Cubs Monday: Friday moves lead to quiet weekend

The front office of the Chicago Cubs was busy on Friday, announcing four player signings. While we all long for the Cubs to sign someone we’ve actually heard of, these signings aren’t that. They do, as you might imagine, fit the bill of the Cubs trying to find value in players discarded elsewhere. First, a starting pitcher who we might see in the rotation in 2014.hendriks

The Cubs claimed right-hander Liam Hendriks off waivers from the Twins on Friday. The 24-year-old is 2-13 with a 6.06 ERA in 30 Major League appearances (28 starts) with Minnesota over parts of the last three seasons.

Hendriks signed with the Twins as a non-drafted free agent in February 2007 and became the 28th Australian-born player and 20th pitcher to play in the big leagues when he made his debut with Minnesota in 2011.

Hendriks looks like a control-type pitcher. Not many strikeouts and not many walks, but he’s been hit pretty hard, as a 6.06 ERA would suggest. He’s only 24, so maybe the Cubs Chris Bosio can work his magic and turn him into a useful starter. There were also three minor league signings.

 The Cubs also have signed infielder Ryan Roberts, outfielder Ryan Kalish and catcher John Baker to Minor League deals with invites to Spring Training. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer were with the Red Sox when they drafted Kalish.

Kalish missed all of 2013 with an injury and had the same surgery as Peyton Manning on his neck in August. He’ll likely be in the minors as a reclamation project.

Remember when Julie’s source told us it’s looking like the Cubs are planning on keeping Jeff Samardzija around? Other people are starting to say the same thing. For one, Dave Schoenfield of

Are you as tired of Samardzija trade rumors as I am? At this point, he’s been tied to nearly every team in one rumor or another. The Blue Jays are the latest possible destination, but the Cubs reportedly asked for two top prospects plus a third player. Samardzija has two seasons left until free agency, and while he struck out 214 in 213 2/3 innings, his ERA was also 4.34, and 4.72 in the second half.

So maybe he just remains with the Cubs because of the high asking price. And then the Cubs will hopefully sign him to a 10-year extension so we don’t have to go listen to all these rumors again in July.

I guess I didn’t realize that Samardzija rumors were this offseason’s scourge, but after seeing what the Tigers got for Doug Fister, it shouldn’t surprise us if no one will pony up what the Cubs want for Samardzija. Mark DeRosa thinks he should stay with the Cubs, regardless.

“Absolutely I do, I think he’s what you build your team around,” DeRosa said. “I watched him play football and then when he signed with the Cubs, I remember first meeting him at the Cubs convention when he got called up. His presence in the clubhouse and his presence amongst guys who were much older than him, he fit right in. This guy is a killer. I love everything about him and I’d be hard pressed to believe that the Cubs will let him walk away unless they are just totally blown away [with a trade proposal].”


36 thoughts on “Cubs Monday: Friday moves lead to quiet weekend

  1. dabirdguy says:

    Dallas Green brought SWAGGER to the Cubbies in the 80′s. Prior to that they were wimps.
    Smarj has swagger. I like that. We need more guys with bravado and talent to back it up.
    That is part of why I don’t like Castro and Ratso. There is talent there, but those two are just a couple of guys that really don’t give a damn. They have no desire to WIN, except that it might be fun.
    ME, I want guys like Smarj that expect to win every time out.

    1. Doc Blume says:

      Honestly, I think your characterization of Castro is way out of whack. He has shown passion…and unlike Samardzija, who only goes out to play every 5th day, Castro has had to go out there and play on this joke of a team every damn day of the season as he watches them get clobbered day after day and I honestly believe that has taken its toll on him. He’s shown passion…he’s beat himself up for making errors in a game to a point of fault.

      To me, I’m seeing a lot of people starting to give Castro the Aramis Ramirez treatment here and it’s starting to piss me off…and to me it makes me thing that there is some sort of racist slant to peoples feelings toward some of these Latin players. Since you’ve included Rizzo (which I think is even more ludicrous than including Castro), I’ll give you a pass on the racist thing, but until you see these guys playing on a team that at least has a chance to win, I’m not sure how you can say that.

      To say that people don’t give a damn on a team that can’t be expected to compete is just wrong. When this team has more talent on it, if they can’t live up to those expectations, then you have something to complain about.

      As far as Samardzija, how many years did it take before he finally turned the corner as a pitcher? 5? 6? If many Cubs fans had their way 4 years ago, they would have run him out of town…or at least pushed him onto the Bears and a lot of people accused him of just sitting around and collecting big contract he didn’t really deserve. Samardzija was 27 years old when he finally became important. Castro and Rizzo are 24. Take a nap for 3 years and then wake up and look at these players and make an evaluation and compare them to Samardzija. They may be bums. They may not….but until you have these guys near their peak and on a team that might actually have a chance of seeing .500, you can’t give out such flat judgments on the kids.

      1. dabirdguy says:

        With Castro it is partially a “racist thing” because I do NOT have to “understand” the “Latin Culture”.Screw that politically correct crap. Major League Baseball has nothing to do with coddling someone’s feelings or changing our ways to accept THEIR heritage. This is not Venezuela and things are different here. The Latins need to adjust to THIS culture. The ones that do the adjustment succeed and I respect that.

        That being said, guys like Dawson, Santo, Hundley, Beckert, Banks, NEVER were caught with their back to the plate when a pitch was thrown. Did you EVER hear of a base running gaff by any one of these guys? Or a not-paying-attention defensive lapse? And they all played on some pretty lousy teams as well as good ones. They played hard and wanted to win ALL the time. Castro has to be TOLD this and babysat like a 4 year old? Gimme a break.

        As for Rizzo, he just goes thru the motions. He lacks drive. I think we have seen the best he will ever do, because he lacks the desire to do what it takes to win. The pitchers figure out what you can hit and what you can’t. You adjust to that or die. Rizzo can’t/won’t adjust. The term is un-coachable. This is a recipe for mediocrity and I don’t want the Cubs to build on mediocre.

        For the millions they make we have a right to expect much more and we are not getting it.

        1. gravedigger says:

          I hate you with the burning of a thousand suns.

    2. NotAgain says:

      Rizzo??? What is he doing that he shouldn’t be, or not doing that he should be? He’s still a young, largely undeveloped (hopefully) talent. For guys like that, I’d rather see them keep their heads down and keep working, rather than thumping their chests or staring down pitchers just because they homered off them.

    3. juliedicaro says:

      Swagger is part of Samardzija’s problem. He thinks he’s a way better pitcher than he is.

      1. dabirdguy says:

        Perfect. That is an excellent quality in a winner.
        Would you rather he thought he was a loser and was lucky to be there?

        1. juliedicaro says:

          No, but I’d rather he realize what he needs to work on and not make excuses when he sucks like “It’s hard to concentrate without a contract” when he’s the one who has refused to come to the negotiating table all along.

          He’s not the brightest bulb on the tree. That can be a great quality in a pitcher. I’m not sure it is in his case.

          1. dabirdguy says:

            Separate negotiation blarney from the rest. The contract game is just one more he wants/needs to win.

      2. dabirdguy says:

        My point is that you play the way you think. Above a certain level in athletics mindset is everything.

        1. dabirdguy says:

          Look where Pete Rose’s mindset took him. He had average Major League talent. He could not hold a position. He started out at 2b and ended up at first. Why, because his physical skills were limited. Yet he amassed more hits than anyone in Baseball. Why? his desire to win and his swagger.

          By the way, I hated Pete Rose because he was not a Cub.

  2. Tommy says:

    One one thing needs to be said about Rizzo’s so called “drive.”

    Any person who has enough drive to beat cancer, has enough drive to play a game professionally

    1. dabirdguy says:

      I admire that about him. I never once said he was not a good person. All I am saying is that he is and will be at best an average Major Leaguer. He needs some of Smarj attitude in him.

      1. Tommy says:

        He has 1 full season of the big leagues and you have no idea about Rizzo’s work ethic, none of us do. Baseball is a game the requires an even keel, and while I like Samardzija, he has shown in the past that things can get away from him if he gets frustrated. Personality wise, I would much rather have a team of 25 Rizzo’s than 25 Samardzija’s. This is baseball, not football

  3. NotAgain says:

    And Castro’s the way he is BECAUSE he’s from Latin America? Errr… OK.

    I have no idea how you have Rizzo so condemned to mediocrity when we’ve hardly seen anything of him yet relatively speaking. Give him a couple seasons/set of coaches working with him at the ML level. He’s been up here basically a season-and-a-half.

  4. sloanpeterson2 says:

    Good Morning Everybody! And isn’t it a lovely day today!

  5. Doc Blume says:

    I can’t like your statement. :(

  6. Doc Blume says:

    And then the comment went in the wrong spot.

  7. gravedigger says:

    No no no, none of that now. Only make decisions based on your gut instinct and good old fashioned racism.

  8. gravedigger says:

    fuck you, wordpress.

  9. Doc Blume says:


  10. Doc Blume says:

    Something is seriously fucked up…comment after comment…and I’m still being told that all the previous comments are new when they obviously aren’t. :(

  11. Doc Blume says:

    And as far as Pete Rose is concerned…he didn’t have a limited skill set. He moved from 2nd base because the Reds had a future hall of famer named Joe Morgan, to play that position. And Rose won multiple gold gloves as an outfielder before moving to first base in his late 30s.

    The statement of saying Pete Rose was moved from 2nd base to 1st base because of limited skills is like saying that Ernie Banks was moved from shortstop to 1st base because of limited skills.

    That’s about the stupidest thing you’ve ever said on here.

    Pete Rose didn’t have a limited skill set. He was one of the most talented baseball players in history who also would play with an intensity was wasn’t too different from the talented man who’s hit record he broke, Ty Cobb.

  12. gravedigger says:

    Sure wish we had someone around here who could figure out what the fuck is happening with the comments.

  13. dabirdguy says:

    So since you insist on labels for everyone I guess you get the label “Communist-Must-conform-Shit-for-brains wimp-King-of-the-politically-correct-police??
    Shove your hate. EVERYONE is entitled to a reasoned opinion.
    You hate because you’ve been brainwashed to do so. Small minds work like that.

  14. dabirdguy says:

    No, everyone wants to cut him a break BECAUSE of that. There is a difference.

  15. gravedigger says:

    Your completely idiotic and racist statements about Latinos are wrong, stupid, and hateful. I’m married to a Latino and my friends are virtually all Latino. Each and every one of them immigrated to this country and has worked harder than you ever have or ever will to make something of a life for them and their families. Saying “lazy Latinos” just makes clear what an uneducated and useless person you are. I don’t know where you get the idea that you get to dictate who gets to observe what culture and whose culture is determined to be the correct one. This isn’t about political correctness. The things you are saying are wrong, they are hurtful, they are stupid, and they are not wanted here. Go be racist somewhere else.

  16. dabirdguy says:

    You best back the fuck up and stop putting your bullshit stereotype crap into my comments.
    1. I NEVER ONCE said he was stupid or lazy. I said he doesn’t pay attention.
    2. I DID infer that too many people think that Latins should get special treatment. No one DESERVES special treatment.
    3. I DID say that Latins like all other immigrants (LIKE MY GRANDPARENTS) need to adapt to THIS culture and follow THIS cultures rules. NO EXCEPTIONS. It sounds like your wife and friends have done that and I DID say I respected that.

    YOU are the bigot here. YOU are the RACIST here. YOU need to rethink what you are saying and WHY. All someone has to do is say the work Latin and you read shit between the lines BECAUSE YOU ARE LOOKING FOR IT. THAT is crap.

  17. dabirdguy says:

    We hired Renteria because he is fluent in Spanish. Sounds like preferential treatment to me.

  18. Doc Blume says:

    Preferential treatment for Castro, Soler and the 10,000 other latin players the Cubs have added to their system over the last 2 years.

    Good grief, dude…you need to just drop this.

  19. sloanpeterson2 says:

    Between the comments, and the fact the comments are not nesting, I am getting a headache trying to figure out who is staking what position. So, peace out…

  20. J says:

    Wow. Not really sure if there’s a way to reply to this other than to point out that despite your xenophobic rant MLB is a global product. I get that you think American values need to be our leading cultural export, but most of the world doesn’t think that way. If MLB is going to continue growing, it will need to include all the different heritages which make up culture in the various MLB Clubhouses.

    I understand that baseball is “America’s Pasttime” but the second we started looking for cheap labor outside the US market, the narrative switched from some home-spun, folksy isolationist hoedown into multi-national corporation. Unless you’ve got a plan to turn every white kid in America into a SABR geek for life, you’re gonna need “those people” and their economic support to keep MLB an affordable distraction for white middle class.

    Also, it’s pretty un-American to disparage how much someone else makes. Land of the free and brave and whatnot. I mean how often do Castro and Rizzo get input on your economic worth at work? When you are the one signing the paychecks for more than anything than your opinion, people might start taking your clown college, xenophobe diatribes as being worth more than soiled cat litter.

  21. I’m racist because you said Latinos are lazy and have to be more like you. Ok, that makes perfect sense. Fucking moron.

  22. NotAgain says:

    Boy, that escalated quickly. I mean, that really got out of hand fast!

    Can we lighten the mood now and discuss ex-Cub Ryan Freel’s CTE?

  23. Anonymous says:

    (tiptoes into room,examines the carnage)The news about Ryan Freel just shows how little real medical knowledge players, and their families had/have about the repercussions of head injuries…

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