Blake DeWitt was designated for assignment 10 days ago to make room for Adrian Cardenas, so we can expect a resolution on his situation (i.e., released, claimed on waivers, cleared waivers and sent to AAA Iowa, or traded) today, though we may not hear about it immediately.
- For those of you who were upset at the prospect of the Cubs giving Ramon Ortiz another minor league deal (which, I mean, it’s a minor league deal – where’s the downside?), you can exhale. He signed yesterday with the San Francisco Giants, who will bring him to camp. What do they know about pitching, right?
- When the Cubs traded Derrek Lee to the Braves in August of 2010, they netted a couple marginal prospects and pitcher Robinson Lopez. Then a teenager, Lopez was considered a high upside prospect, and made the deal a pretty good return for the Cubs. Indeed, Lopez ranked as high as a top 20 prospect in the system before the start of the 2011 season. Yesterday the Cubs released Lopez. Details are scarce on the reason for the move, but Lopez, who’s still just 20, pitched poorly at A-ball Peoria in 2011 (5.35 ERA, 3.9 BB/9, just 4.6 K/9), but that’s rarely a reason, alone, to dump a kid. One thing to consider: given his step back last year, he would have been on pace to repeat at Peoria, and it’s possible that the Cubs felt like they couldn’t spare the staff spot, in any role.
- Cubs executives and scouts are in Mesa for their organizational meetings, which were postponed from when they usually take place, shortly after the season, because of all the organizational changes. To that end, I’m not quite sure what will be discussed at the meetings (other than, say, releasing Robinson Lopez), because most of the planning for 2012 is already complete.
- If the Cubs don’t get a hard commitment from Boise to construct a new ballpark, the Cubs’ Low-A affiliate’s stay there may end after the 2012 season.
- The Cubs aren’t the only team with international signee problems – the Orioles’ problem is actually much worse (though it involves a much less heralded player than Jorge Soler). Their $550k signing of Korean teenager Seong-Min Kim will be voided by MLB because the organization failed to follow certain protocols in the signing (namely, informing MLB if its intentions, and having MLB then inform the Korean Baseball Organization), and the Orioles could face additional punishment. Their scouts have already been banned from the country.
- The Padres are about to sign a 20-year TV deal that will pay them $30 million in 2012, increasing to $70 million by the end of the deal. The Astros are putting together a network with other Houston sports teams that will pay the Astros about $80 million starting in 2013. The Cubs’ TV deals (the WGN deal expires after 2014, but the CSN deal doesn’t expire until after 2019) pay them something in the ballpark of just $50 million per year. Think about that.
- A look at the Cubs going into 2012 from a Reds writer’s perspective. The conclusion sounds familiar: the long-term future looks bright, but the immediate future looks bleak.
- You can win a t-shirt from Joe Cowley if you offer a great #LegendofTheo tweet. Details here.