Today it was learned the Cubs will send relief prospect Aaron Kurcz to Boston to complete their end of the the Theo compensation package. Kurcz is a nice prospect but as a Class A reliever, it's not going to affect the organization too much. That's not to diminish Kurcz, I was just more afraid it could be a Ben Wells, Reggie Golden, or Marco Hernandez, so in that sense I'm very much relieved. Kurcz has a much better shot of making the majors than all 3 of those guys, but it's unlikely he'll be a star once he gets there.
He was 5-4 as a starter/reliever at Class-A Daytona last year. He had a 3.28 ERA.
Kurcz is a guy I wrote about when I talked about power arms in the Cubs system. Here's what I said about him at that time,
Kurcz generates a lot more velocity than you would expect from someone who 6'1" and 170 lbs, as he's able to touch 95 mph. He has struck out 11.4 batters per 9 innings in his brief minor league career. His slurve shows good break and he has had average control. The Cubs have tried him as a starter but he may move up more quickly now that the Cubs are likely to keep him in the bullpen.
Kurcz could be up by 2013 because is polished enough with two solid pitches and average command. He's an athletic pitcher, too, so it wouldn't surprise me if his command wound up being pretty good by the time he's ready. I think he'll have a solid career as a middle relief guy with a ceiling of a set-up guy. In fact, I won't be shocked if he has a longer career than Chris Carpenter, the main piece in the deal.
All in all, you don't like to lose good quality arms and good people like Aaron Kurcz, but I'm thankful it's over and the Cubs were able to keep their starting prospects throughout all of this.
The only piece of the puzzle left is the prospect Boston will send back to the Cubs, but don't expect much. He's expected to be a lesser prospect than Kurcz.
The horror. The horror.