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chang yong limAlthough it probably isn’t consuming quite as many of your waking moments as the Masahiro Tanaka drama, one pitcher’s situation, as it relates to the Cubs, seems to have a little clarity.

A report out of Korea indicates that reliever Chang-Yong Lim’s agent says his client has been invited to Spring Training by the Cubs, who retained his rights after non-tendering him earlier this offseason. Lim, who came back from Tommy John surgery late last year to throw a handful of innings in the minors and Majors for the Cubs, signed a two-year contract with the Cubs before the 2013 season. The contract had some unique particulars, though, about which you can read more here.

Lim, 37, had Tommy John surgery in mid-2012, before deciding to come to the States the following year. If he’s fully recovered, he has the stuff to make the Cubs’ bullpen, but there are so many bullpen options at this point. As I’ve written before in this context:

The Cubs’ legitimate bullpen options presently go 10 deep: Jose Veras, James Russell, Wesley Wright, Pedro Strop, Carlos Villanueva (or Chris Rusin, depending on the rotation), Hector Rondon, Blake Parker, Justin Grimm, Zac Rosscup, and Brooks Raley. The typical bullpen includes seven guys, so, barring a trade or injury, that means someone like Parker or Grimm wouldn’t even make the pen at this point.

That list doesn’t include minor league deal/non-roster invite guys (some of whom, like Jonathan Sanchez, really do have a fair shot of making the pen as a specialist). And that doesn’t include rostered youngsters like Arodys Vizcaino, Alberto Cabrera, Neil Ramirez, and Dallas Beeler. And that doesn’t include Kyuji Fujikawa, who is expected back at midseason. There is depth, yo. Lots of it.

It’s a little unclear whether Lim wanted an opportunity to latch on to other teams (and the Cubs are holding him hostage, so to speak) or if the Cubs genuinely hope he can land a spot in the bullpen. The report indicates that the Cubs told Lim from the moment they non-tendered him that they wanted him to stick around. Whatever the case, he’ll get a shot in Spring Training, and, if he doesn’t make the team, we’ll find out whether he can be retained on a minor league deal, or whether the Cubs will let him try to catch on with another team.

  • Jon

    Booby prize if we don’t get Tanaka.

  • Jon

    [img]https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/1487400_10202641520935437_1424359903_n.jpg[/img]

    I have great idea for the BN clothing store, I saw these today, and what about a Cubs version?

    2014 Chicago Cubs
    NL Central Particpants
    ?

    • fortyonenorth

      Or….

      2014 Chicago Cubs
      The Race for Tanaka
      Honorable Mention

  • Jason P

    Tanaka has tweeted that he can’t decide. Good to know.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Can’t decide … about his Twitter avatar.

      • Cyranojoe

        At least he’s got a sense of a humor.

        • Cyranojoe

          Which you have to have if you’re going to play for the Cubs.

      • Jason P

        Oh… Ha I knew he tweeted “I can’t decide” and he also tweeted asking for help picking his new avatar, but for some reason I didn’t connect that the two were related.

      • ssckelley

        <— someone send Tanaka this!!!

      • ssckelley

        ^ oops, wrong arrow

    • hansman

      No…He has indigestion.

  • CubFan Paul

    As of now the bullpen is

    Veras
    Strop
    Lim
    Russell
    W.Wright
    Villanueva
    Cabrera

    It only took 3 offseasons to get it right

    • aaronb

      Lets reserve judgement on it being right. Bullpens tend volatile season to season.

      • CubFan Paul

        “Lets reserve judgement”

        No. This is clearly a better bullpen. The last two were flawed on purpose from the get-go

        • aaronb

          Really not a proven 8th or 9th inning arm on the roster. While I agree the POTENTIAL is there for big improvements. It’s still completely a collection of castoffs and marginal talents.

          • CubFan Paul

            “Really not a proven 8th or 9th inning arm on the roster”

            Strop. Russell. Veras.

            “It’s still completely a collection of castoffs and marginal talents”

            Bullpenning 101

            • aaronb

              Agreed on bad team Bullpenning 101.

              Collecting interesting arms without any real proven commodity. I am optimistic that a couple of these guys will perform well…Less so that it’s a real plus unit.

              We shall see though.

              • CubFan Paul

                “Agreed on bad team Bullpenning 101″

                That’s not what I was referring to (‘Collecting interesting arms without any real proven commodity’)

                “Less so that it’s a real plus unit”

                It should be better than theo&co’s last two bullpens (was my original point)

          • DocPeterWimsey

            The only “proven 8th or 9th inning arm” in baseball retired 4 months ago.

            • JacqueJones

              Craig Kimbrel retired?

              • Thiscantbegood

                Mariano Rivera is who he is referring too.

                • JacqueJones

                  Ya I know it was a joke. I was just saying that Kimbrel is another proven 8th or 9th innning guy.

    • blublud

      I’ll go

      Veras
      Strop
      Villanueva
      Russell
      Wright
      Parker
      Rondon

      I believe Grimm will be the fifth starter.

      • CubFan Paul

        Cabrera is out of options

        & I have Tanaka filling out the rotation.

        • blublud

          If Tanaka is signed, it’ll be

          Shark
          Tanaka
          Wood
          Jackson
          Grimm

          • blublud

            Oh. Forgot about Arrieta.

          • CubFan Paul

            The front office has already gifted a rotation spot to Arrieta who has one more pre-arb year to prove himself.

            • blublud

              This FO has not gifted anything to anyone. Not Arrieta or Olt as you keep suggesting. They will have their chances, like everyone else, and their chances may high because they are more skilled than their competition, but they will both still have to earn it.

              • CubFan Paul

                They’ve said repeatedly that Arrieta is in the rotation with Shark, Wood, & EJax.

                No mention of Carlos Villanueva.

                nor Rusin, Raley, Grimm, Cabrera, Marshall, or Ramirez.

                Gifted.

                • JacqueJones

                  No they haven’t. If you’re gonna say stuff like that, at least try to find a link to the bogus things you say.

                  • CubFan Paul

                    Try Bing.com

                    I’m sorry you’re out of the loop.

                    • JacqueJones

                      Nothing shows up because you’re simply making things up.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      Try Bleachernation.com

                      Maybe you’ve heard of it.

                    • JacqueJones

                      Ya I read it everyday like you do im sure. Brett has never said anything like that because he only reports factual events with links to back them up.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      “Brett has never said anything like that”

                      False. It’s been reported here also that the rotation is Shark, Wood, EJax, and Arrieta.

                      You’re just new.

                    • JacqueJones

                      False, it has been speculated that that would be the rotation, which is a reasonable prediction given that that was the rotation at the end of last year. There has been no report of Jed saying that would be the rotation.

                • Chef Brian

                  What anyone says until spring training is meaningless. They will all compete and the best person will play. The FO may have their preferences or how they would like it to shake out, but performance will be the ultimate decider. No one was gifted anything and No one wins a competition in January.

                  • CubFan Paul

                    Argue with the depth chart all you want.

                    • JacqueJones

                      The depth chart that hasnt been released. can’t argue with a figment of your imagination.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/team/depth_chart/index.jsp?c_id=chc

                      I didn’t even have to google it. I use common sense (the 40 man) and cubs.com

                    • Edwin

                      Paul,

                      Right on the Depth Chart.

                      “*Projected by MLB.com and not subject to the approval of the Chicago Cubs”

                    • JacqueJones

                      The same 40- man roster that includes Blake parker and doesnt include Lim somehow implies that Lim is being given a spot over Parker.

                    • JacqueJones

                      you use this depth chart that has Valbuena starting at third, yet you insist that Olt has been gifted the starting job.

      • willis

        I’m down with that, but my only issue is that Cabrera is out of options so they may force the hand of him in the pen as much as possible, and if he performs well in ST, they’ll probably give him the shot over Rondon.

  • salesguy

    I’m sorry but I have to disagree again, I just can’t see a 37 year old getting the nod over Parker. I can understand Cabrera, he’s out of options, but just yesterday we were talking about the possibility of Grimm remaining a starter. To make a blanket statement that “Barring a trade or injury someone like Parker (or Grimm) doesn’t make the pen.” I just don’t see how that’s possible.

    • CubFan Paul

      “I just don’t see how that’s possible”

      Because you didn’t follow Lim last year

      • SenorGato

        I’m hoping Cabrera’s more powerful arm beats out Parker. I love that theres more velocity in the pen this year.

      • salesguy

        No I followed, but saw parker for an entire season, Lim is just not worth the spot.

        • CubFan Paul

          “Lim is just not worth the spot”

          Why? Because he’s 37?

          • salesguy

            Yes, to start with, but also Parker proved himself to be very flexible, and was effective in high leverage situations, he also closed at Iowa. I’ll grant you, he’s not overpowering, but he just gets people out. If you truly want a 37 year old relief pitcher, you don’t have to import one, there are several looking for jobs around the league. I just think we’re past the 37 year old, kinda effective for one season relief pitcher. Parker can be effective for multiple seasons and need to develop at the MLB level.

            • CubFan Paul

              You’re either related to Parker or got his upside mixed up with someone else…

              Lim over Parker is the better move (Theo&Co clearly agree)

              • salesguy

                No he just reminds me of Joe Borowoski, not overpowering, but effective, that, coupled with the fact that he has the chance to be around longer (mainly because of his age). I’m not saying there aren’t better options (possibly available for call up midseason) but starting the year, you could do a lot worse.

                • CubFan Paul

                  Blake Parkers are a dime dozen.

                  Experienced side armers are not.

                  That’s probably what the front office is thinking.

                  • SenorGato

                    This times infinity. Not excited about Parker at all honestly. Seems like his ceiling is Camp.

                    • Danny Ballgame

                      I think that we may unload a few relievers this trade deadline. Probably packaged with a Nate/Sweeney type

                  • JacqueJones

                    The FO is not saying Lim is better than parker. They both are going to spring training. There is nothing that indicates that they like lim and dont like parker. You once again manage to make leaps and bounds that make no sense to say “Theo/Jed clearly just said this” youre just a delusional liar.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      “Theo/Jed clearly just said this”

                      That’s a misquote.

                      “youre just a delusional liar”

                      I’m beginning to think you’re a child …Have a nice day

                    • JacqueJones

                      It wasnt intended to be a quote it’s a paraphrase of the crap you say all the time, claiming the FO says things that they dont. You never back up anything you claim to be factual with actual reports, because they dont exist, hence you are a liar.

                    • JacqueJones

                      “Lim over Parker is the better move (Theo&Co clearly agree)”

                      And it’s not even an exageration. You just said Theo and co clearly think Lim is better than Parker based on nothing. You’ve said over and over that Jed has already said Olt is the 3b even though no reporter has reported this. you are a liar.

              • Edwin

                Parker put up some pretty impressive numbers, although in only 46 innings last season. 10.68 K/9 with a 2.91 BB/9. 2.90 FIP.

                If he can come close to replicating those numbers again, that’s pretty good.

                • SenorGato

                  Sure, from there you try to determine if he can keep doing it. Decent breaking ball but 90-91 with the fastball give me doubts…He did earn the privilege of opportunity THO.

  • Cubbie in NC

    This is an area I have faith that Hoyer will get right. He put a good bullpen together in San Diego from a bunch of guys that most had never heard of.

    • brainiac

      i’m sorry to say but we really need a new GM. the guy just can’t make lemonade. he makes water with lemon in it. not the worst drink, but unless you’re a diabetic you’d rather have the sugar.

      • BT

        Well THAT didn’t take long. I’m sure you’ll have no problems with the next guy though.

      • SenorGato

        Whats so bad about Hoyer? The moves he has made are pretty damn on point. The issue has been a lack of impact while his hands are tied.

        • brainiac

          i can’t find one mlb-level move that i like by him, but a ton of silly waiver line and salary dump moves that i don’t like.

          • hansman

            So trading Garza for what they did. Signing David dejesus. The Lake callup, signing schierholtz.

            All of those were garbage moves?

            • CubFan Paul

              “signing schierholtz”

              4th OF love?

              • willis

                There’s been plenty of good and plenty of bad. I wouldn’t call DeJesus good though, he was an ok player who was salary dumped for nothing.

                • SenorGato

                  Which one was bad? After holding out on Garza in 2012 theres nothing I can think of.

              • hansman

                I’m not suggesting any of these moves were LOL OMG THAT WAS AMAZING!!!! But those are moves where there is a lot to like.

                They’ve had their share of screwup and successes.

                • CubFan Paul

                  But Schierholtz?

                  Now he’s overpaid through arbitration because they valued him way too high at the deadline

                  • SenorGato

                    Is this actually true? Not sure I buy that but havent checked.

                  • hansman

                    I think they should have shipped him off at the deadline, unless they weren’t getting close to what they wanted. In that case, he isn’t being so grossly overpaid, nor will he so grossly suck, that it isn’t worth taking a stand and saying “You will pay what we want or no dice.”

                    If that is how it went down, they are taking a page from the Rays book of business rules and I like it.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      In Jed’s own words (or maybe it was Theo) he said he *over* valued Schierholtz at the deadline. I forget his delusional reasons why.

                      That’s what I was referring to.

                    • Rebuilding

                      If the reports that we turned down a Schierholtz for Adam Eaton swap are true then that is a real head scratcher. Obviously I’m as high on Eaton as anyone, but even if you are as pessimistic as Señor Gato (Eaton is a 4th OFer) just from a year’s of control standpoint it makes no sense

                    • JacqueJones

                      dude you need a link if you say there is a rumor like he turned down a deal for eaton

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      I think that one is pretty improbable. The DBacks have a funny (= often stupid) way of trading their players based on *their* value scheme rather than MLB’s. However, they got Trumbo for Eaton in the end: and many places would value Trumbo much more than Schierholtz, not just the DBacks. (The DBacks almost certainly over-value Trumbo, too, so they probably think Trumbo >> Schierholtz.)

                    • Rebuilding

                      It was reported at the time of the Sox trade. No idea if it was true or not and at this point I’m too lazy to dig it up because it really doesn’t matter

                • aaronb

                  It’s been a mostly impotent 3 year stretch in terms of GMing.

                  He’s taken a bunch of flyers on guys. Had no real pressure to produce on the MLB level. And a host of minor hits and misses that haven’t amounted to much.

                  Jury is still out on Hoyer. Simply because Hoyer hasn’t had to do much other than show up and play solitaire in his office these last three years.

                  • CubFan Paul

                    Hoyer reads BleacherNation…

                  • itzscott

                    >> Jury is still out on Hoyer.<<

                    Pretty much agree with the above post. Seems like most additions and promise have come from McLeod's realm.

                    Wondering how much of McLeod's fingerprints were on the Garza trade.

            • JacqueJones

              Picking up Valbuena is higher up than the schierholtz signing imo. Maholm signing was excellent. Feldman signing was excellent.

              • aaronb

                Not enough of them over a three year period to improve things though. And mitigated by equal failures on guys like Scott Baker, Ian Stewart and prominent roles from guys like Marmol and Barney.

                I thought they had a decent offseason last year. Though it was about 3 moves too little before the season even began (And I would have rather spent 10-12 million on a good pitcher than 12 million on Feldman and Scott Baker).

                It’s still been low pressure and basic outright tanking since he got here.

                Tough to hang him because his hands are obviously tied financially. Though it’s tough to hang Sveum for the same reasons.

              • Voice of Reason

                You know your team sucks when you’re debating the more valuable signing… Valbuena or Schierholtz.

        • Jon

          Why are we even discussing Hoyer? He get’s Theo coffee and that’s it.

          • SenorGato

            Hes way more likely than Epstein to stick around once things get going.

            • Jon

              That would suck.

              • SenorGato

                Probably not but youre prob being emotional.

          • Greenroom

            Ok, what evidence are you citing? Please do tell.

            • Cubsleeram

              You don’t need evidence! Just say stuff that feels/sounds right to you.

  • Diehardthefirst

    Are Cubs looking at Tomko too? Why not? Plenty of uniform numbers left

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