Archive | February, 2012

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Cubs Dump Blake DeWitt for Adrian Cardenas – Wrigley Field 2/8/12

Posted on 08 February 2012 by Lou

The Cubs released infielder Blake DeWitt in order to pick up Adrian Cardenas off of waivers from the Oakland A’s.  This was an interesting move.

DeWitt played in 121 games for the Cubs in 2011 – .265 batting average with 5 HR’s, 11 doubles and 25 RBI’s.

Cardenas, on the other hand, played 127 games with Triple-A Sacramento.  His offensive numbers were impressive – .314 batting average, 5 HR’s, 28 doubles, 70 runs scored and 51 RBI’s.  He is younger and primarily a 2nd baseman, but he also played multiple games at 3rd base and left field for the A’s minor league squad.  He is a left-handed hitter who throws right-handed and could make a spirited run at de-throning Darwin Barney from his starting 2nd base job.

DeWitt is clearly more of a back-up infielder these days, while Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer see Cardenas as an up-and-coming youngster who could surprise some people at the major league level.  He was picked up by the Phillies as the 37th overall pick in the 2006 draft and has been in the A’s organization since July 2008.  And you gotta love what the A’s can do with raw talent…

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Cubs Land Lefty Gerardo Concepcion – Wrigley Field 2/6/12

Posted on 06 February 2012 by Lou

The Cubs have signed Gerardo Concepcion to a multi-year deal worth around $7 million.  Concepcion is a Cuban defector who burst onto the scene in 2010-2011 with a dominant rookie year in the Cuban National Series.  Concepcion had a 10-3 record with a nasty 3.36 ERA.  He started 16 games and is only 18 years old.  Nice.  Concepcion defected at the World Port Tourney in Rotterdam, Amsterdam (the same tourney from which Cincinnati Reds’ stud Aroldis Chapman defected a few years back), and recently completed his Mexican residency requirement to become eligible to negotiate with major league teams.  Concepcion is training in the Dominican Republic – not surprising that Cubs Owner Tom Ricketts was just there to announce the building of a new baseball academy nearby.

I like this move.  Don’t know if he is going to pan out, but for $7 million, if he can give the Cubs something 2-3 years down the line similar to Chapman, that would be a huge step in the right direction.  Exposure in the DR should help as well.  Maybe we can convince some young talented international players to give a look at the Cubs organization with Theo, Jed and Jason at the helm…

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Happy Super Bowl Sunday – Giants, Patriots Battle for Bragging Rights in Indy – Wrigley Field 2/5/12

Posted on 05 February 2012 by Lou

Happy Super Bowl Sunday – the New York Giants battle the New England Patriots at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indy today.  Some day we’ll get the Bears back there.

Gotta love some comments NFL Commish Roger Goodell made the other day about a potential Super Bowl in the Windy City: “Chicago is a great community… As far as football fans are concerned, there is no greater passion in Chicago.  There are a number of issues that go into playing a Super Bowl.  It’s not just the stadium.  It’s clearly the number of hotel rooms, the other infrastructure, all of which I presume that Chicago would meet.  If they’re interested, we certainly will meet with them and discuss the ability to do that.”

It seems like a long shot to me given that the Bears play in the smallest capacity stadium – Soldier Field (61,5000 capacity) – in the entire NFL.  Throw in the fact that all the cold weather places set to hold the Super Bowl either have domes (Detroit’s Ford Field, Indy’s Lucas Oil Stadium) or a brand new state-of-the-art stadium (New York/New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium), I just can’t see the NFL agreeing to Chicago.  But it can’t hurt to dream!

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Cubs, Matt Garza Avoid Arbitration with 1-Year, $9.5 Million Deal – Wrigley Field 2/3/12

Posted on 03 February 2012 by Lou

The Cubs and Matt Garza avoided a scheduled arbitration hearing today when the 2 sides reached agreement on a $9.5 million deal for the 2012 MLB campaign.  Graza had requested a $12.5 million salary (more than double the $5.9 million that he earned in 2011), while the Cubs countered with a $7.95 million figure.  Both sides were probably “way off” on their numbers, so it was a good idea for the 2 camps to agree somewhere in the middle.  Garza has gotta be happy with a near $4 million-raise, and the Cubs are going to have to decide very soon whether or not they intend to trade Garza before the start of the season or ink him to a long-term deal.  Theo & Co. have to be hoping that one of the big teams – NY Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers, Anaheim Angels or Philadelphia Phillies – get hit with a starting pitching injury during training camp.  If that happens, they might get the right package that they’ve been waiting for for the reliable and durable Garza.

In his first full season with the Cubs, Garza went 10-10 with a 3.32 ERA.  He had a stellar 8.96 K’s per 9 innings and he also had another 7 games in which he left with the lead but got tagged with a no decision when the Cubs bullpen blew it.  At only 28 years old, the Cubs could also consider signing him to a long-term deal (somewhere in the range of 5 years-$65million), but given where his agents requested a $12.5 million salary for 2012, that might not even get it done.  Plus, given how Theo & Co. continue to try to get younger and deeper, they may be more inclined to trade Garza, stock-pile some young talent, shed more salary and wait to fight another day when another top-tier free agent pitcher is out there.  If some of their young pitchers mature and develop as expected, they could use the extra salary to bring in an ace to complement and tutor the youngsters.  Guess we’ll see how it all plays out…

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Brewers Sign Corey Patterson to Minor League Deal – Wrigley Field 2/1/12

Posted on 01 February 2012 by Lou

The Milwaukee Brewers have inked Corey Patterson to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training.  Patterson made his MLB debut with the Cubs in 2000 and he played for the north siders through 2005.  He never lived up to his potential for the Cubs.  As usual.

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