Today, the Chicago Cubs officially (officially) signed outfielder Nate Schierholtz to a one-year, $2.25 million contract. We’ll soon find out what the Cubs’ stated plans for his role are, and I’ll be listening greedily. Starter in right field? Part of a platoon in right field? Fourth outfielder? We’ll see.

The Cubs also announced that one of last year’s Cuban prospect signings, Gerardo Concepcion, had been waived, cleared waivers, and assigned to Kane County. The 20-year-old lefty had a rough debut season in the Cubs’ system after signing a $6 million big-league deal with the Cubs last January – and that deal, together with the required 40-man spot for a team to claim him, is the reason he made it through waivers unscathed. His adjustment to pro ball in the States didn’t go so well, and then he came down with a case of mono. He is now off the 40-man roster, but still in the Cubs’ system, and hopefully rebounds in 2013.

Further, lefty reliever Jeff Beliveau, who was DFA’d last week, was claimed off waivers by the Rangers. Righty reliever Sandy Rosario, whom the Cubs grabbed off of waivers from the Red Sox (after a Winter of travels), was waived and claimed by the Giants. So his many stops continue.

All told, the Cubs’ 40-man roster stands at 39, with Edwin Jackson and Carlos Villanueva waiting to officially sign. The Cubs will have to remove one more player from the 40-man before that happens, and probably a couple move, given their desire for another outfielder and another infielder. That could be accomplished a number of ways, so we’ll see what comes down the pipe.

  • Noah

    Well, I guess that’s the one positive of Gerardo Concepcion being so incredibly awful last season… we could waive him without risking him being claimed.

  • Brian cubs fan

    wonder if rasario will make it around all 30 teams before opening day at is waiver claim rate

  • Demarrer

    I have a feeling a trade is in the works. Something regarding Marmol or Soriano (Tampa)? If not, then Campana better get the axe.

    • Grant

      I think you’re right about a trade. Cubs need to make room on the 40-man, which means turning 2 (or 3) roster slots into 1.

  • MightyBear

    My guess is Schierholz starts in right. He passed up more money and more years to sign with Cubs. My guess is they promised him RF and 500 AB’s to show what he can do.

    • Voice of reason

      The cubs know what he can do… Pretty much nothing. They had to plug a hole as they have no minor league outfielders ready.

      Schierholz agreed to a deal just over 2 million dollars a year. That should be enough to tell you the kind of player he is. He has no power or speed and doesnt hit for average. He has a great glove though,, lmao

      He is a fifth outfielder on a contending team. For the cubs he will get 500 ab’s

  • Jptopdog

    I think Schierholz will get majority of RF starts for reasons above, but Sappelt will get his share also. Possibly even a straight platoon. I doubt they made promises on 500 AB’s though, no more promises than best man will play.

  • mark z

    Looks like cubs need RH 3B and RH RF with a little pop. What about Jeff Baker, he could do both, as well as spell Rizzo at 1B! Isn’t he a free agent? He could be flipped again to a contender if need be

    • Carew

      Baker BLOWS. No way in hell is he coming back

  • Jptopdog

    Baker only hits lefty’s, and is not a great defender anywhere. Valabena hits better vs. lefthanders, and is backup/or PT starter at 3B, and I believe Schierholz played 1B with the Giants. Sappelt will be a better/ more talented/ younger/ cheaper RH RF with a little pop, than Baker. Not much flipability (or whatever those fancy words were yesterday, being thrown around), but who on the 40 man roster would you be willing to give up to sign the likes of Baker. I can’t find or pick one!

  • cubsin

    What is Concepcion’s status going forward? Can the Cubs keep him on minor league contracts until he’s eligible for selection in the Rule 5 draft, or do they need to add him back to the 40-man roster or risk losing him next winter? I understand they’re still required to pay him in accordance with his original contract.

    • Blublud

      He’ll get his money, but the Cubs do not have to put him on the 40 man until they choose to. That includes when or if they want to protect him from the Rule 5. Cubs will control off the 40 man until that point.

  • G-Racin

    Cubs re-upped with Stubhub.

  • Jptopdog

    Believe he stays off, until rule 5 takes effect, no re-add to roster

  • Clark Addison

    Rusin and Raley. If anybody claims them, no loss.

  • Seamhead


    Hate to quibble, but isn’t the phrase, “come down the pike”?

    • DarthHater
      • Brett

        Eh. I’ll work to change that one. Pipe makes just as much idiomatic sense.

        • MaxM1908

          I often say “coming down the pipeline” or “waiting in the pipeline” or “next in the pipeline.” Not sure why I always prefer pipeline to just pipe, but I’m sure your and my idiomatic thinking is the same.

  • cubsin

    Tony Campana has been number one on my list of players to be waived ever since Coleman was sent back to Des Moines. The ability to steal a base isn’t worth much if you can’t hit, field or throw.

    • Blublud

      I pretty sure the FO does not agree. If Campana was going to be cut, he would have already been cut. The only way I see him being cut is if they sign Bourn. I think Campana is better the Shierholz or Sappelt as a starter, and emtremely more valuable in a utility role as he can be used in more spots then the others.

      • Demarrer

        Campana cannot do anything except run the bases. He is worth nothing to a rebuilding team.

        • Blublud

          And once again, the FO disagrees. Every time we need to make cuts, people scream Campana. Every time those cuts come and go, Campana remains on the roster. The FO clearly doesn’t share your opinion. Campana is a valuable player.

          • JBarnes

            We’ve been signing pitchers so we’ve been cutting pitchers. No reason to cut Campana until we have another OF in the bag. His speed may be unmatched in the majors but if you struggle to hit and get on base then what good is speed? Also I think people assume that because of his speed that he’s a really good defender which is false. He’s not awful but his skills dont translate to a reasonable bench player for this team. Like someone else said, he may be worth it for a team thats ready to contend but not a team rebuilding…Jackson would be the better option but he’s going to be required to get more AB’s in AAA first.

        • Kyle

          I generally dislike the “truth is in the middle’ arguments, but Campana is neither a horrific waste of space nor is he a secret starting gem in the rough.

          He’s a useful fifth outfielder.

          • Luke

            I’d buy marginally useful, but unless his defense or OBP improves, he’s pretty much a glorified pinch runner.

            • Kyle

              He’s not nearly as bad of a hitter as he gets blamed for being.

              A .600 OPS isn’t good. But a lot of teams will get worse out of their fifth OF spot.

              All the defensive metrics seem to like him as at least an adequate CFer, and they consider his baserunning to be worth 1 win per season (full season of PT, that is) by itself.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            I think that Campana could be useful on an AL team, where the DH means that they have far fewer games in which they use multiple pinch-hitters than NL teams have. One then could use Campana as a Herb Washington-style “designated” runner. That would limit the damage that he does to a team with his fielding and batting while taking advantage of the one thing he can do.

            It gets tougher to use Campana like this on an NL team as you are effectively burning through two roster spots many of the times that you use him: and as you will be especially prone to using him in close games, that can become an issue.

      • Drew7

        What exactly makes you believe Campana is better than those two?

        • Blublud

          Ok. Campana has a slightly higher BA then Shierholtz, though his OBP is .013 lower. That means Shierholtz gets on base 1.3 more times every 100 AB. Out those 100 AB, Shierholtz stels about 4 bases, whereas Campana steals close to 18 bases per 100 AB. Shierholtz gets caught stealing about 3 time every 100 while Campana gets caught about 1.6 every 100. You can say campana get 15.4 doubles more then Shierholtz every 100 AB. Campana defense is not that much worse then Shierholtz to make up the difference.

          Sappelt has the potential to be better but has to prove it.

          • Hansman1982

            If only there was a super-stat that told us how valuable a player was including stolen bases. Oh dear…

            Wait, that’s wOBA. Schierholtz career wOBA is .315 vs. Campana at .272. Schierholtz, alone, is better than Campana

            • Drew7

              If those numbers are from Fangraphs, they actually revised the wOBA formula to exclude SB/CS a few weeks ago.

              • Hansman1982

                What, damn them…damn them all to hell

                Does explains the difference I was getting the other day. Campana is around .300 with the sb then.

                • Blublud

                  Campana WAR last year was .9. Shierholtz was .8 in considerably more action.

                  Seppalt has a lower career BA and a .005 point highe OBP.

                  It’s not like Im comparing Campana to all world players here.

          • Voice of reason

            Potential to be better than campana? Oh brother….

            • Blublud

              Im not saying Campana is this great outfielder, all I’m saying is, looking at what we have, he not an option to waive. Sign bourn and Cody Ross, my opinion will certainly change.

              I racall telling you guys that I seen Volstad pitch much more then you guys had, considering I had just moved from Florida at the time, and I also lived where he play minor league ball, and that he would suck and wouldn’t even be tendered a contract after 2012. I was call stupid, crazy and absurd to name few. When everyone was saying trade Soriano, I said the FO would not because he was due a breakout. I was called some of the same names. I’m not looking at this as a “koolaid” drinker or a Theo “hater” or a Cubs fan. From an unbiased standpoint, compared to what is on the roster, Campana has to much value to cut. Add some depth and that all changes. I pretty sure we can sign all the pitchers, catchers, and IF we want, until we sign another OF, he will remain on the roster.

          • Drew7

            A single followed by a SB is not the same as a double.

            • bluekoolaidaholic

              How about a single followed by 3 stolen bases and a run scored????
              He has that ability. I am amazed that someone cannot teach him how to get on base more.

              • Njriv

                The question is not his ability to steal 2 bases, it’s his ability to get the single. The OF plays shallow as it is and he can barley hit the ball out of the infield. He can’t always bunt for a base hit, but he does put the pressure on the infielders to execute routine plays pretty much perfectly due to his speed, but is that enough for him to stay at the big league level?

                • Cub2014

                  Campana was a .300 hitter in minors .263 hitter in 2 quarter seasons in majors if he improves bunting maybe .275 hitter.
                  At current OBP (not good enough) he would steal 90 bases, pitchers hate those guys. Cubs don’t know what he can do yet, probably won’t be that good. But Jackson is starting season at AAA to work out kinks if he does he will be back up by July anyway. Why blow money on Bourne this year? When granderson will be available next year. I can dream.

  • notcubbiewubbie

    oh my god jeff baker the error maker????? cubbiewubbies out today;sorry to lose beliveau though showed a little.


    Short Story “The Last Pennant Before Armageddon” by W.P. Kinse
    Today is December 21- the World will not end according to this short story!

  • frank hutch

    Campana is brutal. I would take a guy off the street over him

  • Dustin S

    The problem with dumping Campana is that this team is so devoid of speed. Campana had the top SB (30) on the team in just a bit over 1/2 a season. Castro was the only other player with double-digit SB. So until Jackson or one of the other prospects with some speed pan out, I think that’s why the FO is hesitant to let him go.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      The more basic issue is whether this is an issue. Teams that get out-slugged lose. Teams that get out-walked lose. Teams that get out-run on the base paths…. win if they out-slug and/or out-walk the opposition and lose if the opposition out-slugg and/or out-walks them. The Nats were probably the best team in the NL last year: and they were the worst base-running team in baseball. A ha! you exclaim! They lost in the playoffs to those speedy Cardinals… except that the Cards are a below-average base-running team and defeated the Nats by badly outwalking them. (The This year, 4 of the 10 post-season teams had an estimated negative runs created by baserunning; and the Pirates had the 24th best offense despite generating the 3rd most runs with base-running.

      So, what we need are guys who can help the Cubs out-slug and out-walk the opposition. If they can steal a few bases, then that’s cool. If they cannot, then that’s cool, too.

    • Voice of reason

      The fo is not hesitant to let him go. They just don’t have anyone at all to replace him.

      It shows you what the cubs are dealing with. Campana is bad! Cubs minor league system is bad!

  • Fastball

    The FO can remove Campana, Clevenger, Russo and Riley. We need to sign at least 4 more players before we are done anyway. Schierholz won’t be the starting RF. If anybody promised him he would be a starter they should be taken to task for that. He is a 5th OF’er at best. We need to more OF’ers as it stands. Bourn, a real RF. If we sign Bourn (I hope) DeJesus can move back to RF which is better than Schierholz and have Sappelt as a 4th or 5th. I would love Bourn and Ross to be signed. Maybe we could include Schierholz in a trade and get rid of him before he even gets started. That would suit me just fine.

  • Fastball

    Or if you have pitching that doesn’t suck you win games. Pitching and defense prevents runs so you can be just sucky and not totally sucky when it comes to slugging, walking and running on the bases. If we have stellar pitching we can go farther than we can with all the run production in the world. Example – Pittsburgh Pirates. They score lots of runs but they have no pitching so they lose a lot.

    • Drew7

      I’m pretty sure Pittsburgh’s offense was near the bottom of the league, and their pitching was what kept them afloat.

      • Dude

        Andrew McCutchen didn’t hurt either

  • ColeWorld

    I really like the moves and think we could be competitive as soon as nex season if the bats can get hot. We have an actual bullpen now and thatll make a huge difference.

  • mudge

    re: Campana, when is the last time a team carried a player simply as a pinch-running weapon? Is it worth a team’s while relative to say, another bullpen arm?

    • jt

      In the ideal… no!
      If a team has the rotation of the 2012 Giants and the offense of the 2012 Cubs…. then maybe!
      From June 18 to ( I think ) Aug 1 The Cubs were something like 19 W and 14L. They had suddenly got some great pitching ( along with a few really badly piched games ) and Marmol wasn’t blowing saves. The few runs they did score was enough.
      They didn’t have depth and was therefore a bad team even during that stretch.
      Again, IMHO, I don’t believe this new staff will be good enough to win anywhere near that pace. Kyle is probably right, but who knows?

  • Tank

    I’m sorry but I cannot stand Campana and I am so sick of hearing that he is good or even close to be so. If this club can’t do any better than him I give up, I will become a fan of a different team. Sorry Tony but you aren’t anything better than a AAA player.

  • mudge

    I find Campana immensely entertaining, but I understand he’s not an every day option. I’m just wondering, given the state of statistical evaluation, if he’d have any trade value to the right club.

    • Toby

      Seeing how Campana is a one trick pony, he’d have as much trade value as Eddie Gaedel might, if he were alive today.

  • jt

    Red Sox traded for Dave Roberts in August of 2004 mostly to be used mostly as a pinch runner. The trade involved a min lg player who never made it to the majors so it would seem there is not much value there. Teams sometimes stash guys like Gathright in the minors so that they may call them for the Sept expanded rosters if there is a run for the playoffs.
    It is nice to get a player such as an aging Davey Lopes who can still pinch hit and sometimes play the field. At 40 Lopes was still as good as any on the paths ( well, not Ricky ). For the most part, teams are looking for multi use of such players.
    My point is that that The Cubs could, and I stress could, have a unique need because of above avg pitching and manbe a well below avg offense.

    • FFP

      Like^ (and like “might”, a good first full day of winter word)

      • jt

        not quite a regex but a could leans a bit more toward the possible. :-)

  • mudge

    Still waiting for the shoe to drop, a genuine center fielder. I’d rather see Jackson out there than Campana.

  • ottoCub

    This has been a good off-season, so far. The projected 2013 Cubs are already a big upgrade over the 2012 Cubs:

    A full year of Rizzo is an upgrade over a half year of Baker/LaHair and a half year of Rizzo; a post-surgery Stewart is an upgrade over an injured Stewart; Schierholtz is an upgrade over Byrd/Campana/Mather; the bullpen is very much upgraded; and the starting pitching is upgraded with more depth and consistent quality from 1-5. The Cubs still need to add another bench player, or another starting outfielder to move Shierholtz to the bench. This will make this year’s bench an improvement too.

    • Westbound Willie

      This is a typical troll post.

      • Brett

        You are mistaken. Simply because you disagree with someone’s opinions – for example, if you disagree with virtually every single thing they post – does not make them a troll. Some folks just like to be optimistic. Nothing wrong with that.

      • ottoCub

        What?? How is this a troll post?? It is not inflammatory. It is not off-topic. It is not meant to create or provoke argument. It is a simple statement of opinion about the Cubs off-season moves. It was written after reading a number of Brett and Luke’s recent articles about Cubs off-season moves. This thread is the most recent update on roster transactions, so it is the most logical place to make the post. I appreciate the opportunity BN provides to share opinions with what I assume to be like-minded Cubs fans and have discussions about our opinions. Your accusational response to my post is completely out of line.

        • RoughRiider

          I agree with what you wrote except the “Big” part. They are improved and should do better than last year. The will still probably wind up with one of the top 3 picks in the 2014 draft.

          Westbond Willie should go back to his cave.

      • mudge

        You’re moving the goal posts on troll posts, WW.

    • Canadian Cubs Fan

      I agree on pretty much all of this. The improvements could get us to as many as 75-78 wins, which I’m totally cool with. We still have real holes at 3b, catcher, and CF.

      I wouldn’t be surprised that if Matt Garza has a strong spring, and shows he’s 100% healthy, he gets dealt to the Texas Rangers (who keep losing out on FA pitchers) for a package involving Mike Olt. If they could make that happen, a long-term infield of Olt, Castro, Barney/Baez, and Rizzo would be pretty damn good!

      Theo & Jed realized that our pitching depth in the system isn’t particularly strong, so they went out and got some “solid” guys to fill up the middle to back end of the rotation. In a perfect world, they’d overpay for David Price next offseason to get their ace, or trade some prospects for a top-of-the-rotation guy to fill that void.

      Personally, I’m glad they got Jackson instead of Sanchez, who’s only come close to 200 innings a couple times, while Jackson (knock on wood) has proven to be quite the workhorse.

    • Voice of reason

      A big upgrade over 2012? Pass that joint you’re smoking over here.

      The rotation is the same starting 2013 as it was when we started 2012. We had dumpster last year who was pitching like he wanted to win the cy young, but wasn’t winning cause the offense was terrible. Sure they have added a lot of pitchers but were rolling the dice on all except Jackson and he is a number three starter and at best a number two. Garza will hopefully be back but will he struggle at the start of the year coming off surgery?

      The starting lineup is brutal for 2013. Right field…. Third base… Center field…. Catcher…. Terrible! You’ll get no offense from 2nd though I understand he is good defensively and I like him. Ultimately, that means you have no offense what so over out of five position players and the right fielder and third basemen ideally are providing power, but that is not the case. We also have to hope rizzo continues to develop and that soriano can continue to hit.

      This team is no where better than 2012.

      This team is nombetter than last year.

  • Jeff1969

    It’s amazing how much Campana talk there has been. Hilarious.

    • Cub2014

      It is sad that he is in the conversation, but that’s what happens when you are rebuilding.
      I think FO will give him a chance, what do they have to loose he is no worse than sherholtz and he is unproven. But I agree with everyone at his best he is not an everyday starter for a world series team or probably playoff team for
      That matter.

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