Cubs DFA Lendy Castillo. Officially Sign Villanueva

Cubs DFA Lendy Castillo. Officially Sign Villanueva

The Cubs finally made their long anticipated roster move today when they officially signed RHP Carlos Villanueva.

In order to make room, last year's Rule 5 pick Lendy Castillo was designated for assignment.  The Cubs now have 10 days to trade Castillo.  If they cannot do that, they can waive him and re-sign him to a minor league deal if he through unclaimed.

It does say something for the Cubs opinion on Castillo that they waited this long to DFA him.  They do like his arm and his poise and it's safe to assume the Cubs will take him back if he clears.

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  • Who goes for Hairston? Campana?

  • I think they'd like to make a minor deal. I've been guessing Campana for awhile now but Cubs obviously like him enough to keep him this long. The addition of Hairston makes Campana's exit more likely, but Campana is still really the only true CF with a chance to make the team.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I know his on base numbers are not good and may never improve, but on a team that will again struggle to score runs (but could have decent pitching), Campana is more than a luxury. He is one guy who can create a run late in a game, on speed alone. If you are at a game when Campana gets on base, you notice that he has a lot of attention paid to him--and not just by the opposing pitcher--fans pay closer attention when he's on base, wondering if he'll go on every pitch. He's one of the very few current Cubs who I would pay to see play, and that's got to be worth more than just "which single A pitcher can we get for him?". Just my 2 cents.

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    Really hope Lendy makes it through waivers and we can keep him in the minors. I have hope that teams won't be willing to use up a 40-man spot on him because he's so raw.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    That's my hope too, that he's raw enough were teams don't want to carry him. But the thing too is that he doesn't have to stay on a 25 man roster anymore, just a 40 man, so a team like the Astros, Mets, Marlins, etc. who are looking for a live young arm can easily grab him and just send him down to AA.

  • I think we lose him. I hope I'm wrong. Wonder if this means they reassessed him from seeing him pitch last year. You'd think if that was the case, they would have given him back, but he spent so much time on the DL maybe they didn't need the spot most of the time. I wonder if Sveum is a little miffed at having to keep him on the 25 man for most of the year only to maybe lose him now. It surprises me a little because I think of him as having more upside than Rusin or Raley, just farther away.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    They definitely wanted to keep him, which is why they waited a month to try and make a deal rather than DFA him. If they soured him on him, they wouldn't have hesitated to just let him go. I don't think he passes because of his good arm.

  • Between stashing him on IR for as long as we could, then giving him as long a rehab in the minors as we were permitted, it appears like he's history. Lendy, we hardly knew ye.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Sure looks that way. I'll be pleasantly surprised if he passes through.

  • I hope they can trade Tony and not just release him.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Me too.

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    I honestly surprised they decided to go with Chris Rusin over Lendy. I think Lendy's ceiling is higher.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    One factor is that Rusin would have zero chance of getting through waivers. He would have been claimed by several teams at the least. I think most teams think that he's at least a LOOGY at the MLB level. His floor is pretty high.

    Castillo has an outside shot of sneaking through, though. Higher ceiling but floor is we never hear from him again. It's a judgment call and I hope they somehow get him back.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I may be wrong, but I seem to remember ArizonaPhil saying that either Rusin or Raley, I don't remember which, could not be removed from the 40 man roster until part way through spring training. Something about when he was added to it.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    You are correct and Rusin is one of the players that this applies to right now. If we are going to try and get one of the lefties through to the minors right now it would be Raley. Of course he would be claimed almost for sure.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    I forgot about that but that is a factor with Rusin. I think of the 3 lefties, they like Raley best. I don't think they want to let Rusin go at any rate, but I do wonder what would have happened if they'd had the choice between Beliveau and Rusin.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    3 former lefties...obviously Beliveau is gone now.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Might be, Mike, but right now Castillo is sort of in limbo. If he were LH wed be keeping him. Im betting theres a decent chance Castillo wont be claimed and the Cubs can re-sign him , then give him a chance to work on being a pitcher at AA. I don't dislike Castillo, just right now hes not a fit. Hes not a big league ready pitcher yet.

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    Jon Sickles posted a scouting report on Junior Lake.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Thanks Zonk. Nothing too surprising there. My feeling with Lake is you have to keep him moving around, giving him good matchups and I think he can be a useful reserve. I don't see him as a starter but I hope he can be something like Jose Hernandez was for the Cubs years back.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John, just an odd thought-have the Cubs ever tried Logan Watkins in CF? He seems to have the athletic ability to play there. Hes a name they might want to consider.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    Watkins can play a pretty good CF already. He's played there at every level of the minors I believe. Problem is he also bats LH and isn't a solution as far as someone who could complement DeJesus.

    He's also a one level at a time player. He has athleticism and skill but I don't think he's the kind of guy who can jump a level.

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    Not really on topic but where is there this preconceived notion around the web that Castro will inevitably, without a doubt be the one to move off SS when Baez comes up(if he even makes it to the show at all)? What are these people going off of when they say this? Is it the simple fact Baez is a ranked top SS prospect and have never even seen him play? The fact that the average uneducated baseball fan only see Castro's high error total and occasional lack of focus and decide he's a bad SS? What is it? I see it way too often and i'm sure you guys do too.

    I think it's foolish to believe Baez is a lock to unseat Castro at this stage in his very young development. He still has a long way to go and Castro was a better SS at the same age and still so why would that change? Am I missing something?

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    What I've seen from people I trust on this is:
    (a) Baez is a much better fielder than anyone expected. He isn't Lindor or Profar out there, but he can play the position at a plus level, at least to this point
    (b) as you allude to, Castro is prone to mental hiccups. The skills to be a plus shortstop are there, but the brain isn't always engaged. That simply isn't a problem with Javy -- he's completely locked in. (Too much so, truth be told.) So, while his tools might not quite be up to Castro's level, he makes up for it by great instincts and good hands.
    (c) Javy has a cannon for an arm.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Yeah, but mental hiccups are easier to fix than physical limits... Castro showed to be a way above average defensive SS for a couple of months in 2012, he's still only 22, so there has to be more where that came from, so, if Castro keeps improving, with his range, improved footwork and throwing arm, he could end up being the better SS defensively...

    It's still too early to tell, but there's a chance Baez outgrows the position and if that happens, if Baez grows and loses range, it's way harder to have him range more than what his body allows.

    All in all, it's too early to determine who's the better SS defensively, right now, Castro is the better SS defensively since Baez still has even more to learn than Castro and he hasn't played above A ball yet, maybe in a couple of years we'll know.

    Either way, I don't mind if either Castro or Baez move to 3B, 2B or OF, as long as they both pan out and play in the same team.

  • In reply to Caps:

    Ever see Baez? Hes built sort of like Jhonny Peralta or Hanley Ramirez. Im one of those who sees him moving to 3B or a corner outfield position mid-career. Castro is what, 2 years older? Good news is, Baez likely wont be ready for the show until 2015, so the team can wait and decide when Baez is ready.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Most everyone I read seem to think that it is Baez who will move, probably to third base. If there are some that are saying that it will be Castro, that is probably because Castro has played second base in the majors, and played it fairly well.

  • I would prefer to see Sappelt go over Campana. Matt Scuzer is in the wings and I just don't see Sappelt ever being better than a 4th or 5th outfielder and there are plenty of those.

    Campana brings game changing speed and true CF defense. And, he can bunt against lefties or learn to take a pitch. He will be sorely missed in one run games late when we need him.

    Let's please wave goodbye to Sappelt instead if we must choose.

  • In reply to givejonadollar:

    Yeah right about campana's defense. He is below average defender out there. Sappelt can actually get on base unlike campana. Campana is a below average bunter but if he could get better at bunter would be a huge help to his obp. If campana is do good don't u think the cubs would be playing him?

  • In reply to T dizzle:

    Campana was 10.8 fielding runs above average in 2011, primarily playing center. He had a down year last year at -0.5 runs, but those two together don't point to an obviously below average outfielder. They point to a guy the verdict's still out on that will probably end up being at least average if not better.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    Campanas biggest limitation to me is his inability to drive the ball period. Teams can squeeze him when he does try to bunt because frankly, he cant hit enough liners of hard grounders to force them to play honestly.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    To me it's his inability to take a walk. Somebody with his skill set not having a better approach at the plate is really an indictment of the player development of the previous regime.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    I agree he's not a below average guy, but he is inconsistent. Not just by stats like UZR, but sometimes from play to play.

    The tremendous speed can cover some of his mistakes, but when he gets a good jump/read, he can track down flyballs as well as anyone in the game. He just doesn't do it consistently.

  • In reply to givejonadollar:

    Disagree. Sappelt is the more valuable player for his ability to play the OF corners well, get on base, and hit LHP. Campana does one thing well, he runs fast. But if he can't use it t get on base or play consistently good defense, he just doesn't have enough value to hold on a 25 man roster, especially one with as many holes as the Cubs have right now.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    It's a debate that you will most likely win. While I like the idea of Sappelt + Hairston in against lefties I don't like the defensive possibilities of the pair.

    And, I think Campana's value may not get a good ranking in WAR, but I believe someone of his skillset to be invaluable in one run games late. I think the chances of him stealing a base are higher than someone nailing a 2 or 3 run homerun, but that is just my opinion.

  • In reply to givejonadollar:

    Even if we disagree, I do see your point.

    I'm definitely wary of them in CF and I agree that Campana can help - but for me it's more about his potential on defense. He is the only guy who, even if he's inconsistent, can give them a defensive upgrade in CF over DeJesus. In fact, I wrote about that today and it has to be a big factor in their decision about whom they ultimately decide to keep.

    The speed issue does play a role too, especially early in the season when it's tough to score runs. I like Campana. He's one of the most exciting players in baseball when he's on base. I only wish he could get on more often.

  • Campana certainly has game changing speed, but if he has true CF defense, he has done a great job of hiding it, both in the majors and in the minors.

    I agree that if he learned to take enough pitches, and they are the right pitches, he could be a useful reserve outfielder. But up til now, he just hasn't learned to do so.

  • I hate to lose young pitching prospects because you can't move fonsi. And if you think 1he 40 man is tough this year wait until the decisions they will have to make next year if they can't make some moves to gain roster flexibility.

  • This is the first move by the new braintrust that i can honestly say SUCKS, Why carry the guy all year to DFA him for a FA lets get it straight relief pitcher. Theo basically just told the world He made a huge mistake keeping Castillo on the 25 all year. Secondly lets be real lets DFA an good young arm that the team lacks for Villenueva or even worse freakin Hairston . This is the type of move I would have expected from the Tribune owned Cubs . BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    I don't like DFA'ing Castillo either and I'm pretty sure it was a gut-wrencher for the Cubs, given how long it took them to finally do it. I'm sure they've explored every other option out there and the DFA was the last resort.

    The Cubs have a few young live arms on the roster that have late inning potential in Dolis, Cabrera (if he doesn't stick at SP), McNutt. My guess is that they ranked Castillo behind those 3 (and perhaps behind non-roster guys like Tony Zych). It's a risk, though, and I hope it doesn't come back to bite them.

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    In cased you missed, winning didn't make the list of top 100 priorities of the 2012 Cubs. So keeping him and his 16 innings on the roster didn't affect anything on the grand plan.

    Lendy Catillo is awful. If you want to argue that they wasted a Rule 5 pick on him, fine.

  • Hell Theo lets just DFA Logan Watkins now to make room for Neifi Perez while Your at it .

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    Totally unrelated -- but I just spent the evening finishing up data entry and running improved regressions on the dissertation project. Not only does it still work, but I find I have a fascinating men vs. women story to tell, too.

    Just had to share. Back to discussing the Cubs.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Sounds cool. Email me if you have something you'd like to share.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    At the moment what I have is a bunch of regression results. Assuming my adviser likes where this is going, though, I should start writing it up soon. I'll send you a draft when I have it.

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    hey John what are the chances that we try to trade castillo to Cleveland that way we can keep rondon but not on the 40 man or just let him go to triple A without have to send him back

  • In reply to Larry:

    I'd say pretty low, unfortunately.

  • When I ranked our pitchers the other day, I had Castillo being Waived or starting the season at Double A.

    Theo, Jed and I are on the same track it seems.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:


  • I understand the need to create roster space, but I wish they would have taken their time and thought this over a bit... ;)

  • In reply to Bill:

    Haha :) A month was too quick!

  • We will just have to take Theo's word for it that Lendy is any good, because he didn't show us much last year.

    As for who is going to get unprotected to bring in Hairston, you're looking at either Sappelt or Campana, and....I know that Sappelt is an all-around better baseball player, but. He does nothing special, whereas Campana at least has special speed. That's how I would approach this. Thank God I'm not the GM.

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