From the Wire … Cubs Outright Mather, Parker, Germano and Corpas Off the 40-man Roster

The Cubs made four more roster moves on Friday afternoon. Shortly after it was announced that the Royals had claimed Chris Volstad off waivers from the Cubs, the team announced that Joe Mather, Blake Parker, Justin Germano and Manny Corpas had been outrighted off the 40-man roster and assigned to Triple-A Iowa. Manny Corpas elected for free agency.

The Cubs have made 11 roster moves in two days and with all of the moves, the 40-man roster currently stands at 33 players.

Matt Garza, Ian Stewart and Arodys Vizcaino have not officially been reinstated from the 60-day DL. Once those roster moves occur, the Cubs’ 40-man roster will have four open spots.

Joe Mather spent the entire season with the Cubs after making the team out of Spring Training as a non-roster invitee. Mather posted a .209/.256/.324/.581 line in 103 games with 11 doubles and five home runs. Manny Corpas began the season in Triple-A and finished the year with the big league team. Corpas was 0-2 in 48 games with a 5.01 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP. The Cubs acquired Justin Germano from the Red Sox for cash considerations on July 19. Germano replaced Matt Garza in the rotation and finished the year with a 2-10 mark in 13 appearances, 12 starts, with a 6.75 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP. Blake Parker dealt with injuries shortly after making his big league debut and finished the season on the 60-day DL.

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  • Tony_Hall

    Neil – Who do you feel are the most likely to be added to the 40 man roster from the minors?

    I have to believe that Villanueva and Watkins will be added, but I can’t seem to think many more hitters will be added to protect them from the Rule V. Pitchers I can see McNutt, Peralta, Struck, Whitenack, but not sure if any of these guys would actually be taken in the Rule V for various reasons.

    I guess what I am getting to, they have created some room 7 spots, have 3 players on the DL that need to be added (if they keep Stewart) so that leave 4 open spots. They will also need to keep a spot open so that they can pick up someone in the Rule V draft as well. So, that leads me to believe that they still will be making more subtractions from the 40 man.

    • Tom U

      Tony, here are some of the pitchers that might be protected

      Frank Batista
      Marcelo Carreno
      Austin Kirk
      Trey McNutt
      Starling Peralta
      Felix Pena
      Robert Whitenack

      The team may be taking a “wait and see” attitude with Nick Struck and Dae-Run Rhee as they go through the AFL season. Willengton Cruz, Jose Rosario, and Zac Rosscup may interest some but each has injury issues.

      • Tony_Hall

        Thanks Tom. It is hard to keep track of the pitchers, there are so many that will be exposed to the Rule V this year and not near as many hitters.

      • Aaron

        I agree with you on everyone except for Carreno and Pena. All the others need to be added, or they will very likely be claimed.

        The problem is, it doesn’t appear that Team Theo truly values any of the pitching in the system, much like they didn’t seem to value the depth with middle infielders like LeMahieu, Flaherty, and Gonzalez….whether or not that was based on advice of guys no longer with the organization or not is debatable, but all you have to know is Jed and Theo had the ultimate veto power, and didn’t use it.

        I’ve already compiled a list on guys that should be protected, and I’ll include some of the same names you did, but add a few more for you to consider:
        Antigua
        Batista
        Kirk
        Liria (Cubs curiously moved him to the pen this year after he had decent success in the rotation before that)
        McNutt
        Peralta
        Rosario
        Whitenack

        and position talent….

        Bour (not a huge loss for Cubs, because of depth with Rizzo and Vogelbach, but would be a big loss if they dealt Soriano, as Bour has played a few games in the OF, and might be able to handle it at least as adequately as LaHair did)
        Villanueva
        Watkins
        Wright (if he has a decent winter, he might get selected, as teams will often times look for mid-to-late 20′s 4th/5th OF in the Rule 5 that can play right away, and Wright is that guy. He isn’t spectacular, but he does the job)

        You look at the rest of the 40-man, and here are the guys most likely to be on the bubble:

        Brigham
        Campana
        Camp (because he’s a FA and they have younger capable pitchers)
        Coleman
        Concepcion
        LaHair
        Rusin/Raley (one of the two, but not both, and for the simple reason that both bombed, and they already have Travis Wood in the rotation, plus possibly Kirk if they protect him)
        Stewart

        They could have up to 12 spots available on the 40-man if those guys are gone, plus the 4 spots they currently have available.

        You would think that based on their power arms, Whitenack, McNutt, and Peralta will likely be protected. Villanueva is a given to be protected, and so is Watkins. They will need 2 spots for the FA/trades they’ll make for the rotation.

        LaHair probably goes to Japan. Stewart is likely non-tendered, and the Cubs will try to re-sign him for less, but he’ll bolt, because he’s already made it known he likely won’t return. Campana is likely given one more shot. Same with Concepcion, though in his case, it would likely be to build goodwill with Cuban players and agents that represent them, as he was just signed last year….so, at worst, they should have about 9 spots open, and at best, about 12 spots.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Tony, they will also receive a spot when Shawn Camp becomes a free agent that and I would not be surprised if news surfaces that Coleman has been outrighted off the 40-man as well. If they want to bring back Camp, they could later in the off-season.

      I agree with Tom on the wait and see on Rhee and Whitenack’s performance after Tommy John might scare off teams.

      I would think that Batista, Kirk, McNutt, Watkins and Villaneuva are candidates to be added/protected. Struck is still a question mark this year for me.

      • Tom U

        Mesa ends a 9 game losing streak, defeating Scottsdale 8-4. Rubi Silva 1-for-3, BB. Javier Baez (SS) 1-for-5, 2 RBI, SB. Kevin Rhoderick 1 IP, 2 K, Hold. Tony Zych 1 IP, 1 H.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Germano outrighted? He stated that he “had had a good season” in 2012. That 2-10 record said otherwise…..

    • Tony_Hall

      If I have it right there are only 15 players left on the 40 man roster from when Theo can into town.

      Batters (8)
      C – Castillo, Clevenger
      IF – Barney, Castro
      OF – Soriano, Campana, Szczur, Lahair

      Pitchers (7)
      Garza, Samardzija, Cabrera, Coleman, Marmol, Russell, Dolis

      That’s a pretty good turning over the roster.

      • brent carmona

        Good stuff today tony, enjoyed your posts. I agree looking not too shabby.

      • J Daniel

        The roster was brutal to begin with as we all know. Aaron was correct about D.J.L. and he should have been kept. Maybe that contributed to a couple of front office guys not being around anymore? That move, in the long run, isn’t going to matter anyways. What matters is that they are turning it over, have a lot of money, and that they make the RIGHT signings coming up.

        Vitters and BJax do NOT fit into their plans, imo. I believe they will be part of a trade package this off season and is why they shouldn’t have brought them up (especially if they knew they would not be in the plans). Their value would have remained a little higher due to the uncertainty and a higher prospect status.

        To be competitive next year they need an outfield bat, a third baseman that can hit, and at least 2 starting pitchers. Is Jacoby available or to broken down? IMO they can start with these signings and plan on them being part of their core – not fill ins, if they plan on being good by 2014.

        • Tony_Hall

          Yes the roster was brutal, which has led to so many flyers on guys who other teams have discarded. Every time they have done so, it has been because they felt the player would make the 40 man roster talent level go up, usually ever so slightly. They now seem to have purged most of the below average talent from the 40 man, but will keep turning it over. They have shown no issues with moving guys out.

          DJ might turn into a good major league player, but ultimately, it was not a great loss, as we have a lot of depth at 2B, and he will never hit for enough power to play 3B. They took a chance on filling the 3B hole left by not bringing back ARam, and missed on Stewart. Of course if they feel Stewart is healthy, they may give him 1 more chance, as there is just not that many good options for 3B on the market. Youkilis is in decline and Rolen may retire and that is about it. Trade wise I preferred Headley last year and would love to see this guy in a more hitter friendly park (he is getting a little help starting next year with Petco moving in the fences), but the price is very high, for good reason.

          Vitters may not fit their ideas of a player who commands the strike zone but BJAX has the tools. If he can learn to not take so many border line pitches that he gets k’d on, and make some changes in his swing that became more obvious after his call-up, he can still fit in for awhile. Let’s face it Almora is the CF of the future, but BJAX could hold it for a few years. Of course Sczcur is a CF as well that could bump BJAX to LF as RF is going to be Soler in a few years. I feel by the time Almora and Soler are patrolling CF and RF, that LF will be filled by one of our many infield options that couldn’t stay in the infield, but can hit.

          No matter how we look at it, we need help for the next 2-3 years to be competitive until the system is producing players that are major league players.

          So for next year, we do need a 3B, OF, 2 SP’s

          3B – Youkilis/Rolen/Stewart – or trade

          Stewart, if healthy, may be the best value that has trade value in a year or 2, versus signing guys at the end of their career who could retire and net nothing in return. This will be the hardest position to decide which way to go, as Stewart will be unpopular to bring back, unless he starts fast.

          OF – Swisher/Hunter/Ludwick//Pagan/Sizemore + others or trade

          Any one of these guys could be considered a good pickup, at the right deal for each. Swisher controls the strike zone, which would be nice to see, but could be tough to get for 2-3 years. Pagan would be my choice, the biggest negative is not enough power. He also may be difficult to get on a 2-3 year deal.

          SP – Baker, Feldman, Guthrie, Haren, Jackson, Lewis, Liriano, Marcum, McCarthy, Sanchez, Villanueva + others or trade

          This is a must, they have to get 2 arms either through FA or trade to add to the rotation. I would prefer Haren, Jackson, McCarthy, Sanchez or Villanueva out of this group.

          The key is they don’t have to worry about blocking anyone in the rotation, 3B or OF for any of these spots for awhile, and if the contract is structured correctly, they will be able to trade any of these guys off to create a spot when needed.

          • DWalker

            ARAM consistently said there was never any option of returning to the cubs. Maybe the Cubs could have offered Pujols money and he stayed, but he wanted a winning team and knew it wasn’t going to be with the cubs the next few years.

            Am I the only one that feels a bit of a twinge every time Youkilis comes up on these threads even if he is the best option?

          • Tony_Hall

            I wasn’t trying to imply that ARam was an option, just that they were trying to fill the hole that was created when ARam left.

            And yes, I can’t say Youkilis is a name I like either, but he is one of the options on the FA market.

          • brent carmona

            Looks like the cubs have a new pitching coordinator. Will post a link when I can find one..

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            From Baseball America … BA has learned that Vanderbilt pitching guru Derek Johnson is leaving to be #Cubs minor league pitching coordinator. Huge loss for Vandy.

          • brent carmona

            http://www.insidepitching.com/?p=2198

            Thanks Neil for posting. Article gives a little insight into his philosophy.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Thanks for posting the link.

        • SuzyS

          Cubtex, While I agree that Vitters and BJAX probably
          do not fit into their plans long-term…and the key here is long-term….they have very little value on the trade market at this point.
          For Vitters, it’s gut check time. He has to decide if he wants it bad enough. It has always seemed to me that with him…it’s the mental aspect of the game that he has to master…he has the physical tools….BUT right now, I don’t think there is a team out there that would give any value whatsoever for him. He has to play, improve his defense and rake…just to get another shot anywhere.
          He has this upcoming season to put it together in AAA…because there is no one else ready at THAT level. After this season, other candidates should be pushing past him.
          In his favor, he is still cheap, relatively young, and plays a position where there is great need around the league. He has this season…at least until the trade deadline, to reestablish himself.

          BJAX is a different case. His mental makeup,(confidence and work ethic), suggest to me that he

          WILL become a mlb OF. But it’s contingent on him retooling his swing enough (as the Cub’s management has suggested he do) to cut down on his ko’s enough. If he shows progress in AAA this upcoming season…then I see him as a serviceable OF for 2 or 3 years…or at least a tradeable trade chip.

          At the present time however, neither will bring any value in return…or at least not the type of value the Cubs are looking for.

      • cubtex

        Yes. You are right about that. Alot of players were dropped. But isn’t it about who was added to take the previous players place????

        Look at what pitchers were added over the year. Many in and out like a revolving door. Here who is on there still who were added by Theo.

        Lendy Castillo
        Michael Bowden
        Gerardo Concepcion
        Jacob Brigham
        Vizcaino
        Jaye Chapman
        Carlos Guitierrez

        Other than Vizcaino…….not a lot there. Chapman could be a long relief guy.

        Infielders

        Rizzo- Excellent prospect and a great addition
        Valbuena- Ugh!

        outfielders

        DeJesus- Nothing special
        Sappelt- 4th outfielder at best
        Almora- 1st round draft pick that was a given no matter who was GM
        Soler- I like this signing. Needed to be done.

        So in other words…….Vizcaino is the only pitcher who was added with above average upside.

        Rizzo- Upside

        Almora- He was a given
        Soler- Good addition

        • Tony_Hall

          Absolutely right, it is about what they replaced them with, and unfortunately they weren’t able to swap out the SP for Cain, Bumgardner, Vogelsong, Lincecum, Zito in one offseason.

          I know you take the most negative slant possible when looking at players, bu pitchers Vizcaino, Bowden and Chapman look to be a part of next year. Bowden was much better in Sept. and Chapman was effective and I see as a chance to be a 7th/8th inning guy. They also moved Samardzija to the rotation, I would call that a good move, and are trying to do the same with Cabrera.

          From an offensive standpoint Soler and Almora are good additions (not sure how Almora was a given, we could have taken Appel and had him go back to college…I believe you wanted Appel at that pick) and moving out Soto to clear the spot for Castillo is another upgrade. I and I know you like to right off moves like DeJesus and Sappelt, but teams need 25 guys and they won’t all be All-Stars.

          They are improving the 40 man roster little by little. There are no fast ways to improve the depth in a 40 man roster. You can improve a 25 man roster fast by adding star players, but a 40 man roster takes lots of little moves to improve the overall quality and depth.

          Right now the lineup is like this for next year.
          C – Castillo/Clevenger
          1B – Rizzo
          2B – Barney
          SS – Castro
          3B – ??? Stewart or FA
          LF – Soriano
          CF- DeJesus
          RF – FA

          Rotation
          Samardzija, Garza, FA, FA, T Wood

          If they can add just 2 average MLB SP’s to the rotation and pick up at least one offensive player for 3B or RF, this team can be competitive next year.

          • cubtex

            Cmon Tony. You need to take off those Theo glasses and be realistic. Theo had a chance to improve the starting pitching on the 40 man roster this past trade deadline but he held his cards too long. You can drink all the Theo Kool Aid you want. I hope you have as much faith in the person leading the company you are working for as well. If you are looking at Bowden as one of the players who they have moving forward…..that says it all. They had Maholm,Dempster,Marshall and Cashner as pieces that could bring back young starting pitching. That is the #1 weakness in this system. That should have been priority #1. Out of those 4 players………He got back Travis Wood and a question mark in Vizcaino. Hopefully Vizcaino proves healthy enough to start. He also whiffed on Gerardo Concepcion. He also had Tyler Colvin and DJ LeMahieu(obviously not huge trade chips) but instead of getting an arm for them……he gets back Ian Stewart and Casey Weathers…..Whif!

            That lineup you have for next season will NOT be competitive. Be realistic. Take off those Theo glasses please. They struggled to score runs last year. The most productive player is the one you constantly bash and want released(Soriano) They have Castro,Rizzo and Soriano who are above average hitters. That is it. Garza is a top of the rotation starter and Shark is a #4. Travis Wood is a borderline/fringe #5. The bullpen is below average. This team is no where near being competitive and Theo has not added any starting pitching(other than Vizcaino) who can contribute in the next year or 2. Call me negative all you want……but this is the view of this team that many people have who are not drunk of Theo-Aid!

          • cubtex

            Not to mention the fact the Garza situation. Who really knows what other teams were offering but I am sure that they could have gotten Jacob Turner from the Tigers since they moved him for Anibal Sanchez. Time will tell what they get for Garza…..but they could have had Jacob Turner penciled in with Shark and possibly Vizcaino for next year.

          • Tony_Hall

            I love how you connect the dots. Since the Tigers traded J Turner for Sanchez, the Cubs obviously turned down an offer for him, so now you can say they could have had a rotation of Turner, Samardzija and Vizcaino. If I’m drinking the kool-aide, what are you drinking. It’s still before Noon.

            Look, I don’t expect the playoffs next year, but even this years team was improving and was very competitive in July, until the sell off. I think we can see the same thing next year, without such a slow start hopefully.

          • Tony_Hall

            And if he would have made trades early, you would have said he didn’t wait out the market. No matter what they do, you will take the negative spin to it.

            Bowden was effective out of the bullpen at the end of the season, not sure what is wrong with that the thought he could be one of the 7-10 bullpen arms they will use next year.

            Samardzija is a #4 and Garza is a top of the rotation? Samardzija has a chance to be a top of the rotation pitcher. Many are saying he has past Garza already moving forward. I think that is pushing it a little bit, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see him out there on Opening Day instead of Garza.

            1. DeJesus

            2. Pagan*

            3. Rizzo

            4. Soriano

            5 Youkilis*

            6 Castro

            7 Castillo

            8 Barney

            No that’s not a World Series lineup, but it will be competitive, if it has a pitching staff that is able to stay in games.

            I was for getting rid of Soriano, when he was a negative to the team. No defense, not even having professional AB’s swinging at pitches not even close to the strike zone, running the bases horribly. But in case you missed it, he listened to his coaches, improved his defense to not be a liability, ran the bases smarter, and stopped swinging the heavy bat that cause so many issues with him. Now he is a productive player. They still need to look to trade him, when they can get a team to pay something and give back a player that is more than organizational filler.

          • cubtex

            I like Shark. If you recall…..when many were bashing him in the past(including you) Aaron and myself were one of the few on here who were saying about his arm and upside. Look back a year and a half ago and you will see what I am talking about….but if you read what scouts say about Shark…..he is considered to have a ceiling of a 3 or 4.

            You praise everything and anything about this regime. You were saying how Volstad was a good and serviceable #5 for next year….and now you backpedaled like a politician since Theo waived him. You are not objective on anything about what this regime does. This team should have used those pieces to improve starting pitching. Z and his entire salary for Volstad. Whiff again! A lot of whiffs from team Theo so far.

          • Tony_Hall

            Absolutely they have whiffed. Name me one team that bats a 1000 on all moves.

            There a many things I disagree with what is and has happened with this regime. I just don’t feel a need to bash every move or look at from a negative point of view. I agree with their plan to build from the ground up and understand that they will be making moves that are unpopular with the majority of fans.

            As far as Volstad. I feel the way he pitched in August and early September was more than good enough to be a 5th starter in this league. If you really want to look back over the last few months, I always have him in Iowa. You can even look at the last few weeks to see I have listed Garza, Samardzija, FA, FA and T Wood as the rotation. So, I don’t appreciate the “flip-flop” comment. Obviously a rotation with Volstad as the 6-8 guy in Iowa is better than one where he is #5. That would mean they have better pitchers moving him down. But it wouldn’t surprise me to see him have a good year in KC, as their #5 or as a bullpen arm, that I think he could be useful as, and have stated this before.

          • Tony_Hall

            Also, Zambrano was not exactly good last year. Not sure how finding a team (the Marlins with Ozzie were the only takers that Z would go to) that would give anything up for Z and then having it turn out bad for both sides. If Z was in Chicago, that would have turned out bad as well, maybe even worse for the team.

          • SuzyS

            Cubtex, I view Concepcion as a necessary move to reel in Solar. Nothing more. So you can add his 6 mil to Solar’s salary…and in the end I think it will be still a good deal.
            I didn’t like the Colvin/LeMahieu returns either…but Stewart was a calculated risk that didn’t pan out.
            Dempster screwed up his own return…that’s not on Theo.

            But Cubtex…look around…you’re still missing the big picture…Detroit/Texas/Washington…even San Francisco all had to have several woeful seasons to build their farm system in order to build their teams into the contenders they are today.
            Atlanta was a joke for many years before they became a perennial contender.

            Yep…I look for a losing season next season…in order to bring another top ten draft position….In general…my feeling is…a team has to have around three woeful seasons by design in order to garner the talent necessary to make an extended run.
            I don’t like it any more than you do…but it is what it is.

        • SuzyS

          Cubtex, Have to give Theo credit for converting Shark to the rotation and TWood as well. Although I know Wood will bring about a ton of debate.

          • cubtex

            Suzy. Converting Shark to the rotation was done under the Hendry regime. Am I mistaken?

          • SuzyS

            No….They yoyo’d him from starter to reliever…back and forth ad nauseum. This was the very first year he was a starter from the getgo.

          • cubtex

            No. He didn’t win the job and was needed out of the bullpen instead of the minors.

          • SuzyS

            Cubtex…no he did not win the job….but also JH’s regime never showed the patience to stick with him as a starter….They did in fact yoyo him from starter to reliever and back…on several occasions and seasons. Either way…you have to give Theo the credit for giving him a role for the full season and sticking with it.
            Our bullpen was horrid last year and Shark would have stabilized it…Much harder to keep him as a starter.
            btw…Garza at the very best might make a #2 in the rotation….but I see him as a 3 or 4 in a GOOD rotation. That’s if he can remain healthy…and that is no longer a given.

          • cubtex

            That is what I see Garza as. A #2. That is why Shark is a #4. Shark needed to be in the rotation last year since they were not trying to win. A no brainer

          • cubs1967

            let’s start at how we got Shark; the JH regime drafted him so kudos to JH to begin with.
            2nd, Shark started in the minors and was given chances out of ST to start; he could not win the job. the Cubs did yo-yo him, but ST 2012 was really his last chance to either become a SP or forever be a bullpen P; perhaps a closer; so really no credit to team theo as anyone would of done this based on Shark’s age. Similiar to what they are doing next year with Cabrera; let him start before he too becomes a RP for good.
            not rocket science.
            So Demp-Maholm-Marshall all we have to show is Vizcaino, hurt and T Wood, a 5th starter at best. That’s 3 MLB pitchers for 2 suspects/prospects……which unlike Beane in Oakland, he traded away 1 Sp in Gio Gonzo and got 4 players, including 3 Sp and a starting catcher…………so far Theo has underperformed in trades alot.
            gotta really worry about Garza getting moved…..that’s the last big chip.
            news flash to Tony; Theo did not invent sliced bread……..get off the blind worship……….your baseball smarts are being ruined becuz of it.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            So the praise given by Samardzija to the new regime and coaching staff, especially Chris Bosio, carries no weight with you?

            If you would like to address what someone posted, respond to their post. Please stop calling out people that do not agree with you while responding to someone else. Thanks.

          • cubtex

            Very good post. Shark was given opportunities to start just like Cashner. People on here were blaming the previous front office for moving Cashner to the rotatation and same with Shark. That is why the Rangers did it with Neftali Feliz. When you have a young power arm…..they are more valuable as a starter if they can make the transition. To give Theo credit for Shark is ridiculous. He won the job in ST(unlike the previous year) He preferrered to start and lobbied for it. The Cubs put a very poor product on the field…..so he had ample time to transition. That is the facts. Shark took advantage of his opportunity and proved to be a part of the future.

          • cubtex

            If you recall….Shark was given an opportunity to start by Hendry in spring training and he didn’t win a spot. He was moved back to the bullpen after that. This was not a new experiment.

          • Tony_Hall

            So because someone tried him as a SP before, they get no credit for making the decision in ST last year to give him a spot. They could have done the safe thing and put him in the bullpen, but they didn’t. Give them some credit.

        • cubs1967

          considering all the suspense about the trade deadline; team theo provided nothing to help in 2012 or 2013; as Vuzcaino will spend the bulk of 2013 in the minors & if he is ready at some point; will be in a IP limit so really no help.
          good post.

  • SuzyS

    What’s the rule on the 60 day DL. At what point do they have to come off the DL and be added to the roster or DFA’d???

    • Tony_Hall

      I have been looking that one up, and all I see is at the end of the season. I have to assume then, that that time is after the World Series.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Suzy it is the day after the conclusion of the World Series. Teams have until December 12 to tender contracts to arbitration eligible players for next season.

  • SuzyS

    This well worth the read….anyone know what type of presence we have in Venezuela??? http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/40092592

    • SuzyS

      “This IS well worth the read…”

  • SuzyS.