. We paid out the ass for his fluke 2.63 ERA last year. He is more of a 4.00 ERA pitcher.

Fuuuuuuuuuck you! Get a job with the Cubs!

Enough! Let Hendry do his job. I know Dusty stinks, but take the good with the bad. He ain't Jim Frey! But he is twice Herman Franks! These are good times on the Northside. By the way, I am drunk.

2006 and HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL!! The year of the Cub

"Ummmm, actually the last 3 years Eyre has been a specialty pitcher who usually goes 1-2 batters max." that dont matter. last year matters. eyre wasnt the same pitcher 3 years ago or even 2 years ago...arguably 2 years ago when he really started to come through on his stuff as a pitcher not just a thrower...he just didnt get his chance to shine til later in 04 and for much of 05. and if any of that dont matter...well, ohman's the "loogy" and eyre is here to work innings. its what he did last year and what he'll do in 06. speaking of 06..happy 06 everyone.

I currently reside in Portland, Oregon and the sports' radio station out here is WFAN. And WFAN (NY report) is reporting the Mets and Cubs have terms on a deal where the Cubs will send Felix Pie and Rich Hill to the Mets for Aaron Heilman and Cliff Floyd.

NCFAN- Norm Charlton was the 3rd Nasty Boy, not Franco. Happy New Years to all. Cubs are still one "difference maker" from being a believable playoff contender.

Bob sacamento- If that is true, and I don't believe it is, it really happened under the radar. And it happened at a weird time on New years Eve. Did Minaya and hendry have nothing better to do and it couldn't wait a day? Also, Floyd has a limited No trade clause (not sure to which teams). Also, giving up our two best minor league prospects sounds like a lot to me, for Floyd who is in his last year of contract (rent-a-player) and for a 27 year old middle to long relief guy. But what do I know I am half blitzed!!

Hey I'm not saying it's true but just posting what WFAN reported. It's no secret that Hendry has long had an affliction for the middle of the order lefty Floyd and that Heilman fits the versatile role of pitcher that Hendry has been looking for this offseason. But yeah Pie going anywhere seems slim, especially for such an old injury prone player like Floyd despite his good power, contact, and eye. Heilman's stock like Hill's skyrocketed this last season. Personally I think Heilman has a better chance to be a top setup man or decent starter than Hill. Hill looks like he'll become a lefty specialist unless he adds another quality pitch.

"With two years left on his contract, Matt Clement wouldn't be a bad risk for the Cubs if they traded Mark Prior or Carlos Zambrano. He could win 15 games in the National League. The Red Sox are shopping Clement and David Wells" -Phil Rogers 1/1/06 Phil Rogers is officially an idiot!

That Floyd trade would make sense if not for: Heilman demanding to be a starter The Met's already having a centerfielder for the next 5 years The Met's already having a centerfield for the future (Milledge unless he got traded to Florida which I don't recall) That leaving the Mets without a left fielder That giving the Cubs 2 starters in left field Hendry showing an aversion (this off-season) to injury prone players Heilman was the Met's 2nd best pitcher last year. I've got no idea why they don't want to put him back in the rotation. Ok maybe he was their 3rd best pitcher.

Despite the fact that trade report was from a troll if Hendry wants to get Zito that is not a bad trade. If you read "Moneyball" you know Beane has a player crush on Floyd and has been looking for an impact bat for his lineup and Helieman would be the MLB SP he has been looking for. NYM can use Hill and Pie in that 4-way Manny-Miggy deal to send to BAL.

Bob, I thought all radio and TV stations West of the Mississippi started with 'K'. I'm not opposed to giving up prospects, but I think the trade you mention is too much for too little.

Well a 4-way trade involving Tejada is gaining traction. ESPN just reported on it. Teams involved - Mets, Boston, Orioles, Tampa Bay. Boston - Tejada, Gathright Mets - Manny Ramirez Orioles - Julio Lugo, Matt Clement and Kris Benson Tampa - Aaron Heilman, Jae Seo, Kaz Matsui I am not sure about the players Tampa might get, I just saw it briefly. That is a nice deal if Boston can get Tejada and Gathright.

Nope, there are radio stations and TV stations west of the Mississippi with call letters that begin with W. For example, the ABC affiliate in Fargo, North Dakota is WDAY. And they also have a radio station with the same call letters.

Rob G. #28--well said. Granted, those are big IFs, but IFs I'd love to see come true.

(and I think that's the first pro-JH post I've seen in some time--if you can call it that)

Mike c, That's interesting because today's NY post said that deal wont happen. In terms of radio stations and call letters in the 20's the government districted out areas stations could broadcast and implented the system of W for East stations and K for the west though stations were grandfathered in. There are a couple of K stations in PA and as arm said a w station in ND and there is also one in Vegas I think.

The Mets must have more starters than I thought if they're willing to trade 3 of them for Manny.

Actually I think it was Andy Marte instead of Jae Seo. Boston doesn't really have a need for Marte since they have Lowell at 3rd base.

According to the NY daily news story yesterday Marte and Seo were both in the deal.

Fox Sports: That's where the Devil Rays come in. They would send Joey Gathright to Boston to help fill the Red Sox's center field hole. Obviously, Tejada would fill the void at shortstop. Ramirez and Baez, on the other hand, would head for New York, giving the Mets one of the game's best power hitters and set-up men. As for the Orioles, they would satisfy their shortstop and pitching needs by acquiring Julio Lugo from Tampa Bay, and veteran right-hander Kris Benson from the Mets. The Devil Rays are thought to be seeking young prospects ó especially pitchers. And they could be satisfied on that front if they can acquire Red Sox third baseman Andy Marte, and pitchers Jae Seo and Aaron Heilman from the Mets. In addition, The Daily News says that the Mets would send Kaz Matsui to the D-Rays to temporarily fill the void at shortstop until hot prospect B.J. Upton is ready for the big time Met's Trade: Matsui Seo Hielman Benson Met's Get: Ramirez Baez Fantasy Baseball League Title Rays trade: Lugo Baez Rays get: Marte Seo Heilman Matsui Indictment on charge of grand larceny Red Sox trade: Ramirez Marte Red Sox get: Tejada Gathright Hoarse from laughing their way to the 2006 WS Orioles trade: Tejada Orioles get Lugo Benson A trip to the proctologist No way in hell that trade happens- Orioles deal Tejada to division rival for Lugo and Benson? They could just sign Weaver. The average Cubs fan's blog fantasy of trading Jason Dubois and Mitre to the Reds for Dunn is more realistic than this crap.

Real Neal, You forgot about Clement who is suppose to go to BAL in that deal according to the NY daily news. If the O's cant get the $$$, NTC's and players going/coming worked out with the Sox they will have to risk an unhappy camper in Tejada or putting Bedard in a trade with us. I think they will take Opt. 1 and deal Tejada at the deadline for prospects.

Radio trivialities--WBAP is in Dallas. WHO is in Des Moines. WHB in Kansas City. WCCO in Minneapolis. WMT in Cedar Rapids. There are more. Once you get out to the Rockies and Plains, then the W-stations are gone. East of the river, not many I can think of with K. KDKA in Pittsburgh is about the only one off the top of my head.

Eric -- to add a triviality onto a triviality (which I find very interesting), years ago the FCC laid down the rule that the Mississippi river would be the K/W line: i.e. west of the Mississippi, all radio and TV station call letters start with "K", east of the Miss. they start with "W." However, existing stations were grandfathered in (and you named some of them). And let's not forget WOW radio and WOW-T in the great state of Nebraska. Many of my brain cells are wasted carrying this kind of trivia.

I don't think this was the worst thing that could happen. Overall they don't have that many decent minor league OFs in house that can hit off the bench in the majors or be used as trade bait.

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  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 30 min ago (view)

    The Cubs re-signed OF Michael Hermosillo to a 2022 Major League contract just prior to the midnight Wednesday MLB transaction freeze. 

    Hermosillo was non-tendered on Tuesday because he was a Rule 5 Draft-Excluded Player, and if he had remained on the 40 the Cubs would not have been able to outright him to the minors any earlier than 20 days prior to MLB opening Day. 


  • crunch 7 hours 21 min ago (view)

    we shouldn't, especially with how much payroll room for 2024+ this top-costing-for-fans team with a heavily monitized ballpark in a major media market has.

    backloaded contracts aren't exactly groundbreaking new things...neither are cheap-ass owners.  i don't expect them to compete every year, but i expect them to try after a punt season where they traded away the core.  NYY, NYM, LAD, LAA, BOS, etc. don't seem to have trouble doing this even if it means throwing a bit of money around...


  • Sonicwind75 7 hours 33 min ago (view)

    Stroman, a pleasant surprise.  Good to know we aren't completely punting until 2025.



  • Arizona Phil 8 hours 35 sec ago (view)

    CRUNCH: Clint Frazier's 2022 base salary is only $1.5M and he has a minor league option available, so I think it's more likely than not that he opens 2022 at AAA. 

    On the other hand, Harold Ramirez is out of minor league options, and it is unknown at this point what he will get in 2022 as a "super two." 


  • crunch 8 hours 26 min ago (view)

    until clint fraizer came on board i wouldn't have counted bryant out.

    OF is kinda crowded right now, though there's no stars in the mix.  fraizer - happ - ortega - heyward - h.ramirez leading the group...  even if he split time between OF/3rd with wisdom that just makes it more crowded, plus the team allegedly wants hoerner to prepare to be used as a super-utility guy.


  • George Altman 8 hours 46 min ago (view)

    Ok, if Cubs are going there....I want Correa and Bryant. Unless this is just about selling tickets.


  • crunch 8 hours 51 min ago (view)



  • crunch 9 hours 49 min ago (view)

    stroman / hendricks / miley / alzolay - mills - thompson - steele do bats.


  • Wrigley Rat 9 hours 56 min ago (view)

    You beat me to it! :)


  • azbobbop 9 hours 57 min ago (view)

    Marcus Stroman to the...wait for it...the CUBS! What a nice surprise!


  • Arizona Phil 17 hours 14 min ago (view)

    With Jason Adam and Michael Hermosillo having been non-tendered, the only 2021 Rule 5 Draft-Excluded Players remaining on the Cubs MLB 40-man roster are Scott Effross, Alfonso Rivas, Ethan Roberts, and Nelson Velazquez. Draft-Excluded players cannot be outrighted to the minors until 20 days prior to MLB Opening Day, so Effross, Rivas, Roberts, and Velazquez are the only players on the 40 with off-season roster-removal restrictions.  


  • Sonicwind75 18 hours 15 min ago (view)

    Sad but true.  According to my back of the napkin numbers the Cubs have aroumd $100MM in payroll space to match last seasons but they're shopping in the non-tendereds ailse.  At the same time they talk of being "competitive".  The cognitive dissonance is overwhelming. 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    I suspect Jason Adam and Michael Hermosillo will re-sign with the Cubs on minor league deals with NRIs to 2022 MLB Spring Training, possibly as early as tomorrow. 


  • crunch 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    MIN claimed t.megill from CHC and then non-tendered him.

    CHC non-tender jason adam and mike hermosillo


  • crunch 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    matt boyd non-tendered by DET...that sounds about the right part of the scrap pile the cubs are digging around


  • bradsbeard 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    I absolutely think that's the plan. Gomes is actually really good against LHP, so it would work well to play Willson at DH whenever facing a lefty starter (and with Gomes taking a regular turn catching as well).