Yesterday was a rough day. From the frivolous disappointment of the Cubs losing out on Anibal Sanchez to the infinitely more serious heartbreak in Connecticut – and the way the latter recast our feelings about the former – it was just an ugly day. But I’m sure we all loved our loved ones just a little bit more. So at least there’s that.
Now we move on, back to the frivolous. I’ll have more on the Sanchez signing, and the Cubs’ pitching plans now that he’s off the board later today.
- Some 40-man roster news: Gordon Wittenmyer reports that Korean reliever Chang-Yong Lim, assuming his deal becomes official, will not be added to the 40-man roster immediately. As I’d suspected, it sounds like that’s something that can be negotiated, and Lim agreed that he would not have to be added until he was healthy enough to pitch for the Cubs (recall, he’s coming off a second Tommy John surgery in July). With the 40-man spot opened up by the Jeff Beliveau DFA, the Cubs have officially added Ian Stewart back to the 40-man (which stands at 40). We’re still waiting on the Nate Schierholtz signing to become official, which I’ll continue to assume is just a matter of the Cubs’ roster issues – not a problem with the signing or with his physical. But, hey, that’s always possible.
- It looks like the Phillies are on the verge of landing reliever Mike Adams, in whom the Cubs had interest. It would be the second veteran late-inning reliever the Cubs have whiffed on in the last few weeks (Jason Grilli being the first), which is something of a double bummer – it further reduces the potential market for Carlos Marmol in trade (though the Phillies haven’t really been rumored as a possible Marmol connection, so, Adams going there could have the opposite effect), and it reduces the Cubs’ ability to shop him by virtue of having a fully-stocked bullpen. Quality late-inning options are flying off the board, and the Cubs may now have to look at an expensive younger option like J.P. Howell (a lefty), or reclamation closer types like Jose Valverde or … gulp … Brian Wilson. Adams’ deal with the Phillies, per Tim Brown of Yahoo, is expected to be for two years and a vesting option. (UPDATE: Reports say Adams is getting $6 million per year in that deal, which means the Phillies must be certain his surgery was a success. Pretty steep commitment.)
- Speaking of on-the-verge-of deals, the Blue Jays appear to be on the verge of landing R.A. Dickey from the Mets for a package of prospects, which might include top catching prospect Travis D’Arnaud. I’m still thinking about the implications, as they’re sometimes difficult to know in advance (for example: the Tigers tried to acquire James Shields, and, had they landed him rather than the Royals, the Cubs probably would have just signed Anibal Sanchez – but we certainly weren’t thinking of that back when the Shields deal went down). The obvious ones are: the higher price the Blue Jays pay, the better; maybe the move makes the other teams in the AL East more desperate to add an arm or a bat (which could help the Cubs in trade, but hurt them in free agency); it would definitely take the Blue Jays out of the Carlos Villanueva market.
- Matt Garza once again tweeted that his throwing session – his third this week – went swimmingly. It occurs to me that Garza is developing a patter of first tweeting that he’s about to go throw, and then subsequently tweeting that it went well. One of these days, he’s going to tweet that he is headed out to throw, and then fail to tweet a follow-up that it went well … and we’re all going to panic.
- Kerry Wood and his wife Sarah participated yesterday in a program that presented local kids at Nash Elementary School with coats, gloves, and, of course, toys. It made everyone’s day, and the timing probably couldn’t have been more perfect.
- Some Winter League performance updates from Vine Line. Obviously the likelihood of becoming a productive big leaguer for the first time at age 28 is very low, but I’m intrigued by Yoanner (sometimes Yoannis) Negrin’s performance last year in Mexico, and this year in Venezuela. He’s been dominant in results, if not necessarily peripherals. He was a Cuban defector last year, so this upcoming season might be his first real shot to show what he can do in pro ball (AAA?). Again: not saying there’s much there, but it’s interesting. Could wind up being one of those guys who seems like he comes out of nowhere.