A Strange Day Indeed – Russell, Torreyes, and Hamilton Highlight a Lot of Roster Weirdness

Yesterday was a strange day. 

The weirdness began when the Cubs issued two joint statements from Theo Epstein and Addison Russell .

I haven’t decided if the Cubs are trying to win the public relations front or actually trying to help everyone involved or both. On the surface, the latter appears to be their intent in words.

I would prefer the Cubs just move on from him. However, I may not get my wish for a while.

By offering Russell a contract, the Cubs control his fate once he comes off suspension. Until then, they can trade him, release him, or keep him. The Cubs still think they might be able to get something for him before he comes off suspension. Sadly, Friday’s memos were more about that than anything else.

The Cubs also tendered contracts to Carl Edwards, Kyle Hendricks, Mike Montgomery, Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, and Kyle Schwarber. Unless the players and Cubs agree on terms, they will all go through the arbitration process later this winter. 

The Cubs did not offer contracts to Justin Hancock, Allen Webster, and the newly acquired Ronald Torreyes. Almost immediately after the announcement, news got out from 670 the Score’s Julie DiCaro that the Cubs are working to sign Torreyes to a deal.

The roster stands currently stands at 36.

However….

The free agent market changed greatly yesterday. Almost 100 new players joined the fray and at a markedly reduced price. The Cubs are going to be looking for a middle infielder, some relievers, and maybe a backup catcher. 

One player whose non-tender caught my eye was OF Billy Hamilton of the Reds. His defense capabilities and immense speed are intriguing and he could be a potent hitter.

When the Winter Meetings begin on the 10th, the off season should be in high gear.

Advertisements

Cubs Finally Make a Move…Two Actually

By Todd Johnson

I like when trades or transactions just sneak up and offer a pleasant surprise. That happened today when the Cubs announced they had traded for infielder and former Cub Ronald Torreyes for cash and a player to be named later. In addition, the Cubs signed free agent lefty reliever and 2018 Iowa Cub Kyle Ryan to a major league deal. As a result, the Cubs’ roster currently stands at 40.

Torreyes originally came to the Cubs in 2012 in the Sean Marshall deal only to be traded in 2013 to the Astros to gain some additional international free agent money which the Cubs used to sign Eloy and Gleyber. But Torreyes career kept going as he has been apart of the Dodgers and Yankees systems at the major league level. Torreyes saw limited time with just 100 ABs in 2018 but hit .280. His best season was in 2017 where he hit .292 in 108 games.

I really dig this signing because Torreyes can play second, shortstop, third, and right field. He’s not going hit 20+ HRs but he is going to get on base when he plays and provide a lot of defensive relief at a variety of positions. He’s also fairly young at 26. Should the Cubs release, or non-tender, Addison Russell this Friday, Torreyes provides depth at the major league behind and beside Javy Baez.

As for Ryan, he came to the Cubs last spring and did very well at Iowa. In 22 appearances, he threw 66 innings with a 2.86 ERA and struck out 61 while keeping opponents to a .204 average. The just turned 27-year-old Ryan was a minor league free agent this off season. He should be in the bullpen this spring, or at least competing for a spot.