Cubs Notes 12/20: Wade signs,Villanueva agrees, Jackson close

Cubs Notes 12/20: Wade signs,Villanueva agrees, Jackson close
Cory Wade

Going to play some catch up here as I was out with some fellow Chicago Now bloggers out in Wrigleyville.  It appears the Cubs were on the hunt for pitching last night.  They got one and they're closing in on two more.  It's not clear whether the Cubs intend to sign two more starters, but they appeared to be talking to both Carlos Villanueva and Edwin Jackson.  There are conflicting reports on whether Villanueva has agreed to sign.  We know how that goes, so we'll wait until we hear it from the Cubs before we make it official.

Not sure I want to call this a rumor thread yet, but there is a lot going on here so we'll follow closely throughout the day.

  • 2:21 PM: Per Patrick Mooney, the Cubs have signed Edwin Jackson for 4 years and $52M.
  • 2:09 PM:  Curious tweet by Edwin Jackson's former Nationals teammate Gio Gonzalez, "Congrats to my boy @EJ36 for his big deal today. You will be missed, couldn't of happened to an amazing friend and great pitcher."  @EJ36 is Edwin Jackson's twitter handle.  It's also nice to see that he was well-liked by his teammates.  He's been on so many teams that it sometimes you wonder...but whatever the reason, Gonzalez's tweet seems to indicate it has nothing to do with having EJax in the clubhouse.
  • 1:30 PM: David Kaplan also confirms the Villanueva agreement and adds that the deal will be finalized withing the next 24 hours.  He cites his own sources on Jackson as well, saying, "In addition, sources have confirmed to me that the Cubs are in prime position to land right-handed starter Edwin Jackson who is close to agreeing to a 4-year deal worth $52 million. "
  • 11:35 AM: Bruce Levine confirms agreement with Carlos Villanueva for 2 years pending a physical.
  • 8:55 AM: Buster Olney is the second big media member to report that the Cubs have made strong progress with Edwin Jackson on a 4 year/$52M deal.  Olney considers Jackson to be "just about off the board."
  • 8:45 AM: According to Jon Heyman this morning, the agreement with Carlos Villanueva is for 2 years/$10M.  Heyman thinks it's a nice add and we tend to agree, especially at that price.  Villanueva was 7-7 with a 4.16 ERA overall and posted a 3.24 ERA as a reliever with over a strikeout per inning.  He adds great depth to the Cubs rotation.
  • The pitcher they signed is 29 year old Corey Wade, (h/t emartinezjr via ChicagoCubsOnline) a guy we've mentioned several times, including this piece in October.  They signed Wade on a minor league deal.  Here is what I said about him back then, "Wade had a disastrous season (6.46 ERA)  but that could be a blessing in disguise because it could mean he comes cheaper.  His strikeout to walk rate per 9 innings was excellent (8.77/1.85) and his xFIP of 3.65 was very respectable.  There's plenty to suggest that Wade just had an unlucky year: low strand rate, high BABIP, and a career high percentage of flyballs that left the yard.  There could be some hidden value here."
  • It appears Carlos Villanueva hasn't quite signed yet.  Ken Rosenthal says there is an agreement in place while Carrie Muskat says they are talking to both Villanueva and Edwin Jackson, but nothing is done on either yet.
  • Speaking of Jackson, Jim Bowden tweeted that he Cubs are the front runner for him and that 4 years an $52M appears to be "in the neighborhood".  Like Sanchez that would be a slight overpay, in my opinion, but such is the plight of a rebuilding team.  You can't just bid on equal terms with the better teams, you have to give them a reason to come to a team that expects to lose for another year or two.  Money is often that reason.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Comments

Leave a comment
  • Wade can be a real nice bullpen addition. While I think 2008 and 2011 were likely him overachieving, as someone probably slated for a 7th inning role at best, he could add a lot of value.

    Should they somehow get Jackson and Villanueva as well, this team will be somehow overflowing with pitching. Which can set them up for either a surprise run, or a large return of prospects in July.

  • In reply to Jim Weihofen:

    I like Wade. Not a flashy guy. Throws strikes. Best case scenario is he's a little like Shawn Camp.

    This team could be pretty deep on the mound by the trade deadline. If everyone signs, will be curious to see how it all shakes out.

  • fb_avatar

    Have you guys seen Matt Garza's twitter within the hour???

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Colman Conneely:

    He's know something we don't about the Jackson situation.. Or he's just fooling around..

  • In reply to Colman Conneely:

    What did he say?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Rock:

    First he wondered what shirt number Jackson would use, and then, when someone asked him no to jinx it because there was no done deal, he replied "I know something you don't know".

    https://twitter.com/Gdeuceswild

  • In reply to João Lucas:

    Thank you, very interesting!

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Rock:

    Yes he said he wondered what # he was gonna wear

  • In reply to Colman Conneely:

    Just a word of caution, though. Garza celebrated the Haren and Sanchez signs early.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    Lol yes he did.. Lets hope this one doesn't end the same way.. Lol

  • I remember Wade being my favorite from that non-tender list, so glad we got him. (In fact, I just looked up my comment on that page to see if I was remembering right that I liked Wade and my first three words were, "I like Wade." Lol.) Looking forward to waking up tomorrow to good news on Villanueva and/or Jackson.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    Haha! Nice one.

  • If just one of these rumors turns out to be factual, it'd be a good pickup for the Cubs. Both? That would be fabulous for our pitching depth.
    I was looking at some comments from Blue Jays fans who heard that Villanueva was apparently about to become a Cub, and they were all glowingly positive: Good attitude, reliable, versatile....the only question is his stamina as a starter.
    Thanks for the updates, John.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    You're welcome. That seems to be the only question with Villanueva but it looks like the Cubs are going to have plenty of starters to cover the situation if he can't!

  • Both nice pickups for the Cubs , especially if they get both Villanueva and Jackson. I'm still skeptical about Jackson, only because the Rangers might offer a chance to Jackson to be on a world series contender and the Cubs can't right now. It all depends on the years the Cubs are willing to offer Jackson.

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    Agreed. Looks like Texas doesn't want to 4 years, though. Some even speculate they just want a short term deal. It comes down to security/stabiliy over a chance to win. Given Jackson's well-traveled career, I'd be surprised if he didn't choose the former.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I believe your right John. With the reports saying the Cubs and Jackson are very close, it looks like he is looking for security above all else.

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    I'm actually expecting greater competition from the Indians in that sense.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    and more years usually means much more guaranteed $$$

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Yep

  • Clearly I'm thrilled that the Cubs are close to signing Jackson. He's a guy I've been pushing for two seasons now. Young, talented, serially undervalued, and won't cost the Cubs anything but cash. If the FO finally seals the deal on this free agent contract, is the 40 man roster basically set?

  • In reply to Eddie:

    You've been one of his biggest supporters from day one -- even last year, I remember.

    As for the roster, I still think they'll look to add an OF'er.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    As to that possible OF John, who is still available on your wish list that you think is an actual possibility? I've been much more focused on the pitchers in play this offseason I must confess...

  • In reply to Ryno2Grace:

    I think there is a couple ways they can go. They can try and trade for Crisp, but CFs have been expensive in trades so far.

    Another is to go for another value/upside play. They showed interest in Sizemore last year. Perhaps they might rekindle that. I don't think he can play there everyday anymore but could platoon with DeJesus there and also gets some time in the corners.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Sizemore, won't be ready until July.

  • John, again good work, but I got to say I applaud the commitment. Posting at 1:20 after a night out in Wrigleyville? Most writers would be slurring their typing...or they would just use it as an excuse to make up trade rumors (or at least that would explain some of the rumors...).

  • In reply to DoubleM:

    Thanks! I was probably slurring a bit in my head as I typed :) Somehow it came out okay by the time it got to my fingertips!

  • If both are signed I see a trade coming to open up two spots
    in 40 man roster

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Very, very possible.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    seems like if we are to sign Edwin, Vill, and Shier we have to clear 3 spots ...the only thing that would make sense would be to cut Sori, Garza, or maybe even Castro go with a couple lower spec's to clear space.

    with Detroit moving Nick Cas to the of in the winter league, I don't see a move with the tigers, anyway to see who would have 40 man spots available, without looking at every roster.

  • In reply to waitingOn2015:

    The Cubs aren't going to cut Garza or Castro.

  • In reply to waitingOn2015:

    They aren't cutting any of those guys. Perhaps they may move Soriano or Garza in a trade. Castro is not going anywhere.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    sorry i mean cut loose ...as in trade

    not cut and get nothing in return.

    wow i worded that completely wrong.
    i could see like castro+another guy for a younger top prospect like bundy ...maybe Olt, but that would probably take Garza

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to waitingOn2015:

    No way they trade Castro and I'd be seriously surprised at this point if they trade Garza - definitely won't happen now. You'd be selling low. I get the feeling they're going to extend Garza and look at contending for the division in 2014. If Jackson comes through, then the Cubs will have an excellent rotation. They could even be a factor next year if a few offensive players perform above expectations.

  • In reply to Kevin Heckman:

    well kap just said the holliday season is going to prolong the announcement, the schie hasn't been announced ...which gives the FO time to make a move instead of just cutting 3 off the 40.

    who do you think they will move?

    I am just guessing.

    If you could get two Bundy, Macado and Hardy, I could see them trading Castro. Not likely, but I don't think they are committed to anyone long term except maybe Rizzo

  • In reply to waitingOn2015:

    "the only thing that would make sense would be to cut Sori, Garza, or maybe even Castro"

    wow, hopefully for your sake this is a troll post.

  • fb_avatar

    Villanueva signed 2yr/10mil per Heyman.

  • Besides the obvious benefits to the major league rotation, signing one or both of these SPs allows the Cubs to take it slow with Vizcaino and Cabrera. There will be no rush to bring Vizcaino up from the minors and even if they choose to bring him up, the Cubs can use him out of the pen. Plus Cabrera can spend the whole year at Iowa getting stretched out. I'd be just fine with leaving both guys in the minors all year.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    Good point. No rush to get these guys up. Would be surprised if we saw them back in the majors before August, depending on how the deadline goes.

  • fb_avatar

    2yrs/10 mil seems pretty fair. He's been inconsistent, but he was apparently seeking the opportunity to start, and the Cubs must have offered that to him.

    That leaves the starting rotation full for now, (Shark, Garza, Wood, Feldman, Villanueva), unless Feldman heads to bullpen, or there is a trade. Either one may be possible if the Cubs sign Edwin Jackson.

    Not only that, but Vizcaino, Cabrera, Baker wait in wings for later in the season....it's almost like the Cubs are lining-up for a mid-season pitching trade

  • In reply to Zonk:

    I'd be surprised at this point if the Cubs didn't deal someone at the deadline. And they've set themselves up just in case some team makes an offer for Matt Garza before then.

  • I'm pissed if I'm Scott Feldman right now. Sign here thinking you've got a spot in the rotation and then the team goes out and keeps signing starters. Anything can happen and history has shown that even the luckiest teams will use 8-9 starters in a season. But still, I would kind of feel like I got sold a bill of goods.

  • In reply to Ratmoss:

    I love it! Hope they sign E Jax too! I'd still be in favor of extending Garza unless we net more back than what we gave up for him...

    This gives us all kind of depth. That depth gives us all kinds of options & flexibility. This is wave #1... it just came via FA.

    With this rotation/Pen/and Defense.... Could we be one big bat away from being competitive?... Now I'm really wishing we had signed Yoennis Céspedes last year... lol

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I wish we signed him too.. That's one of the very few moves I'm mad the FO didn't make..

  • In reply to Ratmoss:

    I still think he has a great shot to start in the rotation. If the Cubs do sign Jackson, you have Shark, Garza, and EJax at the top and then probably Feldman, Villanueva, and Wood all battling for the final two spots. Of course, when Baker comes back, it really gets crowded.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    Nothing wrong with some friendly competition!! Makes guys more hungry..

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Do you think a trade is in the works John?

    It definitely seems that Jed/Theo looked around, saw that the pitching at the top levels was non-existent (including the likes of Coleman, Wells, etc.) and decided to address it through free agency. What I like is that they've done so without paying all that much (with perhaps the exception of Jackson) and also without making overly long commitments (again with the possible exception of Jackson if he signs). If the light bulb turns on for any of the SP in the minors (McNutt, Vizcaino, Cabrera, etc.) then they probably won't be blocked as most of these guys could be relatively easily moved at a trade deadline this year or next year.

    Also, while our offense looks pretty weak, the pitching on this team is suddenly above average and should keep us in a lot of games. Even if the Cubs lose 90+ games, I suspect that they will be more interesting loses... Small consolation, but at least it's a consolation. The end of last year was pretty rough as one has to content oneself with watching the rookies try to learn from their (many) mistakes and watch the pitchers weed themselves out of consideration.

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    I think there are possible trades in mind, but that they won't happen until at least March and maybe not until Scott Baker comes back around May.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    That's just speculation, but I don't imagine teams willing to deal for Garza quite yet.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Though they may need to make trades to make room on the roster elsewhere.

  • Jumping on the bandwagon,....

    I'm actually quite pleased with the pitching additions and mosly pleased with the position player additions. Even the idea of Navarro has grown on me.

    Even with only one of Villanueva or E. Jackson on board - the pitching staff, and especially the bullpen is much more solid than this time last season. Signing either of these two give the Cubs what appears to be dependable, potentially tradable (if needed) assets, and gives cover for the start of the season if Garza and more likely Baker are not ready to roll.

    The only starters left from last year now are Garza (if ready to go) and Shark. The only pen guys are Russel, Marmol, and Camp (I think). Addition by subtraction in a lot of ways. Volstad's horrible season was a fair price to pay (IMO) to unload Zambrano,... but now both are gone.

    The offense is still likely to sputter and strugle to consistently score runs,... but defense should be excellent across the board, and the guys on the mound should be able to keep the team in a lot of games.

    Year 2 of the rebuild is looking excellent even before the guys in the farm system get a chance to try and shine.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Wood is still a starting candidate and a couple of guys may get a shot at a bullpen spot, but otherwise I agree.

    Much improved, especially if Jackson deal goes through. Just need a good defender in CF right now and maybe a RH 3B.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    Could Bourjos be a fit in center. We know the Angels wanted Marmol. Maybe the Angels include Callaspo or Jepsen?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Steve Kermath:

    I think the Angels decided w there move of Kendrys last night that Peter Bourjos and Mark Trumbo are staying put.

    An OF of Bourjos/Trout/Hamilton is like 3 gold gloveish CF's w 2 plus arms as well.

    I think that will def help there pitching staff.

    Trumbo will be the DH and alternate w the OF/1B/3B

  • In reply to Steve Kermath:

    Bourjos and Callaspo would be great fits. I do think they're staying in LA now, however.

  • Love what's being done here, but it does throw a bit of a curveball at the rebuild. The moves give us a potentially very very solid rotation, and it would be quite a shame to lose a TON of 2-0, 2-1 games.
    I feel less inclined to want to see them move Soriano than I did just a day or so ago. I was in the "move him for the long-term assets" camp just 24 hours ago. Now, I feel like the team could actually compete in 2013 if they have a near-average offensive team. Getting rid of Soriano will make that VERY tough, as there still is a lack of run producers on this team.

    Unless we see Garza + ??? to Texas for Olt + ??? or can get Brown from Phily for Soriano, I'm feeling more torn than ever about Soriano and Garza as tradeable assets.

    I need to be pulled back off the ledge, I know...

  • In reply to Steve4cash:

    Can't pull you off the ledge there because I agree :) The Cubs are not in a desperate position to deal here. They can -- and should -- ask for a lot for both players. Don't want to deal either of those two guys unless the Cubs get good young talented players in return.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Not only that John, but we could surprise everyone and be competitive, if Stewart & B-Jax live up to expectations to go with Castro/Rizzo/Sori?Castillo, etc.... That's a real MLB line-up capable of winning games... dare I say 2014 comes a year early?

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    It's not out of the question. Takes a lot of IFs, but at the very least the pitching and defense should be respectable.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I think this goes back to John's Soriano article from a few days back about how strange it was that Soriano wasn't being valued higher than a bunch of other schmoes (Vernon Wells, Mark Reynolds, etc.). Maybe the front office had a plan all along and they saw how much value Sori could bring to the team if they were able to swing a couple deals. So they have been asking for a ton all along for Sori which could be why their were no bites.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Steve4cash:

    Honestly, I don't think this does much to the rebuild at all. Every piece they've added to this point is flippable for prospects at the deadline if the team loses a bunch of 2-0 games, as pretty much everyone fears. And they haven't given up draft picks or prospects to put together their current roster. (That's why I think a Michael Bourn or Nick Swisher addition is extremely unlikely, but we'll see.) If they do sign Jackson, it's just one more stud to be left standing when they rip it down to the studs in July.

    This is a team that could either compete or, if it doesn't, look very similar to the team that lost 100 games at the end of last season, with a change of Jackson on the team and Soriano off of it.

  • I hate saying this, because it goes against my respect for seasoning players in the minors the way Theo/Hoyer like to do, but BJax in center to start the season might not be the worst thing in the world for this team if he shows a flash in spring training

  • I can see having to overpay for Sanchez because his other suitor was Detroit. Jackson's situation is not quite the same though, because Cleveland is also in the mix, not just the Cubs and Rangers.

  • So I have a guess as to why they're aggressively going after Jackson and Sanchez (besides the young and the good strikeout and command numbers): I bet they're seriously valuing the fact that they wouldn't have to give up a draft pick. I wouldn't be surprised if this situation shrinks a lot in the near future with under-30 starting pitchers. If we had to give up our first- or second-rounder for either of the big-time pitchers we've pursued, I think the Cubs Denizens would be more upset. But hey, we don't! For that reason and the fact that we have money, I'm not complaining.

    A couple of toss-in comments...

    - Cubs games are going to be pret-ty quick this year...
    - Just curious: how does this potential Jackson deal compare to say, Ted Lilly? He was our last four-year pitcher to sign, right? He was at 4/$40M, which looks like quite the deal compared to the Jackson deal. Not saying I'm upset, just noting that we seem to have gotten a few bargains in the past.

  • In reply to mosconml:

    Yes..it's not coincidence that these were guys without qualifying offers.

  • In reply to mosconml:

    I think Dempster was later and he was 4/$48M.

  • fb_avatar

    Would you rather: Anibal Sanchez or Edwin Jackson, Carlos Villanueuva and $28 million dollars?

    Now the Phillies seem to be out on Swisher and Ross because of their asking prices. So take that 28m you saved and ship it to PHI with Soriano for Domonic Brown and a minor league player.

    Merry Christmas.

  • In reply to Jive Wired:

    What is Domonic Brown's best tool? I don't get to see many Phillies games so I'm not totally familiar with him. Any have a general scouting report on him?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Pura Vida:

    He was their #1 prospect in 2011/2012. Lots of speed and decent power, still some projection. He may have been overrated based on a few good seasons but I think the all-star potential is still there. Philly just likes veteran teams.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Jive Wired:

    Oops, 2011/2011 not 2011/2012

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    Best tool is his arm but he's an all-around player. A toolsy guy, maybe 20 HR power, 20 SBs. Needs to work on his defense though. Athletic but needs to take better routes/angles and get better jumps.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Thanks Jive and John.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Jive Wired:

    Actually closer to 18 million, but we get the idea.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Too much spiked eggnog = bad math. LOL.

  • Just read that the Angels have just shopped K. Morales to the Mariners for Vargas,...

    That opens up the Angel's OF/DH rotation a bit with the addition of Hamilton, and got them a decent pitcher.

    Does mean that (not that it was likely) that Soriano won't be shopped to the Mariners.

  • Word from L.A. is the Angels need pitching and are looking at Garza....who do they have that we might want in prospects?

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Good question,... don't know anything about their farm system.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to drkazmd65:

    It's barren. There's nothing at the top levels -- and that's where the Cubs would want to pick for Garza. I don't see a match there.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Exactly. They have been trading trading and trading. They do have Garrett Richards, but not much else. Plus w getting Vargas to go w Weaver, CJ Wilson, Tommy Hanson, and Fat Joe. I doubt they will be looking to be investing in a pitcher until the trade deadline ( assuming they are neck n neck in a race)

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I would be shocked if the Cubs traded Garza now.....I would think Theo would like to sign Garza by the end of Spring Training to a 4 year deal.... ......lets say if the Cubs are in a division race in 2013,,,,and Garza stays with us until the end with no new contract, and he becomes a F/A...Cubs can offer him a one year deal or Garza will opt for F/A for a bigger payday....and the Cubs would get a draft pick if Gaza does sign somewhere else.......with the money being spent today, Garza could be a $20 million per year pitcher by this time next year........

    meanwhile, Cubs can draft Appel this summer and be ready for 2014.

    I am at the point of not trading Garza, unless the 'World of Prospects" was given to us......get a draft pick if Garza flies off the nest........I rather go down the road of spending money to a group of TJ young pitchers than putting it all on one pitcher which could burn us in the long run......

    Right now, Garza could cost over $100 million next year on a five year contract.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    100 million for 5 years of Garza? Whatever you're smoking, please pass it along. No way Garza is worth 25 mill a year. Puff puff pass Cubs Talk...

  • In reply to jamespk:

    Sorry, 20 million a year....

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Do you think Trout is asking too much? :)

  • Assuming both V and EJax sign and further that no current roster pitcher is dealt prior to the season beginning, does anyone think we have room on this staff for our Rule 5 pick?

  • In reply to Good Captain:

    Will write about this if/when Cubs sign Jackson.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Good Captain:

    There's always the option of a minor trade so we can send him down. I hope we keep Rondon. He's got some nice potential if he's healthy.

  • I know we're eagerly awaiting these good pitchers under our Cubs Christmas tree, but it benefits the FO to hold off on officially inking the contracts so they can figure out who to release/trade/designate to adjust the 40-man roster when new guys are added. And as many here are saying, there may a be a trade in the works to that effect.
    I have to stop myself from checking rumors and transactions every 5 minutes. But it's hard not to peek and shake the pretty boxes.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Cubs are delaying a lot of announcements...Sheirholtz, now Villanueva...they took a while with Fujikawa, Stewart...

    Have to think they're giving themselves time to make a deal.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    Can they still cancel the Scheiholtz deal if they wanted to?

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    That would not look good for them. I doubt it.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    Why the delay? Is it to figure out something on 40-man?

    Maybe it's easier to sneak players through during Holidays.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Just roster management, I imagine.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    Thanks for the quick reply, but I figured it wouldn't look good, but could they do it w/o any repercussions ( union/compensation/ect) ?

    IE, could they offer him a minor league contract and invite him to spring training w ( wink wink, we need some time to get some people off this 40 man roster, but once we do, we will hook you up)

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    There's always repercussions for that sort of move, if not formal, than informal.

    If I'm his agent and the Cubs yanked an MLB offer and offered a minor league deal, I immediately start exploring other options. And maybe Shierholtz isn't a star, but they obviously like him and want him on the team.

    I trust the Cubs will find a different way to create space on the roster. Last guy in is always on the bubble (Sandy Rosario). Cubs now have a surplus of pitching. Can't imagine they'd keep all those pitchers on the roster, so someone like Rusin may have to sweat it out, maybe an OF'er like Campana...or maybe the Cubs work out a deal somewhere to create roster space.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    Well then the agent for Anibal Sanchez is going to really have to "pay" for his dealing w the Cubs.

    I agree, some pitching is going to have to go. Poor Rusin

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I'm not convinced the Cubs ever thought they had Sanchez signed. I think the agent made that leak -- and while it makes him a bit of a jerk, that's kind of his job. That said, maybe teams may be more inclined to pull their offer next time he tries that stunt.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    In other words, he played Detroit owner Illitch a little bit to by making it look like a signing was imminent. He got Illitch to panic and increase his offer by $32M.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    yea, he def juiced a man who has millions and millions to spend. Just think since it looks like Jedstein believed Sanchez was there #1 target, it seems to hurt them as IMO, it looked like they looked at Sanchez as one of those building blocks.

    If they get Jackson, then I think its no big deal as with the right instruction and maturity, he could be every bit as good as Sanchez. ( was hoping they got edwin jackson last year and he would already be learning the new "cubs way"

  • fb_avatar

    Levine tweeted this:

    Bruce Levine ‏@ESPNBruceLevine

    Cubs and Carlos Villanueva waiting for physical to announce agreement.

    ----

  • In reply to Just Win:

    Thanks...got it. Trying to keep this thread updated until the signing. Things have slowed down but I expect things to pick up a bit soon.

  • Looking at the stat splits on Villanueva reveals some very interesting trends for the Cubbies:
    + His ERA is a full 1/2 run lower in day games than it is in night games, for the last 3 years. If you just take last year's stats, it's 1.98 in day games, 5.06 in night games. Wow! There may be a nonobvious underlying factor here, but it's safe to say he pitches well in the day.
    + He is a bit of a fader. ERA is much higher after the all-star break than it is before, almost 2 runs higher for the last 3 yrs. He appears to hit a wall sometime in August. He's still relatively young, hopefully his conditioning improves. He is a big dude, so that should work in his favor.

    Overall he has excellent stuff. I like checking out the K/BB ratio, as well as the H/IP ratio. Both are excellent for him. He could really be a fan favorite with our team.

  • In reply to HefCA:

    solid info there

  • In reply to HefCA:

    Interesting on the day/night splits. Stamina has always been a question for him. He wants to be a full time starter but most scouts/teams don't think he can hack it.

  • fb_avatar

    The crazy thing is, and especially if we also sign Edwin Jackson, our rotation now could be capable of being .500 or even slightly better. Our bullpen is somewhat questionable, especially if Marmol is traded. But some of these additions will have to work at least part of the season in the bullpen.

    Our offense of course is still pretty weak. But if you look at many of the playoff teams last year - including the world champion Giants (plus A's, O's, and even the Pirates who were in contention much of the season), they had mediocre to horrible offenses paired with good pitching and defense. It's not out of the realm of possibilities the Cubs could be near contention in 2013. I'm not getting my hopes up, but stranger things have happened.

    Which does bring an interesting point, as others have mentioned. We surely can't be in much of a rush to trade Soriano at this point. It probably doesn't make much sense to trade Marmol this off season unless someone offers something we can't pass up.

    I'd think the front office is thinking, start the year, see what we have, how it plays out, and if we are in contention, awesome, but if not, hey, we have a lot of options now to swing some trades for younger pieces and hopefully add a long term young core type of player or two.

    This is a very smart off-season by the front office. I'm impressed. They haven't spent much money but have made significant improvements, not only in the near term but that should also pay off long term when we likely make some deals.

  • In reply to Just Win:

    That would be an interesting idea for an article once the Cubs have settled in with their moves this offseason. I don't subscribe to the adage that "pitching and defense wins championships", but I do think it keeps you from beating yourselves on the field and that alone would be a big step for a team like the Cubs. I'll really like their defense better too if they get a better CF, but that may not be on the priority list anymore. We'll see.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    Yeah, I'm not saying or even thinking they can contend, but with good pitching stranger things have happened. I still don't think the talent on the pitching staff is world championship caliber. But it is already light years ahead of last year's disaster.

    Right now, barring a trade, we'd start the season with 6 honest, big league SP's, Garza/Shark/Feldman/Wood/Villanueva/Baker, and 7 if Jackson signs. Having the depth of Rusin and Raley in the minors, and whomever else are in the mix for the 8th/9th starters if disaster strikes is pretty good.

    And personally, I'd rather see Wood in the rotation than Feldman or Villanueva. Nothing against either guy, but Wood put up shockingly good numbers last year even though the eye-test didn't look that way. Plus he's younger and a lefty. And since Feldman and Villanueva have experience in the pen, that's probably a better fit. If Jackson signs and everyone is healthy, we'll probably see both of those guys in the bullpen.

  • fb_avatar

    John if we sign Jackson.. And we've been signing all this starting pitching.. Do you think it will change if we take a pitcher in the draft?? Probably not right

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Colman Conneely:

    I wouldn't think any big league moves would change their draft priorities. They should always take the best player available, period. Even if they thought differently, anyone they draft is 1-2 years away at best. Most of these free agents are on one year deals.

  • In reply to Colman Conneely:

    Not at all. They still need long term guys -- and they'll take the BPA regardless of position.

  • fb_avatar

    Kaplan says Cubs agreed on Villanueva deal and are close on Jackson.

    http://www.csnchicago.com/baseball-chicago-cubs/cubs-talk/Cubs-agree-to-deal-with-Villanueva-close?blockID=815737&feedID=10336&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed

  • fb_avatar

    I don't follow other teams very closely, but I wonder if Theo/Jed have looked around at the rest of the Central and think they see an opening that's motivating them to move up their timeline. I still think 2014 is a better chance than 2013 because of the offense, but I think, if Jackson signs especially, that we have playoff-caliber pitching. It's just a question of whether the offense improves over last year.

  • In reply to Kevin Heckman:

    Their focus is on the long term but you're right in that doesn't imply the Cubs aren't giving themselves a shot to win next year. They've said repeatedly that every opportunity to win is precious. The Cubs are putting themselves where perhaps that opportunity becomes reality. 2013 is starting to look a bit more interesting.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    they probably look at the Central and see Cincy and St Louis two of the most well ran orgs in all of baseball and know that they have to do their due diligence and build from bottom up

    1) to get good specs at the deadline you have to have valuable assets ...most of their signings have been really quality signings, but a lot teams aren't going to make them because they aren't desperate at this time, most need splashes ...if injuries happen teams get really desperate at the deadline, the market may open for some of the pieces we go, hopefully we aren't signing with no trade clauses
    2) win drafts
    3) only take on minimal risk, until foundation is built.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to waitingOn2015:

    I agree with that, and obviously if the team is way out of the race at the deadline, then these are some very flippable pitchers. But it also might influence decision-making now. If we sign Jackson, maybe we don't look to trade Soriano or Marmol (or Garza) before the season begins. Theo/Jed might start to think that this team has more upside than we've been expecting and give them a chance to play a half season before dealing big leaguers away.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Kevin Heckman:

    I tend to disagree -- if the offer is there for Soriano or Garza, they'll take it. But, those trades won't be Soriano for an A-ball all star, it will be along the lines of Soriano-for-Brown or Garza-for-Olt. That is, guys who could impact the big league roster sooner rather than later, possibly even this coming year. They aren't forced to trade either one -- though there is some urgency with Garza. But, they would like to keep adding to the young core, and clearly they don't see any of the three you mention as pieces of that.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I think that's true of Soriano and Marmol, but I don't think we can say whether they see Garza as part of the core going forward.

  • In reply to Kevin Heckman:

    A Jackson signing plus Garza extension will give them three solid pitchers along with Shark for the next four years. When the first wave comes through, ti would be amazing to have (hypothetical):
    1. Vizcaino
    2. PTBNL
    3. Shark
    4. Garza
    5. Jackson

    And our bats will be up by then and we'll start to be favored not only to win the division but to go deep in the playoffs year after year.

  • John do you think this move makes the Rangers make a move for a pitcher a la Matthew Garza, or are they no willing to wait that long? And who else might they be looking at? Love the site tremendous insight

  • The Jason Vargas move, should have clarified

  • New update. Tweet from Gio Gonzalez...

    Congrats to my boy @EJ36 (Edwin Jackson) for his big deal today. You will be missed, couldn't of happened to an amazing friend and great pitcher.

    Sounds like a deal is done and if reports are correct, it'd be a big suprise if it wasn't the Cubs.

  • fb_avatar

    Per Patrick Mooney, E Jax signed.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Zachary Myers:

    With the Cubs that is. 4 yr/52 mil.

    Patrick Mooney ‏@CSNMooney
    #Cubs have signed Edwin Jackson (four years, $52 million) and Carlos Villanueva, pending physicals.

  • It's done! Cubs have signed Jackson....4 yrs/$52M.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    Yes, thank you John and front office for the first great news this year !!!

    Now Garza, show your healthy and sign a team friendly 4-5 yr extension and this team is ready to mix it up. Reds who ?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    I suspect in a couple years we're all going to love this singing -- or it will become the prototypical "bad Theo signing" is a similar way to what Soriano is to Hendry.

    Having said that, on paper, like our pitching staff a lot next year. And I wonder what this does to Texas pursuit of Garza. Those two teams, as I've said before, work quite well together, so there may have been some long term talks between the two in the negotiating process. (If that's kosher -- I can see how that kind of talk could be banned by MLB.)

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    It's low enough where it won't kill them, but if he gets hurt or loses it (ala John Lackey), then it's still a lot of money. I think overall it's a good risk.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I hear you Mike. But I don't think it will be a bad signing because it won't be one of many FA signings by this group. They will ideally have a bunch of young prospects up who are under team control, cheap and providing a ton to the team. So even if EJ suffers a bad injury and never comes back, it will be easier to swallow because they don't have the likes of Zambrano, Ramirez, Dempster, Soriano, etc. with no trade clauses and hefty salaries preventing you from signing somebody else.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Won't be as bad as Soriano by any means, although if EJax totally tanks it wouldn't be good. But he'll be what, 33, at the end of the deal? Seems like a reasonable bet that we'll get value out of this deal.

  • Darn...it includes no trade clause. Hope its limited.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to apalifer:

    That's odd. Doesn't make a lot of sense at all, in fact. Apparently they really wanted a pitcher this off season.

  • Stupid mlbtraderumors...it's actually NO no trade clause

  • In reply to apalifer:

    Yes. Heyman confirmed no NTC.

Leave a comment