Archive for the ‘ Off Season ’ Category

Casey Coleman Designated For Assignment

With the signing of Scott Feldman yesterday the Cubs needed to clear a roster spot on the 40-man roster for him, they did that today by designating Casey Coleman for assignment per Carrie Muskat.  The Cubs long-held out hope that Casey Coleman would fulfill the potential that they saw in him but that has not happened at all, especially at the big league level.  Expect Coleman to be placed on waivers, unless the Cubs can move him in a deal within the next 7-10 days.

via mlbtraderumors.com

“Coleman appeared in 17 games for the Cubs this past season, posting a 7.40 ERA with 5.9 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 in 24 1/3 innings. Coleman, a third generation big leaguer, has a 5.76 ERA with 6.4 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9 in 165 2/3 innings at the MLB level. The 25-year-old has spent his entire three-year career with the Cubs.”

Thanks for reading,
– George

Report: Cubs and Scott Feldman Nearing a Deal [UPDATE] Deal is Official

Buster Olney is reporting via Twitter today that the Cubs and Scott Feldman are nearing a deal.  Buster continues that it would be a one year deal, but nothing is official yet, sounds like it’s very close to being official though.  If indeed this signing does happen I really like it.  Feldman, who is 29 years old, and Scott Baker were two solid free agent pitchers that aren’t that flashy name that people are exited about but they are quality arms that give teams innings.    Feldman has pitched for the Rangers for his entire 8 year Major League career and sports a career ERA of 4.81, not too bad considering where he was pitching.  Last year wasn’t the best of years for Feldman as he was 6-11 with a 5.09 ERA, but 2009 is when he really burst onto the scene going 17-8 with a 4.08 ERA.  He would be a welcomed addition to this Cubs staff, more as it becomes available.

[UPDATE]  Per Patrick Mooney the deal is official, one year deal worth $6 million, nice signing by the Cubs.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Sign a Number of Players Including Brian Bogusevic

Per Matt Eddy of Baseball America the Cubs have signed four players to minor league deals today, most notably Brian Bogusevic.  The Cubs also signed infielder Alberto Gonzalez who appeared in 24 games with the Rangers last season playing all over the infield.  Right fielder Johermyn Chavez was also signed, he spent the majority of 2012 in the Mariners organization at the Double-A level.  Catcher J.C. Boscan was also given a minor league contract today, Boscan appeared in six games with the Braves this past season.

Bogusevic is the only name you might actually know out of all these guys.  A 2005 first round pick, Bogusevic spent last season with the Houston Astros and appeared in 146 games.  His numbers weren’t really much to write home about but he will be in the competition to earn a spot coming off the bench next year for the Cubs.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Trade Brigham Back to Texas for Loux

I guess you can finally say the trade of Geovany Soto to the Rangers is complete now.  At the time of the deal last July the Cubs received right-handed pitcher Jake Brigham from Texas in return for Soto and Brigham was assigned to Double-A Tennessee.  Brigham was very bad, the reason he was very bad was a right elbow strain, because of this right elbow strain the Rangers and Cubs agreed that they would revisit this deal in the off-season to make sure everyone was made whole and no hard feelings.  Are you still following?  If so, good that brings us to today.  The Cubs have traded Jake Brigham back to the Rangers for right-handed pitcher Barret Loux, and a player to be named later, which in reality is probably the best possible scenario for the Cubs.

Loux had some injury issues in the past as well, but he once was thought very highly of.  Loux was drafted 6th overall by the Diamondbacks in the 2010 Amateur Draft out of Texas A&M, and subsequently failed a physical because of a torn labrum and other elbow injuries so he was declared a free agent by Major League Baseball at the time.  He was signed by the Rangers shortly thereafter and has shown to be past those injuries and with a decent level of success as well.  Loux, now 23, was named the 2012 Double-A Texas League Pitcher of the Year going 14-1 with a 3.47 ERA in 25 regular season starts with Frisco, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he starts out in Triple-A next year with the Iowa Cubs.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Fill Out 40 Man Roster / Sayonara LaHair

Today was the deadline to protect players from the MLB Rule 5 draft, players on a teams 40 man roster are protected, so it comes as no surprise that the Cubs filled out their 40 man roster today.  The Cubs purchased the contracts of right-handed pitcher Trey McNutt, infielder Christian Villanueva, minor league player of the year in the Cubs organization Logan Watkins, and right-handed pitcher Robert Whitenack.  The other minor league player of the year, Nick Struck was not added to the 40 man and thus left unprotected and available to any team that may want to add him in the Rule 5 Draft.  It’s not that much of a surprise that he wasn’t added because the guys that were added have a better shot at sticking with the Cubs, especially McNutt.  I think the move to the pen was the right one for McNutt last year and he could have pitched out of a Major League bullpen last year so it was wise for the Cubs to go in that direction.

In addition to filling out the roster the Cubs also designated Bryan LaHair for assignment.  The 2012 all-star is said to be looking into an opportunity to sign with a Japan team for next season, if that’s the case I hope he has a great year next year, he was a lot of fun to watch for 51 games last season.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Bringing Back Shawn Camp

Shawn Camp is getting rewarded after a very solid 2012.  Today the Cubs announced their plans to bring Shawn Camp back on a one year deal worth $1.35 MM, plus up to $200,000 worth of possible bonus money.  Camp was one of the few bright spots on the team last year as he appeared in a career high 80 games out of the bullpen.  Camp posted a 3.59 ERA last year, and actually tied the MLB lead for appearances, it’s nice to see that his arm is actually still attached, I was worried in September..

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Sign Navarro (From November 16)

I like this move, of course it is just a back up catcher signing so it’s hard to get too excited about it.  The Cubs have signed catcher Dioner Navarro (28 years old) to a one year deal worth $1.75 MM, my expectations would be that he will be given the chance to compete with Castillo for the starting gig but Navarro is probably better served as a back up.  I can think of worse combo’s in the league behind the plate than Castillo/Navarro, of course nothing is set in stone yet in regards to the tandem, that’s just my guess.  Navarro had a solid year for the Reds last year where he hit .290/.306/.449 with two homers in 73 plate appearances after getting the call from AAA.

Thanks for reading,
– George

BREAKING: Cubs Pull Deal Off The Table

Remember when Carlos Marmol was flat-out awful?  You should, it was this past season, that same Carlos Marmol was just traded to the Angels for three-time All-Star starting pitcher Dan Haren.  THAT is why it was so important to the Cubs for Marmol to succeed, and why Dale Sveum had to keep running him out there.  Today justifies all of that, Carlos Marmol was lights out in the second half, all of those factors led to the Cubs being able to acquire a top of the rotation pitcher.  Haren will be the Cubs property next year, at 32 years old there is a good chance that he can become part of the rotation when the Cubs are contending, that probably won’t be next year.  So the Cubs would have to sign Haren to an extension if they want his services after 2013, if the Cubs don’t sign Haren, and are not contending, they now own a huge piece to trade at next years deadline.  Ton’s of possibilities here, and really a stellar deal for Theo and the Cubs, of course this all hinges on Haren staying healthy, which he didn’t do last year.  I will update as necessary, great news on November 2, this bodes well…

[UPDATE] Gordon Wittenmeyer has confirmed via a source that the deal is official, Paul Sullivan reporting deal done as well.  We’ll see if pieces are added.

[THOUGHT] I suspect that once this deal is announced officially by both teams that more players would be heading to the Angels from the Cubs, Josh Vitters and Brett Jackson could be headed to Anaheim, that’s just a guess. not both, but one or the other..

[UPDATE 2]  As expected, because this involves the Cubs, there are reports now that the deal that so many legit sources confirmed might not exactly be 100% done yet… did someone say Dempster again!?  Stay tuned.

[UPDATE 3] Carrie Muskat and Paul Sullivan are saying that the rumored trade that would send Marmol to the Angels for Dan Haren is “off for now”

[UPDATE 4] Per multiple sources, the REPORTED deal of Haren for Marmol has been pulled off the table by the CUBS, and this is after Marmol said yes to go to the Angels, you can’t make this up, it’s the Cubs!

– George

Cubs Claim Zach Putnam

The Cubs opened 10 spots on the 40 man roster last week, one of those spots has been taken.  Today the Cubs claim RHP Zach Putnam off waivers from the Colorado Rockies, ESPN Chicago has the lowdown.

The University of Michigan alum, was a former fifth-round draft pick by the Cleveland Indians in 2008 and appeared in 10 major league games for the Indians and the Rockies over the past two seasons. 

The 25-year-old right-hander has been used exclusively in relief at the Triple-A level the past two seasons, posting a 4.15 ERA and 12 saves at Colorado Springs last season. In 2011, he had a 3.65 ERA with nine saves at Columbus.

Just another arm that will compete for a bullpen job out of spring training next season, we will be seeing quite a few of these signings, in fact we already have.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Pursuing Dan Haren?

Let the off-season pitching rumors begin.  According to a cbssports.com report the Cubs and Red Sox have expressed interest in Angles pitcher (for now) Dan Haren.  The Angels have until today to pick up Haren’s option, if they don’t he will be eligible for free agency.  Haren sees the writing on the wall, and he expects to be traded, today, “I’m kind of getting the feeling I’m being traded. I have no specifics on teams, but that’s the vibe I’m getting. It’s a little disappointing that I won’t get to pick up where I want to go, but I’m the one who signed on for the option year.”  As Heyman mentions in the article, the Cubs are an interesting suitor for Haren as they are not expected to compete in 2013.  I’d welcome the addition of Haren to a depleted pitching staff, the 32-year-old right hander would join Samardzija and Garza at the top of an all of  sudden interesting starting five.  Jed Hoyer commented on situations similar to Haren..

Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer declined to discuss their interest, but said Thursday that one-year rentals like Haren are a good “alternative option” for teams unwilling to commit to long-term deals for pitchers in a relatively weak marketplace.

The only issue with Haren seems to be health, as he battled back problems for the majority of last season, and that seemed to mess with his results as he finished last year 12-13 with a 4.33 ERA.

Thanks for reading,
– George

 

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