From the Wire … Cubs Claim Infielder Jeff Bianchi from Royals

According to multiple reports, the Cubs claimed middle infielder Jeff Bianchi off waivers from the Kansas City Royals. The 5-foot-10, 190-pound infielder was the second round pick of the Royals in the 2005 draft.

Bianchi has six years of minor league experience, basically splitting his time between shortstop and second base. Bianchi reached as high as Double-A ball and in 490 career games compiled a .281/.335/.410/.744 line with 116 doubles, 14 triples and 31 home runs.

With the addition of Jeff Bianchi, the Cubs 40-man roster stands at 37 players.

Jeff Bianchi (25 years old, October 5, 1986) played in 119 games at the Double-A level last season. He hit .259/.320/.333/.654 with 23 doubles, three triples and two home runs and was 20-for-25 in stolen base attempts.

Bianchi missed the entire 2010 season recovering from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

Bianchi was added to the Royals 40-man roster following the 2009 season and has one minor league option left.

Jeff Bianchi’s Page from Baseball-Reference

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  • cc002600

    Just a hunch here.Me thinks cubs get Fielder.The money is there. Like
    I said the other day, I saw Theo on Comcast other night and he said
    cubs had no desire to make big moves, only small moves.  His body
    language and face was the look of a bluffer. I’m telling you.He’s flying under the radar, I will bet you.and who else is in on him ?  Mariners ? No way he goes there.Rangers ? maybe. But they have Moreland, and needpitching now after losing Wilson.  Nats ?  Meh.

    • Mac

      Fielder 6yr at 25mil each with no trade clause and 7yr 25mil club option with 2mil buyout. Get it done, the sooner the better.

    • diehardcubfan

      I am getting that impression to that Theo is just posturing and lying in wait to sign Fielder.  I think the Cubs actions on Pujols were all bluff with the intent of driving up the price and seeing if they could get Pujols out of the Central.

      I think Theo will take a serious run at Darvish and Edwin Jackson especially if he can land Fielder in the next couple of days.

      I like all the moves so far.  We all have to remember to be patient.  Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will the Cubs first World Series championship in 103 years happen overnight.

      This will be at least a two year or more process. 

      • GaryLeeT

        I think the 25 year old Darvish is a great gamble, and should be the Cubs’ top priority. He fits perfectly into Epstein’s plan of adding players who are young, already great, and can only get better. Put Darvish with a Cashner (who has Verlander stuff) that stays healthy, and you have a #1 & # 2 starter that can get them through a best of 5 W.C. series. If some how they get Darvish, and Fielder, or Jackson, the Cubs would have to be considered contenders for the NL Central.

    • Chadaudio

      I just don’t see it.  If some one like the Rangers offered him even close to the money the Cubs could offer… it seems like he would go with some one like the Rangers (at less money) so he could win (Cubs aren’t going to win for a while – even with Fielder).

  • cubtex

    Seems like a solid pickup with the losses of LeMahieu,M Gonzales and Flaherty. They needed to add another middle infielder.

    • cubtex

      one thing that makes you wonder is….do they think Bianchi is better than Marwin Gonzalez and Flaherty because they could have just put both of those players on the 40 man roster instead.  ??????

      • JimBo_C

        Sure seems like it. They might have had this move in their back pocket all along.

        No stats show up for him in 2010. He must have been injured.

        • Anthony

          he had groin and back issues, surgery for a torn labrum, then surgery for TJ elbow!

          poor kid, maybe he is all fixed up?

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Missed the entire season recovering from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

      • Anthony

        someone call Flaherty and ask him if he is happier today than a couple days ago

        • cubtex

          No doubt he is happier! He gets to be in the show!

          • Anthony

            MLB salary

          • Joey U

            He won’t last long my guess is he’ll be offered back to us. Nothing more than fringe player at best.

      • Chadaudio

        Maybe it’s not that he’s better… it’s just that he can actually play some “D”.

        • cubtex

          You are right there Chad. He can run a little too. You never know how things work out. He might even beat out Barney and start at 2nd. No one thought Barney would start last offseason.

      • Ripsnorter1

        No, Bianchi is not better at all.

        Theo picked this guy up because he lost 3 AAA infielders.

        Theo just emptied out our storehouse, and now he had to go claim one to fill the void at AAA. 

        Bianchi is merely a pickup to fill out the AAA roster.

  • Tom

    Bianchi was the 50th overall pick in the 2005 draft. This is what BA wrote about him.
    One area scout said that right now, Bianchi is a better pure player than Virginia shortstop Justin Upton, the No. 1 prospect in this year�s draft. On the year, Bianchi hit .575-13-37 in just 61 at-bats. His tools don�t profile nearly as well as Upton�s but he�s a true baseball grunt�a good, solid offensive shortstop with outstanding instincts who gets the most out of his ability. He runs the 60-yard dash in 6.7 seconds. His hands are quick to the ball and he has a line drive stroke, though limited power potential. He has quick hands for a middle infielder, but lacks the arm strength desired for shortstop and almost certainly will end up at second base. Bianchi�s stock has risen rapidly this spring to a point where he�s a now a third- or fourth-round talent, and he may need to go that high to justify buying him away from a scholarship to North Carolina State.

    • cubtex

      Sounds good but like I said……Is he better than Flaherty of Gonzalez? If he is….then it was a very good swap losing those 2 in the Rule 5. But if he is not as highly regarded as either one of those other 2…The Cubs should have protected at least one of those on the 40 man roster prior to the draft.

  • Anthony

    aaron, he had groin and back issues, surgery for a torn labrum, then surgery for TJ elbow!

    poor kid, maybe he is all fixed up?

  • Guy

    yes we finally got that middle infield depth back that everyone was so worried about! It’s a move.. that’s it. He isnt a future all-star, not even a future regualar these guys like him and marwin gonzalez are all over the minor leagues.. Give Theo and Jed some time to make some moves actually matter. Bianchi is a nice ball player if he can stay healthy, but not nice enough that it should effect how any of us feel about the offseason as a whole.  Give it time, more moves are coming……..

    • Anthony

      good post, and it reminded me that minor league players truly play for themselves as well as for all 30 teams

      maybe time for another reminder that the movement of early round selections seem to bother fans of the original signing club

  • Coachdon

    Man, I can’t wait to see this team next spring. I would much rather watch this Bianchi dude than DJ Lemahieu…jk

  • Tony_Hall

    If you look at his numbers prior to surgery, they are pretty encouraging.  Usually the first year back can be just getting back into the routine, this is a big year for him, to have a chance to be a utility infielder on a major league team.

  • Dorasaga

    Just checked on mlbTR, the poll says everyone wants to see Prince Fielder donned in Cubbie Blue:

    Cubs 24.2%  (5,462 votes),
    Seattle 14.63%  (3,301 votes),
    Texas 10.37%  (2,341 votes).

    By the way, Neil, is therea way to search comments through either this site or disqus?

    • Mac

      http://mlbcontracts.blogspot.com/2005/01/chicago-cubs_112114177768677294.html

      So by my count the Cubs will have about 90-95mil committed and that’s after arb for 2012. So that leaves about 40mil for FA if we want to match last years payroll. So the money is definitely there for Fielder and then some. 

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Mac, here is a link to the CCO’s 40-man roster. I have all of the contracts in there as well as other obligations.

        https://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AWruu6dkRHrwZGZtem1uOXdfNWY4cW5mZmN2&hl=en_US

        I have to update with today’s transaction.

        • Dorasaga

          Thanks for the tip; now I figured out how to enter this dashboard…

      • cc002600

        I would sign Fielder and Edwin Jackson….in that division, with cards & brew crew losing their big guns,  cubs could easily be a contender.

      • Dorasaga

        Yeah. So, I believe the Ricketts are looking for a plan to build a WORLD SERIES WINNER in five years. If that’s the case, then it won’t be too much to commit for an overgrown but marvelous hitter at his prime. I made a quick count, and if we add up those arbitration increases and must-pay deferred money (Dempster, Pena, Quade), then some $82 Millions are committed for 2012 opening day.

        I will be happy if they overspend another $25 M for Fielder alone the next three years, but wait for the true moment to come for the team to be ready for “the run.”

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Dorasaga, yes there is.

      Under this article, before the first comment. There is a Disqus box. Once you are logged in, click the box. You should see a drop down for ‘dashboard’. Go there and you should see a search box in the top right corner.

      Let me know if you need anything else.

  • Tony_Hall
  • daverj

    I’m getting a kick out of the A’s/DBack’s fans reactions to the Cahill for Parker/Cowgill trade.  Most DBacks fans think the DBacks traded too much for Cahill and most A’s fans think the A’s didn’t get enough for Cahill.  Another case of each team’s fans overvaluing their own players!  It was probably a fair deal!

    • cubtex

      I heard them talk about this trade. Cahill is locked up till 2017 I believe. With Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson also locked up till 2016….that is a big part of the reason they did this deal.

  • Chadaudio

    This is what I liked to see, “…[Bianchi] won the Frank White Defensive Player of the Year Award in ’08 as the best defender in the Royals’ system.”
    Finally, someone who can glove.  We are going to suck this year, but I at least want to see us make routine plays.
    Obviosly too injury prone to play everyday but… looks like a good place to start.

  • The Maven

    Would not be surprised if Baker and DeWitt are non-tendered on Monday.

    • cc002600

      oh please be true.
      you got me all excited with one. LOL

    • daverj

      I’d be very surprised if Baker wasn’t tendered a contract.  I expect DeWitt to be tendered as well, but wouldn’t be as shocked about him if it didn’t happen.

      • Jay from Sandwich

        Baker, Dewitt and Hill will be back because they are all better hitters than Stewart. By the way did amny of you herd the interview tonight around 7 on wgn radio? The person given the evaluation on stewart sad something close to this. The year he mostly played third base he had only 7 errors. Not bad that is pretty good. But he also sad he can play second and some outfield as well. NKnow the kicker he will at best be a nice off the bench type player who can not hit. He sad it is because if your career hitting is .234 in rockies field you will never going to hit anywhere else. Unfortunitly I did not he the name of this expert. Did anyone else here this interview? just think we gave up maybe the next Mark Grave in Lemual for this person plus colvin? and some of you think he will sign Fielder? We all wish but it will be more like Bret Jackson for hills cousin.

        • Anonymous47701

          I do not see how they are better than Stewart I mean the way I loo’k at it, Baker can only kill lefties, Hill is always get caught looking for something else, and DeWitt…well I kinda blame Quade for putting him in LF.

          • Anonymous47701

            It should be “Always gets caught Looking for Something Else.”

    • Ripsnorter1

      My opinion: no way they no tender either of these guys. 

      Both will have 200 AB for the Cubs in 2012, imo.

  • Anthony

    All this chatter is good, but then facts are simple. Theo inherited the 2004 RSOX, and plugged his way to 2008 with retreads mostly.

    Farm, look out, and the recent moves indicate that.

    He looks to the Land of Misfits for forgotten early round draft choices, ala, the BONEYARD

    • Jay from Sandwich

      I agree he will trade away most of the players drafted by Hendry and company for retreads. He will do this for two reasons one being he wants the cub team that he builds to have nothing to do with the old era. Two its an ego thing for him. Three it will take longer and will get him another contract because after the good young players are gone he will start over from the ground up with his team not parts from henry no matter who could some of them might be. Why do I know this some people wonder? Will he already did it in Boston.

  • Anonymous47701

    Is just me or are the Cubs Lacking a Left Handed Pitcher in the Rotation? There Is Garza, Dempster, Zambrano and Wells, but not a single starter that is left-handed outside of Chris Rusin. This is where Joe Saunders and/or Gio Gonzalez I think should come into play.