A New Pitching Prospect to Follow and Other Bullets

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A New Pitching Prospect to Follow and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs News

cubs azl spring training logoAlthough the Winter Meetings are now over, I recall that, historically, the week following the meetings is typically fairly transaction-laden as fallout from the meetings tends to shake out. Remember the Anibal Sanchez/Edwin Jackson/Carlos Villanueva drama in 2012? That was all the week after the meetings. This year, though, I wonder. The meetings were so active, all around baseball, that there might not be as much to shake out as in years past. For the Cubs, there are moves yet to be made, but I think we’re going to see a methodical, slower approach designed to wring out maximum value from whatever they do next.

In any case, there is still a ton to discuss today, so prepare for another busy day. In the interim, I would be a crummy entrepreneur if I didn’t take this busy time to remind you that you should do some holiday shopping at Amazon, because Amazon is awesome. And when you do that shopping via this link (that’s the one you can always find up there in the upper left corner of the site), it supports BN in the process. Hooray! Things!

  • The Cubs picked up a new prospect yesterday during the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft, Ariel Ovando, a former big-time bonus baby in the Astros’ system, and, now, also a former outfielder. As Cubs VP of Scouting and Player Development Jason McLeod told Carrie Muskat: “He’s struggled somewhat to hit over the years. Our scouts really like the arm strength. [Ovando] knows that’s the reason we took him is to convert him and try it out. It’s a low risk, potential high upside, understanding it’s a project. The kid is aware of it and that’s our goal going forward.” For fans, the fun part here is that Ovando instantly goes from a “oh, minor league phase Rule 5 guy? shrug” to “oh, that might be interesting to follow.” He’s still just 21. The conversion process usually takes multiple years, by the way, so don’t go expecting anything immediately. (Well, don’t expect anything at all, because this isn’t the kind of thing that’s likely to work out. It’s just fun to follow.)
  • Remember: minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft = the player is now the Cubs’ player, without any restrictions.
  • Javy Baez made his Puerto Rican Winter League debut yesterday, playing second base. He had a sac fly … and struck out three times. Yes, all three were swinging. No, I don’t want to hear anything about it. Baez worked out for something like a week before being inserted into games in a competitive league where other players had been playing for a month. And it’s one game. Just don’t do it. Don’t be that guy.
  • Jed Hoyer believes Starlin Castro still has a lot of untapped potential – specifically, power potential (Chicago Tribune).
  • There was an important Cubs TV deal discussion this morning if you missed it. Don’t miss it.
  • I was on the radio last night, but thanks to a late scheduling conflict, I was on daddy duty at the same time. The result was a kind-of-disastrous interview with a screaming, pleading toddler in the background who was completely uninterested in hearing me explain the latest on the Wrigley renovations.
  • The Mariners are having some holiday fun:


Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.