cole gillespie giantsThe Chicago Cubs don’t just claim relievers off of waivers.

Today, the Cubs claimed outfielder Cole Gillespie off of waivers from the Giants. The 29-year-old right-handed-hitting outfielder can play all over the outfield, though he’s mostly stayed in a corner spot over the last few years. He’s never had much of a shot to break through in the bigs (which is usually a red flag for a 29-year-old), but he certainly hits quite well in the minors (obligatory Pacific Coast League warning). He doesn’t have a lot of pop, which could be part of the reason he hasn’t gotten a shot in the bigs, but he walks almost as much as he strikes out and consistently sports an OBP near .400. If he faces mostly lefties, he could be a really interesting bench bat.

With David DeJesus, Ryan Sweeney, and Brett Jackson all hurt, and with Scott Hairston traded, I wouldn’t immediately leap to any conclusions about the Cubs bracing for a trade here. I would imagine that, although, yes, the Cubs do likely know they’ll try and move an outfielder or two in the coming weeks, this is just about grabbing an interesting guy they liked because they had an open 40-man spot. No real reason not to.

Although it might not be until after the All-Star break, Gillespie might be the guy who ultimately comes up and reverts the roster back to a more normal 12/13 pitcher/positional player ratio. His addition, by my count, puts the 40-man roster back at 40.

  • Rebuilding

    The right handed Ryan Sweeney (minus the ability to not embarrass himself in CF). I like this pick up

    • Cubswin

      Embarrass himself in CF? Which SC top 10 play over the last year would you like to see of Sweeneys? He’s got quite a few. Or the .295 BA this year and was one of our hottest hitters before he got hurt on freak play… doesn’t sound too embarrassing to me.

      • Rebuilding

        I think you need to read it again. I was saying Sweeney does not embarrass himself in CF, but Gillespie would. Geesh

        • Cubswin

          My apologies, when you compared him to Sweeney and then put that comment in parenthesis it appeared as if you were doggin on him. I’m a pro Sweeney guy if you couldn’t tell lol

          • Rebuilding

            No worries. That why I said I liked the pick up. A right handed Ryan Sweeney would be great to have

  • Ryan

    Love this move. His numbers look really good. PCL league aside, the guy is an OBP machine. Not a starter but has the potential to be a solid bench bat.

  • Dylan

    Schierholtz isn’t starting today, against a righty…

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Wonder what’s up with that. Hopefully he’s not hurt, too.

      (And, obviously there is the other possibility … )

    • Mr. B. Patient

      Or, SSS alert, he is 1 for 8 lifetime against Lynn. But the 1 was a home run.

  • HackAttack

    The Justin Germano of outfielders.

  • Rebuilding

    I really hope people don’t freak out when they see what we get back for Shierholtz. He’s having a career year (although he has cooled down quite a bit lately). A useful poece for a contender, but not someone you are going to get an exciting prospect for. I’m hoping we get a useful bullpen arm

    • DarthHater

      No worries. Everyone around here is far too level-headed to freak out over a Cubs trade.

    • Mick

      I’m hoping for some GIANT sunflower seeds, not that Fisher swill.

    • Steve123

      Joe Terdoslavich from braves would be an great pick up. He was braves preseason #14 on mlb.com. If we pickup all Nate’s $, it could get close to done.

  • DarthHater


    Thousands of drunk bleacher fans wearing masks = greatest promotion ever. Ryan Braun beware! 😀

  • Rebuilding

    As one of those mutants that follows both the Cubs and the White Sox Ive got to wonder if Rick Hahn is asleep at the switch. With Rios likely on the move and absolutely no one to replace him Gillespie should have been an easy pick up

    • Rebuilding

      My bad. I think the NL clubs get first crack. My apologies to Rick Hahn

  • Pat

    Sometimes I wonder if there isn’t a camera crew following Theo and Jed around for a episode of “Garbage Pickers: Front Office Edition”

    • Reality Check

      at some point; it no longer is about whether theo or jed “steal” someone; when you pick up every scrap player; it doesn’t give the appearance of being intelligent; but desperate.

      somehow JH traded garbage for eric karros, mark grundz, ARam and DLee…..and signed Ryan Dempster off Tj surgery who was a good starter for many years…..when does Theo /Jed do one of these type moves……

      what’s the phrase: garbage in=garbage out=cubs roster.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        These two comments are absolutely baffling to me, and it’s not even worth going over the scrap heap pickins that have worked out (if you hit on 10% of guys that other teams didn’t even want, you’re knocking it out of the park).

        Make sure to say this again when Gregg is closing another one out.

        • Pat

          Odd. I don’t recall making any sort of value judgement. (yep, just checked, I didn’t). It was simply a comment in reference to the volume of these pickups they are making. Perhaps you are baffled because you are reading something that is there into it?

          • Pat

            Isn’t there

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            Perhaps if you weren’t so frequently oppositional, it would have been easier to read “garbage” as some kind of neutral word.

            • jeff1969

              I think Pat has the extremely bored mother-in-law syndrome, the old lady who says something offensive or aggravating then or argues over the definition of the words she uses or tells you you’re too sensitive. Pat, you said “garbage pickers” if you didn’t mean garbage then don’t say garbage ok dummy? That’s me making a value judgement on your intellectual ability.

              • Pat

                Jeff, the definition of garbage is “any matter that is no longer wanted or needed”. I’d say that pretty well describes San Fransisco’s view of Gillespie.

                Of course, what I actually used was “garbage picking”, which I spelled out below. I can out a brand new tv out at the curb on pickup day, and as soon as I walk away it becomes “garbage”, despite it retaining value to someone. I did not think this was an uncommon or unknown phrase, but apparently it must be.

                Thanks for being concerned about my intellectual ability.

            • Pat

              “Garbage Picking” as used here refers to the act of finding or perceiving value in something someone else has decided to discard and claiming it for yourself. And it is something they have done an abnormal amout of the last year or so. I’m sure part of that is having first option at a lot of these guys, whereas in a normal year many of the people they think might still have value would have been claimed before their chance. I will still be happier when we can look at our roster and be able to say “nope, we already have better options”. (there’s my value judgement)

      • Rebuilding

        Yeah, I just don’t get the complaints about taking chances on these waiver wire guys/castoffs. If they aren’t blocking someone or you aren’t knocking something useful off the 40 man what’s wrong with it? Just this year you have Gregg, Sweeney, Borbon and Bogusevic. They have had varying degrees of success, but what’s the harm?

        • cubzforlife

          Brett, I thought you were supposed to be having fun not wasting time on those guys. Saturday night game at Wrigley, can’t remember the last time. Maybe playoffs in 07,08? Should be a fun time.

      • X the Cubs fan

        You’re an idiot.

        • X the Cubs fan

          Meant for “reality check”.

          • Scotti

            Regardless of who that was meant for, it wasn’t called for. A poster shared an opinion and put some effort into making a cogent point. You disagreed and attacked the poster instead of the post. If you disagree then share why you disagree (the prior two posters did). Your attack on a human being doesn’t substitute for enlightenment.

            • Rebuilding

              There’s a difference between trolling and making cogent points. This one seemed to swerve into trolling. Eric Karros and Grudz when talking about Gillespie? Come on

              • Scotti

                I don’t buy it. If someone is trolling (not that I agree he was–what passes for trolling here is often just an unpopular position) then you ignore the post. Standard Operational Procedure on the Internet. Personal insults are just as bad as trolling (and most often worse) and just don’t have any place.

      • Mick

        This Gillespie move has more to do with needed depth due to injuries than trying to find our next starting OF. Say Sappelt and Borbon get injured, than what? The Cubs would be forced to promote Lake, Szczur, Vitters, etc. into a role they’re not ready for. In the effort not risk their development an additional OF was needed. Gillespie’s a whole lot better than anyone in the Independent League or not in any league.

      • Eternal Pessimist

        I would just say that picking up waiver wire guys doesn’t make them look desperate. Everyone knows what the Cubs are doing. They will need fill in pieces for the remainder of the year as they trade away valuable talent. Anyone who sees this as a desperate move is probably just not paying attention to how the Cubs are building for the future.

      • Jim L

        Don’t forget JH also traded for garbage, Juan Pierre for Nolasco and two other pitchers.

  • LWeb23

    Speaking of Brett Jackson… Anyone else catch Al Yellon’s post over at BCB today? Bizarre…

    • Rebuilding

      Absolutely no inside info on Jackson, but they probably thought after his struggles it might be best to work on the new swing away from competition. It is weird that the manager didnt seem to know where he is. I feel bad for Jackson – it’s got to be very tough to go from being one of the top prospects in an organization and slated to be with the big league club to being this close to being a bust. A little time away “calf strain” or not might help

      • Kramden

        Sadly, it’s not going to happen for Brett Jackson with the Cubs. He became the square peg trying to fit into the new round hole when the new regime came in and completely changed hitting philosophies.

        • Cedlandrum

          Jackson would have fit very well into their hitting philosophy. Not sure what you are getting at.

        • Scotti

          Jackson’s hitting philosophy squares 100% with the Cubs hitting philosophy.

        • Mr. B. Patient

          Actually, I thought Jackson WAS a ‘Cubs Way’ guy. He took walks, he worked the count, only problem is, he kept on missing those ‘hitters’ pitches he was supposed to drive. At this point, I’m guessing B-Jax might become a Ryan Sweeney type of guy. Too bad.

        • Rebuilding

          Is that why they have tried to change his swing? The walk part fits in with the philosophy, the strikeout part does not

          • Cedlandrum

            They tried to change his swing, but they didn’t try to change his approach.

            • Rebuilding

              Really? Thats not what Ive heard. I’ve heard that they had two issues with Jackson – one is the hitch in his swing and two is that they thought he was not swinging at balls he could drive early in the count and thus getting into bad counts. I just think its very hard to say a guy fits 100% into a hitting philosophy in the middle of them completely revamping his entire approach

              • Rebuilding

                I failed to mention that Jackson’s BB rate has fallen to a career low 8.7% this year because they specifically told him to look for balls to drive earlier in the count to avoid 2 strike counts

            • Kramden

              It’s pretty rare for a prospect to excel as they progress and then suddenly hit the wall at AAA the way Jackson did unless something changed organizationally to prompt that severe a slide backwards.

              • joey jo jo junior

                You must not have been watching his peripherals then. His K rate was a HUGE red flag all through the minors. His struggles are really not that surprising.

    • Cedlandrum

      Brett Jackson hasn’t been healthy at all this year. Started with shoulder in spring training and then had a leg issue. It seems he is now going to be going to Tennessee. We will see if he is finally healthy and if he is ready to hit.

  • Funn Dave

    I like this move. It’s not overwhelming, but it gives us another outfield option once Sori and/or Schierholz gets traded.

  • Melrosepad

    Brett, any chance we look at a Pedro Ciriaco for a backup infielder? He can play all four spots and seems to play with a lot of energy. Seems like a good backup and someone who could replace Ransom if we added him to sweeten a deal.

  • kenster

    Pssshhh who needs infielders. And whats a right handed hitting OF?

  • Mr. B. Patient

    Per Paul Sullivan and Bruce Miles:

    Dale Sveum says Scheiholtz is banged up. Won’t start Sunday either.

  • http://www.opportunity.org Seamhead

    Hope the boys didn’t think they were picking up 3b Gillaspie.

  • B_Scwared

    Maybe it’s not a coincidence that both Jackson and Schierholtz are sitting today.

    • Rebuilding

      Brett Jackson? It sounds like he is headed to AA Tennessee

  • Kevin

    Baseball America lists a lot of the Cubs draft picks in rounds 11-40 as signed but with no signing bonus value. Are these all college seniors not bound by Friday’s signing deadline?

  • B_Scwared

    People have said its a possibility, but no one knows for sure. Maybe he is getting moved with NS. They still haven’t announced the intl. signings…

    • Rebuilding

      Yeah, I guess it’s possible. I would sure hate to move him when he’s at his lowest value ever

      • Pat

        The thing is, until a guy is out of the game you really never know when his lowest value ever will be. People would have said the same thing last offseason, but then his value got even lower. I think it really just comes down to if they believe he is a part of the future. If not, go ahead and move him even if it’s for less than you might have gotten a year ago.

        • Rebuilding

          I don’t disagree with that. I prob should have said lowest value to this point. I guess I would just rather give him a full season with the new approach because he’s got a lot of other tools. But if he helps bring back a better prospect then great

  • curt

    No real point to this pick-up unless its just for minor league depth.

    • http://a-rodminorsavg.324hr/yr7 cub2014

      Gillespie fits the FO profile career minor OBP .393
      though poor results at MLB but only 125 AB
      the price was certainly right.

  • Seth N.

    what’s wrong with minor league depth?

    A farm system that is strong at all levels, with competition throughout, I think is more likely to produce league ready talent. Just statistically and from a Darwinian competition perspective.

  • cubchymyst

    If the cubs find a taker for Soriano, he’d make 2 right handed outfielders.

  • Stu

    The FO probably realizes that this is the last year of many fans accepting the selloff of talent and filling the roster with castoffs to “finish-off” the year. Poor guy who drops his hard earned money to watch trash in August/September in support of one of the most profitable teams in baseball.

    Better get a little more serious in the free agent market over the winter before the telemarketers start dialing the season ticket holders.

  • nkniacc13

    A question is would you rather have Gillesipe or Sapplet?

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