Cubs claim 24-year old Adrian Cardenas off of waivers from the Oakland A’s. Cardenas was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in
the first round of the 2006 MLB Amateur Draft. Oakland acquired Cardenas in 2008 in the Joe Blanton deal. He has spent his first six first seasons in the minor leagues, including last year where he played second, short, third, and left field at the Triple-A level. The left-handed hitting Cardenas hit .314 with and OBP of .374. He has shown little power thus far in his career, however has been a career .303 hitter with an OBP of .368. In order to make room for Cardenas on the 40-man roster the Cubs designated 26-year old Blake DeWitt for assignment. DeWitt, a former 2004 first round pick by the Dodgers, came to Chicago in the deal that sent Ted Lilly and Ryan Theriot to the Dodgers in 2010. In his career DeWitt has a line of .260/.305/.385. The Cubs avoided arbitration with DeWitt this offseason agreeing on a $1.1 MM deal for the 2012 season.
What does this mean for the Cubs? They can trade DeWitt, release him, or place him on waivers. If he is waived and claimed by another team, like the Cubs did with Cardenas, that team would have to put DeWitt on their 40-man roster and pay his 2012 salary. If he does not get claimed the Cubs would either pay DeWitt $1.1 MM to play in Iowa, or release him and pay him one sixth of his salary. Ultimately, I would think the Cubs would like to make some kind of trade happen and get something for DeWitt as he is a former first round pick, who at one time had pretty good upside. If a trade does not happen I think a team will take a chance on him and claim him as the Cubs just did with Cardenas. If neither of those happen I believe the Cubs will cut ties with him as I do not think they will pay $1.1 MM for him to play in the minor leagues. It appears this is somewhat of a lateral move with Cubs getting a little younger and probably a little better offensively, although we have not seen Cardenas hit at the major league level yet.