From the Wire … Cubs Sign Scott Feldman to One-Year Contract

The Cubs announced Tuesday morning that they signed right-handed pitcher Scott Feldman to a one-year, $6 million contract that includes $1 million in incentives. Buster Olney broke the news shortly before the Cubs made the official announcement. Feldman has pitched the last eight seasons for the Texas Rangers and owns a 39-44 career mark in 204 games, 101 starts, with a 4.81 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP.

Scott Feldman was 6-11 in 29 games, 21 starts, with a 5.09 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP for the Rangers last season.

The Cubs have been connected to Scott Feldman throughout the off-season and the news of the signing does not come as a surprise. The Cubs will have to make a roster move prior to adding Feldman to the 40-man roster. The Cubs roster stood at 40 players prior to agreeing to terms on a contract with Scott Feldman.

The 6-foot-6, 230 pound right-hander turns 30 on February 7.

Scott Feldman’s Page on Baseball-Reference

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  • mutantbeast

    Good value buy. Feldman won 17 games for the Strangers 2 years ago, and was better as a starter than as a reliever.

  • Frustrated

    Well this years rotation will be worse than last years. Garza,Shark,Baker,Feldman and Wood.. I am sure everyone can agree on paper this is a poor rotation. Why can’t this team try and be more competitive and still rebuild? I don’t get it?

    • Steven Petty

      I tend to disagree with you. I would take Fieldman over Volstad, Wells, Germain and any other #4 or #5 starter that started for us!

      • EqDoc

        I agree. Certainly not a sexy signing but it makes us better than what we finished with last year. I would hope they would continue to look for more starting pitching and not stand pat.

    • BosephHeyden

      There really isn’t a whole lot out there, rotation wise, this year. Most of the guys that are available are all “buy low, sell high” type of guys. Baker and Feldman both cost the Cubs very little with no commitments past next year. What’s more, if either of them surpasses their value then, around June or July, you turn them into prospects.

      This is a drum I will continue to beat for at least another 365 days: the Cubs, with the fact that they are a major market team, have no excuses for not putting together the foundation for a perennially competitive team within two years. Last season was year one. This year should be all about developing the young guys, figuring out what parts you can use going forward, and then next off-season, you go out and get more permanent pieces for the rotation, whether by free agency or trade, and do the same with whatever positions still need filling.

      At the very least, this season the team should be better than last. Expecting them to make the playoffs is unrealistic, so the best bet is to just pay slight amounts of attention to the team, see what they get back for these guys in trades if they do well enough, and hope 2014’s team gets to the business of making the playoffs every year.

      • Rational Logic

        I agree completely. You have to be realistic with the expectations, no matter the club’s spending power.

        The opposite of this approach is to spend, spend like we did after 2006, which, yes – proved to be fruitful in 2007 and 2008, but not sustainable, and worse yet, handcuffed the team when they didn’t go all the way. It’s about building a competitive organization above all else, which means a farm system that will continue to be flush with prospects that will command players or produce for the parent team; it also means building a organization system/identity in how to be competitive year over year. It begins by developing players, being strong in the draft and overseas and being able to complete a team with free agents and trades as pieces to add to the core, rather than being the core itself.

        These moves are excellent given the plan that has been put in place to recreate the organization over a 3-5 year period. With another strong draft, some well places trades for younger pieces at the deadline and continued improvement from the core pieces in place, we should be ready to bring in some bigger pieces over the next two offseasons. No point in blowing money on a lost cause this year.

        • BosephHeyden

          To be fair, they probably could have competed in 2009 if Hendry didn’t decide he knew how to identify minor league talent and trade away most of the important parts of the team for nobodies.

          • Ripsnorter1

            You are exactly right. He dumped a winning roster for AAA talent. Incredibly poor talent evaluation.

      • MikeT_2008

        Very well said, everyone knew that once the regime changed that it would take a couple of years and there is no point at this moment going out and throwing around a ton of money. The days of buying teams are dead and it Free Agency now is what it was suppose to be, it supplements a team’s young core at one or two positions.
        Feldman is not a sexy addition, but at this point we need arms and like you said there isn’t that much out there this year, and if we can flip him or Baker for something in July then even better.
        It seems to me, and I am far from an expert on this, that our system now has at least some position players that have really good potential and now just need to develop. My guess is that in the coming draft the Front Office will be aiming to stock up on pitching which seems to be lacking in depth in our system.

      • Theboardrider

        Well said

    • Frustrated

      Dempster Garza Maholm Shark and Volstad is a better 5. Granted Volstad is beyond terrible but I would take that 5.

    • RICK J

      There is nothing that can be worse than last years rotation

  • ChadAudio

    One year contracts are harmless and we need as many arms as possible.

    All-in-all not a bad signing, we just need to add more SP depth then just this guy.

    – Chad

  • daverj

    The signing is fine, but I would have preferred to leave a spot of the 40 man open.

    • Tony_Hall

      They will create an open spot on the roster, if they plan to take someone in the Rule V. If they don’t they wont create a spot just to do it.

  • Ray ray

    Feldman says the Cubs were a dream scenario. Of course they were. They are paying him 6 mil per and PROMISED him a spot in the rotation. How many other teams would offer that coming off 2012? My guess would be zero.

    • Tony_Hall

      Your guess would be wrong.

      Here is some info for you to read that Neil has previously posted links for and one new one from today.

      • John_CC

        Good columns from fangraphs. Thanks.

      • cubs1967

        number one, any guy saying a 101 team that is losing on purpose is a dream; is not someone i want on my team and number 2, yeah the cubs did promise a starter spot and NO ONE with baseball knowledge would do that except Jedi. 5.00 ERA; yeah, why not save the money and let raley or rusin pitch.
        what a joke!

        • Theboardrider

          “Losing on purpose,”. C’mon, you undermine the credibility of your dissent with a ridiculous statement like that. Sure they’re not spending big and the long term outlook can cause knee-jerk negative reactions but “losing on purpose,” that’s just plain silly.

        • Tony_Hall

          Please proof read your rants or learn to use
          the edit button. But I will try to understand what you are saying.

          “any guy saying a 101 team that is losing on purpose is a dream; is not someone i want on my team”

          He said “dream scenario” meaning he is being given a 1 year deal to try and improve his status for next year, if he does well, he will either be offered an extension or be traded to a playoff contender looking for rotation help and pitching in a playoff hunt, or in the playoffs usually helps a player about to become a free agent.

          “yeah the cubs did promise a starter spot”

          Do you think they promised him 33 starts?

          Do you think if he is the 5th starter when Vizcaino is ready to come up that baring a trade he won’t be sent to the bullpen?

          I know ERA is the end all of pitching stats, but did you read the fangraphs articles. He is a good signing on a short term deal to fill a rotation spot until, either he is traded, or Vizcaino, Cabrera, even Rusin or Raley show they are ready to take a rotation spot.

          “NO ONE with baseball knowledge would do that except Jedi.”

          Really, you think the Cubs were the only team to want to sign Feldman and see him as a starter? That is just plain ridiculous to any one WITH baseball knowledge. Front offices use sabermetric stats to evaluate players and all of them saw what the fangraphs article showed. Good underlying numbers. Now he is not a fit on all teams, but many teams were considering him as a starter.

          “yeah, why not save the money and let raley or rusin pitch”

          They need to start the year in AAA. They showed us that last year, this was obvious to any one with baseball knowledge.

    • RynoTiger

      Where have these new trolls come from?

      • John_CC

        Must of got evicted from under the bridge.

        • Rayray

          Must of? Must have got evicted from English class.

          • John_CC



  • zo

    This move is exactly what they have been saying they would do all along. I have no complaints with bringing in guys on short contracts who has had some success in the past. Feldman provides depth and big league experience. Maybe they can flip him mid year, maybe not. Couldnt be any worse than what finished out this year.

  • Ripsnorter1

    What does Scott Feldman offer over Chris Volstad?

    Before anyone screams, let’s compare the stats for an honest look at these two pitchers:

    Feldman vs. Volstad:
    Age…29 vs 26……..advantage Volstad

    Career WHIP….1.417 vs 1.442…..slight advantage Feldman

    K’s per 9 IP/career…..5.4 vs. 5.7….slight advantage Volstad

    BB’s per 9 IP/career….3.1 vs 3.5…slight advantage Feldman

    H’s per 9 IP/career…..9.6 vs 9.8…slight advantage Feldman

    ERA/career…..4.81 vs 4.87….slight advantage Feldman

    But in reality…they look eerilly alike. The Cubs just signed Chris Volstad.

    Now go right ahead and scream your head off.

  • Aaron

    Feldman was a good signing, considering Bowden is an enigma. He can start, or relieve, and I don’t care what Hoyer said about that….that he was signed as a starter. Especially since he then came out and said they’re not opposed to adding more pitching on a multi-year deal.

    The only thing that could possibly mean is that either:
    a) The Cubs signed Feldman with the pen in mind all along
    b) They’re planning on moving Garza or T. Wood

    As of now, the rotation is:
    T. Wood

    In addition to those guys, the Cubs have Vizcaino coming back from surgery. They also have Cabrera converting to a starter, and Rusin and Raley also in the wings with guys like McNutt and Whitenack as fallback/high ceiling types if they get desperate and all else fails

    Ironically, Raley/Rusin might be on the bubble with the 40-man now that they’ve signed Feldman.

    I think we all can agree that if Garza was healthy right now, he’d be gone, and I don’t doubt they’re showcasing him for other teams with his side sessions. In fact, reports since he’s been cleared to throw have stated as much. In the case of Garza, you can eliminate some teams from consideration as they have no room in their rotations or money available:
    Yankees (full rotation)
    Braves (full rotation)
    Angels (but only if they re-sign Greinke, otherwise they have a need)
    Dodgers (full rotation)
    Rays (budget issues, plus full rotation)
    Giants (full rotation)
    Rangers (full rotation)
    Twins (budget issues)
    Brewers (budget issues)
    Reds (full rotation)
    Pirates (budget issues)
    Cardinals (unless Garcia is not healthy)
    Mets (budget issues)
    Astros (budget issues)
    A’s (budget issues, plus full rotation)
    Nationals (but only because I believe they’ll either resign Jackson or replace him with a rookie, as they have too much money tied up in the roster right now to go after a Garza)
    White Sox (budget issues)
    Rockies (budget issues with decreased attendance, plus their strange pitch limit issues would remove them from bidding on a high priced pitcher via FA and/or trade)
    Phillies (full rotation)

    Jays (full rotation. By acquiring Johnson and Buehrle recently, they took them out of the running)a

    That leaves the following teams as possible destinations for Garza:

    Red Sox

    I just can’t help but think there is a big deal brewing with the Cubs right now. They can’t go into the Rule 5 or the rest of the offseason with a full 40-man. Other than Putnam, Rusin, and Raley, there really aren’t many spots you can look at and say they’d definitely be better off if they just DFA’d them. They could save spots with Stewart and Concepcion as well, but both are toss-ups.

    You can look at guys like Garza (obvious), Marmol (already tried to deal him this offseason), Soriano (already tried to deal him last deadline), and Barney, and say those guys are the obvious trade targets to save roster space. But outside of replacing Barney internally with Watkins, there’s no obvious replacements internally. IF they could get Liriano to sign a 2-3 year deal, then you could conceivably say they’d have similar production that Garza gave, and ironically the same type of player….a guy that hasn’t lived up to his enormous potential. , but has shown signs of dominance. They could look into the scrap heap for a closer to replace Marmol like a Soria, Capps, Broxton, or even a true “make good” contract with Valverde.

    • Tony_Hall

      You are eliminating a lot of teams, from the outside looking in, and not taking in to account that, from the outside looking in, the Cubs have a full rotation.

      If a team trades for Garza, they may be trading one of the guys in their “full rotation” in the deal, or in a subsequent deal.

      If they want to sign someone in the Rule V, they will create the roster space by waiving someone who they feel the player will be replacing. They have the 2nd pick, it is very likely they will be able to get the player, if they are targeting one.

      I see one of Rusin/Raley being waived (with hopes that they pass through waivers) and Stewart being released and assuming no one will claim him and pay his arbitration number, and resign him to a minor league contract.

      I also don’t believe they are done with the SP market, as Baker is no sure thing to start the year, and actually neither is Garza.

      You are right though, the roster and the scenarios sure look like a trade is in the works.

      • Aaron

        no I’m not….I looked at quality too. Aside from Garza, Samardzija, and the injured Vizcaino, they don’t really have high end arms while the other teams do. Make sense? And it’s not like they just have 2 or 3 good arms, as nearly all of the teams I mentioned have about 4, and some have 5…all high end arms

        • Tony_Hall

          Can you agree that some of the teams you list as full rotation, would rather have Garza than all 5 of their pitchers in their current rotation?

          I would say most all teams would take Garza over their 4th and 5th starters. That means that the market to trade Garza is most all of the teams. Especially when you consider, he is more likely to be traded in June or July than in the off season. Any team with playoff aspirations or that are in the playoff hunt in June or July will be looking at Garza.

          I really wasn’t talking about the Cubs rotation, except to say they now have 5 guys in their rotation.

  • cubs1967