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julio borbon rangersWell how about that. A day after I went to reasonable lengths to explain why it wouldn’t make much sense for the Cubs to claim waived Rangers outfielder Julio Borbon …

The Cubs went and claimed him. He announced the move himself on Twitter with an excited “Chicago Cubs!!!” tweet. What do I know.

The 27-year-old center fielder bats lefty and certainly gives the Cubs an abundance of fringy outfield options to work with during/after the expected midseason purge. Even after moving, for example, Alfonso Soriano and David DeJesus, the Cubs now have enough cover, with Borbon and Ryan Sweeney (currently crushing at AAA), that they wouldn’t have to rush Brett Jackson if he’s still not ready for a full-time job in the bigs. They’ve also still got Brian Bogusevic down at Iowa, too. Obviously the outfield production in a post-DeJesus/Soriano world would be brutal, but that’s to be expected. At least guys like Borbon and Sweeney are interesting.

As for Borbon, himself, he’s had a number of chances to establish himself in the bigs with the Rangers and hasn’t been able to make it work. After being selected 35th overall by the Rangers in 2007, Borbon was signed to a Major League deal (that paid him decent money and rushed him to the Majors), and never had a whole lot of time to develop in the minors. He hit decently there, and played quality center field. He doesn’t have much pop, but he’s got speed and doesn’t strike out. As a bench outfielder, he could be a very good one. Even as a fill-in starter, he could be acceptable.

The logistics of the claim: Borbon is out of options, so, if the Cubs intend on keeping Borbon, they’ll have to put him on the 25-man roster immediately. Otherwise, they could now try and waive him, themselves, and hope he clears (he’s already made it through the American League, and past the Astros). As far as the 40-man goes, someone will have to be booted to accommodate Borbon, and it could be – for example – new arrival Cody Ransom.

I’ll have a lot more on Borbon when his place on the roster shakes out. This could be the start of a significant shakeup, either by way of someone like Dave Sappelt going on waivers himself, or by way of a trade involving someone like David DeJesus within the next couple weeks. Obviously the former is far more likely than the latter, but the glut of outfielders – especially lefties – at the AAA/MLB level is becoming noteworthy.

UPDATE: To make room for Borbon on the 25-man and 40-man rosters, infielder Alberto Gonzalez has been designated for assignment. He wasn’t long for the roster anyway with Darwin Barney back and Ian Stewart coming back soon. This gives the Cubs at least a week or two – until Stewart returns – to figure out how to solve the outfield glut. I expect they’ll be doing some hard shopping. In the meantime, the infield depth on the 25-man roster is incredibly thin. It’s pretty much Cody Ransom and the starters.

  • North Side Irish

    Jon Heyman ‏@JonHeymanCBS 1m
    Solid move by #cubs to claim borbon. Former high pick at good triple-a numbers

    If you say so…

  • hansman1982

    I’d say the Cubs should have about the deepest OF (in terms of guys who won’t embarrass themselves) in the majors.

  • Alex

    Rather have him then a Darnell McDonald down there…at least he has some upside still and we gave up nothing…ultimately, no complaints but minimal reaction.

  • SirCub

    I like the idea of the Cubs claiming Julio Borbon off of waivers. I’m just not sure that I like the Cubs actually claiming Julio Borbon off waivers.

    You know what I mean?

  • Montana Hipster

    Yawwwwnnnn….rebuilding is necessary but extremely boring.

  • cubmig

    I think I read a comment that Bourbon hadn’t panned out to the promised people had in his talent. Question: What was missed in what other have experienced in Bourbon’s performance? Anyone?

  • Chad78

    Really?? What could it hurt?

    • Kyle

      We’re going to have to boot someone off the roster, and that someone is probably more useful to the team than Borbon, who is essentially a fourth nipple.

      • TonyP

        lol

  • Noah

    Not sure I really get the pick so much, but whatever. I’d have to presume one of the minor league pitchers is getting DFA’d, probably Raley?

  • Kyle

    I am literally having trouble thinking of anything we could pick up that would be more redundant and pointless to this organization than a left-handed reserve outfielder.

    DeJesus and Schierholtz are both ideally suited to be the LH half of an outfield platoon. Ryan Sweeney is already a slightly better version of Borbon sitting at Iowa twiddling his thumbs. And Brett Jackson will almost certainly need some OF playing time by the end of the year.

    Seems like a very, very odd use of a 40-man spot.

    • bbmoney

      Yup. Seems like we’ve got a few too many fringy left handed hitting OFers already on the 40 man.

    • DarthHater

      Perhaps the FO is trying to corner the market in lefty OFs so that someone will be forced to trade with the Cubs.

      • hansman1982

        The Marlins and Astros do need some AAAA players for their MLB roster…

      • bbmoney

        Clearly they’ve ID’d this as a new market inefficiency.

      • Kyle

        Maybe, but I really have trouble believing that left-handed AAAA outfielders are suddenly in short supply. It seems like the kind of thing there’s more or less an infinite supply of. We’ve already picked up two since the season began without needing either one.

  • cubmig

    Theo&Co must have guys with nets out ready to nab anything they feel a bit of scenery change might rehabilitate…………………ahhhhh… baseball………

  • cubmig

    sorry for using “Bourbon” instead of “Borbon”…….

    • Nebraska Cubs

      MMmmmmm Bourbon, TGIF

    • TWC

      Never apologize for that.

  • #23

    I had a feeling this was coming. I like the pick up.

  • corey costello

    Hmm, odd.

  • David

    The only logical explanation for this move is that DeJesus or Schierholtz might get moved soon… I don’t understand the need for another OF with Sweeney (better RH then Sappelt, still not sure why sweeney isn’t up with the club yet) sitting at AAA. Unless one of our lefties is leaving. Then this makes sense.

    • Noah

      Sweeney is left handed.

  • Dustin S

    Give us all the AAAA players you have.

    In all seriousness, I’d agree this is probably the start of the 2013 shakeup. It makes Soriano, DeJesus, etc. all very tradeable if we just want another warm body in the OF to avoid calling up Brett Jackson and company too early (again). If he still has some speed he might give the team a little spark. You can’t really have more than 2 bench OF and Hairston isn’t going anywhere soon, so barring a surprise trade Sappelt should be very worried. Is Sappelt->Borbon an upgrade though?

  • mak

    Makes sense as a stash. I’d expect Sappelt to be sent down and Raley (or is it Rusin? the worse one) to be DFA’d.

    • Kyle

      Sending down Sappelt and having DeJesus, Schierholtz and Borbon on the same roster is really bad roster management. None of them can hit lefties.

      • willis

        Ha, neither can Sappelt…

        Sorry, I had to. But yeah, not the best “handed” management going on. Interesting at best.

  • JR

    OK, I guess. I don’t get why people get pumped or pissed at the these fringy pickups. At worst the Cubs will just lose another fringy dude. Nothing to freak out about. Clearly, there is going to be a much different team after the deadline.

    • Kyle

      Some people care about the franchise getting the little things right. I find it weird that some people consider themselves fans and don’t, personally.

      • JR

        Just because you don’t think this is a little thing going right, doesn’t mean jack to me. At this point I think you would complain if the Cubs traded Marmol for Price straight up. You clearly have an agenda to talk shit about everything Cubs Front Office related. If i hated something this much I would find another way to spend my time. It’s white noise at this point….

        • Kyle

          Yeah, none of that was true, and you should feel silly for thinking it.

          • JR

            Well I don’t really feel sorry for thinking it, and was obviously being sarcastic. You seem to be a smart baseball guy. But I just don’t get the anger at everything that the Front Office does. Cleary, they have made some mistakes in the year and half they’ve been here. But they’re not going anywhere right or wrong. Ricketts is so invested in Theo..

            • Kyle

              It’s not everything the front office does. The stuff I disagree with is just what people choose to remember.

              This move is illogical and I’ve laid out my case for it.

              What was the last move they made, Kevin Gregg? I said I had no problem with that. Loe? No problem with that. Ransom was harmless in itself, though it did remind me of how annoying it was that they didn’t properly address that roster spot in the offseason.

              • JR

                If that’s the case I aplogize. I may have only seen the negative stuff. I am all for them getting called out when deserved, i.e. MATT GARZA trade screw up. I thought you may have been being negative to stir the pot.. My bad.

              • Cubbie Blues

                “It’s not everything the front office does. The stuff I disagree with is just the only thing I like to talk about.”
                FTFY

                • Kyle

                  “It’s not everything the front office does. The stuff I disagree with is just the only thing that people reply to and create longer, more memorable discussions.”

                  RFTFY

                  • hansman1982

                    “It’s not that I hate everything the FO does, just most of what they do. Then I make sure to bring it up every chance I can.

                    The stuff I agree with them on I’ll mention when it happens and then really only bring it up when someone calls me out on hating most of the things the Cubs FO does.”

                    RRFTFY

                    • Kyle

                      Why else would I bring it up?

                      Also, please note that I agreed with Brett on the note the other day that picking up Borbon would be pointless for the Cubs. It’s not like I waited until they did it to decide that I didn’t like it.

                    • DarthHater

                      Geez, hans, pissing and moaning about whatever people say AGAIN? *runs away* :-P

              • MikeW

                For what its worth I agree with Kyle on all of this. The small caveat being i’m giving the Front Office as a whole, a little more time before I start holding their feet to the fire. But claiming Borbon, given our roster configuration, is useless.

                • Patrick W.

                  I disagree with Kyle’s position as I interpret to be : the fact that this FO thinks that building the farm system requires forsaking the big league club or the fact that they’ve failed to make many improvements to the big league club means that this FO is a bad one.

                  That said, I don’t understand dumping on him for saying this move just does not make sense as it stands. I too can’t think of a single less needed player than a journeyman outfielder.

                  • Cubbie Blues

                    Nobody was dumping. We were just having fun with each other.

      • SirCub

        There are plenty of great fans who don’t live and die with every little move the front office makes. My dad, for instance, watches every game, and roots for the Cubs harder than anyone, but he hardly ever knows/cares about the moves the Cubs make. When they acquire a new player, he immediately starts rooting for them. No questions asked.

        • Cubbie Blues

          Sometimes I wish I was still like that.

          • hansman1982

            I certainly follow every little move the Cubs FO makes but I generally don’t really have strong feelings about them.

            A move like this is one of them. It is odd they are running with another OF over an IF, but, meh.

          • SirCub

            Playing the Monday Morning GM does get kinda old after a while.

          • cubmig

            I still am somewhat like that, but am conflicted by not really having enough info to appreciate what or how the FO is plotting the org’s future. And…..the sweeping in of this-n-that player to add onto minor or major rosters without some explanation —or sense of their direction— doesn’t help. I’m a Cubs fan and I bleed Blue, but loyalty needs propping-up at times. For me, this is one of those times.

            • Cubbie Blues

              I agree with all 3 comments.

      • Noah

        The only way this makes sense to me is if the Cubs want to give Schierholtz a chance to hit left handed pitching. Now, while I think that’s an experiment that’s likely to fail, the only left handed bat or switch hitter the Cubs currently have off the bench is Dioner Navarro. So maybe that’s what they’re thinking? Or maybe they think that something if off with Sappelt right now and they want to give him regular PAs.

  • Jp3

    However would Borbon pick up the slack of all Soriano’s RBI in the cleanup spot(1 RBI)?????😂

  • SamuraiJock

    Haven’t seen Borbon play much. Would it be true to say he is the best defensive CF on the roster?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I haven’t seen him either, but based on the competition, I’d say it’s a pretty fair bet that he’s the best among the MLB/AAA contingent. Brett Jackson is good, but I don’t think he’s considered too much above average in center field.

  • João Lucas

    According to a commenter on MLB Trade Rumors, “the cubs were second in line to claim him because in the first month of the season waivers go by reverse standings from last year with no regard to leagues.”

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That’s interesting. I’ll have to look that up – it would be news to me, but the waiver rules are always extremely tricky. I knew that you still used last year’s standings through April, but I thought the traditional league stuff still applied (query how the Astros’ move to the AL affects that).

    • terencemann

      Lucas is correct. It’s only the previous year’s record that counts right now.

  • AA Correspondent

    These moves will keep the AAA OF roster well supplied, which means that my AA OF (Ha, Silva and Szczur) will stay…..for a while and continue their development. I like that.

    • Noah

      Presuming Soler gets sent up to Tennessee sometime fairly earlyish in the season (I’m guessing by June), do you think that Ha or Szczur would get sent up to Iowa, or Silva would move to the bench?

      • Jp3

        Well I don’t know if there will be room at Iowa with Sweeney, Bogusivic, Jackson, and a whole bunch of has beens. I agree with what someone said earlier… Are we trying to corner the market on fringe Marie league left handed hitting outfielders?

  • Nebraska Cubs

    I like the pickup, just not in this situation with having Dejesus & Shierholtz already and Sweeney waiting in AAA. No need for another LH OF

  • Nebraska Cubs

    Welp Alberto Gonzalez DFA’d

    • Kyle

      OK. I don’t care about losing him, so no big loss there.

      It’s still just really bizarre roster construction.

      We’re apparently going to go with 6 outfielders and 5 infielders for the moment. If we’re doing that, the 6th outfielder should really be a slugging, positionless corner type, not some rando CFer who can’t hit.

      • Cubbie Blues

        I thought Nate Schierholtz was a played RF not CF.

      • JulioZuleta

        I really, really have to think another move is coming.

      • Spriggs

        It has to be a trade. I think DeJesus is gone.

  • NorthStreetRaider

    i wonder if a trade is around the corner

  • Noah

    Regarding all the “trade around the corner” talk, doesn’t Nate Schierholtz have what is in effect a complete no trade clause until June 1?

  • CUBSBLEACHERBUM

    Great OBP…….problem is, no one can hit him in !!!!!

  • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor (no relation)

    I think we can see DeJesus traded to the Royals to platoon with Francoeur in RF (who’s dreadful vs. RHP). The Royals are desperate to compete and want success to justify their huge trade this off season. I think it’s safe to assume that we’re getting bullpen help in the trade… possibly Nate Adcock and/or Michael Mariot.

  • Blublud

    When everyone was talking about Garza to Texas for Olt, Borbon was the guy I wanted to throw in. I think this move has the potential for a lot of upside.

  • Stu

    Borbon should be sent to AAA to work out some issues. Low K rate is always good to see and speed at the top of the order would be refreshing.

    Anyone know of any scouting on him that indicates some flaws to correct?

    • Nebraska Cubs

      I still just dont get the thinking of carrying 3 LH OF’s who all can’t hit lefties and 1 RH reserve OF who right now isn’t hitting lefties….

      • Spriggs

        Maybe to mesh with all the other guys who can’t hit??? Gotta be a trade.

    • Noah

      I think Borbon is out of options.

      • Cubbie Blues

        Incorrect, Bourbon is always an option.

        • hansman1982

          I think he means you can’t put the half-empty bottle back in the cupboard again. Drink it or give him to someone who will.

    • terencemann

      @Noah

      Borbon is just not very good. He’s almost the definition of replacement level.

  • Patrick W.

    Let’s not forget that Soriano owns an infielders glove. Unless you work for the Cubs, in which case, forget that.

    • Cubbie Blues

      He would probably be better off with his OF glove for the extra range it would give him.

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