Cubs sign RP Jose Veras to one year deal

Cubs sign RP Jose Veras to one year deal

Update 6:50 PM:  The deal is one year at 3.8M with an option for 5.5M for 2015.  The Cubs can buy out the option for 150K, making the deal a guaranteed $4M for Veras.  There are also incentives for games finished.

The Cubs finally got their experienced reliever.  After falling short on relievers like Edward Mujica and John Axford, the Cubs signed former Yankees farmhand Jose Veras to fill a late inning role, perhaps as the closer.

Veras, 33, has already pitched for 7 teams, most recently the Detroit Tigers.  He's been a solid reliever, however, averaging around a half a win over the past 3 seasons.  He'll miss bats as his 9.3 Ks/9 IP (24%) career rate suggests.  He'll also walk hitters (4.63 BB/9 IP and 12% rate).

He is that "experienced closer" that the Cubs lack with the loss of Kevin Gregg as he saved 21 games in 2013 to go with a respectable 3.02 ERA (3.62 FIP).  I believe he'll be in the mix to be the closer but my guess is that the Cubs would rather see Pedro Strop or one of the other young pitchers eventually win that role and have Veras as the set-up guy/plan B closer.  That said, at $4M, even for one year, he's likely getting paid to finish games.  The Cubs would probably like to get something back for that other than arbitrary save totals.  It's also entirely possible as well that the Cubs had to promise him that role to get him to sign on a team that wasn't going to contend.

As far as stuff, Veras is essentially a 3 pitch reliever who leads with a mid 90s fastball and mixes in a curveball and split-finger fastball.  With Veras it's a matter of throwing strikes but one a one year deal, I think this is a good risk to take for the Cubs.

If he is successful as the closer and the Cubs are out of the race, he becomes an obvious flip candidate at the deadline.  Last year the Astros did exactly that, picking up a promising young 19 year old pitcher named David Paulino in the process.


Filed under: Free Agency

Tags: Jose Veras


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    The "excitement" has worn off. LOL

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    That might actually be longer than I expected. I like that it's a one year deal and gives them Kevin Gregg, part 2 to help add an experienced presence.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Interesting move. A couple questions. Do they feel that Strop isn't ready for closure role out of spring training? What does he need to improve? And if we flip this guy who says Strop will be ready to be closer then?
    Lets say he is lights out as a closer. What are you gonna get in return? I do not think we will get much for him.

  • Your last statement is why I believe he will start the year as our closer. I am not excited about him at all. Would rather have Axford, Joba, or Mujica. That being said, he will start the year as our closer, and if he has any success, we can flip him at the deadline. His value will be a lot higher as a successful closer over a setup guy. Whereas, they see Strop as fitting into their longterm plans. They won't trade him at the deadline, so it's ok to wait till July to make him our closer.

  • John, where is the 40-man roster at now

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    By my count it is at 40.

  • Not too bad a move. I wouldn't buy his jersey though, because he wont be around on Aug 1.

  • If they add a SP who is sent down

  • ...and some said the Cubs were more than 1 player away from contending. ;-)

    Looking at his career, Jose Veras became a much better pitcher at age 30+. He seems to have put it together, bringing the walks down, and the K's up.

    I think the Cubs will put Veras in the Closer role and if he succeeds will flip him at the trade deadline for a prospect or two.

    Then Strop will move from his setup role (if he's been good) and become the closer.

    It seems that John's prediction that the Cubs will now move to the bullpen for flipping short term assets.

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    If intentional, this is hysterical: "most recently the Detroit Tigers. He's been a solid reliever, however." (i.e., in spite of the fact that he pitched for Detroit's bullpen, he's been a solid reliever.

    If not, I still laughed. I do like this deal. On the one hand, I'm not sure what he brings to the table in terms of ability that we don't get from Strop, Russell, Parker, and Rondon, to say nothing of Vizcaino and Cabrera. But, $4 million isn't a huge sum of money and, with the dollars being given to guys like Balfour and Nathan, if he pitches well that option year might look really good on the market come July. Or even next winter if salaries continue to skyrocket.

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    I like this signing. I'll add that a lot of players are signing for more than I thought they might. If the Cubs want to bring Baker back, it might cost more than they thought.

  • 5.5 mil team option for 2015, which is no small thing when estimating flip value.

  • Veras, Strop, Russell, Villanueva, Parker, Rondon, Wright, and hopefully Vizcaino by the end on next year.

    I'm actually excited for the Cubs bullpen.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    I wouldn't say that I'm excited about the bullpen. But I would say I think it's better than last year. Also not having Marmol in there is still addition by subtraction.

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    In reply to Seancicero:

    I think there's enough depth that if a coupkle guys falter, we won't be as hurt as we were early last year when Camp, marmol and Russell were giving games away.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    It's shaping out to be a nice improvement over last season's starting bullpen that included Marmol, Camp, Dolis, Russell, a much less experienced Rondon and with Villanueva opening up the season as a starter while we waited for Garza to get healthy.

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    JOHN!!!!!!! Tell me this is a nightmare, please!

    This may be the worst team we've seen in our lifetimes as far as Cubs seasons.

    I can be as optimistic as anybody, but either the Cubs are tanking this year or they see something in these castoffs that nobody else sees, unless it is just as I suspect -- minimal salaries and short term deals.

    I've never seen a roster that requires so many "ifs" just to be SLIGHTLY competitive and I just don't get it. You can tell me until you are blue in the face that now is not the time to sign free agents or they need to wait for the market to come to them as far as trades or the kids are coming, but jeez, I feel like I am watching a newer version of the movie 'Major League' - with Tommy Hottovy reprising the Charlie Sheen role and Justin Ruggiano as Pedro "Curveball - Bat Is Afraid" Cerrano. And then there's George Kottaras as Jake the aging catcher and really all they need is a Gaylord Perry comp to be the aging past-his-prime staff ace relying on two pitches -- knuckleball and doctored. I fully expect the Cubs to bring Tim Wakefield out of retirement next to complete this team.

    They should have hired Bob Uecker. Oh the humanity!

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    I don't think they're tanking necessarily because they aren't selling off parts. They are banking a lot on internal improvement and an improved bullpen performance with a bunch of fresh young arms. The Cubs main asset right now is their payroll flexibility and to give it away for a few more wins in 2014 isn't in the organization's best long term interests.

    I think it's common to associate improvement with the amount of activity and large changes in the offseason but history has shown that is not a very reliable indicator (one way or the other) for predicting future success. If the Cubs are going to improve, it will be because of breakthrough performances by their core players, better sequencing of production (i.e. better late inning performances by the bullpen and a regression back toward the mean as far as hitting with RISP) -- in other words, sometimes it's when you put up the numbers that matter most. So the Cubs need better sequencing which, in part at least, is a factor of luck.

    One way you can see the impact of poor sequencing is in the Pythagorean record, which measures expected wins and losses based on statistical performance without regard to sequence. The Cubs Pythagorean record last year was 71-91. Take that number and then add a few wins at the margins with some good role players and just as importantly, adding a few more wins via significant improvement from the core players, and it's not unrealistic that you can see a better result from this year's team.

    When this FO tells us "progress isn't linear", it's not just a slogan, a good part of it has to do with what I mentioned above. So don't give up hope based on the relatively mundane offseason -- there are other ways to improve the team that aren't as immediately apparent. I'm not saying they will definitely improve by any means -- but I don't think that's any less accurate than saying they will definitely be worse. We'll have to wait and see how things play out.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    michael, I feel your pain - my heart is with you. John, I see your logic - my head is with you. I just haven't decided which side of the fence I'm mostly on. This is indeed a pretty crappy team on paper - but in my memory all the Cubs' payoff teams - except 2003 - were surprise teams where 2 or three guys had career years and everyone else just did his job. I can see a bullpen without Marmol, Low and Camp and I see 5-8 losses turned into wins. I can see Barney and Castro coming back to previous form and there's 2-3 losses turned into wins. I can see Edwin Jackson not putting up such hideous numbers, there's 2-3 losses turned into wins. Like stone soup, you put these small ingredients together and you can see something good taking shape. And none of these are big IF's. The big IF's involve names like Bryant, Baez, Lake, Alcanterra, Strop, Arrieta, Baker - not even worth trying to divine what might happen there.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    Thanks. I do understand the emotional part of it as well. I feel the frustration every year. As to the Cubs chances, taken individually none of those ideas are longshots. For it all to work out is a longshot unfortunately. Regardless of record, I'd settle for a year in which Castro, Castillo, Rizzo, Wood, and Samardzija (if he's still here) establish themselves as no-doubt core pieces, maybe add a core piece either through the organization or perhaps with a young player/pitcher or two (i.e. Arrieta, Sweeeney, etc.)

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    despite being a pessimist, I'm not sure I agree that for all of those things to work out is a long shot, none of them are real reaches. My pessimism rears its head with respect to all these AAAA's, DFA'd guys and career minor leaguers that have been picked up - for any of these to make any sort of impact would be a lightning strike.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    You're right actually. None of those possibilities are too outlandish. Would have been more accurate for me to say that for all of them to improve significantly enough for the Cubs to reach the playoffs is a longshot. I think those additions may help a little, but the bulk of that improvement will have to come from improvement from the core, better bullpen (which is possible with an infusion of young arms), and better sequencing of production.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I still would have preferred seeing a move (LF, probably) to put some pop in the offense. Michael Morse, trade for a veteran such as Josh Willingham, something. I understand the concept of a rebuild, but at some point the FO needs to throw a bone to the fans so we have something (anything) to be excited about.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Evening John. What are the Cubs plans with Fujikawa? How's his rehab going? I thought they gave him a roster spot.

  • In reply to LRCCubsFan:

    Good evening. He does have a roster spot, but TJ surgery will likely have him out until at least the all-star break and probably longer. It's possible he could go right back on the 60 day DL once he's eligible again, which will create another roster spot.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I'd prefer to keep him (Fuji) but given the timeline and the fact he's a FA postseason, is it too far fetched to foresee the possibility that the Cubs release Fuji due to roster considerations? Granted, that scenario would likely assume more than a couple of our "fringe" 25 roster players substantially exceeding expectations, but the possibility exists.

  • In reply to Good Captain:

    I think if he can't pitch, they may as well put him on the 60 day DL. Right now there is time to sort that out.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Per Patrick Mooney tonight...

    "The Cubs think Pedro Strop — who at times has been a dominant set-up guy — could have what it takes to close someday. They say the best-case scenario would have Kyuji Fujikawa — who saved 200-plus games in Japan — returning from Tommy John surgery sometime in May."

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    May sounds optimistic to me, but that would be a nice boost if he could make it back earlier than expected.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I could be wrong but I though the Pythagorean Theory for wins is achieved by combining stats that have already been accrued. If I am wrong I claim complete ignorance and I apologize. So last year;s record, and it's Pythagorean counterpoint, was derived by games that included Garza, Soriano and Feldman, and on the flip side, yes, down seasons from Samardzjia, Castro, Rizzo (plus a breakthrough, or possible career year from Travis Wood) and a bullpen that resembled a five-alarm accelerant led by Carlos Marmol for about 1/3 of the season.

    Again, if I am wrong regarding Pythagorean, I apologize, but this team as it sits should generate less runs and possibly allow more runs than last season's team just based on roster construction based on positional alignment, meaning a lower potential Pythagorean and thus a lower win total, possibly significantly lower, with Renteria being the wild card (assuming Sveum cost the team five wins and assuming Renteria is the difference in those five extra losses).

    I see nothing but lateral movement in the bullpen thus far, nobody they have signed is "lights out" but nobody they had last year was "lights out" either. Offense and starting pitching is where the 2014 roster is taking it's biggest hits.

    Though I acknowledge that your optimism is somewhat warranted just because it is almost a fluke to blow as many leads as they did last season (and that stat will revert to a more normalized range this year no matter who they plug in), I feel the weaker offense and weaker starting staff will hurt more than an improved bullpen will help. My biggest concern is that there is nobody to protect your one biggest threat, Anthony Rizzo (a big "if" on Olt, though I am a believer........somewhat), the defense has not been improved and looking at team FIP it needed to be, and therefore more marginal pitching will be further exposed.

    I want to believe John, but this season to me is looking like 55 wins.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    Yes, you are correct and perhaps I didn't make myself clear. I was indeed referring to their 2013 Pythagorean record. That was not an accident. I did that to point out the team wasn't as bad as it appeared last year and some better sequencing of those statistics could conceivably occur this year, as that is largely considered a factor of luck. In fact, it has to if the Cubs are going to have significant improvement in 2014. Even if you look at the bullpen moves as lateral, better sequencing of those same exact statistics in itself (i.e. better performance in high leverage situations) would theoretically lead to more wins. The same goes for the lineup. The same overall statistics but better sequencing (i.e. a better avg w/RISP), will make for better results without any improvement at all in last year's statistical production.

    The other part was more clear -- an improvement internally by the current core and perhaps a few wins at the margins with some of the minor acquisitions. I don't think it is all that unrealistic that the Cubs will have a better record without having made a significant move.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    It will probably be the opposite for the Cardinals. The cardinals had really good luck. They will not match the .330 w risp and i believe the team gave up a ridiculous low amount of hrs. These numbers will normalize or come down.

    The Cubs had the lowest babip in baseball. This has to improve with the coaching ,but it should normalize some.

  • In reply to Mitchener:

    Yes that avg w/RISP has to go down. There's no way they can sustain that. And there's no way the Cubs can be that bad again. At least...I hope not.

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    In reply to Michael Canter:

    are we really convinced our starting staff will be hugely worse than last year? Our starters most of the season were Wood (9 wins), Shark (8 wins), Jackson (8-18), Garza (6 wins), Feldman (7 wins). Wood and Shark are still here. Can Jackson and some combination of Arrietta, Rusin, Baker, Cabrera, neil ramirez come up with the remaining 21 wins? I think so.

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    In reply to SKMD:

    Expecting 21 wins from Jackson and the five would be possible if the offense was there. I think it's expecting too much. None of those are pitchers who we can expect to consistently win 3-2 and 2-1 games.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    55 wins? Replacement level is 48, and Shark and our RF platoon will get us 6 more and there are still 22 other players on the team.

    Are you suggesting that the remaining 22 players combined are only worth 1 win?

    Seems like a little too much pessimism.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    I have to agree Michael. The moves last offseason had me predicting a 10-15 win improvement from the 2011 season, which wasn't too far off without the trade deadline and some bad Pythagorean win/loss luck. This offseason (thus far), doesn't have me predicting much, if any, improvement over a 66 win team from last season. I'm a fan of the long term process, but the short term at the moment isn't much to get excited about. It's actually quite downer. I plan on visiting Iowa for a few games and maybe that will help my perspective in the short term.

  • In reply to KSCubsFan:

    Meant to say last yrs offseason had me predicting a 10-15 win improvement from the 2012 season, and that this season I (thus far) doesn't have me predicting any real improvement, unless of course we see big rebounds.

  • In reply to KSCubsFan:

    I predict that whatever I predict will be wrong. But right now I'm going to predict 74 wins but hopefully a less frustrating season overall.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    When do you realistically think they will be a playoff team? I am Now thinking 2017. We are going to have to deal with the growing pains when the kids come up (see Rizzo 2013)

  • In reply to KDC22:

    I think they'll have veterans in place when the kids come up. I think 2017 is a good guess, but I think it will happen earlier-- by 2016 and I wouldn't be shocked if it happens by 2015 because I think that is when they'll begin bringing in veterans.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    My thoughts exactly

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I could see that and I'm hopeful for a few more moves. At this point I probably go a little lower than that.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I just don't see this team being 8 wins better than last year considering the losses of Garza, Soriano and Feldman for full seasons. But I hope you are right, and truth be told it is just a miserable feeling that I am hoping for 74 wins to begin with.

    I just don't see enough offense to warrant 74 wins. Remember, I am of the belief that Castro and Samardzjia will continue trending downward and unless Olt can protect Rizzo in that lineup I am concerned he may have another .240 year.

    The optimist in me believes that Hoyer sees the same things and makes some moves before ST.

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    In reply to Michael Canter:

    The optimist in you is a funny guy. Wouldn't an optimist think that Rizzo BABIP would equal out and he hits .280?

    I hope we don't get to 74 wins. I honestly think we NEED one more bad season, if only to get a protected draft pick.

    Next year's potential FA's make WAY more sense for this team that those from this year. As much as draft compensation picks hurts, I think it makes way more sense that to go all out one year, and sacrifice several picks all in one year than it does to sacrifice a first round pick for multiple years.

    If we can keep our first round pick then I'd be ok with losing 2nd, 3rd ans 4th rounders if we sign several guys that can help.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    You will get your wish. No way we will be that close to .500. Our line up is weaker then last year at this time. I don't see anyone picking up Sori, Dejesus or Dioner's production. Best hope is Rizzo and Castro play back to normal. I really don't think 1 more draft pick is going to make that big of a deal. At some point you have to show improvement you can not go from losing from 300 games in 3 years to all of a sudden competing for division title, especially with it being heavily counted on with young talent.

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    In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    It's not about getting 1 more pick, in terms of major league wins.

    Just reserving some sense of benefit from the draft. Like I said, I can honestly see us signing 2-3 FAs with draft pick compensation. If we lose a first rounder and aren't getting our first selection until the mid 100's, the draft is a total waste. And a team still rebuilding can't afford to waste an entire draft class.

    I'm not counting 100% on the kids coming up. Not at all. But if they kids coming up can be supplemented by several MLB FA starters, maybe Tanaka, and some role players like Boston signed last year, then I can totally see a massive turnaround circa 2015.

    Even if the high level of success within the division pushes us out of the playoffs, you're talking about a very very young team.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I agree with your second half reply. It has to be a combination of the two. I just wonder how to change the mind set? If we are close to losing 400 games in 4 years, how do you go from that to all of a sudden being a serious threat to win the central? There will have to be a season where we win 78-85 games before we take off. I said the same thing about boston and people were coming after me hard.

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    In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    There is little evidence to back up that claim. There have been numerous teams over the past 3-4 years that went from losing to winning without a transitional +/- .500 year.

    I reject the notion that teams need to "learn" to win or change the mindset.
    You really think Baez, Bryant, and Soler have a losing mindset?

    Castro might need a mindset switch but hopefully Renteria can restore some confidence after he spent all of '13 being told that everything he's doing is wrong.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I do not think Bryant, Soler and Baez have a losing mind set. But I do think they have to learn how to win. There is a difference in the two. These kids are not just gonna come up and be ready to contend for the NL central by themselves. Since our arms are several years behind the position players. They will have to sign some valuable FA to help these guys get over the hump. There is plenty of evidence that can back it up. Name a team that lost almost 400 games in 4 year span and then all of a sudden contended, without adding several helpful FA. At some point there will have to be a ground gaining improvement season.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    Garza and Feldman were worth a combined 2 wins above replacement last year in their time with Cubs and they only pitched together for two months. I don't think that is necessarily hard to replace. I think Samardzija and Jackson alone could each add one win over last year's performance. All Arrieta has to be is a 2 WAR starter (i.e. Edwin Jackson level last year) to be a significant upgrade over Villanueva and just a one WAR guy to replace him. The rotation was good but they're not irreplaceable. I think they'd like one more starter if they can get one. If it's Tanaka, then that's obviously an upgrade. If it's not, then I expect it to be more of a back end guy and I expect a similar performance overall from the rotation.

    Lineup protection has largely been considered a myth. I think Rizzo needs to solve his own problems regardless of what happens with Olt...and I think he will.

    Improvement doesn't need to come strictly from offseason moves. In fact, that is anything but a reliable indicator of how any given team will perform the next season. There are any number of ways a team can improve without significant additions, which I spelled out in an earlier post. I think there is a good chance the Cubs see better results next year and I'll be interested to hear why the media thinks that is so. My guess is they'll largely credit Renteria for the turnaround if it happens. I can hear it now, "He took the same team and look at what he's doing, so much more..." that sort of thing. Renteria may indeed help but if the Cubs do improve, it'll be in large part because of the factors I pointed earlier.

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    Red Sox release Theo's compensation.

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    In reply to Ray:

    Took me a second to realize what you meant. Remember when they were demanding Garza? Fun times. Fun times.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I do remember that! I envy Boston's success but not their current FO. Classless.

  • In reply to Ray:


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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Yup, going to Japan.

  • In reply to Ray:

    They still have the other kid who pitched at AA. A reliever...why can't I think of his name right now?

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    In reply to Ray:

    I remember how some fans cried over the loss of Carpenter. Once upon a time Carp, Billeveau, McNutt, Vitters and Jackson were our top prospects.
    Compare that to Baez, Bryant, Almora, CJ Edwards. Soler, Not to mention the guys on the MLB roster like Strop, Wood and Arrieta

    Thank you Theo and Jed. I get it.

  • According to Jon Heyman, Veras will be closing. Presuming he gets dealt at the deadline, I envision Strop stepping in then.

    The bullpen is looking better, nonetheless. Much needed improvements were necessary. Hopefully some of the young kids step up this season - like Rondon, Parker, Vizcaino, Cabrera, etc.

  • In reply to Average Samaritan:

    Yes, I saw that and updated it. I'm assuming Heyman knows the agent and that Veras' opening up the season as the closer was a requirement of the deal.

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    Aaron Kurcz.

  • In reply to Ray:

    Ah yes! Thanks.

    The horror. The horror.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    You're welcome, not sure what happened to Kurcz. He didn't pitch in 2013.

  • In reply to Ray:

    Guessing he was hurt, especially since it's not uncommon for that to happen after a young pitcher experiences a signifcant increase in velo the way Kurcz did. He's a bullpen arm with average command, so I don't think they lost much even if he comes back strong

  • The bullpen looks pretty crowded all of the sudden.

    Wright, Veras, Strop, Villanueva and Cabrera (out of options, I believe) seem like near locks to break camp with the Cubs.

    Will they deal Russell?

    If not, which of Parker and Rondon make it?

    What do you do with Rusin, Grimm and Rosscup? I'm assuming as of now that Rusin/Grimm/Villanueva/Cabrera fight it out for the #5 role, with 2 of those going to the pen and the other one starting in AAA?

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    In reply to TulaneCubs:

    In your scenario, Rondon goes to Iowa. He still has options.

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    He does but, don't forget; he basically lost 3yrs development due to injury. His velocity was back last year and his confidence was growing. His slider looked better at the end of the year too. Dude's "stuff" is wicked. We're probably going to lose a couple of these "fringy" guys either to waivers or throw ins in trades... I think they'll break camp with the best of the lot. The question then becomes do want a closer in training at AAA, i.e. Rondon, Parker, Vizcaino, etc...

    I'm watching Rondon with a lot of intrigue this year. If he is able to develop an average CU, he becomes (IMO) a SP conversion candidate for 2015. He just has to stay healthy and increase his stamina.

  • I've liked watching Veras pitch the past few years...was great with the Pirates. Didn't think he'd get a contract like this from anyone though. Didn't the Tigers have an option to bring him back for quite a bit less?

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    I like this deal, and if he pitches really well, both traditionally and sabremetricly, he might have some trade value in July.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Also with the option for $5.5 for next year, the Cubs don't HAVE to trade him this deadline if they don't get the right offer, they could wait until next deadline if they had to, or at the very least they won't be pressured into making a deal.

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    In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    And if he is pitching well, the option makes him more valuable.

  • "José Enger Veras Romero (born October 20, 1980) nicknamed 'The Spider'"

  • Well, nobody's ever going to kill you on a one year chump change deal. I like Pete Strop a lot better though. Watch Marmol out pitch both of them in 2014...

  • Now only if our starting pitchers can get beyond the 4th inning and 100 pitches....these Cubs might have a chance........

    So far, the pitching looks like this.....

    Villanuva / Rusin / L. Hendricks


    Vizcaino, Ramirez, K. Hendricks, Raley & Beeler all headed to Iowa

    Three starters too many for April.......and maybe three too many relieves in the pen............"Competition" will be the word for Cubs pitchers in Spring Training.

  • The pen should be solid now. Maybe Strop is the only possible stud in the Pen, but we should be solid throughout the pen.

    Strop became filthy (best slider in baseball), Parker, Veras, Russel, Wright, Villvanue (good reliever #'s) are all good. Then their is also Rondon who's velocity went from 90 in the spring to 98 by the end of the year. He was rolling at the end. He should be good.

    Then you have the guys on the outside who could emerge as good relievers and be good replacements: Rosscup, Grimm, Alberto Cabrera, Fukijawa, Hatley, Raley, and Riverio.

    No more has been's like Marmol, Camp, and Loe. Which cost us about 2 wins per fangraphs, although sequence of events and actual era's probably account for 5 or 6 games.

  • Did Veras really say it didn't matter if they won or lost when talking about how he felt like he was a part of a family with the Astros?

  • I dont know if I'm the only one but I was impressed with rondon at the end. I saw that velocity up there at 96-97,If he brings that with his control he could break out.

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    If Wada signs hes the 5th starter / in the rotation may be better than Arrieta in 2014.

    J Grimm wont make the squad not sure why you guys keep putting him on that list - Ill bet money or tickets to that effect.
    I got a full season of tix to play with.

  • In reply to deport soriano com:

    Wada will not be the 5th starter.

  • In reply to deport soriano com:

    Why would Grimm not be in the mix? He's a former top prospect that was rushed last year to the Rangers starting rotation.

    Seems to me like he's more than capable of competing for the #5 spot or, at worst, a bullpen spot.

  • $4M for someone who wasn't closing games last year seems like a lot, but I'm glad they were willing to shell out for some help. I not sure about this but I believe he's now the fifth highest paid Cub player, just ahead of Nate Schierholtz. (I think Soler is #7; and Edwin Jackson is our highest paid player--shout-out to EJ's agent!).

  • In reply to baseballet:

    Jackson, Shark, Fujikawa, Castro, Rizzo and Soriano I think will all be paid more this year by the Cubs. And they could get more like Scott Baker. Then there will be Beede/Hoffman/Turner/Newcomb getting more than 3.8 M for a signing bonus. But yeah he is one of the higher paid guys.

  • John, do you see these additions to the pen as depth in case of injury or do you see it as depth for trade value this offseason/trade deadline? With Wright and now Veras being added for veteran leadership, does that mean Russell is on his way out? I for one love the competion it is going to cause but if some of the young players dominate in ST, it will put us in a tough spot with so many relievers without options left. Good problem to have I guess...

  • This is a 72-90 ish team as constructed. 2015 I want to see some impact players added to the kids coming up. 2014 I am fine with waiting for the kids and going all out for Tanaka

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    I've said it before, so sorry if I keep harping on it, but I really think the plan is this:

    2014: Tanaka
    2015: Impact starter
    2016: Fill in position player holes where the prospects haven't come through

    If that happens and a decent number of position player prospects pan out, that 2016 team could be really fun.

  • I thought last year was all Sveum's fault. I'm sure there's several days worth of comments to that effect. But now the new manager means nothing it would seem.

    Who here thought, three years ago, that the Cubs would go to the World Series in 2014? And you were right!

    I understand that most of the pessimism above can be defended as realism. I just do not understand how anyone manages to be a Cubs fan for long without being optimistic.

    I have no idea how many games the Cubs will win in 2014. I do think there will be lots of excitement seeing questions such as Olt, Castro, Arrieta, Lake, et al get answered, and getting first MLB looks at Baez, Bryant and ? At the end of the season we will have a much more detailed idea of what the future is going to look like.

    Regardless of how many games they win in 2014, this is a pivotal season.

    The Cubs will break the routine in 2015.

  • In reply to Richard Beckman:

    Haha! I think it helps to be an optimist if you want to be a Cubs fan, though I also know a few pessimistic diehards too.

    I think the Cubs were on schedule and 2014 may have been a bit optimistic. This FO has said from the beginning that this is a 5 year project. This is year 3. I think 2014 becomes a big year for the Cubs from an evaluation standpoint. The Cubs will know where they stand with prospects Baez, Bryant, Alcantara and possibly Soler or Almora all knocking on the door by season's end. Questions need to be answered about Starlin Castro and where all these guys are going to fit together. With the Cubs top prospects likely to finish the year at the upper levels, the Cubs should have a better idea of what their long term needs will be next offseason and I think their level of activity will reflect that.

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