By Todd Johnson
Over the past five years, Theo and Jed have always struck early in the trade market. I don’t know if I see that happening this year. I think the Cubs will wait to see how much things cost before they go all in the water. A new and improved fourth starter could lengthen the rotation quite a bit and make them more formidable in the postseason. Eddie Butler did well this week in his bid to stay in Chicago. I don’t know if the Cubs are going to rely on Butler to be that player. I wouldn’t think so. However, it’s a long wait between now and the end of July when the trade deadline ends.
Down in Des Moines, the Cubs DFA’d Jake Buchanan. He was promptly picked up on the waiver wire by the Reds. The I-Cubs have been hit by pitching injuries again this year. Juan Paniagua made two short starts in the past week. I don’t know how much longer they’re going to continue doing that with relievers as Steve Perakslis also made a start. With Tennessee in first place, I don’t think anybody’s going to be coming up soon from AA.
670 the Score’s Bruce Levine got everybody talking this weekend about the possibility of bringing back Jeff Samardzija as a fifth starter. Jeff is owed $66 million over the next three years and his ERA has been near five since he left the Cubs in the trade for Addison Russell. Although Samardzija did do his best work with pitching coach Chris Bosio, I don’t think he is the best pitcher the Cubs could get on the market this summer. I like that Jeff wants to win, I just don’t think his stuff is good enough to do so. You don’t get a 5+ ERA by accident.
While I trust Theo to go out and make the best deal, I think the deal to get a new pitcher is going to be balanced between winning in the present and not giving up too much for the future.
Coming up at Cubs Central
I think June is my favorite month to write and to cover the Cubs’ system. There is the covering of the major league draft over three days. Three of the four affiliates finish the first half on June 18 and have their All-Star game on the 20th. I publish the first half All-Star team and break out players of the first half and do predictions of both for the second half. Four New affiliates start playing in Mesa, Eugene, and the Dominican Republic. And, as always, there is player development.
Around the System This Week
Iowa: 3-4; 22-26 – They seem to be running out of starters. Then again, Jeimer came back and began hitting as soon as he touched down in Iowa.
Tennessee: 5-1; 29-19 – Zoomed into first place behind excellent starting pitching and Jeffrey Baez who has been on a tear this month. Both Trevor Clifton and Preston Morrison have ERAs under two for the month of May.
Myrtle Beach: 5-2; 27-23 – Daniel Spingola and Justin Steele are playing great! This Eloy guy is doing OK when he is healthy. Oscar de la Cruz struck out ten on Thursday night and Adbert Alzolay keeps rolling along.
South Bend: 4-3; 28 -18 – They need some consistent starting pitchers. Jose Paulino and Manny Rondon struggled most of May. Duncan Robinson is ray of hope and it looks like Dylan Cease will be back very shortly. Tyler Peyton got his first start of the year last night and gave up 2 in 4 IP.
Extended Spring Training – Joe Martarano got on base five times on Friday. He seems to be picking up the hitting thing after missing all of 2016. There are only three weeks until spring training ends and the players get divided up between Mesa and Eugene.Remember the name Miguel Amaya. He will be a fast riser on the Prospect Lists this summer. He’s an 18 year catcher who can do it defensively and offensively. Javier Assad is a pitcher who has been near dominant in the box scores this spring as well.
Grading the 2016 Draft