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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.

  • TSB

    Prediction: if Tony Campana goes to another team, he will eventually be a starter. Just like Bill North, another speedster the Cubs gave up on. BTW, who had worse stats than Campana had when he was given the boot, and wound up playing 13 seasons in the bigs.

    • frank

      Except that Bill North was 23 when the Cubs traded him, Campana will turn 27 this year.

    • arta

      North was good on D and knew how to use his speed! better overall player.

  • Diesel

    I hope campana clears waivers so I could try and catch him at an Iowa game. But either way I’ll be a fan and root for him. I agree that this was the right decision.

  • cubsin

    He means the fourth and fifth rotation spots are up for grabs, not 80% of the five rotation spots.

    • TonyP

      yeah I got it, I took it the wrong way.

  • Die hard

    The cross town team needs more speed- and he could DH against many righties

    • Kygavin

      They have a guy named Dunn currently filling their DH spot and I dont think Campana and his power bat are gonna change that

      • Die hard

        Dunn is done

        • frank

          Though his BA sucked, it might be nice if we had a few more washed up, .800 OPS and 112 OPS+ players, as Dunn was last year.

          • Danimal8

            With 40 HRs and over 100 RBIs…Campana or Dunn? Honestly?

  • Cerambam

    I don’t understand how a trade works out better once someone is DFA’d. Wouldn’t the team try to trade the player for someone they didn’t have to 40 man before they dfa him if they could?

    • TonyP

      I’m sure the FO has been trying to trade him for a while but couldn’t, they were running out of time with camp starting and had to DFA. It is possible that he could be traded but most likely he will be put on waivers and claimed or sent to Iowa in 10 days.

  • So Ill Cub Fan

    Let’s face it. Campana is not a Major Leaguer. He has very minimal on base skills. He takes questionable routes in the outfield and has no arm. Speed is his only skill. That alone makes it difficult to carry him.

    • cub2014

      wrong! what is a major leaguer? .300 plus minor league hitter
      in 2 partial seasons in majors has hit .265 with .310 obp, above
      average defender. weak arm but SPEED. Look around MLB
      so far his numbers are better than some starters and most bench
      outfielders.

      • AB

        Campana had one lucky year in the minors where he hit .342 at AA/AAA. Every other year he was around .280-340-320. Those kind of numbers do not predict future MLB success.

        .

  • Fastball

    I think you will see him in Iowa. He isn’t good enough to stick on our 40 man roster. He isn’t good enough to make it on anyone elses except the Astros. Only team worse than our right now. Okay maybe the Marlins but I almost doubt they are worse than we are. We haven’t see the last of him at Wrigley Field either. Injuries are how he got to the Bigs in the first place. He will be on the commuter flight from Des Moines. I would be shocked if someone claimed him. I don’t think any team in baseball will trade for him. Teams can’t afford someone like Campana on their roster.

  • cub2014

    cardinals need a 4th outfielder. their 4th&5th outfielders hit like Joe Mather and run like
    him too.

  • R.E.S

    There is always a chance Campana will clear. Everyone has full rosters this time of year. I think I would have just sent Rondon back though. Unless the Cubs our planning on keeping 13 pitchers all year I don’t see we are going to stash him. We have Garza, Shark, E.J, Baker ,Feldman, Woods, Villanueva, Camp,Russell, Marmol, Fujikawa. That leaves one spot and ALOT of canidates.

  • Fastball

    Damn Schierholtz has a hose on him. This is a major upgrade over TC. I bet Schierholtz could gun TC down going 1st to 2nd. Who Knew!!! I can’t wait to see the next NS video where he hits prodigious home runs into the Bay in San Fran. He could be the next Mr. Cub with these kind of sparkling plays in RF. Bang Bang Tony your off the 40 man roster.

  • Fastball

    Now we can go sign Bourn and DFA one those pitchers in our Bullpen that only throws 78mph fastball’s. That’s right Sean Campana your next brother. I predict Camp gets rocked in ST and is cleaning his locker by March 15th. I know everybody thought Campana was bad or just didn’t have enough skills. My loathing for Sean Camp exceeds that x Infinity!!!!
    If Campana was sneaky fast I am going to say Camp is sneaky slow. So Slow that I would park my car behind home plate and let him try to break one of my windows.

  • cub2014

    you must be joking about Camp?

    • http://401klogic.net Westbound Willie

      Camp is almost 40 and at the end of the year he looked done. How long do you expect him to pitch?

  • Fastball

    I would joke about that guy … I can’t stand watching him pitch. He Sucks

  • Tom A.

    Am I just a Cubs optimist or does it also appear to you that our Active Roster and Depth Chart looks much improved over last season ? Sure looks like a a win range of 72 lowest and 82 highest for 2013.

    • cub2014

      72-82 is what they were predicting on MLB show last week.
      The other commentators didnt flat disagree. So hopefully
      .500 is a serious possibility.

      • Tom A.

        Did not see the show, just was looking at our Active Roster and Depth Chart and feeling better about the team. Thanks.

    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com DB Kyle

      It’s definitely an improved roster. When you approach it from a valid starting point (the players we actually have) and not just the lazy way (they won X games last year, so let’s start from there), you come out with a pretty mediocre team. Something in the 77-80 win range, imo.

      Better than average rotation, average bullpen, below-average offense.

      Of course, if they are on pace for 77 wins and decide to tear it apart for prospects, it quickly becomes a threat to lose in the mid-90s or worse.

  • cub2014

    u might not like Camp but he was extremely productive.
    this year with better starters he wont have to pitch in every
    other game.

    • Marc N.

      The Cubs picked up a pitcher from the Yankees named Corey Wade this offseason. I think he’s a very solid Shawn Camp replacement for when that time inevitably comes.

  • macblue22

    Dodgers really do wanna sign all the pitchers. Kevin Gregg on a minor league deal…woopee

  • cub2014

    coaching matters obviously, that said you have to have a
    pupil that is willing and able.

  • http://bleachernation.com hutch

    Yes! Hopefully campana is picked up so idiots stop talking about him like hes an all star

    • cub2014

      who is calling campana an all star or a quality starter for
      that matter? but if you are going to trade these players
      (schierholtz,hairston or campana) midseason to bring up
      jackson again. why wouldnt you give campana a chance to see
      if he can improve his obp and increase his value?

      • http://bleachernation.com hutch

        Everyone on this site

        • Turn Two

          From what I’ve seen everyone on this site, if anything, undervalued him. Not saying he is a player up keep on our roster, but it seems like people are just bashing him to fit in here. He isn’t a starter but he isn’t everything that was wrong with the cubs

      • http://bleachernation.com hutch

        he has absolutely no value either

        • Jeff1969

          I think Campana is sort of valuable, but I think fans on this site get crazy about how much love there is for the guy and then the argument goes back & forth. Some of us just hate the love he gets for being (s)crappy. I kinda suspect if he played every day, he would be a way worse version of Scott Podsednik. Way worse, fewer runs, worse OF play, maybe 1 insider the park home run, but we may never know. Then again, he might be back at AAA Iowa next year

          • cub2014

            what we do know is that campana isnt in the cubs future plans
            so I agree we should move on.

  • The Dude Abides

    That was an obvious DFA at this point; with the upcoming bunting competition they couldn’t allow a ringer to be involved. They will probably resign him after the tournament is over unless as some people dream he is the missing piece for a championship caliber team’s drive to the World Series.

  • JulioZuleta

    Easily the right call. I like Campana, will root for him, but you can’t hide a 1 tool player on a below average team. He has one great tool, and the rest are well below average. As they say, you can’t steal first base.

  • Eric S

    GREAT! There goes my sleeper pick in this years bunt tournament! DAMMIT!

    • True(ly) Blue

      Eric S, If TC could bunt he would have had a chance to stick in the Big Show.

  • Jeremy

    This is easily the best news of the offseason.

  • calicubsfan007

    I thought this was funny. Bleacher Report (I read for laughs) said something like Campana takes great angles to the ball in the outfield. As well as the author actually seemed torn between picking him or Brett Jackson for best fielding center fielder. Wow, that is really all I can say. Wow.

  • Spencer

    Hm, I can’t decide what’s worse: The rage and angst some people are feeling about Tony getting DFA’d, or fellow Cubs fans antagonizing the people that are disappointed that Tony got DFA’d.

    • calicubsfan007

      @Spencer: I know what is worse than either of those two options. Bleacher Report.

      • Spencer

        Well played

      • True(ly) Blue

        Calicubsfan007, Since you seem to hate this site why don’t you just don’t read it and shut up?

        • calicubsfan007

          Blue, I am joking. I personally don’t mind it. I like to poke fun at things. That’s all, there isn’t any hate involved.

          • MichiganGoat

            I think he thought you were saying BleacherNation instead of BleacherReport

            • calicubsfan007

              @MG: I guess people think that I am full of hate. (;

              • hansman1982

                CALI-SMASH!!!!!!!!

  • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com DB Kyle

    *shrug* Borderline useful fifth outfielder in a team that already has five useful outfielders, plus Brett Jackson. I’m pretty sure he sails through waivers and I don’t mind having him at Iowa for depth.

    I’m much more concerned with the fact that we still don’t have a sixth infielder. If we’re going to let a guy like Lillibridge “win” the job, then I’m disappointed we learned nothing from the Mather fiasco.

  • Die hard

    If Soriano has slow start and or knees act up he stays in AZ which is why Campana is not history yet

  • Jeff1969

    Campana = Cubs version of Herb Washington? Cubs version of Harry Chappas? Nothing against the guy, but I hope he just retires so we can stop talking so much about him on this blog.

  • wiscubfan

    I like Campana and hope he clears waivers but if we did not put him on waviers who should we put on waviers ?

    • another JP

      Exactly the point… Theo didn’t want to expose any of the pitchers on the roster and the only other option would be Sappelt- who is a year younger than Campana and a much better player. This was the right move by far.

  • cub2014

    avg of war over career

  • True(ly) Blue

    In a way I can understand the love for Tony Campana as it’s much like the love Cub fans have for the Cubs. Root for the underdog Cubs, the longest time loser in the Majors. Tony also has an interesting and compelling back story as he is in remission from Nonhodgekins (SP?) Lymphoma and the fact that he is playing baseball at any level is an achievement. However he has only one skill, speed, and if he can’t get on base other than as a pinch runner he has very limited value to the Cubs. Good luck Tony! I hope that in your next life you do very well.

    • mysterious4th

      It is a great story that he beat cancer and I love an underdog. But, Campana is below average in every aspect of being a major league player EXCEPT speed and he is very quick but that can’t mack up for the lack of contact at the plate. No way to use his speed if he can’t get on base. And the routes he takes in the outfield………terrible! I think he got those routes off a little league team, wait I have seen better ones by a 11 year old in the LLWS. Plus, didn’t Rizzo beat cancer? Personally I am a huge rizzo fan.

      I think there will be a few (good) surprises with this team during the season.

    • King Jeff

      Campana is not in remission, he is now free and clear of the cancer that was found when he was 7. He has not been in remission during his professional baseball career. He was pronounced cured before he started to play college ball.

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