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.
Pitcher Matt Garza, and the Chicago Cubs beat the arbitration clock this morning by agreeing to a one year deal for the 2012 season. Garza will make $9.5 million as well as performance bonuses included in the contract. A common ground was found after the Cubs were looking to lock Garza up for $7.95 million and Garza was looking for $12.5 million according to a Major League source.
Another sign that spring training is right around the corner, aside from the 50 degree temperatures in Chicago today, is that the Cubs have announced the twenty one non roster players that will be invited to spring training. Headlining that list is 23 year old outfield prospect Brett Jackson. While none of these players will necessarily break camp with the Cubs (nine have previous MLB experience) they will all have the same opportunity to do so during spring training. It will be interesting to see how the Cubs new staff on, and off the field evaluates the organization’s time in Arizona.
Before this blog moves forward, we would be remiss not to mention what has transpired since the disenchanted 2011 season came to a close. The Chicago Cubs as a team and organization took a giant step forward in not only changing the direction of the club, but the culture as well.
On October 25, 2011 the Chicago Cubs named a new President of Baseball Operations, none other than Boston GM Theo Epstein. Talk about making a splash, and for once, it actually makes sense because it’s off the field where it was needed most. Don’t get me wrong, there wasn’t much to like on the field the last couple of years, but in order to fix that, the real issue needed to be addressed, and it was. In order for Epstein to make the move to the North Side of Chicago he had to take a role that was above his current GM role in Boston. That in it of itself is a giant win for Ricketts, many die hard Cubs followers probably didn’t think Ricketts had it in him, but he proved them, including us, wrong in a huge way.