Minor League Free Agents
Baseball America ran a list of the players that were declared minor league free agents last week. Here was the list of Cubs:
RHP: Mike Burns (AAA), Hector Carrasco (AAA), Adam Harben (AAA), Billy Petrick (AAA)
LHP: Carmen Pignatiello (AAA), Jason Stanford (AAA)
1B: Matt Craig (AAA)
2B: Robinson Chirinos (Hi A), Bobby Scales (AAA)
SS: Andres Blanco (AAA), Luis Figueroa (AAA)
OF: Doug Deeds (AA), Jason Dubois (AAA), Josh Kroeger (AAA), Andres Torres (AAA)
*of these prospects, I'd like to see the Cubs re-sign Petrick, Craig, Deeds, Dubois, and Torres.
***in my opinion, Kroeger should be added to the 40-man ASAP
Baseball America Releases Top 11 Prospects List
1. Josh Vitters, 3B ****WHAT?!?! Dude hasn't even made it through half a season in
2. Jeff Samardzija, RHP ****shouldn't be listed, he's already with us
3. Jose Ceda, RHP ****high walks, but excellent potential
4. Hak-Ju Lee, SS ****Again, are you kidding me!?!?! We just signed him
5. Andrew Cashner, RHP ****is this another Bobby Brownlie? He was NOT impressive
6. Tyler Colvin, OF ****head-scratcher of a pick to begin with continues to disappoint, and underwent TJ surgery
7. Dae-Eun Rhee, LHP ****I believe Rhee underwent TJ surgery as well
8. Ryan Flaherty, SS ****believe it or not, outside of the Shark and Ceda, this guy might be the one that produces very well at the MLB level
9. Welington Castillo, C ****he's at/near the level Soto was before his break-out season last year
10. Donald Veal, LHP ****nice guy. Neil and I met him in ST a few years back, but he shouldn't even be on this list.
11. Micah Hoffpauir, 1B ****at 28, shouldn't be on the list
MLB free agent watch list for Cubs:
Starting pitchers: Sabathia, Lowe, Burnett, Randy Johnson, Dempster, Garland, Pettitte, Sheets, Wolf, and Pavano
Relief pitchers: Wood, Fuentes, Beimel, Dennys Reyes, Juan Cruz, KROD, Gagne, Hoffman, and Lyon
Infielders: Furcal, Teixeira, Hudson, Durham, Miles, and Felipe Lopez
Outfielders: Manny, Dunn, Abreu, Ibanez, Bradley, Baldelli, Wily Mo Pena, and Mark Kotsay
Now, obviously that's quite a long list. A lot of it depends on trades we might make and such. I would think a priority for us should be retaining Wood and Dempster (in that order). We all know Dempster's history, and it doesn't look promising for us if we sign him long-term. We do, however, have in-house options, including (in order of preference): Guzman, Marshall, Samardzija, Hart, and Hill.
I would definitely make signing Kroeger to the 40-man a top priority. Keep in mind, he was brought up to the bigs at age 21, and bombed, and the D'Backs gave up on him, much like we're doing to Pie. He finally looks like he's turning it around at age 25, and is absolutely obliterating winter league pitching right now.
If we can't trade for Peavy, I'd sign Lowe. After that, I would sign Dunn. After that, I'd go after Furcal, but if you lose out on him, I'd try for Lopez. I would also make it a priority to trade Marquis first, then Lee--trying to get him to waive his no-trade finally, and lastly, if we re-sign Dempster and Wood, I'd go after someone like Juan Cruz or Gagne.