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Cubs close to a deal for Jaramillo, sign ex-Rays RHP Sonnastine

Cubs close to a deal for Jaramillo, sign ex-Rays RHP Sonnastine

Well, the Cubs certainly seem like they're going to stay active this week, though their first move since the holidays is anything but earth-shaking.  The Cubs are close to signing ex-Pirate catcher Jason Jaramillo to a minor league deal.   Jaramillo has lifetime numbers of .235/.293/.327 over 3 years and 366 PAs.

Jaramillo is a switch-hitter who hits better from the left-side.  He's a solid defender with a strong arm and calls a good game.  He's one of those catchers that pitchers seem to like throwing too -- which I'm sure brings you flashbacks of Koyie Hill.

It's expected he'll compete for a spot with rookies Steve Clevenger and Welington Castillo, though he is likely going to serve more as an emergency veteran backup should the Cubs lose Geovanny Soto to either trade or injury.  Both Castillo and Clevenger have the advantage of already having a spot on the 40 man roster, so logistically it's easier to keep either of the young catchers and keep Jaramillo in AAA until he's needed.

It also crossed my mind that Steve Clevenger could be compensation to Boston for Theo Epstein or to San Diego for Jed Hoyer.  If that were the case, it would create a roster spot for Jaramillo and allow the Cubs to send Castillo to AAA to catch everyday, possibly in preparation for a Geovanny Soto trade down the road.  In that scenario, it would make more sense to have a veteran, solid defensive catcher as your backup if you're going to start a rookie.

Whatever the case, it certainly seems like the Cubs have depth at catcher now with 4 backstops who are MLB ready or close to it, so a future move with one of the catchers seems likely.

In another minor move, the Cubs signed former Rays RHP Andy Sonnastine.  According to MLBTR,

The Cubs have agreed to sign Andy Sonnanstine to a non-guaranteed split contract for the 2012 season, the team announced. The Rays non-tendered Sonnanstine earlier this month rather than give him a raise his second time through arbitration.

Sonnastine is a pitch-to-contact guy with good command and control when he's healthy.  His stuff is bottom of the rotation caliber, but he can provide some depth in the starting rotation, something the Cubs desperately lacked last season.

 

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  • Given the strategy for a 'complete and total rebuild' this seems like a move in preperation for a Soto trade. Who are the known trade partners at this point, and what can the Cubs expect to get in return?

  • In reply to Abe Froman:

    No known suitors right now. Angels were said to be interested before they picked up Ianetta. At some point a market will develop. Just not sure it will be in the offseason.

  • Even though we be waiting for a big trade(s) I like the players that
    they have picked up. The big one (Garza?) will come. Also

    The Cubs have agreed to sign Andy Sonnanstine to a non-guaranteed split contract for the 2012 season, the team announced. The Rays non-tendered Sonnanstine earlier this month rather than give him a raise his second time through arbitration. -- MLBTR

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Ya. I just saw that they signed Andy Sonnastine. Another interesting pick up. They continue to stock pile those pitchers. I guess after last season debacle you can never have enough pitchers.

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    In reply to lokeey:

    I like that move. Sonnanstine, if healthy, is a better 'filler' signing than most others available. He can start or relieve and puts up slightly better than replacement level numbers. At one time he was a decent prospect.

  • In reply to Just Win:

    It's certainly better than having to scrounge up pitchers on the fly midseason as the Cubs did last year. Sonnastine is okay. Nothing special but should provide some decent depth. He's probably the 7th or 8th starter at this point.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Theo said that teams need to have 8 or 9 SP options for a season. Here's to having Sonnanstine be #9.

  • In reply to Louie101:

    Exactly. I think he's better than Ortiz or Doug Davis, as some have mentioned, but the hope is that the Cubs never need him at all.

  • Interesting pick up. Curious to see what they are going to do with 4 catchers.

  • Non-roster pickups are a good gamble. Don't want to trade way
    promising prospects unless we have no choice.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    I'd be more inclined to call it a safe one. Upside isn't there, but no downside.

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    i dont know why but im thinking the dodgers. maybe for james loney ????? but it would seem the dodgers need cause barajas is getting old but just a thought

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Bryan Bell:

    in terms of a team that may trade for soto

  • Andy Sonnanstine.

    Another in the "I guess so" folder.

  • In reply to felzz:

    Another arm. I always thought he was a bit overrated because he was very productive coming up through the ranks. Stuff is 5th starter level, though.

  • Lets just wait and see a month from now where all the players fit
    in the big picture.

  • I'll comment more later guys. Taking my wife to the theater tonight....

  • i dont think the sonnanstine signing is anything to get emotional about, but one thing to think about is that hes leaving the most intimidating division in baseball for a division that just lost two and a half (braun) of its best hitters.

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    He should find the lineups a bit easier in the NL Central. He also needs a good D behind him, Rays usually have a good defense so hopefully the Cubs can match them there.

  • This might sound stupid right now, but I think that Sonnenstine could be the David Ortiz signing for Theo. NT player who has had some down years. Coming out of AL East to NL Central (huge dropdown in hitting prowess) and being a contact ground ball pitcher. Could be a good fit for Cubs.

    Like I said, maybe I'm insane. And I don't think that it will turn out to be as good as the Ortiz move by any stretch, but i think that this could definitely be a good move for the cubs.

    "Okay Still Love the Cubs, PUT DOWN THE BLUE KOOLAID RIGHT NOW!!!" :)

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    In reply to Still Love the Cubs:

    If Sonnenstine bulks up on steroids and HGH, then he would be like Ortiz.

  • In reply to Still Love the Cubs:

    LOL..you never know, I guess. I'll be happy if he contributes a few good starts. He looked like he could be a solid bottom of the rotation guy at one point in his career.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I was just being a wise-$$$ about Ortiz, not Sonnestine. Sonnenstine isn't great by any means but we would have loved to have someone like that around during last year's fire.

    If they're still looking for an inning eater they could call up Livian Hernandez. He somehow still throws 175 or more innings per year and is better than some of the other options we have. Not sure how many guys they are counting on right now as possible starters, nor how many others they might consider trading, but if Garza, Dempster, or Wells is traded, someone has to eat a ton of those lost innings.

  • Also saw that Corpas is also a 'split' contract....so that removes the one question I had regarding his signing...

  • In reply to Norm:

    True. He does. He still gets put on the 40 man roster and his addition along with Sonnastine gives the Cubs 39 players right now. I'm interested to see what that means for them in terms of deals.

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