football wrigley fieldAlthough it could simply be a product of the ever-expanding reach of the Internet, I feel like the Chicago Cubs have been more aggressive in signing undrafted free agents over the last two years. Outside of the Internet explanation, I suppose I’d attribute it to the shrunken Draft (down from 50 to 40 rounds in the last two years), and the new front office. I really hope they eventually hit on one of the undrafted guys they’ve signed, because it tends to make for a hell of a nice story.

The latest is a local product, Northwestern shortstop Trevor Stevens. The senior started every game at shortstop for Northwestern, although he’s able to play all over. Stevens was twice an All-Big Ten shortstop.

His size – he’s listed by Northwestern at 5′ 9″ and 175 lbs – probably played a large part in his not being drafted, but his offensive performance as a shortstop was solid. He hit .267/.355/.337 on the year with 24 walks and 36 strikeouts. He stole 19 bases and was caught just 4 times, so I’m getting the picture of a speedy leadoff type who plays good defense (based solely on his size, line, and the fact that the Cubs signed him, I mean).

Stevens missed the 2012 season with an injury, which probably also affected his visibility for draft purposes.

Like the undrafted signees before him, the odds are strong that Stevens does not become a regular at the upper levels of the Cubs’ minor league system, let alone with the big team. But that’s true of most of the players the Cubs draft, too. This is all a part of the process of stocking and re-stocking your farm system with a wide variety of talents.

And, yeah, the picture is from when Northwestern played football at Wrigley. They played baseball there this year, too (including with Stevens). The Cubs have a close relationship with Northwestern, so it’s likely that they know Stevens well.

  • The Dude Abides

    Brett where do we stand on the number of players we drafted being signed so far? Thanks

    • ssckelley

      Unofficially I count 24 of the 40, including Alamo, but 19 officially using Baseball America as a source.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Hey you never know about these undrafted free agents. The Braves signed Brandon Beachy as an undrafted free agent! and that was when there were 50 rounds I believe

  • Funn Dave

    “The Cubs have a close relationship with Northwestern, so it’s likely that they know Stevens well.”

    Presumably they do know him pretty well since they’re signing him, but I doubt having a close relationship with Northwestern translates into personal relationships with the school’s atheletes.

    • mak

      Reading comprehension fail.

      • Funn Dave

        The article seems to be implying that since the Cubs have a close relationship with Northwestern, and Northwestern played ball at Wrigley, the Cubs would know Stevens well. I’m saying that unless I’m missing something, or I was and continue to be “failing” at reading, I don’t think that those two things are enough evidence to conclude that the Cubs brass knew this player well personally. Since they signed him, I’m sure they scouted him quite well, but a school having an affiliation with a ballclub does not mean that the Cubs brass is personally acquainted with that school’s players.

        • Chef Brian

          Brett never said the Cub’s Brass went on long walks with Stevens and hence have a personal relationship with him. He was merely stating that since the Cubs and Northwestern play in the same backyard that the Cubs would have scouted their players extensively. It seemed obvious to me…

        • mak

          I don’t see a line in the article stating that the Cubs’ brass has a personal relationship with Stevens, just that they “know” him. Knowing him, as I assume Brett is trying to say, means familiar with his game.

          • Funn Dave

            That makes sense. I just think that saying it’s likely that they “know Stevens well” seems to imply a closer relationship than what it really is. But it definitely makes sense that they would have scouted the school’s talent pretty heavily.

        • Brett

          The Cubs have shared various training facilities with Northwestern for a while, and the baseball team plays ten minutes away. I’m saying simply that the Cubs have likely seen Stevens a fair bit.

          • ssckelley

            What? No long walks on the beach with each other?

            • DarthHater

              I heard that Trevor and Theo were spotted sharing a latte at Starbucks.

              • waittilthisyear

                na darth its was a cooler at caribou

          • Funn Dave

            That makes sense. Thanks for clarifying.

        • T C

          Well, I’m sure they know Coach Stevens, Northwestern’s head coach and Trevor’s father, pretty well if they’re sharing facilities so often.

  • Jason Powers

    At least they got a smart kid, because you know: “Two four six eight time to differentiate. D to the x, dx/dy d to the y/dy. Three point one four one five nine. Cosine, tangent, inverse sine add an asymptotic line that’s our Northwestern battle cry.”

    Or: “We’ll make more money than you do.”

    • ChrisN324

      My brother went to Northwestern. I went a different route and chose Marquette, and so far the basketball team is making that decision a winner. Bulls’ Jimmy Butler, a Marquette product, has been great for the team. Gotta love the Chicago Marquette connection

      • Jason Powers

        No doubt. I hate to see the tuition at Northwestern. Gotta be a pricey adventure. Purdue person here, in state, cheaper, not cheap.

  • Cubbieblue29

    Im getting a little nervous on the Kris Bryant front.

    • someday…2015?

      I believe Assman commented yesterday saying a deal is done in principle. Assman tends to get it right. Hope that calms the nerves a bit.

      • http://It'searly Mike F

        yeah, he has a great record of being on the money…. I have to say I wish he would have had better news on Perez, but he’s usually right….

      • DarthHater

        All who call on the Assman in true faith will certainly be heard and will receive the inside info they desire. 😛

        • baldtaxguy


    • james k

      no reason to be worried. Almora, another Boras client signed right at or near the deadline last year. Cubs gave him over slot after he said he’d go play for college ball if he didn’t get what he liked. everything worked out. typical boras playing the game, driving up market value.

      • dsgn1


        while I agree with this generally, why did Appel sign underslot and so quickly?

        • SenorGato

          Appellate was never going to get slot this year and everyone knew it. Its an ass covering press technique. Before the draft he and Boras would be lucky to see above 6. Once they got above 6 it was time to run to the 8 million dollar rumors that might have been there last year and laugh about how they didn’t get slot. Everyones ego gets fed a little.

  • On The Farm

    “His size – he’s listed by Northwestern at 5′ 9″ and 175 lbs ….. He stole 19 bases and was caught just 4 times, so I’m getting the picture of a speedy leadoff type who plays good defense”

    Tony Campana 2.0, book it

    • DaveY

      If he were as fast as Campana he probably would have been drafted in the later rounds. Sam Fuld on the infield is probably a better comparison.

    • hansman1982

      I guess a 2.0 version of something is an upgrade over 1.0 so that would explain the leadoff type and/or good defense.

      • On The Farm

        Correct the size and “speedy” would be Campana 1.0, 2.0 can leadoff as well as field the ball. I assume they are going to test this version, see how it goes and make an assessment whether they should draft a 3.0

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Andy Martino-New York Daily News reports, Major league sources say Boston ranks its trade deadline needs in the following order: bullpen help, stopgap players for the left side of its infield, and starting pitching.

    Sounds like that major league source, is Boston FO member leak and sounds like BS they’re shoveling to the media in hopes to make the Cubs drop their asking price for Garza.

    • On The Farm

      Too bad for Boston, we potentially have all three of those.

    • Jason Powers

      Crying about price. You wanna beat those Yankees? Orioles? Rays? Pony up, butter cup.
      We aren’t a charity- we’re a… looking to exploit those who are winning. Yeah, that’s what we are. 😉

  • Cubbie Blues

    I’m a little confused. How does somebody with Stevens’ numbers get signed, but not a different SS with these numbers?

    .313 65-65 243 44 76 15 2 3 49 104 .428 23 16 33 8 .402 4 6 7-13 128
    A E FLD%
    211 19 .947

    I now sound like “The Crazy Uncle” (which I’m not just curious).

    • hansman1982

      “(which I’m not just curious).”

      This parenthetical seals the deal for me on you being the crazy uncle. Plus 50 Calendar points!

      • Cubbie Blues

        Commas make a big difference.

    • Austin

      Well how about saying who this player is? Not just the #’s.

      • Cubbie Blues

        Basil from IU.

  • SenorGato

    I spent years thinking Andy Pettitte was an UDFA. Then I found out he wasn’t. I no longer care for UDFAs in the MLB.

    • Brett


  • North Side Irish

    Meghan Montemurro ‏@M_Montemurro 16m
    Cubs’ Samardzija/Jackson and White Sox’s Sale on list of Top 10 MLB pitchers by ‘stuff’ —

  • DaveY

    It’s nice to see the Cubs sign a local kid. If any undrafted local player had any success it wouldn’t look good to either the Cubs or white sox if that player signed somewhere else.

    Northwestern has a good relationship with the Cubs primarily because Wrigley Field has been popular with NU students so NU playing games at Wrigley and having some kind of marketing relationship between the two is only natural. Besides, having NU as a feeder to your fan base provides a lot of customers that can afford today’s ticket prices.

  • Jason P

    How about this stat: Through 88 games, the 2013 Cubs (20-25) have a better road record than the 2008 Cubs (19-26).