Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 12/26/11

Good morning and a Happy Holidays to all at the CCO!

As the end of the year approaches, so does the end of the regular season in the winter leagues. The Dominican league concluded last Wednesday, with a special playoff on Thursday. Mexico and Venezuela will finish on Friday, while Puerto Rico won’t be over until January 4.

This past week, Bryan LaHair possibly strengthened his grip on the parent club’s first base position, while Austin Bibens-Dirkx remained on his march toward a new contract. Marcos Mateo, Oswaldo Martinez, and Kyle Smit continued to be impressive out of the bullpen, while Arismendy Alcantara and Robinson Lopez saw their first action of the winter.

All this, and more inside this week’s Down on the Farm Report. Dominican Winter League

Leones de Escogido
Peoria reliever Robinson Lopez made his first appearance for the Lions on Wednesday. Trying to put an injury-plagued 2011 behind him, Lopez earned a victory after throwing a shutout inning as Escogido defeated Oriente 6-2.

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Toros del Este
In a one game playoff to determine the final post-season spot, Iowa pitcher Alberto Cabrera threw 2.1 innings of scoreless relief. He struck out four and lowered his season ERA to 4.22. However, the Bulls ended up losing the playoff spot 7-3 to Cibao.

Tigres del Licey
Peoria infielder Arismendy Alcantara made the most of his opportunities after sitting most of the winter. In his first action, Alcantara was 2-for-4 with a double and a RBI in Sunday’s 6-0 victory over Cibaenas.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Arismendy Alcantara then got his first start on Monday. He repeated his 2-for-4 performance but in a losing effort, as the Tigers couldn’t catch up to Cibaenas, losing 4-2.

Arismendy Alcantara was regulated to pinch-hitting for the rest of the week, going 0-for-3 with a walk in three plate appearances on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Estrellas de Oriente
Iowa reliever Marcos Mateo continued to be impressive bouncing back from last season’s injuries. On Sunday, Mateo went one scoreless inning and struck out two in the Stars 5-2 to loss Cibao.

Mexican Pacific League

Yaquis de Obregon
Marco Carrillo hit a bump in the road in his quest to earn an invite to the big league camp this spring, allowing five earned runs in 4.1 innings on Wednesday. Carrillo struck out four as the Yaquis went down to Guasave 9-4.

Tennessee reliever Oswaldo Martinez had a rough first outing this week, failing to record an out and allowing an earned run on two walks as Obregon lost 4-1 to Guasave on Tuesday. Martinez bounced back against the Cottonmen on Wednesday to toss 1.1 IP scoreless innings. However the results were the same, as the Yaquis fell 9-4. Martinez didn’t see the mound again until Friday, when he shut down Culiacan for two innings, striking out two batters. Once again, his effort was lost as the Tribe bowed to the Tomato Pickers 7-5.

Puerto Rico Baseball League

Indios de Mayaguez
Iowa reliever Kyle Smit is seeing more action for the Indians. On Sunday, Smit picked up his first save in a scoreless two-thirds of an inning as Mayaguez defeated Ponce 3-2.

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Kyle Smit came back on Friday and allowed an earned run in two innings and earned his second hold as the Tribe lost 6-5 to Ponce.

Venezuelan Winter League

Leones de Caracas
Iowa starter Jay Jackson stumbled mightily in his outing on Wednesday, recording only one out while allowing five earned runs. His Lions’ teammates rallied after his departure to bring home an 8-7 win over Anzoategui.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Navegantes del Magallanes
First baseman Bryan LaHair seized the home run lead in the VWL this week, as he is enjoying more protection in the line-up from Washington prospect Jesus Flores, Royals farmhand Mario Lisson, and the Cubs’ own Rebel Ridling.

The week started on Sunday with Bryan LaHair bashing his 11th home run, as he was 1-for-3 with an RBI and a walk in a 5-1 loss to Zulia. Rebel Ridling was 1-for-4 in the game.

Bryan LaHair and Rebel Ridling both had multi-hit games on Tuesday, and the Navigators bounced Zulia 10-3. Ridling was 2-for-4 with a walk, while LaHair thumped his 12th home run, going 2-for-5 with two RBI.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

On Wednesday, fellow Cub farmhand Austin Bibens-Dirkx got the better of Magallanes, shutting them out 8-0. In the game, Bryan LaHair and Rebel Ridling were both 1-for-4.

Thursday saw Bryan LaHair and Rebel Ridling back on top, both going 2-for-3, with LaHair belting two more home runs to increase his league lead to 14. LaHair ended up with two RBI and a walk as the Navs edged La Guaira 5-4.

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In the final game before Christmas break on Friday, Bryan LaHair was only able to coax a walk as he went 0-for-3. However, Rebel Ridling was 2-for-3 as the Pathfinders went home with a 5-4 victory over Aragua.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Aguilas del Zulia
In what may have been his last start of 2011, Austin Bibens-Dirkx outmatched former teammates Bryan LaHair and Rebel Ridling on Wednesday in the Eagles 6-0 shut-out of Magallanes. Bibens-Dirkx tossed six scoreless innings and struck out five batters to increase his record to 7-2.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

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  • Ripsnorter1

    I want to go on record saying that I like the Marshall for Wood, Torreyes, and Sappelt trade. 

    Marshall was always a one inning pitcher, and here’s why he was ineffective as a starter or long reliever:

    “Marshall has found his niche in the bullpen over the past three years, posting a 2.61 ERA with 203 strikeouts and 60 walks over 189 innings and allowing just seven home runs. (He allowed seven homers as a starter in 2009 across 43 innings.) He hits 88-91 mph with his fastball that has a little glove-side run but works primarily off his two breaking balls, a huge upper-70s curveball that he throws more than any other pitch and a mid-80s slider/cutter that’s effective because it’s so close in velocity to the fastball.

    Pitching in relief allows him to limit his use of the fastball, but as a starter, he’d have to change his approach. The fastball would likely be 86-89 mph without enough life to get away with it. He’s the rare reliever who’s worth more than two wins above replacement and, barring injury, should provide that kind of value to Cincinnati.” 
    So he was good at what he did, but tradeable, with James Russell on board, imo.

    Torreyes is the piece I really like. He’s got a bat, and I wonder if he won’t turn out to be another Starlin Castro, only this one playing 2B for us. I like him. There are risks with him, too. He’s only 140 lbs. But being supposedly 19 years old, he can still add muscle. 

    Wood: here’s what one baseball executive said about him:”Wood leads the trio coming back to the Cubs as a solid back-end starter with a chance to be more if he alters his pitch selection. Wood has four pitches, but his worst offering is his four-seamer, which he uses more than all other pitches combined. His 86-88 mph cutter is going to be much more effective because it moves in on right-handed batters, while the four-seamer is flat and too easy to hit in the air. His 74-78 mph curveball is sharp, a two-plane breaker with pretty good depth, and his upper-70s changeup is solid-average due more to action than arm speed.

    Wood was overworked by Dusty Baker — I know, I’m as shocked as you are — in 2010, throwing more than 200 innings across all levels despite a small frame and no history of pitching past Labor Day, and that also likely contributed to his rough 2011. Managed properly, with more emphasis on the off-speed pitches, he could be a league-average starter, and he has five years of control left, two of them at the minimum salary.” 

    SO Wood is not a lock to make the rotation or succeed as a starter, but with a good pitching coach, and a manager than doesn’t run his pitching staff ragged, he could succeed.

     Sappelt is Sam Fuld without the speed. Or he glove. But he might make the team as a 5th OF.

    • Patrick_Schaefer

      My biggest worry is Bosio, i really wish we had gone out and gotten a really established pitching coach with a solid reputation. From what i remember Bosio has been a pitching coach in Milwaukee’s farm system and Milwaukee isn’t really known for developing pitching besides yovanni guillardo

      • Ripsnorter1

        I agree with you completely about both Bosio and Milwaukee’s “success” in producing ML pitching. Traditionally they have had the worst starting pitching known to mankind. 

        Counsel has something to prove to me in 2012, and so does the rest of the coaching staff, especially the pitching coach. We have a lot at stake in your pitchers: Samardzija, Russell, Travis Wood, Cashner, Bellieu, etc. 

    • Chadaudio

      Good insight on the trade Rip.

      I agree with your insight on Marshall and I mostly agree with your input given on the players received from the Reds org.
      The part i disagree with is the assessment of Maine and Russell… these guys are just plain terrible and are almost useless at the big league level. If samardjia is put in the rotation, our bullpen is going to be really exposed.

      • Calicub

        I would agree on Maine, he was nothing special with what I saw, but look at Russells Relief numbers, they are actually quite impressive.

        in 59 games of relief his ERA was 2.19 in 49.1 innings of relief. 44 hits 12 ER. 1.074 WHIP and 3.67 K/BB. 5 Hr 9 BB and 6 K/9

        http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=russeja02&year=2011&t=p

        Seems like he’s figuring out his niche as well..

        • Chadaudio

          Maine, Russell and Gaub have done terrible when they have been called up to the Bigs.  They are terrible.  We have some bullpen depth – just no LH pitching depth.

      • cubtex

        one thing they have is depth. Maine,Russell,Gaub and the one name player with a ton of upside is Beliveau. Losing Marshall of course will hurt this year…but they do have a lot of options in that area.

        • Calicub

          i agree. Hving no major league bullpen depth in 2010 really helped this club as far as giving young farm arms a taste of the majors.

          Maine
          Guab
          Russel
          Dolis
          Cashner
          Mateao
          Caridad

          I’m brainfarting on the others but yeah I like the depth we have in the Pen at the moment, especially since they all have a year or two to figure out there stride. I really see the bullpen being this clubs homegrown strength in the future

          • Calicub

            Also i now that i think about it a few of those guys may have made thier debuts this year but that void in 10 opened up the pen for others.

    • RynoTiger

      “Sappelt is Sam Fuld without the speed. Or the glove. But he might make the team as a 5th OF”…..hahahahah…wow that’s ringing endorsement of success….

      why the h— would we want the guy then? we could have found that in our own farm system. give him back to the Reds and ask for cash.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Theo may be thinking we are light in OFs in AAA Iowa. 

        Really. 

        Sometimes the Cubs have been known to dump useful players just to stock the lower levels of their system. You know, dumping Dennis Eckersley for three minor leaguers who would never see a ML ballpark without buying their own ticket wasn’t the wisest move they’ve ever made.

    • Jeff in AZ

      RIP, with respect to your post, because I agree with what you said, why were you so against the trade before you were for the trade? A few of us here were saying what you just said in your post 3 days ago. I’m glad you came around but what was the catalyst for your change of heart?

      • Ripsnorter1

        I like the trade for this ONE reason:

        TORREYES.He can flat out hit. He looks like a Castro to me. If he wasn’t in the deal, it was a loser for the Cubs, imo.

    • coolpdxcubsfan

      Right on Rip!

  • SuzyS

    Rip, I’m with you on this particular trade. No trade is done in a vacuum.
    The critical part that’s going to be interesting watch is how good (or bad) Bosio is going to prove as a pitching coach.

    Aside from the trade…I’ve been rooting for Rebel Riding to make his mark…and earn a shot. To all – What scenario is necessary for Riding
    to play at Wrigley?

    I have this thought running through my head since I first heard his name: “Rebel Riding to the Rescue!”. :)

    • Anthony

      Suzy, your question about “earn a shot” is probably the biggest mystery question in baseball.

      Other than being blocked by an all star or a very good consistent major leaguer, what are they looking for specifically as to what is, and is not, a major league player versus a guy stuck in the minors?

      Conventional wisdom says that if a player improves each level as the cream rises to the top, it should indicate that he performs as well, or better than his peers, and that should be enough to warrant a shot.

      In the majors, there are always a select few dominant pitchers who have the best stuff at any given time, and the rest have similar stuff as any minor league pitcher from A ball on up, and have developed the command and control, and poise as the difference-maker, not velocity and movement, as those are tools.

      As far as Ridling in the food chain. Up until the Hot Stove, it was Pena, LaHair, Ridling on the depth chart.

      Pena is gone, and “us experts” vary in opinion, as to giving LaHair his shot(finally), Prince Fielder, trading for a Rizzo(grass is always greener), or some other option.

      Has Ridling performed well? Yes

      He has good EBH numbers, strikes out at a normal power profile rate, and has a nice career fielding percentage. He will turn 26 in 2012, and made a nice improvement from a so-so A+ season into a solid AA season.

      But I can’t answer your question.

    • Calicub

      I dont claim to be an expert in the Cubs mnor league system, but it seems like Brian LaHair is heir-apparent at 1B for the Cubs at this point.

      I do know that he (Rebel) had 49 appearances in LF last year, thoughhe is still at Tennesee. With that being said, if LaHair is traded, or promoted, maybe we will see him in Iowa?

      Also Rebel has a pretty sweet name i have to agree; I wish it was Riding not RidLing. I was definetly a little bummed when i realized out there was an L in there…

      • cubtex

        I really think the Cubs are going to add a 1st baseman outside their organization before the start of the season. LaHair will be a last option if they are unable to aquire any of the players they are targeting.

        • Calicub

          I agree completely, that assesment was just based on what the cubs currently have…

          I still see Rizzo being acquired over anyother option, especially Prince, much to the dismay of Shelby Menge i know! LOL but I would love to see LaHair given a shot. I think he would impress. He seems to mash everywhere he goes.

          • Chadaudio

            Yeah. I have bad feeling that we’re going to end up with Pena again.

            I want LaHaire to be given a fair shot, but I’m a bit worried that he is another Haufpair or Jake Fox.

    • Tom U

      Suzy, I feel that Ridling will be the opening first baseman for Triple-A Iowa. I believe that if LaHair doesn’t end up starting for the parent club, he’ll take an offer to go to Japan. 

      Ridling essentially lost a year in development two years ago due to an appendectomy. While to some he may appear over-aged, he’s about right on schedule. 

      In terms of overall ability, including hitting for average, hitting for power, and defense, I would put Ridling at the top of the minor league prospect chart. I’d follow him with Richard Jones, Justin Bour, Ryan Cuneo, and Paul Hoilman. Dan Vogelbach and Trevor Gretzky are too unknown at this time, with Delbus Arcila as a sleeper.

      If you’re looking for names to root for, I like Dong-Yub Kim. Can you imagine what people would put on signs in the stands if he ever made it to the big leagues?

      • Anthony

        Tom, it is ChiC or bust for LaHair, that bust being Nippon(at least get paid).

        Your depth chart is spot on. Who goes to TENN, Jones or Bour(or both)?

        My guess is Hoilman gets a taste of MWL pitching(with Cuneo), and that will determine how fast he gets to Daytona, as college guys(older/mature) should get fast-tracked to get an indication sooner.

        Some folks need to know that the process of getting metal bat kinks out is real. The recent college players signed went through a series of metal bat changes, BBCOR being the latest, but, there is no substitute for wood bat weight distribution.

        A full season of pro ball will give a better indication of the hit tool for all the 2011 draftees. Hoilman’s power is real, and many of his walks are from pitcher avoidance, not his approach, so my guess is his instruction/development will be approach-based, trust the hands, and drive it where its pitched.

        • Tom U

          Anthony, it looks like Bour, with his experience against tough pitching in the Florida State League, will start out at Tennessee. If the Jones does well at Daytona, and the Smokies struggle offensively, Jones can be promoted with the idea of flip-flopping them between first and DH.

          The same will probably hold true for Hoilman and Cuneo in Peoria. Cuneo is more athletic and better defensively. Hoilman has pure power. Hoilman will have to work hard both with a hitting coach and on defense. Cuneo will need to become more selective at the plate.

      • Dorasaga

        “Don’t Yell to Kim” ?
        or
        “Dump Your Kiss”

        I’ll like to see Kim go brawling with a pitcher after hit by his deadball.
        :-p

        • The Maven

          How about “Hit a Dinger Donger!”

          or the headline

          Dong’s dinger Yubs (opponent)!

      • SuzyS

        Dong-O-Meter? :)
        Thanks Tom!

        • Breeden

          Absolutely Classic!

  • cubtex

    I think we will see Garza moved shortly. With Gio and Latos off the table….Garza is the next pitcher I am sure teams will be trying to aquire. The Blue Jays could be one of those teams. I like their farm system. They have 3 starting pitchers in their top 10. Deck Mcguire, a lefty in Nicolino and Aaron Sanchez. Kyle Drabek had a tough year last year but he still has a lot of upside. They have 2 outfielders who both have a lot of tools. Anthony Gose and Jake Marisnick. Marisnick is 6’4 and is a 5 tool player. He

  • SuzyS

    Anthony and Calicub,
    Thanks for your attempt to answer my question re: Rebel Riding.
    Calicub, I didn’t know there was a “L” in his name. If that is really true,
    it ruins the thought…although he still appears to be a nice ballplayer.

    I’m no expert either….but a very avid fan. Here’s my 2 cents:

    1) The biggest holdups to the Cubs moving forward and building a contender is still the big money contracts of Soriano and Zambrano.
    IMHO if Theo & Co. can find ANY takers for Soriano with any financial return….Then we have the best suits in baseball.
    Soriano only can benefit a team as a dh on an AL team.

    In my opinion, no matter what, I think Soriano is gone.
    I expect the most likely scenario is Soriano will be given his outright release with a reworked contract paying him his full 54 mil +++ spread
    over a longer period of time….say ten years plus.
    (This means Theo and Clown Kenney will have to work together on the new deferred contract!)
    So the question in Theo’s mind is: If Soriano is untradeable….is it better to try and fit the unfittable at 18mil for the next three years or start the operating budget for the next ten years at 6 million for a player no longer there?

    Lahair makes the team as a backup 1rst baseman/OF…ala Fox a few years ago…(Hopefully they give him a true opportunity)
    Cubtex, It certainly appears at this stage the Cubs will go after Rizzo.

    Zambrano gets to control his own fate…like he always has. Shut his mouth/control his temper/ and produce….and he is a Florida Marlin
    by the trade deadline.
    (Any of the guys with no trade clauses will be amenable to relinquish
    that clause…to avoid a truly rebuilding mode.)

    • coolpdxcubsfan

      Not bad for a non expert like Anthony hahaha.
      I agree on every point. (non expert here too, just have an occasional opinion or observation)

    • Ripsnorter1

      Suzy,

      You may not like my opinion, but here it is on Rebel Ridling:

      I would think, at age 26, he isn’t going to make it. 
      Hoffpauir. Fox. And imo, LaHair. Rebel Ridling. All have this in common: 

      they came close, but no cigar.In Hoffpauir’s case, he could heet the fastball, but not the curve. 

      Fox: he simply KILLED the fastball, but could not handle the breaking stuff well enough to overcome his weak glove.

      LaHair: again, loves the fastball, unable to handle the breaking stuff–from what I saw in 59 ABs last year. That is not a large sample, so I could be wrong. And his weak glove is another factor sabotaging his efforts to become a ML 1B.

      Riding: not enough power. Now in 2011, he, for the first time, slugged .515. His previous three years his slugging was .426 or so. That’s nice, but his age is working against him. His batting average was .309 last year, up from .267 the previous year.

      In short, ML players who stick are quicker to make adjustments than he is showing. So I have little expectation that you’ll see him in Wrigley for more than a cursory visit.

      I like his name, too.

  • Jeff in AZ

    After reading how well lahair is doing in winter league I think trading for rizzo is not headed. If we sign prince (which doesn’t appear likely if present trends continue), then I think we need to look at moving lahair now. Give the guy a shot right now and don’t block him or sell high and get even more starting pitching. If Jim he dry were still the GM neither of these things would be done, Jim would have just tried to teach lahair how to play left field hence ending his career.

  • paulcatanese

    Personally, if I were LaHair, I would aquire a taste for Sushi and Kobe beef and be on my way. If he stays here he will be traded and will be back in the same position as now, not knowing anything about his future and at the same money. Big time hero in Japan, take it.

    • Anthony

      LaHair signed January 2010, Pena signed late 2010, under Hendry. If Hendry was still with the Cubs, LaHair would be apartment hunting in Japan. With Theo, the articles said he would get a shot in ST.

      • paulcatanese

        I’m looking at it from LaHair’s side, he may be “getting” a shot, but that would not be good enough for me. Theo has also said everyone is on the table except Castro.
        Other teams may well be interested enough for LaHair so that he would be on the block.
        I dont look at is a defeat for LaHair but as money in my pocket and a future.
        As you have, I have been around Baseball long enough to know nothing is set in stone, and what is said today could change tommorow, and he is not in a position to dictate a spot(even though he deserves one).
        Things are happening fast and furious around Wrigley, and if on the bubble as LaHair is I would protect myself.
        If he trusts Theo and stays, well then thats his decision and I would have no problem with that.
        I’m just saying what I would do, I trust my career to myself and if I have the choice, I would defer to my own advancement.

        • coolpdxcubsfan

          Right on Paul1

        • Ripsnorter1

          Yeah. What is “a shot?”

          “You’ll make this club if you hit .700 in ST in 500 ABs.”  etc.

           Nobody gets 500 ABs in ST. 

          Nobody hits .700.

           But you got a shot, anyway.

          Yeah. Right.

    • cubs1967

      since team theo and family PK ricketts is quitting 2012 and with a rebuild; the next 3 yrs; lahair should stay.  he fits the budget. he fits a team quitting chances to make the playoffs as he smashes the ball everywhere but MLB; you know, the important place.
      dllee-pena-kotchman-the only 1b left as FA we don’t need for team doomed to 100 losses.
      and forget prince; why would he come to the chicago bucs.
      lahair is the guy………..

      • paulcatanese

        If they keep him because of the budget and he plays, that is one thing, but because of no real investment they could choose to mix and match over there without any loss of salary.
        It would make perfect sense to play him there and not sign Pena again (and over 10mil to boot), and agree Prince would not come to the Cubs, and in reality it would not be a good deal for the Cubs shelling out the bucs for a season (or two,or three) having him here.
        I would still say bye, bye if I were LaHair.
        La Hair would get the wrath of the fans (as there is no other power) besides Soriono, and it will be a lost season, and he would get a lot of the blame.

    • Anthony

      more bombs than Oh

  • Jeff in AZ

    God, I do not miss Jim Hendry. Lahair should get a shot and Fielder should only be signed if he will take 5 years. Again, either give Lahair a shot or sell high.

  • RynoTiger

    From Mlbtraderumors.com:

    “The Cubs are close to a minor league deal with catcher Jason Jaramillo, MLBTR has learned. The Pirates designated Jaramillo for assignment upon signing Erik Bedard this month, non-tendering him a few days later.
    Jaramillo, 29, has accumulated 366 big league plate appearances over the last three seasons with the Pirates, hitting .235/.293/.327. A former second-round pick of the Phillies, Jaramillo missed much of this season with an elbow injury. The switch-hitter will be a candidate for the Cubs’ backup catcher job behind Geovany Soto, a role filled by Koyie Hill the last several years. Jaramillo is a native of Wisconsin.”

    Hmm….   

    • paulcatanese

      Trying to be positive here, but another unbeilvable deal, sounds like the Cubs are running a re-hab center for injured players.
      Just because they have let Koyie Hill go dosent mean they have to clone him with another.

      • Anthony

        or, they don’t like the AAA guys, or, Soto trade pending, or both, or none………….lol

        • paulcatanese

          Or, like I say, who knows, every day is an adventure with these guys. I can’t say its been boring so far.

    • Skeldor

      Hahahah I was just going to post this if nobody else did.  Another steller signing by the Cubs.  I have no idea what they are doing because the guys they are signing are either injured or guys that nobody else wanted.  LOL scratching my head, no way they are competative next year, I just hope they will be in 2013 

    • Ripsnorter1

      If true, sounds like Wellington Castillo got the shaft.

      Again.

      Before I blow my top, I’ll wait and see if Theo is really doing this thing. But if so, …..THEY ARE CRAZY.

  • matthew8510
  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs announced deal for Manny Corpas and signed Andy Sonnanstine to a split non-guaranteed contract

    • paulcatanese

      Who are these “masked men”?

  • RynoTiger

    so what is a “split contract” that Sonnanstine signed?  I haven’t heard that phrase before.

    so with one more LHP signing the Cubs can say “good things in come 3″…and given what types of players the Cubs are signing, it would be Malholm. 

    • Anthony

      Sonnanstine is a RHP

      • Anthony

        and now the 4th Kent State Golden Flash in the system joining Carpenter, Rohan, and Klafczynski

        split contracts have a different salary equation than normal pay when split time spent in AAA and MLB

      • RynoTiger

        oh that’s right..for some reason I always think of him as a lefty

        well then in that case, he was signed not only for depth, but also because Theo and Jed have decided not to resign Kid Ki

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      The minor league money is better if the player does not make the team. Neither player takes a roster spot until they make the team.

      I will update the site’s 40-man roster.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      You’re not the only one, when Cubs.com announced the signing, they said he was a lefty. When that came into my phone, I wondered if Sonnanstine had learned to pitch like the kid in the Yankees’ system.

  • Tom U

    Thank you to everyone for your comments.