From the Wire … Cubs Claim Luis Valbuena Off Waivers, Outright Frankie De La Cruz

According to multiple reports, the Cubs claimed infielder Luis Valbuena off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday. Valbuena was added to the Cubs 40-man roster and will be on the 25-man roster for Thursday’s opener against the Nationals.

To make room on the 40-man roster, the Cubs announced Frankie De La Cruz has been outrighted off the big league roster and assigned to Triple-A Iowa.

In parts of four big league seasons the light-hitting Luis Valbuena has put together a .226/.286/.344/.630 line with 42 doubles, three triples and 13 home runs in 229 games. One of Valbuena’s best days in the majors came against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

Valbuena played in just 17 games for the Cleveland Indians last season (.209/.227/.279/.506).

Luis Valbuena’s Page on Baseball-Reference

The Cubs were trying to add a backup for Starlin Castro all off-season and brought Alfredo Amezaga into camp to compete for the job.

As for the Opening Day roster, the Cubs have not announced the corresponding roster moves to add Blake DeWitt, Joe Mather and Shawn Camp to the 40-man roster. All three players have been told they will begin the season on the Cubs’ 25-man roster.

The Cubs 40-man roster currently stands at 39 players.

The Cubs announced they will begin the year with an 11-man pitching staff, not 12 as expected. Rodrigo Lopez has been told he will not begin the year with the big league team. Dale Sveum’s pen is expected to consist of: Carlos Marmol, Kerry Wood, Rafael Dolis, Lendy Castillo, James Russell, and Shawn Camp.

Casey Coleman has been officially optioned to Triple-A Iowa.

Stay Tuned … will update when the roster moves become official.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

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  • Nathan

    Im glad Castillo made the team! The front office keeps preaching that they do not have enough good young pitching and Castillo making it instead of getting shopped back to the Phillies means they mean that. Hopefully when/if the Cubs pick up another lefty for the pen, that means Camp will be on his way out.

    Im predicting the Cubs will make 3-4 trades during the year and here are the guys that could be on their way out.

    1) Bryd
    2) Soto
    3) Marmol
    4) Garza
    5) Dempster
    6) Wood (Kerry)
    7) Soriano
    8) Wells

    • Zonk

      It wouldn’t surprise me if Kerry Wood has a handshake agreement to choose his own fate with the Cubs; he won’t be traded unless he wants to go. 

      Marlon Byrd rumors have been swirling all spring, and will intensify toward the deadline.  He could go ANYTIME. 

      Soto is a tough call; I would be inclined to keep him.  Good catchers don’t grow on trees, and I don’t know if Welington Castillo will make enough contact or play good enough defense to be a ML starter.  He can throw runners out and has pop, but otherwise he is not real good.  It’s possible he is a worse version of Henry Blanco.

    • Fortune6

      as to Kerry Wood he will wind up on the DL & retire at the end of the season ! If Garza does not sign a long term deal, I agree he is gone.  As of now we need Soto until w efind out if W. Castillo can be a #1 catcher.

      Dempster is gone one way or another, hopefully we can trade him at mid season

  • Anthony

    What can be lower than an Org player?

    They aren’t Top 100 HS players
    They aren’t D1 college AA’s
    They aren’t D1 .350 hitters

    They are not invested in

    Thanks Theo

    Maids R Us
     
     

  • RynoTiger

    with all the money that was spent on the Marlins new stadium, new uniforms, and all the big free agent signings in the off-season, they were close to being no-hit tonight and are probably going to lose tonight.

    wow, i guess they’re ownership and leadership want to really lose big on the bankruptcy

  • Ripsnorter1

    Indians released Felix Pie. 

    Remember him?

    • RynoTiger

      given that Team Theo and staff are actually establishing ways of coaching and teaching for the Cubs sytem, why not re-sign Pie and see what happens?

      • Ripsnorter1

        He’d stand in the way of developing Brett Jackson.

        He’s proven that he cannot hit….LHP = career .183 BA, .244 OBP, .268 slugging

        He’s proven that he cannot steal bases: 20 SB/8 CS

        He’s proven that he cannot hit with power: .374 slugging

        He’s proven that he cannot get on base enough:.298 OBP

        I guess I would say…

        “It’s time to move on.”

        So sorry for Felix Pie. He was not an impact player.

  • cubs1967

    so we had all off season to get a better back-up SS and we do it in april??

    50% of the bench was released:
    dewitt
    mather
    valbuena

    losing big on the cheap fits!…………..

    instead of pat piper announcing the line-ups; team theo should just hire the Kmart guy that announces “cubby blue lite specials on the bench today are: dewitt-mather-valbuena-any other dude released soon”………..catch them now!

    it’s early april………..if the pitchers last 6 IP; that’s good………but let’s blow out the pen by May…………..

    quick……..someone send the geek squad to clark and addison; i think the cubby blue carmine computer has a glitch……….dempster started opening day over garza and now this junk……….

    • Ripsnorter1

      Did you see that StubHub has tickets for Cubs vs Brewers at Wrigley for $2 for the April 11 and April 12 dates?  

      That’s a cheap ticket for MLB!

      • GaryLeeT

         I wonder what the prices will be when the Astros, and Pirates come to town.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Tickets vs. the Reds for April 20 (Friday) is going for $5.50 on StubHub.  Cards 4/25 is $4. LAD for $4.73. Astros tickets cost $4-$4.73 for the October series.Pirates tix cost $4.50 in September, and $9 for earlier dates in the season.

          There are some good values out there.

          And as of this morning, there isn’t a single game completely sold out for 2012 thus far.Now this isn’t the usual thing for Wrigley–not at all.

    • RynoTiger

      since losing big on the expensive didn’t work with JH at the helm, i’m fine with going cheap for awhile and trying to develop players. 

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  • Ripsnorter1

    Former GM Jim Bowden predicts Cepedes will be optioned to AAA by June 1 “His swing is too long; pitchers will figure out how to exploit it.”

  • Aaron

    I know this goes without saying, and some on here might be tired of hearing me reiterate this, but this regime’s roster management thus far has been nothing short of awful…Jim Hendry awful…well…almost. Hendry would’ve signed the Shawn Camp’s of the world, but not the younger Cardenas, Corpas, Valbuena, etc.

    Here’s the issue I take with them thus far. Prior to taking over, this regime inherited a surplus of young, talented middle infielders capable of playing multiple positions. They also inherited a surplus of power arms for the pen both on the roster and in the system.

    After taking over, they lost/traded:
    Colvin-all you have to do is look at his spring numbers, his age, and what the Cubs now have in RF

    LeMahieu-NOT a future star player, but all he has done since turning pro is hit…and hit….and hit

    Cashner-100+mph future closer, or future top-of-the rotation guy

    M. Gonzalez-NOT a future star player at all…but would’ve been a better option than DeWitt, that’s for sure, given he’s a switch-hitter and plays SS as well

    Flaherty-NOT a future star player by any stretch, but the fact that Cubs management reportedly was “pissed” that he was claimed just goes to show you how stupid they were for not protecting him in the first place

    Kurcz-97+mph pen arm (some experts had him pegged at arriving this year in the bigs)

    Carpenter-100+mph pen arm, granted he’s having surgery

    Here is what they have replaced them with:
    DeJesus-just look at his spring compared to Colvin…oh, plus his age, PLUS his salary…oh, and the fact he has NO power

    Bianchi-he was lost to waivers. This move happened directly after they had lost Gonzalez, Flaherty, then traded away their only other MLB-ready reserve infielder in LeMahieu….simply ridiculou

    Corpas-while he was signed prior to the trade actually going down, the Cubs reportedly signed him in anticipation of the Cashner trade they had been working on since the winter meetings. Corpas didn’t even make the team

    E Gonzalez/Amezega/Valbuena-I’m lumping them together, because they were both signed after they had lost Bianchi to waivers, which was in direct reaction to losing M. Gonzalez and Flaherty to the Rule 5, and their subsequent indefensible move of dealing LeMahieu in the Stewart trade essentially for Casey Weathers, who was later outrighted…what makes everything even worse, is if you believe the reports out of Colorado that said they wanted DeWitt first, but the Cubs wouldn’t part with him…then DFA’d him anyway later on

    Weathers-already DFA’d, not even with the team, and will never see the light of day at the MLB level. He might even be released altogether this year as he STILL CANNOT HIT THE BROAD SIDE OF A BARN WITH A DAMN PITCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    L. Castillo-He essentially replaces Kurcz and Carpenter, though he clearly wasn’t drafted in the Rule 5 to do so…he’s all the Cubs have to show for losing those guys.

    So…let me get this straight…
    the Cubs state that they don’t have much depth at the minor league level, yet they allowed good depth to leave in Gonzalez, Flaherty, and LeMahieu in the infield…then signed a bunch of “has-beens” and “never was” guys to replace them, who didn’t end up making the roster, then sign a decent young player like Cardenas off waivers, don’t play him much in Spring Training, then option him, and sign a guy like Valbuena at the end of Spring Training who has had multiple opportunities at the MLB level and has failed every damn time….and while he’s had good numbers in the minors the last few years, it’s not only in a limited amount of games, but also by repeating AA, and repeating AAA 3 times…..

    There’s a LOT of confusing things they’ve done, and I don’t understand a single one of them…ESPECIALLY their idiotic decision to trade LeMahieu. Even if he ends up doing nothing at the MLB level, it was still absolutely the WRONG move to make at the time when they had JUST lost Gonzalez and Flaherty.

    Have I made sense at all?!? That’s why I’ve told everyone that it’s a “trust but verify” situation with these guys, and they have received a grade of EPIC FAIL thus far. The Cubs lost 3 power arms this offseason and are still desperately searching for pen arms on the eve of the season. And they are STILL trying to find replacements for Gonzalez and Flaherty…and LeMahieu on the eve of the season.

    • paulcatanese

      Ditto, you just said everything I wish I had said but don’t have you’re expertise. Well done Aaron.

    • RynoTiger

      they let go or traded bench players in favor of other bench players…that’s esentially what it is right now…whether you liked the moves, or in this case not, they’re all bench players.

      Dewitt had just as good or better spring training than most of the guys in this post. Only Colvin did better.

      I say let it play out and see how these bench players do

      • Ryanports

        Aaron I agree that the roster management has been questionable to this point, but I guess I don’t think its as bad as you think. The way I see LeMahieu, Colvin, Carpeneter and Kurcz, is if they do anything at the major league level, then fine I will acknowledge they maybe made some bad moves. But until then, I’m really not that worried about it. As far as depth in the minor leagues without a few of these guys, you may be right. But if Gonzalez and Flaherty don’t last all year with their respective teams, which is completely possible, then we get them back. If that is the case, then the fact that we left them unprotected, doesn’t look all that bad in my opinion.

    • SuzyS.

       Yes Aaron, your frustration appears justified in my eyes.
      Last second junkyard dogs is not what I had in mind when the Cubs signed Epstein & Co.
      The other thing that has bothered me all day long is that the Cubs are reportedly scrambling to sign/find/trade for another
      southpaw reliever. If that’s the case, Why trade Marshall to begin with???

      We haven’t even played a game in 2012…and already we are 1/2 game in back of the Cards.  It does seem like a long season might await us.

      I said I’d take the long view this year…and I will…but the patience that is necessary and also requested by the Cubs is hard to take just now.

      • RynoTiger

        hey Suzy, I’ll send you some of my patience. I already decided not to get worked up and to give them time. 

      • cubs1967

        marshall was traded as a salary dump………

        5 yrs of bombs away wood; he’s crap is better than paying 16.5M to marshall for 3 yrs……….’cuz 3M fans doesn’t support that!!………….(even though its’ alot higher than the reds draw and they just gave their 1b 225M for 10 yrs).

    • daverj

      Essentially, you are upset that the Cubs let go of a bunch of non-impact players for another bunch of non-impact players because in your opinion the first set of non-impact players are better then the non-impact players the Cubs brought in.

      The only young player of value that is gone is Cashner … and we received a young player of value in return in Rizzo.  It will take at least 2 years (maybe more) to figure out whether that was a good trade or a bad one.
      If you were to liken this to reshuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic, I could understand your position.  But in no way do I even begin to understand how all this could be considered any sort of fail … let alone an epic one.

      I’ll be out at Wrigley tomorrow (I guess today now since it’s after midnight) pulling for our Cubbies, win or lose.

    • J Daniel

      You may or may not be correct but they were not going anywhere this year anyways!

    • cubs1967

      great job aaron………..there was wayyyyyyyyy more depth in the system then team theo acknowledged; but ‘cuz they are the cocky “boys in suits” had to make moves it appears to make moves………

      here’s hoping at some point flaherty gets offered back to the cubs!

    • cubtex

      Agreed