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tony campana little buddyTo the devastation of many fans, today the Chicago Cubs designated Tony Campana for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for recently-signed outfielder Scott Hairston. The Cubs will now have 10 days to trade, release or waive Campana.

Hairston, 32, got a two-year, $5 million deal (with another $1 million in possible incentives), and it was always logical that, if the Cubs had to resort to dumping someone off the roster (rather than a trade), it was going to be an outfielder getting bounced. Campana, for all the fanfare, has a relatively limited skill set. He’s crazy fast, but he doesn’t offer much at the plate, or much on defense (except for that which is granted by the aforementioned speed). If someone had to be bounced, I think the Cubs made the right choice.

What happens now? Well, I still believe that Campana has value to the right team as a 25th man. That game-changing speed would look mighty nice coming off the bench for a competitive team. Perhaps the Cubs will be able to work a minor trade for Campana.

Otherwise, they’ll be forced to waive him, and I’m not convinced he’d clear waivers. Fortunately for the Cubs, right now is a very crowded time on teams’ rosters, so it’s tough to pick up a guy without dumping someone on your own roster. Unfortunately for the Cubs, the right team might be willing to do that for Campana, if he’s a perfect fit. If he does clear, he can be sent to Iowa, where he’ll have to earn playing time in an outfield that could feature Brett Jackson, Jae-Hoon Ha, Josh Vitters (at times), Junior Lake (at times), and Brian Bogusevic (if he doesn’t make the big club). Of course, in the interim, he’d stick around at big league camp and fight for a big league roster spot just like he would have been anyway.

We’ll see how this plays out. I’d obviously rather the Cubs didn’t lose Campana for nothing, but his departure wouldn’t be a crushing blow to the 2013 Cubs or beyond.

  • John B.

    I’ve been waiting for this day

  • #1lahairfan

    Yahoo!

  • SweetJamesJones

    But he is so scrappy!!

  • JR

    Later Campana.

  • Tim

    Ill always remember the superman dive over the tag at third base

  • 1060Ivy

    Tony was the heart and soul of the 2012 Cubs!

    • josh

      …that lost 101 games, see ya tony

      • Ryne

        Well played

  • Dave

    Let us bow out heads in a moment of silence.

  • TonyP

    Blu has got to be hurtin

  • djaws

    yahoo says the #1 brian lahair fan.

  • Kygavin

    Possible destinations anyone?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Seems like he’d play well in San Francisco.

      • Kygavin

        I heard the Mets could possible look at him if Bourn falls through

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          I suppose – though it’s not like anyone has Campana as the immediate fall-back option for Bourn on their chart of options. They aren’t really in the same league.

          • Kygavin

            Well no haha not even close but i mean he is a lot cheaper and its not like the Mets have much already in their system to play CF. My point was more they have no options already on the roster not that Bourn and Tony were close to the same player

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          That sounds more like speculation than anything solid from the NYM front office.

          San Francisco makes sense. I could see Anaheim or Texas pondering him for a bit. Maybe Toronto if they felt creative.

          If he can ever get that OBP consistently over .335 or so, he’ll have a nice future as a reserve outfielder for someone.

          • MichiganGoat

            For me it is his poor defense that prevents him from having a career as much as his atrocious OBP. One should expect a speedster like Campana to be very good defensively but Campy is only a one tool player and that tool is the least meaningful skill to get excited about.

          • Kygavin

            Ya its just speculation just a possibility in my eyes.

            SF i could see but they already have a few OF who cant hit, Anaheim has a ton of OF too as does Texas. Toronto has Rajai Davis who has Campana like speed. I could see the Rays (replace former Cub Sam Fuld)

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            At .335 OBP, I think I’d try to find him a spot in the starting lineup. But I just don’t know if he’ll ever get there.

            • hansman1982

              A .335 OBP would make him a really good leadoff option and push his wOBAs well above average.

            • Kygavin

              If there was a “like” button i would be hitting it.

              Side note: how about the Twins? Campana would allow Hicks to play a few months in AAA before taking over plus its not like they will compete at all so his low OBP wont exactly hurt their record and they dont have any truly better options

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                I don’t know their upper minors well enough to say. But, yeah, seems like there could be a number of avenues for him to find a spot.

        • Patrick G

          Mets are desperate for outfield help, especially since signing Corey Patterson and Marlon Byrd. I think Campana could be valuable to them if they don’t get Bourn

    • howematthew

      I thought the Twins were looking for a CF. Weren’t they scouting Scotty Pods?

  • another JP

    Just natural that the 40-man decisions will become tougher as our talent base improves. Tony’s a great guy but it’s hard to justify having a one-trick pony on a team struggling to make it to .500

  • Boccabella12

    I’m sad, because he was fun to watch and played hard, but I’m glad that the Cubs have enough better players that there is no room for him.

  • Demarrer

    I think the best part of this is that this will probably be considered, by many Cubs fans, the worst move that Theo and Jed has made. I just don’t think people realize speed isn’t everything. I personally like the move, and would rather have Sappelt.

  • Blublud

    Ok. I been holding this back, but to DFA Campana for the sorry ass Schierholt to make this roster is a stupid ass move. It’s the dumbest move this FO has made, a move I can’t b elieve Theo would make. Schierholtz is Volstad pt 2. Just like I found myself hoping Volstad gave up 7 runs every outing last year and hoping we would score 8 for the win, I find my hoping Schierholtz go 0-4 every game with 3 strikeouts every game while hopefully we still. Just can’t cheer for a guy when I feel he he took another guys spot who didn’t deserve to lose It. And just after last year, Schierholtz will be the joke of next off-season.

    Campana will not clear waivers.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Why would you hope for Schierholtz to fail, just because you prefer Campana? Schierholtz is here. He’s a Cub. I’d like to see him do well.

      (Also, he’s far more valuable overall than Campana.)

      • MichiganGoat

        Scrappy Love – it’s worse than any teenage love story and Blubud has the worse case of Scrappy Love ever.

      • hansman1982

        Last year Schiefholtz provided 10 more runs than Campana (.299 wOBA vs. .314) over the course of 650 PA.

        Broken down, that means that, offensively, Schierholtz would net the Cubs 1 full win over a full season than Campana.

      • Blublud

        Because I dont want him to be a Cub. It’s the same way I felt a Volstad. I never cheered for Volstad one time last season. I did’t feel like he deserved his spot. I don’t feel like Schierholtz has earned his spot. You wanna play Jackson. If you are going to go out of the organization to replace a player, he needs to be a better player. Schierholtz is horrible. It’s good thing my seats in Atl are in left field.

        • MichiganGoat

          Again you are comparing the crap that is Campana’s game to a player (who you think is crap) that has good splits and provides more tools than Campana will ever provide.

        • hansman1982

          Please explain how Schierholtz is worse than Campana. Please do because the advanced metrics (that you have been studying recently) certainly do not back that up.

          • MichiganGoat

            EASY – Scrappy Love is powerful

        • Whiteflag

          Schierholtz is far from great, but horrible come on now. Don’t let your love for Campana blind you. Schierholtz is an offensive and defensive upgrade comparatively speaking. That being said I hope he makes it through waivers (I think he will). He is one of my favorite players to watch.

    • MichiganGoat

      Oh and write this down – Blubud was wrong Campana did not make the team, and yes this is notarized ;)

      • hansman1982

        Now he’ll go off once Campana is claimed by another team and declare that he predicted it and that his genius has been proven again.

        Campana will get waived, he will get claimed and will continue to be a borderline 5th OF.

        • Good Captain

          I am a fan not an expert but I for one don’t think he will be claimed off waivers at this time. If I’m wrong, I’ll so admit but I believe we are more likely to regret the day we let J Belliveau go even if TC is claimed off waivers. Time will tell.

    • JR

      Campana and Schierholtz both blow complete ass. Campana just blows a bit more than Schierholtz. I really don’t understand getting pissed about Campana getting DfA’d. In the whole scheme of things who cares. The Cubs have much bigger concerns to make their team relevant again…..

      • hansman1982

        Schierholtz is a league average bat and when platooned properly can actually be above average.

        • JR

          Yeah I know. I just really don’t understand wasting the energy of debating Campana and Schierholtz. Schierholtz is absolutely better than Campana, but that’s not saying much,

        • cub2014

          schierholtz and hairston will be the least productive right
          field in all of baseball. but they are just fillers anyway.

          • cub2014

            Campana is not an everyday guy you can build
            a championship around but if your rebuilding he makes
            sense. now you lose him for nothing. but it doesnt matter
            in the overall scheme of things.

            • Tom A.

              Technically the Cubs lost Campana for his worth, which (as you say) is nothing. He is not worth a major league player and at soon to be 27 years old he also is not worth any minor league player.

              • cub2014

                Well we dont know what his worth is or what it can be
                some other organization will find that out.

                • cub2014

                  what we know is 5 more bunt singles last year
                  and his numbers are .285 with .333 obp. I hate
                  to say it but if any organization can figure his bunting
                  out it will be the cardinals.

                  • cub2014

                    5 more singles he would of hit .293

                  • Mike

                    @ cub2014, I agree about the Cardinals and Campana bunting for more singles.In my opinion, some team, whether it’s the Cardinals or someone else, will get a lot more out of Campana in 2013 and 2014 than the Cubs have the past two seasons.

                    • Tom A.

                      I don’t understand why you think another team will better coach Campana and that such will matter. He is suppose to be a pro and skilled as best he can be.

                      My angst with Campana is that he is almost 27 and not good enough (whether using or not using his skills to the best of his possible abilities).

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      Campana’s problem with bunting is not that he does it poorly. Instead, his problem with bunting is that he attempts it nearly every PA. So, there is zero element of surprise. Moreover, Campana hits the ball so weakly that the infielders can play in for the bunt on every pitch and still have a very good chance of fielding the ball if he swings away.

                      Bunting works well only if a batter can smoke the ball with some authority on any given AB. Brett Butler was a good case: he hit solid line drives. Moreover, Butler’s rule was to attempt to bunt once per game, not once per PA. So, infielders could not move in to the pitcher’s mound to defend against the bunt.

      • Internet Random

        Campana and Schierholtz both blow complete ass.

        Never do anything part way. YOLO, yo.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          I don’t often “lol,” and I never type “lol,” but … lol.

      • BluBlud

        I’m diehard sports fan. When my Bucs fired Gruden and hired the sorry ass Raheem Morris, I as living in Tampa. I boycotted the season, and when I went back the next season, I would only buy my tickets from Boosters and would not buy concessions at all while at the game, and purchased no team merchandise until he was fired. Not that the team noticed, I just refused to give them my money directly.

        When you are a fan of a team, you have as much connection to the players and coaches as you do the actual team.

        • MichiganGoat

          So you’re boycotting the Cubs because of Campana? That’s just wrong in sooooo many ways – it’s not like we DFA Sandberg.

    • Tom A.

      What is wrong with you and your thinking ? I am happy you are a fan of Campana. He did seem like a nice person. But, we really want to win some games and maybe some day experience a World Series Championship. Campana does not have the skills needed to help us win an extra game or two this year, let alone help us someday win a championship.

      Schierholtz is now a Cub, can hit for average (in a platoon situation) and has a good glove. I hope he plays better than ever before, if for no other reason thatn he is a Cub !

    • @cubsfantroy

      Don’t hold back, tell us how you really feel.

    • Carew

      I feel like if one were to call a player Volstad pt. 2, then that player should be a pitcher…that’s just me.

      I’ve read that Schierholtz is, at minimum, a solid 4th-5th outfielder with a bit of pop and good defense

  • wiscubfan

    He will be traded before the ten days never will make to waviers

    • Good Captain

      For what? I doubt there’d be any excitement by the player(s) we’d get. Would you trade a any kind of a meaningful prospect or him?

  • MichiganGoat

    Another member of the Scrappy Unit is gone, now we will just wait until the first mention that we could have won a game if we still had Campy.

  • Njriv

    Campana is a pinch-runner, that’s it. His game changing speed would be valuable for the 25th spot on a competitive team, but not the Cubs. They have too many holes to keep a one tool player.

    • hansman1982

      Campana is only a good option for a team that has a horrific fielding, incredibly slow LF and a guy who has no business being a 5th OF.

      There are, literally, 146 other OF who provide more runs to their team than Campana.

      • http://www.Chicagocubstalk.blogspot.com ChicagoCubsTalk

        Watch the Cardinals sign Campana and then he mysteriously becomes amazing out of no where.. >.< ….Doesn't this seem to always happen when the Cubs release or trade someone???

        • Shawon O’Meter

          No, it doesn’t, at all! And if you think it does, please cite three examples.

          • http://www.Chicagocubstalk.blogspot.com ChicagoCubsTalk

            Maybe it is just my pessimistic attitude as a Cubs fan..but here are three examples..

            -Joe Carter traded to the Indians in 1984
            -Luo Brock traded to the Cardinals in 1964
            _Rafael Palmaerio traded to the Rangers in 1988

            • waittilthisyear

              i dont think we have to worry about tony campana becoming any of those 3

              • http://www.Chicagocubstalk.blogspot.com ChicagoCubsTalk

                Yeah I know, but it was just some food for thought.

                • frank

                  Remember too, if the Cubs don’t give up Carter in that trade, they likely don’t get Sutcliffe or Frazier, both of whom were pretty good here.

                  • DocPeterWimsey

                    Sutcliffe was good, but Frazier really was not: every day was souvenir baseball day in the bleachers when he was pitching.

                    • http://401klogic.net Westbound Willie

                      Mel hall was part of the Sut trade if I remember correctly.

                    • frank

                      Hmmm–I thought he was pretty good in the first year, but fell off afterward–not sure though.

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      Not really. His numbers looked OK, but the real reason Frazier did not look bad in 1984 is that the Cubs big 4 starters were working deep into a lot of games, and the offense was sufficiently good that when Frazier did pitch, he usually had a healthy lead.

                      Remember, the Cubs starters and offense were so good in 1984 that the Cubs went through most of the season without a lefty in their bullpen!

            • DocPeterWimsey

              So, the last example of a traded Cub becoming great is from a quarter of a century ago? That seems like a pretty good run by the Cubs FO: not many teams can get to the Clinton era, never mind the Reagan era, on that count.

            • Jim L

              OK, now give 3 examples of marginal big league players who went on to success after leaving the Cubs. The three you cited all had far more talent than Campana.

              • pj

                Oscar Gamble. Bill North. Larry Gura.

                • pj

                  Jim Colborn.

                  • Tom A.

                    They got Jose Cardinal for Colburn — A good trade for the Cubs !!!

                • Tom A.

                  Come on pj, all three of those players were traded — I think they got Mike Paul for Gura (Seems like a bad trade to me even today.), they got Johnny Callison for Oscar Gamble (And, that one I would still do today.) and traded Bill North for Bob Locker (That did not turn out well for Cubs.). If going to include trades, the worst ever made by the Cubs was Lou Brock for Ernie Broglio with the Cardinals.

                  Nobody marginal was released like Campana and went on to a productive career. And, odds are great that Campana will not go on to have a productive career.

                  • pj

                    Sorry. I didn’t see the word “released” in the question. It simply asked who was marginal with the Cubs and went on to success elsewhere.

                  • pj

                    For me, the player from the past who resembles Campana is Rodney Scott. He doesn’t really fit as an answer to the original question, because Scott actually had a productive year for the Cubs in 1978. He was traded to Montreal for Sam Mejias. Scott became an everyday starter and played a Campana type speed role on a couple of very good Expo teams.

                • cub2014

                  eckersley,moyer,palmeiro,willie hernandez,
                  mel hall, dont forget: garland, willis & nolasco.

                  • frank

                    Are these supposed to be examples of marginal players the Cubs released? I’m not sure I’m following the thread here–because all of these guys were traded, and most would be considered at least average rather than marginal. Campana is a much more marginal talent than any of these players were.

                    • cub2014

                      ya i missed the released part but campana might be traded. palmeiro was marginal at that point.

                    • cub2014

                      the point that is trying to be made is 3 fold:
                      1. hairston & scherholtz are marginal and they have
                      proven it over time. Better than Mather though.
                      2. Cubs arent going to playoffs: why not see what you
                      have. Campanas early career numbers are better
                      than those 2. His minor numbers are better as well.
                      3. If Jackson does well they will bring him up in july
                      anyway.
                      could campana be like juan pierre, kenny lofton or scott posednik possibly probably not. so he is a marginal big leaguer. but for people to totally dismiss him as a nothing is ridiculous, his early career stats are solid compared to most who make it up at his age.

                    • cub2014

                      for these people who only believe in stats (I am not one of them) campana has better war stats than hairston and way better than schierholtz.

                    • Kygavin

                      Hairston’s bWAR 2012: 1.5
                      Campana’s bWAR in 2012: .9
                      Schierholtz bWAR in 2012: .8

                    • Kygavin

                      Hairston fWAR in 2012: 2.0
                      Campana fWAr in 2012: .6
                      Schierholtz fWAR in 2012 .5

                      Not sure how those are better than Hairston or way better than Schierholtz

  • Demarrer

    A perfect team for Campana would be Atlanta, and it seems the Cubs have a good relationship with the Braves. Maybe they can work out a trade.

    • Kygavin

      Braves have 5 OF already and they have a speed guy (Constanza) but they do have openings on their 40 man

  • Marc N.

    No Santana but here is a Jah. Nothing against Campana or anything. He’ll catch on somewhere as a 5th OFer and get his fifteen minutes I bet.

    • Marc N.

      No Santa either.

  • another JP

    I see that the Rays DFA’d Dane De La Rosa… maybe a trade of Campy for him would make sense?

    • hansman1982

      No, then each team is in the same boat as before. Just with different players.

  • MichiganGoat

    I just happy he is gone so we can stop spraying Scrappy Love all over, but sadly his name will come up again and again anytime he gets a hit or we lose a run. Let him go people, forget his name, there are literally 40 other players we should be discussing before him.

    • hansman1982

      Mark DeRosa – 2009
      ??? – 2010
      Sam Fuld – 2011
      Tyler Colvin – 2012
      Tony Campana – 2013

      Broken Heart Awardees

      • Chase S.

        Mark DeRosa had a combined WAR of 7.2 in two seasons with the Cubs… hardly in the same category as the other 3 in that list.

  • MJ

    For those hating on the Nate Schierholtz signing, if he can do this in a Cubs uniform, he’s got value. I’ll take this over whatever Campana does (which is not much) any day. Along with Scott Hairston’s ability against lefties, it could make an effective right field platoon.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Zx63ETp5ds

    Hope the link works.

    • 100 Years of Tears

      I’m trying to find the highlight reel of Campana’s gun-downs… can’t seem to locate it. I’ll keep looking.

  • chuyz

    Blame the cubs coaches…this kid has the legs to be lead off hitter.i love the cubs but this a big mistake…good luck tony..maybe ull go to team that knows how to unlock ur true ablities.

    • hansman1982

      Ya Tony, hopefully some team gives you steroids so you hit for power and teach you to take a walk so you can get on base.

    • Tom A.

      Hey Tony, maybe you can figure out that your best and only real skill is speed. Learn to bunt, hit towards third base, anything related to getting youself on base so you can use your best and only skill of speed.

      • MichiganGoat

        If all you can do is bunt pitcher will only throw you pitches you can’t bunt.

      • Hansman1982

        Campana really NEEDS to learn how to hit for power. His lack of triples (especially for his speed) is very telling.

    • frank

      Too bad he can’t hit with his legs.

  • Dustin S

    I liked Campana when he first came up, but he is a lot like Willy Taveras. Good speed but not enough OBP to stick. It would be nice if he clears, but unless he really turns the OBP around he’s really a pinch running 5th defensive sub OF. It’s too bad because this team could use a true lead-off hitter. Just goes to show what a fine line it is with those guys. It’s about .50-.60 OBP difference (and granted a lot more doubles) between Campana and Bourn. It’s also why teams have been a little hesitant with Bourn I think, because they can quickly turn into a Chone Figgins bad contract.

    I’m also sure that the front office has been trying to deal him for the past few weeks to anyone, they just couldn’t wait any longer with players starting to report. For what it’s worth if you feel bad for Campana, his girlfriend is quite easy on the eyes.

  • Die hard

    How ironic- dump the best bunter during bunt contest- there goes any chance of deceiving the scout spies

    • MichiganGoat

      Um he didn’t win the bunt competition and isn’t that good at bunting to begin with.

    • waittilthisyear

      yea, people assume he is a good bunter because he is fast, but he is definitely a below average bunter on a good day

  • Nate

    NOOOOOO – Campana is a better base stealer than Bourn

  • 5412

    Hi,

    I have said many times I looked forward to the day he goes. He never learned how to drag bunt consistently and they play him like a little leager when he is hitting. He had his shot, knew he needed to turn himself into a Juan Pierre and he did not do it.

    They should have traded him in September for anything they could get to a team in contention that would rent him for a pinch runner down the stretch. The fact that no one offered the Cubs anything of value and they hung out the 40 man roster as long as they could is pretty telling.

    While he is a likeable young man, and indeed very fast, he is an expensive hood ornament. He got tossed overboard because there are more complete players available that we need.

    regards,
    5412

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Trading for a pinch runner down the stretch is pretty unusual: the Sox acquiring Dave Roberts in ’04 is the closest thing to a recent example. However, Roberts was actually a good enough hitter to be an MLB starter, and he was an excellent fielder, too, so the Sox were able to do a lot more with him than they could have done with a Campana. The Dodgers acquiring Tom Goodwin in ’00 is a closer example.

      At any rate, Campana’s problem was not that he didn’t know how to drag bunt. His problem was that MLB pitchers know how to not let guys drag bunt: and they rarely threw him the inside, just above the strike zone stuff that you want for that. If they went in, then they went way up and in, and just knocked the bat out of his hands.

  • 5412

    Hi,

    Dump the best bunter??? I was in AZ last spring when they had the bunting contest. I believe Campana was the favorite and got knocked out in the first round. I said unless he improved a lot over the spring, I would not consider him the favorite at all.

    They were lucky Greg Maddux was not in the contest, he would have won hands down.

    regards,
    5412

  • TonyP

    Jesse Rogers ‏@ESPNChiCubs

    Opening day starter announced mid camp…Marmol due in tonight….Stewart will be pushed by Valbuena at 3rd. 4/5 rotation wide open

    How they heck can he claim 4/5 of the rotation is open. Shark and Jackson have to be locks and Garza if you assume his health….

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Did he mean 4/5ths of the rotation, or the numbers 4 and 5 slots in the rotation. I’d easily believe the later.

      • TonyP

        Oh that would make sense then, I took it the wrong way. oopsie

      • MichiganGoat

        It’s the latter we have 3 pitchers (plus minor leaguers) to compete for the 4th & 5th spot.

        • jt

          Wood, Feldman and Villenueva combined for 63 mlb starts in 2012. In 30 of those starts the SP allowed 2 or fewer runs in the game.
          2011 Baker had 21 starts. In 11 of those games he allowed 2 runs or fewer.
          Add Baker to the above and that is 84 starts, 41 of which the SP’er allowed 2 runs or fewer.
          If they come close to that in 2013 then The Cubs will win a few games.
          Jackson, Garza and Shark combined for 71 starts ( not counting Garza’s injury start in which he pitched 3 scoreless innings ) of which in 41 they allowed 2 runs or fewer.
          Again, if they come close to that…they win some games.
          I’m pretty sure the FO was looking at this while they tried to figure out a way to keep Campana even if it was as a limited role.

          • jt

            I should have wrote “ER” instead of runs.

      • MJ

        If you know the work of Jesse Rogers, he worded it wrong. I’m sure it meant 4/5 of the rotation is locked. Samardzija, Garza, Jackson, Feldman. The 5th spot is wide open. Baker (if healthy) Wood and Villanueva.

  • Eric

    Campana used his blazing speed to steal BluBlud’s heart. Too bad he couldn’t get on base consistently enough for his speed to matter.

    How dare Theo and Jed DFA him 4 days before Valentine’s Day.

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