casper wells marinersIf the Chicago Cubs are looking to pick up a cheap, right-handed outfield complement, they may have just done it. According to Matt Eddy, the Cubs have signed Casper Wells to a minor league deal, and he’ll presumably get an invite to Spring Training. The signing won’t light your world on fire, but it’s the kind of thoughtful, no-risk move that every successful organization makes. Hell, even the unsuccessful organizations make these moves, too. I guess I leave it to you to place the Cubs on the continuum.

Wells, 29 (today, actually – happy birthday, dude), is your prototypical “can play anywhere in the outfield, but is mostly a corner outfielder” type guy. He was, at one time, a really solid-looking fourth/third outfielder for the Tigers and Mariners, before falling off a cliff last year. The season was truly a brutal one for Wells, who dealt with injuries, an hilariously low BABIP (.188), and bounced from team to team to team. I won’t go into the nitty gritty, but, suffice it to say: his OPS+ was -7. It was only 102 plate appearances, though.

Wells walks at an 8% clip and has a .166 career ISO, so he does some things decently. FanGraphs also has him as a pretty good defensive outfielder. Moreover, for his career – even including last year’s abomination – he’s a .248/.329/.450 hitter against lefties. Not exactly raking, but, combined with the defense, he could be part of a modestly successful platoon.

The signing reminds me a great deal of the Brian Bogusevic deal last year, as he can also play all over the outfield, and was coming off an exceptionally poor season in 2013. Bogusevic was never going to be a starter for the Cubs, but, as he proved, he could be a nice 4th/5th outfielder type, and start for a stretch in a pinch (especially on an, um, uncompetitive team).

Wells will get a legitimate shot to make the team in Spring Training as a 4th/5th outfielder, depending on what happens out there the rest of this offseason. If he doesn’t make the team, like Bogusevic before him, he’s nice insurance to have down at AAA Iowa. Here’s hoping the Cubs add an actual, starting-calibre outfielder at some point this offseason.

And if he doesn’t stick in the outfield, maybe the Cubs will convert Wells to the mound.

  • waffle

    man, the whining quotient on this board has gone completely through the roof.

    It makes it hard to read.

    It’s like that saying, if you have/are a hammer everything looks like a nail

    if you are a whiner, everything looks like a failure

    mostly it seems to be about trades we should make or FA’s we should/should have signed

    BE SPECIFIC ON THE ABOVE…It will make for more interesting reading

    • MichiganGoat

      I worry about people that are so frustrated with a sports team that they find te time to complain online over and over with I real reason. That’s a sad existence, BN is a fun place a place where we can obsesses over something we love but if what you love rings yiu this much bile it’s time to leave and find a happier place.

  • johnny chess Aka 2much2say

    How about Kemp and D Gordon for Castro Samardjia Barney

  • anonymous-ly

    You all are proving my point. I am still awaiting the day Brett institutes a no bashing other posters policy along with a no complaining policy. When that day comes, I’m sure the trolling will disappear.

    By the way, if there were no contrarian views allowed on this board along with the occasional negative trolling, the page hits on here would sink to the bottom. Believe it or not, most of you are really boring. It’s the negative nancy’s fighting with the pom pom girls that make this site enjoyable. If you all were left alone by yourself with only rah rah talk, it would be an empty room.

    So take it easy and enjoy the occasional trolling and negativity, cause they give you reason to live and they are what the makes the site enjoyable occasionally.

    • Boogens

      Thanks for the advice, Oprah.

      • mjhurdle

        That is really not fair to Oprah.

        • DarthHater

          “Thanks for the advice, Dr. Phil.”

          Better? 😀

    • MichiganGoat

      Got it, don’t reply to you. I just ignore and block you- Done!

  • Craig

    McCann to Yankees mlb trade rumors reporting

    • MichiganGoat

      I’ll be interested to see what the terms will be. Here’s the link

      • DarthHater

        Stealing from MLBTR again, Goat? 😛

      • Ron

        McCann at 5 yr 80 mill is not as high as I thought it would be. Interesting to see if this and a couple other signings (Cano/Granderson) take them out of the Tanaka sweepstakes.

      • Jason Powers

        Might be 90 mill. In line with WAR creation at 15 (4,3.5,3,2.5,2) @ 6mil. Or at least that what i can eyeball via BR mobile version of site…

  • Brett

    Trolling is rampant right now because of a combination of the following factors:

    1.) The Cubs are terrible and have been terrible for a long time. While some of us believe, long-term, there are great things happening (and will sit smugly in celebration three years from now, thinking back at all of the meatballs), others are just angry and have no other outlet, apparently. So they troll.

    2.) I am not a heavy-handed moderator, and I don’t believe in banning people/deleting comments simply because they disagree. This fosters great, open discussion, but it also emboldens trolls.

    3.) The site has a huge number of readers, and, like the population at large, some of them are jerks. More readers = more jerks. And, as we all know, it’s much easier for 1 jerk to ruin things than for 10 great people to save things.

    4.) The Internet is a thing that exists and since time immemorial there have been trolls where there is anonymity.

    That’s just the reality. You can blame me, you can blame each other … or you can just accept it, and ignore the bozos. For my part, there IS a commenting policy here, and maybe I just need to do more to enforce it.

    • DarthHater


      • Blublud

        Hey Darth, off the subject.

        I never apologized for my comments doing our incident, so I’m doing it now. We shouldn’t have to avoid each other comments because a blog page spat(no disrespect Brett). We should be bigger than that.

        • DarthHater

          No problem, man.

          And I haven’t been avoiding your comments. They just aren’t worthy of my attention. (j/k) 😛

          • Blublud

            I was only for one of yours to be worthy of my attention to apologize.

            • DarthHater

              BTW, the Twix Corporation demands that you immediately cease and desist use of that avatar…

    • Kyle

      “1.) The Cubs are terrible and have been terrible for a long time. While some of us believe, long-term, there are great things happening (and will sit smugly in celebration three years from now, thinking back at all of the meatballs), others are just angry and have no other outlet, apparently. So they troll.”

      I know you didn’t say it, but let’s never forget that it’s possible to be frustrated and skeptical long-term and not be a troll.

      I don’t think I’ll be celebrating, but I’ll be at least a bit smug if the unthinkable happens and somehow all these amazeballs prospects *don’t* lead us to an unprecedented era of Cubs success.

      • SK

        More and more, I think the scenario where you get to be smug is by far the most likely to occur.

  • Frank

    You are right every team makes these kind of moves and they mostly go unnoticed. But when these are the only kind of player moves you’ve made this offseason,they will be criticized. Like Brett said it is early but that hasn’t stopped a lot of teams from making big trades and signing free agents. I’m not advocating big spending for the sake of spending. Just do something to make this team better!

    • DarthHater

      Blaming the lack of big moves on the small moves that are necessary and inevitable is illogical.

  • Voice of Reason

    Derrick rose is done.

    Amnesty boozer, let Deng walk when he’s a free agent and trade Noah.

    Let the rebuild begin for the Bulls.

    • DarthHater

      In order to rebuild, isn’t it necessary first to have built something?

    • Blublud

      Why let Deng walk when you can trade him and get something, even if only an extra draft pick.

      • Blublud

        this coming from a guy who absolutely hates the Bulls with all my heart and would love to see them suck.

    • N.J. Riv

      It’s a torn meniscus on his opposite knee, man calm it. Didn’t Castillo have surgery on his this off season? (There’s my Cubs connection). I was also mad that they are letting Deng walk and at the fact they still ignored to get another reliable scorer that can create hos own shot when Rose is getting DP’d or not playing and the the bench keeps getting thinner every year. The Bulls can’t score when Rose isn’t playing. They have assets like Deng and the Bobcats pick, but they refuse to use them. If the Bulls don’t upgrade after next off-season with what is supposed to be a pretty good free agent and draft class, GarPax should be tossed.

  • jmc

    how does Darth Hater gets his cool graphics and I’m only able to use voice recognition? Lol

    • DarthHater

      The Dark side of the Force, baby.

      • Senor Cub

        awesome graphics!

        I would give that a .300 batting average, just want to keep it related. In other words, not Cubs worthy. haha. I LOVE my Cubbies and find the BN a good place to vent. We all love the Cubs and wish they were better. Thanks Brett for all you do man.

  • yoga master

    Is Brett Jackson safe on the 40-man?

  • Blublud

    For some reason, I am starting to feel like the Cubs are going to sign Cano. I’m not pushing for Cano, as I really have no feeling one way or the other. I don’t think the Yankees will budge, mainly because they really can’t. Somebody is going to scoop him up.

    • cub2014

      hot stove asked experts where these guys are going:

      ellsbury: more than half say the Cubs
      choo: one thinks the Cubs most think Mariners or Rangers
      tanaka: most say Cubs are in on him fits the youth movement.
      most think: dodgers,mets (yankees maybe too poor now)
      which helps the Cubs

      i am slightly more optimistic

  • Brian Peters

    Cano most likely will end up in DET. Yankees signed McCann, which I’m not too bent about because I don’t think he makes them that much better.

    • Kirbs414

      The Tigers just traded for Ian Kinsler, don’t think they’re in on Cano

      • MichiganGoat

        Sure they could. Kinsler or Cano could play third or as the local Detriot people have been throwing around they could sign Cano and then package Kinsler, Jackson, and others to get a big outfield bat like CarGo or others.

        • Kirbs414

          Have Cano or Kinsler ever played 3rd before?

          • MichiganGoat

            I don’t know but I’ll look into it but switching from 2B to 3B is not that uncommon, and either will be better than Miggy.

          • MichiganGoat

            No neither have had MLB time at 3B they’ve both been only at 2B (not sure about the minors) but switching is very possible.

            • Kirbs414

              Thanks MG. Good point. I hadn’t heard of them switching or thought about their upgrade over Miggy’s defense.

              • MichiganGoat

                No worries and this is just the local blowhard Tiger beat people speculating but I thought it was an interesting idea, one thing is certain the Tigers ownership will go into bankruptcy to win the WS before he dies. They surprised everyone with the Prince contract I can see them doing the same with Cano.

                • 70’scub

                  exactly even eating 30 million because of playoff performance small sample or not the owner want a WS title period.

      • Senor Cub

        How about Cano to the Cardinals? Not their style or their way but they just got rid of some people and have tons of $$$ to spend. If Cano can’t get his $310M maybe he signs a one year or two with the Cards, becomes an MPV and get’s $410M two years later with the Yankees!

  • YourResidentJag

    Per Patrick Mooney: a source close to Glanville said he still has two more years left on his ESPN deal and will not be a candidate for this job.

  • YourResidentJag

    Matt Clapp ‏@TheBlogfines 1h
    RT @MLBBruceLevine: Teams have inquired about #Cubs SP Jeff Samardzija. Source: Toronto putting together package of young players.

    • YourResidentJag

      Here’s hoping one of them is indeed Aaron Sanchez.

  • Ajbearsfan

    I don’t post here often but here I am feeling compelled to do so. I agree with Brett about one of the issues being that the cubs are terrible and have been for a long time. People are tired of losing and want to win. Especially against the cards who will be good for a long time to come. Bottom line here is we can’t control what owners and front office people do. All we can do is speculate and give opinions on what should be done. Instead of bickering and complaining, let’s get back to the thing we all have in common here. The cubs!!!

    On another note sad to hear about Derrick rose. Unfortunately I have the distinct feeling he’s now another Brandon Roy.

    • 70’scub

      Speaking of the Card’s, I thought Dale needed to go based on the no response to the issue of the Card’s spikes high message directed at “Castro”. No doubt the Cubs have a short term talent gap, however standing up for ones self as a team is very important in terms of developing a tough winning culture.