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Whether it’s an upside play or an attempt to re-stock the bullpen after (theoretically) dealing Sean Marshall, the Chicago Cubs are expected to sign righty reliever Manny Corpas to a one-year deal after a physical in Chicago today. The deal, it appears, is a guaranteed Major League deal, rather than a minor league deal with a Spring Training invite.

Corpas, 29, didn’t pitch in 2011 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in September 2010. Before the surgery, Corpas’ once-dominant form – 232 ERA+ in 78 innings in 2007 – had faded to average, at best. Perhaps it was a lingering elbow issue that the surgery cleared up. But, if so, the problem lingered from 2008 to 2010 without anyone addressing the problem. That is to say: it’s possible Corpas simply became a mediocre pitcher.

Before I grouse about a minor move like this one, I should say that I’m sure the Cubs worked out Corpas, and I’m sure they saw things they liked. Corpas is obviously about as bounce-backy as a bounce-back candidate can get. Over their careers, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have been exceedingly good at identifying guys like that.

But.

A Major League deal and 25-man roster spot for a guy who hasn’t pitched in over a year and hasn’t pitched well in four years? Even if the flashes of talent are still there, it seems like he should have to prove it, rather than be handed a spot that could otherwise go to one of the many young middle relief candidates the Cubs have in the upper minors. Because I trust Theo’s and Jed’s instincts, and because we don’t yet know what other roster reshaping may be done, it’s unfair to complain too loudly. So I won’t.

Still, it seems an odd move, in isolation.

  • lance

    Sorry mayor got to disagree because u need an all star vet to lead these young guys

  • OHBearCub

    This is the movie Major League. Our roster is gonna be a head scratcher… Who are these guys

    • kubphan82

      Well, they won the WS… We can only hope

      “Hayes slides safely into home, giving the Indians the win on a walk-off single.”

    • http://bleachernation ferris

      like in the movie major league when their looking at the 40 man roster and the one guy says this guys dead…..and the gm says well scratch him off then….lol……..no seriously i remember this guy had a good arm before the injury its a low risk deal.

      • Katie

        They’re still shitty.

    • BetterNews

      If your talking about management, I beginning to feel like they’re the “3 Stooges”.

  • OHBearCub

    We are gonna need a vegamatic in the locker room. Maybe we can Lou back if isn’t to busy selling tires in Tampa. I think old man Rickets told his boys he wants all his money back so he can buy a couple Applebees and a smoky bs to go ws newly purchased McDees.

    • Rick Vaughn

      That’s one of my favorite moments from that movie

       Charlie: How would you like to manage the Indians this year?
        Lou: Gee, I don’t know…
      Charlie: What do you mean, you don’t know? This is your chance to manage in the big leagues.
      Lour: Let me get back to you, will ya, Charlie? I got a guy on the other line asking about some white walls.

    • http://bleachernation ferris

      we already have serano in lf….cant hit curve ball….lol

      • Rick Vaughn

        Funny, , sad, embarrassing. That comment was just too true.

  • Dukie11

    Oh well, then this is the first real head scratcher of the offseason in my opinion

    • JasonB

      FYI – Corpas is a righty

    • Boog

      Bingo

    • Brian Myers

      Well, he was only making 2 million a year when he was healthy and had great upside potential. So I would imagine he will make less than that now and also be gone after 1 year should he not work out (it’s only a 1 year contract).

    • Lou

      Sorry DeJesus for 3 years is another…and some would say waiting for the trade market to develop and getting more for Marshall. Don’t know if I’m in that 2nd camp but I do think DeJesus should have been 2yrs with a club option for a 3rd. And if they sign Crisp to an already crowded OF–that will be another. That has yet to happen, though.

      • http://bleachernation ferris

        it is a two yr w/option

  • The Omnipresent Mystery Team

    Boston, Winter of 2002-03:

    For 1B, the Sox purchased this clown from the Marlins, who’d only hit 16 HRs the year before.
    For 3B, despite already having a guy in house, they signed a guy who had a season dragged down by injuries the year before, a guy who’d never hit more than 10 HRs in a season.
    For DH, they signed a guy who the Twins had flat out released.

    So at three positions you need heavy bats, and despite coming off a 93 win season, they picked through the trash heap. Must have been a frustrating off-season for Red Sox fans.

    Oh, those guys, Kevin Millar, Bill Mueller, and David Ortiz, combined for 75 HRs, two got MVP votes, and one was the batting average leader.

    • Dukie11

      Not sure why everyone keeps going to this example. That was retooling a solid team, this is a totally different situation. I don’t think management is trying to mimic what they did in Boston. I think they are looking for solid assets at low prices and they are guys who others don’t want to take a leap of faith on. The advantage of any rebuilding team is that if you screw up taking chances you can rest soundly that you didn’t ruin the championship chemistry. You simply gave your youth time to develop while you gave vets a chance to bounce back. They have the freedom to take those chances and sign guys that the current big boys are afraid of due to injury history.

      • The Omnipresent Mystery Team

        It’s precisely because that team wasn’t in rebuild that those moves should be even more of a challenge to the nattering nabobs of negativity.

        • Lou

          That’s a challenged statement and a poor argument at best. Sorry.

      • BetterNews

        Manny Corpas a solid asset? Please.

        • kubphan82

          We won’t know until he starts pitching now will we? He is a candidate, after TJS, to become an asset. Texas offered him a ML deal, so he’s showing scouts something.

          • BetterNews

            Didn’t we just get rid of 1 of the best relievers in baseball? And we aquire a reliever coming off TJS and hasn’t pitched in 2 years to try and fill his spot. I think Sam Hurds drug dealings are leading right to Theos door.

            • kubphan82

              Only we traded Marshall for Wood who plans to be in our rotation next year and beyond and not Corpas. Corpas is not replacing Marshall, Russell is. Corpas is depth with others moving around in the BP. Corpas keeps a couple of the younger arms (Dolis/Beliveau/Carpenter/Maine) who still need development in the minors to start the season, while a couple geta look right away but not all.

              • BetterNews

                kubphan82–Excellent comment! I guess I’m just “bent” by seeing Marshall go. With everything going on, I actually forgot about Russell whom I like and think will be very good. Thanks for calming my nerves a little bit.

            • Jeff

              Come on, “We are not going to pay for past performances!”

              So the upside is that if we only pay $900,00 for one year of Corpas and he performs badly, than we aren’t “wasting money”

              Lol

  • lance

    Thanks for using the redsox because they had gotten a future hall of fame guy in Manny not bums that Theo is getting now

  • art

    yeah, and i’ll add, i didn’t know the season started on Dec. 22, 2011! Time, give the guy some time.

    • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

      and I didn’t realize that 2012 was the last season the Cubs will ever play.

      • kubphan82

        Offically, the world ends in less than a year… Dec 21, 2o12, well officially as per Mayan Calendars… So yes, this is the last year for the Cubs to win the WS… LOL

      • Lou

        Trades and moves that could effect the club could still happen in January, sure. February, not so much. By then, teams are focusing on their spring training roster. Moves like this in December. Flat out. Odd.

  • JR

    I cannot believe the Cards gave that gimp Beltran 2 yrs for 26 mill. Thats rediculous..

  • lance

    Theo has done nothing to deserve us giving him time. Dipoya was on the job 7 days and didjob

  • lance

    I spelled the angels gm wrong

  • lance

    Damn spell check

  • Dukie11

    Could also be a sign that the Kerry Wood signing isn’t going as planned or that Marmol is about to be traded. With Marshall already gone isn’t it plausible we could be bringing in a vet like Corpus to be the poor mans replacement for Marmol?

    • aCubsfan

      Carrie Muskat reports Carlos Marmol will pitch for Licey in the Dominican Winter League, starting Monday. Have to think that Marmol is making an audition for a trade?

  • Mike

    They better lower beer prices this season if they want to fill wrigley!

    • JR

      Exactly.. They need to be a little competitive. Some moves for a little 2012 success are coming. No way Theo puts a trainwreck out there all yr.

      • Brian Myers

        It looks like we have essentially an equal club at the moment. Our bats are a little worse (because of the loss of ARam), but we’ll likely make up the loss of Pena with a guy with a higher batting average.

        So we gain a mild level of depth pitcher and improved defense so our ERA goes down… and we net roughly the same number of wins but with better play (due to reduced errors, etc). It may be about maintaining the status quo while improving team chemistry and changing the team culture and the way they approach the game.

  • Andrewmoore4isu

    Why would we sign this guy before dealing marmol? That makes no sense because I’m
    Sure this guy didn’t have a dozen offers. We could’ve easily waited until
    Marmol was gone to
    Sign this guy. So I don’t think this move preludes a
    Carlos marmol trade. And I’m sure marmol is
    Pitching toget his stuff back for himself not to audition

    • kubphan82

      Texas offered him ML deal… Yankees, I don’t know if they offered, but they were in talks… So good teams were willing to offer…

      Even though he tailed off in overall performance before surgery, his away splits in 2010 were rather nice. After the physical the Cubs brass must have seen enough to think TJS is in his past.

  • Ol’CharlieBrown

    Word on the street is “Complete And Total Rebuild” for the Cubs. It’s feeling more and more like that’s truly whats happening. Really starting to think that Ricketts and Theo are assuming fans will still show up in droves no matter how ugly the 2012 team looks. That, or they’re willing to accept that many fans won’t show up to watch a team with a worse record than last year, and are OK with that because they are confident that a full rebuilding is something that must be done, whether the fans show up or not.

    Apparently, moving Marshall was the beginning of this cleaning of house. I have almost lost all hope of Cubs signing Fielder anymore, which may or may not be for the best in the end. It will be nice, at the very least, to have some new faces on the field because clearly the old ones weren’t going to get the job done.

    • ferrets_bueller

      I know I’d show up to watch kids play.  I’d actually be more inclined than to watch an overpriced bunch of bad contract players play.  Tearing it down is exactly what many of us want, and it is exactly what this team needs.

      • Jeff

        Yes, but I only pay $14 for two tickets to watch the Tennessee Smokies play, as opposed to 2 tickets for $94 at Wrigley.

        And the peanuts are pretty cheap too.

        • BetterNews

          Ya but the Cubs are “professionals”!(LOL)

      • Eric

        I won’t “show up” but I watched about maybe 3 games on TV last year. But I plan to watch more Cubs baseball this year. Why? Because I trust the new guys scouting. And I look forward to watching Ian Stewart to see if he can really put things together, and continue to watch Castro grow. And I’m sure they are going to get another young 25ish yo guy with high upside in there that could grow into something great. And I want to see it all happen from the beggining. I don’t want to miss a second.

        • Fishin Phil

          Exactly!  Well said, Eric.

  • 2much2say

    2011 reds prospects Mesoraco C / Hamilton 2b ss / Francisco 3rd / Frasier UT / Joseph Loogey / Lotzcar RHP / Rdriquez OF / Cotzart SS / I guess any 2 will do

  • MightyBear

    This is yet another example of Theo and the boys buying low. Although this one is lower than whale shit. I have a feeling all we are going to see this offseason are these types of transactions. I don’t think you’re going to see anything dramatic. Maybe a big bid on the young Cuban, Soler not cespedes.

  • 2much2say

    Neftali Soto 1b Reds best Power hitter

  • http://bleacherreport.com/users/639565-joshua-edwards Joshua Edwards

    Assume Kerry Wood comes back (he will).

    Down Sean Marshall, another bullpen arm was still needed.

    And if you move Samarzdiizzijjjia (sp?) into the rotation (just a guess), the Cubs are down two guys in the pen. And there’s room for a righty.

    Corpas fills a role and may have potential to be a setup guy?

  • 2much2say

    12 front office guys /11 positions to fill /10 players to trade / 9 new coaches / 8 missed Free Agents / 7 rumors a day / 6 Bret postings / Five Years for Fielder/ 4 unknown prospects / 3 minor signings / 2 Cuban prospects and a Fielder in a pear tree

    • Andrewmoore4isu

      I was gonna say nice but you used fielder twice…

      • 2much2say

        Should it be a championship in a 100 more years.

  • 2much2say

    12 front office guys /11 positions to fill /10 players to trade / 9 new coaches / 8 missed Free Agents / 7 rumors a day / 6 Bret postings / Five Years for Fielder/ 4 unknown prospects / 3 minor signings / 2 Cuban prospects and a Championship in a 100 more years.

    • BetterNews

      LOL!

  • 2much2say

    12 front office guys /11 positions to fill /10 players to trade / 9 new coaches / 8 missed Free Agents / 7 better bids for Darvish / 6 unknown Prospects / Five Years for Fielder/ 4 years left for Theo / 3 Tommy Johns / 2 Cuban prospects and a Championship in a 100 more years.

  • 2much2say

    12 front office guys / 11 million too much for Mcdonalds /10 players to trade / 9 new coaches / 8 missed Free Agents / 7 better bids for Darvish / 6 Teams left for Garza / Five Years for Fielder/ 4 years left for Theo / 3 Tommy Johns / 2 Cuban prospects and a Championship in a 100 more years

    • Andrewmoore4isu

      Is your “5” key broken?

      • BetterNews

        Catch me wilbur, I falling!

  • 2much2say

    Done!!

  • ferrets_bueller

    Love the move, great buy low opportunity.

  • BetterNews

    I guess we all really knew this “rebuild” was coming long ago. Yes, I’m talking about the 07-08 playoffs, in which the Cubs couldn’t win a game. The “patchwork” by Hendry did’t work and now it’s time to “pay the piper”.

  • Kansas Cubs Fan

    I really don’t see the need to whine about this deal.

    If he has a good season, we trade him at the deadline.

    If he has a bad season, he gets released.

    You people just love to have something to bitch about.

    • Rick Vaughn

      Exactly. I was surprised to see that it was a major league contract. But $900K for a big market team is like me supersizing my value meal at mcdonalds. They’ve done their research and scouting. They think he’s worth it.

      Low risk/high reward. Simple as that.

  • Caleb

    “bounce-backy”. Lolz. Good call.

  • Daniel Guerra

    The Texas Rangers was interested in signing Manny Corpas, so this move makes me feel better. In winter ball, he’s pitched 8 innings and has given up 3 runs for what its worth. Our new Cubs slogan will be, “In Theo We Trust”. Haha, gotta love the edit button!

    • Fishin Phil

      “Our new Cubs slogan will be, “In Theo We Thrust”.”

       

      That sounds dirty.

      • Kansas Cubs Fan

        People on this site are getting weird.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Getting?

  • Stinky Pete

    The whole point of being excited about the new front office is that they understand the game better than their peers. Thus they are able to build a better team. I don’t believe for a moment I (Or anyone on an internet message board, for that matter.) know better what to do than the FO. If you are upset by this move, what did you expect to happen? Did you think Theo would hypnotize other GM’s and form an AllStar team? Good Gravy, it’s December. Let’s see how this plays out. And if you don’t like the RedSox example, what about Michael Barrett? Hit .204 the year before he signed with the Cubs. Other problems notwithstanding, but he was a decent offensive producer for the Cubs for a few years. As much as we like to read and follow this stuff on the internet, we’re not there seeing what the FO sees. I trust (I’ll wait ’til they win to thrust.) in the Theocracy.

    • Kyle

      I was and am excited for three reasons.

      1) Their understanding of advanced metrics would lead to us not wasting time and resources on provably bad players. Reed Johnson not withstanding, I still hold out hope for this.

      2) Their track record shows an excellent ability to scout and develop amateur talent. This is by far the biggest and most important reason to be excited, for me, and they haven’t had much chance to show that off yet.

      3) Epstein’s aggressive nature. This is the guy who started an arms race with the New York Yankees to build the best two teams in baseball for the last decade, and he fought them to at least a draw despite inferior resources. I want to see some swashes buckling. It looks like we aren’t going to get that right away, but maybe in a few years it’ll come back.

      Wood for Marshall restored any part of my faith that was waning, though. That was a pure Epstein move in the vein that I was hoping for when he as hired.

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