From the Wire …Cubs Designate Blake DeWitt for Assignment, Claim Adrian Cardenas Off Waivers

The Cubs claimed utility man Adrian Cardenas off waivers from the Oakland A’s on Monday. To make room for Cardenas on the 40-man roster, Blake DeWitt was designated for assignment.

Adrian Cardenas played in 127 games at the Triple-A level for Oakland last season and posted a .314/.374/.418/.791 line with 28 doubles, four triples and five home runs.

Adrian Cardenas was the supplemental round pick of the Phillies in the 2006 draft (37th overall). The 24-year old (October 10, 1987) has played five seasons in professional baseball, all at the minor league level. The A’s acquired Cardenas in the Joe Blanton trade, along with Matt Spencer and Josh Outman on July 17, 2008

Cardenas (throws right, bats left) played shortstop (three games), third base (13 games), second base (35 games) and left field (44 games) last season.

Adrian Cardenas’ Page on Baseball-Reference

The Cubs avoided arbitration with Blake DeWitt earlier in the winter by agreeing to a $1.1 million contract for 2012. By designating DeWitt for assignment, the Cubs will save a little money on their 2012 payroll.

Blake DeWitt was acquired from the Dodgers along with Brett Wallach and Kyle Smit on July 31, 2010 for Ted Lilly, Ryan Theriot and cash.

In his first full season with the Cubs, DeWitt lost playing time to Darwin Barney an ended up posting a .265/.305/.413/.718 line in 121 games with 11 doubles, four triples and five home runs.

Blake DeWitt’s Page on Baseball-Reference

According to Bruce Miles, if Blake DeWitt clears waivers, he’ll likely end up outrighted to Iowa and come to Cubs camp as a non-roster guy.

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  • daverj

    Aaron recommended this exact move when Cardenas was placed on waivers.  Nice call Aaron.

    • Aaron

      Thanks for remembering….

      I just want to make a comment though regarding waivers, etc as i’ve had former teammates and other friends of mine go through that process….while I think DeWitt isn’t close to being a solid MLB player…not good enough on defense and way below on offense…my heart goes out to him.

      The best way one of my buddies put it to me is that when you’re optioned, you’re being fired from your team and when you go unclaimed on waivers, it’s like you’re being fired from all teams. So, you can see the psychology behind everything …it can really mess you up, especially if you’ve gone through life most likely being one of the best players in all leagues prior to pro ball…it’s a harsh dose of reality.

      I just hope he gets claimed so we can be done with it.

      DeWitt and Marquis have really made Greg Maddux’s scouting acumen very suspect as those two were the biggest names he recommended.

      As for Cardenas….the Cubs just got way better as he had far superior stats to even DeWitt in the minors and I believe he Will make the team if not outright claim the starting 2B job as I believe he’s better than Barney. Plus, he will add further balance to the lineup, joining LaHair, Stewart, and DeJesus as lefties in the lineup

      • Tony_Hall

        And just yesterday you were saying Dewitt would make the team…easily :)

        No brainer move, that improves this team.

        All I can say is whose next to be removed from this team, to continue the turnover of this roster.

      • cubtex

        Couldn’t this all have been avoided if they would have placed Dewitt on waivers instead of Bianchi when the added Maholm? It will be interesting to compare Bianchi to Cardenas and see which player performs better.

        • daverj

          Cardenas has the better pedigree being a former top prospect for the Phillies (and the main piece in the Blanton deal), but long term, I don’t think either Cardenas or Bianchi will amount to anything more than a utility player. It’s possible that Cardenas could beat out Barney for the starting 2B job until the Cubs find a long term solution for 2B.

          • Anthony

            can you explain “pedigree” in the context you describe?

        • Tony_Hall

          The net would be the same, as they would have dropped Bianchi to pick up Cardenas. 

           

          • cubtex

            That is debateable. Bianchi has a better glove and can steal bases. The Cubs have zero team speed and if Campana doesn’t make the team(which could happen) I think Bianci could be more valuable.

          • Tony_Hall

            What is debatable?

            Cubs release Bianchi, keep Dewitt.

            Cubs release Dewitt, pick up Cardenas.

            You can then say that the Cubs feel Cardenas is better than Dewitt who they feel is better than Bianchi.  Which means you can say the Cubs feel Cardenas is better than Dewitt.

            What part is debatable?

          • cubtex

            You saying Cubs would have dropped Bianchi for Cardenas. How do you know they would have done that????

          • Tony_Hall

            Connect the dots, I thought I layed that out enough for you to see.

            But I will do it again.  They dropped Bianchi and kept Dewitt.  They now dropped Dewitt to pick up Cardenas.  Therefore they must value Cardenas more than Bianchi or they would have kept him.

          • cubtex

            Wrong! They picked up Bianchi off waivers originally to compete as a backup. They used poor roster management by adding Corpas and Sonnanstine on the 40….now they don’t feel comfortable with DeWitt as utility so they claimed Cardenas. Do you follow? Poor roster management led to this. Understand?

          • Tony_Hall

            Bianchi is not Ryne Sandberg.  

            He was picked up and released.  

            They kept Dewitt over Bianchi.  

            If they would have preferred Bianchi over Cardenas, they would have released Dewitt instead of Bianchi. 

            This is such a simple concept, I am having a hard time understanding your view point, which even when I disagree, I can usually see it.

          • Anthony

            Bianchi has enough intrigue to follow anyways, never let injury taint the process, he had a couple bad ones, but very talented

          • cubtex

            Milwaukee thinks so too since they jumped on him with the poor roster management.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            A lot being made over Jeff Bianchi.

          • cubtex

            I didn’t mean for it Neil. My original point was they had a good bakup in Bianchi who they could have kept on the roster instead of DeWitt way back when. Is Cardenas an upgrade? Maybe….maybe not….but they could have avoided this 3 player circus by better roster management.

          • Anthony

            lots being made over Cardenas?

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

             As expected …

          • Aaron

            Neil, I don’t think too much is being made of the signing. Cardenas is EXACTLY the type of player the Cubs should be going after with his strong slash stats…high avg, high OBP and versatility. 

            One dimensionals like Baker (can only hit lefties), Hill (decent game-caller, but nothing else), Soriano (decent bat, but horrible defensively), etc. are just not that valuable. If we loaded the team with DeRosa-esque players that do everything well, then we’ll be well on our way to respectability in this league, and it starts with acquisitions like this.

            Will he be an All-Star? Probably not. Will he even be a regular? Who knows….what I do know is that he’s an UPGRADE all around to DeWitt…and possibly even Barney

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Aaron, well said about the waiver process. Thank you for posting …

        • Aaron

          Thanks Neil…when I posted that, I thought to myself “what a hypocrite”, because I’ve slammed a lot of these guys like DeWitt, Baker, Hill, Lopez, etc., and forgotten about my own friends and former teammates that had to deal with that stuff. When it happened to them, I literally hated their respective teams…it puts more of a human element in everything. They’re not machines like most of us make them out to be.

          What is lost on a lot of fans (and I’m guilty of this myself) is that a small minority of players make more than $1 million. Look at teams like the D’Backs, Rays, Indians, Astros, etc., and you’ll find their rosters are littered with guys making league minimum. While that might sound like a lot to most fans ($420k), to them, they have to split their money in union dues, taxes, and agent fees, and it shrinks it just about in half (which is still a large sum of money, don’t get me wrong), but when a vast majority of players like that are out of the league or career journeyman minor leaguers after that initial taste of league minimum salary, it helps put everything into more perspective.

          I am a completely jaded Cubs fan, and I tend to look at things with this team as “the glass half empty”, and I will continue to do that until they prove me wrong (ie.-another run like 2003 or better) and consistently make the playoffs. Guys like DeWitt, Hill, Baker, etc. I’m sure are very nice guys, and like my friends, they’re probably really down to earth cool guys to hang around…the problem is, when we’re trying to finally turn around the culture of mediocrity, we just can’t afford to hang onto guys like that. It’s nothing against them, and they probably can still play fairly well for other teams….they just don’t have a place on this roster…especially a rebuilding one.

          I wish them all well on their new/future teams, but I don’t want them on the Cubs.

      • Rfrakes

        Your right someone can’t judge talent and for some reason I don’t think it is Maddux.

    • Rfrakes

      Triple A Stats vs Major league Stats plus a #1 draft pick. Oh ya great move.

  • BosephHeyden

    Blake DeWitt was still on the team?

  • Agustinrexach

    I like the move. Good luck to Blake. He was never a good fit for the Cubs aside of the fact that he was really miss used by JH and MQ. He might make it ON another Team in need of a backup infielder.
    Next!

  • gary3411

    Cardenas blows Barney away offensively, from a statistical standpoint.

    Cardenas age 23 full season at AAA: 791ops

    Barney age 24 full season at AAA: 711ops

    Now, Cardenas seems to have an average fielding percentage, but does anyone have a scouting report on his range and ability to make great plays going to either hole? And/or arm strength?

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Gary, I will post one.

  • cubs1967

    before we all do our happy team theo dance, let’s remember this guy was a 1st round pick; never been to the majors in 5 yrs, and was released by a team that has a 40M budget…….so till we see him……
    yeah dewitt could be gone……..but if stewart hits .150 again and he could…..who plays 3rd??…….jeff baker or will our own 5 yr minor leaguer even higher draft pick in vitters actually be MLB ready?

    • Tony_Hall

      22 years old with 5 years of minor league service…he actually has played in 5 different years, but has only 3 years of minor league service time, and is still only 22.

      • cubs1967

        and???……..he was drafted in 2007 for god’s sake!
        madison bumgarner, jason heyward, rick porcello, mike moustakas and david price were also in that draft……..and honestly he has not done much really….compare him to castro……ouch!

        • cubs1967

          #3 overall draftees should be like Castro too!…not just starting AAA

          • Tony_Hall

            Not everyone drafted in the top picks makes it to the majors by 22.  

            Remember he did lose most of a season due to injury.  

            And he is still just 22…if he went to college for 4 years, he would have been drafted last summer and would be looking at his 1st full season of professional ball, most likely at Daytona.

          • WidespreadHisPanic

            Well said Tony.

            I believe Dewitt was highly regarded when drafted, but obviously there’s something the front office didnt like.

            It just didn’t work out.

            Good move, I say, getting Cardenas.

            I still like Flaherty more tho ;)

            Best of luck to Dewitt.

          • Anthony

            not everyone in the top picks makes it at all

          • Tom U

            cubs1967, you also have to remember that Vitters had to recover from a broken hand. That really set his development back in 2010. Now that he is fully recovered, let’s see what he does at Triple-A.

          • WidespreadHisPanic

            Word!!

  • Ripsnorter1

    DeWitt hit .265 last year, and has a career .260 BA. He’s proved he can hit ML pitching. Cardenas hasn’t even seen his first ML pitch yet. He hit .314 in–you may want to sit down–the Pacific Coast League, which is world famous for inflating stats.  

    So why did the Cubs release DeWitt when he had an option left? And why release DeWitt and not Mateo or Casey Coleman?

    Answer: DeWitt makes more money. And Theo’s Theme is: “Losing Big on the Cheap.” That’s it. 

    Not to worry: DeWitt will catch on somewhere. Perhaps Houston or Pittsburgh or Milwaukee. You’ll see hit hit against the Cubs in 2012.

    • cc002600

      you can’t be serious ?

      Dewitt is absolutely horrible.

      Call me crazy, but if you are a “Utility infielder”, shouldn’t you able to pickup a groundball ?

      Good riddance  !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Ripsnorter1

        DeWitt got DFA’d because he makes more than double what Coleman or Mateo makes. He’s not utterly worthless. He’s certainly not a starter. But he makes too much money for a utility infielder on Theo’s Go Cheap plan.

        • cc002600

          Great.  And that bothers you why ?
          the guy is WORTHLESS

          if he can’t field, then that basically makes him a pinch hitter.  If he is your idea of a great pinch hitter, then you need to check you meds.

    • Tony_Hall

      Fastest way to become a better player, be released or traded by the Cubs, and the same fans who thought you were a terrible ballplayer, will now think you are a good ballplayer, who could have helped the Cubs.

      • Ripsnorter1

        DeWitt is probably better than Cardenas. 

        If the Cubs released Casey Coleman for my neighbor’s six year old daughter, I’d complain about that, too.

        • Tony_Hall

          Dewitt is not that good.  Cardenas we may find out how he does, but I can tell you that Dewitt doesn’t fit the mold of any of my roster spots, as I see them.  He is not good enough to be a starter, and doesn’t hit enough or isn’t a good defensive player to make the bench.  You have to be able to one or the other to be on the bench.  

          Just yesterday I stated that Dewitt would be in the next round of turnover.

          “My best estimate of the next players, via trade or cut, to get down to 17 left.
          Pitchers Wells, Coleman, Cabrera, Gaub
          Batters – Soto, Dewitt, Byrd ”

          Coleman is on my list as well….I heard your  neighbor’s daughter can swing a mean bat…

          • Ripsnorter1

            She’s a pitcher….

          • Ripsnorter1

            You may be right about the next round of cuts, too. 

    • John_CC

      You are arguing that they should have KEPT Blake DeWitt?  I think that’s what I just read. Sometime my reading comprehension skills are not all they should be. I am trying to remember one good thing you have ever said about DeWitt but just keep recalling ridicule from last year.

      But of course, now that he was released by Epstein et al it is a bad move. But of course while your new buddy Jimmy Qlueless held onto him…that was a travesty too. 

      Make up your mind man!  I know you have more baseball acumen than this.  You are sounding like a fool now.

      • Ripsnorter1

        John,

        My points are these: DeWitt is not a starter in MLB. He hasn’t the offensive or defensive skills to be an everyday player. However, he still is useful as a role player.

        BUT…#1 He is better than the player that replaced him.

        #2 The reason he was replaced was that his salary was higher than Cardenas. 

        #3 I did not complain that he was DFA’d; I merely mentioned points #1 and #2 above.

        That’s why I said I’d complain if the Cubs released Casey Coleman (who isn’t very good) in favor of my neighbor’s six year old daughter–the six year old would not be as good of a player.

        • Coolpdxcubsfan

          Plenty of “upside” though, lol

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    The roster management has been a little confusing at times but I am willing to give them a little slack this off-season as they get to know what they have and do not have.

    As for the moves concerning Bianchi and Cardenas, if they could combine both players they might have something. But from what I can tell, each player’s weaknesses make it a wash.

    • OttawaBob

      All this fuss over back-up 2nd basemans. Tough crowd here tonight Neil.

      • Guns

        Well put Bob. Theres no telling if any of the above will ever be a productive player on any MLB roster. Heres what I do know. Theo Epstein has an understanding on what it takes to win. In this day in age its all about youth. 

        First off young players cost less and can be under team control for a considerable amount of time before having to commit to the player fully. 

        Secondly after the age of 30 most players see a decline in performance. Of course there are the select few who are natural freaks such as Pujols, Maddux, Ryan, Ripken JR, Bonds..may have had some help but nonetheless. 

        Most players dont actually contribute untill there right around 23-26. They have a much smaller window than NHL or NFL players. 18 yo’s are sucessful in the NHL. Nugent Hopkins is a prime example. Bottem line Epstein is getting younger and cutting cap. Keys to success until that franchise player(s) comes along deserving of that multi year extension. GO BlackHawks, greatest team management ever!

        • Gramps

          Also a big Blackhawk fan here, but very disturbed about picking up a player like Morrison and sending Hayes back to Rockford. Almost Cub-like in picking up an old veteran and sending the kid back down to the minors. Hayes and Shaw brought some excitement to the UC and since Hayes went down the Blackhawks have tanked.

          As far as the Cubs, I am giving Epstein the benefit of the doubt. I like that finally the Cubs have a plan and am not going to judge the team on only a few months of work by the new team of executives. As always, GO CUBS!!!

      • Dorasaga

        Haha. Well said, indeed.

        These are players who have serious flaws but needed for an “organizational depth.” It’s only Feb.; let’s wait until July and see who’s the winner.

        Meanwhile, debate and brainstorm with all our might, Cubs fans, but do remember: Stay Classy!