Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

cubs azl spring training logoBaseball America unveiled its minor league free agent database, and it’s going to be a treasure trove of movement this offseason.

Among the first things you notice when perusing the Cubs:

The Cubs have signed former Angels righty Drew Rucinski to a minor league deal. The 26-year-old saw parts of the 2014 and 2015 season with the big league club, and actually looked to be on the verge of a breakout in 2014 – he was fantastic at AA, and got a look-see mid-season and in September. But then he headed to AAA for the 2015 season, and lost his control a bit, and was not nearly as effective as he’d been the year before. Rucinski’s is a really interesting story, having been signed by the Indians as an undrafted free agent, released, and then plucked by the Angels out of independent ball. He’s been a starter for essentially all of his career, and it’ll be interesting to see if the Cubs keep going that route – it looks like there’s real talent there – or if they see what he could do out of the bullpen at AA/AAA.

Brian Schlitter has moved on, signing a minor league deal with the Rockies. Always so very good in the upper minors, and always so hittable in the big leagues, Schlitter can be a decent middle reliever if his command is at its absolute peak, and he gets some luck. He turns 30 next month, and maybe his sinker will work well for the Rockies.

Also, some video on Rucinski as a prospect (he was a top 20/30 type with the Angels before the 2015 season):

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