Cubs News and Notes: Cubs 40-Man Down Two Pitchers

Cubs News and Notes: Cubs 40-Man Down Two Pitchers

The Cubs attempt to slip Brett Marshall through waivers was unsuccessful, as the Reds claimed the right-hander.  The Cubs had taken Marshall from the Yankees in December.  Marshall is a former top prospect who failed to live up to his potential with the Yankees.

The Twins followed that up by claiming Brooks Raley off waivers.  The lefty struggled as a starter in a brief audition in 2013 and was being converted to relief.
The Cubs needed to make one move to open up space to make the Jason Hammel signing official.  However, opening up two roster spots suggests another roster move is in the future.  Perhaps Bonifacio?  (If so, once again a tip of the cap to John for having a better read on Theo than I do.)

UPDATE 3:30 PM: Bruce Levine says that the roster moves are to sign Hammel and RHP James McDonald.  McDonald, a former Dodger, was believed to be getting a minor league contract.  (h/t to Zonk for this.)

In other news:

  • Cubs Den's very own John Arguello and Mauricio Rubio will be attending a BP event in March.

Join us in Chicago on Saturday, March 8 at Monti’s on the North Side of Chicago for two hours of pizza, cheesesteak, and baseball talk.

Harry Pavlidis will also be there, as will BP Prospect writer Jordan Gorosh.
Also talking prospects will be Wayne Randazzo (radio voice of the Kane County Cougars), Adam Brown (Chicago sports blogger and both a Cubs and Cougars season ticket holder), and Sahadev Sharma (, Vine Line, and Bleacher Nation).
There will be free pizza and cheesesteak while supplies last.
The details:
Saturday, March 8, 2014
3:00-5:00 pm Central Time
4757 N. Talman Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625
  • Paul Banks at the Sports Bank ran into C Welington Castillo at a function.  He has a good article on Welly's work ethic and constant striving to improve.
  • Jesse Rogers looked at the Cubs most likely to have a breakout year.  His pick?  RHP Jake Arrieta.  That would be a nice outcome -- Arrieta nailing down a top of the rotation slot this summer would answer a lot of questions for the Cubs.  Interestingly, the fans vote right now is 3B Mike Olt, suggesting many fans think (or hope) that the eyes are good to go.
  • According to Patrick Mooney, the fans are not alone.  The Cubs are among those who are expecting big things from Olt.
  • According to Dan Bernstein, talks between the Cubs and rooftops have revived, "Sources: negotiations between #Cubs & rooftops have revived, with the team taking a harder stand, confident in better legal/$ position."

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  • fb_avatar

    Apparently Levine tweeted that the reason for the 2 moves was because the Cubs are giving James McDonald a major league deal. No confirmation though.

    Raley was redundant with Rusin and Rosscup around. Marshall no great shakes. But why didn't Cubs just put Fujikawa on 60-day DL?

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Raley is a 4A Loogy, IMO... But IDK why Fuji wasn't moved to the DL. Doesn't make sense, unless they're saving that for one of the Cuban IFA's?....

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    We essentially have no info on Fuji's recovery. Cubs may be anticipating him returning prior to June. What if he is ready in May?

  • In reply to mjvz:

    Fuji hasnt pitched in a year., might need some rehab time.

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    In reply to Zonk:

    Thanks, Zonk.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Thanks Zonk. I'm so out of the loop right now. Not sure McDonald is worth an MLB deal, but if that's what they had to do and if they liked him that much, then I suppose that's fine. I'm not as big a fan personally.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I'm not sure you can put players on the 60 day DL yet. Maybe someone can look that up?

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Dodgers placed Scott Elbert on 60 day DL on Feb 8 for Maholm signing.

  • In reply to Todd Smart:

    Thanks Todd.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    From Arizona Phil, it looks like 'A player can be placed on the MLB Emergency Disabled List (60-day DL) during Spring Training' ...

    Sounds like the Cubs would have competition for Bonifacio. I think he would bring back more than Ivan P. (steal) did last summer and would certainly be better then Ryan Roberts.

  • In reply to rsanchez11:

    Thanks for the info!

  • In reply to rsanchez11:

    so if fujikawa can go on D-list tomorrow why would
    you risk waiving these guys and instead just wait until
    spring training starts. unless you are looking to add

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to bleachercreature:

    pretty much.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    You can't have any more than 40 on your MLB roster before training camp. You can't 60 Day anyone until camp opens. LA 6o Day'd Elbert after camp opened.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Considering the source, I'll wait until someone else corroborates before thinking McDonald got a major league deal.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to TulaneCubs:

    I would too, frankly. It didn't sound quite right.

    Certainly, Cubs are up to something, no other reason to ditch 2 guys when you only needed to dump 1

  • In reply to Zonk:

    The only thing I can think of is this is a move done before teams can put players on the 60 day DL.

    Once teams can do that, they'll have several 40 man spots open which would allow them space to claim Raley. DFAing Raley now I'd think would increase the chances of Raley slipping through waivers and staying with the team, because they wouldn't have open spots yet due to the 60 man not being open until ST starts.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Can you do that before the season starts?

  • I hate to lose anyone, but it's been a long time since the Cubs had so much talent in the system that they couldn't protect it all!

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Good point!

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I would guess Cubs are opening a spot for a 5th
    outfielder. Right now Vitters or Watkins would
    have to be your 5th outfielder. Someone like
    Kalish or Couglin or Bonefacio to fill that 40th spot.

    They must still feel that Brett Jackson can turn it
    around since he is still on the 40. So I would think
    he will have a chance to compete for the 5th spot
    as well.

  • Bonifacio would be an interesting guy to add - depending on the contract terms of course. Since it seems that the Orioles haven't managed to pull the trigger on hiring him as yet.

    He's a bit hacktastic - but has some footspeed, can cover multiple IF/OF positions adequately (if healthy) including 2B if Barney falters, and might have some trade value come midseason as well.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    I like him. Not sure if it'd be worth a huge effort when there are a lot of teams after him, but I like the idea of having a guy who can run and do things off the bench. Hit .280 with a .350 OBP after getting traded last year, 28 steals in all. I'll take that from a guy playing multiple spots.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    You're winning me over on this one. He doesn't wow me, but he is a better option than what we currently have at the back of the roster. Only issue would be 40 man spot. Next guys out as far as I am concerned would be Rusin, Jackson, Vitters but I am not sure I'm ready to cut bait with any of them yet, at least before seeing them in the spring.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Sounds a lot like David DeJesus...

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Other than DeJesus not being able to field the IF spots,.... and not having had the 20+ steals footspeed for some time.

    Yeah,.... exactly like him. :D

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to drkazmd65:

    Maybe....certainly the entire league feels Bonifacio is not worth $3.5 mil, since nobody claimed him on waivers.

    Bonifacio would make sense from the standpoint that he can play OF as well as 2B/3B, solving the 5th OF issue. On the downside, he and Lake are cut from the same hacktastic cloth.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Bonifacio has a career 8% walk rate, which is slightly above average, though I do agree he tends to chase pitches out of the zone at times.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    His walk rate is OK,.... but his K rate for a guy with limited power is a bit high for my taste.

    That being said,.... we could do worse.

  • I am pulling for Josh Vitters. He has trended very slowly since the start of his career, but the trend has been upwards. Injury prone, yes, but maybe he will contribute in the end.

    I also think Brett Jackson will never make enough contact to succeed in this league. If he was put on waivers today it would be fine with me. Not worried about losing Raley, either.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Rob Letterly:

    Me, too, actually. I think his ceiling is fairly limited -- RH bat/short side of a platoon -- but I'm hoping he reaches that ceiling.

  • fb_avatar

    OT: Separated at birth......Arismendy Alcantara, and Chris Paul?

    Google it and check it out....Keith Law pointed it out, and he's right actually!

  • Hendry's top prospects could possibly make a good bench. With Vitters, Jackson, Szczur, Lake, and Barney..

  • Bonifacio late bloomer?

  • MacDonald was bad last year, and spent a lot of time on the DL, but he had stretches of being very effective for the Bucs the 2 years prior. He has stuff, just isn't consistent. Not a bad risk to take considering Brooks Raley has no upside. Better use of a 40 man spot as far as I'm concerned.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to mjvz:

    I like the McDonald pickup, but alot less on a ML deal than on a minor league deal. McDonald is out of options, so if he pitches well in ST, there will be a roster crunch. Good problem to have I suppose.

    I feel a pitcher or two will be DFA'ed at the end of ST

  • In reply to Zonk:

    I get the feeling Villanueva gets dealt in ST. Cubs have higher ceiling guys that throw harder that can do his job for less money. And we have more depth in AAA than when we acquired him.

  • Confirmed

    MESA, Ariz. -- The Chicago Cubs made room Wednesday on their 40-man roster for the impending signing of starting pitchers Jason Hammel and James McDonald.,0,5799336.story

  • A.J. Burnett signing with the Phillies is bad for the Cubs. Puts another quality pitcher likely on the trading block in July when the Cubs will need to muster all the leverage to extract a mint for Jeff Samardzija.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Eddie:

    There's a limited no-trade clause in the deal. Unclear exactly how much of a headache trading him would be.

    However, in the here and now, it puts the Orioles and the Pirates in a further bind to start the season.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    NTCs can be waived, and we don't know the identities of the teams on that list. I'd have been much happier if he had signed with Pittsburgh or Washington.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Eddie:

    I read somewhere that Burnett was only interested in pitching again this season if it was with the Pirates, Phillies, Orioles, or Nationals, as he wanted to be close to home. I don't think he'd accept a trade elsewhere.

  • Also, that BP event sounds awesome and I will make an effort to go.

  • Not sure if this has been posted (I am sure it has on this well informed blog) but Iwakuma of Seattle is going to out for a bit with a tendon issue in his finger.

    Will this force the Mariners to go harder after Shark.

  • They might have cleared it for that pitcher Suk-Min Yoon or maybe I am hoping. McDonald on a Minor League deal and Suk-Min Yoon on a Major League deal would be great, in my opinion.

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