Cubs Working on the Pitching Staff as Spring Training Nears

The Cubs reportedly agreed to terms on contracts with Jason Hammel and James McDonald last Friday with both deals not expected to be announced until the pitchers passed physicals. The Cubs have not made either signing official yet and will have to make a 40-man roster move before announcing Hammel’s one-year contract. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer could be trying to sneak one of a handful of pitchers through waivers and still keep him in the system before making the signing of Jason Hammel official.

The addition of Hammel on a Major League deal and McDonald on a minor league contract gives the Cubs starting pitching depth with camp opening next Thursday. But the Cubs might not been done.

The Cubs were one of five teams connected to free agent RHP Suk-Min Yoon. The Orioles reportedly offered Yoon a contract and the Rangers are very interested in signing him according to multiple reports. The Cubs’ interest in Yoon surfaced earlier in the off-season as the front office explored ways to add pitching to the Major League roster. Could the Cubs look at another veteran starter that could provide them innings?

And the team finally acknowledged Chang-Yong Lim is still in the organization.

Chang-Yong Lim

The Cubs posted the signing of Chang-Yong Lim to the transactions page, so it is official he is still with the organization. Lim signed a two-year contract with the Cubs in December of 2012 that was reported as a minor league deal at the time. The Cubs decided to non-tender Lim last December, which caught many off guard. But the team retained the rights to Lim and he is under team control through the 2014 season. Lim said he felt good, despite the results, at the end of last season and is looking forward to pitching again without limitations.

According to multiple reports, Lim is supposed to be in big league camp this spring on a non-roster invite. The Cubs have not added him or James McDonald to the official list of non-roster invitees.

Suk-Min Yoon

According to reports out of Korea and from Jon Paul Morosi, the market for free agent right hander Suk-Min Yoon is heating up. The Orioles and Giants watched Yoon work out last week in California, and the Orioles have made an offer to Yoon according to the Baltimore Sun. If Yoon accepts the Orioles’ offer, it will be interesting to see if he passes their physical.

Suk-Min Yoon has received multiple offers after he showed teams he is healthy and ready to pitch. Scott Boras told Jon Paul Morosi that “six or seven teams are pursuing” Yoon.

The Cubs are believed to be in the mix for Yoon but it is unclear if they are one of the teams that have made an offer. Reports early in the off-season indicated the Cubs were interested in signing him but those rumors quieted as the team focused on Masahiro Tanaka.

The Twins were interested in Yoon but are not willing to meet Scott Boras’ asking price. And the same was reported about the Indians. Cleveland was in the mix until they found out what Boras was wanting for his client.

The Rangers and Red Sox are thought to be two of the teams and Texas has liked Yoon for several years. The Rangers might be looking at Yoon as a way to fill the void in their rotation left by Derek Holland, plus there is a connection between Yoon and Shin-Soo Choo. Yoon will reportedly throw for the Rangers at the team’s complex in Surprise on Tuesday.

Suk-Min Yoon has relocated to Arizona to continue preparing for Spring Training with reports from Korea suggesting he will remain in Arizona for the foreseeable future. Reports late last week indicated Yoon could sign with a team at some point this week. And Scott Boras told Morosi that he is “very close to deals for Oliver Perez, Jeff Baker, Francisco Rodriguez and Suk-Min Yoon.”

News, Notes and Rumors

Sam Hughes was named the Cubs’ Scout of the Year. Hughes is the son of former Cubs’ scout Gary Hughes and is a national crosschecker. Sam has been a scout for the Cubs for the last 17 years.

Peter Gammons provided more details on the Thoracic Outlet Surgery that Daniel Bard had in January. Bard had a part of a rib above his collar bone removed in the surgery and is expected to start throwing again in a couple of weeks. Bard signed a minor league contract with the Rangers that includes a non-roster invite to camp. Mike Reinold found the problem according to Gammons and “suggested that there had been evidence there may have been some deterioration in 2011 that could be related to Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.” And the deterioration of the left shoulder affected Bard’s delivery as well as the deliveries of Josh Beckett and Jonathan Papelbon. Beckett had the surgery last year and is feeling “really good.” Bard did not have the same problem with losing feeling in his hand like Beckett did but there were issues with his shoulder that led to problems with gripping the baseball.

There is a sleeper in the Cubs outfield according to FanGraphs.

According to Jim Bowden, the Rays will not be trading David Price until next off-season. And the former GM pegged the Cubs as one of the “early favorites” to trade for Price next winter along with the Braves, Nationals, Diamondbacks and Dodgers. It is too early to see a favorite in a possible market that is a year away.

Former Cubs’ reliever Kyle Farnsworth signed a minor league contract with the Mets that includes a non-roster invite to Spring Training. The Mets will pay Farnsworth $1 million for his services if he makes the team according to Jon Heyman.

Speaking of former Cubs’ relievers, Carlos Marmol is talking to three teams according to Jon Heyman and could sign a contract soon. The Brewers were connected to Marmol during the Winter Meetings.

And in more former Cubs’ news … Alfonso Soriano sold his River North condo for $2.9 million.

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Quote of the Day

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