It looked like the Cubs would try to trade Matt Garza this offseason, but now it appears the Cubs are going to start contract extension talks with him. This whole winter we heard Garza would give the Cubs the best opportunity to replenish the system. On the other hand the Cubs also expressed interest in keeping Garza long term and it now appears that may be the route they are headed.
The story is now a couple hours old, so the media has had the opportunity to speak with Carpenter and Hoyer. Bud Selig also issued a statement. Contrary to some of the stories out there the compensation deal was finalized by the two teams, not Bud Selig. I’ve included a number of quotes from Carpenter this morning, as well as Hoyer. Both parties were very complimentary of one another.
After four months, the Cubs and Red Sox have finalized the deal that brought Theo Epstein to Chicago. Headed to Boston is relief pitcher Chris Carpenter, who impressed in his short time up with the Cubs at the end of last year. Carpenter, who is 26 years old, will be given a shot in the Red Sox bullpen, where I expect him to have some decent success. The deal also says that the Red Sox will receive a player to be named later, and the Cubs will receive a player to be named later (April 15th deadline already in place). I don’t anticipate either of the players being anything more than fringe prospects. All parties have been assured that these players will be named before the conlcusion of Spring Training. Theo Epstein released a statement this morning regarding Carpenter going the other way, in a word, he is relieved.
Based on all the chatter this morning it sounds like the Theo Epstein compensation ordeal will be resolved today. Trey McNutt has been a popular target in the last 24 hours given the comments he made about having a talk with Epstein about the possibility of going to Boston. It sounds like that has been since ruled out..
(Via MLB Trade Rumors)
The Red Sox will receive a pitcher from the Cubs’ 40-man roster, tweets WEEI’s Alex Speier. That’d rule out McNutt. Rafael Dolis, Chris Carpenter, Jeff Beliveau, and Casey Weathers are on the Cubs’ 40-man and cracked Baseball America’s top 30 prospects for the team.
If I were a betting man, I think Chris Carpenter is as good as gone, but that remains to be seen. I think Cubs nation should breathe a sigh of relief that it will not be McNutt going the other way. Stay tuned to the blog, we will report on this story as soon as it breaks.
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The Chicago Cubs have added another veteran depth pitcher. According to Eyewitness Sport, LHP Nate Robertson has signed with the Chicago Cubs to a minor league deal. Robertson, 34, is most known for the years he spent in Detroit from 2003-2009. He has been used mostly as a starting pitcher throughout his career, with his best season coming in 2006 where he posted a 13-13 record with a 3.84 ERA. Since, his career has been on the decline and last year he had a 7.14 ERA in 18 starts while pitching in Tacoma, the Mariners’ Triple-A affiliate.
This signing is yet another way to get depth in the organization. Evident from last year the Cubs do not have a lot of pitching depth and they have spent a lot of the offseason attempting to improve it. While being mainly a starter, it is possible the Cubs picked him up hoping he would be more successful in a left-handed reliever role, but only time will tell. Ultimately this ends up being a low-risk low-reward type signing that might help the team at some point throughout the year, or we may never hear his name again.
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It was eleven days ago when Blake DeWitt was designated for assignment. Today the 26-year old utility player cleared waivers and the Cubs have sent him to Triple-A Iowa. I am guessing DeWitt will be a non-roster invitee to Spring Training with a chance to win a reserve role, much like the one he had last year. If he makes the team he will earn $1.1 million for the upcoming season. If he does not make the team the Cubs will have to decide if they want him to play in Iowa in case of injury in Chicago, or they could release him. Obviously the Cubs also could look to trade him between now and the start of the season as well.
Coming soon: Pitchers and Catchers Report……. And hopefully
we have the Epstein compensation issue resolved soon.
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In a bit of fun news today, the White Sox officially agreed to terms with former Chicago Cub, Kosuke Fukudome. The White Sox announced that they have agreed to sign Fukudome to a one-year, $1MM contract that includes a club option for 2013. The outfielder will earn $500K in 2012 and the $3.5MM option for 2013 includes a $500K buyout. This marks the first dollar spent by the White Sox this off season as GM – Kenny Williams has already stated this team will be in rebuilding mode.
We touched on the very high interest the Chicago Cubs had in 19 year old outfielder Jorge Soler earlier today, and now there is even more to add. According to the Chicago Tribune this evening, the Cubs are ready to put pen to paper and add Soler to the club. Again, I’m not entirely sure that a deal can be done yet because of the same issues Cespedes had with coming over from Cuba. But, judging by the information the Tribune has, Soler is as good as a Cub once he is officially able to sign with a major league team. We will obviously have more news on this as we inch closer to spring training so check back often for the latest developments.
From the Trib article…
Soler, according to one report, will be making $27.5 million with the Cubs for three or four years. He may have been courted by Cubs ownership and front-office officials while they were visiting their new Dominican academy earlier this month.
If this is actually the case, what a tremendous deal for the Cubs, they get “Cespedes light” for the same amount of years and less money. Not to mention Soler’s best baseball is ahead of him, and he could develop into a flat out superstar. Again, nothing 100% official yet, but sounds like it’s only a matter of time.
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– George Cotugno
According to several sources the Oakland Athletics have agreed to sign Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to a 4 year $36MM deal. This is a big surprise as it appeared the Miami Marlins were well on their way to signing him to a six year
deal. This contract will enable Cespedes, who is said to be 26, a chance to become a free agent once again at 30, giving him a possibility of cashing in on a second big contract. According to Peter Gammons, Cespedes’ representatives “felt the A’s wanted him more than anyone else.” For the A’s this is a nice signing considering they have been looking for offense anyway they can get it, plus they are looking for some excitement in hopes of getting a new ballpark soon.
What does this mean for the Cubs? As we discussed in the Soler article it appeared the Cubs were out of the Cespedes running anyways, but does this mean the Marlins will focus their attention towards Soler having missed out on Cespedes? Only time will tell.
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With all the press and stories about Cespedes, the Cubs apparently have been doing their homework on 19 year old Cuban Jorge Soler, and appear ready to strike. It seems as though the Cubs have realized that a continued pursuit of Cespedes is pointless given the Marlins offer to him, and Cespedes’ desire to play in Miami. Soler is not a free agent as of yet, he has to go through the same process that Cespedes had to go through to become a major league free agent. Once that does happen, it is being reported that the Cubs are going to be very aggressive to sign the 19 year old.