At a press conference in Mesa, the Chicago Cubs just confirmed the signings of Jason Hammel and James McDonald to one-year, big league contracts. We’ll get into the McDonald deal once the terms are known. I expressed my reservations about giving McDonald a big league deal last evening, but I’m open to being persuaded.
The bigger news came from Jed Hoyer, in discussing the signings, mentioned that the Cubs were looking for a little extra depth in light of some shoulder tightness Jake Arrieta felt this offseason. He didn’t go into detail, saying only that it has set him back a little bit, and he’ll come along slowly. So, that there explains away some of my concerns about the big league deal for McDonald, at least terms of the roster/rotational issues it could create.
Hopefully the Arrieta issue isn’t serious, and I expect we’ll hear more in the coming days. If Arrieta isn’t ready to start the season in the rotation, presumably McDonald, Chris Rusin, and Carlos Villanueva will fight for that spot.
(I believe I heard Epstein say that Justin Grimm will be coming to camp as a reliever, by the way.)