The jokes have become paint-by-numbers, so I’ll avoid. The Cubs have yet to make any fully-guaranteed big league signings this offseason, and instead of committed only to minor league signings and split deals (i.e., you get a 40-man spot and a higher rate, but it’s treated like a minor league deal for luxury tax purposes).
- RHP Dan Winkler
- RHP Ryan Tepera
- LHPDanny Hultzen
- OF Ian Miller
- UTL Hernan Perez
- OF Noel Cuevas
- RHP Brandon Morrow
- RHP Jason Adam
- LHP Tyler Olson
- C Josh Phegley
- INF Carlos Asuaje
- (The Cubs also acquired three righty pitchers in minor trades: Jharel Cotton, Casey Sadler, and Travis Lakins.)
Now, there are four additional minor league signings to add to the group:
— Cubs Prospects – Bryan Smith (@cubprospects) January 21, 2020
- Rex Brothers, 32, is probably the new name you most recognize, in part because he was briefly with the Cubs four years ago, but was released after a dreadful Spring Training, and wound up missing that whole season. He’d had some solid years with the Rockies before that, and since, he’s been in the Braves and Yankees’ organizations, mostly at AAA, and mostly putting up hilarious strikeout and walk rates. Like, the good kind of strikeout rate, but the bad kind of walk rate. He no doubt still has good stuff, so you’re happy to have him at AAA for that reason. But the command would have to come waaaaay back for him to be big-league-effective.
- Bryan Brickhouse, 27, spent his entire career so far in the Royals’ minor league system after they drafted him in the third round of 2011’s draft. I’m guessing there have been some serious health problems, because over that decade of work, he’s barely accumulated 230 innings of work. Total. He’s a full-time reliever at this point, and with some periodic spurts of huge strikeout rates, I’m guessing he’s a scouting play. Get him in a new org and see what happens.
- Juan Gamez, 25, was a Twins prospect for a bit before heading to the Mexican League this past year. He got good results (3.52 ERA over 46.0 relief innings), but it was based entirely on a heroic groundball rate (64.7%). Everything else was meh. So basically, you sign him because he apparently has a killer sinker, and then you try to modify from there.
- Caleb Simpson, 28, was a Giants prospect since the 2013 draft (21st round), and he strikes a lotta dudes out but walks nearly as many. He has yet to get past AA, but he throws 98 mph: