This morning, Jon Heyman – who first broke the Cubs’ agreement with Carlos Villanueva – says the Cubs have signed the free agent pitcher for two years and $10 million. We’ll see if the signing is confirmed by some folks closer to the Cubs, but, if true, it’s pretty much exactly what I guessed he would get.

Villanueva’s role with the Cubs remains pending other moves this offseason, but he can pitch out of the pen or in the rotation, and is a solid add for the Cubs, regardless of any other moves.

Two years and $10 million is a pretty fair price, given Villanueva’s recent success as a starter (in 2012, he was great as a starter), and his versatility. Perhaps the Cubs gave him a little extra scratch to convince him to sign without any assurances that he’d be a starter.

The Cubs are still working on a deal for Edwin Jackson, according to reports.

UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal just said on MLBN that the Cubs have indeed reached an agreement with Villanueva. So there’s another confirmation.

UPDATE the Second: The Tribune and Carrie Muskat have also confirmed the two-year signing (but not the amount), so you can safely consider Villanueva in the fold. The Cubs obviously have not confirmed, and won’t until the signing is officially announced (which means roster space is available).

  • CubFan Paul

    so Carl was right?

    • Brett

      No, not if it’s 2/$10M.

      • CubFan Paul

        “Cubs have an agreement in place with Carlos Villanueva for 2 year/$8.5MM deal with mutual option for a 3rd year at $6.5MM/$1MM buy-out”

        i took that as 2 years and $9.5M total.

    • Chris

      2/9.5 is pretty close. Maybe Heyman rounded.

      • Brett

        Rounded, and forgot the option. Sure.

        Why would you guys want a guy with an obviously fake Twitter account to be right?

        • Chris

          Anibal’s 6th year option was miraculously forgotten until the Tigers announced it too.

        • CubFan Paul

          i don’t want him to be right because of his fakeness, but if he is right on stuff, the hot stove will be better/hotter this winter

        • Brian Peters

          You crack me up, Brett! LOL

  • KidCubbie

    Solid move. I like it.

    • Internet Random

      Definitely preferable to loose stool.

      (Two potty comments in less than 24 hours… I’m en fuego!)

      • En Fuego

        ^ This

  • ETS


    • Brett

      Nah. This is more like, “OK, cool.”

  • abe


    Is this a flip candidate like Paul M. was last year? Or is he a keeper?

    • Brett

      They’re all flip candidates. :)

      But seriously, he’s more in the Maholm vein than a long-term piece. Then again, they can’t (and won’t) flip them all. Some will stick around.

      • cjdubbya

        Flip ALL the pitchers?

        • bbmoney

          All the pitchers.

  • Cub2014

    This will help, now get Jackson we will have a solid pitching staff.
    We could have many flippable (I think I made that word up) assets.
    Baker Feldman Villanueva Jackson garza?

    • Spriggs

      The flippability of an asset is a good thing. The flippiousity of the Cubs roster could prove to be advantageous.

      • cjdubbya

        You guys shouldn’t be so flippant about the pitching staff

  • North Side Irish

    I like it…more depth means less Rusin and Raley. Plus it allows them to go slow with Vizcaino and leave Cabrera at AAA. Even if there’s a trade or injury, they’ve got enough depth that they won’t need to rush any of the youngsters.

  • Bacon Nation

    Let’s stock up on all the starting pitchers we can, I’m all for it. Where’s Mike Morgan and Jim Bullinger when u need them.

    • Earl Cunningham

      Hanging out with Shawn Boskie

  • EricR

    If we sign Jackson, do we shop shark?

    • Frank

      I think it’s more likely that we “shop” Garza, but if someone comes to us with an offer we can’t refuse for Shark, we’ll move him. However, it will have to be a doozy. Shark’s only 27 and under team control through 2015. He’s exactly what we want going forward, so it will likely take something not too far off from what the Rays got for Shields. I’d love to see it happen, but don’t expect it.

    • fortyonenorth

      Shark’s going to win the Cy Young this year. We’ll shop him this time next year.

    • Nate

      Nooooooooooooooooo. That’s like signing Stephen Drew and trading Starlin Castro.

  • Brunsmk

    Why do we want to trade someone who has the stuff to be a legitimate ace of a staff. Not saying Jeff is an ace but his power stuff is nasty if he can continue to improve his location he can be a number one. He started to get a look on the mound two years ago that he realized his stuff was better then the batter he was facing. I want nothing to do with trading him.

    • Kyle

      I’m not sure I want to trade him.

      But if we loaded up on underrated pitching, as it appears we have, and some team wanted to knock us over with a package of young Rizzo-type position players, I’d be intrigued by the idea.

      • Frank

        Yes, but it could also be interesting to wait until July, when teams are more willing to overpay for mid rotation starters and inning eaters. Even if we did contend, and had Garza, Shark, Jackson, Villanueva, Feldman, and Baker, as well as whatever we have going on in terms of depth, we could shop 1 or 2 of them.

  • arta


  • Frank

    In minor news, we also signed Cory Wade to a minor league deal with an invite. Wade was really good in 2008 and 2011, and really bad in 2009 and 2012. He’s always had nice BB/K rates. He and Lewis are both nice reclamations for the pen, certainly more than the garbage we dug up all last season.

    • Brett

      Been holding write up on that move until the major stuff is resolved.

  • Spoda17

    I like all of the moves for many reasons. I agree Brett, not sure I care if we lose 100 or 92 games next year, but the reality is that we already will field a more competitive team than 2012, and I also agree that we can’t/won’t flip all of them.

    I like the approach. Good move FO Jedi(s).

    • Frank

      We won’t lose 100 games. We lost 100 games last year because we were basically a AAA team after July.

  • Kyle

    Running KyleProjection total that nobody really cares about:

    77-85 as is.

    If the reports are true that we’re essentially done with Jackson and finalizing the details, 79-83.

    The “problem” is starting to be that we really do have “too much” pitching to efficiently fill out a roster. All this depth makes things a little more secure, which is nice, but it doesn’t push the upside too far.

  • baseballet

    More sizzle for the griddle. Flip!

  • Dustin

    GREAT!! Cubs sign a pitcher or two a day before the world ends! Might as well just sign everyone today,screw it. lol jp

  • Believe in 2015

    If the Cubs can get Jackson today, I think Garza might be traded before the season starts.

  • Dale’s Ear

    Hey anyone know how many games the Cubs lost last year because of the bullpen? Just curious because it seems like Thed and Jeo have added some really solid arms for the pen this year and they still seem to be looking. I wouldn’t be too shocked if this new bullpen gave the cubs an extra 4 or 5 wins next season… Ugh ‘next season’ I feel like such a Cub fan…

    • Kyle

      Using my favorite bullpen stat, net Win Percentage Added, the Cubs’ pen was about 8.5 games worse than average last season.

      • Dale’s Ear

        nice i could definitely see a lot of improvement from last season then.. thanks for the stat kyle

  • Carl Butts

    Hate to say it — but — TOLD YA!

    • Brett

      Amazingly, there are two false things in that very short sentence.

    • MichiganGoat

      I’m waiting for your brother Seymor to confirm. 😉

      • Spencer

        nice, MG. lol

  • Voice of reason

    This is the perfect sign for a rebuilding team. Give him 30 starts and see what he’s got. If he doesn’t have it then you’re not out much. Love that it’s a two year deal and only 10mil.

    Now lets hope they steer clear of mediocre Edwin Jackson. Don’t need to tie up 4 years and 60 or 70 million when we aren’t going anywhere. Let the kids pitch and the bakers and Villanuevas start to see if they can make it. If not you’re not out much but If they do, then you sign them long term and for much less than jackson.

    There will be starters available when we are ready to compete in three years. Until then build the system and let the kids play. Don’t hold a spot for someone like Jackson when we could plug a kid into that spot.

    • Edwin

      Carlos Villanueva is only a couple months younger than Jackson. He’s been a terrible starter, and an okay reliver. Other than costing less than Jackson, he’s worse in every single way.

      • Chris

        Yep, I put Villanueva in the category of Baker and Feldman. Take a flyer on guys that might have stuff to work with, and hope for the best. With Jackson, I really think he needs to find the right situation for the stuff he has. If anybody could harness his raw ability, I think he could be a really good starting pitcher. Maybe the stability of a multi-year contract and a consistent pitching coach will do the trick.

  • nick cafardo

    The cubs will use a 9 man rotation this yr. Their goal is to limit sp’s to 90 innings.

    • Chris

      Isn’t that what the Rockies do?

      • nick cafardo

        The theo compensation may be getting close to an end. The cubs will be sending their 13 sp’s over while paying 99.9% of their contracts.

  • ibcnu2222 (John)
  • Matt

    These are smart moves. You are building depth with solid pitching. Since there is basically no young offensive talent worthwhile on the FA market you are able to build depth with the pitching and then utilize that strength to trade for young positional talent. Its pretty smart as teams are always looking for pitching. Also, not everyone will start so this also strengthens the bullpen. If you can build a solid starting 5 as well as have a solid bullpen you are going to win more games. It makes the rebuild process alot easier and quicker as instead of having to score 7 runs a night to win you may only need to score 3-4 because you have a solid bullpen to take it over in the 7,8,9. I really like what they are doing here. Sign solid pitching (becasue it is available and only cost $$$) and build depth as well as utilize it to obtain young positional talent through trade (because this is not available through FA). ME Like!!

  • ibcnu2222 (John)

    Starter 5 7 4.50 16 16 0 92.0 46 18 25 86 1 1.217 8.4 3.44
    Reliever 2 0 3.24 22 0 9 33.1 12 5 21 36 0 1.410 9.7 1.71

  • Edwin Jackson

    I just used the Cubs for leverage,I’ll be signing with Cleveland for 4yrs/60mm lol

    • Randy


  • another JP

    Have to say I’m not a fan of this acquisition (the first one I can think of in the Theo era btw). Unless Bosio can get some better work out of him I believe the Cubs overpaid for a guy who has Travis Wood level talent. Heck, Germano had the same WAR as Villy last year. So unless there are other moves on the way I don’t see where this significantly changes anything with our staff.

  • Dumpgobbler

    Yo Brett help me out with something. I’ve been thinking about the SP situation. IF Jackson / Villanueva go through, that now makes 4 guys we signed that you would have to assume would all be in the rotation; those four being Baker, Feldman, Jackson, and Villanueva. We have 3 guys for one SP spot. Shark, Garza and Wood. I guess you could put wood in the BP. That still leaves Shark and Garza for 1 spot. My question I guess is Baker / Garza still hurt, or do you see a deal comming?

    • Brett

      If/when the signings are both essentially done, I’ll be doing a full write-up on those very issues.

      • Dumpgobbler

        I guess I could see a Garz for Olt / Leoyns Martin OR Shark for Headley. Maybe I’m numb..

      • MichiganGoat

        Plus a series of roster moves- say good bye to Campana (although he might clear waviers)

        • BJS

          Where is the best place to get an up to the minute look at the 40 man? Is it on BN anywhere?

    • BT

      I’m not Brett, but I’m fairly certain the plan is to trade Garza as soon as he proves himself healthy.

      • Brett

        As soon as … or “if.” I think the Cubs may be hedging against that “if.”

        • baseballet

          Do you have to write about that? Can’t we just pretend Garza’s healthy until after the holidays?

          • Brett

            I won’t do it until the Edwin Jackson issue is resolved, so maybe we can all hope he decides to wait a week.

    • JoeyCollins

      I see Villinueva in the pen as soon as Baker and Garza prove healthy. Wood will be the second back up if neither can start opening week.

      • Dumpgobbler

        I would say I agree very much, but I’m pretty sure they signed him to be a full time starter.

        • JoeyCollins

          yeah it’ll be interesting once the official announcement comes. Wonder if they come out and say they promised him a chance to start, if they say he’s a swing guy, or they might not commit to either at the start.

    • kranzman54

      Think about last year (Demp, Garza, Shark, Volstad, Maholm). We signed two of those guys and traded for Wood only to let him pitch in AAA plus we had Wells who was still trying to get trade value up along with Coleman. This FO has said we can’t have too many SP and they mean it, my guess is Baker takes a little more time to get back and if/when he returns Villanueva gets moved to the pen (assuming no one else is hurt (yeah right) or struggling).

  • Frank

    Assuming we sign both, and nobody’s traded immediately, what are the corresponging 40 man moves? We’re running out of guys that we could slip through and wouldn’t miss.

    Clevenger’s the obvious choice. Surely we can find another emergency catcher if/when the time comes. If nothing else, I’m pretty sure they keep Koyie Hill in a box somewhere with a glass top reading “Break in Case of Emergency.” Assuming that we intend on keeping at leats 6 of the starters, at least 1 of Raley and Rusin become very expendable. Then of course there’s Campana. They seem a bit attached to him, but if he can’t get on base on a regualr basis, he’s nothing more than a set of extra legs for September. Besides, we have Jackson at AAA if we need an emergency CF.

  • kranzman54

    Okay I know I am a hopeless optimist, but if we do get Jackson and Villanueva I think we are a lock for thrid best rotation (being that Brewers don’t have Greinke or Marcum) plus an improved bullpen (think about all the blown saves we had last year plus all the close games that got away from us in the latter innings). Dare I say this team could win 75 next year? Am I crazy for thinking that is possible?

    • kranzman54

      Sorry 3rd best in the NL Cent

  • Kyle

    Assuming all this Jackson stuff is true, it’s a good offseason in my book. A solid B, with a good view of a B+ if they fill in the minor holes that remain. They’d need to get pretty creative to get an A.

    • MichiganGoat

      OMG is this praise for the FO from Kyle? The world is really coming to an end.

      • kranzman54

        I do think that is the closest we will get to a compliment, what if they get Soriano dealt though Kyle, is that going to lower the grade?

        • Kyle

          Depends on what they get and what they have in mind to replace him in LF.

      • Kyle

        I’ve been clear all along what I wanted, and they’re doing it if these reports of “close” deals go through. I’m a fair man :)

        Kaplan reported that the FO is thinking exactly what I’ve been arguing (great minds and all): that if they plan to make a push in 2014, they have to put down some MLB groundwork like Jackson in 2013.

        If we’re really confident in Garza, how about Samardzija+ for Headley? Honestly, that’d start to put as as a borderline WC team.

        • kranzman54

          SD doesn’t have much to root for…basically Chase. I feel like we would have to give up a ton of prospects, but hey that’s what there for I guess.

          • Hawkeyegrad

            The Padres think they are close (Byrnes words…not mine) and I do not see them giving up their best player (Chase). I think they would prefer to use “prospects” who are blocked/injury risk but close to MLB ready like Jedd Gyorko, Kyle Blanks, James Darnell, Casey Kelly and maybe throw in Rymer Liriano and/or Keyvius Sampson as currency at this point instead of trading their best player.

            • Hawkeyegrad

              I reread this. To be clear…I was talking about players from that list, not all of them.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              Supposedly a lot of teams are interested in Headley: his name certainly was a lot of buzz last winter and (especially) July. The fact that he’s still on the Padres suggests that they are serious about wanting to build around him.

        • MichiganGoat

          I will give you credit Kyle at least you’re willing to admit when the FO is making good moves, but why all the lack of patience and trust in the FO to do exactly what they said. Build a consistent winner. Instead you took every opportunity to lash out the FO before they even had a full year to operate, I hope this proves to you that the plan exactly what they told us.

          • Kyle

            Because what they are doing now, they should have been doing last year. I said it was a good offseason. I didn’t say last season was retroactively turned into a good one :)

        • Sweet Swinging 26

          I could see Jedd Gyorko and Casey Kelly for Shark making sense, but not sure I’d want to trade a 27 yr. old still under cost control.

          • hansman1982

            I doubt SD would do that, Shark is about to get expensive and could do so in a hurry.

            • MichiganGoat

              It would take a couple of our top prospects to get Headley, the Padres are rebuilding and do not have the budget to trade one future expense for another.

      • DarthHater

        They killed Kyle! You bastards!!

        • MichiganGoat

          Perfectly played Darth

  • LWeb23