The Cubs claimed right-handed reliever Sandy Rosario off waivers on Wednesday and by doing so they used up the last open spot on the 40-man roster. What Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer may or may not be working on is unclear at this point. But the Cubs have two contracts pending and no room to add either player to the roster.
The Cubs have not announced the deals with Nate Schierholtz or Ian Stewart. Both players reportedly agreed to terms on contracts with the Cubs during the Winter Meetings. Stewart confirmed he re-signed with the Cubs on his twitter account.
So how will the Cubs clear the space to add Stewart and Schierholtz? Is a trade in the works that would include Alfonso Soriano? Or maybe a trade involving Carlos Marmol?
And the Cubs appear to be close to signing right-handed reliever Chang-Yong Lim to a split contract … Chang-Yong Lim
According to multiple reports from Korea, the Cubs are on the verge of signing veteran reliever Chang-Yong Lim. The split contract (minor and major league contract) is expected to be for two-years and there have been mixed reports on the amount of the deal. One report speculated that the second year will include performance based incentives.
Lim is coming off his second Tommy John surgery (July of 2012) and is not expected to pitch next season. The 36-year old posted a 4-2 record with a 2.17 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP in 65 games in 2011 with the Yakult Swallows of the Japan Central League. In 62 1/3 innings, Lim struck out 69 and walked 22 while allowing 40 hits. Lim pitched in just nine games last year before season ending Tommy John surgery.
“The Cubs expect to see me back on the field in 2014, rather than next year. Once the deal is signed, I will move to Arizona, where the Cubs operate a rehab center. My goal is to continue to rehab and get back on the mound by mid to late season next year.”
The Tigers, Orioles, Rangers, Red Sox and five other teams were also interested in signing “Mr. Zero“.
Report from Korea – Requires Translation
According to a report from Bruce Levine, the Cubs and Phillies did discuss parameters of a deal involving Alfonso Soriano but there is nothing going on between the two teams presently.
Levine’s report confirmed the Cubs and Phillies discussed a deal that included Alfonso Soriano but the Cubs would receive pitching in return. One of Levine’s two sources indicated those talks initially took place a month ago.
Ryan Dempster could be on the verge of signing a contract with the Boston Red Sox. According to a report from Jon Heyman, the Red Sox turned their attention to adding starting pitching and will look at just about every free agent hurler on the market. The Red Sox are seeking value and will look at starters from Anibal Sanchez to Kyle Lohse and down. According to CSNNE.com, Shaun Marcum and Francisco Liriano are on the Red Sox’s list.
Ken Rosenthal reported Wednesday afternoon that the Red Sox are pursuing Ryan Dempster and are in serious negotiations with him. Dempster has already rejected a pair of two-year offers believed to be worth around $25 million from Boston and Kansas City.
The Brewers are still interested in signing Ryan Dempster, who reportedly would like to ink a deal with a National League team that trains in Arizona. Rosenthal reported Dempster could sign elsewhere despite Boston’s efforts.
Shaun Marcum joined Casey Stern and Jim Bowden during Inside Pitch on MLB Network Radio. Marcum said there are teams interested in signing him and he’s received some offers. Marcum mentioned he received a lot of calls as soon as free agency started. Marcum is waiting to see how things shake out now that his former teammate, Zack Greinke, has signed with the Dodgers.
Marcum told Jim Bowden that he feels great, the elbow feels great and there are no tears or structural damage in his elbow.
Marcum is looking to sign with a contending team. He said that is the most important thing for him this off-season. Marcum would like a chance to make up for the way he pitched in the 2011 playoffs. If signing with a contender is not an option, Marcum said he will go where he feels is the best opportunity for him. Geography does not matter to Marcum or his family. He wants a chance with a team that gives him the best shot of playing in October. Marcum mentioned only one team by name during the interview and he does not think the door is closed on him returning to the Brewers.
The Cubs have been linked to Marcum all off-season for several reasons. Marcum is coming off an injury-shortened season and fits with the Cubs modus operandi of buy low and try to trade high at the deadline. Marcum reportedly has a good relationship with Cubs’ pitching coach Chris Bosio and Dale Sveum plus the Cubs desire to add as much pitching as possible to the organization this off-season.
News, Notes and Rumors
The Reds added another former Cleveland Indian to their roster on Wednesday. Cincinnati inked Jack Hannahan to a one-year deal worth $2 million to back-up Todd Frazier. The Cubs were linked to Hannahan over the last few weeks to possibly play third base. Updated 8:07am CDT – Reds signed Hannahan to a two-year contract with a club option not one as previously reported. The Reds are expected to announce the deal on Thursday morning.
Bob Nightengale and Jorge L. Ortiz took a look at where the 10 best free agents that are still available might land this winter. Ryan Dempster was the only player linked to the Cubs, along with the Red Sox and Brewers.
Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO