Luis Aquino – Pic via Twitter
It’s been a busy week and we are just halfway through. Between the Draft Lottery, the Rule 5 Draft, and MLB signings, Twitter has been hopping with the possibility of news and trades. Let’s talk about 10 thoughts I had about the first two events – the lottery and the Rule 5 Draft.
The Lottery/MLB Draft
1. I was a little disappointed to see the Cubs fall one spot to number 13 because the Twins got in the top six, but it’s not the end of the world. The Cubs will still get a good pick at that spot.
2. The quality of the 13th pick could be quite interesting. Most of the top players in this draft are going to be of the hitting variety. Right now, Tennessee’s Chase Dollander is the only college arm still good enough to be in the top 10. Odds are the Cubs are going to have a shot at a pretty good prep pitcher, if they still choose to go that way. If they took another arm, that would 4 years out of the last six years and 5 out of the last 7 that they took an arm in round 1. Me, like a lot of other people, would rather get an everyday kind of player otherwise known as a bat.
3. I’m really curious to see what the Cubs are going to get to spend this year in their bonus pool. That news should be out in a few days.
4. Even if the Cubs sign one of the top free agents, they still have the Willson Contreras compensation pick after the second round. Although no one has talked about it yet, that compensation pick can also be traded. The Cubs could use that in any potential deal to save some of their own top prospects, or to use in place of a lost second round pick depending on who they sign as a free agent.
5. In my draft analysis so far, I have not done a lot other than looking at who some people have in their top tens. Now, I’m going to have to start over a little bit and expand my search because there’s a lot of things that are going to happen between now and next July. There is a lot of baseball to be played. In those seven months, performance and development are going to restructure any rankings we see in December. Who evaluators pick today is kind of useless compared to who they pick in July.
6. Heading into the Rule Five Draft, I didn’t think anybody would pick a Cubs prospect in the Major League portion of the draft. If they did, it would either be Danis Correa or Cam Sanders, who both have experience at Iowa. I was quite surprised to see right, handed pitcher Chris Clarke get taken by the Mariners in the first round. That is going to change who we see at Iowa to begin 2023.
7. I did expect the Cubs to pick up an outfielder before they signed Cody Bellinger in free agency. With the injuries to Canario and Davis, the better bet would be that the Cubs are going to use minor league free agency as Plan B. Don’t expect a lot of free agents though. With Darius Hill still a Cub, that’s a good thing!
8. As a result, it was not surprising to see the Cubs pass in the MLB phase.
8. When it came to the minor league phase, I was thinking the Cubs would go all in on some pitching, but not much pitching. And if they did get pitching, I was thinking it would be of the left-handed variety. The Cubs wound up getting righty Nick Burdi, who if he is healthy, could be a bullpen piece next year. Burdi’s already pitched some with the Pirates in the majors between 2018 and 2020. But he has not pitched since. He had a big arm in the upper 90s and the Cubs are taking quite a gamble. But then again, it’s a low risk-high reward kind of move. I like it a lot.
9. As for lefty Luis Aquino, he looks like he could be something if he can get healthy. He pitched all of six innings last year, and has put up some pretty good strikeout per nine inning ratios in his career. If he is healthy, we might see him at Myrtle Beach next year in some capacity.
10. The Cubs did lose pitchers Bryan King, and Luis Rodriguez. King missed most of last year after undergoing Tommy, John and Rodriguez was in Myrtle Beach, where he pitched really well as a piggyback starter.
With the major league clubs transactions getting most of the headlines this week, we’re going to start to see a whole lot of minor league moves over the next few weeks as the Cubs try to build up some depth to station Iowa. We will try to be on top of every move that we can with one of our new breaking news writer, Rich Biesterfeld.