A lesser-discussed piece of the new CBA’s changes to the Draft is the ability to trade draft picks … well, the picks acquired in the competitive balance lottery, anyway. The other picks remain off-limits. And, even then, if you acquire one of those picks, you get only half the slot value of that pick added to your bonus pool (in other words, it’s kind of like getting the pick, but having to select a much lesser player with that pick). Not much of a real draft pick trading system. Certainly not like the NFL, where I just read that the Redskins have *insanely* agreed to acquire the number 2 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft in exchange for their number 6 overall pick, the number 38 overall pick, and the Redskins next two first rounders. All of that to move up four spots and grab Robert Griffin III. Makes you wonder what kind of insane baseball trades we might see if draft picks were fully tradable.
- Randy Wells, who entered yesterday’s game in relief (bases loaded, one out, and coaxed a double play ball), sounds a whole lot like 2010 Sean Marshall, who had the best Spring of any rotation competitor, but who could better help the team in the bullpen. Marshall was a good soldier, and repeatedly said that he simply wanted to make the team, and do whatever he could to help. “[Starting] is just what I’m comfortable with,” Wells said. “I’ll do whatever it takes. What the team wants me to do I just want to be here. I think we’re on the right track. I think we’re onto something special and I definitely want to be a part of it. Whatever way I can be a part of it that’s what I want to do.” Wells added: “Hopefully, I put myself in position to earn a roster spot here or whatever they want me to do.” You’d hate to think that a guy would be bounced from the rotation competition because he was too kind not to bitch, but it’s nice to see a guy saying he just wants to do whatever he can to help the team. It’ll be interesting to see if Wells gets some bullpen looks, but if his arm is feeling good and his velocity is back where it was two years ago, Wells may be the best rotation candidate of any trying to win one of the back two options.
- Rick Sutcliffe, who’s been tooling around camp the last week or so, helping guys out here and there, had some harsh words for where things stood last year at this time in the Cubs’ organization. “There’s some nice things going on here,” he said. “I wasn’t here last year. I wasn’t on board with what was happening and I love the Cubs, pull for them, but I didn’t feel I was welcome. I’ve been around the Phillies and the Yankees, and when you go down to a bullpen and watch five or six guys throw, you sit back and almost every other guy, you go ‘Wow, he’s got a chance.’ There wasn’t a whole lot of ‘wow’ going on here [in Cubs camp]. It was disappointing. You’ve got to know where you’re at to get better …. There’s the truth and the fact that this is a mess. To me, the chain of command was broke, people were going in different directions with no leadership. There’s leadership now.” It’s easy to criticize after change has been made, but, man, if Sutcliffe is being fair, it paints a pretty bleak picture of where things were before the recent transition.
- Dale Sveum was complimentary of pitching prospect Trey McNutt, who was re-assigned to Minor League camp yesterday. “He’s got the stuff, he’s got the makeup,” Dale Sveum said of McNutt. “He’s just got to be more consistent with his breaking ball. He’s got to understand how to use it and when to use it. He works as hard as anybody. His makeup is great. It’s just a matter of going out there and being more consistent on an every start basis.”
- TCR’s Arizona Phil puts together an exceedingly helpful piece on Minor League camp, including a camp roster for each of the Cubs’ Minor League levels (players are technically on the Spring roster of one of the Cubs’ Minor League teams). Those rosters change frequently as players are sent to Minor League camp from the Major League camp, and as players are shuffled up and down levels. That said, the rosters can give you an early idea of where the Cubs are thinking about starting various prospects out (a very rough idea).
- Dale Sveum and White Sox manager Robin Ventura are chummy, having been former teammates.
- Semi-forgotten back-up catcher candidate Jason Jaramillo apparently tried to play through his quad injury, and is paying for it now in a protracted recovery. “I thought I could get through it, and it didn’t go away,” Jaramillo said. “It came to the point where I had to say something and had to get it fixed. Where I’m at is I’m getting a lot better. I’m hoping to get out there soon.” Trying his best to make the team and continue his career, you can understand Jaramillo’s hope that he could play through the injury.
- Aramis Ramirez defends Carlos Zambrano by, well, criticizing him. “He did a lot of wrong things. He did a lot of things that you’re not supposed to do. He disrespected his teammates a lot – he knows that – by leaving the field or packing his stuff and going home. You don’t do that. But at the same time, he’s human. He made a lot of mistakes; he’d be the first one to tell you.’’