From the Wire … Brewers Claim Jeff Bianchi Off Waivers from Cubs

According to multiple reports, Jeff Bianchi was claimed off waivers by the Milwaukee Brewers. The Cubs placed Bianchi on waivers to open a roster spot for the recently signed Paul Maholm. With Bianchi out of the organization and the addition of Maholm, the Cubs 40-man roster currently stands at 40 players.

The Cubs are also reportedly close to re-signing Kerry Wood to a one-year contract that could include a club option for 2013.

The Cubs claimed infielder Jeff Bianchi off waivers from the Kansas City Royals on December 9, 2011.

If the Cubs re-sign Kerry Wood, they will have to make a corresponding roster move, which would likely require putting another player on waivers.

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  • J Daniel

    Everyone can come off the ledge!  Here is a major flaw in sites like this, although I LOVE the job Neil does.  Everyone goes nuts off of some report based on sources and does not wait for the transaction to take place. 

    Got to love Kaplan’s sources!!!!!!

    • Gary J

      Kaplan isn’t the only one reporting it – Jon Morosi from Fox reporting it as well.  Something like this though… this isn’t something that is generally in the land of rumor.  A claim off waivers is a matter of record.

      • J Daniel

        I should have clarified more – the signing of Wood that is coming that is reportedly close.

        • Gary J

          LOL – gotcha ;-)  And yes – that is ledge step back worthy.

      • Anthony

        lives in Mommas basement too

    • Anthony

      from mommas basement, like the BA experts

  • Aaron

    well, I believe losing Bianchi (even though he never played a game with the Cubs), Gonzalez, LeMahieu, and Flaherty all in one offseason means that Barney, DeWitt, and Baker will all likely stick with the club, which is a crying shame if you ask me. That means either an extra OF like Campana, or a pitcher will be waived, and among the pitchers, here are the candidates:

    Cabrera
    Coleman
    Gaub
    Mateo
    Weathers

    I would prefer they just let Coleman go…he’s NOT a good reliever, and he doesn’t fit the profile of a starter with this new regime either.

    Also, something of note to everyone. Originally it was said that Corpas and Sonnanstine were minor league signings with invites to Spring Training.

    According to the website, that is NOT the case, and makes Theo and Hoyer look even worse. I honestly do not know what they’re thinking with this roster management. I swear it’s like Hendry all over again.

    Losing Bianchi was completely unnecessary if they didn’t have Corpas and Sonnanstine on the roster. Remember, Corpas had surgery, and came back throwing 88-89 mph tops upon his return. How does that help the pen?!?

    • Rational Logic

      Quit cryin my man. Listen – we lost those three young guys, yes – but DeWitt, Baker, and Barney will all give way in the future to better players. The goal is within two years to have all those type guys gone (add in Reed Johnson, Byrd, hopefully Soriano) and we can begin to build up from the core we already have (BJax, Rizzo, Castro, Torreyes, Baez, etc) – they’re just place holders, the same Colvin, DJ, Flaherty would have been so what’s the difference? Those three guys didn’t look they were going to develop into much anyway. Stop caring so much about next year and look bigger picture. 

      • Anthony

        Flaherty is currently penciled in at 3B for the Orioles.

        Baez is very young, whats the rush, assuming he isn’t a bust, time will tell

        Is Rizzo going to remain an uppercut slugger or will he have to be refined?

        Is Jackson and his 30%K rate OK with Theo?

        You can’t really assume anything in the game of baseball, especially success.

        • ChadAudio

          Where did you see that Flaherty is penciled in at 3B?  Doesn’t he have to beat out Chris Davis, Andino, and Antonelli?

          • Tony_Hall

            He just makes things up.

          • Anthony

            R5

            you have no idea what I can make up!

          • Tony_Hall

            You make up so much, it’s like the little kid who cries wolf, you just stop listening to them.  

            If you are giving info that hasn’t been posted, just supply a link so people know where it’s from.  A lot of people come to this site to get the latest info, and when people make things up, it hurts the site.

    • cubtex

      where did you see that about Sonnanstine and Corpas?

      • Aaron
        • cubtex

          I don’t understand that either. Why waste a roster spot for Sonnanstine? For that matter Casey Coleman as well. They have 25 pitchers on the 40 man….isn’t that number a little high?

          • Ripsnorter1

            Well folks….

            It used to be we had to deal with Jim Qlueless’ horrible roster management.

            Now we have to put up with Jed Qlueless’ horrible roster management.

            At least Jed has this goal–

            LOSING AT A LOWER COST.

          • paulcatanese

            Don’t know Rip, I never bought anything from the dollar store that lasted or could be re-sold for more than I paid in the first place.:)

          • Ripsnorter1

            LOL

            And to think that people are getting excited about loading up the roster with Pittsburgh Pirates’ cast offs…..

          • Aaron

            Indeed.

            Some of the moves have been head-scratchers to me…and what I mean is, then questions I always ask after each move they make is:

            a) Are we better off in the short-term?

            b) Are we better off in the long-term?

            …then, I look at how it affects roster configurations.

            With both the Marshall and Zambrano trades, and to a much lesser degree, the Cashner trade…I could see how it makes the Cubs better in the future. In all 3 trades (maybe not the Zambrano for Volstad though), you could make the case that the Cubs are worse off in the short-term.

            Let me explain a little more…

            When examining our roster, our rotation is downright ugly. Here are the candidates:
            Garza
            Dempster
            Wood
            Volstad
            Maholm
            Wells
            Sonnanstine
            Samardzija (will be in pen if not)
            Coleman
            *likely rotation: Garza, Dempster, Wood, Volstad, Maholm (*Wood and Volstad still have options if I’m not mistaken, and could be sent down…Wells does, but would need permission. Sonnanstine would go to pen or be released, and Samardzija is out of options, so he’s either traded or the pen)

            Pen:
            Marmol
            Russell
            Wood (likely to re-sign)
            Corpas (now we’re finding out he’s actually on the 40-man)
            Dolis
            Weathers
            Beliveau
            Cabrera
            Carpenter
            L. Castillo (has to remain or offered back to Phillies)
            Maine
            Gaub
            Mateo
            *likely pen: Marmol, Russell, Wood, Corpas, Beliveau/Maine/Gaub (one of 3), Samardzija, and Castillo. (Dolis, Weathers, Cabrera, Carpenter, Gaub, Maine, and Mateo all have options left)

            The best rotation in my mind would be: Garza, Dempster, Samardzija, Maholm, and Wood….but that ain’t happening, or they wouldn’t have gotten Volstad in the deal for Zambrano.  To me, that means they are very serious about trading Dempster, Garza, and Wells.

            The best pen in my mind would be: Wood, Dolis, Samardzija, Carpenter, Russell, Beliveau, and giving the kid Castillo a chance to stick.

            ……but the rotation stands out in my mind as beyond mediocre….as outside of Garza, there’s not a single stand-out guy you’d build around for the future…Dempster’s days as a solid #2…or even 3 are over, and the rest are a collection of 4’s and 5’s. So….The problem you run into later on, is this….

            Let’s hypothetically say that all things are equal (meaning all those players I mentioned above are with the team)…and let’s say that the Cubs have a bad record this year, but they have several minor league pitchers like McNutt, Rusin, Whitenack (after his recovery), Antigua, etc. just knocking on the door…where do you find the room for them?

            Therein was the problem I had with the Marshall trade, and even the Zambrano one (though I acknowledge getting something of value in return was a major coup anyway….but just follow my point here…) Wood and Volstad offer little that the Cubs don’t already have. Both throw in the low-90’s tops, and both were one-year wonders that have struggled otherwise. Essentially what Theo and Hoyer have done is block their own prospects with mediocre “veterans” (albeit young ones), which is something they claimed they would not do. It would’ve been far better for them to have received A-ball guys that are 3-4 years away in return than Wood and Volstad…and the LeMahieu for Weathers trade was even more confounding, because the Cubs already had a glut of hard-throwing righties in their system, and Weathers was by far the worst of the lot of them…so why was it necessary to trade middle IF depth, which they now desperately need?!?

            My hope (and I hope this is theirs as well) is that Volstad and Wood have resurgent years, and the Cubs trade them for better prospects at the deadline or next offseason.

            But my point this offseason has been a sort of “trust but verify” situation with Theo and Hoyer, and I have to say that I am very unimpressed by the trades and roster management thus far. It’s one thing to say you’re “getting younger and have a better outlook for the future by trading short-term assets for long-term assets”…..but the main qualifier with that line of thinking should be “quality”…and the Cubs haven’t acquired a single “quality” long-term asset other than Rizzo and the Rule 5 selection in Lendy Castillo.

            The moves they’ve made won’t necessarily hamper them (other than LeMahieu) for years to come, because they’re all cost-controlled for the most part, which is the complete opposite of what Hendry did while he was here, but their moves won’t make them competitive this year, and unless they find a way to get rid of Soriano and Byrd in exchange for younger players, this team won’t even be as exciting as it should have been given their youth movement.

             

          • paulcatanese

            Maybe these pitchers can play multiple positions, you know two spots for the cost of one. After all that was one of Theos points, players that can play other positions.:)

          • paulcatanese

            And according to my grammar school math more than 50% of the roster:)

          • Ripsnorter1

            Paul,
            That math of yours is showing your age. If you went to public school today, with the aid of the teachers’ union, you couldn’t add 2+2 correctly. 

          • paulcatanese

            You are correct,I would be doing all the work on computers and heaven help it if they broke down and had to do it by hand.

          • Anthony

            paul and I had slide rules??

          • paulcatanese

            and a plus A student that
            sat next to me with a big pen.

          • Anthony

            WS

    • Ripsnorter1

      Why would you cry over losing Mateo? You’re not serious, are you? He had an electric arm–before his injury–but he’s never had the head to play in the big show. Somehow the pressure gets to him. Like Neil says, “It’s that upper deck in the OF.”

      Gaub is on the roster for one reason: to justify the DeRosa robbery. It has nothing to do with his ability to get outs.

      At age 26, Alberto Carbara has a career ERA in AA and AAA of over 6.16. He ain’t going to make it. What is he doing on our roster anyway?

      Weathers? You said we make a mistake acquiring him in the first place–kinda like Bianchi. Last year he struck out 48 in 45 IP–and walked 48, too. He’s on the roster for one reason, too: so Cubs’ fans won’t realize too quickly that Jed Qlueless gave up a ML utility INF along with Colvin for a .156 hitting 3B with zero HRs in 156 AB.

      And that brings up Coleman….
      He’s won 7 games in 25 ML starts. Travis Wood has won 11 games in 31 ML starts. At his current age (23), here are some pitchers with similar stats to his: Wade Miller (62 wins), Kip Wells (67 wins), Fred Hutchinson (he won 95 ML games).

       I don’t think the Cubs will just dump Coleman off the roster just yet. Not unless they acquire too many released Pittsburgh Pirate pitchers for roster spots. What’s Russ Ohlendorf doing these days, anyway?

      • Tom U

        Alberto Cabrera turned 23 at the end of October.

        • Anthony

          with a rotten set

  • cubtex

    It was nice knowing you Bianchi! Barney probably feels a little more secure.

    • paulcatanese

       I guess Theo deferred to the taller player that has more power:)

      • cubtex

        Ha! Did you read the quote that Jed has had good luck with smaller players :) I guess Bianchi must be a little tall for him. He has Torreyes at 5’8 and Sappelt at 5’8. Bianchi is listed at 5’10 and so is Barney. I think Hoyer put a tape measure to them and Bianchi was slightly taller….Sucks to be tall and a Cub :)

        • John_CC

          Or maybe he was referring to that other little 2Bman that won a ROY and then an MVP.

          Size isn’t everything. ;)

          • cubtex

            you think? I never thought of that :) 

        • paulcatanese

          Too late for my playing days. At 5’9″1/2, would have had a real chance now.:)

          • Anthony

            and way back, 6’0 was huge

          • paulcatanese

            Actually talking 50’s,high school center was 6′.

          • Anthony

            paul, let us try and contact each other and chat

          • paulcatanese

            that would be great, I think you have the means to do that.

          • Anthony

            will try

  • Anthony

    Theo plans to talk to Garza on Friday according to PWSullivan.

    That’s a nice thing.

    Theo says each season is a precious opp to win.

    Svuem says Soriano is the LF

    Theo says “trying to get younger and more athletic”

    Theo says “no attempt to shop Garza”

    —well

    maybe that Garza extension is in the works
    maybe they can’t move Soriano’s contract
    maybe Byrd is exiting soon(he’s hitting in AZ currently)
    maybe the Garza smokescreen is hiding other deals?

    • Ripsnorter1

      Did you hear the latest rumor? The Cubs are looking to acquire Adam Lind from the Toronto Blue Jays. Plays LF and 1B. Look as graceful as Greg Luzinski.

      28 yrs. old
      .251 hitter
      26 HR
      87 RBI

      I think there would be celebration around Wrigleyville if Jed Qlueless landed him.But he’s Soriano in a younger package, that’s all.

      Soriano.244 BA
      26 HR
      88 RBI

      My point: Let’s no just outright release Soriano just yet.

      And no, the Cubs are not getting Adam Lind. It’s a point of comparison, folks.

      • Anthony

        Svuem says LF is Soriano

        Until they say different, LF is Soriano

      • cc002600

        Didn’t Lind play 2B a couple years ago ?
        Maybe he would play there.

      • Gary J

        His average over the last three years is .265 (but hit .305 in 09, so capability is there for better) and he’s averaging 600+ ABs (so not an injury risk), 28 HR and 91 RBI.

        While the power numbers might be close to Sori… there are a couple of key differences….

        First and foremost, he can field his position.  Fonzie can’t.  

        And his contract status is (cut/paste from baseball-reference.com) Signed thru 2013, 4 yrs/$17.4M (10-13) & 14-16 team option.

        The contract is $5M each of the next two years and the option years are $7, $7.5, and $8 mil team options (with $2, $1, and $0.5 mil buyouts)

        So no… he’s not Soriano.  He’s better all around, younger, and affordable long term.  And arguably with this being his fourth year full time and just 28, still has prospects for improvement whereas Fonzie’s best years are behind him.  He might have an offensive resurgence someplace as a full time DH, but that’s not going to happen in the NL.

      • Aaron

        What? Where did you find they rumor Rip?

        • Ripsnorter1

          I was just making this comparison to demonstrate that Soriano should not just be dumped off the roster. If he can field in 2012 as well as he did in 2011 (horrible, I  know), then we can live with these stats. If Sveum bats him 5th instead of 7th, he gets 100 RBIs. 

      • Anthony

        Luz did pretty well, another successful Polish guy

        • paulcatanese

          Part of the genetics I was talking about.

        • paulcatanese

          My wife is Polish (full) had two sisters, one 6′ and the other 5’9″ and she is 5’7″ all three were classical musicians.

          • Anthony

            me and my son are classical musicians

          • paulcatanese

            I should have figured that. The wife soloist for many of the symphony orchestras in Chicago, child prodigy.

    • Aaron

      Do you, or anyone else know who else is currently hitting in Arizona?

      Does anyone else know if the “Camp _____(PTBNL…lol)” is going on this year, and who might be bulking up there?

      • Ripsnorter1

        I am ignorant, although I did understand that there were a few at “Camp Colvin” this year. 

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        It is actually called Camp Bussy for Tim Buss. Players and coaches have been out there … vets and the younger players. Dempster was at Fitch last week and said he was glad to see the amount of players that were there. The Cubs have been having hitting clinics from the way I understand it. As for the coaches, they are breaking down tape and preparing for the start of ST.

        • Dorasaga

          Tim Buss, Cubs Strength and conditioning coach. I still remember his story of getting a new car after K Wood wrecked his old Nissan:

          http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2008-03-19/sports/0803180939_1_cubs-bullpen-dempster-car-windows

        • Patrick_Schaefer

          Neil, I read this comment from another site is this true as for the amount of payroll as of right now besides Maholm option/buyout? You realize that Soriano, Marmol and DeJesus are the only 3 players signed currently for 2013, equaling $33 million, that’s not a big deal. Starting with the 2013 season, barring any stupid contracts between now and then, this team is prime to have some young talent/quality free agents ready to contend by 2014.

          • Anthony

            yep, and some of that MLB ready talent will be at the MLB minimum, I believe, I really feel some surprises are on that Horizon because ????

            I can’t say, but, I believe

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Patrick, that is about right. Outside of the arb eligible (3-6 yr service time) and 0-3 men, the only Cubs under contract for 2013 are Marmol ($9.8M), DeJesus ($4.25M) and Soriano (18M). Garza is in line for a big pay day and Soto will be as well. Other than the option on DeJesus and the final year of Soriano, the Cubs do not have any big contracts on the books for 2014.

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

          • Patrick_Schaefer

            Thanks Neil

      • Anthony

        Neil covered it, thanks.

        lot of the guys at HC today for the caravan were/are there, BYRD there, and a few guys probably destined for AA made some hitting impressions.

      • Patrick_Schaefer

        Go to carrie muskats blog off of cubs official website and u can read about it there.

        • Anthony

          muskrat?

    • paulcatanese

      Like to be able to offer an answer here Anthony, but besides being cheap, I have absolutly no idea or direction these guys are going, looks like total confusion. They may end up with players on the roster after ST that they didnt know they had.

      • Anthony

        “they didn’t know they had”

        after 2012, they will know, and a few surprises are on the horizon, I believe

  • ChadAudio

    Bummer.  I was rooting for Bianchi to stick because of his defense.  I’m surprised we couldn’t just waive one of our many terrible pitchers.  Oh well.

  • The Maven

    I’m surprised that with this news, someone hasn’t put 2 and 2 together to make 5 and say it now appears that Soriano will be traded for Roberts.

    • ChadAudio

      Roberts probably won’t play this year anyway.  He didn’t play winter ball, and it is still unknown when he will fully recover from his concussion symptoms (at least last I heard).
      Thus, even if they traded for Roberts – we would still need the middle infield depth.  Plus, it seems really unlikely that the O’s would do that deal anyway.

      • The Maven

        I agree, it was more a comment on the thought process.

  • Anthony

    If you use the Caravan and the weekend festivities as a gauge, can we conclude “all quiet on the Lake Michigan front” as to who is scheduled to appear, who is not, as far as transactions?

    The only trans would be a waiver and a KWood signing

    • paulcatanese

      No Anthony, the latest is new colors for the Cub jerseys.
      Red with dark navy blue numbers outlined in white, no names on the back, Chicago Cubs in print on the front home jerseys, and just Chicago on the road jerseys and grey uniforms of course, red numbers outlined in black. The rumors have been flying, no more Cubbie Blue’s.:)

      • Anthony

        not in the budget paul

        names are on jerseys because of free agency

        you and I know better

        I don’t the mechanism on this site for private contact, but the first to find out, will contact. FBook is too easy to trace identitiy.

        would love an old time chat, especially after reading all the genetic history you provided

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    Campana added 10 pounds of upper body strength. At CAMP BUSSY.

    • paulcatanese

      Like that one, look out for the power stroke.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Do you think he’ll be able to hit the ball out of the infield now?

      • Anthony

        without offending anyone, but if Camp was???????????????????

        with that speed, would that make a difference?

        Camp plays on my team

      • paulcatanese

        With the wind blowing out, absolutly.

  • paulcatanese

    Wow, Selig extended, Boo.

    • Anthony

      The Wisconsin Used Car Auto Dealers Association extended their ban another 2 years, so, better than the unemployment line.

      Classic, turn your head and cough when 2 druggies “saved baseball” in 98

  • Anthony

    There are windows of opportunity in baseball, and many surprises that come along when all is right, the tumblers all click, and magic happens. Baseball is designed that way.

    When you guys finally get that elusive Title, you will be able to look back and analyze how it happened after the euphoria subsides.

    Don’t mortgage your minds on having a Baez at 3B, a Castro at SS, and a Jackson, Szczur, Lake OF, with Rizzo at 1B, and Torreyes at 2B because it doesn’t happen that way.

    Winning it all has magic, luck, timing, chemistry, and most of all, the unexpected in the equation.

    You guys suffered enough, and are great fans, and would be even better when you have the opportunity to say……….

    We won the WS, not how do we sustain a repeat.

    Civic Pride is a powerful animal

    Time for a IBeef sannich, or sammich for you ethnics

  • RynoTiger

    So I have a brilliant idea.  We all know Ian Stewart is not the answer at 3B, even for this year (stop fooling yourself with the “improved defense” argument).

    Since no one is ponying up the money for Fielder, just sign him and stick him at 3B. With that large frame he could knock down more balls hit in the 3B area than anyone else.  Despite people slamming him for his defense at 1B, he’s a nimble big man.

    There ya go…3B problem solved and the Cubs get more offense!

    sorry i needed that silly moment since i saw he wasn’t signed yet.