Cubs Claim Adrian Cardenas

The Cubs claimed Adrian Cardenas off of waivers from the Athletics, the A's announced. Oakland had designated the infielder for assignment on January 26th.

Cardenas, 24, spent the 2011 season with Oakland's Triple-A affiliate, where he posted a .314/.374/.418 line in 545 plate appearances and played left field, shortstop, second and third. In six minor league seasons, the 2006 first rounder has a .303/.368/.413 batting line. However, he is a sub-par defender, Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus tweets. The A's acquired Cardenas from the Phillies in the 2008 trade that sent Joe Blanton to Philadelphia.


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63 Comments on "Cubs Claim Adrian Cardenas"


Snoochies8
3 years 6 months ago

decent claim for the cubs, could be semi-useful to back up barney and whoever they have at 3rd

3 years 6 months ago

Very strong offensive numbers.  If he can shore up his defense and be that successful at the big league level, I would love to see him take Barney’s spot- as much as I like Darwin.

Kristopher Watson
3 years 6 months ago

Smart smart move by the Cubbies.  I knew one team would be smart enough to steal him from the A’s.  Was hoping the Phillies were that team.  Oh well.  

3 years 6 months ago

Yeah I totally agree. Not really sure why the A’s got rid of him. Always liked Cardenas.  Ready for the big leagues, good average, good OBP

Snoochies8
3 years 6 months ago

no spot, not even in AAA

Neil Tatro
3 years 6 months ago

Nice low risk/high reward signing. Theo/Hoyer are really moving in the right direction

Snoochies8
3 years 6 months ago

not really a “high reward”, medium reward, at best

Eric Smith
3 years 6 months ago

 High relative to the cost? (shrug)

3 years 6 months ago

I like the move for the Cubs, but Kevin Goldstein raised a fair point on Twitter: “Instead of handing Adrian Cardenas a job in Chicago, maybe we should wonder why he was available. He’s a really bad infielder.”

Ken Roucka
3 years 6 months ago

What’s with Goldstein? He seems like he can’t wait to criticize a Jedstein aquisition.

3 years 6 months ago

He (and Law) praised the Zambrano trade.

Besides, what great acquisition have they made for the Cubs? Goldstein (and Law) praise Hoyer and McLeod a ton for what they did in SD. But they’ve been dumpster diving so far in Chicago. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. They’re still getting settled in with a team that was in rough shape. But which move was anyone supposed to love?

Ken Roucka
3 years 6 months ago

I never said they’ve made a great aquisition but I don’t think they made a obivouisly bad move yet either (though all moves need to be viewed in the light of history) and the Z move is the only one I can remember him liking.

3 years 6 months ago

They both liked getting Rizzo for Cashner. I don’t recall them specifically hating any of the other moves. I think the general consensus on the Ian Stewart trade was a shrug.

Vacfuzzy
3 years 6 months ago

Zambranos’ mama praised that deal.

notsureifsrs
3 years 6 months ago

getting rizzo for cashner was a win

3 years 6 months ago

They both praised that one, too.

3 years 6 months ago

He may be bad (defensively?); no reason to think he’s bad offensively.  Also I don’t see how he can be worse than DeWitt. Also will be cheaper

3 years 6 months ago

Right, but there’s plenty of room between bad and good enough with the bat for a left fielder.

Eric Smith
3 years 6 months ago

 I’m not convinced they “handed the job” to him, yet.

Phillibuster
3 years 6 months ago

I’m a little surprised he was even put on waivers.  I appreciate the issues the A’s are having, but those are some nice numbers to just give away.

Snoochies8
3 years 6 months ago

with jemile weeks and scott sizemore blocking him in the majors, as well as rosales and sogard taking away his potential utility role, he had no spot in the majors, and with stephen parker coming up to AAA as their 3rd baseman, where he spent most of his time last year, he wasn’t really going to have a spot there either.

Ken Roucka
3 years 6 months ago

trade bait then? why designate him?

3 years 6 months ago

They had to make a roster move, and he was the guy they who really didn’t fit in.  He wasn’t just cut for the hell of it.

3 years 6 months ago

He was repeating the level, he’s young but not super young, and he’s probably best defensively in left field. That makes the numbers a lot worse. 

To really be valuable, he needs to either be able to play a premium defensive position, which he can’t, or hit for more power, which he doesn’t.

Ken Roucka
3 years 6 months ago

he’s a ” ‘tweener” then

3 years 6 months ago

Exactly. He MIGHT be a nice bench player.

sourbob
3 years 6 months ago

Since they picked him up for nothing to investigate exactly this possibility, no harm no foul then.

3 years 6 months ago

You can hear Billy Beane swearing from here

3 years 6 months ago

If Beane cared that much, this wouldn’t have happened.

3 years 6 months ago

yeah but…kinda bad for the A’s. Cardenas and Outman were the 2 main players in the Blanton deal.  Neither player is with the club now

3 years 6 months ago

 well they made choices to trade/dfa those players

they used outman to get seth smith. spencer who is also now with the cubs was used to get jake fox.

imo if cardenas was workable at 3b he wouldve been an option but that was a disaster and A’s dumped that idea. also blocked by weeks at 2b

3 years 6 months ago

Yeah but I don’t think Billy ever really liked Cardenas for some reason.  Perhaps it was his bad “defense”, but Billy I think just sometimes has it out for certain players, and kind of ruins their development, case in point Travis Buck…

Yeah they did use Outman to get Smith so the trade was valuable I suppose.  But on the other hand neither player (neither Outman/Cardenas) was considered a long term asset by the front office.

3 years 6 months ago

Even so, I would think that there’s always room on an MLB roster for a 2B with below average defense who can hit .300 and put up a .350 on base for the league minimum? Defense is important, but it isn’t everything (reply to michael)

Corey
3 years 6 months ago

Younger with seemingly more potential than our current/former back-up Dewitt. Would seem as though the A’s would try to get something for this guy. Drafted in 2006, does the service time rule apply to minor leaguers? Or a better question, how long is he under team control and what is his salary? And what does Oakland know that Cubbies don’t?

Corey
3 years 6 months ago

After looking into this guy a little more, I see he is a big singles hitter. Basically no power and no speed. Good eye with low strikeouts. 
His fielding isn’t as bad as people lead on. At least he seemed to have improved last year with only 9 errors. His weak position would be 3rd base but, unless I’m wrong, we have Baker over there backing it up. I think this guy looks pretty much like Darwin Barney. I wonder how there stats vs lefty & righties compare.

3 years 6 months ago

He is basicly a utility guy nothing more.  No power and speed but can hit for average.  The A’s already have 2 utility players on the team that play better Defense so he was expendable.

Guest
3 years 6 months ago

He’s under team control through at least 2017. And if he somehow finds his niche and sticks in Chicago, he’ll get paid the league minimum his first 2 or 3 seasons, then become arbitration-eligible.

The guy’s definitely worth taking a flier on. I just wouldn’t get my hopes up about him. It’s possible that he could become a better backup than Baker or DeWitt. But it’s pretty hard to imagine him becoming a major league starter at this point. He’s too much of a defensive liability, and it looks like he’s already reached his ceiling, offensively.

The good news though, is he still has two options left. And since the Cubs are in rebuild mode, they can afford to be patient with him. So maybe if he can get a few months of consistent playing time at 2B in Iowa he could improve his defense enough to at least be passable.

I’m an A’s fan, and am never gonna miss him. But the Cubs are one of my favorite NL teams, so I’ll be pulling for him to succeed there. It would surprise me if he ever becomes an above-average player. But I’ve learned to never say never.

Corey
3 years 6 months ago

Very informative! Thanks!

bigpat
3 years 6 months ago

I still think he could be better than Ian Stewart. Why not give him a shot.

3 years 6 months ago

Congratulations, Adrian Cardenas. You’ve been damned with faint praise.

johnsmith4
3 years 6 months ago

Somehow, I don’t think Cubs are doing these trades and acquisitions to make the team better.  They seem to be focused on acquiring players who are on the verge of becoming marketable assets.  In other words, decent ball players who are very affordable because they are in their pre-arb years or just entering their arb years.

This seems to be wise given the number of teams constrained by payroll.  This includes the high payroll teams.

I expect Chicago will turn over these players for better prospects.

Chillin_in_California
3 years 6 months ago

Adrian Cardenas= a AAAA player if there ever was one. The guy has no power plays no defense. His numbers were inflated by the very friendly pacific coast league. Enjoy him Cubby fans

3 years 6 months ago

The one who’s twice the size of the other and bald probably shouldn’t be called junior.

sourbob
3 years 6 months ago

This would be a more pertinent criticism if his PCL numbers were inflated in a way that was out of line with the rest of his numbers in other leagues.

They weren’t.

sourbob
3 years 6 months ago

(as patiently as I can)
Yes, that is true. So what would we look for if we wanted to determine whether a player’s high PCL numbers were purely a function of the league environment or if they reflected genuine ability?

We would look at his stats across other, non-PCL leagues and see if the numbers were consistent with his earlier work.

The answer to this question was in my other comment that you ignored. Go ahead and go back, I’ll wait.

corey23
3 years 6 months ago

 yea i had hope ever since they acquired him that he’d end up at 3B  but that was clearly not going to happen

BDLugz
3 years 6 months ago

Well, he does have a .306/.365 line in the last 3 years between AA and AAA.  It’s not like it’s out of the question to think he could do something close to those numbers moving forward.

.290/.345 wouldn’t shock me from him, with an ISO around .100 and bad defense.  He’s not very valuable, but to pick up at the league minimum to replace another guy who isn’t very good making 3x more just kind of makes sense.

letsgogiants
3 years 6 months ago

Hitting .300 at triple A and hitting .300 in the majors are two completely different things. There are a lot of guys who have hit well at the minors only to struggle mightily in the majors. He’s still young enough where he at least has a little potential, but to expect him to have the numbers he had in the minors or even close to that would be wishful thinking (unless he were strictly a pinch hitter, then he might be able to match those numbers). I think its a good, no risk type of deal for the Cubs, but I don’t think he’ll match the numbers he put up in the minors.

3 years 6 months ago

Well I think Cardenas definitely has the potential to be that kind of hitter. I’ve always really, really liked hitters who have strong BB/K ratios, especially hitters who walk more than strike out.  This usually (at least to me) showcases plate discipline as a well developed skill and is an indication that the hitter can have success hitting at higher levels without significant dropping off of production.

So for that reason I do not expect a big dropoff from Cardenas compared to what he did in the minors.

sourbob
3 years 6 months ago

That’s fair. If they can’t trade him–and I bet you they can–they’ll owe him $183K if they cut him loose before the end of spring training. 

If there was, say, a Cuban defector who was 25 years old, known for having a high OBP but a shaky glove, and the Cubs could pick him up for $183K, would you want them to do it and give him a shot as a utility IF? I’d be cool with that. Just like I’m cool with this. It’s dumpster diving, but it’s not so bad.

Chillin_in_California
3 years 6 months ago

No No No. Dude why would you want to get rid of Suzuki. The guy is good at calling games and guiding young pitchers through starts. Since there is quite a few inexperienced pitchers in Oakland he is still useful. Maybe dump him in a couple years but not now.

Guest
3 years 6 months ago

Lemme guess, why not get rid of Pennington and Balfour next, right? Geez Pete, you want Oakland to trade everyone. They are a young team and need leadership. Trading Kurt Suzuki would be bad news in Oakland….unless of course you want an unexperienced Norris or a useless Donaldson catching the young pitching staff. 

3 years 6 months ago

i’d take a bucket of lopsided batting practice baseballs for Fuentes if the A’s didn’t have to pay any of his salary.

Sadly Zooks wouldn’t net much. Hopefully having a back-up catcher than can stay healthy means Kurt gets a couple more days off and can step up his game and hit more and not bounce so many balls in to 2nd when trying to catch people stealing.

manimsobored
3 years 6 months ago

I know the A’s have moved him around a bunch and he’s supposedly not very good at any one position, but do you have a scouting report or any numbers that attempt to quantify just how bad he is? Or is it just your opinion that he is worse than Dan Uggla or that, on any team, he is just a DH?

3 years 6 months ago

Bear in mind, I like this pickup. You and I seem to agree. Good dumpster diving is both good and dumpster diving. If you’re running a team with fat on its 40 man roster, go for it.

3 years 6 months ago

Roberts had three seasons of 4.8 WAR or higher. DeRosa only had a season of more than 3.0 WAR once. DeRosa’s versatility made him a great super utility guy at his best. Roberts was a star at his best.

3 years 6 months ago

Reliable minor league defense metrics are non-existent. And besides, he’s not going to hit thirty homers a year like Uggla did.

Snoochies8
3 years 6 months ago

he speaks mostly out of his opinion, but there are scouting reports

athletics(dot)scout(dot)com/2/1146379.html is one of them, and gives a pretty good overview of him

3 years 6 months ago

The problem is that without power, he most likely won’t draw that many walks in the majors. Guys will throw him strikes, knowing he can’t punish them all that much.

Snoochies8
3 years 6 months ago

because he could get us a better return than if we traded him in a couple years, and we have anthony recker, who’s always been overlooked as a catcher, and who can start while derek norris and ryan ortiz develop in AAA, then next year or the year after he takes over.

if we’re rebuilding, we should truly rebuild, if we could get another cahill-like package, go for it.

plus suzuki’s value is all wrapped up in his defense, he hasn’t done much at the plate, and the a’s have curt young back. he was able to work well with the young a’s staffs for a long time while he was in oakland

Guest
3 years 6 months ago

……

Guest
3 years 6 months ago

I couldn’t agree more. With so many young arms set to debut for the A’s over the next couple seasons, Kurt’s far too valuable to get rid of right now. He’s too good at handling young pitching staffs. Plus he doesn’t have a whole lot of trade value at the moment, so it’s not like they could get a great package if they shopped him right now.

I’m with you. I think they need to keep him for a couple more seasons. Then if Derek Norris or Max Stassi is ready to take the reigns, they can trade Kurt at that point. If his value goes down instead of up, so be it. I’d rather know that Parker, Peacock, Milone, Gray, etc. were in great hands their rookie seasons than have a couple mid-level prospects. And the thought of Donaldson and/or Recker trying to handle the youngest pitching staff in baseball is pretty scary. I like them as backups — especially Donaldson. But I’d trust Powell to play every day over those two, bad knees and all.

Snoochies8
3 years 6 months ago

pennington, no, we don’t have any viable alternatives for him right no.

balfour, heck yeah! if we can get a good return on him, which at the deadline some team will be desperate enough to overpay, then do it in a flash.

 also it would be recker taking over for suzuki, which i’m fine with, especially in a down year where the a’s aren’t going to contend. let ryan ortiz and derek norris develop in AAA, and have either donaldson or powell hold backup duties in the bigs