Category: Off Season

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

 

Royals Claim Volstad From Cubs

The Chris Volstad era in Chicago is over.  Yesterday the Royals claimed Volstad from the Cubs off of outright waivers.  The fact that Volstad was put on outright waivers shows exactly what the Cubs thought of Volstad after a horrendous season.  Some speculated that Volstad would be given a chance to compete for a spot in the 2013 rotation, that obviously won’t happen now.  Volstad will join his third organization in three years (Marlins, Cubs, Royals) after being acquired for Carlos Zambrano last offseason.

Thanks for reading,
– George

More Cubs Organizational Shuffling; David Bell Hired

Dale Sveum has rounded out his coaching staff for 2013 yesterday, he removed the interim tag from hitting coach James Rowson, and added David Bell to the staff as the third base coach.

More on David Bell from Cubs.com

Bell, 40, managed in the Reds’ Minor League system the last four seasons, most recently guiding the Triple-A Louisville club in 2012. Prior to Louisville, Bell was the manager for Double-A Carolina from 2009-11. The ’09 season was his first as a manager or coach at the professional level after a 12-year Major League career, which ended in 2006.

A former infielder, Bell batted .257 in 1,403 Major League games for six different teams — the Indians (1995, ’98), Cardinals (1995-98), Mariners (1998-2001), Giants (2002), Phillies (2003-06) and Brewers (2006). Sveum was Milwaukee’s third-base coach in ’06.

So David Bell fills the role of what Ryne Sandberg would have been if he was still in the organization in my opinion.  I like adding Bell to the staff, he’s only six years removed from playing in this league, and was always one of those smart ball players, hopefully he brings a lot to the development side of this team.  I also think having Rowson stick around as the full-time hitting coach makes sense, the results might not have been there for everyone but no use in bringing in someone new before Rowson can have a full season to work with players.

Those weren’t the only moves yesterday as the Cubs announced that assistant GM Randy Bush has been given a three-year contract extension.  Bush was the assistant GM under Jim Hendry in 2011 and is in the good graces of Theo Epstein given how much he helped Epstein with the transition to President of Baseball Operations.  Cubs.com has the other moves announced.

The Cubs also announced Louie Eljaua has been promoted to special assistant to the general manager and director of international scouting. Paul Weaver, who was the director, will now be an international cross-checker and coordinator for the Pacific Rim. Alex Suarez was promoted to assistant director of player development.

The team also said Mark O’Neal, the Cubs’ athletic trainer since 2004, will stay with the organization but in a different role.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs and Garza Talk Extension

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.

Continue reading

Hoyer and Carpenter Weigh in on Compensation

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.

Continue reading