Cubs Outright Cardenas, Berken, Socolovich, and Mateo (Plus Recker Claimed by Mets)

Today the Cubs started the very necessary process of paring down the 40-man roster, which, until now, was full. That would be a problem for a team like the Cubs going into the Winter when they obviously need to add several pieces, and need to have some room to play with for the Rule 5 Draft (both in terms of keeping eligible players, and selecting a player if they’d like).

Infielder Adrian Cardenas, starter Jason Berken, and relievers Miguel Socolovich and Marcos Mateo were all de-rostered today, and outrighted to AAA Iowa. That puts the 40-man roster, for now, at 37 (Mateo was on the 60-day DL, so his move doesn’t open up a spot). I won’t pretend to fully understand when players receive the right to refuse an outright assignment (though I do know that one way you get that right is if you’ve been outrighted once before), but I think it’s fair to assume that these four guys passed through waivers, and will not have the option to reject the assignment. Those who do have that right will become free agents if they elect to exercise it.

Cardenas never really got a shot to show what he could do at the big league level (though there’s usually a reason for that), although he raked at Iowa. It would be nice to have him around in 2013 at AAA. He just turned 25 two weeks ago.

Berken and Socolovich were Orioles cast-offs (my how those tables have turned), and neither was particularly impressive in their time with the Cubs. Socolovich has the look of a possibly useful reliever in the future, but Berken didn’t do much of anything with his extended look in the rotation. If they aren’t at AAA for the Cubs next year, they’ll likely be at AAA somewhere else.

Mateo has been on the DL essentially all year with an ongoing elbow problem from which he’s had trouble recovering.

Relatedly, the Cubs lost Anthony Recker today, as the Mets claimed him off of waivers. You’ll recall that the Cubs waived Recker yesterday to make room for newly-added reliever Carlos Guiterrez from the Twins. So much for Recker serving as the back-up-back-up catcher next year.

The Cubs will undoubtedly be making additional roster decisions in the next couple of weeks.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

96 responses to “Cubs Outright Cardenas, Berken, Socolovich, and Mateo (Plus Recker Claimed by Mets)”

  1. TWC

    ::counts the fingers::

    Yeah, that’s Mateo, not Antonio Alfonseca.

  2. #1lahairfan

    Too bad abut Socolowhich , I liked him.

    1. nkniacc13

      Yeah I think he ends up being a NRI to ST

  3. Luke

    Now it is time for me to seriously dig into the Rule 5 mess. Sounds like I have my weekend’s project.

    Hopefully Mateo can get healthy one of these days. I still think he has a shot to be a quality reliever one of these days.

    1. Bric

      I agree. Despite having only 10 fingers he looks like a young Antonio Alfanseca. He, Dolis, and Caridad are going to make a dominant bullpen one of these days – for the Hamfighters or Dragons.

    2. tim

      AZ Phil is the man there

  4. Frank

    I like Cardenas enough, but he may fall victim to Todd Walker syndrome. Decent enough bat, but not good enough to make it worth keeping him around as a utility man who can’t field. From everything I’ve heard, he’s absolutely brutal at every defensive position he’s played.

    Another thing about guys like Cardenas, who have been everyday starters at every level, and then come to the big leagues and are given a very limited role, it’s often very difficult to find their groove, assuming that it’s there.

    1. cubchymyst

      I’ve always wonder why Cardenas has not been given a shot by a team. He hit well enough in Iowa to think he can hit major league pitching. I wonder how bad his defense is at 3rd base, with the limited options this off season he might be worth a shot.

  5. Fastball

    Glad to see these changes. Did they forget Mather … Hope he doesn’t have the Koyie Hill management photo album. Still need to keep backing that roster. Quite a few duds left. 6 – 9 more need to go

    1. King Jeff

      I think he’ll come off the roster when they start re-signing free agents. Hopefully along with Volstad and a few others.

  6. Fastball

    Cardenas has stone hands. He doesn’t hit enough to make up for his defense.

    1. cubchymyst

      Well that answers my question about him at 3rd.

  7. FFP

    I had Cardenas age way wrong in the 40-man thread in the bleachers. I gotta be more careful. Sorry, guys.

  8. Carne Harris

    Love to see Cardenas get an extended shot next year. Don’t know how that’s going to happen though because I think he got on Sveum’s shit list because of his defense and will have a hard time getting off it even if he improves. They don’t seem to be considering him for 3b, and even if we deal Barney, I see Sveum preferring Valbuena at 2b.

    1. Melrosepad

      For Cardenas to get a shot he probably needs to contact our new third base coach and start getting better at third. If I was him, might also contact McKay and see about learning a bit more outfield too. That way he could try and replace Mather.

      1. Carne Harris

        I’m guessing Sappelt’s going to replace Mather regardless.

  9. Troy

    Slightly off topic, but I see where the Bluejays are trying to get rid of Yunel Escobar. What are the chances he ends up with the Cubs at 3rd base?

    1. Richard Nose

      If the Cubs are interested in acquiring players who are not douche bags, they won’t look at him. He was a lazy ass hole in Atlanta and was a lazy ass hole in Toronto. I wouldn’t be happy.

      1. terencemann

        hahah good luck trying to convince Escobar to play third.

  10. nkniacc13

    if cubs are looking at ? character Id rather have m cabrera in the of than escobar

  11. Oliver dehart

    Continue the purge.
    Lots to go !!!!!!

  12. Frank

    Looking over the 40 man roster, there’s still Camp, Corpas, Germano, and Mather that should be off the roster with no question. Coleman and L. Castillo are also guys that could be removed, and if someone claims them, I’m fine with it. Volstad could very well be non tendered as well. There’s also LaHair. He could be traded or shipped to japan. This being said, he could still be of use in the sense that Russell Branyan is, if he can put togwther an .800ish OPS as a lefty off the bench.

  13. Mick

    Is it a bit suspicious that the Cubs, DBacks, and Padres all outrighted players at the same time? Could these be our biggest allies and a strategy to flood the market with available players hoping most or all fall through the cracks? It makes me wonder if a trade is in the works this offseason between us and the DBacks because there was that rumor at the dealine involving Garza, Corbin, and possibly Justin Upton. I’m going with where there’s smoke, there’s fire on this one. Mark me down for one Justin Upton this offseason.

  14. Me

    Out of the group on the 40 man roster the guys getting bounced more than others are Joe Mather, Ian Stewart, Manuel Corpas, Lendy Castillo, Chris Volstad, and Blake Parker.

    Some other guys could be LaHair and Germano.

    Other than that the rest look pretty solid in their spots.

    1. Chris

      My gut tells me they’ll keep Lendy Castillo around, given they did so all season. But everyone else you’ve named can be dropped off the 40-man. The more space the better.

      1. Me

        I just do not see what they see in Castillo. Waste of a spot to me

        I agree get rid of the guys we know and take gambles on others. The pitching market has a ton of good deals and under radar signing potential to not drop of a lot of guys.

        1. lukers63

          I don’t think they would have kept him all year with the Rule 5 if they didn’t plan on keeping him after the season. He’s still pretty young.

          1. Carew

            23 i think

        2. Chris

          I think Shawn Camp is another guy that won’t be on the 40-man going into next year. While he had some success early on last season, he was pretty brutal towards the end of the year. If there are better options to fill the spot, I’m good with them designating Castillo. I think what they see in him is fluid arm action with very little mileage. They like his stuff. If he can make the right adjustments, he could be a nice bullpen arm. But he’s certainly expendable if they have someobody better to protect. Realistically, I think they have 3 spots left on the 40-man going into the Rule 5 draft. That’s after protecting Villanueva and McNutt. I don’t really see anybody else that they should waste a spot to protect. But McNutt has some value, even if he was pretty bad most of this past season. And I don’t believe they acquired Villanueva for Dempster just to let him go. He’d be a reach pick for somebody, but I don’t trust teams like the Astros to leave him out there.

  15. Me

    Mick I saw that as well and remember the Dbacks are looking for infield help at SS and 3rd so Chase Headly or Everth Cabrera could head to Arizona, Garza heads to Padres, and Upton goes to Chicago. Of course with other prospects and peices going to various places as well. I think in this senerio the Cubs would not have to give up Baez.

    1. DocPeterWimsey

      This scenario also won’t happen. We’ll never get exact details (unless Headley implodes and some GM leaks what he offered as a sigh of relief), but the Pads almost certainly got offered some top notch prospects for Headley over the last 12 months. Many teams wanted him last winter (including the Cubs) and many teams wanted him at the trade deadline. The Pads maintained that they are building around him: and if they were lying, well, they’ve done a good job of disguising that!

      Garza will be of interest to a team that is a good starter from being where they want to be. The Padres are not that team: and they become even less like that team if they deal Headley.

      1. Mick

        The DBacks do have the pitching to make any deal possible, especially for Headley. The Padres have an amazing young, particulalry with top-prospect 3B Gyorko. Headley has 2 more years of team-control and is coming off of a career year so, the iron is hot right now. Here’s a potential 3-team deal:

        Padres get: Bauer, Jackson, Dolis
        DBacks get: Headley, Garza
        Cubs get: Upton

        1. Rizzo 44

          I would rather the Cubs get Headley. But I’m not sure thats possible. I still think the Cubs should do a three team deal to Get David Price and Evan Longoria. That would be a huge deal moving forward for the Cubs. The Rays need power. Jackson, Vitters, Baez, Wood, and Garza could be used to swing a deal with a thrid team.

          1. ruby2626

            While you’re at it why not trade Germano and Volstad for Verlander. I’m as big a Cub fan as anyone but it’s funny how some people over value our prospects.

            1. Rizzo 44

              I said in a three team deal. I’m not over valuing the Cubs prospects. I said it would take more to get Headley. Price and Longoria that wouldn’t be easy either. It would take the right team to get it done. Thats just a trade I would like. Price will be moved between this winter and the trade deadline. So if I were Theo I would try very hard to find a way to get him. Longoria would be icing on top to get him thats mor of just a dream.

              1. DocPeterWimsey

                Yes, Longoria is a total dream: he’s under a fairly team friendly contract for another couple of years (or more), and he supplies power (which, as you note, the Rays badly need) at a skill position. That is why he is untouchable: at any rate, the Cubs entire farm system couldn’t buy him. (The Rays would be far wiser to find a good hitting 1Bman and a good hitting DH to boost their power: there are a lot more of those than good 3Bmen.)

                Price is under the Rays control through 2015. The Rays are trying desperately (some might say futilely) to build a fan-base, and the only way to do that is to win. So, I expect that they’ll keep Price for another couple of years at least.

                1. Rizzo 44

                  Price will be gone to much money. He will be making close to 10-12M in 2013 Price or Shields will be gone that simple. They have pitching in the system we don’t.

                2. ihop

                  Im sure we could get longoria for baez and almora plus vitters. I hope you were kidding when u said our whole farm couldnt buy him. If you actually think that you should consider commiting yourself into reid mental hospital…

                  1. Chris

                    No way they could get Longoria for Baez, Almora, and Vitters. Maybe if you throw Soler in there Tampa picks up the phone. A good, young 3B is a high demand asset. Power and hitting ability at the hot corner with good defense is difficult to come by. Longoria is the best of the bunch, and there aren’t many out there to consider.

                  2. Kyle

                    Longoria is an elite player at a difficult to fill position signed to the most team-friendly contract in baseball, and he’s a popular fan favorite.

                    If you called them and offered them Baez, Almora and Vitters, the best case scenario is that they’d merely hang up on you immediately.

                    More likely, they’d take revenge for your wasting their time with such an utterly absurd offer, and the resulting escalating prank war would cripple both franchises.

                    1. Dr. Percival Cox

                      Oh. My. God.

                      I agree completely with Kyle again. He put this absolutely perfectly.

                      I’m going to the doctor.

                  3. Mick

                    You would surely be wrong then. Now if you offered Baez, Almora, Vizcaino, Jackson, and Vogelbach for Longoria then they might say yes.

                    1. Kyle

                      They still wouldn’t say yes.

                      This isn’t a video game where you can just keep piling on good mid-level prospects to reach the total value of the MLB player you want.

                      Longoria is an elite MLB asset. Short of a Harper-level prospect, there is no combination of prospects in any organization that equals his value to the Rays.

                    2. ihop

                      None of you are gms so your points are mute. The rays love top prospects. We’d be giving them 3 first rounders. Baez could take over at 3rd in a few yrs. Id throw In mcnutt if it came to that

                    3. TWC

                      Mute ≠ moot, ihop.

                    4. Rizzo 44

                      I think Longoria would be hard to get. I think Chase Headley has as much value though. Swith hitter plus he already knows the NL. Longoria would be great but Headley would be better in my opinon for the Cubs. He killed the ball at wrigley this summer.

                    5. Cubbie Blues

                      I don’t know, in this case mute might just work.

                    6. TWC

                      It would certainly be preferable.

                    7. Rizzo 44

                      I also think you guys forget what we got from the Rangers in the deal for Dempster. He could be a trade chip to the Rays.

                    8. Chris

                      ihop, The Rays have no intention of moving Longoria. Therefore, they have all the leverage. If a team tries to pry him away, it’s going to cost much more than 1 top 25 prospect and a bunch of mid-level nonsense. The Rays are going to want somebody that would be close to the majors and able to take over for Longoria very soon. That’s not Baez. Being that he’d be starting the year in High A, he’s not going to replace Longoria anytime soon. The problem the Cubs have in this scenario is that all of their best prospects are not close enough to the majors for the Rays to project as sure things. If Baez was in AA and hitting .350 with a bunch of homers, he might be valued higher, from a trade-perspective. But if the best prospect you’re offering is only in high A, and hasn’t performed well at that level yet, there’s just too much distance between him and ML success to value him in the same way that the Cubs may consider his value to be.

                  4. DocPeterWimsey

                    I hope you were kidding when u said our whole farm couldnt buy him.

                    It is called hyperbole. However, I agree entirely with Kyle: you would need prospects who are not just top 10 in all of baseball, but some who would be top 10 in a decade to get someone like Longoria. He is one of the (if not the) best established players per $$$ in contract in MLB. (Trout might be better, but that’s a whole different discussion!)

                    We can put away our Headley fantasies, too. The Pads held on to him when all of the rumors said that they were getting a lot of inquiries.

                    1. Rizzo 44

                      You all have so many answers its so funny. Dream killers.I sure am glad you two arent running the Cubs we would never even talk to other teams about trades.

                    2. DocPeterWimsey

                      Let’s rephrase it. In the last couple of decades, of how many examples can you think where guys like Longoria have been traded for prospects? That’s rhetorical, by the way. And that’s why we are so skeptical of this being a viable deal.

  16. Rizzo 44

    My view of the Cubs in 2013
    Cubs needs: CF, RF, 3B, SP, BP, Closer
    Cubs players to trade: Garza, Volstad, Wood, DeJesus, Marmol, LaHair, Soriano, and Stewart.
    Cubs should Target: Headley, Upton, Price, maybe Longoria in Trades not in that order and wont be able to get all of them maybe only one.
    Cubs should try and sign some of these players: BJ Upton, Angel Pagan, Reed Johnson (again), Scott Feldman, Anibal Sanchez, Carlos Villanueva, Jake Peavy, Francisco Liriano, Ervin Santana, Brandon McCarthy, Ryan Madson, Matt Lindstrom, Rafael Soriano, Sean Burnett, J.P. Howell.

  17. Kyle

    “Id throw In mcnutt if it came to that”

    Oh man, you’d throw in McNutt?

    The addition of a failed, non top-30 pitching prospect changes everything…

    1. Richard Nose

      I like throwing names around just to dream. Then you guys start insulting eachother and it makes me want to drink a bottle of Templeton, whole bottle, starting right now, over the next 12 minutes.

      1. TWC

        Drinking games! I’ll race you! Ready, set….

    2. Rizzo 44

      Kyle why you so rude? If you don’t like what they say don’t comment it’s really not that hard. No one on this chat is a GM just fans. Hoping the Cubs get better. So negative.

      1. Kyle

        Why so rude?

        Because the post was directed at a person who began the conversation with:

        ” If you actually think that you should consider commiting yourself into reid mental hospital…”

        My long-standing policy is to respond with the level of politeness or rudeness the other person brings into the conversation.

        1. DocPeterWimsey

          I’m touched that you were so offended on my behalf! Of course, the suggestion was that I’m touched in a different sense…..

        2. Rizzo 44

          Your comments are always rude. You must not be a happy person.

          1. DocPeterWimsey

            You must not be a happy person.

            Um, this is a Cubs site…..

            1. Rizzo 44

              Thats correct DA. But still no need to be rude to peoples ideas. Running a business you want to hear from your workers/customers. On this site the fans are just that. Some ideas aren’t great but don’t talk down to those people. Thats just stupid and rude.

              1. Kyle

                No one here is either my employee nor my customer, so I’m not sure where you are going with that.

                Again, it’s odd to me that you are singling out me for being rude, when the person I was responding to was simultaneously rude to anyone who disagreed with him *and* people with mental disabilities.

                It’s a simple conversion.

                If you politely post something I disagree with, you’ll get a polite disagreement.

                If you post something I disagree with rudely, you’ll get a rude disagreement.

                Some people like to be polite. Some people like to throw a little edge into their posting. I try to accommodate both.

                1. Rizzo 44

                  Ok Kyle. I singled you out, because you seem to be rude in most of your post. I guess thats because the person posting before you was rude. An eye for an eye. I see. You do what you want I just feel like talks about trades are just talks and some are good and some aren’t. People should be able to state their opinion without thinking some Ahole is going to have something rude to say.

                  1. Kyle

                    Yes, an eye for an eye. You’re doing it too. You’ve been rude to me several times in the course of this conversation, and you believe it to be justified because I was being rude. See how it works?

                    If people want to be able to state their opinions without an ahole being rude to them, they simply have to state their opinions politely.

                    As I said, some people *like* mixing it up a bit. You don’t have to come in as a white knight on their behalf.

                    1. Rizzo 44

                      Haha sure sure. People today I tell you what.

                    2. Cubbie Blues

                      I do have to say, even though I don’t agree with some of the ideas and thoughts Kyle has, he has had plenty of back and forths which have been very polite and respectable.

                    3. Rizzo 44

                      My bad Kyle I guess your correct and I’m wrong. I’m not trying to be rude. You make it apoint to be rude if the post is rude in your mind, but its fine I have no conrtol over it just feels like Cubs fans shouldn’t be fighting with each other. Some people have comments that my be way out there but I just feel like people on this site talk down to people when in reality not one person in this chat makes a decison on the Cubs team. Just all thoughts.

          2. Kyle

            That wasn’t a nice thing to say.

  18. Rizzo 44

    Most of us want to see the Cubs get better make the changes in the holes we all see they have. Yes it takes time and no they may not be able to do it all in two offseason. But your ideas aren’t any differnet than anyone else on here.

    1. Chris

      While maybe Kyle throws in more sarcasm than necessary sometimes, he’s not wrong here. We all want the Cubs to get better. But let’s be realistic about trades like this. If there was a reason the Rays would want to move Longoria, 25 other teams would be knocking on the door to try and acquire him. Anything the Cubs have to offer, in terms of quality, is so far away from the ML level that it would be difficult to find a trade that would be acceptable for the Rays. They had a winning season. They aren’t gutting their roster for prospects. And Longoria’s contract is not too expensive for them. This isn’t Jim Hendry stealing Aramis Ramirez from the cash strapped Pirates. Or Derrek Lee from the cash strapped Marlins. Real prospects, close to ML ready, would be desired. The Cubs don’t really have that right now. Hence the rebuild they are trying to implement. Flash forward 2 seasons… Baez, Almora, Soler, and other prospects are continuing to produce at higher levels. Maybe there is a workable deal. As a Cubs fan, I agree, having Longoria would be awesome. But I’m realistic enough to understand that if the prospects are not there to acquire him, and the Rays have no desire to move him, no deal is going to get done.

      1. Rizzo 44

        I agree with you somewhat Chris on Longoria. Thats why you do a three team trade. Get Garza in on the deal. We have enough chips to get Upton, Headley, Price, or someone like Longoria just not all of them. I think if the Cubs got any of those they would be better.

        1. Rizzo 44

          Longoria wont be moved I agreeI just like the idea. Price I still feel will be moved.

          1. bbmoney

            I doubt Price gets moved anytime soon, I think he made 4M this year and is now arb eligible for the 1st time (kind of similar to what Shark has been going through where he signed a bigger deal out of college…I think). Shields who you mentioned earlier might though.

            I’m not sure I really want to trade for Shields. I’d rather just extend Garza.

            1. Rizzo 44

              I don’t want Shields or Garza. and Price will be paid a ton this year if he wins the CY Young vote. I think 10 to 12M. Its only gonna go up from there.

              1. bbmoney

                First time arb, he’ll certainly receive a hefty raise, there’s no doubt.

                But it’ll still be well below market, and if the Rays can move Shields (i’m guessing they’ll find someone) the $9M off the books will be plenty to cover it. He’s not going anywhere…this year. After, 2013 could become more of a discussion.

                1. bbmoney

                  And i’m no arb expert, but I don’t think too many players ever have earned 10+M on their first time arb hearing.

                  1. Rizzo 44

                    They have already shown on MLB trade rumors say he should break a record for just that. I could be wrong but thats what I read.

                  2. bbmoney

                    I could be looking at it wrong, but Ryan Howard might have. 2008 he made $10M. He did have an MVP and another top 5 MVP before that though. Lincecum was at $9 with 2 Cy Youngs in 2010. But that’s 2 Cy Youngs.

                    Granted inflation is a ……well you get my point.

                    1. bbmoney

                      Either way, I’d be surprised if they move price. Price for $12M > Shields for $9M. But it’s all semantics.

                    2. Rizzo 44

                      I agree with most of that. Price can net more than Shields thats why his name is being talked about I guess.

                  3. Mick

                    MLBTradeRumors has Price’s estimated arb at $9.5M and Shields will make $9M in 2013 and $12M in 2014. Longoria will make $6.5M in 2013, $7.5M in 2014, $11M in 2015, and $11.5M in 2016. It’s a pipe dream to think the Cubs could pull anything off here so it’s best to just move on. What about the trade I posted earlier?

                    Padres get: Bauer, Jackson, Dolis
                    DBacks get: Headley, Garza
                    Cubs get: Upton

                    1. Jeremy

                      It’s an interesting idea that I like but I feel like we would need to get a young pitcher back too. Corbin would be ideal and I think that would work. I’m really hesitant to give up Garza with out getting a good young pitcher as well, even with Upton coming to the Cubs. Our lack of impact pitching in the upper levels of the minors makes getting young pitching back in a Garza trade pretty important IMO. I do like this trade premise though.

                    2. Jeremy

                      Going off your framework Mick I think a couple other parts would need to be added to make it work, maybe something like:

                      Padres: Bauer, Jackson, McNutt and Dolis
                      D-Backs: Headley, Garza and Lake
                      Cubs: Upton and Corbin

                    3. Jeremy

                      I meant to put + after the Padres and D-Backs part cause it would probably take more.

                      The edit feature doesn’t seem to be working for me.