Cubs Notes: Offseason Schedule, Cubs claim former 1st rounder RHP Guttierez, and rumors on Johnson, Buehrle

Cubs Notes: Offseason Schedule, Cubs claim former 1st rounder RHP Guttierez, and rumors on Johnson, Buehrle
Carlos Gutierrez was a 1st round pick out of Miami in 2008

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...

Offseason Schedule

  • 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.

Filed under: News and Notes, Rumors


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  • Hopefully we can hang onto Recker, but I like the pickup of Gutierrez. We need more like this.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    I really like this pickup. I do like Recker, but he's a 3rd catcher and there is a good chance he clears and comes back on a minor league deal anyway. If not, he's replaceable if not through another pickup, then at least internally (i.e. Juan Apodaca).

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Any reason to be more excited about Gutierrez than the 4 previous pitchers claimed off waivers?

  • In reply to CubsML:

    Younger, better FB.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Recker is a true, non-converted catcher who'd been through Oakland's regime of making ABs count. I'm not sure he shouldn't be our #2 catcher.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    He's also 28 and hasnt been able to get an MLB job on a team that lacks catchers. In my opinion, he's a nice 3rd catcher, but 3rd catchers are not hard to replace.

  • I'm ready for the Cubs to start dealing. Right now there should be 28 teams looking to improve. Only 2 teams have something more important on their minds.

  • Should be coming soon. I don't expect anything major. I expect another offseason similar to last one, but if the right deal comes along and it's something that makes sense long term, the Cubs could definitely surprise us.

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    Hope they are smart enough to listen on what it takes to get the Josh Johnson. If we can get him and sign him for a long term deal.

    If they did that, they could take a chance on some high risk high reward pitching this winter knowing they at least have 3 good starters locked in for the coming year.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Maybe, but isn't this the Matt Garza scenario all over again? In fact, it may even be less advised because Johnson is older, with less cost control, and a significant injury history. If he succeeds, then you have to pay him big money to keep him when he gets into his 30s.

    If they're willing to sell cheap, that's one thing, but it's not worth paying top prospects for -- and that was what they were asking for last summer.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I agree, and I think to get Josh Johnson IS going to take top prospects. And if I am Josh's agent, I am advising him only to take a big $ extension, or test FA. Either way, we are likely not going to make that commitment.

    Buerhle is a totally different issue. If he had 2 years left instead of 3, we might be interested. But that 3rd year at $19 mil is a killer.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Last summer is a lot different then then right now.

    They have to make the call. When Johnson is right, he is one of the best pitchers in baseball.

    I agree we shouldn't be giving up any of our top prospects, but a couple mid level prospects and salary relief may get it done. It's not like every prospect we have it going to become a legit MLB player. The failure rate is so high. Get the doctors to evaluate Johnson and see where he is. Yes he is going to be 29 soon, but he's only thrown over 180 innings 3x. So he's not a worn out 29. The Marlins have played it real safe w JJ over the years.

    Who cares they have to pay him 10 million a year or so if he proves to be healthy and dominant? Funny how some people think(not saying you or anyone specific) that if they save 30-50 million this yr and next yr, that they will reinvest all that money say 2015 when this team is "ready" to compete. That's a rather naive way to think.

    What's the quickest way to get this team close to competing? Get some real starting pitching. If they believe like a lot of us do that the two young pitchers Cabrera and the flame thrower we got from the braves Vizcaino will prob be in the bullpen this year then we need some starters.

    You then line up a rotation for next year of Garza, Shark, Josh Johnson, Wood, and the 2-3 pitchers they pick up this winter. That means not only is this rotation talented, it is also deep. So if Paniqua, Vizcaino, or Cabrera show signs that they can be starters by June, July, then they can flip Garza ( if they do or don't extend him this winter) for more prospects.

    I don't care whose in our lineup. I will take JJ/Shark/Garza and go to war vs any 3 starters in the NL Central and like my chances.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    But if they're going to sell cheap,why wouldn't a win now team like the Dodgers or Angels swoop in and top that? They have more to gain and aren't worried as much about the long term.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I don't think they are going to give him away like you allude to by saying "cheap"

    Reason why the Dodgers or Angels don't swoop in and grab him?

    Simple, Jedstein is smart shrewd collection of baseball giants of intelligence ! They are here because they are supposed to be smarter then the competition so thus they should be already in the Marlins ear working this out.

    Plus who has more money to spend then the Cubs right now?

    Dodgers and Angels sure have a lot of money, but they have a lot of in house contracts, arbitrations, ect that they have to deal with.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Ha! I like the optimism. Hope you're right. Wouldn't mind getting him cheap, but for now, I'm a doubting Thomas on that front.

  • Does it depend if they really try to sign Garza to a long term (3)
    year contract. This will determine if their willing to try to win
    many more games in 2013. If not, then it does not make sense
    to trade any top? prospects for a 1 year pitcher, unless they also
    try to sign him to a long (3) term contract.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    I think it's a year to early unless the Cubs can get Johnson in an A-Ram type deal

  • Look like many pitchers are being put on waviers by various teams.
    Too bad they have to be put on a 40-man roster. Is it an un-written
    rule that no trades can be made untill the WS is over?

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Not really. There was just a three team deal the other day.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    That trade was made before the World Series began. The NLCS wasn't even over yet. There is an unofficial moratorium on announcing trades during the World Series. It even extends to personnel moves, if you recall last year Kaplan started a rumor that Selig was going to give the Cubs permission to announce the Theo hiring on an off day of the World Series because it was becoming a distraction, the media was spending a bunch of time writing about Theo instead of covering the World Series. Of course that never came to fruition because it took another month to get the deal done.

  • In reply to Just Win:

    It used to be that trades would not be made at all between the end of the regular season and the end of the World Series. Apparently that's no longer the case.

  • In reply to Just Win:

    That is true. No announcements on the days of WS games.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Not this year. Oakland, Arizona and Miami already made a trade.

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    I would completely stay away from Mark, but Josh Johnson intrigues me. Obviously this all depends on cost, but why not at least talk about it? What if the Marlins have changed perspective and are just trying to save money now? The Cubs could take on every cent of that $13 million dollar contract. If a deal of maybe Lake, Vitters, and Matt Szczur and all the money owed to Johnson is the trade, you have to do it. Obviously that would be a godsend for the Cubs, but maybe you can try to even pry Turner away in a trade? Who knows, the Marlins management is atrocious.

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    In reply to Demarrer:

    Josh Johnson is a 1-year rental, and the Marlins would certainly expect young, close to ML-ready talent back in trade.

    He's a much better fit for a contending team like Cards or Rangers, who have a window to compete and talent to burn.

    That ain't us

    Also, a package of Lake, Vitters, and Szczur isn't at all enticing to anybody. First, you would need 3 40-man slots for those guys, and second, only one has even produced at the AAA level. They ain't worth much in the marketplace. Sorry.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Agreed here. Doesn't look like there is going to be a match here.

  • In reply to Demarrer:

    It's certainly worth talking with them. Can't hurt. I'm sure they'll know right away if a deal is feasible by how the Marlins open up the talks. My guess is they'll still ask for a lot.

    The star has fallen off of Turner a bit. Now looks like anywhere from a #3-#5 depending on who you ask.

  • If I remember right, they sold pretty low on Hanley Ramirez, so love to do business with them. Maybe Theo will "Baby, I love you" like he did to Atlanta for Delgado and Florida will wake up in the morning not respecting itself. Rumor was that Florida was asking the moon for Johnson though, like we did with Garza, so we'll see which way it shakes out.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    I agree. I'd compare it to a return on Garza, though Marlins may be more likely to settle than the Cubs will. At the same time, I just imagine a lot of teams that will be in on JJ, so may not be easy to steal him.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Yeah, you have a team looking to compete this year, they could easily outbid us. Especially since we're not gonna go that high on a one year rental at this point in the rebuild. But Hanley going relatively low still lets me hope. That's the fun part this time of year - the what ifs.

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    In reply to Carne Harris:

    "Maybe Theo will "Baby, I love you" like he did to Atlanta for Delgado and Florida will wake up in the morning not respecting itself."

    This just cracked me up.

  • In reply to João Lucas:

    Then my work here is done.

  • JJ is a pretty solid mid-rotation guy, but I mean he's been in the league for what 7 years and he's only had 4 seasons with 20+ starts and only 1 season with 200IP. On top of the injury history he's going to be 29 and will be 30 if we extend him. Quite possible over 30 by the time we're ready to compete.

    I'd love if we can get this guy for a couple of mid-level prospects and what not but in reality with teams closer than the Cubs that's just not going to happen. Hell Anibal Sanchez yielded most of the Tigers top prospects. Also I'm pretty sure Fish were asking for Olt++ for JJ last year from Rangers.

  • In reply to Furiousjeff:

    They were definitely asking a lot and I can't imagine the price has gone down a whole lot. If they're going to settle, I don't believe they're going to do it until the trade deadline.

  • If the Marlins are smart, and that's questionable, they will ask for a lot for Johnson. As of right now you have teams like the Angels, Rangers and Dodgers who believe they are close and will pay the price. The Cubs should not and will not get in a bidding war. If I thought the Cubs were this close to contending I would feel different but they aren't close , so no.

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    I do believe they'll stay out of a bidding war and with JJ possibly the biggest name/talent on the market, it really is hard for me imagine that not happening.

  • If 2014 might be our year to contend then we should just pickup
    young pitchers that high risk or coming back from an injury at
    a very low cost to us. Except for veteran players (i.e., Carlos,
    LaHair, Vitters, etc) don't need to trade away anybody with some
    potential for a quick fix.

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    John, don't you think we could get Buehrle if we ate something like 70% of his salary and gave up maybe a couple of C prospects? Sounds reasonable to me. Shouldn't we do it then?

  • In reply to João Lucas:

    Still not wild about it. I'm most worried about that 19M he's owed in 2015. I expect the Cubs to be good by then and I don't know if I like the idea of taking up a huge part of the payroll for an average pitcher.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I realize those last two years of his contract are scary, but if the Marlins agree to eat 30% of his contract like I said, that would be $14.4 million of the $48 millon he's owed. We could see that amount as compensating the backload on his contract, so we'd be adding a realiable innings-eater to our rotation for three years for a little over $11 million a year. Sounds good to me. And we could always try and trade him for an unreasonable return to a contending team in desperation!

    Of course, this is a best case scenario assuming the Marlins would go for it and Buehrle would continue to perform like he has. And maybe I'm just a little higher on Buehrle than you are.

  • Either Bruce Levine is a moron or he's just trolling dumb Cubs fans. Guys like Johnson and Buehrle are the last guys the Cubs should be after right now. Theo knows that. Jed knows that. Most (if not all) of the people on this board know that. How does Bruce Levine not know this?

    And to those saying,"Well if they can re-sign Johnson, then it's a good move!"

    No, no, a thousand times no. It's only a good move if you A) get him on the cheap AND get Johnson at a huge discount. Why give up talent now for a guy when you can sign him (or a similar caliber player) after the season, without giving up any prospects?

  • Regardless of what most people think, I'll say that Buehrle is the better fit for the Cubs than Johnson.

    Johnson is just too injury plagued and will be too expensive (both in terms of extension salary and prospects to acquire) to look in to.

    Buehrle, on the other hand, can come cheap, assuming the Cubs pick up the entire $48 million owed to him over the next three seasons. Maybe a couple of mid-tier prospects (Timothy Saunders and Dae-Eun Rhee sounds about good) grabs him.

    At this point, the Cubs can restructure his contract to heavily load up on the 2013 salary, a year in which the Cubs' payroll should hit its lowest level in a decade. Maybe a 20m/10m/8m re-distribution of his salaries. While a Cub, Buehrle could provide quality innings as a veteran leader and workhorse, something the team will need while dealing with the growing pains of a young rotation. Sure, you're on the hook for a lot of money with him, but anytime after 2013, using my contract restructuring, he can be flipped for more prospects, ones far better than Saunders or Rhee will ever be.

    If nothing else, it'd drive White Sox fans insane to go to a game during the cross-town classic and see their former ace (and I use the term loosely with Buehrle) shutting down the Sox.

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    In reply to Jim Weihofen:

    I don't disagree that Buehrle is the better fit, because we have cash, but we don't have talent, so parting with talent for cash is not a bad idea.

    But taking on all $48 mil is a bad idea. In fact, I think the Marlins are going to have to eat a chunk of that in any trade involving Buehrle; he isn't worth $16 mil a year for 3 years right now.

    I also think the Cubs are only going to spend money on a player they can flip later for young talent. That may or may not be Beurhle, but Cubs would need to send cash along to get talent in return

  • In reply to Zonk:

    If the Cubs take on all of Buehrle's salary, they don't have to give up anything beyond the likes of Rebel Ridling, IMO. The Marlins already got the cheap year of his contract.

    Right now, I see how much it'll cost to send an interchangeable player over for Buehrle, and make that offer.

    He can be flipped for prospects in a year and a half, not amazing ones, but solid. Of course, for a while, both prospects acquired for a couple months of Ryan Dempster were on the Cubs' Top 20 prospects from, so we'll see.

    It's not an ideal fit, but I think it can work, and should be explored and weighed by the front office.

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    I don't see either of these guys being able to compete long-term.

    And giving up even B or C level prospects for anyone that isn't young, elite talent seems ridiculous when you consider that accumulating prospects is what we're trying to do.

    I say the best strategy is to keep the focus on our current course of action. Trade veterans for promising prospects, draft smart, stay patient, and build from within.

    Epstein did great in Boston until he tried to get cute and start overpaying free agents.

    Honestly, I wouldn't mind at all if we have another 100 loss season. We can acquire more good prospects and position ourselves to draft Carlos Rodon in '14. If he stays healthy, I think he's a better SP prospect than anyone in the last or next draft class. He will be much more likely to help our future than Josh Johnson.

  • If the cubs were in the Marlins position and already had these pitchers on their staff, wouldn't they be trying to move them too? Like they are trying to do with Garza? Trading for either pitcher now doesn't seem like the right move, just be staying in the same place.

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