chicago cubs logoThat was fast.

Just a little bit after rumors of the Rangers scouting the Cubs’ infielders surfaced – including Donnie Murphy – the two sides put together a deal involving Murphy, according to Jerry Crasnick. Carrie Muskat says Murphy was claimed off of waivers, which doesn’t necessarily mean the Cubs didn’t receive anything for Murphy … but it’s possible.

Either way, don’t expect the return here to be significant. The Cubs will save $825,000 in salary owed to Murphy, which isn’t nothing, considering that he can be replaced internally.

Murphy’s departure has a variety of roster implications. His 40-man roster spot could go to someone like Ryan Kalish or Ryan Roberts. Further, the Cubs probably don’t let Murphy go unless they’re pretty confident that Mike Olt is going to make the team.

Your guess on the five bench spots now looks something like: George Kottaras, Justin Ruggiano, Emilio Bonifacio, Mike Olt (or Luis Valbuena, depending on whom you call the starter), and one of Ryan Roberts or Ryan Kalish.

UPDATE: See the subsequent George Kottaras transaction for more roster-related implications here.

  • mudge

    good for all concerned.

  • miggy80

    Hope that power doesn’t decide to go out now.

  • C. Steadman

    I wonder if it’ll just be a cash consideration trade to free up a 25/40 spot. If there is a prospect, it’ll probably be a Scoscia type

    • On The Farm

      If we are getting a coaches son, I hope its a Maddux

      • On The Farm

        Should be coach’s

        • terencemann

          Unfortunately, Nolan Ryan has already left the Rangers and his son works for the Astros.

    • C. Steadman

      now it’s just a waiver claim now. Purely opening a spot

    • MattyNomad

      I’d be happy with cash…Murphy would never net anything serious. However, if they happen to land a young arm with a spot above ‘meh’ potential then I’ll be even happier

      • C. Steadman

        It’s now being reported as a waiver claim so nothing coming back the Cubs way as far as Rangers’ assets(cash/players)

        • MattyNomad

          So much for holding their feet to the flames lol We’ve been scratching some backs lately…first the Angels and now this?! Im hoping this comes back around with some real great karma….not that I expected anything large or substantial. Hell, I would have rather heard Theo&Co trade Murphy for 2 tickets to the movies and snacks to accompany. But not like a large popcorn or anything…more like those kid packs.

          • hansman

            I love how every move and discussion between the Cubs and Rangers is going to be about some sort of Bro-Mance (God, I hate that word) between Daniels and Epstein.

  • jh03


    • Hee Seop Chode


    • LEO L

      really didn’t think he would make the team unitl barney traded which I expected to occur later. looks now like I will be wrong

  • Floyd7070

    Donnie Murphy to Rangers. Guess Olt and Kalish should make the team now. And Bonifacio, of course.

  • cubs2015

    I was going to be bummed out if Olt didn’t break camp with the big league club. It would seems that this solidifies his spot (if it wasn’t already)

  • jh03

    Woah, Brett, did you see Mooney’s tweet?

  • C. Steadman

    Woah, Cubs release Kottaras too. Brett, hopefully your power doesn’t go out now. Lotsa movez

  • Javier Bryant

    Kottaras is gone too. Wow. I wonder why?

  • kashbunker

    Wow…that is surprising with Kottaras. Another agreement with the Rangers?

    • MattyNomad

      It better be! We’ve spent the offseason accumulating assets…not big assets, but ones that considerably have value with all these injuries floating around. If we’ve let two of them go without a drop of anything in return I’m gonna chalk this one up as a bigger failure than signing Jackson.

      • Norm

        oh jeez. Now Donnie Murphy and George Kottaras are going to cause outrage?

        • Edwin

          Donnie you’re out of your element!

        • Noah_I

          Yeah, the Kottaras move may be odd, but it’s not anything anyone should really care about.

          • Edwin

            Considering Kottaras was supposed to be the backup C, and the Cubs have terrible C depth to begin with, I think the move warrants caring about.

            • C. Steadman

              John Baker is pretty much the same guy at a cheaper cost…also Eli Whiteside has been getting some praise in camp(I’m assuming defensive praise, bc he isn’t an offensive powerhouse)

              • Edwin

                Baker is a much worse hitter. And it’s not just the change from Kottarras to Baker, it’s the lack of depth.

                • hansman

                  I think there is some confusion here.

                  While having Baker in Iowa and Kottaras on the big league roster would provide us injury depth, this move doesn’t impact our lack of catching prospect depth.

                  The Cubs have plenty of sub-par catchers in the system that could do not much worse than a Kottaras/Baker dynamic duo.

                  Which if you are down to those two being the guys on your team, you are undoubtedly at or below replacement level.

        • MattyNomad

          Outrage is an extremely strong word to use in this scenario. I’m not upset that we’ve released either player, as neither one was irreplacable. Even so, they became more expendable with the emergence of Olt, Kalish, etc. But with a list of injuries growing by the day, is this not the timing that Theo&Co has used to really create that surplus value? Murphy & Kottaras are by no means star players, but to a team like the Rangers who desperately need replacements, why not even cash? I’ll admit, I think a majority of Cubs fans have an enlarged sense of value after we committed that crime now known as the Garza trade. But even Campana netted two arms, and I wouldnt say the D’Backs needed him as dearly as the Rangers need help now.

          Plain and simple, if the core of the rebuilding plan is to build up surplus value to trade for prospects….of which we develop into major leaguers, then not extracting said value from this scenario is a miss by our FO.

          • JCubs79

            Dude, its a backup catcher and borderline bench player. Relax.

            • C. Steadman

              We all saw how valuable a backup C could be last year with Navarro…A backup catcher is very valuable.

              • MattyNomad

                I dont know if this is sarcasm, but I do agree and it further demonstrates my idea. Does anyone think we missed the window to trade Navarro? Granted, he overperformed heavily [no pun intended] but he gave the Cubs surplus value. Doesnt anyone believe a team with backup options at catcher and various infield positions see value when a team is in obvious need of both? Just like Navarro, we should have pulled the string on this one.

                Im gonna state the obvous and say you cant win them all, but I see some good opportunites that go by. Not mad, not angry, just discouraged that our FO isnt shooting at some of the most obvious…no matter how little return they could have.

                • C. Steadman

                  No sarcasm, a backup C gets more starts than other backup position players(unless platooning), and having a left-handed good backup catcher is valuable to backup right-handed Castillo

                  • JBelknapp

                    Kottaras and Baker are very similar players, and in the limited time they will get, freeing up a little cash by sticking with Baker is the right move. Neither Baker or Kottaras are going to provide Navarro numbers so losing Kottaras is not that big of a loss.

                • hansman

                  There is also value in setting your trade demands at X and sticking to them.

                  Ultimately, whatever we received back for Kottaras/Navarro would have been incredibly weak (probably non-existent on Kottaras seeing as how no one wanted him for just his salary) and would have flamed out in A ball.

                  At some point, you have to realize that driving across town to save $.10 on a loaf of bread isn’t wise.

          • bbmoney

            Clearly this is just the completion of the Garza trade, which of course was started by the Cubs claiming Borbon earlier in 2013.

            I don’t know why everyone doesn’t understand this.

            • jp3

              Diehard has been telling us so for at least a year on this.

              • MattyNomad

                So we took Borbon, they took Garza, we took 4 more, they took 2….how was that trade worked out?

              • bbmoney

                I was upset he hadn’t posted this comment yet, so I felt I had to.

      • Rebuilding

        You’ve got to be kidding

      • kashbunker

        Uhmmm….I would not jump to conclusions AND compare it EJax to these two minor moves. (Two separate issues here)

        Another way I look at it is the following:

        1) We added Bonifacio which was unexpected but a great INF/OF upgrade
        2) Ryan Kalish has stepped up
        3) Mike Olt has stepped up
        4) Players from other teams are being released that made Murphy and Kottaras expendable

        EJax did not have a good year. Let’s see what happens in 2014

  • D-Rock

    Baker the back up now? Hmm…this should be interesting…

  • jeff1969

    If Kotteras also goes to Tex. are these maybe some “sorry we freaking robbed you last time” deals?

    • Elden14

      I think that’d be more valuable than a ‘meh’ prospect or two.

    • hansman

      No. If that were the case, the Cubs would have traded Kottaras to the Rangers.

      In order for your scenario to work, either Kottaras would have to be in on it (as in signing a deal with them) or both sides would have to get lucky that he cleared a lot of teams on the waiver wire.

    • Funn Dave

      There was definitely a conversation in a dimly lit, smoky back room somewhere before these releases took place.

    • cubs2003

      Could be. Best explanation I can come up with. I guess we’ll see how it goes.

  • cubs2003

    Woah. Maybe personality issues or some agreement I just don’t understand. Pretty surprising to me.

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  • Hee Seop Chode

    Well there goes the biggest off season acquisition (only kinda kidding).

    • D-Rock

      I laughed. :)

  • Blake Z

    Anyone have a video/link of Donnie Murphy tripping backwards on the warning track from the other day?

    • baldtaxguy

      That was MacDonald

      • Blake Z

        Yeah, brain fart.

    • Blake Z

      Nevermind, that was Darnell Mcdonald. I am confusing myself.

  • ChiMike702

    If Olt is on the roster he has to be starting. Valbuena will head to the bench.

  • CubsFaninMS

    If I were to guess, Barney and Valbuena will be platooning and, in the chance that an IF goes on the DL, Bonifacio will step in. If not, Bonifacio will be very difficult to slot into that OF with Lake, Schierholtz, Kalish, and Sweeney. I predict an OF move coming. Either Kalish goes to AAA or Sweeney or Schierholtz is traded.

  • HislersHero

    I’m not understanding the whole Theo/Jon Daniels thing. How did Theo rip him off? It takes two to make a trade.

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