Cubs pick up Ronald Torreyes from Yanks to bolster infield depth; Re-sign lefty Kyle Ryan to MLB deal

Ronald Torreyes

Ronald Torreyes

In a move that could signal the impending departure of Addison Russell, the Cubs picked up veteran infielder Ronald Torreyes from the New York Yankees in exchange for a PTBNL or cash (whenever "or cash" is specified in these type of deals it almost always ends up being the return).

A solid base runner and utility man capable of filling in at 2B/SS/3B (he also has a bit of experience in the OF), Torreyes is a career .281/.310/.375 hitter in 614 PAs over parts of four MLB seasons with the Dodgers and Yankees. As evidenced by his modest OBP and SLG, Torreyes does not draw many walks (3.9 BB%) or hit for much power (.094 ISO), but he does put the ball in play with regularity (13.0 K%, 8.3 SwStr%) and has managed to hold a .280 average or better in each of the past two seasons.

Torreyes has bounced around between seven organizations in his career and this will be his second stint with the Cubs. He was previously acquired from the Reds as part of the package received in exchange for Sean Marshall back in 2011. After a year and a half in the Minors, reaching as high as high as AA at the age of 20, the Cubs dealt him to the Astros on July 2nd of 2013 for international bonus pool money. That date is significant because it is the day the Cubs inked the #1 prospect in IFA, Gleyber Torres, to a deal. They would add the #2 prospect Eloy Jimenez the following month.

Cubs Re-Sign Kyle Ryan

Cubs fans may not be overly familiar with Kyle Ryan despite his prior MLB experience and him carving out an important role with Iowa last season. From 2014-17 he posted 3.87 ERA in 128 IP with the Tigers. He was a solid contributor in those first three partial years with the team but a disastrous 2017, when his normally above average control abandoned him, the Tigers outrighted him off their 40-man roster. He signed with the Cubs last winter on a Minor League deal. After a stint in extended spring training to open the season, Ryan hit the ground running as a swingman once he arrived in Des Moines.

Over 22 games (8 starts), Ryan posted 2.86 ERA with 61 K vs. 18 BB in 66 IP. His 61.0 GB% was the 2nd best in the PCL among pitchers with 60+ IP. He was arguably the I-Cubs best pitcher over the second half of the season and was a candidate to be added to the 40-man roster prior to September but the late season acquisitions of Jorge de la Rosa and Jaime Garcia helped stabalize the left side of the bullpen and the team did not need to call on Ryan.

The 27-year old does not fit the mold of a lefty specialist. He is a former starter with multiple pitches that tends to work at least one inning and has been slightly more effective against right handed batters in his career. I am unclear as to whether Ryan will have an option year remaining (help AZ Phil!). Update: Ryan does indeed have one option year remaining so my guess is he will often be the first option for recall from Iowa whenever help is needed in the pen.

If the Cubs are able to return him to Iowa to keep on hand, he will join a large array of left handed options in the I-Cubs bullpen. The team has former 2nd overall pick Danny Hultzen, former 2nd round pick Rob Zastryzny, 2018 PCL All-Star Alberto Baldonado, recent waiver claim Jerry Vasto, as well as 2018 Chicago fan favorite Randy Rosario under contract. All except Baldonado and Hultzen have at least some MLB experience.

40-man Roster Status

Today's moves temporarily brings the Cubs 40-man roster up to capacity. The deadline to tender contracts for 2019 is Friday and the team will likely non-tender catcher Taylor Davis and right handed relievers Justin Hancock and Allen Webster. Unlike with Russell, the Cubs will probably try to re-sign each of those players to Minor League deals with non-roster invites to spring training. It is doubtful Hancock or Davis could secure MLB deals elsewhere, but it is not out of the realm of possibility that Webster could draw some interest now that he showed he was healthy and throwing mid-90s late in 2018.

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  • I watched Torreyez in AA for a series and he was a slick fielder and hit with authority. I hated to see him traded at the time. He is a little guy who hits the snot out of the ball.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    His career .375 slugging percentage could use more snot. He appears to be pretty much a singles hitter. Not many stolen bases, so I'm wondering if he's not very fast?

    Did the Cubs get him to hold the fort until Russell comes off of suspension or to give them more options to replace Russell on a more permanent basis?

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Torreyes is tiny, one of the smaller guys in the majors. Power is never going to come for him. He is a high contact hitter, nothing more.

    He should be a decent one year stopgap as a backup SS while Short and/or Hoerner finish their development in 2019.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Torreyes might hang out in Iowa until he is needed. Actually, one has to hit the ball hard just get it threw the defense. He won't hit homeruns, but Ronald will get a few doubles and base hits. No power though and not base stealing speed either. He reminds some of Elliot Soto. He will not embarrass. Makes the plays on D and puts the ball in play often with a little mustard at the plate.

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    In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Yea,I agree he's a small guy and homers will prob not come, but.......... If Jose Altuve ( yes I know he's a unicorn) can hit the ball a very very long way. Maybe w some launch angle and some steady ABs, maybe he can produce double digit homers.

  • I look at torreyes as a depth move, nothing more.It's gonna be interesting to see what happens with russell friday.

    Pirates willing to trade Francisco cervelli and are listening to offers ,I wish the cubs could get him but that's unlikely but get him out of the nl central.He absolutely destroyed the cubs last year and made every timely hit possible.Get him out of this division please pittsburgh

  • In reply to bolla:

    In general - I'm in agreement here bolla. It is a good depth move though. Regardless of whether the Cubs try to keep Russell they will still need to have a solid backup for Baez that can play SS effectively.

    Nobody in AAA or AA is going to be ready at least early in 2019. Even if Hoerner continues to develop quickly and stays healthy he's not going to be there while Russell fills out his suspension time.

  • The next 2 weeks will prove how Theos plans on rebuilding the
    team. Spending lots on money one 1 FA is not the answer.
    Trading some our good plays gfor great young prospects might
    be the answer. trading Happ and or Kyle for the right package

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    The window to win a title is starting us in the face. I would be terribly disappointed if we traded big leaguers for young prospects. IMO, this never happens. I just don't see Theo doing that with today's current club.

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    The cubs have the revenue to do whatever they want,purported $500M a year was the last estimate. That's before our new television contract is worked out, so if Theo wants to sign Harper or Brantley and add arms to the bullpen(Miller or Allen) he has the money to do so,but this would force him to move on from Schwarber and Happ and he seems reluctant to do that yet.
    As far as Torries is concerned, he is just insurance for Russell in case they release him, which I doubt, he can be utilized until Russell's suspension is over.

  • In reply to tater:

    $500M is a big number for revenue. Who came up with that estimate? And if that is their estimate for current revenue, what is their estimate for current expenditures? Just curioius.

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    In reply to John57:

    That was the latest released two weeks ago, the cubs are now reported to be worth $3B as franchise, quite the bellcow for Ricketts family.

  • In reply to tater:

    Franchise value is meaningless unless the team is sold. Revenue numbers are meaningless, too, without the context of expenses, which include far more than player salaries.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    That is what I was thinking too. Value of the franchise is meaningless. Only people like Boras uses those numbers to try to squeeze bigger contracts out of owners.
    Also If someone gives out revenues estimates I would like to see expenditures too. Once you have both numbers, you then can determine if the team has more money to spend.

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    Torreyes is one of my weaknesses. He has almost NO power. But he makes contact (low K%). This is purely a "depth" move but this is a guy I LOVED when we had him and was disappointed when we traded him.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Love guys like this too. Glad I'm not the only one! Augie Ojeda 2.0!!!

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    In reply to DarBar15:

    If Augie Ojeda is your utility infielder and getting 60 PAs over the course of the year that isn't the worst thing in the world. He was actually a net positive for his career--though marginally so.

    However, if you have a plan BASED ON getting him as many PAs as possible you are probably in trouble.

    As I said in my original post, he is one of my weaknesses. I won't pretend it is based on anything rational. It is purely a personal preference. Which goes a long way toward me wishing the Cubs would snatch up Nick Allen in the 2017 draft.

  • the Cubs may have a massive revenue stream coming in the near future, but they are still limited greatly by the salary/luxury tax thresholds (as are all teams).

    I don't see them blowing thru cap limits just to get penalized by huge luxury tax hits and loss of draft picks and IFA money for the next few years.

    Draft picks alone are very valuable and we need the flexibility to build thru the draft and IFA without any limits placed on the club going forward. Overspending will eventually come back to haunt them down the road (if they don't get maximum value for the money spent).

  • Tommy la Stella traded to the angels!!! For cash or ptnbl

  • Explains the Torreyes trade now

  • Termel sledge is the cubs new ast. Hitting coach

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