Cubs New Strategy: Own Everyone

The Cubs seem to be intent to on playing Monopoly with the entirety of future position prospects as rumors from Buster Olney indicate they may be in the lead to acquire Cuban outfielder/infielder Rusney Castillo. Own the entire board and they'll have to come to you and pay overmarket prices for your property.

I can't say I gave much credence to the Castillo rumors and I certainly wouldn't be surprised by the Red Sox, Yankees, Dodgers or mystery team swooping in when all is said and done, but it sure would fit with the philosophy of acquiring assets to build the club. Anyway, you can find some good info on Castillo from Baseball America or this SB Nation article, but here's the Cliff Note's version.

He's Cuban, he's 27 years old, hits from the right side. He's just 5'9" and weighs in at 205 pounds, but word is he added about 20 pounds of muscle recently and can hit a few over the fence now, although he's pegged as a line drive doubles hitter. Most envision him as a center fielder, although he played right field as well. He did play the infield a few years back and a select few think he might be able to stick at second base, but that's definitely not going to be his position with the Cubs. The speed is there, grading anywhere from 60-80 with a 50 arm and he seems to have some on-base skills with a 319/383/516 slash line (51 home runs and 76 stolen bases) in 360 games in the Cuban league, although no idea how that'll translate here. If they do, he could be the top of the order threat that the system seems to be missing. He's at the right age to play now and the Cubs, while seemingly bursting with prospects, do have some wiggle room in the outfield the next season or two depending on who pans out and stays healthy.

We'll see how this works out and what money he gets, but he seems to offer some skills that the major league team could use the next couple of years (legit center field skills, speed, lack of strikeouts, on-base skills). Now whether those translate is another question of course, but that's the game of risk vs. reward they play everyday.


Last number I saw was $55 million for six years, which is a bit of a whoah. Baez will probably demand an extension or he'll sit out next year.

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In reply to by jacos

clearly does not have the #want

on-pace for 38/89 for those wondering (had to look it up)

OBI% (percentage of other baserunners brought in) is a rather poor 13.8% (average is in the 15-16% range), but it's a number that can fluctuate a lot

Allen Craig was at 23.2% last year to lead league for qualified hitters and 13.8% this year.

rotowurld... "FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that the Tigers, Red Sox and Giants are "still in the mix" for Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo. Rosenthal says the Cubs, Yankees and Phillies -- previously thought to be among the favorites for Castillo -- are not expected to place a high bid."

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In reply to by The Joe

I didn't think much of him at all by that point, which shows how much I know. I thought outfielders were supposed to be like Eric Davis, Dale Murphy, Andy Van Slyke, maybe a little Gorge Foster-ish. Clemente Dawson Rice - I thought he was lucky and lacking superman skills.

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In reply to by The Joe

I wanna say traded for Doug "Dirty" Deeds? Oh, nope--just looked it up, trade Jan. 5 2008 for OF Corey Coles and RHP Ryan Myers. Rotoworld had this blurb for the transaction: Pagan returns to his original organization two years after the Mets gave him up. In 318 at-bats in the majors the last two seasons, the switch-hitter batted .255/.306/.415, which is actually a superior to his career minor league line. If he kept that up, his defense would make him a fair option as a fifth outfielder. However, he isn't anything more than that and the Mets shouldn't have room for him unless they decide not to carry Ruben Gotay. Fortunately, they didn't give up anything they're likely to miss. Coles has no chance of a career as a reserve outfielder, and Meyers is a pretty generic A-ball relief prospect. Basically, they thought it was a nothing-for-nothing transaction.

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In reply to by jacos

I hated him. His only tool was speed. I didn't like him as a ballhawk. I think I once predicted (here) that Freddy Bynum would have a better career. Not having watched Pagan much during his recent heyday, I imagine that many of those 38 doubles that he hit for the Giants in 2012 were right over third base. If you're blazing fast and also smart--unlike, say, Tony Campana, who never figured out that you CAN steal first if you perfect the art of aiming grounders well--you can have success in the majors. But if Pagan actually developed gap power, then I never saw that coming.

len told us this rain delay wouldn't last long...len lied. also it seems the grounds crew really screwed up trying to get the tarp on the field tonight.

CJ Edwards awesome again tonight 5 IP, 7 K, 2 BB, 2 H, 0 ER on 80 pitches

Russell with the aforementioned grand slam

Schwarber 2/4 with a HR and a 2B, McKinney 1/3 with 2 Runs scored and a BB

Blackburn 5 IP, 1 ER but 8 H, just 2 K and 1 BB

from BA...
PITCHER OF THE DAY: C.J. Edwards, rhp — Double-A Tennessee (Cubs) It's a Tennessee two-step as Edwards, who missed about two months with what the organization called a minor shoulder strain, pitched five scoreless innings Tuesday in a game the Smokies eventually lost, 7-5. Edwards has been excellent since his return in late July, not allowing more than three runs in any appearance. He's been especially good of late, throwing 11 scoreless innings in his past two starts with eight whiffs.
HITTER OF THE DAY: Addison Russell, ss, Double-A Tennessee (Cubs). Lauded as the best defender of the shortstop pileup in the Cubs organization, Russell has shown power as well since the trade that sent him from Oakland east. He homered Tuesday night—his 10th in 40 Southern League games—a grand slam that was part of a five-RBI game. Nineteen of his 46 hits with Tennessee have been for extra bases and he's hitting .301/.348/.556 with the Smokies.
also this from AZ league...
TEAM CLASS PITCHER IP H R ER BB K ERA CHC R Sands, Carson 3 2 0 0 1 3 0.56 W (3-0) CHC R Steele, Justin 3 1 0 0 0 4 2.20

In the midst of Tarpgate, it's worth noting that Baez has 3 walks in his last 3 games. For a total of 3 walks. This to me is much bigger than the slugging, which I know will come (is already here)

I know we're a Cubs blog...but if I could ask: What do you guys think about the White Sox moving Carlos Rodon to AAA after only 6 games in Rookie/Hi-A ball, with only 12 2/3 IP?

I hope MLB rules to finish the game from last night. Odd circumstances, cubs don't really need the victory, and other than maybe resting the bullpen, the Cubs need to play innings. And SF definitely got the short end of the 'stick. Or should I say: short end of the Wrigley.

Ninja rocked by Mets today...

sure do hope Cubs are done deadline selling, at some points teams will wise up and stop buying the snake oil.

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In reply to by Rob G.

Yeah no kidding. I really wanted it to work out for Billy Beane ... seemed he deserved a win/win with the haul we got. Definitely fleeced Baltimore but they're doing okay. And Texas has nothing to show for our raiding their system. Braves deals seem pretty fair but we'll see if vizcaino or carrot-top pan out. But in retrospect NONE of those SP we dealt really gave their teams a good payoff. Cringe. I think their performances were heavily tied to nothing being on the line when pitching. Once the games matter it's a little harder to perform.

Maholm 109 ERA+ vs 113 ERA+

Dempster 182 ERA+ vs 86 ERA+

Garza 123 vs 95

Feldman 113 vs 96

Samardzija (not including today) 137 vs 117

Hammel 130 vs 56

Interesting that Alcantara stays in CF, Ride of the Valkaries is the 2B. Not sure how much Mendy-Javy paired in Iowa but my thought was comfort from working together in the past. Ah, flexible lineups. Everyone can move around except for Valbuena has got to be at 3B.

Giants win appeal, game to be resumed tomorrow at 4pm with Cubs up 2-0 in 5th.

I obviously was wrong on my earlier assertion that it wouldn't get overturned, but it seems like the fair move.

speak of depreciating values, looks like Garrett Richards just busted up his knee covering first base...poor Angels.

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In reply to by crunch

I realize the Cubs have been saying they're going to let Jackson work things out for the rest of the season, but my gut tells me this could be it for him. That's a lot of money to wash down the toilet, but you can't just say to the world, "We volunteer to automatically lose every fifth game."

I'm sorry, but if you paid for tickets to tonight's EJax game -- that's your own damn fault. Like "Sharknado 2", he is entertaining because of his epic badness.

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In reply to by Jackstraw

Edwin Jackson -- How do you have a 94 mph fastball and (by all accounts) a wipeout slider and still get hit around like that? It's like he is aiming for their bats -- like that one South Park episode where the little league teams were trying to lose on purpose by hitting the other teams' bats so they could go home and not have to play in the tournament any more. I'll bet the Giants don't square up the ball as often in batting practice.

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In reply to by JoePepitone

How to fix Edwin Jackson...Special Baseballs.
While cleaning up the destroyed experiment, Vernon accidentally discovered that the mixture of chemicals left behind had the unique ability to resist wood. After testing the formula in his lab, he recruited the young college baseball players to scientifically examine the reaction of this chemical when applied to a baseball. After acquiring enough data to prove to himself that when the formula was applied to a baseball no hitter could touch it,

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In reply to by Jackstraw

I don't know how to find that type of data easily, but I am guessing it's far from historical. Just looking at the Cubs in recent years Carlos Marmol was 5.98 over 10 starts in 2006. Sean Marshall was 6.52 over his final 10 starts in 2006. Lots of rookies struggle like that every year for a dozen or so games when they debut, especially for bad teams who have nothing to lose and just want to get a look at them. And then there are always people like Carlos Silva, who had a 6.46 ERA over the entire 2008 season -- 28 starts -- with the Mariners. Over his last 10 starts that year his ERA was 7.77. Edinson Volquez was 5.71 over all of 2013 and had a 10-game stretch at 7.80 in there. So Jackson is bad, but there are lots of rookies who struggle for 10-12 game stretches here and there, and there are typically 1-2 veteran guys this bad each year. Jackson is just this year's Volquez or Silva.

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In reply to by WISCGRAD

As Joe P noted above, it's very strange in that he shows flashes of being a really good pitcher. I'm surprised Bosio can get so much out of so many others but Jackson is absolutely immovable. I didn't see last night's game so I didn't see how often he fell behind on the count, but I guess Bosio can't make him stay away from hitter's counts.

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In reply to by Dusty Baylor

Well, Volquez, Silva, etc. aren't rookies either. Another example: Jamie Navarro: In three years with the White Sox, his age 30-32 seasons, he was 25-43 in 87 starts (542 IP) with a 6.06 ERA. But yes, I agree, at some point it's not good for the team and bullpen, etc. to keep sending him out there, and more may be gained by getting Turner/Doubrant, etc. starts in the last month.

ejax done after 2.2ip era crawls above 6.00 on the season (6.09)...with a 1.62 whip

EJax would be the worst reliever in history based on his inability to get outs in his 1st innings.

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In reply to by Rob G.

The last paragraph from the Mooney article: "With the Cubs playing for 2015, look for Theo Epstein’s front office to shop for an accomplished veteran hitter or two this winter, to help take the pressure off Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler, Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo." Does anybody think the Cubs are going to be looking for "accomplished veteran hitters" this offseason? Seems to me the Cubs hope for Castillo-Bryant-Castro-Baez infield by June whenever doesn't start Bryant's service clock; plus Soler and Alcantra as 2 of 3 OFs. Leaves one OF spot for this "accomplished veteran hitter". Seems a dubious assertion to me.

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In reply to by Jackstraw

I wouldn't be surprised at all by an outfielder being added, still a bit thin there for the next year or two, unless Olt takes off and claims 3B and Bryant is pushed and you get Bryant, Alcantara, and Soler, but we'll see how comfortable they actually are with Alcantara as starting CF and if Soler starts with team. I'm also not entirely sold on Alcantara as an everyday CF and since he has options and can play multiple positions, wouldn't mind seeing him in Iowa as the first guy called up when injuries or suck hit.

Castillo, Rizzo, Baez, Castro, Bryant, LF, Alcantara, Soler should be the lineup by May

Russell, Almora and possibly Schwarber knocking on the door near end of season.

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In reply to by Dusty Baylor

I'm a firm believer in "first things first" and so I'm hoping Cubs first and second off-season priorities are a quality starting pitcher and then another quality starting pitcher. Get a couple of those first and another OF will be icing on the cake.

from Gonzales, Trib... Felix Doubront is scheduled to make his Cubs debut Aug 30th in StL. Doubront will make his final rehab start for AA Tennessee.

Jeremy Null pitches 3 shutout innings of middle relief for Boise Hawks and gets a win. Null throwing zeros. What a great name for a pitcher.

Does anybody remember Josh Conway? One of those reclamation type draft picks, would have been first rounder if I remember right, but got hurt. Anyway, threw a few goose egg innings the other night, don't know how his fastball was - good numbers before his injury.

In the tweetbox, but it bears repeating: Kris Bryant through 162 career #MiLB games: .334/.430/.680, 130 R, 99 XBH (49 HR), 135 RBI, & 16 SB I'd say bring him up, but, since they won't, I won't bother.

Anthony Rizzo didn’t seem happy about losing a win and having to resume Tuesday’s game. “I think it would be better if I didn’t comment on it,” Rizzo said.
It was the right outcome, but you do like to see your team's best hitter unhappy about the decision.

from BP...
Kris Bryant, 3B, Cubs (Iowa, AAA): 2-3, R, HR, BB, K. At this point in the season, it’s difficult to come up with new superlatives for Bryant, but I’ll try this one: His worst month this season was April, in which he hit .281/.407/.539. Watching Anthony Rizzo split Bryant and Baez in the Cubs lineup next summer should make NL Central pitchers very nervous.
Addison Russell, SS, Cubs (Tennessee, AA): 2-4, 2 R, HR. That’s three straight games with a home run for Russell, who will fit into the aforementioned scenario somewhere and could also be ready by next summer, if the Cubs can figure out where to play everyone.

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In reply to by Rob Richardson

It's pretty cool that Baez, Alcantara, and Hendricks made it to MLB and there's still Bryant and Soler at AAA, Russell, Almora, and Edwards at AA, Schwarber, Vogelbach, and McKinney at A+, etc. They do have "waves" of prospects. They have yet to achieve the "waves" of pitching, but simply having numerous prospects instead of one Felix Pie and then a Jake Fox that I'm trying to convince myself to be excited about is pretty great.

David Price vs. Alex Cobb happening

1-0 Rays in 7th, Rays score only run on an error, followed by triple by Guyer in first, Price retires next 17 in a row.

Cobb just got out of 2nd/3rd 1 out without allowing a run in top of 7th.

Wow, I wonder if the "injury" is what has been affecting Jackson's performance the past few months. Hopefully, he can rehab his "right lat strain" and work on his struggles in a few "rehab starts" before the end of the year.

RHRP Blake Parker has been recalled from Iowa as the 26th man for the second game only (the "regularly scheduled" game)... 

Beginning on MLB Opening Day up through August 31st, a club can temporarily add (recall or select) a 26th player to its MLB Active List on any day where two games are scheduled, as long as the second game was scheduled at least 48 hours in advance. If the second game was scheduled less than 48 hours in advance, a 26th man can be temporarily added to a club's MLB Active List for the second game only. 

1. The "26th man" must be on the club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) or has to be added to the club's 40-man roster that day.

2. The "26th man" does not have to be a pitcher. 

3. In the case of a second game being scheduled at least 48 hours in advance, the 26-man Active List limit is in effect for both games, but the "26th man" cannot be switched between games. 

4. A player can be added to a club's Active List as the "26th man" even if he has not spent the minimum required 10 days on optional or outright assignment prior to being added. 

5. The player who was recalled as the "26th man" can remain on the Active List and a different player can be dropped the next day, as long as the "26th man" was not called up prior to spending at least ten days on optional assignment. NOTE: A player called up as the "26th man" prior to spending at least ten days on Optional Assignment could remain on the 25-man roster if the player replaces a player who is placed on the Disabled List (or other MLB inactive list) the day after the doubleheader.

6. If a player is recalled as the "26th man" and is optioned back to the minors the next day, the "10-day rule" clock (prohibiting a player from being recalled until he has spent at least ten days on Optional Assignment, unless he is replacing a player who is placed on the DL or other MLB inactive list) does not start over again. However many days toward ten that the player spent on Optional Assignment prior to being recalled as the "26th man" counts.

7. A player recalled as a "26th man" accrues one day of MLB Service Time.


Mother Nature has an incredible sense of humor...

pouring in Chicago, delaying suspended game

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In reply to by Rob G.

If today's games are rained-out, the only future common off-day shared by the Cubs and Giants prior to the conclusion of the MLB regular season is Thursday September 4th. 

The Cubs have that day off in the middle of a six-game homestand, and the Giants are already on the road, playing at Colorado Wednesday afternoon 9/3 before beginning a series at Detroit Friday night 9/5. 

Neither team would be playing more than 20-days in a row if the games are moved to 9/4, so the rescheduling would not require a waiver by the MLBPA. 

Also the MLB Active Roster limit expands from 25 to 40 on September 1st. so both teams would have access to more pitchers than is the case today (even with the 26th man in effect for the second game). 

I hope this suspended game gets finished: Valaika will be able to tell his kids he batted cleanup for the Chicago Cubs.

It sounds so weird to say: Nice walk by Baez. Keep taking those outside curves and down and in sliders, kid, and eventually they'll have to swallow hard and try to work the strike zone a bit, and you'll bury them.

ArizonaPhil - when a trade is made for a PTBNL, can the value of that PTBNL be subject to the performance of the player received. For instance, if the Cubs trade Schlitter for a PTBNL, can that depend upon how many games he appears in, holds, saves, etc.?

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In reply to by DavidP

DAVID P: Yes, as long as the variables are understood by both clubs and are in writing at the time of the trade.

As you probably know, a trade involving a PTBNL must be completed within six months. Also, a PTBNL cannot be on an MLB Active List from the time the trade is made until the PTBNL is identified and the trade is completed, but a PTBNL on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) can be a PTBNL if the player is on a Disabled List or on Optional Assignment to the minors at the time the trade is made and then continuing up until the trade is completed.  

The reason a PTBNL is involved in a trade is usually because the club due to receive the PTBNL is given a list of minor league players to choose from and the club wants some time to scout the players on the list, but a PTBNL could also be involved if the PTBNL is known to both clubs but the player is on an MLB 40-man roster and is on Optional Assignment to the minors in August or September and can't be traded immediately because Trade Assignment Waivers can't be secured, or because the PTBNL is on an MLB 15-day or 60-day DL, and players on a DL can't be traded during August & September because an injured player can't be placed on Trade Waivers until he is healthy enough to be reinstated.   

Another reason why a PTBNL who is known to both clubs can't be named right away is because the PTBNL was signed after being selected in the previous MLB Rule 4 Draft (June Draft), and a player signed after being selected in the MLB Rule 4 Draft can't be traded until the first anniversary of the player signing his first contract. (Note that this restriction only applies to players signed after being selected in the Rule 4 Draft... it does NOT apply to a NDFA signed after the Rule 4 Draft, or to internatioonal free-agents).  

The identity of a PTBNL (or the addition of an extra PTBNL to a trade if circumstances warrant) could also be dependent upon how the club performs after acquiring a player. For example, a few years ago the Cubs got Steve Trachsel from Baltimore at the August 31st post-season roster eligibility deadline in exchange for RHP Rocky Cherry and INF Scott Moore, plus a PTBNL if the Cubs made the post-season (which they did). The third player (the PTBNL) sent to the Orioles was minor league RHP Jake Renshaw.

But when a trade involves a PTBNL, the club usually has the option to either select a player from a list of minor league players, or take cash instead (typically $50,000).


Cubs add Rodney Dangerfield to the roster... per Trib, Mark Gonzales: "Extra Innings: Infielder Travis Watkins was promoted from Iowa to take Castro's roster spot..."

I only saw one of Baez's strikeouts yesterday - I think he may have had 5 on the day if you include the end of the first game. The one I saw was actually not a bad at bat. Was taking some good strikes, and the ump, not surprisingly, wasn't giving him any edge pitches at all. Were the rest all hacky swingy strikes or is he at least trying to not swing at everything? I can live with some called strikes as he learns the zone. Baseball is hard.

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In reply to by Old and Blue

I noticed on K 2 he took two fastballs in the upper part of the zone and on the inner corner to start, then took a fastball up and out of the zone, took a breaker down and out of the zone, and swung and missed at a fastball in the zone in nearly the same location as the first two pitches. I was surprised he wasn't swinging at the first couple fastballs.

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In reply to by John Beasley

Thanks, guys. I think I was seeing some good signs, too. Like I said, I really don't mind seeing the called strikes. He's not Rizzo or Hee Seop Choi (the reason I pair those two is that for just awhile last season I thought Rizzo was gonna go all Hee Seop on us and stop swinging at hittable pitches but that didn't happen).

Here's an oddity: former Cub jack-of-all-trades Blake Lalli playing shortstop for Reno against the I-Cubs last night.

Speaking of former Cubs, I just noticed that Barney has been playing a little with the Dodgers lately, including a complete game at shortstop on 8/17.

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In reply to by Rob G.

"the water," etc. I've been thinking that it was all the pitchers taken in the June drafts the last three years. Pitchers seem to take their time climbing the ladder, especially when they're never first rounders. As for Barney, he obviously made no sense on a team with Baez, Russell and Castro, but other teams have different needs. I can see Barney making the postseason roster just for his late-inning glove.

Cubs MLB Roster

Cubs Organizational Depth Chart
40-Man Roster Info

40 players are on the MLB RESERVE LIST (roster is full), plus three are on the 60-DAY IL

26 players are on the MLB ACTIVE LIST, plus two are on the 15-DAY IL, one is on the 10-DAY IL, and eleven are on OPTIONAL ASSIGNMENT to minors  

Last updated 5-25-2023
* bats or throws left
# bats both

Adbert Alzolay
Javier Assad
Jeremiah Estrada
Michael Fulmer
Kyle Hendricks
* Brandon Hughes
Mark Leiter Jr 
Julian Merryweather
Michael Rucker
* Drew Smyly
* Justin Steele 
Marcus Stroman
Jameson Taillon 

* Tucker Barnhart 
Yan Gomes

Nico Hoerner
* Miles Mastrobuoni 
* Matt Mervis
Christopher Morel
* Edwin Rios 
Dansby Swanson
Patrick Wisdom

# Ian Happ
Trey Mancini 
Seiya Suzuki
* Mike Tauchman

Keven Alcantara, OF 
Miguel Amaya, C
Ben Brown, P 
Alexander Canario, OF 
Brennen Davis, OF 
Ryan Jensen, P 
Caleb Kilian, P  
Nick Madrigal, INF 
Keegan Thompson, P 
Nelson Velazquez, OF
Hayden Wesneski, P

10-DAY IL: 1 
* Cody Bellinger, OF 

15-DAY IL: 2 
Brad Boxberger, P 
Nick Burdi, P  

60-DAY IL: 3 
Codi Heuer, P 
Ethan Roberts, P
Adrian Sampson, P 


Minor League Rosters
Rule 5 Draft 
Minor League Free-Agents