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Tony Campana DFA'd as Cubs add Hairston to 40 man roster

Tony Campana DFA'd as Cubs add Hairston to 40 man roster

(Updated 4:15 PM)

Well, after speculating about it a lot this offseason, it finally happened.  The Cubs have designated Tony Campana for assignment.  The fact that they held on to him as long as possible indicates the Cubs valued Campana for his speed and ability to play CF, but the signing of Scott Hairston left him as the odd man out.  Had the Cubs kept Campana, it would have given them 9 OF'ers on the roster, which is far and away above the norm.  Even the current number of 8 is still an unusually high amount, but that is partially due to the Cubs having to roster prospects Matt Szczur and Jorge Soler because they signed MLB contracts.

"It was a difficult call for us," Cubs President Theo Epstein was quoted as saying by Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. "I think it speaks to the fact that our 40-man roster is starting to have better depth on it. We preferred not to take a pitcher off at this juncture. So, looking at the position player group, it seemed to make sense to us to make this procedural move with Tony."

As a reminder, the DFA means the Cubs have up to 10 days before they put him on waivers.  During that time they could seek a trade with another team.  If no deal can be reached, the Cubs will need to put him through waivers.  If a team claims him, it comes with the stipulation that he must be put on that team's 40 man roster.

By making this move late, the Cubs increased the odds that teams may let him pass through.  Most teams have their 40 man rosters set at this point.  However, Campana offers a unique skill with is top of the scale speed.  Coupled with his ability to play CF, he could be useful for a team that can afford to carry him as their 5th outfielder.  I have to think he'll get some interest and there is a good chance he gets claimed, even as teams head into the spring with full roster.

That could work to the Cubs favor.  If there is an interested team that's lower on the waiver priority, then the Cubs may be able to work out a trade instead of hoping that a team with higher priority doesn't claim him.

If a trade or waiver claim does not happen, then the Cubs can assign him to the Iowa roster or Campana can elect to be a free agent.

The move virtually assures that Dave Sappelt will win that 5th outfielder's spot.  While he doesn't possess any tools that standout as much as Campana's speed, Sappelt offers a more complete skill set.  He's a good defender at the corners, possesses above average speed, and can hit LHP well, something the Cubs will need with two lefty hitting outfielders who have had some struggles against LHP.

 

 

 

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  • thank god

  • No surprise.

  • I could see several teams taking on Campana on their "40" man roster ( fix that number). But I think Theo will get a AA player for Tony. No great lost if Campana goes. Sometimes, Bleacher Bum Cubs fans fall in love with these "bench role idols" who have no future with the vision that Theo & Jed has.

    Our bench is looking much better than last year's.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Agreed. I like the bench, especially the OF where a lot of pieces complement each other. I think the OF sum will be greater than it's individual parts.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I think you hit the nail on the head John. I see at least a year of the team taking a page out of the A's formula from last year and we'll see a lot of platooning and playing the match-ups. I think all these guys will see their fair share of time on the field and that's why i think this team may surprise us all and be in the hunt at the deadline, then it will get real interesting. I also have a feeling the starting pitching will be a strength and some of these trade chips may end up being a part of the future.

  • Given the lack of an acceptable del at this time, the Cubs have made the best decision they could under the circumsances. I believe it very likely he will clear waivers if he's so designated. Time will tell.

  • In reply to Good Captain:

    It's likely they've already tried to make a deal, so making one now is probably not too likely. The only way it happens is if a team near the bottom of the waiver list really wants him -- but even then all you'll get is a non-roster, low level C grade type prospect at best.

  • I'm waiting for the inevitable "Campana for Koyie Hill" trade announcement

  • In reply to Eddie:

    Oh...man. Nobody wins that deal. Guess I'd take Campana because at least he has one tool.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Hill has at least one tool as well. He used it to slice several fingers off.

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    In reply to Eddie:

    HA! Though it was an unfortunate accident, The delivery was superb. Actually laughed out loud at this one.

  • In reply to Eddie:

    Haha! This wins comment of the day.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Doesn't Hill have the tools of ignorance?

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Ha! Good point. And it's plural.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    The tool of blissful ignorance.

  • In reply to Eddie:

    Please, Eddie, I dont need a Koyie Hill-induced Excedrin headache.

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    After reading other comments sections, it's crazy how much people are getting upset over this move.

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    In reply to Zachary Myers:

    Agreed. People are livid around the web.

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    I'm truly stunned how big a deal this has become. I heard he got the loudest ovation of any player at the convention. It would be nice if that kind of love could be saved for guys who can actually, you know, play baseball.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    To make it even worse, Castro came after Campana and got very modest applause.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    If only Starlin could be more like Tony Campana we might actually win something...

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Track meets.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    With some time to think about this, it occurs to me: Starlin Castro hasn't really taken the spot in Cubs fans hearts that his talent implies he should have.

    I wonder if it has something to do with him having his debut in the midst of truly dark days for the franchise. The 2012 team had more losses, but there was very little to like about that 2010 train wreck. If you look at the lineup, it really wasn't terrible. They just couldn't win -- and were downright unwatchable much of the time. Maybe that he has ties to that holds down the affection he deserves.

    Which is a shame -- because he has as much raw talent as any Cub player in my lifetime, including Anthony Rizzo. Well, any player not named Greg Maddux.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I have another theory. Castro came up with such fanfare, and at such a young age, that I think people just expected him to be a superstar by now. The expectation is patently absurd, but it could explain why a very talented, still improving young SS is not universally loved by the fanbase.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Probably a few factors involved and maybe it varies from person to person. I agree it's a shame. The Cubs haven't seen a lot of players with this kind of talent and upside -- especially from their own system.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    One thing you might remember about Castro. He had that incident involving the possible sexual assault charge before the start of last year. Tho he was cleared, it might have made him somewhat gunshy about opening up much in public.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I wonder if Theo and Jed sit there and shake their heads at our fan base sometimes. I do like that they haven't let the fair weather fans influence their decisions.

  • Agreed. It's the move that makes the most sense for the team as a whole going into the season.

    Campana does one thing really well,.... but nothing else overly well.

    With what they have in hand so far - dropping Campana from the roster is the least painful move. I hope they can trade him for a good pitcher to a team (preferably in the AL so we don't have to face him regularly) where he gets a chance to play.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    The speed is tremendous and can be very useful at times. He just doesn't fit this team's philosophy.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    ...or it's roster.

  • I am so glad he is gone. I always considereed the fans clamoring for Campana to start or get more playing time to be the lowest common denominator of intelligence among fans. I am glad he is gone so we will no longer hear from those types.

  • In reply to Behn Wilson:

    He was more exciting than most of the Cubs.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    I'll take boring and talented over exciting and sucky. More Rizzo, less Campana.

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    In reply to Eddie:

    Amen to that.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    I agree he was exciting and it was fun to watch him play -- but only once he got on base. And that just wasn't often enough.

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    The Cubs did the right thing, and Campana is probably going to end up on a better team because of it.

    Non-thread related: Seattle's deal with Felix Hernandez may have hit a snag. Team physicians have concerns about the wear and tear on his elbow.

    I'm seeing a best case scenario for the Cubs here. No deal gets done between Hernandez and Seattle. He blows out his elbow in 2014, at the age of 28. The Cubs pick him as a FA on a short-term cheap deal with lots of incentives, see him through his rehab, and he comes back as good as ever at 29. Okay, wet dream scenario I know.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    We can always dream about Felix in a Cubs uniform! Not that I'd wish injury on Felix, of course.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Its the Cubs. We will more likely end up with Felix Pie.

  • In reply to Behn Wilson:

    Ha! This is sad, but true.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I refuse to wish an injury on anybody,..... but it would make a good add.

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Bob Nightengale reported it. That pretty much guarantees it will never be done.

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    I agree with an earlier post....we can't keep getting enamored with mediocre ballplayers...we want complete all round studs not one trick ponys

  • In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:

    Agreed. Luigi. Talent is first and foremost. You also want players that fits organizational philosophy. I liked watching Campana on the bases as much as anyone, but this team puts it's emphasis on OBP, defense, and extra base power. I think Campana has use on an MLB club but it has to be one that's good enough to afford to carrying a niche player. If you have 3 good OF'ers who are basically going to play everyday (like the Braves, or example) and a dependable 4th OF'er, then you can afford to keep a guy like Campana.

  • I agree Tony was the odd man out. We fell in love with his attitude, the way he played the game, his hustle, his back story and his speed. At a time when the team stunk he was not a bad guy to root for. That being said it was the absolute correct decision to DFA him.

  • In reply to Cubfin:

    Well said. Agree with this perspective.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    ...though I have to say that as far as the "way he played the game", I wish he would have played it differently. And by that I mean that his sole purpose at the plate should have been to find a way to get on base, whether it be a walk or an occasional drag bunt...anything. We didn't see enough of that from him.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I agree, he could've done more of that. The walk is the tough thing to get given his lack of power and pitchers having no reason not to come over the plate to him, but more bunts likely would have helped. Don't know why we didn't that...

  • In reply to Quedub:

    It is tougher for him, no question. The last thing a pitcher wants to do is walk Tony Campana. Better to try and let him hit his way on. That said, he's never been one to work the count, even at the lower levels. At that level, pitchers may want to throw strikes -- but often miss. DeVoss isn't' the biggest guy (I don't think he's even as tall as his listed 5'10") and wasn't a huge threat at the plate either, but he can grind out those ABs. I think with Campana, his speed and lack of extra base power plays a big role, but I also think he's just an aggressive player by nature.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Baseball Reference has him listed at 5'8".

  • In reply to Quedub:

    It was kind of a clumsy transition on my part but I was talking about DeVoss at 5'10". Not sure he's that tall. Campana at 5'8" sounds about right.

  • In reply to Cubfin:

    Well said, Cubfin, I agree completely. The love for Campana is understandable and not confined to just Cubs fans. He was the little guy, the underdog. Bulls fans had Brian Scalabrine (as well as Celtics fans, for that matter). I don't think Cubs fans were disillusioned with Tony's greatness. Just that he was a fun, exciting guy to root for. He's 5'8", 165 lbs. He was the guy from the neighborhood. He was them. Now, for anyone pitching a fit that the Cubs made a dumb baseball move or saying the Campana is a great major league baseball player, they need to gain some perspective.

    I actually think it's less understandable for anyone to say that he sucked, doesn't know how to play baseball and wants him off the team. Campana understood it was his job to get on base and worked hard at doing so. His minor league slash line was .301/.356/.350. His OBP was .378 in 2010 and .383 in 2011 before getting called up. In the majors he had just 347 plate appearances in which he hit .262 but his OBP suffered at .306. As players gain experience at the major league level, they often improve their OBP. Campana will be 26 on opening day, and I, for one, am not willing to give up on him, say the he sucks or that he can't play. It seems clear that the Cubs FO agrees given that they waited until teams had solidified their 40-man rosters before releasing him.

    That said, I agree it was the right move given the current make-up of the Cubs 40-man roster. As John so ably pointed out, Campana has the most value to a team that has 3 solid OFers and is ready to compete, and that just simply isn't the Cubs right now.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Good post. I'm big Campana fan, because he over came cancer at a young age, and elite speed is fun to watch on the field. His inside the park homer in 2011 and the superman dive into third don't happen everyday. Unfortunately for Tony, he couldn't get on base enough to make highlight real plays more frequently.

    Having that said, I'm not happy that he was DFA'd, but I understand it. Theo & Jed made the right move, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

    We all have our favorites, it it hurts to see them go, even if they weren't the best fit for the team at the time.

    I wish Campana luck, because some team that expects to contend in '13 will see value in a defensive replacement and pinch runner. I hope he takes better advantage of his next gig. With the Cubs roster as it stands now, it's just not a fit.

  • In reply to PtownTom:

    Thanks, PTownTom.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    I'll agree - anybody who say "Campana sucked" is somewhat clueless.

    Tony is (was) really good at one thing,.... problem is,... he is (was) one-dimensional on a team that cannot carry a one-dimensional player. The Cubs just are not good enough to carry a specialist at this stage.

    I wish Campana well - either in our Minor League system if he clears waviers and doesn't chose free agency - or on any other team that choses to sign him.

    But we are getting ready to roll into a season of 'change',.... and at this stage I would argue the Cubs are a better team without him in the long term.

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    Campana is this generation Dascenzo. No biggie. I think one of the reasons Castro is not warmly embraced is the Bobby Valentin thing. I he's perceived as not intense an indifferent to the game many fans will turn on him because "he's getting paid to play a game." also subtle racism in that Castro should just be happy to be here. Aramis was never as well respected as DLee.

    I love Castro. His defense is improving and he should get on base 250+ times a season, scoring runs.

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    In reply to Louie101:

    Louie, I agree it's no biggie but Dascenzo was a far better outfielder with a way better arm than Campana..and Castro will gain that respect back, he's gonna be just fine

  • I'm a huge Castro fan as well and I do think some of it is because of Bobby Valentine. People tend to remember those images and it creates a perception that's hard to change. I don't think Brenly helped either.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    John, Brenly didn't help either but his opinion wasn't infallable either...I recall him saying that he thought Matt Murton and Chad Tracy would be battling out for a batting title one day and well that was way the hell off base and Bobby V has little cred in my book...Castro's gotta get after it and when he does he'll get the respect...

  • In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:

    Agreed. I didn't expect him to be infallible just a little more balanced.

    The thing is Castro does get after it for the most part. While he's not the ball of energy Baez is out there, he's still pretty active at SS. Of course, Castro does make mistakes, he's still just a kid, but it seems to me they're often magnified. Brenly is well respected and his opinions are going to resonate with fans -- it helps create a certain perception. It just needed to be more balanced, especially when it came to Castro.

    I wonder sometimes what would have happened in an alternate universe if Valentine would have focused on a play such as the one when Castro sprinted all the way out to deep LF (one where Sori dove and took himself out of the play), fired the ball back to the IF and prevented runners from advancing any further....that to me was exceptional awareness and hustle. What if that play was shown over and over again in front of a national audience? Valentine didn't do that game, but there were crickets from Brenly. But we were sure to hear from him the next time he looked over his shoulder while running the bases.

  • Damn. Hope he clears. If he doesn't, I hope he's picked up by a team that actually gives him a chance.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    Feel exactly the same way. Would like to have him at AAA but a part of me also wants him to get a shot somewhere. I think he can help a team but it has to be in sort of a specialized role. I don't think the Cubs are good enough to carry that kind of player right now.

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    Loved Campana's fire and speed, but let's face it: his ceiling was Juan Pierre light. We already tried JP.

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