We’ve been waiting on the Cubs to make official the signings of Carlos Villanueva and Scott Hairston. The catch to both was that there were no open spots on the 40-man roster, so two players would have to be chopped. The Cubs finally got around to chopping one of them Saturday to make the Villanueva signing official. In case you’d forgotten about Lendy Castillo, here’s some background:
Castillo began his career as a shortstop in the Phillies organization, but converted to a pitcher in 2010 and showed enough promise for the Cubs to select him in the 2011 Rule 5 draft.
Castillo went on the disabled list May 11 with a groin strain and missed several months before being recalled in mid August. He had never pitched above the Single-A level before 2012.
Will Lendy stick with the organization or go the way of his Rule 5 predecessor David Patton? I doubt there are any teams dying to sign him, but you wouldn’t have expected any team to pick him in the Rule 5, either. As for Villanueva, in case you’d forgotten about him…
By placing him on waivers, the Cubs risk losing Castillo to another team, but it has cleared room for Villanueva, whose flexibility will come in handy on this year’s team. The former Blue Jay and Brewer has made 56 starts in his MLB career and 245 relief appearances, with a 4.26 ERA and 1.30 WHIP.
Welcome aboard, Carlos. At least you’re not Lendy!
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe floated out an interesting possibility regarding the roster spot needed for Scott Hairston. It seems he’s speaking only in the most speculative of tones, but one can dream, can’t one?
Alfonso Soriano, LF, Cubs — Always on the trading block, Soriano could still be moved before spring training, as teams like the Orioles and Rangers look to make last-minute moves to improve. Soriano belted 32 homers and knocked in 108 runs for the 101-loss Cubs, who continue to be willing to assume the bulk of the contract for a fair return.
I’d actually be said to see Alfonso go. I’m sure I’m in the minority, but I don’t mind him sticking around for two more years.