In a move that should have surprised nobody, the Cubs have officially signed former NPB star pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada. It had been rumored for awhile.
The Cubs also signed OF Mitch Maier and announced the signings of two other LHPs that have been previously reported here -- Jonathan Sanchez and Tommy Hottovy. We talked about Sanchez more in depth here, comparing his increase in velo and transition to the bullpen to Oliver Perez.
Wada will be given an opportunity as a starter though his stuff is fringy even in comparison to most 5th starters. He works in the mid to upper 80s with his fastball, relying more on deception, movement, and changing speeds than velocity. His secondaries (slider, change) are average at best while his command is solid, though I don't know if it's quite good enough considering he is unable to cover mistakes with his pure stuff.
I would have considered him in relief where I think his deception would be more effective with limited exposure.
Sanchez and Hottovy are headed for the bullpen this spring.
As for Maier, he's a 31 year old lefty hitter with good plate discipline but little power. His career numbers are .248/.327/.344 with 10 HRs and 15 SBs in 360 games and 1117 PAs.
He's likely an OF depth option that the Cubs can call up from Iowa, but may well be thrown into the mix competing for what will likely be the 5th OF'er position on the roster. He can play all 3 positions in the outfield though he is about average defensively.
Like many of the Cubs OF acquisitions before him (Aaron Cunningham, Casper Wells, Justin Ruggiano, Ryan Kalish), Maier is a good athlete with a solid approach.
Filed under: Uncategorized