Cubs Reportedly Interested in Bringing Back RHP Chang-Yong Lim

In an effort to add depth to the bullpen last year, the Cubs signed RHP Chang-Yong Lim to a minor league contract in December of 2012 as he recovered from his second Tommy John surgery. The deal was reported as a two-year minor league contract at the time and was thought to include guaranteed money. Lim rehabbed in Mesa then worked his way up through the minor league system.

Lim pitched in 21 games over four levels of the Cubs’ system and finished with a 1.61 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP that culminated with 11 appearances out of Iowa’s pen. Lim struck out 12 batters and walked just four in 11 1/3 innings (0.79 ERA, 0.79 WHIP) for the I-Cubs. Lim was added to the 40-man roster and made his big league debut on Sept. 7.

Chang-Yong Lim had trouble throwing strikes in his six appearances out of the Cubs’ pen in September. Lim walked eight (one intentional) in five innings while striking out five and giving up three runs on six hits (5.40 ERA, 2.60 WHIP). With the contract he signed, the thought was after the season Lim would spend the winter on the 40-man roster and compete for a spot in the pen when Spring Training began.

But the front office decided otherwise and did not tender him a contract in December. Lim elected for free agency and is looking to catch back on with a big league team and has not ruled out a return to the Cubs.

According to a report from Korea, Lim’s goal is to pitch in the majors. Lim’s agent explained that pitching in Korea or Japan during the upcoming season “is not an option for his client at this point.” Lim is hoping to catch on with a team by February and if he is unable to then at that point he will explore other options.

Dong-Wook Kim, Lim’s agent, said he has to look closer at the contract his client signed with the Cubs in December of 2012. The contract was “uniquely structured” with non-guaranteed money that included “different salary rates between the times he spent in the big leagues and minors.”

Kim has asked the Cubs to send him more details on the contract that was signed.

According to the report, the Cubs appear interested in bringing back Chang-Yong Lim and told his agent “not to put too much stock into the non-tender situation.” The report went onto explain the Cubs have offered Lim an invitation to Spring Training.

The contract may also include language in which the Cubs would receive a “transfer fee” from a team in Korea or Japan in order for Lim to be able to sign a contract to pitch in either league next season.

Reports last December indicated Lim received a $100,000 signing bonus when he inked the two-year minor league contract with the Cubs. The deal was thought to be worth $5 million at the time and that the guaranteed money would not kick in until he was added to the 40-man roster. Lim was expected to be paid as any other minor leaguer, unless he made his way to the big league team.

There has not been an official announcement of the Cubs inviting Chang-Yong Lim to Major League Spring Training next month.

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  • cubtex

    More Tanaka overload. Neil, I apologize if you already posted this report from Tom Verducci….but this is a MUST read. If you want the Cubs to go all in for Tanaka or are concerned about his longevity….I recommend reading this.

    • cubtex

      This is a fact. Not an opinion.

      Tanaka has thrown more innings at a young age than anybody in the majors in the past 35 years.

      • Aaron Fox

        Tanaka: 1315 IP (188/year)
        Darvish: 1268 IP (181/year)

        Both pitched seven seasons in Japan at ages 18-24. Not a huge difference there. Agreed, the wear and tear is a concern, but you never know with pitchers. So far the workload hasn’t affected Darvish’s success for the Rangers.

        • cubtex

          I hope Darvish stays healthy Aaron but like I was saying to Tony yesterday…this is only year 2 for him. Dice K pitched 2 healthy years before he broke down.

      • Tony_Hall

        Felix Hernandez is the closest one I can think of in the US.

        Minors and Majors

        17 – 69.0
        18 – 149.1
        19 – 172.1
        20 – 191.0
        21 – 190.1
        22 – 200.2
        23 – 238.2
        24 – 249.2

        1461 Innings (8 seasons)
        1392 Innings (7 seasons)

        Darvish 1281 IP (7 seasons)
        Tanaka 1315 IP (7 seasons)

        From the article.

        “Everyone is acting like it’s a no-brainer all-in just because he’s 25,” said one club executive. “He’s still a pitcher and he’s still got serious miles on him. [Tanaka is a] very attractive player nonetheless but a real risk … as with basically all pitchers.”

        ….as with basically all pitchers

        Read More:

        • cubtex

          also from article.

          But what’s even more rare is that he carried an unusually high burden as
          a teenager. At ages 18 and 19 with the Rakuten Eagles, Tanaka threw 359
          innings. Only two pitchers in major league history ever threw more
          innings as a teenager and they did so ages ago: Bob Feller (1936-38) and Pete Schneider (1914-15).

          Feller became a Hall of Famer, though his early workload was mitigated
          when he missed his age 23, 24 and 25 seasons while serving in World War
          II. Schneider, bothered by injuries and control problems, was finished
          pitching at age 23.

          (As a comparison, Archie Bradley of Arizona, one of the top pitching
          prospects today, threw 138 innings in the minors at ages 18 and 19

          Remember, too, that Tanaka had a prolific high school career, which
          included throwing 742 pitches in five games in the famed Koshien

          Why is this early workload so important? Any organization will tell you
          that just about the most dangerous thing you can do with a young pitcher
          is build up too many innings too soon. Biomechanical research has shown
          that the two greatest influences on injury risk are overuse and poor
          mechanics. Those influences especially come into play with young
          pitchers, who have not yet developed their full strength.

          • Tony_Hall

            You should have just posted the whole article….LOL

            Nothing about Felix and his work load? That was just the first one I looked up and he had a bigger workload than Tanaka over the same age and 7 seasons that we can compare.

          • cubtex

            as should have you by posting that little snippet that all pitchers are risk. that is a given.

          • Tony_Hall

            LOL that is all we should be posting, is little “snippets” of the article. The link is to read the whole article.

            Still nothing about Felix…

          • cubtex

            look. you can ignore all the facts about workload and say he is only 25 and how much he makes sense. I get it. You want him. But to overlook how many innings and pitches this guy has thrown at a young age(just because you want him) is careless. He has thrown more pitches at a young age than any pitcher in the majors in the last 35 years. A 35 year window. Throwing is an unnatural movement. Will he break down? I think there is no question he will. The question is when. If a rebuilding team like the Cubs sign him…they hope it is after 5 years. A team looking to win now hopes it is at least 3. This is a much better gamble for a team looking to win a WS now. You have to see that. That is cut and dry.

          • Tony_Hall

            Please note the distinction being made,”in the majors”.

            The FIRST guy I looked up was Felix Hernandez and he had more innings over the same 7 seasons as Tanaka when counting minors and majors.

            I am not overlooking how many innings he has pitched, I get who is and what he has done. I feel he is worth the risk and that the Cubs give him the best shot at being successful, versus being thrust into a Yankees (bad example as they won’t be in the playoffs), I mean any of the playoff teams, where he will be expected to pitch 32 games in the season and then add on another 4-5 starts it the playoffs. The Cubs can put him on a strict innings limit for the next 2 years and can do it many different ways. You have to see that, that is cut and dry.

      • CubbyDenCritic

        Another Fact……ate more Sushi then any MLB player.

      • triple

        1467 2/3 IP by a player in a 7 year span for 210 IP per year in a 7 year span. This has happened in the last 35 years. And I only had to look up one player to tell you that your “facts” are very misleading. Your negativity really clouds your mind. Nolan Ryan hates you! I think you’ve heard of him… he’s from Texas.

        • cubtex

          Happy New Year to you too Triple :) lol.

          That fact was from the Verducci article that I recommend you reading. He is paid to do research and write articles about this sport we call baseball. Oh yeah…one other thing…Tanaka probably will sign with a contending team and it will be a great thing. This is not a fact…but my opinion(which is as close to fact as you can get) lol

          • Tony_Hall

            And he made it so, only by using major league innings and not taking into account minor league innings. Other pitchers have had the work load that Tanaka has had when adding in minor league and major league innings.

          • cubtex

            young age. we are talking 16,17,18 year old kids here. I know you mentioned you coach young kids. I hope you don’t think it is OK to abuse these kids at that age and pile up innings. It has been PROVEN to help in the cause of arm injuries. You should do some research on it if you don’t believe that(especially if you determine how much alot of the kids you have on your team throw)

          • Tony_Hall

            Thanks for the advise, but we do watch the pitch count and innings.

            Felix was the same age as Tanaka. Others have done it as well. Verduci just used majors because it was easier than looking up minor leagues as well. Which would be extremely time consuming? But then again, he is paid to write his articles.

          • cubtex

            I am curious. Why do you watch pitch counts and innings if you don’t think it is a big deal? You obviously don’t with Tanaka. So why do you?

          • Tony_Hall

            Please tell me where I have said it is no big deal to pitch any amount of innings and pitches. I do think it is a big deal and something to watch.

            Why do you assume Tanaka will break down, just based on his innings and pitch counts? There are examples of pitchers who don’t break down and maybe Tanaka is one of them.

            But I fully expect that whoever signs Tanaka, that at some point he will miss time due to injury. But I also assume that with EVERY pitcher.

          • cubtex

            you are talking out of both sides of your mouth. You say there is risk with EVERY pitcher no matter how many innings he has thrown at a young age. You say Tanaka is only 25 and could be a part of this rotation for a long time. The 700 plus pitches he threw in a tounament is not a big deal and others have done this before.
            You are basically saying….. So what. I don’t care about what he did before. The Cubs can monitor him and he will be fine. So if you think it is not a big deal to pitch the kid so much at a young age….You must feel the same for the players on your team.
            We 100% disagree on this. I have seen way too many 16,17,18 year old kids abused at a young age. I wouldn’t touch Tanaka on a long term deal with a 10 foot pole. You don’t think it is a big deal. Let’s move on because we are wasting a lot of time on someone who will more than likely sign with another team.

          • Tony_Hall

            LOL you are hilarious.

            I am not talking out of both sides of my mouth.

            – Pitch counts matter
            – Innings pitched matter
            – young kids should NOT have their arms abused. (EDIT I left out the NOT)
            – Tanaka has done all 3
            – So did Darvish
            – So did King Felix
            – So did many others

            Because all it costs is money, which we can front load (I have explained this already) I believe he is worth the risk, especially when you compare him to the cost of trading for a Price or signing someone as a FA like a Ubaldo at 17-20M for 4 years.

            Would I be shocked if he gets hurt at some point? Of course not, but what pitcher getting hurt would shock anyone that understands the abuse pitching does to an arm.

          • cubtex

            Why does pitch count matter?
            Why does inning matter?

            Why? Is it because they are more prone to get injured earlier in their careers? Would you agree with that statement?

            You surprise me many times with your answers so I would like you to answer that.

            Therefore…If you sign Tanaka to a 6 or 7 year deal…would you say there is a GREATER chance that he gets injured before a typical 25 year old pitcher who didn’t have as heavy a pitch count or innings load as Tanaka?

          • Tony_Hall




            If you only want to sign pitchers who have little risk of getting injured you will need to sign a bunch of soft tossers to pitch to contact. Pitchers get hurt. Abuse increases that chance. This isn’t a new thing that you just uncovered.

            But you want the Cubs to act like a big market team, yet you don’t want them to sign a Tanaka because he may get hurt. Pitchers get hurt.

          • cubtex

            As I have said. If they sign Tanaka…I want them to try and WIN now. If they do that. Fine. If they sign him with the hope they will be competitive in 2017 with him leading the staff…that is not wise. 7 years at 140 with the 20 mil posting fee will be a disaster if they don’t try and win immediately.

          • Tony_Hall

            You will be disappointed no matter what they do.

            Hoping for 2017….LOL

          • cubtex

            and you will be happy whatever Theo decides to do and whatever move he makes. Double LOL

          • Tony_Hall

            I never heard of a double LOL.

            I know what the plan is (everybody should) and know what is coming. Are they perfect and never make mistakes, of course not, but they are doing what they said they would do and it will move along faster if they can add a pitcher like Tanaka.

          • cubtex

            See. If you listen to me…you will learn alot. hahaha. Don’t be too disappointed when Tanaka signs with a winning team. Who could blame him? He could sign with any team and who in their right mind would not want to be on a playoff team immediately? The only way is if the Cubs outbid those teams by several million like the Cano deal…and then that will be even dumber.

          • Tony_Hall

            You always go back to that.

            The only way any team signs Tanaka is to outbid the other teams or out structure the deal to make it worth more money.

            3 weeks left!

            Have a good day!

          • Ripsnorter1

            You’d better read this article on Tanaka. It compares him to …..Edwin Jackson.


            No kidding. His stuff compares with Edwin Jackson’s stuff.

          • 07GreyDigger

            Why would they drop $140 million on a player if they didn’t want to be competitive?

          • Tony_Hall

            I already edited what I posted as I left out the NOT on abusing young kids arms.

            I love your analogy that if I want Tanaka on the Cubs, and he has had high pitch counts and innings, therefor I must abuse young kids arms that I coach. WOW! talk about putting words in peoples mouths.

          • cubtex

            you are saying so what…aren’t you? yea he did…but who cares. there are examples of many players who have done what he has done. that is totally what you are saying. not a big deal.

          • Tony_Hall

            You would like the Cubs to sign Garza again.

            Yet he HAS an injury history.
            He HAS been injured multiple times.

            Wouldn’t you say he has a higher chance of getting injured then another 30 year old pitcher who hasn’t had a history of being injured.

            Talk about talking out of both sides or your mouth.

          • cubtex

            Now a 3 year deal for a guy is the same as a 7 year deal? hahahaha. Garza had a stress reaction. A bone issue. That is not a 140 mil dollar investment.

          • Tony_Hall

            But shouldn’t they look for a 30 year old who doesn’t have an injury history. Why waste their roster spot and money on a guy who won’t be around when they hope to be competitive in 2017?

          • cubtex

            because he is an instant asset that would be a huge upgrade and can be traded(again) for a substantial haul. Remember what I have always said.. Better Players= Better Return

          • Tony_Hall

            Not if he gets hurt.

            He is injury prone you know.

          • cubtex

            stress reactions aren’t a big deal and usually heal stronger in the area that occurs

          • cubtex

            and no draft pick lost

          • Tony_Hall

            I would have no issue with them bringing Garza back, especially without a NTC!

          • cubtex

            at least we agree on 1 thing today. That is the first for 2014. What might the over/under be for the year? 10? You think we could agree on 10 things for the year? That might be pushing it :)

          • Tony_Hall

            2) Cutler signed an extension

            It is only the 2nd and that is 2.

            I am thinking if we spent time discussing things we both agree on, we could find lots of common ground. But what fun would that be :)

          • JasonOfTheBurbs

            agreed as well.

          • Tony_Hall

            Man I keep hitting post before proof reading today. I added in without a NTC.

          • Dorasaga

            Yea, you called it. Verduci failed this one.

        • cubtex

          you also forgot to read the entire sentence. More at a YOUNG AGE. Go ahead now and look up other players.

      • coachdon

        I am more concerned that Tanaka has been pitching in a league equivalent to our AA or AAA level, yet everyone expects him to go 24-0 as a top end Ace. Could be but no guarantee there.

    • John_CC

      Of course it’s a concern, as it should be. But I am curious, do you NOT want the Cubs to go after Tanaka? It just seems odd that you are always blasting them for not trying, not spending, etc. I’m pretty sure you were highly critical that they did not win the Darvish posting. I don’t recall the scrutiny of this workload, and it is pretty alarming as well.

      Would you rather the Cubs sign Garza for 4 years at $17-18 per? I don’t see that as being any better.

  • cubtex

    More football news. Cutler resigned with Bears. 7 years!

    • CubbyDenCritic

      which translate 3 1/2 years of playing time.

      • cubtex

        exactly. he won’t last the full length of the deal.

        • 07GreyDigger

          He might. Better O Line.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            But will the Bears be Champs in those 7 years?

          • 07GreyDigger

            In this NFL? Who knows.

        • Ripsnorter1

          He probably meant that Cutler gets injured every single year,
          and only plays in about half of the team’s games.

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    Tanaka thought of the day: even if we sign him and then he get injured and needs Tommy John surgery, that is ok…cause the Cubs love those pitchers.


    • cubtex

      some needed levity :)

  • J Daniel

    The Cubs are interested … well in everybody, but only at their price so that leaves them out of almost everybody. Even Jessie Crain signed with the Astros. Brutal!

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