From the Wire … Cubs Officially Add Carlos Villanueva, DFA Lendy Castillo

According to multiple reports, the Cubs officially added Carlos Villanueva to the 40-man roster on Saturday. The Cubs reportedly agreed to a two-year, $10 contract will Villanueva on December 20.

To make room on the 40-man roster, the Cubs designated RHP Lendy Castillo for assignment.

With the addition of Carlos Villanueva and the subtraction of Lendy Castillo, the Cubs 40-man roster stands at 40 players … with one contract pending.

Updated 5:36pm CSTAccording to ESPN Chicago, the Cubs will pay Carlos Villanueva $5 million per year.

Carlos Villanueva posted a 7-7 record in 38 games, 16 starts for the Blue Jays last season. In 125 1/3 innings, Villanueva struck out 122 batters and walked only 46 while surrendering 113 hits (4.16 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. Villanueva was 20-24 over five years with the Brewers (2006-2010). In 425 innings, Villanueva struck out 381 and walked 151 batters (4.34 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP).

The 29-year old right-hander is expected to be the Cubs swingman this season and provide the team staring pitching depth.

Carlos Villanueva’s Page on Baseball-Reference

The Cubs selected Lendy Castillo in the 2011 Rule 5 Draft out of the Phillies’ system. Castillo showed promise in the spring and has excellent stuff, when he can get the ball over the plate. Castillo pitched in just 13 games last year and was 0-1 with a 7.88 ERA and a 2.25 WHIP (13 strikeouts, 12 walks and 24 hits allowed in 16 innings).

Lendy Castillo should clear waivers and be assigned to Double-A Tennessee where he should be used as a starter to begin the season. The 23-year old (April 8, 1989) has the stuff to be successful in the big leagues but needs time in the minors.

Lendy Castillo’s Page on Baseball-Reference

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  • Tom U

    Here is an article by SB Nation’s John Sickels on IF/OF Junior Lake

    • Tony_Hall

      Thanks for sharing! This year at AAA we should get a better idea on Lake. I feel at worst he is a super sub type player who can play all over the field and hopefully he can put it all together and be a part of our future.

      • Jose Adelman

        in the next couple years : 2B/3B and maybe CF If B.Jackson fails, could be open just for him. Hes trying hard to make the big leagues , he even changed his position SS to OF.

        • Tony_Hall

          I have always envisioned RF with his arm. If he stays in the infield I think 3B is his best shot. 2B would be a waste of a great arm.

      • Nate

        I agree. While the lack of patience is concerning, I can easily imagine Lake becoming another Jose Hernandez-type player.

    • Jose Adelman

      Most underrated prospect in cubs system. Ill keep saying this: Junior Lake is a potential everyday player. That kid plays SS/3B/2B/LF/CF + Cannon Arm better than Soriano when he was a national.Hes a warrior, he plays to win , not for stats. Hes also a contact hitter just like Castro, the only problem with him: hes not patient at the plate

      • SuzyS

        God, I can’t wait for the season to begin. Hopefully we can catch a Glimpse of Lake at September call-ups.
        Tom U…thanks for the Link…and please add Reggie Golden to the list of players I wish to follow.

  • Ripken Boy

    Glad they kept him on roster all last year just too dump him this year. I guess there was no other choice, but kid has a live arm. Maybe he passes through waivers and we get him back.

    • Confused66

      Not the best blueprint of roster management by Team Theo over the year!

      • Brp921

        I don’t see the bad roster management. The FO did what they had to do to try keep a live arm with an organization who lacked live arms. They were a 100 loss team with Castillo or anybody else as the 40th man. I don’t get what is such a big deal.

    • BosephHeyden

      I agree. Considering the guys that they kept switching from the pen to the minors over the course of the year, his spot was better used on someone else. So, to pre-emptively answer the question: yes. Yes there was a better use of the roster spot that he took up. And no, this wasn’t good roster management.

      • RynoTiger

        I need some more information to determine the validity of your argument. “His spot was better used on someone else”…who did you have in mind and why?

        • BosephHeyden

          Just off the top of my head, Travis Wood and Scott Maine could have avoided being called up and sent down as they were before Lendy was indefinitely placed on the 15 day DL. The roster spot itself could have been used towards Chris Rusin or one of the numerous journeymen bullpen guys they had in Triple A that they could have afforded to use since they weren’t in a competing mode anyways (because a team that avoids bringing up a first baseman that could help them win more games because of a “business decision”, let’s face facts here, they have little serious intention on winning games that season) In fact, they could have just saved themselves the trouble of cutting him and placed him on the 60 Day DL, and then brought up Rusin or a Triple A pitcher not on the roster.

          • Tony_Hall

            Travis Wood and Scott Maine…..Wood needed to be sent down to start the year and another bullpen arm is a horrible example, as those are the guys you send back and forth to the minors, one to keep the bullpen fresh and two because they play the hot hand. Rusin and Raley both had time in the majors and bringing them up in April and May would not have helped. Extremely weak argument on this one.

      • Ryan_cubs

        I don’t necessarily see this as bad roster management by the cubs FO. I guess if Castillo gets claimed by someone, then yes, this move can and should be criticized. But if he doesn’t, and gets assigned to AA, or anywhere else, then isn’t this a great move?There were 2 potential positive options when they obtained him last year. 1) He pitches great and earns and keeps his spot on the 40 man and major league roster. 2) He doesn’t pitch well and is not ready for the major leagues, but somehow the cubs are able to hang onto him and develop him in the minors. This was always the more likely scenario. If he clears waivers, we now would have control of a 23 year old pitcher who has potential, with a live arm, who has 3 options, and is not on the 40 man roster? Isn’t this exactly what the Cubs are looking for? There is no question that there were better options for the major league roster than Castillo last year, but this was the risk that the FO was willing to take during a year that was brutal anyways. I have no problem with taking that chance in that type of year last year.

  • The Maven

    I guess someone has to say this so I’ll be the first.

    It looks as if the 2011 Rule 5 draft was a complete disaster.

    • calicub

      I think he has more potential than David Patton Ever showed

      • SuzyS

        He needs seasoning…I really hope Castillo makes it through waivers…he has a live arm.

  • Tony_Hall

    Nothing surprising here, Castillo is most likely to pass through waivers this time of year, as most teams rosters are getting set and he would need to be on their 40 man roster. If he does get claimed, then it was a good try to try and sneak him into the system as a Rule V pick-up that didn’t work.

    If he does clear waivers and goes to AA, we have young SP arm that has 3 option years still to be able to develop him into a useable major league pitcher and is a good example of good roster management and bringing in a cost controlled asset into the system with really no down side.

  • Tony_Hall

    Also keep in mind that they could trade Castillo in next 10 days.

  • Ray Ray

    Sandy Rosario, Zach Putnam, Carlos Gutierrez? These were all pickups after the season added and dropped off 40 man roster. Who’s the ringleader of this circus?

    • Tony_Hall

      What part don’t you get?

      Seriously, if a player who is better than your 40th man is available, don’t you make that move?

      OR do you pass because next week a team may release someone else who is better and you don’t want to grab a guy one week and cut him the next?

      No, you grab the guy, then if another player who is better than the guy you added is out there, you grab that one and drop your 40th guy, who very well could be a guy you picked up a week earlier.

      I have never understood how people can complain about making moves that improve the 40 man roster. It has taken a year to clean out the mess of a 40 man roster that they inherited and now they are having to release players we want to keep to improve the talent level….this is a good thing!

      • calicub

        amen. can’t up arrow this enough

  • SuzyS

    On another blog…Arizona Phil mentioned that the 60 day DL will come into play within the next 20 days or so. (When players report for ST).

    In essence, a newly signed contract (Hairston) must be reported to mlb within 20 days of the signing.

    So possibly the Cubs could place Viscaino or Baker on the 60 day DL the same day they add Hairston to the 40 man roster.

    Unless we try to add someone else or trade for Carpenter…the roster problem could be temporarily solved that way.

    • Tony_Hall

      I hope this is true, but I always thought the DL didn’t start until the season starts. I can’t seem to find anything that actually states the date the DL starts.

      • SuzyS

        According to Arizona Phil…the 60 day DL can be used in ST 45 days before mlb opening day…or Feb. 14th this year.
        (TCR – Arizona Phil)

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