NL Notes: Johnson, Cubs, Bradley

ESPN.com's Jim Bowden took a look back (Insider link) at his free agent predictions to see where he hit and missed. Most of his accurate guesses came on players who signed early, while the opposite holds true of those that he was off on. By far the biggest difference among actual and estimated deals came with Ervin Santana, who Bowden had tabbed for a five-year, $75MM deal but ultimately signed for a lower AAV and just one season.

As we join the rest of the game in celebrating the legacy of Dodgers great Jackie Robinson, here's more from the National League:

  • Padres starter Josh Johnson, who is struggling to overcome a right forearm strain, will visit Dr. James Andrews for an assessment, reports MLB.com's Corey Brock. According to a report from Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the team is increasingly concerned that Johnson may require his second Tommy John surgery. GM Josh Byrnes said that, at this point, he is "not sure" if Johnson will be able to throw for the club this year, but that the team hopes to "know more next week." Johnson's one-year, $8MM deal with San Diego includes a conditional $4MM club option for next year that is triggered if the righty makes less than seven starts.
  • With a farm system full of top-end talent in the field, the Cubs are focused on adding to a group of arms that may be too lightly regarded, writes Gordon Wittenmyer for Baseball America"Our arms are probably a little bit underrated," said president of baseball operations Theo Epstein. "That said, we need at least twice as many of them as we have now. But I think we’ve done a nice job through the last couple drafts and, especially, through some trades adding to that reserve." But that does not mean that Epstein is content with the talent he has brought together. "We need to keep pounding it," he said. "Every trade we make, we try to get an arm. Every time we have a draft pick, we look closely at the best available arm who we can add to the organization."
  • Meanwhile, Cubs owner Tom Ricketts said today that the team is focused on upgrading Wrigley Field rather than taking a shot at a suburban ballpark, even if that might be more financially advantageous, the Associated Press reports (via ESPN.com). He also said that the club was focusing on the overall development of its international prospects, not just teaching basic English but working to address broader educational needs.
  • Addressing the recent comments by the agent of top pitching prospect Archie BradleyDiamondbacks GM Kevin Towers made clear that he had no intentions of being influenced, as MLB.com's Steve Gilbert reports (Twitter links). "We're going to run our business and not let anybody else dictate how we do our business," said Towers. "I'm a straight shooter, too," he added. "If we felt at the start of the season that this guy was ready he would have been here."


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20 Comments on "NL Notes: Johnson, Cubs, Bradley"


Eric
1 year 4 months ago

Do the Padres even want JJ at $4 million next year?

Hills of Glenallen
1 year 4 months ago

Who would? The guy can’t ever stay healthy.

NickinIthaca
1 year 4 months ago

My thought exactly. They’ve already sunk $8 million this year. For a small market team, should they risk the $4 million next year? Maybe if it was a Lackey style contract where he would pitch for league minimum….

1 year 4 months ago

I feel really bad for the guy, but I’m glad the Jays never brought him back.

Ruben_Tomorrow
1 year 4 months ago

When healthy, he was one of the top pitchers in the game. Unfortunately, we did not get to see much of him pitch when healthy. Those duels he had back with Santana in 2008, were some excellent pitching match-ups to watch. They always seemed to face each other that season when the two teams got together.

Strugz
1 year 4 months ago

Theo is definitely right. The Cubs don’t have top tier blue chip pitching prospects, maybe outside of Edwards, but they are not devoid of them in the system. There are definitely multiple arms down there that will contribute at the major league level and will be successful. I think the top end hitting prospects simply dwarf the good things that are happening in the pitching department.

Shane Flannagan
1 year 4 months ago

One guy to keep an eye who had a really well pitched game today was Jen-Ho Tseng. He was one of the big international signing for the Cubs last year and his first 2 starts at Kane County have been very solid. But totally agree with you, Cubs only have 1 pitcher who has a chance to have ace stuff, but they have others who could be good #2-4 starters in P Johnson, Hendricks, Tseng, Blackburn

tim815
1 year 4 months ago

When does the Diamondback Yard Sale Begin? Early June? Or early May?

Ron Loreski
1 year 4 months ago

Not until after Kirk Gibson gets fired.

James Attwood
1 year 4 months ago

Kevin Towers will need to be canned first. After that, the overhaul begins. Part of the Diamondbacks’ problem though is that they have very little in the way of talent other teams want, especially at the price. Parra, Miley, Hill, Trumbo, Reed, and one of Owings/Gregorius might all become available. Beyond that though, it’s hard to imagine any takers, even if they are selling.

Towers really hosed things up when he traded two top talents to acquire Trumbo, who then forced a third top prospect off the team because of Prado being forced to man third full-time in order to get playing time.

raymondrobertkoenig
1 year 4 months ago

The Cubs should put as much effort into acquiring Major League players as they do minor leaguers.

Ron Loreski
1 year 4 months ago

Those minor leaguers will eventually become major leaguers.

raymondrobertkoenig
1 year 4 months ago

Maybe.

Gocubs2010
1 year 4 months ago

Will

BlueCatuli
1 year 4 months ago

Which major league players should they have acquired? They’ve gone after and missed out on four that I can think of the last few off seasons.

raymondrobertkoenig
1 year 4 months ago

They’re going to have to overpay in terms of salary for free agents or prospects for Major League players, but to have the richest ownership and most revenue of any team in their division while having the 2nd lowest payroll is ridiculous.

Gocubs2010
1 year 4 months ago

They tried to overpay for Anibal Sanchez thankfully, Tigers won that overpay.

raymondrobertkoenig
1 year 4 months ago

Yes, Edwin Jackson was a much better signing.

Drew
1 year 4 months ago

“We’re going to run our business and not let anybody else dictate how we do our business.”

Well, Kevin Towers, maybe you should.

Ryan
1 year 4 months ago

I believe Archie Bradley struggled towards the end of the spring and didn’t win the job so his agent should shut up even if the Diamondbacks are doing what he says they are