The biggest free agent remaining on the market is now officially in play for all teams, and the Marlins have struck first making the highly touted Dominican a 6 year, $40MM offer. Cespedes made his way to the United States last week on Thursday, and met with the Marlins. At that time Marlins president David Samson said that it was possible that the Marlins would make an offer to Cespedes at said meeting, apparently that’s exactly what happened.
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.
Around the League: January 30, 2012 – February 5, 2012
For the remainder of the off season, we will provide you with a quick trip around MLB to recap what has happened in the past week, thanks for following.
Monday, January 30, 2012
- Victor Martinez had micro-fracture surgery to repair the medial and lateral meniscus in his left knee. He expects to have ACL surgery in six-to-eight weeks, officially ending his 2011 season before it started.
- Pat Burrell retired at the age of 35 due to chronic foot injury.
- Manager Ron Washington received a two-year extension through 2014.
- Orioles sign RHP Pat Neshek, C Ronny Paulino, and 17 year old LHP Seong-Min Kim to minor league contracts.
- Brewers sign former Cub outfielder Corey Patterson to a minor league contract.
- Yankees sign RHP Manny Delcarmen to a minor league contract
According to Jorge Ebro of El Nuevo Herald, the Cubs have signed Cuban left handed pitching prospect, Gerardo Concepcion to a $7
million guaranteed contract. Concepcion, 18, was declared a free agent last week by Major League Baseball. It is believed he had several teams interested in him, before he ultimately chose to sign with the Cubs. Reports have the 6-foot-2 lefty featuring a low 90s fastball to go along with a curveball and change-up. Concepcion was named the Cuban National Series Rookie of the Year, posting a 10-3 record and a 3.36 ERA.
By all reports this is a nice signing for the Cubs. This will give them another young pitching prospect which they desperately need and should help the Cubs in the future. Reports have Concepcion with the potential to be middle of the rotation starter in the big leagues, but how his skills will translate to the major league level is yet to be seen, but at 18 there is a lot of time to mature and grow.
Might the Cubs sign another Cuban before spring training? It is possible, they, as well as several other teams have shown interest in outfielders, Yoenis Cespedes and Jorge Soler. With the first of the three Cuban players signed, when will the other two go and where?
There has been a lot of talk about the newest free agent in major league baseball. If we know one thing, this man has one hell of a production staff, I mean look at this quality (Click to open the 20 minute Cespedes showcase video, yes 20 minutes, there’s a pig on a spit at the end, not sure why, but if you are against that type of thing, please don’t watch). The video in it of itself is impressive, there is no denying that, it’s just hard to get past the “second coming” feel it has to it. What we also know is that the Cubs have been consistently mentioned as one of the 6 teams that are showing serious interest, along with the Marlins, White Sox, Orioles, Tigers (not so much since Prince?), and a mystery team. When we really take a look at who he is, does the baseball talent warrant the hoopla surrounding the latest Cuban defector? Let’s get to know him.
Lost in the hoopla surrounding the Cubs since the end of the season was the little matter of deciding Mike Quade’s future. Even if we, and most Cub fans knew that Mike Quade was not Major League manager material, the Cubs brass
needed to make that official. Shortly after the Cubs front office was completely re energized, the no brainer decision to let Mike Quade pursue other opportunities, most likely in the minors or outside of baseball was made. We will give Epstein some credit here with the way he handled the process of letting Quade go, very professional. He made multiple trips to meet with Quade, and had a number of conversations with him and others in the organization to see if he would be a good fit, not based on what he had done it the past, but where he thought, and wanted this team to go in the future. Clearly, Quade’s idea’s did mesh with the idea’s of the new regime that was now in place, and he was let go from his two year deal that had one year remaining on it. Epstein and company didn’t have to go far to find the 52nd manager of the Chicago Cubs, just a short trip up I-94 to Milwaukee to find Dale Sveum. Sveum, serving as the third base coach in 2004 with the Red Sox, won a World Series title with Epstein. Since 2006, Sveum was on the Brewers coaching staff with titles ranging from third base coach, to bench coach, and to most recently hitting coach. Sveum did get a crack at the managerial position albeit a short one in 2008 when he took over for Ned Yost and led the Brewers to a 7-5 record down the stretch and a NL Wild Card berth. Along with Sveum, the following coaches will be joining the Cubs this season...