Posted on 11 June 2012 by Lou
Ryan Dempster won for the 2nd time on the Cubs atrocious 2-8 road trip through San Francisco, Milwaukee and Minnesota. It were Dempster’s first 2 wins of the 2012 MLB season. He pitched 8 scoreless innings to help the Cubs avoid the sweep by the Twins. He scattered 4 hits and 1 walk while striking out 6. He has an amazing 1.03 WHIP and 2.31 ERA, but only has a 2-3 record as the Cubs have failed to provide him much run support in his starts. Starlin Castro led the Cubs 9-hit attack by going 3 for 5 with 3 runs scored. Reed Johnson added 2 hits and 3 runs scored in the lead-off spot.
Off the field, the Cubs landed highly touted Cuban prospect Jorge Soler in the “free agent” market. The 20-year old outfielder was considered the next biggest star out of Cuba after Yoenis Cespedes signed with Oakland for $36 million earlier this spring. The Cubs were able to negotiate a 9-year, $30 million deal for the player they have set their sights on for quite a while now. Other top teams – the Yankees, White Sox, Phillies and Red Sox – were all believed to be involved in the bidding for Soler, but the Cubs got him. The Cubs did not make any public announcement about the deal today, but look for some news later this week.
At 20-40, the Cubs are on pace to finish with more than 100 losses for only the 3rd time in franchise history. Both the 1962 and 1966 Cubs finished 59-103. Not good – not good at all, but at least it looks like new ownership has a plan in place, and the tools necessary to implement that plan…
Posted on 12 March 2012 by Lou
It’s official – the Cubs have agreed to a 5-year, $6 million deal with Cuban lefty Gerardo Concepcion. $3 million will be paid as a signing bonus and the remaining $3 million will be paid over the course of the contract. Concepcion pitched in the Cuban Junior National Tournament 2 years and made 21 appearances in the Cuban National Series last year. At only 19 years of age, he was named the Series’ rookie of the year, going 10-3 with a 3.36 ERA for Inustralies. He made 16 starts and was highly sought after by several major league clubs.
Cubs GM Jed Hoyer had this to say about the announcement – “One of our focuses has been on continuing to bring in pitching depth, and he’s a 20-year old left hander, really good feel for pitching, three-pitch mix, has success at a really young age in Cuba. He’s a guy we’re excited to bring over here and work with… He’s certainly advanced when it comes to feel for pitching, but I don’t want to put expectations on him. Let’s get him to the minor leagues and let him get out and perform, we’ll figure that part out when we do that.”
The Cubs are also aggressively pursuing another young Cuban defector – Jorge Soler. While some reports have floated around that the Cubs and Soler have already agreed to a $27 million deal, MLB has strict rules on players not making deals until they are officially deemed to be “free agents”. With Cuban defectors, that can often be a lengthy process, so until MLB officially declares Soler to be a free agent, no MLB team can sign him.
We’ll keep you posted on Concepcion’s progress as well as any news on the Soler front…