After leaving the winter meetings without a splash the Cubs made some minor moves over the weekend. One of these moves was claiming an intriguing right hander Liam Hendricks from the Minnesota Twins. Hendricks is 24 years old and hails from Australia once regarded as a top 10 prospect with the Minnesota Twins as recent as 2012. The one problem for Hendricks has been the major leagues his numbers are quite pitiful at 2-13 with a 6.08 earned run average in 28 starts (30 games). The Australian righty has a 3.61 ERA with 6.2 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 in 254 career innings at Triple-A and a career 2.99 ERA in the minors as a whole. Hendricks features a fastball that sits between 87-90 miles per hour a good slider and above average changeup. Baseball America had listed him with the ceiling of a number three starter if all were to pan out. At the very least this was a waiver claim and does not cost the Cubs very much which bares no risk money wise.
Bruce Levine tweeted this weekend that the Yankees may look to trade for Darwin Barney to add a second baseman to their roster. Barney batted 208/.266/.303 in 141 games for the Cubs this season. Although, offense isn’t Barney’s strong point as his defense is gold glove worthy the past two seasons. Barney was the recipient in 2012 and turned in another solid campaign in 2013. According to UZR or the Ultimate Zone Rating Barney’s defense the past two seasons is collectively worth three wins for the Chicago Cubs. I’m not exactly what the Cubs would demand in return in a Barney trade I’m assuming young pitching or catching prospects but obviously they wouldn’t be premier prospects as Barney doesn’t warrant that return. Presumably if Barney is traded this off-season it opens the door for Luis Valbuena and Logan Watkins to fight for the job in spring training.
Sean mentioned last Friday that the Cubs were interested in John Axford but news broke last night the Axford has agreed with the Indians on a contract. Other veteran relievers the Cubs have been linked to are Joaquin Benoit, Joba Chamberlain and Drew Storen. I still believe the Cubs should get a veteran reliever even though I’m weary that it might turn into another Shawn Camp situation where the said reliever is over-worked like Russell or out of gas. In other news it seems more and more likely that Ervin Santana won’t be signed until after the Tanaka situation is figured out. I spoke with his agent over the weekend and his words were that “he would guess Santana would sign after Tanaka”.