tony campana little buddyTony Campana had trade value after all.

A week after designating the speedy outfielder for assignment to open up room for Scott Hairston, the Cubs managed to trade Campana to the Arizona Diamondbacks (ACQUIRE ALL THE OUTFIELDERS!) for a couple of 17-year-old Venezuelan pitching prospects.

The pitchers are both righties, Erick Leal and Jesus Castillo, whom I will now research extensively. Jed Hoyer called them “projectable arms,” which means the Cubs don’t hate them. Still, we’re talking about teenagers who’ve only played professionally in the Dominican Summer League (below rookie ball), so there isn’t a whole lot of certainty here.

It’s likely a worthwhile return for a guy who simply didn’t have a spot on the Cubs right now. Campana will get a shot to play off the Diamondbacks bench, and I can’t help but wish him well.

By the way: Tony had clear trade value. If the Cubs had resorted to waiving Campana, the Diamondbacks would have had the 7th highest priority for claiming him. That means that, because they gave up actual value to trade for him, they expected (1) another team was going to trade for him, and/or (2) one of the crappy NL teams would have claimed him first if he’d been waived. Seems pretty clear now that the Cubs knew they could trade him when he was DFA’d.

  • Patrick W.

    I’m trying to figure out who the Diamondbacks are going to cut from their currently full 40-man.

    • Scotti

      Hopefully Starling Peralta.

      • X The Cubs Fan

        Cubs couldn’t get him anyway he’d have to be on the 40 man

  • Miggy80

    This Campana story reminds me of an ex-girlfriend. She was fast and quick to the sack and she was really good at it, but in the year that we dated that’s all she could do for me. She didn’t cook, clean or help out around my house. She was all ways at my place. I was probably only at her place twice and it was kind of messy. Then one day she wants to tell me she loves me! I had to designate her for assignment so I traded her off to some friends of mine who just had a kid. Things worked out I ended up signing a Top free agent. Yeah she isn’t nearlly as quick, but she makes up for that with a better job, better homemaker, even invites me over to her place and is a Cubs fan. The ex was a Yankee fan any way and she did all right. I hear she’s getting married soon, so I’m sure Tony will be just fine with all that speed.

    • Brett

      I’m just glad you didn’t say that, in the end, you traded her for two 17-year-old Venezuelans.

      • JoeyCollins

        Now thats funny

      • Carne Harris


      • Miggy80

        I should of developed “The Miggy80” way and rebuilt my farm system or prospects. Hmmm now I have a ageing free agent with a long term contract and a bum ankle injury. Ah well at least she is a leader in the club house.

      • Ian Afterbirth


    • Die hard


  • Fastball

    Sean Camp is Scrappy Scrappy Scrappy. Maybe they would send us two more prospects for his worthless azz. We get rid of him hopefully in the next couple weeks when he can’t get the 50mph fastball all the way to home plate and I will be happy to be rid of the Scrappy Scrappy Crappy Crappy on this team.

    • King Jeff

      Sean Camp might not be able to get his fastball to home plate, but Shawn Camp filled a huge hole for the Cubs last year and has had 5 straight decent years out of the pen in a row. I would say that he’s one of the team’s most important pitchers heading into the year, not someone who should be cut.

  • dan

    Brewers lose 1st baseman Gamel interested in Volgebach would the Cubs trade him to a rival?

    • Bigg J

      No way. You want to see the Crew suffer and don’t want to help them out. Especially since Volgebach is still young and the Cubs still have time to hold on to him

    • Kygavin

      The 2 arent related even slightly. Vogelbach is 2-4 years away from the majors still, which wouldnt help the Brewers at all to replace Gamel The Brewers also have a 1B prospect who hit over 300 and over 25 HR in AA last year in Hunter Morris, so a young 1b isnt at the top of their shopping list i wouldnt think

  • Bigg J

    Wow kind of suprised we got 2 players out of him. I wonder if there were multiple teams interested and the Cubs took the best choice?

    • Die hard

      Neither will ever see a ML roster

      • Brett

        Statistically speaking, that is a “duh” statement. But that doesn’t make the trade a bad one.

        • cub2014

          Brett, I dont know the numbers but from what I saw of Jackson last
          year he took a lot of strikes. thus the high number of strikeouts?

          • Brett

            Eh. Still had contact issues. His whiff rate on pitches in the strike zone would have put him among the worst in the league if he’d had enough at bats to qualify.

            • cub2014

              OK I only saw Jackson play a few times but he took several
              3rd strikes. Ether way if he has success at Iowa he is
              going to get another chance this year. I like dejesus but
              he neither a leadoff hitter or a centerfielder, solid rightfielder
              and bat though.

              • Scotti

                Jackson took third strikes but he also took very, very hitable pitches earlier in the count. Had he been swinging at good pitches to hit instead of trying to take walks he would have K’d less. That said, his contact problem was due to the Rizzo grip that he used. He’d never used it before. It works for Rizzo because he’s a pull hitter. Jackson is a whole field hitter.

                • Drew7

                  This is just silly.

                  Jackson’s contact issues didn’t begin last year – it’s the biggest reason he fell to the end of the first round. His K- rates were lower before, but you’d expect K’s to increase as he moved up the system.

                  His approach is the reason his all of his other tools shine: His “selectively-aggressive” approach allows him to hide his contact issues a bit by him only swinging at pitches he can drive. Walks are a byproduct of this approach (along with elevated K’s), but certainly not the goal.

                  • Scotti

                    “This is just silly.”

                    Uh, no. Apparently some of us have paid more attention to Brett Jackson’s career. That doesn’t make our deeper understanding of the situation “silly.”

                    “Jackson’s contact issues didn’t begin last year – it’s the biggest reason he fell to the end of the first round.”

                    First, the is a huge difference between contact issues and K’s. K’s can be the result, an acceptable result, of a particular approach. Contact issues is wiffing at hitable pitches.

                    Second, Jackson’s contact issues were in his JUNIOR year. They didn’t exist in his SOPHOMORE year (14.8% K rate and, based on video, decent contact for a big guy). Tim Wilken saw a hitch in his junior year and he figured Jackson, with good coaching, could correct it and he did (Wilken talked about this after the draft). Does that mean Jackson no longer K’s? Of course not. He’s a power hitter who takes counts deep–those guys K. But he trimmed his final collegiate year K-rate of about 24% down to 23% that same year as a pro (when, as you say, it should have gotten worse since he was going to progressively tougher leagues).

                    “His K- rates were lower before, but you’d expect K’s to increase as he moved up the system.”

                    On what planet would you expect his K rate to IMPROVE from his junior year in college to professional ball (Mesa (very briefly), Boise and Peoria)? And the next year at Daytona it IMPROVED again (20.2%).

                    Again, he is going to K and should K. But his awful K-rate of 2012 is not explainable by “he’s always K’d like that” because he simply hasn’t. He didn’t his sophomore year and he didn’t in the minors all the way through Daytona. Even in AA and AAA (2010-2011) he didn’t K like last year.

                    In 2011 he was walking at a goofy pace and he K’d a bit more (and hit more HR as well). That’s an acceptable trade-off. But last year he K’d far more than he ever has (including 2011 in AAA) and he walked less and he hit fewer HR. Last year was the statistical anomaly and, per numerous observers here and elsewhere, he changed his stroke.

                    Personally, I’ve seen video of hundreds of Brett Jackson outcomes (outs, walks, hits) from his sophomore year through last year. Last year was the first he used that grip.

                    “His approach is the reason his all of his other tools shine: His “selectively-aggressive” approach allows him to hide his contact issues a bit by him only swinging at pitches he can drive. Walks are a byproduct of this approach (along with elevated K’s), but certainly not the goal.”

                    He neither “shined” nor was he “selectively-aggressive” last year. And the Cubs don’t believe he was shinny nor did they believe he was being “selectively-aggressive” either–that’s why they re-worked his swing and approach. The swing is talked about quite a bit. The approach got press last year when they openly talked about how he and Vitters were not swinging at hitable pitches.

                    And, FWIW, when a player gets TOO selective the byproduct is that his walks will predictably go DOWN. Why? The pitcher is always ahead in the count. If you aren’t going to swing, then the pitcher (the guy who controls where the ball is actually going) isn’t going to nibble. Last year Jackson was too selective (ask his coaches or simply look deeper at his AAA stats).

                    Again, you didn’t see it this way. His coaches and the FO staff are idiots. I’m an idiot. We all need schooling from the master. Or, maybe next time just ask a question if you disagree. You might learn something.

                    • TWC


                    • DarthHater


                    • Scotti

                      That’s pretty fortunate TWC because I didn’t write it for you to R. I wrote it for Drew (maybe you couldn’t see all the direct quotes and replies and such cause it was TL)…

                    • DarthHater


                    • hansman1982

                      The number of pitches he swung at increased from 2011 to 2012 (although it increased along with the league average (which his swings were right at in 2011 and 2012)), his contact % decreased (which has (sans his time in Peoria) always been below average, his K’s swinging increased and his K’s looking increased.

                      His K’s Looking increased 1.1 percentage points while his K’s swinging increased 2.7 percentage points. His walks were neutral. He has always been worse than league average at watching the third strike go by.

                      This looks like a guy who isn’t good at making contact continuing to struggle to make contact at the AAA level.

                      At the MLB level he was way below average at contacting balls in and outside of the zone. He was better than MLB average at laying off the pitches outside of the strike zone.

                      In summation: His K rate has always increased, his contact rate has always been below average but he has an exceptional batting eye. You stated that K rate isn’t the metric by which to judge contact ability then point to K-rate and a few videos to say that he only USED to have a contact problem that he fixed. The stats don’t reflect this.

              • Hansman1982

                DeJesus is a great Leadoff guy. Good OBP, sees a lot of pitches, has some power. He should never ever never steal a base but that’s waaaaaay down on the totem pole of what you want in a Leadoff guy

        • hansman1982

          Trolled twice in one day…smh

        • Jim

          It is all about Quantity. If you throw enough crap at the wall, something has to stick, right?

          • Scotti

            I thought that was spaghetti. Crap, huh? Maybe I’ll give it a try. :-)

      • cub2014

        A small percentage make it but who knows. Anyway good luck tony, hopefully by june or july
        jackson will make it back up and have good results.

  • Patrick G

    Very surprised the Mets didnt try harder to get him. Their outfield is atrocious and their top 2 salaried outfielders are Jason bay and bobby Bonilla.

    • Matty V

      ^The reason this is so funny is because it’s true.

  • dan

    Maybe this is Brock trade in reverse and these two kids end up as 20 game winners !!!!!!

    • truthhurts

      Yeah, Erick ‘Fergie’ Leal and Jesus ‘Maddog’ Castillo.

  • ferrets_bueller

    While it is possible that other teams were lining up to claim, or trying to trade for campana, you left out one glaring possibility (actually….a fact). Kevin towers….is an idiot. I wouldn’t be shocked if he traded for Vernon wells tomorrow.

  • cubs4life

    Erick Le put up decent numbers in the Dominican league, went 6-2 with a 2.44 era, in 14 appearances, 12 starts he accumulated 70 innings, striking out 70, while walking 11.

    Jesus Casillo on the other hand went 2-4 posting a 5.40 era in 14 appearances, 8 of them being starts, 46.2 innings, 41k and 17BB.

    • Matt

      I’ll throw in there that Castillo had an FIP of 3.50 and Leal had an FIP of 2.05, Leal’s I thought looked especially good, and Castillo’s isn’t terrible either.

      It’s still way too early to tell with either one though.

  • Jim

    The untold story: It was part of Bob Brenly’s contract that they had to get Campana. Wait for the next move … Michael Brenly to the Dbags.

  • Justen

    Campana seems to fit perfectly into the new scrappy attitude the Diamondbacks are going for.

  • BluBlud

    This sucks but at least he will get to stay in the Majors. Hopefully he gets a fair chance to play. If he does, he’ll force his way into that lineup as I think he would have in Chicago. Guess I will be pulling for and watching the DBacks quite often this year.

  • Doctor_Blair
  • North Side Irish

    BA’s write up of the trade…sound like decent lottery tickets for an end of roster guy…

  • Luke

    Looks like a pretty good return for Campana, now that I’ve had a minute to study the players they got back. Both are some years out, but neither are just run-of-the-mill DSL players.

    All in all, not bad for a guy who was going to be waived if no deal was struck.

  • Jason (Thundermug)

    When will the Cubs announce the Vigil to be observed for Tony Campana ::P

  • TSB

    So who will be on a World Series team first, Campana or the Cubs?

  • another JP

    For a DFA’d guy who was a borderline 25th man on a 101 loss team last year, this was a great return. The way I see it, Campy is a 27 year old who’ll never be anything more than he is right now– a late inning replacement/pinch runner for the D-bags or AAA depth. Leal or Castillo may never make it to the bigs but they’re only 17 and have their entire careers ahead of them. To think that AZ gave Castillo a $250K bonus (3x more than anyone else in 2011) and he might not be the best pitcher acquired in the trade is really encouraging. Much better return than settling for a 24/25 year old trying to break out of AA IMO.

  • djaws

    disappointing. campana is a dangerous weapon, especially when the team can’t score runs to begin with.

    • another JP

      Yeah, maybe AZ can have him bat 4th where he can do some real damage.

  • Die hard

    Hope we don’t play AZ too much

  • JR

    I can’t believe that Campana had trade value. The Dbacks are just insane. At this point the return the Cubs got for Campana might be better than what they get for Garza… lol.

    • another JP

      That’s a real possibility with the way the last couple years have been for Garza.

    • cub2014

      According to fangraph Campana will be used as pinch runner
      and defensive substitute for Kubell in RF. Interestingly Campana
      ranks #2 in all MLB in runs produced by base stealing in last 2 years
      between Coco Crisp and Micheal Bourn though only playing 25%
      of opportunities compared to those 2

      • cub2014

        sorry, Kubel plays LF

      • Hansman1982

        Yup and in both of those years Bourn smoked Campana in the run production per plate appearance department.

        Bourn > Campana just like a grand slam > solo hr.

        Stolen bases just aren’t that valuable when it comes to creating runs. It would be interesting o see someone like Bourn steal less and see if he could squeeze a couple more doubles from not wearing himself out stealing.

  • Jbb

    I saw video on the the two players. Their delivery Looks stressful on the arm. Brett any insight on how much Derek Johnson gets involved at the dsl level?

    • another JP

      Castillo’s delivery actually looked very smooth to me and both guys were considerably better than video I saw of the other DSL pitchers that AZ took that year. What I really liked was how Leal/Castillo used their legs when delivering the ball, but then again they’re both still kids and anything can happen.

  • Martin

    Aside from the fact that they did a great job getting value for a guy they DFA’d, this was, in a way, a roundabout way to skirt some of the international signing rules. Worst case scenario, they picked up two lottery tickets and saved $325,000 against the signing cap that can be used on other international prospects.

    It’s a bit of a reach, but I like the move even as a means to increase the pitching depth in the system without spending money against the (stupid) spending restrictions.

  • ichabod

    you are pathetic. he has average value,at best, because he is only speed. if average at all. he is sentiment rolled up in a fast small package and we all fell for it. if the cubs want to be as good as they say, sentiment is gone. what good is a guy with no arm in your outfield whose only asset is speed and he cant get on base. sentiment killls the cubs every year and im over it. just win already. if its without campana, FINE!

  • Marc N.

    Both are intriguing as 17 year old DSL pitchers go. Still surprised they got anything for Campana, but this FO gets intriguing value again.

  • Theo Epstein

    This was probably the hardest trade for me to make in all of my career.

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  • #1lahairfan

    Jesus Castillo cost the Diamondbacks the most out of all their international signings. (25,000).

    Could their be something here? Even though he posted an ERA around 5 in the DSL.

    • #1lahairfan

      It was in 2011