Out with the old
Mark Johnson – Nothing to see here. Johnson was an older catcher in the system that really hasn’t played with any sort of regularity at any level since 2008 and hasn’t seen Major League action in a serious role since 2002. You may remember him because at that time he was the starting catcher with the White Sox
Brad Snyder – He had a breakout year in Iowa in 2o1o, but at 28 years old it was time for him to get a shot to win a job somewhere. The Cubs really couldn’t provide that opportunity. He’ll get a chance to be invited to spring training somewhere. Arizona Phil had a nice mini scouting report on him over at the Cub Reporter
Snyder is “toolsier” than your typical “4-A” guy, in that he has a plus-arm, plus-power, plus-speed, and is a solid defender. But he has a long swing and is prone to strikeouts, and likely will struggle to hit the better pitching he would see consistently in the big leagues. Also, he was in a position with the Cubs where he was out of minor league options, and would have gone into Spring Training battling Sam Fuld and Micah Hoffpauir (who are also out of minor league options) for a roster spot that (by the time Spring Training rolls around) might not even exist.
Xavier Nady – I’ll be honest with you. I had pretty high expectations and hopes for Nady when he signed. I thought he was capable of giving us the same type of production that Jermaine Dye would have brought had he signed, but for way less cost considering the fact that he was coming off surgery. He didn’t. I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing him come back, and the way the free agent marking is getting, that may be a distinct possibility. As long as he’s not the guy they look to as the answer at 1b, I’m ok with bringing him back.
Micah Hoffpauir – Hoff packs his bags and is heading to Japan. My guess is that he just got tired of waiting for a shot and wanted to try to show he can produce before he’s considered over the hill.
In with the new
Scott Moore – This face isn’t so much new, but newly acquired. Moore was originally drafted by the Tigers in the 1st round of the 2002 draft. It was a draft that produced guys like B.J. Upton, Prince Fielder, Zack Greinke, Scott Kazmir, Matt Cain, Cole Hamels, and Nick Swisher. He was traded to the Cubs from the Tigers in the Kyle Farnsworth deal and then shipped to Baltimore in the deal that brought Steve Trachsel back to Chicago. I don’t expect much from him, but when you’re a 1st round pick you have to have at least some talent, right?
Scott Rice – He was signed by the Cubs to a minor league deal. Like Moore, Rice is a former 1st round pick that just hasn’t panned out. He’s a big kid (6’6″ tall) that seems to throw strikes and definitely keeps the ball in the ballpark. In 69+ innings of work last year he allowed a grand total of zero home runs. In fact, in 680+ innings of work down in the minors he’s only given up 30 HR. You can’t have too many reliever options in the minors. He’s another one.