The Cubs made another minor trade this weekend, mentioned by Luke on Sunday, and I thought it worth posting here so you didn’t miss it. After dealing minor league/non-roster signee Alberto Gonzalez to the Yankees late last week, the Cubs sent minor league/non-roster signee Drew Carpenter to the Rockies for a player to be named later or cash.
The big righty was brought into the Cubs’ organization originally to compete for a bullpen spot before emerging as rotation depth. (At one point, Dale Sveum even called Carpenter the next starter in line after the first five starters, back when Matt Garza and Scott Baker originally went down in Spring Training.) He struggled as a starter at Iowa, posting a 7.33 ERA in six starts, and the Cubs were ready to shuffle in another starter from their AAA-level glut of fringy starters.
The deal is interesting not because it will net the Cubs anything worthwhile – it will not – but instead because it’s the second minor league signee that the Cubs have traded in the last week. The deals suggest (1) that the Cubs did a good job of selecting non-roster invitees this offseason, even though only a few ultimately made the team (and all three – Gonzalez, Hisanori Takahashi and Brent Lillibridge – were quickly booted); and (2) that the Cubs were looking to accumulate as many cheap, borderline pieces as they could, knowing that they can quickly shuffle them out as necessary.
In other words, I like the way the Cubs have played these marginal types, especially given the talent vacuum they had at the AAA level. Fill it up with guys like Carpenter and Gonzalez, and move on when you’re ready to try someone else out at that level. If you’re willing to be that flexible and responsive, you really can never have too many players in the system.