View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003

Friday

13

December 2013

14

COMMENTS

Winter Meetings Recap: What's Next for Shark? Plus Tanaka, Wada, Ruggiano, Cutler

Written by , Posted in General

As expected, there wasn’t much action from the Cubs during the Winter Meetings (and they certainly didn’t make any significant moves). Most of the action around the league came last week, so the meetings themselves were sort of a letdown. Here’s a quick recap of the moves the Cubs did (and didn’t) make this week.

  • First, the Rule 5 draft: The Cubs lost reliever Marcos Mateo to those pesky Diamondbacks. Mateo injured his arm a couple of seasons ago, but he’s been killing it in the DR lately. In the minor league round, the Cubs lost 1B/DH Justin Bour to the Marlins, pitcher A.J. Morris to the Pirates, and OF Julio Borbon (remember him?) to the Orioles. It wasn’t all losses, as the Cubs did select catcher Charles Cutler (no relation to Jay, I assume) from the Pirates. He’ll add organizational depth at a position that desperately needs it. The Cubs players I most feared would be selected (Jae-Hoon Ha, Eric Jokisch, Matt Loosen, Marcus Hatley) were not selected…so that’s good.
  • The Cubs traded OF Brian Bogusevic to the Marlins for OF Justin Ruggiano. Why trade an outfielder for an outfielder? It’s all about the platoon. The Cubs were (oddly) stacked with left-handed outfielders on the major league roster (Bogusevic, Sweeney, Schierholtz), so the team needed a right-handed OF for a platoon (none of these guys are great full-time starting options, so I imagine that Ruggiano will platoon with Sweeney and/or Schierholtz, depending on who has the hot hand). Ruggiano has a career .256/.328/.506 line against lefties, and seems to be a nice defender (especially in the corners, although he can play center as well). This trade isn’t going to make the front page, but it’s definitely one of those “value at the margins” type deals.
  • The Cubs signed 32-year-old left-handed reliever Tommy Hottovy (great name, huh?) to a minor league deal. Eh, maybe he turns into something decent for the middle innings…relief pitching is such a crapshoot, it’s really a numbers game.
  • The Cubs have shown interest in John Axford, but so have many other teams.
  • Joba Chamberlain agreed to a deal with the Tigers.
  • Roberto “Fausto Carmona” Hernandez signed with the Phillies.
  • As we go to press, the Cubs have signed free agent pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada. Wada, formerly of the Japanese league, was signed by the Orioles before the 2012 season – and immediately underwent Tommy John surgery. He was recuperating last year, so he may be ready to go full-steam ahead now. This is the classic Theo/Jed buy-low reclamation project. There’s virtually no risk, since it’s a minor league deal. Don’t look for him to begin the year in the rotation – although he did get an invite to Spring Training.
  • The two big names that are on everyone’s mind are, obviously, Jeff Samardzija and Masahiro Tanaka. In fact, I think the lack of movement on these two, plus David Price, was responsible for the “frozen” state of the winter meetings. Once Tanaka is posted (and signs with someone), the market for Price and Shark should crystalize relatively quickly. I’m too scared to even make a prediction on Tanaka. For Shark, I was thinking that he was definitely going to be traded this offseason. Now? I think it’s 50/50 that we go into the season with Shark and see if we can’t catch a team desperate (either through injury or an unexpected good season) at the trade deadline. Since there’s absolutely no panic to trade him right now, I think Theo will wait it out to get the best possible return. If 2 months of Garza can net Edwards and Olt, we really should wait for a much bigger return for Shark, considering he’s under control for 2 more years.
  • MLB, in an attempt to curb collisions at home plate, is outlawing plate-blocking by catchers and “targeting” by baserunners.
  • Ron Coomer is your new Cubs radio analyst.
  • Doc Raker

    Wada you mean we signed Wada? Wada you think, Wada ready to pitch?

    Wada you mean Ron Coomer will be in the radio booth? Wada you think, Coomer is a good choice? Seymour has dined with Coomer many times. I had a conversation with Coomer over a few cocktails in 2007 about steroids in the game. Coomer was trying to sell that steroids was not a big part of the game, I said “Wada you mean steroids aren’t in the game, Wada ya blind?” I Wada preferred Mark Grace in the booth, at least Grace would never deny there is drinking in the game.

    A friend of mine is good friends with a GM and had this conversation about a player coming up from AAA. “He will get up to the big leagues and get a prescription and his power will increase. They all do it, what’s interesting is they all react differently to the stuff, some get a big effect and others don’t.”
    My fear is Coomer is another shill for the corporate/union cabal or he is dumb as a rock, or maybe both. If the radio booth ends up like a Len Kasper TV broadcast I might not be able to stomach any Cubs broadcast, TV or radio.
    I miss Harry.

    • Please elaborate on the Coomer story…what type of sandwiches were involved, etc.

      • Doc Raker

        I was drinking Bushmill’s Irish whiskey on the rocks and Coomer was drinking some bujwah putrid overly advertised domestic beer. Coomer did mention that his most favorite team to play for was the Yankee’s because they treat the players so well. When they come back from a road trip the players cars are washed and detailed, little things like that. Seymour was whining about the $22 he was forced to spend at a restaurant that had waitress service, he just didn’t understand why we couldn’t all go to Quizno’s for $8.95 including chips and a fountain drink. Meanwhile a former Cubs pitchers wife/girlfriend showed up while he was spending time with a different female who happens to be associated with the camp. So every time this ballplayers wife went to the bathroom said female employee would walk up to Ex Cub pitcher with a scowl on her face and he would say, “Im sorry, I didn’t know she was coming.” And when the wife would returned and female camp employee would stomp off. If was great entertainment.

      • Seymour Butts

        Way too much grease at Quiznos, though that does improve the taste. It Subway !. BTW my and the missus Thanksgiving meal? Subway! Who knew they would be open.
        Can’t wait to talk with Coomer about his new gig, and Zonk about why he moved on. New field in Mesa awaits.

      • Get the scoop on Keith for sure…I’m curious why he split.

        No joke, I ate Subway four consecutive days prior to today. Maybe we should track down that Jarod guy and get a sitcom going.

      • Doc Raker

        Get the skinny on the non skinny broadcasters.

  • Doc Raker

    Wada you mean we signed Wada? Wada you think, Wada ready to pitch?

    Wada you mean Ron Coomer will be in the radio booth? Wada you think, Coomer is a good choice? Seymour has dined with Coomer many times. I had a conversation with Coomer over a few cocktails in 2007 about steroids in the game. Coomer was trying to sell that steroids was not a big part of the game, I said “Wada you mean steroids aren’t in the game, Wada ya blind?” I Wada preferred Mark Grace in the booth, at least Grace would never deny there is drinking in the game.

    A friend of mine is good friends with a GM and had this conversation about a player coming up from AAA. “He will get up to the big leagues and get a prescription and his power will increase. They all do it, what’s interesting is they all react differently to the stuff, some get a big effect and others don’t.”
    My fear is Coomer is another shill for the corporate/union cabal or he is dumb as a rock, or maybe both. If the radio booth ends up like a Len Kasper TV broadcast I might not be able to stomach any Cubs broadcast, TV or radio.
    I miss Harry.

    • Please elaborate on the Coomer story…what type of sandwiches were involved, etc.

      • Doc Raker

        I was drinking Bushmill’s Irish whiskey on the rocks and Coomer was drinking some bujwah putrid overly advertised domestic beer. Coomer did mention that his most favorite team to play for was the Yankee’s because they treat the players so well. When they come back from a road trip the players cars are washed and detailed, little things like that. Seymour was whining about the $22 he was forced to spend at a restaurant that had waitress service, he just didn’t understand why we couldn’t all go to Quizno’s for $8.95 including chips and a fountain drink. Meanwhile a former Cubs pitchers wife/girlfriend showed up while he was spending time with a different female who happens to be associated with the camp. So every time this ballplayers wife went to the bathroom said female employee would walk up to Ex Cub pitcher with a scowl on her face and he would say, “Im sorry, I didn’t know she was coming.” And when the wife would returned and female camp employee would stomp off. If was great entertainment.

      • Seymour Butts

        Way too much grease at Quiznos, though that does improve the taste. It Subway !. BTW my and the missus Thanksgiving meal? Subway! Who knew they would be open.
        Can’t wait to talk with Coomer about his new gig, and Zonk about why he moved on. New field in Mesa awaits.

      • Get the scoop on Keith for sure…I’m curious why he split.

        No joke, I ate Subway four consecutive days prior to today. Maybe we should track down that Jarod guy and get a sitcom going.

      • Doc Raker

        Get the skinny on the non skinny broadcasters.

  • Eddie Von White

    So we got Hottovy on the hot stovey but we were frozen out of the winter meetings?

  • Eddie Von White

    So we got Hottovy on the hot stovey but we were frozen out of the winter meetings?