Cub Winter Meetings Notes 12/8: Darvish, Garza, Johnson, Rule 5 Draft

Cub Winter Meetings Notes 12/8: Darvish, Garza, Johnson, Rule 5 Draft

Things began to get a little interesting late last night, although not all of it was good news for the Cubs.  Here's a few tidbits to start the day and keep our fingers crossed that this will be the day the Cubs finally do something.  David DeJesus was a nice, solid signing...but we need more than that...

  • According to agent Don Nomura (via twitter), Yu Darvish will be posted tomorrow by the Nippon Ham Fighters.  The Cubs are expected to make a bid on the 25 year old RHP, but the competition should be pretty heavy. Many believe Texas has the inside track and they may be more motivated now that it appears they will lose C.J. Wilson to the Los Angeles Angels.
  • If Texas loses the bid on Darvish, then it could mean talks that have started between the Cubs and the Rangers about RHP Matt Garza will intensify.  If Darvish is gone, then Garza becomes the best option for a front line starter.  I talked about some trade possibilities in an article late last night.
  • Kelly Johnson, a player I liked as a possible 2B and a LH power source, has accepted arbitration from the Toronto Blue Jays and will not be hitting the open market.  I thought he was a nice fit because of his athleticism, solid defense, and OBP skills to go with his LH power.  Oh well.
  • Another player, potential closer Francisco Rodriguez, also accepted arbitration with the Milwaukee Brewers. This has a few interesting ramifications for the Cubs.  The first is that it's one less closer on the market in case they decide to deal Carlos Marmol.  It also means that the Brewers probably won't have the payroll space to bid on Prince Fielder and quite possibly, Aramis Ramirez.  GM Bob Melvin, when asked if the decision would affect their pursuit of Ramirez said,  "Possibly. I'll take a look at it."
  • Lastly, the Rule 5 Draft takes place tomorrow and the Cubs pick 6th after two teams ahead of them cleared roster space to be able to select a player.  It's uncertain if the Cubs will select a player for themselves or as part of a compensation package for either Boston or San Diego.  The latest buzz is that athletic prospect Jiwan James may go first overall.
  • The Cubs are widely expected to lose prospect Ryan Flaherty, whose LH bat and defensive versatility almost assure him of making the roster as some team's 25th man.  He may even have a chance to start with a team like Houston.  Other Cubs who may be taken are pitchers Dae Un Rhee and Ryan Searle, as well as utility IF Marwin Gonzalez.  I can only see Rhee being taken in a pre-arranged deal since he's not close to being ready for the majors, but he is a solid prospect if the Cubs allow some team to send him to the minors.  Both Flaherty and Gonzalez, however, have legitimate shots of making some team's 25 man roster.
  • Some expect the bidding of Jorge Soler to go up to $20M now.  The Marlins may drop out at that price.  The Cubs are known to be interested but it's uncertain if they'll go that high.


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  • Chicago Cubs online -- The Rule 5 Draft
    The annual Rule 5 Draft is the last event at the Winter Meetings. The Cubs have the sixth slot in the draft but will have the fourth pick. Two of the teams ahead of the Cubs (Orioles and Royals) have a full 40-man roster and 11 of the 30 big league teams will not be able to take a player in the Major League portion of the draft.

    Of the other 19 teams, four have one open spot and five have two open spots.

    There has been a lot of speculation that the Cubs could lose Ryan Flaherty as well as Jay Jackson and Dae-Eun Rhee in the draft. Players selected must stay on the active 25-man roster of the team that drafts them for the entire season ... or at least until the team can hide the player on the DL.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    This is incorrect. Both teams ahead of the Cubs have recently cleared roster space and the Cubs will have the 6th pick. And I'm skeptical that Jay Jackson gets picked. He continues to decline and he's had some character issues on the mound recently.

  • I'm glad the Cubs are driving a hard bargain with the Rangers. The Cubs don't need to Garza, so there is no desperation on their part. The Cubs belive , and rightly so, if they are going to trade their best pitcher , then some team needs to wow then to pry him loose. What is it with teams now that thye never want to trade their best prospects for proven talent? It's like teams want top quality but are not willing to give equal quality in return, I blame ex- Met GM Steve Phillips. Ever since he got burned for trading Scott Kazmir for a mediocre reliever from the Rays , few GM's are willing to trade their best prospects for anything. I've read in a few places that some baseball people call it the Scott Kazmir effect, no one wants to get burned ever again and are afraid trading their best prospects will come back to haunt them.

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    There has been extra value put on prospects of late...probably too much. Texas is in win-now mode and they need to replace a front-line pitcher here. The Cubs only have one reason to trade, to pick up multiple prospects. Either they get it or they don't make the deal.

  • That's my biggest fear of the Cubs doing. But I must be thinking
    of Henry or Fry.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Cubs won't trade Garza unless they get top prospects.

  • Bleacher nation -- the lack of movement by the Cubs could simply be a case of the Cubs biding their time until after next Monday’s non-tender deadline to see what other players become available – or, even more simply, a case of the Cubs choosing not to move on anything that has yet been available to them.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    I'm not sure there's a specific reason they're waiting. They simply want to get good value and most of what's going on isn't about that at all. Few signings so far have been true bargain signings and the Cubs are probably just waiting for the market to settle.

  • Most of the teams talking to Boras about Fielder don't want to commit to the seven or eight-year contract Fielder desires, topping out at five years, tweets Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    That would make sense. It could help the Cubs, but it probably also means Boras tries to drag this out.

  • John, AJ Burnett is on the block for around $4 mil per year for two years. Would he fit in the nifty NINE in your opinion?

  • In reply to socalcub:

    At $4M maybe, are the Yankees willing to eat salary?

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    NO THANKS!!! NO WAY!!! NO HOW!!! A.J. Burnett is lunatic. He makes Zambrano seem normal.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Well wait a minute, maybe we get AJ, keep Z and become MLB's version of the Detroit Lions....otherwise I agree....NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Whoa!!!

    Tim Brown just tweeted that the Angels will sign Albert Pujols for $10 years, $250-$260M!!

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    OMG!! A quarter billion here, a quarter billion there....pretty soon you are talking big money!

  • In reply to Hubbs16:

    You sound like congress!

  • In reply to Hubbs16:

    Hey, they could give him a trillion as long as he's no longer a Cardinal. Going to the AL... even better!

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    I had this weird dream the other night. Cubs team mates Garza and Darvish finished one and two respectively for the NLCY, and Brett Jackson was NLRoY. LaHair hit only .275, but he got on base at a .360 clip and he slugged better than .500 while driving in over 100 runs from the 5-hole. Chase Headley was NLMVP and won the GG at third.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    That's an excellent dream.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I had a dream similar to that. But then it turned into a nightmare when Mike Quade showed up and put Koyie Hill in the game. Then Dusty Baker appeared and double-switched in the 6th inning to get Niefi Perez in at second base...

  • In reply to 104YearsofGlory:


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    Cubs select Lendy Castillo. 22 year old with some awesome minor league pitching stats in two seasons. 2.43 era and 1.153 whip.

  • Pujols to the Angels! HE'S OUT OF THE NATIONAL LEAGUE!!!!!

  • In reply to Eddie:


  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I just saw this....WOW!! That was fast, this is addition by subtraction for the Cubs . Not only does Pujols not resign with the Cardinals but he's out of the NL completely. The Angels , unlike the Marlins, knows how the game is played , you have to blow away the other teams offer to get the guy you want

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    If you're Pujols and you go ten years, the AL makes sense. He should still be able to DH from 38-42 and hit for decent power. I have always felt that there is too much downside from an NL teams perspective to take a chance on either him or Fielder. If we were an AL team and Soriano was moved to DH, it would still suck, just not as bad.

  • Would Kendry Morales be a possibility or is his leg injury being viewed as too risky? Also would it Mark Trumbo be a possibility. Hits for power, .250 avg. but low OBP. We could do better with Lahair maybe. Of course all of this would only be if the Angels do actually sign Pujols.

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    Kendrys Morales and Mark Trumbo should be available from the Angels. Will the Cubs make a run at one of these first basemans? Kendrys Morales has some nice season stats.

  • In reply to Danny Guerra:

    Not a fan Trumbo...he's more of a free swinger than Alfonso Soriano...seriously. Morales is probably their DH.

  • how many selections/ rounds are in the Rule 5? Can Cubs get another player,s?

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    There is a AAA and AA phase. The Cubs got a player in the AAA phase and I'm still trying to confirm who it is.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John, I just read in the comments section of this forum that the Cubs didn't select or lose anyone in these phases. Is that possible?

  • In reply to Break The Curse:

    I think that is true.

  • I gotta say. If a team was going to sign Albert to a 10 year deal, it HAD to be an AL team.

    There is no way he was going to be able to play 1st all 10 years. I could definitely see him being a productive DH for the last 3-4 years of that though. I don't know about a 25M dollar DH, but they should get their value out of him in the first 5 or 6 I'd think.

    GREAT JOB ARTE!!! Thanks for taking him out of NL Central for us!!

  • In reply to Still Love the Cubs:

    Agreed on all counts!

  • Cubs took Ricky Alverez 3B LAA AAA Phase , anyone got anything on this guy?

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Sorry...been trying to keep up with the madness here and I meant to post something about him.

    Report I have is good glove, not a good hitter at all, no OBP skills, not much power. I can't think of what the Cubs would see in him so it makes me wonder if he has the arm to convert to pitching. It's only the AAA phase so there's virtually no risk in trying this kind of project.

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