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Today the Chicago Cubs claimed infielder Adrian Cardenas off waivers from the A’s, and in a corresponding move, designated Blake DeWitt for assignment.

Sort of wow.

First on Cardenas. The 24-year-old former top prospect put up great numbers in the PCL last year (AAA), but then again, who didn’t? (I’m being a bit unfair: he’s had good numbers at other levels as well – he just doesn’t have any power.)

Cardenas plays all over the field, but would likely focus on the middle infield with the Cubs. Cardenas hasn’t yet had a shot to make it in the bigs, and, given his relative youth, could still offer some upside. We’ll have more on Cardenas soon, though he was discussed here briefly when he was designated for assignment a week and a half ago. Cardenas bats lefty (like DeWitt), so it’s fair to wonder whether he might steal some starts at second base.

On DeWitt, this is something of a surprise – but at the same time not.

Back in December, I openly wondered whether DeWitt would even be tendered a contract by the Cubs, so I suppose de-rostering him now isn’t all that shocking. On the other hand, the Cubs did tender DeWitt a contract, suggesting they were planning to keep him in the mix for 2012 – perhaps even getting another shot to start at second base.

By designated DeWitt for assignment, the Cubs have removed him from the 40-man roster, and will have 10 days to trade him, release him, or place him on waivers. If they place him on waivers, he can be claimed by another team (who will have to put him on their 40-man roster, and take on his $1.1 million salary for 2012). If waived, it’s very hard to see DeWitt not being claimed. If he’s not claimed, it’s somewhat hard to see the Cubs paying him $1.1 million to be AAA depth. In that case, the Cubs would probably release DeWitt, and another team would sign him, saving the Cubs about $500k (which is about what they’ll spend on Cardenas if he makes the roster).

A trade is still possible within the next 10 days.

DeWitt was the centerpiece when Jim Hendry unloaded Ted Lilly and Ryan Theriot on the Dodgers at the deadline in 2010. A former decent prospect, DeWitt was a guy who could play beautiful defense at third base, but never had the bat for the position. And his glove never quite developed at second – worse, his bat totally left him in his early days with the Cubs, robbing him of a chance to take over full-time at second base.

Ultimately, the Cubs are not a whole lot better or worse after this move, but they might save about $600k and get a little upside in the process.

  • Kyle

    I’m really not surprised that Dewitt didn’t make the team. He doesn’t do anything Jeff Baker doesn’t do.

    I’m not a huge Cardenas fan, but I trust the Brain Trust. If they like him, I like him (Shut up Ian, you are the exception).

    • TWC

      “(Shut up Ian, you are the exception).”

      I think my favorite thing about the comments section of late is learning all the ways that Kyle hates Ian Stewart.

      • Kyle

        The longer the offseason goes on, the more some little part of me wants to like him. Theo and Co. are supposedly good at cleaning up swings, and I do like how we are trying to exploit Wrigley’s friendliness to lefthanded power.

        But my heart is so hardened to him at this point that I can’t turn back now.

        • JasonB

          I’m surprised they didn’t keep DeWitt as a back up plan in case Stewart failed.  I figured all along that was the reason we retained him.  Now they only have Baker to back him up and Baker, to put it mildly, sucks against righties.  Guess they plan to go with Stewart, whom I still like better than Colvin because he can draw a walk and plays a more premium position at 3B, but he has a lot of work to do.

    • ferrets_bueller

      I love ian stewart.

    • Ian Afterbirth

      Huh? What?

      • TWC

        Kyle doesn’t like bands that want to destroy corporate America.  HTH.

        • hardtop

          wait… there are bands that don’t want to destroy corporate america? huh, who knew?  must be that toby keith guy and the rest of that poser country garbage….

        • Bric

          Weather Channel, I enjoy your postings and you provide us all with a couple of hotties to talking about storm systems over Tennessee but sometimes your abbreviations are confusing. HTH? Please expound. Thanks.

          In any case, Blake DeWitt is just the next bad Hendry deal to be removed from the team. To think the Mets were considering Ike Davis for Lilly and Vitters in early July a couple of years ago. But Hendry was still in his non-denial denial stage of “All we need is hot streak” and “We’re not going to mortgage the future…” blah, blah, blah. Thankfully, that genius is gone.

          • TWC

            “I enjoy your postings … but sometimes your abbreviations are confusing. HTH? Please expound. Thanks.”

            http://bit.ly/z4lsSB.  HTH.

            • Bric

              Thanks, bro. ITLTLTUFM
              (I’m too lazy to look things up for myself.)

              • TWC

                Now you’re getting the hang of it, kid!

          • MichiganGoat

            Hope to help
            How the hell
            Ha on The Weather Channel reference I can see his hippie weather cast.
            “Dude it’s like sunny, so like yeah”

            • ferrets_bueller

              ‘Weather Channel” That seriously had me rolling, lmao.

              • MichiganGoat

                Hey ferrets check you message board inbox

          • baseballet

            I didn’t know the Mets considered trading Ike Davis for Ted Lilly and JV. That gives me a headache. I’m going to get a cup of coffee. Thanks for nothing Bric.

        • DocWimsey

          Maybe Kyle dislikes well-known mathematicians that it carries over? Or maybe it is former Stones…..

  • JulioZuleta

    I like it, but Kevin Goldstein isn’t very impressed. Twitter:
    “Darwin Barney shouldn’t play every day, but he’s a wonderful defender and 80 makeup guy. He’ll still be in MLB when Cardenas is forgotten.”

  • http://CubbiesCrib.com Luke

    I was hoping earlier in the winter that the Cubs could move DeWitt and let Flaherty have those at bats.

    At least one of them came true. If Baltimore doesn’t keep Flaherty on the 25 man, I might go 2-fer.

  • Ryan

    Cardenas had pretty good numbers in AAA last year, would be awesome if he could be a steady 2B for us, I dont think Barney is anything more than a utility guy.

    A number of articles says he will more than likely backup the SS or 2B but who knows, different environment…maybe he’ll thrive.

    Wishful thinking? lol.

  • michael r

    definitely an interesting move!

    should be just as interesting to see how this all shakes out.

  • Kyle

    Actually, I take that back. I’m trying, but I just can’t make myself like Cardenas. I don’t see anything there but a younger Blake Dewitt with less power.

    Why not just non-tender Dewitt earlier in the offseason, rather than pay him $1.1 million to avoid arbitration and then DFA him? Seems wasteful.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Cubs probably thought they had a movable asset in DeWitt at $1.1 million (I never really agreed). Also, Cardenas wasn’t available back then – who knows, maybe they kinda liked DeWitt, but saw Cardenas as slightly better.

      • Hawkeyegrad

        I agree Brett. I’m wondering if they plan to carry only three infielders on the 25 man and leave Cardenas in the minors to work on his fielding. If they can improve that part of his game, he becomes a much more valuable player and it will be tough for him to work on if he is not playing everyday.

        Baker can cover 1B, 2B, and 3B. Barney can slide over to SS and Baker can go to 2nd when Castro needs a day. That would let them to still keep 5 OF’s (Campana/Sappelt/Johnson) and 8 of the bullpen arms they have been stockpiling.

        • CubFan Paul

          i’d rather cardenas start at 2B & Barney be the utility (he’s a stronger defender). i bet Theo&Co are planning on sacrificing a little defense for offense with Cardenas penciled in at 2B. Baker & Barney are the platoon players

          • Brad Barber

            I’d be surprised if the Cubs “penciled” in Cardenas at 2B. I think the only way he would become the starter to begin the season is if he killed it during spring — like a BA of .450 or so — and Barney/Baker were horrible. I look at it is as if Cardenas isn’t even penciled into our 25-man roster

  • DannyBallgame

    If he can hit a little bit, I think its a good move. Maybe he challenges Barney at 2nd, maybe he backs up both middle infield positions. Either way, a potential bat is better than no bat (DeWitt)

    • Brad Barber

      You never know when no bat becomes Jose Bautista … that being said I still think its a good move

  • a_mazz_ing

    The one thing that jumps out at me is a decent OBP. He has no power, and relatively little speed. So he’s a LH Barney that can actually get on base? Sounds good to me. Just like Barney, he sounds like a backup. Or maybe you platoon those two at 2B. I couldn’t stand DeWitt so happy to see him DFA.

    • Kyle

      If he could play 2b defensively nearly as good as Barney, Cardnenas would have been in the majors two years ago. Unfortunately, his defense there is supposed to be “fringey.”

      • a_mazz_ing

        At 24 he is still young enough. And he was a top prospect as of a couple years ago, something Barney never was. I really just am not a Barney fan. He does not do much for me (he is good with the glove, but that’s about it).

  • Noah

    The front office could also be thinking that, at $1.1 million DeWitt is likely to make it through waivers, nor would they be all that upset if someone claimed him. If DeWitt makes it through waivers and the front office decides they don’t like Cardenas as much as DeWitt midway through the spring, they could always DFA Cardenas and then put DeWitt back on the 40 man.

    Although I do agree with the consensus that I don’t greatly see the appeal of Cardenas since he’s also a fringy defender at 2B. He appears to be a 2 year younger version of DeWitt with less power. I also think it’s hard to project just how well Cardenas would draw walks at the MLB level at this point.

  • http://Www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

    A move not worthy of all the discussion it will generate on a slow day like today…both are fringe players that wont have much impact on the future.

  • pfk

    Good move in my opinion.

  • andrewmoore4isu

    type out his stats > linking us to his stats

    me=lazy

    but for other lazy people he had a .314 avg in 491 ABs with 56 SO 47 BB 5 HRs 13SB 6 CS

    So really, nothing special

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      If his stats were something special, I would have included them. Ain’t my first rodeo.

      • Andrewmoore4isu

        How many rodeos?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Going to my 14th next Thursday.

          • mg

            do you really support this Brett?

            http://www.sharkonline.org/?P=0000000349

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              I have never been – nor would I go – to a rodeo. It’s just an expression.

              • Kyle

                I’ve covered several rodeos. It’s a highly entertaining and interesting experience.

                As for the ethics? Probably not an appropriate discussion for BN. Go Cubs?

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                  Spot on. Not my cup of tea for a variety of reasons, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to try and sell anyone else on my thoughts. Different strokes for different folks. Go Cubs, indeed.

                  • mg

                    Brett,

                    how does that philosophy work when it comes to pedophila?

                    • Katie

                      Um, what?

                    • ferrets_bueller

                      What an idiot.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      I have no idea what one has to do with the other, but this place is not a platform to discuss various ills with which we disagree (poor treatment of animals, victimization of children, etc.). Folks don’t come here to read my thoughts on those things, nor do I particularly want to put myself on a pedestal to preach about them. If anywhere, the Message Board is better suited for those kind of ethical, non-Cubs/baseball discussions.

                • mg

                  Kyle,

                  the same things are said by people who enjoy dog fighting. it is a different perspective from the victims point of view.

                  • ferrets_bueller

                    Note to self: never mention rodeos, or a troll will begin humping your leg.

  • Toosh

    The Lilly trade just keeps looking better. Thank you again, Jim Hendry.

  • MichiganGoat

    Another get younger move by the FO, the subtle yet impressive changes over this offseason should really convince everyone that there is a real plan and true genius at work. Great move.

    • JR 1908

      I agree with that Goat. It’s exciting to see the FO active, and actually looking towards the future. They really do seem to have a plan and sticking to it. Once the rest of the Hendry contracts fall off, they can kill it in free agency too.

      • Brad Barber

        I don’t think this is about getting younger or cheaper but about getting better. DeWitt has proven in his 4 or so seasons to be average, at best, with the bat. Cardenas has the chance to be better than him, so the Cubs are gambling on it. But it’s not like they are really gambling — because it sounds like Cardenas can produce the equivalent value of DeWitt, at least. The only way this sours for the Cubs is if DeWitt pulls a Jose Bautista

        • MichiganGoat

          Agreed about the getting better; although, Cardenas may be no better than Dewitt but he is younger. The FO has replaced an average players for a younger, cheaper, more-controlled, and higher upside player. This has been their goal this entire off season trade for youth, pick up comeback/high-potential players and avoid constricting long term contracts. Once the home grown talent start to appear the focus will shift toward signing free agents. It is really exciting to see the plan unfolding, in two years everyone in baseball will be in awe of what the Cubs have built.

          • Jerome Walton was a great prospect!!!!

            “in two years everyone in baseball will be in awe of what the Cubs have built.”, yeah or the cubs could be in worse shape than the 93 pittsburgh pirates with NO ONE anyone wants to trade for. Gotta have balance of vets and youth to win!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Kyle

          I really don’t know if I’d call Cardenas “better” than Dewitt.

          I’d say he has more upside but worse.

          So if they both have their best-case season, Cardenas is probably a little better. But more likely, Dewitt will do everything Cardenas does and hit 5-8 extra homers.

  • DannyBallgame

    I agree Brad. DeWitt has proven not to be a valuable player. Barney is a better version of him, and Cardenas should be a better option than both of them offensively.

    • Brad Barber

      I’m still holding out hope that Barney will produce. I know it’s not likely, but he’s a good guy and I’d like to see him do well. I say if he can handle the bat to the tune of a .285 BA, he’ll probably keep the job at 2B, unless somebody else really starts producing

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Hope is a fine thing, and I encourage the practice. It is not, however, a strategy.

        • BetterNews

          Going with the best you have at a particular time is a strategy. Barney is that man right now.

        • BetterNews

          Brett-I am really starting to believe you have some kind of “grudge” against Barney.

          • Cedlandrum

            BetterNews I am really starting to believe that you are heavily medicated.

            • BetterNews

              Please explain. What don’t you agree with? I am all ears my friend, and yes they’re big!

              • Cedlandrum

                What grudge would Brett have against Barney? It makes about as much sense as me saying you are heavily medicated. I don’t know you. Brett doesn’t know Barney. No reason for him to hold a grudge. No reason for me to suspect that you are on medication.

                They are both ridiculous statements. I just wanted to throw something out there as crazy as you did. It was fun.

                • BetterNews

                  Cedlandrum-It’s all fun for sure. My point was I DO believe Brett has something against Barney. Brett has always stated Barney should not be playing 2nd base. There is NO postional player to replace him, now, or in the near future. The DeWitt move further solidifies my position that Barney is the man going forward!

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                    Here’s what I have “against” Darwin Barney: I’ve never believed he’s a starting-caliber second baseman on a team with playoff aspirations. His performance last year bore that belief out.

                    Here’s what I’ve also repeatedly said about Barney: I’d love to have him on the team as a utility infielder. I even think, on the right team, he could be an adequate starting shortstop.

                    Here’s what I’ve also said since the Cubs’ offseason plans became clear: I have no issue with Barney being the starting second baseman in 2012. Now that the Cubs have Cardenas, I wouldn’t mind seeing what they have in him. Who knows what that becomes – a start a week? Two? I have no idea, because I haven’t seen the kid play.

                    • BetterNews

                      All righty then! Didn’t have to yell.

                    • Jay Anderson Jr

                      Brett, this is a stance I can’t understand with you. You know how I feel about Volstad. How can you say Barney is not starting material, when he has proved other wise, and then say Volstad could be a good starter when he has also proved other wise. I’m confused.

                      Also, all this stuff about matching offensive production to defensive position is overrated. Barney is a good second baseman. I can’t name 30 2B in MLB better then him, that makes him starting caliber.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      I don’t want to get into a whole Barney thing (again, again), so the real short of it is: Volstad’s background, scouting, age/level performance, advanced stats, and physical traits suggest a guy who *could* be a slightly above average back-end starter in the near future. Nothing in Barney’s scouting, performance last year, performance in the minors, or his advanced stats suggest he can be a quality *starting* second baseman on a *playoff* caliber team.

                • Kyle

                  I’ve never met Ian Stewart, but I have a grudge against him. For being terrible at baseball.

                  • BetterNews

                    Kyle-You have a point for sure! But what if,what if,what if, Ian makes this comeback?

        • BetterNews

          Statiscally you have not not shown how Barney should not be the starter.

          • Cedlandrum

            Barney’s WAR was the same as Jamey Carroll last year. He is a utility guy at best.

            • BetterNews

              Barney had a great RISP percentage!

              • Cedlandrum

                Numbers after all-star break. I think the league figured him out.
                Avg. OBP Slg. OPS
                .238 .286 .328 .613

                You can point to one stat that makes him look o.k. I can point to many that make him a utility guy at best.

                • Kyle

                  Did the games before the All-Star break not count? Why only look at half a season?

                  If Barney can repeat what he did last year, he’s a useful player. Offense is down enough league wide that a good defensive, .666 OPS second baseman is pretty close to an average starter.

                  The problem is, his minor-league track record suggests that even a .666 OPS in the big leagues might be optimistic.

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                    I know you tend not to like looking at particular months of stats, but you can’t deny that, with a “new” player like Barney, separating his April/May stats from the rest has some value. Namely, it can support an argument that the league adjusted to him, and he didn’t adjust back. Frankly, from watching, that’s exactly what I believe happened.

                    • DocWimsey

                      I do not think we even need that explanation. About a quarter the players start “hot,” a quarter start “cold,” and the other half starts on par. The big difference was that, when Barney made contact he got singles in 29% the time before the All Star Break and 20% of the time afterwards. That might sound like a lot, but it’s really just a handful of chops, bleeders, bloopers, etc. His extra base hits didn’t change: which suggests that he was hitting the ball well just as often.

                    • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

                      This is where I disagree with you Doc, Colvin was another example of a player that had a hot 2 months, the league got a good scouting report on him and he was not able to adjust back. It is a fairly common phenomenon in baseball with prospects and as such, I see no reason, when determining long-term viability – to throw out that portion of the sample as an outlier.
                      If Albert Pujols hit .150/.200/.150 for a couple months would you say that he is a washed up ballplayer? No, you would say that those two months can be rejected (as an outlier) based on all of the other data you have. That is all we are doing with Barney, trying to look at who he really is and I dont think that his stats from April 1 to roughly May 18 reflect the caliber of player he truly is so we look at his minor league stats and the time after that period and see that he is league average at best.

                    • DocWimsey

                      But you can come up with a nearly equal number of counter examples: guys who started slow in their rookie years and then eventually took off. Sure, to some extent pitcher are saying: “let’s see if the guy can hit an MLB fastball.” But they also are doing that to the rookies that start off slowly (e.g., Belt, Rizzo, Brown, etc.)

                      The more probable bias is, if a rookie doesn’t perform well in his first month, then he gets sent down pretty quickly. So, the sampling among rookies gets skewed towards the guys who get “hot” starts: it’s only balanced if you include the guys sent down. However, history is full of guys who started slowly and had great careers.

                    • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

                      And I throw those stats out as well, Ramirez is a prime example, despite a poor start in 2010 and 2011 he is still one of the better hitters in the game.
                      I don’t like looking at arbitrary splits unless they form a part of the story.
                      With Barney, you stated that he had a 9% difference in what fell for a hit, even if that is just 10 hits over the course of a season that can skew his BA and OBP by as much as 20 points. Now you can chaulk that up to luck but when his minor league career suggest he is more likely to perform as he did June through Sept than April and May I say that is just a regression to the mean. Everything, including BB and K rates indicate that April 1 through May 17 was the outlier. He only K’d 8% of the time compared to a AAA average of 11%. BB’s were down a few tenths of a percent but were still in the 4% neighborhood.
                      I believe he is an adequate starting second baseman on this team but it is a position we should actively look at for upgrading.

              • DocWimsey

                Not only was the sample size tiny, but remember that several of Barney’s early “clutch” hits (5 of 19, if I recall) before he went on the DL were chops that failed to drive in a runner.

                As for Barney’s before and after All Star break numbers, again, we have to remember the sample size. Given his overall performance, he managed 9 more hits than expected in his first 294 ABs and 8 fewer hits than expected in his last 235 ABs. You expect this sort of deviation one time in 10 just by chance alone.

                • BetterNews

                  Doc-What are you saying?

                  • DocWimsey

                    Given a group of 0.275 hitters, nearly one in 10 would have a season like Barney’s simply by chance alone.

                    • BetterNews

                      Hold on partner! First I think Barney will be the .285 cat. which is good! With runnners on he has been one of the best on the Cubs.

                    • DocWimsey

                      First, 0.285 with no power and an OBP under 0.320 is NOT good. A 0.250 hitter with a good eye and power will create a ton more runs than that.

                      Second, Barney was not that good with runners in scoring position. Many of his 35 “clutch” hits were bloops and infield bleeders that could not score a guy from second. If I remember correctly, then only 14 of Barney’s 19 “clutch” hits prior to his injury actually drove home a runner. Take away the lucky hits (as happened in the 2nd half), and Barney all of a sudden actually looks bad with men on base.

  • D17FUZZ

    I agree with the goat too!!!

  • Brian Myers

    Actually, Cardenas fits the potential player profile the front office likes better than DeWitt. Blake was striking out roughly double the amount of time he walks, while Cardenas has actually improved to a point where he’s only a bit worse than break even. So, it’s about salary and plate discipline with a similar (it seems) glove.

  • die hard

    good pick up but dont agree with sacking DeWitt….need players who can play more than one position and Baker is one dimensional..would rather he be let go

    • Turn Two

      I tend to agree- Dewitt was always noted for his work ethic and he is very young. He seems to make more sense for a team changing its culture. I am still not sure the purpose of Baker on this club. He makes more sense for a contender.

      • die hard

        hope hes not the comp to Bosox for Theo?….too much

        • MichiganGoat

          Ah that would be fine, but yes it is too much. However I’d rather Dewitt go rather than lose a prospect like Sczur.

        • Brady

          Just a thought but with 10 days to move Dewitt or make a decision on him, as well as the impending compensation within the next week or so, what if Dewitt is the compensation. We already replaced him so there is no skin off our teeth and he sounds like someone we can slide off as compensation. Just a thought.

      • WGNstatic

        I think Baker’s value comes in having some pretty big question marks at 1B, 3B, and to a lesser extent 2B.

        No, the Cubs are not going to win with Baker as an everyday player at any of those positions. But, he should be able to at least add enough stability to lessen the demands to prematurely bring up a Rizzo of Vitters from AAA if LaHair or Stewart struggle.

        • Turn Two

          Only problem with that logic is Dewitt also can play 3rd and while I guess Baker could play first behind Lahair, he is about as much a solid backup first baseman as Dewitt would be. That is to say, an ok desperate option, but he is not the answer in the long or short term to a backup 1st baseman.

          • Andrew

            Baker is righthanded and crushes lefties so he makes a lot more sense as the backup to lefties Stewart and Lahair than Dewitt. I’ve always liked Baker as a limited player especially more now since we have more lefties starting this year than usual.

  • die hard

    Maybe trade already in works of Dewitt to Baltimore who could use help at 2B

    • Andrew

      I love the sound of that trade, but since Baltimore had a pretty crappy record, they probably could get Dewitt once the cubs put him on waivers for nothing so i kinda doubt it. Dewitt and Soriano bundle to them for a half of a pie would be nice.

      • die hard

        I believe Baltimore received 2 decent pitchers yesterday in trade….maybe one coming to Cubs for DeWitt is in works

  • 2much2say

    Dewitt is Boston Comp for sure. So, they got a guy to match the loss.

    • Brady

      Pretty much what I just conjectured before reading all the comments. Next time maybe I will finish reading before commenting ha ha.

  • Shakes

    The Braintrust has many ideas they are 3 steps ahead of all of us

  • Cheryl

    Perhaps they’re hoping for someone to break through at second base from the minors. Who besides Junior Lake night have that potential? From what’s been written about Lake I think he needs another year in the minors. But more trades are a definite possibility. Were there any packages for Garza that have both a major league ready picher and second baseman as part of the package?

  • Levo

    Why do I feel like this year is a big chemistry experiment? But the problem is….we are still paying top dollar to see what happens when you dump all these unknown elements into a beaker. I understand that we have to wait to compete….but is there any reason through all of this we can’t get a bit of a discount in tickets?

    • Andrew

      If you don’t wanna pay, then you don’t have to go. The cubs have no reason to lower prices when they will still fill up the stadium every game. It always irritates me when fans complain about ticket prices. These things aren’t necesities, you can watch the game on tv or listen to it on the radio. Quit your bitching, its either worth it for you to go to the game or its not.

      • BetterNews

        LoL! That’s right. Nobody’s twisting arms here. If you don’t like the ticket prices, don’t go.

      • Levo

        I pay for games. The point of the matter is…..the team is in need to save money. I think that there should be some kick back. All teams need to pay for a variation of things. The new player information board in right field (marketing money) plus saving on players and developing new talent=savings. I bitch cause it’s the truth. Point is…why do tickets keep going up when they are trying to save money? I went to the Wood foundation event. I have the money…..I want the quality on the field for the money i’m paying.

        • BetterNews

          Kickbacks are illegal whether for the team or fan!

          • Levo

            I’m not saying give money. You are avoiding what I am even talking about. Yes, I enjoy the game, yes, I enjoy Wrigley. If I go to a game, I have no intention on sitting in the upper deck. But why are ticket prices continually rising? If they are trying to save money and get rid of bad contracts, I would at leat hope that they would freeze prices. If you can remember….due to the spike in prices, there were plenty of empty seats throughout last year. More than I’ve seen in some time.

  • JasonB

    He looks like Darwin Barney with patience and slightly more pop. I know, the audacity of me suggesting that a player could be as good as Darwin Barney. But for you Barney lovers, he’s probably not as scrappy.

    Not sure about his defense so it’s still possible Barney could be the better option. But Cardenas has a better bat.

    • Kyle

      His defense is considered poor at 2b. That’s the problem.

      If his defense at 2b was even average, Cardenas’ bat would be a borderline starter in MLB at 2b. He wouldn’t be waiver bait at all.

      All the scouting reports I’ve read describe his range as poor at pretty much every defensive position. “Fringey” is a word used a lot to describe his defense.

      Doing some very quick and dirty calculations, I’d project Cardenas to be about two runs below average offensively for a 2b and anywhere from -5 to -10 defensively. Not sure about his baserunning.

      Barney projects to about 6 runs above average defensively. The big question with him, of course, is his offense. Last year, it was about 5 runs below average for a 2b (not nearly as bad as some people think, but that’s another discussion that we’ve had several times this offseason already). If he can repeat that, he’s clearly a better option than Cardenas. But looking at his minor league history, there’s a real chance Barney collapses into something like 250/280/310, at which point he’s more like -10 offensively and you have to go with a guy like Cardenas.

      Although really, in that situation I think I’d rather have Jeff Baker or make a trade.

      • CubFan Paul

        cardenas is a .740ish OPS player easy/almost a hundred points higher than what barney will be. bad defense or not, cardenas is the better option to start

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          It seems like – and, of course, this is the very, very early thought – at a minimum, Cardenas could get some starts against righties.

          • CubFan Paul

            we shall see ..maybe cardenas is in the best shape of his life!

        • Kyle

          A .740 OPS for Cardenas is extremely, extremely optimistic.

          His AAA numbers translate to a major league equivalent of the following:

          2010: 226/276/281
          2011: 271/318/353

          The old PCL is fooling some people again on Cardenas. He’s a very marginal hitter. I think 280/320/360 would be a very, very generous projection in the majors. And that’s with bad defense.

          • CubFan Paul

            Fine. he’ll make a wonderful platoon partner/24th man. i’m trying to see light at the end of the tunnel at 2B ..we should have a AA/AAA “candidate of the future” after this season to talk about this time next year ..my money is r.torreyes, if he gets to AA

            • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

              Logan Watkins should get the first crack at it. He’ll be in Tennessee this season. Zeke DeVoss (if he can stick at second, and I really hope he can) is probably next in line. College hitters tend to shoot through the lower minors fairly quickly, so I think he’ll pass Torreyes by the end of the year and could finish as high as Tennessee. Torreyes is likely third in line to get a chance to take they everyday job at second.

              I feel like I should throw Matt Cerda in there too, just for his bat, but he really doesn’t have a defensive position. If Cerda gets a shot at second, it would probably be after DeVoss and before Torreyes.

              Those time tables are based purely on when I expect those players to reach the majors and have nothing to with how good the player can be. I am not saying that Cerda is a better prospect than Torreyes or anything of that nature.

              One of those guys should hold the position long term. I think DeVoss is the most likely but I can make a case for any of them.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            I’m not saying your calculations are wrong, Kyle (in fact, I’m certain they’re not) – but you’ve gotta agree, if Cubs’ brass thought that was the best he could do, there’s no way they would have made this move.

            • Kyle

              Well, I think they are just going for the “former top prospect” lightning in a bottle. If he doesn’t improve, oh well, they aren’t trying that hard to win this season anyway. Same with Ian Stewart.

              It’s actually eerily similar to what Eptein did when he took over the Red Sox. He cycled through a ton of players and found a few nice, breakout surprises.

        • BetterNews

          B.S.!

  • cubsin

    Cheryl asked if we had any 2B prospects, other than Lake. Lake won’t be a 2B, and our two best prospects there are Torreyes and Zeke DeVoss, both of whom played A ball last year. Barney may be there for a while.

    Cardenas has a better bat, but Barney has a much better glove.

    • Cheryl

      Then, it sounds like they’ll go the trade route.

  • daveyrosello

    re: the 2B discussion–I would like to get Christian Colon away from the Royals, he’ll be in AAA this year. KC desperately needs starting pitchers. Randy Wells? KC also could use a utility IF, so maybe that is a potential trade target for DeWitt. I’m just angling ways to try and snag Colon, I like his game, the Cubs could use him.

  • truebluecubbie

    I don’t hate this move. DeWitt was nothing special when he was with the Dodgers and even less so when he came to the Cubs. At this point I would have DFA’d him for a pack of gum and some red hots.

  • njriv

    I wouldn’t mind if Barney and Cardenas platooned. Since Cardenas bats left handed he would be getting more playing time over Barney, isn’t that more or less what we wanted? Even though Cardenas has not really proven himself yet, he is only 24 and we already knew Dewitt was not going to be the answer there.

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