As the temperature falls in Chicago, it's time to fire up the Hot Stove...
MLBTrade Rumors has a schedule for all those wondering when we can start expecting moves in this all-important offseason for the Cubs. Here's the breakdown...
- Immediately after World Series - Eligible players hit free agency
- Three days after World Series - Option decisions due
- Five days after World Series - Qualifying offers due
- Six days after World Series - Free agents can sign contracts with teams other than their former clubs
- 12 days after World Series - Players must accept or reject qualifying offers
- November 7th - 9th - GM Meetings
- November 20th - Deadline for setting 40-man roster in advance of Rule 5 Draft
- November 30th - Deadline for teams to tender contracts to arbitration eligible players
- December 3rd - 6th - Winter Meetings
- December 6th - Rule 5 Draft takes place at Winter Meetings
- January - Teams, players exchange arbitration figures
- February - Arbitration hearings take place
Cubs claim Carlos Gutierrez from Twins
Carlos Guttierez is a 26 year old former 1st round pick of the Minnesota Twins. Guttierez was the Twins 17th rated prospect in 2011, 10th in 2010, and 7th in 2009.
Gutierrez was drafted as a college reliever out of the University of Miami in 2008 and was expected to pay quick dividends. Four years later, Gutierrez has spent 3 years at AAA and has yet to reach the big leagues.
This is the kind of chance we'll see the Cubs take a lot this offseason. Gutierrez is about to enter his prime years, didn't cost anything, and has some MLB talent. He has a 93-96 mph fastball that has great sinking action and produces both swings and misses (9.1 Ks/9 IP) and ground balls. The problem is command. The fastball has so much movement that Gutierrez has trouble locating it and throwing strikes, resulting in less than stellar results (career AAA ERA of 4.59).
He has also battled injuries and pitched only 16 innings at AAA last year. The early results were encouraging, as Gutierrez struck out 11.25 batters per 9 innings while walking just 1.69/9 IP. His career walk rate is 3.7/9 IP.
I really like this move. It's another good gamble and with yesterday's announced of the move of Alberto Cabrera to the starting rotation, the Cubs acted quickly replace him with another power bullpen arm. Nothing to lose here.
Anthony Recker was DFA'd to make room.
Marlins will try to bait Cubs with Johnson, Buerhle
According to Bruce Levine, the Marlins will look for teams with payroll space to see if they can entice them with pitchers Josh Johnson, 28, and LHP Mark Beuhrle, 33. Both pitchers had solid, if unspectacular years. Johson went 8-14 with a 3.81 ERA (3.40 FIP) and Buehrle went 13-13 with a 3.74 ERA (4.18 FIP).
The Cubs are short on pitching and either arm would be welcome. The issue is cost. With Johnson, the Cubs will likely have to part with some pretty good prospects to obtain him, but he is in the prime of his career and could factor in long term. He is a free agent after the season, making it difficult to flip him mid-season for the same value they would give up to get him now. The only reason to acquire him, in my opinion, is if they feel he is part of their long term future. My guess is that given the risk, they'll take a pass if the price stays as high as it was before last year's trade deadline.
As for Mark Buehrle, the biggest concern is a back-loaded deal that will pay him $19M in 2015. The Marlins may just be looking for salary relief in this case, but that's a lot to take on for a mediocre pitcher. Perhaps if the Marlins take Alfonso Soriano in return? Even then, the Cubs will be stuck with an untradeable contract in 2015 while Soriano would come off the books by then.