BA reports the Cubs may be favorites for Cuban lefty

According to Ben Badler of Baseball America, the Cubs may be favorites for at least one highly-regarded Cuban player. They are reportedly the frontrunner for 16 year old LHP Adrian Morejon.  According to Badler,

He’s not that big (5-foot-11, 165 pounds), but he showed a good fastball at the time for a 15-year-old lefty (mid-to-upper 80s, touching 91), feel to spin a curveball and feel for pitching beyond his years. Morejon isn’t a free agent yet and will need the commissioner’s office to grant him an exemption to sign during the current signing period.

Morejon also beat the U.S. 15U team at that time with a complete game that included 12Ks and just one walk.

The Cubs are looking to add pitching depth at all levels, so the rumor makes sense.  If their scouts feel Morejon projects to add a little size and strength, he could become a starter given his advanced feel for pitching.  It should also be noted that smaller LHPs are relatively more common  than their righty  counterparts.

The Dodgers are involved, as they are with just about everyone, but the Cubs may  have the edge this time.

Badler has more on Morejon in this article for Baseball America...


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  • I read this article. Who is the second player Cubs are favorites for? Did I just miss it?

  • In reply to Holy Cattle:

    Just one player. I published it before it changed. May be another player out there, but I don't know right now. I would guess pitchers.

  • In reply to Holy Cattle:

    I tried to find the second name. It does not seem to be mentioned here or in the BA article.

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    In reply to Holy Cattle:

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  • Who is the second player?

  • There was confusion in the article title. It was only the one he wrote about. They fixed the title of the article on BA because it was confusing.

  • Since we passed our limit on how much money we could spend
    it makes sense to keep on spending for the right talent

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Yep. Might as well. Waves and waves of young arms...

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Especially since the rules will change soon -- may even have a draft, so these kinds of opportunities may not be available in the future.

  • My mistake on the original version. Thought there was another player they might be in on but could not find him. If there is, I will update article.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John - we are hearing reports that the Cubs and Shark are close on a 4 year $68M deal. You may want to check in with your sources to see if the stories are legit.

  • In reply to hoopscubs:

    Who is reporting that?

  • In reply to hoopscubs:

    Where did you hear that? 4 years $68M would be great....

  • In reply to hoopscubs:

    If that rumor is true,.... that's a pretty good deal for the Cubs - and quite a bit less than Shark was looking for a couple of seasons ago.

    At that pricetag - even if signing Shark costs a late 1st round draft pick (given - losing Fowler to FA will net a similar pick back), he's probably worth that money. And - he's a known quantity, healthy, without tons of mileage on that arm - and we all know he wants to win.

    Shark + a Trade for another cost-controlled young SP arm,.... and I think that's the core of a solid rotation going into next season.

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    Thats 17 Mil AAV
    and a 1st round pick

    not sure if thats great for a guy who was ranked 74th out of 76 pitchers
    -seems like a big risk.

  • In reply to deport soriano com:

    He had a horrible year with the White Sox where he seemed to be a very bad fit with pitching coach Don Cooper. He cut down on throwing his 2 seam FB, which he had been very effective with, in favor of his cutter which Cooper prefers bu is not a strength for Shark. The 2 seamer went from 24% to 9% while the cutter went from 13.4% to 20%. His mechanics seemed out of whack as well. You'd be talking about him reuniting with a pitching coach who he had great success with in 2013 and 2014. 4/$68 is not a bad contract.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Inking Samardzjida before Thanksgiving would be fantastic news for Cubs fans sitting down to a turkey dinner.

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    In reply to 44slug:

    A MOR starter before Thanksgiving would be HUGE.

    As for the first round pick I think the Cubs may well be picking in the mid-upper 20's anyway and will be getting a "sandwich" pick back for Fowler (if I understand correctly). So maybe being bumped down 5-10 spots to sign Samardzija to a solid contract? I will take that.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    What if they re-sign Fowler or loose a pick for whatever CF they do sign?

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    In reply to Letsplay2:

    I suppose that is possible, but are we really going to fight that hard for a late 1st round pick? Maybe.

    I think that the Cubs would jump at the chance to sign a guy going into his 31 year old season on a 4 year deal for $17M/year. In terms of value that is saying that he gets $68M. Most estimates I have seen say that a WAR is "worth" $6-8M in terms of "value." So that would require that he pitch at a level of about 10 WAR (+/- 1 roughly). So, over 4 years that would be about 2.5 WAR/season. For a starting pitcher who gets as many innings as Samardzija is likely to accumulate (3 straight years of 200 or more innings) I don't know that it would be that difficult. Even last year, by far his worst year, he accumulated 2.7 WAR so it isn't that unbelievable the he could pitch up to his salary.

    Now, if they were sayin 7/$145M or something like that I would be opposed to it so for me it really comes down to value. Right now the Cubs are at least several years away from having much impact pitching talent coming through their minor leagues. Underwood has pitched some at A+; Johnson has done well at AA but there are still significant questions among those better qualified than me to evaluate him; Edwards has questions about his durability. So he won't be blocking anyone.

    As for signing Fowler, I just don't see that happening. He has earned a better salary than the Cubs will be willing to give. Unlike pitching we do have some signficant talent coming through our minor leagues at CF (Almora, DeWees, Wilson, EJM, maybe even Alcantara or Happ depending on how things go). I think he will get a contract similar to Samardzija. Given that we have solid in-house options in the near future I would rather not tie those funds to re-signing a FA.

    Might we have to sign a CF with a qualifying offer already on the table? Maybe. However, I think we can cobble something together for Inciarte or another CF OR sign someone without a qualifying offer to a short term deal.

    I am confident that Bosio can make Samardzija solid again. Maybe not a 4 WAR pitcher each of the next 4 years like he was in 2014 but I do think he is likely to maintain his value.

  • In reply to Letsplay2:

    Contending teams need to make that sacrifice on occasion if the situation dictates it. It is not an issue unless it becomes common practice. If the Cubs are having to fill holes every offseason with prime FAs and are unable to replace departing players with comp picks, then we should worry, but a one time occurrence, especially early in the compete phase to try and fill a couple of gaps left by the rebuild is not a huge deal at this point.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    While I tend to agree with you in general, what we are talking about here, is losing the draft pick to sign Samardzija. That, too me, is a huge deal.

    Of course if the FO does decide to sign him, then I will be rooting for him to have the comeback of the year and become the #2 or #3 SP that he should be. I just do not have any confidence that will happen.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Losing a pick to sign someone who projects to put us over the top....not someone who is a wildcard after is performance last year and who doesn't have the best attitude.

  • In reply to deport soriano com:

    I don't think $17M AAV is too much of a risk for Shark, if he'd been a FA last year he'd easily have gone over $20M AAV. A deal at 4/68M is a bargain for the Cubs.

  • In reply to deport soriano com:

    Better than spending $30m AAV on Price or Greinke. Shark will eat the same amount of innings for a slightly higher ERA. But with the way this offense is going to mash in the years to come, we should sign David Ross to a SP contract. Cause it ain't gunna matter!

  • In reply to deport soriano com:

    I agree...not sure why we want to make a run for Shark on the hope he is as good as he was for half of 2014 with us. I'd rather take a chance for much less and no draft pick on the post-surgery Lincecum.

  • I quit getting emails and I have signed up 100 times

  • Here's the thing with Shark. Yes, he had a bad year. However, he was left in during a lot of his starts wayy too long, where Joe would have yanked him, which inflated his ERA. Take this into perspective:

    He had 6 starts while giving up 6 or more earned runs (in all but one, he went 4.2 innings or more). If you completely eliminate those starts and look at all of his other ones (178 innings of work), his ERA goes down to 3.22. If you want to be more realistic and leave those starts in, but just reduce the number of earned runs in all of them to 5 (which seems reasonable to me), his ERA goes down to 4.16.

    The latter is respectable (albeit maybe not worth $17MM respectable), while the former is downright good. Also, take that into the context that he had a very poor defense behind him and a pitching coach who didn't cater to his strengths and you would probably have a guy with an ERA of 4.00, at worst, on most other teams.

    I'm not advocating for signing him, as I've opposed it in the past on other forums, but the above facts, combined with his peripherals, definitely suggest he's a good bounce-back candidate. My only question is, do we want an average starter to bolster the rotation at that price? For me, it would depend on if we get a young, cost-controlled front of the rotation guy, as well (like a Carrasco, Shelby Miller, etc.).

    That would leave a rotation of:


  • In reply to cub87fan:

    That's (IMO) a nice rotation - and one that won't break the bank either. And with Hammel only under contract for another year (or is it two?), it leaves some flexibility for getting one of the young arms currently working his way up through the minors a slot to work for come 2017.

    I would prefer Salazar over Carrasco,.... but would not mind a trade for Miller either.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Salazar would also be a very nice pickup. I'm just not sure what they are going to ask for him. A king's ransom would be my guess.

  • And one last note with my post, he had a FIP around 4.23, which would bolster the notion that he pitched better than his ERA.

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    In reply to cub87fan:

    And that FIP was a full run higher than the year before and almost 0.5 higher than its previous high. Sounds like a bad year. Whether it was pitching coach or "bad luck" I think it is reasonable to think he will have a bounceback year.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Smardzija has really only had one very good year in 2014. He was 8-13 with a 4.34 in 2013 (FIP of 3.77), 9-13 with a 3.81 in 2012 (3.55 FIP).

    That combined with 2015 sure makes me less certain he is going to produce 2014. 2014 seems to be the outlier, not 2015. People talk about Castro having 3.5 good seasons and 1.5 bad seasons and don't know how to value him at the age of 25. Jeff is at his peak or on the downside (the 30s aren't usually improvement for fastball pitchers) and hasn't put together two years in his career that would be worth $17mm yet.

    His contract will potentially be signing EJax (comparable, though EJax had better numbers) and we lose a draft pick. No thank you.

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    Kenta Maeda has asked to be posted. Get him, + one of shark/leake/cueto and call it a wrap for the rotation.

    Work out Baez in CF and see if it might work.

    Very very surprised that NOBODY put in a bid for the Korean outfielder, Son. Granted it's not major league baseball, but he put up some pretty gaudy numbers in Korea.

  • Sign Shark, trade for Miller.

    That is a powerful staff! Get it done Theo!

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    A month into the offseason, and all we get is Spencer Patton? #LazyTheo, #FireTheo

  • In reply to Zonk:


  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Sounds like one of the fine posters over at the forum

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    I totally understand 17 AAV might be the market for him

    but if you look at 2012 & 2013 combined with the Cubs
    - his whip is like 1.30 - basically the same as last year with the Sox.

    for comparison Kyle H. is at 1.14 & Hammel was at 1.16 last year.

    I know whip isnt everything - FIP & Era+ are 2 others to look at but
    I could see Hammel &/or Kyle out pitching him.

    I guess I just think you can do better or the same at
    3 yrs - 39 million, or 4 years 56 million.
    ( and thus have some funds to allocate elsewhere)

  • In reply to deport soriano com:

    A year ago if he had hit the open market he would have gotten $20 per. No question, probably a bit more. He has a bad year and he's not worth $17? There's not that big a difference between Samardzija and Zimmermann and people clamor for the latter and wince at the former. I don't get it. The Cubs had him valued at 5/$85 18 months ago and Shark balked. He continued having a great 2014 and then was awful with the White Sox but, and folks aren't remembering this, looked very good at the end of the year and oh by the way he still had a 2.7 fWAR. Wondering about Hammel and Hendricks fWAR? 2.8 and 2.4 respectively. Jordan Zimmermann was at 3.0. Samardzija is worth what the Cubs thought he was worth and if they can get him for the same seasons they offered him before (the contract would have bought out his last year of arb) it's a very fair deal and improves the rotation. Add Shelby Miller or Carlos Carrasco and you have one of the best staffs in the NL.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I believe Hendricks fWAR was 3.4 not 2.4. He was a much better pitcher than JS last year.

    I don't see how what JS was worth or what the Cubs offered him 18 months ago is relevant at all. Last year did happen, he is older, and is not the same pitcher according to last seasons actual results. He is not worth as much now.

    If some other team wants to pay him 4/68, and give up a draft pick, by all means, let them.

  • In reply to Letsplay2:

    Also, there is a world of difference between JS and Zimmermann. Zim has performed well for 5 years in a row. JS only for 1 season.
    And Zim is a year younger.

  • In reply to Letsplay2:

    My highy unscientific opinion is if Shark was on the Cubs and Hendricks on the Sox in 2015 we wouldn't be talking about Kyle having the better season. Sometimes you just have to trust your gut and mine is telling me Shark is better than Hendricks.

  • In reply to SaberToothedMetric:

    Well, there is a difference between pitching in the AL and the NL due to the DH. But I disagree as to who is the better pitcher at this point. If the Cubs do sign Shark and keep Hendricks, maybe we'll get a chance to find out. :)

  • In reply to Letsplay2:

    Sounds good, will be interesting if the Cubs bring in 2 capable starters. Barring injury that would create 4 good pitchers fighting for 3 rotation spots.

  • In reply to Letsplay2:

    Not as much NL/AL difference as I thought. For starters, it's about a tenth of a run in most metrics.

  • In reply to Letsplay2:

    Keep in mind Hendricks rarely made it through 6 innings. Shows he either couldn't or staff didn't have the confidence to have him face the lineup a third time. I hope he's for real but he could just be an exceptional long reliever. Go get shark

  • In reply to mgoodw2:

    I think it was more a matter of confidence in the bull pen than lack of confidence in Hendricks although I am sure it was some of both. If Hendricks had been allowed to stay in more his ERA may have been lower.

    BTW - people tend to look at Shark as a strike out and/or power pitcher. Shark's K/9 last year was 6.86. Hendricks K/9 was 8.35.

    Also Shark's GB% - 39%. Hendricks GB% 51.3%. Which looks better in Wrigley?

  • In reply to TC154:

    The EJax contract was not overbidding when done. Does that mean he was worth it two years later?

  • Addison Russell's ceiling is through the roof!

  • In reply to JLynch2247:

    Nice,..... boring, but stable & predictable defense is something he should have for years to come (barring injury). And even if he never develops as a hitter much beyond a 0.250/0.320/0.400 line to go with it,.... that's a valuable guy at SS or 2B.

    And if he gets better,..... say 0.280/0.350/0.430 or more,..... nice!

  • In reply to JLynch2247:

    Thanks for the link. Awesome site!

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    In reply to JLynch2247:

    Nice article. I have a feeling Russell is going to have a great year next season.

  • Does anyone whats up with Norge Ruiz? He is another pitching Cuban prospect. He was the hot item several months back. Trouble with getting approved by MLB maybe?

  • In reply to Andrew444:

    He has yet to become a free agent, but should be happening soon.

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    MLB rumors reports that Tim Lincecum will be available starting in January for showcasing his talents or where he is in his rehab (he had hip surgery in Sept). I don't know if he had a hip replacement or other procedure. He is only 31 and might be a nice 1 year tryout for Bosio to work with, at least to see where he is.
    Can I just take a second to talk hip replacement? I had one 3 years ago and strongly recommend the anterior procedure vs. the posterior. The anterior cuts no muscles (like the posterior), has no restrictions and is a much faster recovery time. I had mine when I was 62 and within 3 weeks I was walking a mile. Now one of the smart things I did was that when I found out my hip was bone on bone I had the surgery within a few months and didn't wait until the pain was too much--why wait if it has to be done? Anyway, that's my opinion and experience. I hope it helps someone reading this.

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    What about Tim Lincocom? He's recovering from hip surgery and according to MLB rumors he'll be ready by Jan to showcasing what he can do. He's 31 and would probably take a 1 yr deal. I'd take a look and see what's there.

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    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I live in the Bay Area and they talked about him on the radio this morning. They said exactly what you wrote: that he is planning to hold a tryout for teams in January and hopefully show that he's over the hip injury. I have trouble picturing him joining the Cubs, though. But you never know...

  • How much more would it be to sign Zimmerman instead of shark?

  • In reply to Jjdgolf:

    If you are going to give up a draft pick, Zimmerman makes a whole lot more sense than Shark.

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