The Cubs have agreed to terms with outfielder Shane Victorino, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal tweets. Victorino will receive a minor league deal with a Spring Training invite, tweets Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune. He will receive $1M plus a possible $1M in incentives if he makes the team, tweets ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. Victorino is a client of John Boggs & Associates.
The news that the Cubs have added another outfielder comes as somewhat of a surprise given their recent signing of Dexter Fowler. Jon Heyman tweets, though, that Victorino’s pact was already in place before the Fowler signing, so the team honored the deal.
Victorino, now 35, had a second straight disappointing season in 2015, batting .230/.308/.292 in 204 plate appearances split between the Red Sox and Angels. With Fowler, Jason Heyward, Kyle Schwarber, Jorge Soler, Ben Zobrist, Javier Baez and others in the Cubs’ outfield mix, Victorino faces a difficult path to playing time.
The depth of that OF is solid.
Theo and Jed are making me high with all these acquisitions.
I agree. The Cubs outfield looks scary this year
Just Another Fan
Soler or Schwarber are so toast in this org….wonder what all-star pitcher they will get for whoever the decide has to go.
Huh? Dom Brown and Flying Hawaiian are backup. Neither one of them are every day starters.
Isn’t Domonic Brown currently with the Jays?
Just Another Fan
Huh? Heyward and Fowler are everyday, Schwarber is too. Soler is backup, Szczur is 5th and Victorino is 6th? Then there’s Baez and Zobrist too? Nope. Not happening. Not to mention the massive plethora of minor league OF talent the Cubs have in the org, McKinney, Happ, Alcantara etc, They simply have a roster crunch which is going to lead to a big deal trade before April 1.
I’m guessing they move Soler before Opening Day but Schwarber’s a horrendous OF and needs to be a 1B, and the Cubs have Rizzo there so, he’s expendable too.
You Cubs fans understand they can only carry 13 position players at a time, right? They currently have too many and need to make moves.
Just Another Fan
Also, Dom Brown signed with the Jays, so you probably need to refresh yourself with your own team. I suggest this site:
I honestly never knew that having soo many viable options at all positions in the farm system was a bad thing. But I want to know is how can you base Schwarber’s OF play on such a small sample size and feel comfortable about it? The kid can scrap and there is a reason they drafted not and it wasn’t to flip him.
Agree. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Schwarbs do some personal catching for one of the starting pitchers like Ross does for Lester.
Agree with faithful
Zobrist signed to play 2b. He mentioned in an interview that he didn’t really want to play of.
You probably shouldn’t be condescending to other posters with your track record
They can carry 14 position players.. Cardinals bullpen is looking like 6 man 5 rotation spots. So 14 position players can be done.
What on earth are you talking about? Do you see how the headline says “Minor League Deal”? I understand you’re spending too much time trying to be a condescending smartass, but there is zero roster crunch.
Schwarber has been graded poorly in all defensive statistics, since he entered the minors. He’s destine for 1B or DH with an AL team. Or you hide him somewhere in the field and hope he’s not hit a line drive.
You’re smoking something. Soler will probably be moved for SP but Schwarber is staying put. My guess is, unless Victorino has a tremendous spring he doesn’t make the team and is cut before the season. That would leave us with a Fowler, Heyward, Schwarber OF with Baez on the bench as super utility. I don’t get moving Soler, as his stock is not going to be as high now as it’s undoubtedly going to be if he played everyday and put up the monster season that he would no doubt have. Then, if you wanted you could move him for a huge package deal or SP. Then again I didn’t see trading 26 year old 3x all star Castro for a mediocre back end/ bull pen pitcher and giving big money to an aging super utility player and $184 mil to a guy who’s value lies in his defense and OBP when that money is going to need to be spent on locking in; Arrieta, Bryant, Schwarber, Russell in the near future. All but Russell are going to command close to $200 mil.
Unfortunately, Schwarber has reinforced his poor defensive ratings by his poor defensive play. Not sure the Cubs want to ‘hide’ him in the field and hope he isn’t hit a line drive. He could catch once a week, but he’s destine for an AL roster so he can DH.
5 years is the near future? I think it’s also early to count on schwarbs making 200m. Kinda hard for a guy without a real position atm to make a solid case for 200m.
You do know that Zobrist will be gone and Heyward will likely be gone as well by the time they need to extend the younger players. It is also possible that Lester’s option will not be picked up, and he too, will be gone.
I think Theo and his friends are probably more skilled and better informed to plan out a budget than you are.
Also, this 26 yr old 3x allstar has consistently declined. He’s far to0 variable for a team in the cubs position on the win curve to bet on.
Decline or not, are you arguing that Castro would contribute less then Adam Warren’s track record suggests? How many walk off’s did Catstro contribute last year?
Also, Heyward signed an 8 year contract with a PLAYER option to opt out after 2 years. So if he decides he wants to stay then that money’s gone. And Schwarber getting $200 million is not far fetched bad D or not. All he has to do is keep hitting and it doesn’t matter what he does in the field.
He has a player option after 2 and 3 years. There is a good chance that he will exercise one of them, that is why he negotiated for two chances at it. If he does not, then he does not, they will still have plenty of money off the books and additional money from stadium and tv revenue as well as freedom from their current debt structure.
Adam Warren was more valuable than Castro in 2015, so yes, I can see how he’d contribute more, especially when considering available alternatives, than Castro would.
The Cubs do not have to make a trade before opening day. They hold the cards and will only do so if it significantly upgrades the pitching staff or they suffer an injury during spring training. Despite all their so called depth, it’s really not too difficult to formulate the position players who will likely open the season:
1-Miguel Montero (L) C
2-David Ross (R) C
3-Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
4-Ben Zobrist (S) 2B, INF, OF
5-Addison Russell (R) SS, 2B
6-Kris Bryant (R) 3B, OF
7-Javier Baez (R) SS, 2B, 3B, OF
8-Tommy La Stella (L) 3B, 2B
9-Kyle Schwarber (L) LF, C, RF
10-Jorge Soler (R) LF, RF
11-Dexter Fowler (S) CF, OF
12-Jason Heyward (L) RF, CF
The Cubs have a roster with incredible versatility which manager Joe Maddon relishes. He also loves to micro-manage his pitching staff during the season and may do so even more in 2016 to keep his starters fresh for the postseason. Because of this it’s very conceivable the Cubs may elect to carry 13 pitchers on their 25-man active roster. If they go with 12, then the following players would the best shot at making the final cut as position players:
13-Shane Victorino (R) CF, RF, LF
13-Matt Szczur (R) LF, RF, CF
13-Arismendy Alcantara ((S) CF, 2B, 3B
13-Munenori Kawasaki (L) 2B, SS, 3B
The Cubs basic starting lineup is set at all positions except LF where Schwarber and Soler will form a fairly regular platoon depending on the starting pitcher. Soler will also start occasionally in LF against a right-handed starting pitcher on days that Kyle Schwarber starts at catcher, perhaps once a week. Both Soler and Schwarber figure to get the lion’s share of AB’s at the DH position during interleague games at A.L. parks, with the other playing LF. Soler may also give Heyward an occasional breather in RF when a particularly tough left-handed pitcher starts a game versus the Cubs or when switch-hitting Fowler gets a day off and Heyward or Baez fills in at CF. Ross will also start at catcher when Jon Lester pitches, as usual. La Stella will be the primary backup at 3B and occasionally at 2B. Baez will be the primary backup at SS and 2B, also filling in at 3B, 1B and CF when necessary. Zobrist will be the regular starting 2B but can be used as at multiple position when Maddon starts playing musical chairs during the course of a ball game. Baez will assume Zobrist’s former super-sub utility role under Maddon in Tampa, likely garnering the most playing time of any of the non-starters.
Btw-“Musical chairs” is manager Joe Maddon’s favorite game. If healthy, all four of the regular outfielders will appear in at least 140 games and get a minimum of 450-500 plate appearances each. It’s his m.o. and will keep everybody fresh for the postseason.
If an injury occurs to one of the OF’s, the Cubs will still have 3 starters to trot out there each game. If the rotation sustains an injury or the back-end of Jason Hammel or Kyle Hendricks pitch poorly, the Cubs will have more quality OF depth to help bring in a significant addition by the summer trade deadline.
And you understand that we don’t actually have to put all of those guys on our major-league roster just because you say we do, right?
Victorino is on a minor-league deal. He doesn’t need to be in the majors. Szczur has options left and has done nothing of note in the majors. He doesn’t need to be in the majors. Fowler is on a one-year deal. Ross is retiring after the season. Alcantara is a busted prospect. ALMORA, who I assume you were really referring to, has done nothing of note in the minors. McKinney hasn’t touched AAA and barely touched AA. Happ is moving to second base, not to mention being years away regardless of where he plays. We don’t need to make moves just for the sake of making moves.
Schwarber, Fowler, Heyward, Bryant, Russell, Zobrist, Rizzo, Montero, Ross, Soler, LaStella, Baez and a fifth outfielder fits just fine.
They Cubs may make a move, especially around midseason if they think they can improve the club. But they sure don’t HAVE to.
Did you actually read my post or merely skim through it to formulate your comment reply? Everything I wrote is likely to occur regarding the Cubs 2016 opening day roster, along with potential contingencies that may happen in spring training or the first half of the upcoming season and how the team may respond.
Btw-The players you suggest on the roster match my first 12 exactly. You offered a lot of critical commentary over a potential 13th position player without offering one yourself OR suggesting , as I did, the Cubs may prefer a 13th pitcher instead. Most everything else you stated has little to do with 2016 and concerns the future, a time line irrelevant to my commentary.
There is absolutely no way the Cubs trade Soler when his trade value is at its lowest because they signed a guy on a minor league deal.
They’ll trade him not because they signed Victorino they’ll trade him because they’re short a front line starter because Arrieta pitched ALOT of innings last year, Lackey is 36 and Lester is not an ace anymore. AND rotating Schwarber and Soler is not ideal when they’re short pitching. Soler became surplus the minute they signed Fowler unfortunately. It’s a shame because Soler’s bat is so much more impactful in then Fowler’s.
Short pitching? There were about 12 pitchers better than Lester last year, 1 was the guy who pitched ALOT (it’s a lot) of innings last year. So if Lester isn’t an “ace” anymore, I’m not sure who you expect them to acquire in a trade that will fit your mold for that role.
The cubs have a rotation of Jake, Lester, Lackey, Hendricks, Hammel and depth that includes Twood, Warren, Richard, Cahill, Pierce, Cj, and brooks.
SSS – but last year Fowler was a better offensive player than Soler
He was better statistically because of long term injuries to Soler. I don’t think it’s far fetched to say the ceiling is higher for Soler than for Fowler. Also, it would be unreasonable to expect Arrieta to have the same year this year, Lackey and Lester are 37 and 32 respectively. Unless we have extreme good luck I wouldn’t count on 200 IP from either. Jake Odorizzi or Danny Salazar have been floated in the past and are both on the right side of 30.
He did not have long term injuries. He had a number of short term injuries, which he has consistently dealt with during his short major league career. You need to figure those injuries into Soler’s projections because he has not shown he can stay healthy.
Soler has a higher ceiling than Fowler, but you don’t win games with ceiling. You need someone who can actually perform. I wouldn’t be surprised if Soler manages to outproduce Fowler offensively, but when you are in the position that the cubs find themselves, you want more proven options.
I don’t think anyone expects Jake to have the same year he did last year. He had the best second half in the history of baseball. But he doesn’t need to have the same year, he just needs to continue to be a good pitcher.
Lester has been pretty consistent with his innings, so I don’t think it’s crazy to expect 200 ip from him. You know how many times Jake Odorizzi has thrown 200 innings? yep, zero. How about Salazar, oh wait, also zero…
I think they will wait intil the deadline to make a trade.
I think it’s highly unfair to say that Lester isn’t an ace anymore after 1 season in the NL. He didn’t put up 2014 numbers, but he still had a respectable season. Lackey is coming off a superb season regardless of his age, and we all know what Jake did last year. So you’ve got a rock solid 1-3 pitching staff right now, with some questions as to what you’ll get out of Hendricks or Hammel. Not every successful baseball team has a rotation like the Mets where they have 4 guys that can shut you down on a given day. Having 3 solid starters is a hell of a good way to be successful. They don’t *need* another pitcher, but if they added one, or a lights out closer, they’d be pretty much set.
Schwarber is not going anywhere… Internally the cubs feel that Schwarber may be their best hitter. While dealing with a back injury last year, he put up 16 homeruns in 69 games. Had he played a full seasons at the same pace, you’re looking at 37 homers as a rookie with a .350ish obp. I’m sorry, there’s just no realistic trade that would be worth it to trade him.
If you add in his postseason numbers (so 16 regular season+5 postseason homeruns over a 78 game stretch) you’re looking at 43 homeruns in a single season if he maintained his level. If a rookie is putting up comparable offensive numbers to Jose Bautista, you don’t trade that player, especially if he’s a rookie.
They are toast? What an ignorant statement. You know nothing about baseball.
If we were to make a title for every offseason this one would be “Everyone wants to be a Cubbie.”
Can understand him taking the MiLB deal and looking for yet another ring, but other hand? He’s way, way down on the depth chart. The team already gave away Coghlan to clear the 4th spot as it is.
Will Victorino be happy sitting in AAA, or on the DL 3/4 of the season again?
Someone like Anaheim for playing time seemed to make more sense.
Just Another Fan
Pretty simple answer, the Cubs are about to make a big kid trade. Kendrick and Soler for a frontline SP would be my best guess.
Just because you want Soler gone in some silly trade doesnt mean he will be moved.
Why would you have a horse like Soler sit the bench? Kid is a talent and deserves to be an everyday player.
The cubs don’t have a player named “Kendrick”.
And this was the same guy who 30 minutes ago posted a link for someone else “to refresh yourself with your own team”..
It’s a minor league deal.
As to too many position players, I count
Which looks like room for a couple of guys despite already having three catchers, seven outfielders, and three shortstops. Maybe they’ll just carry fourteen pitchers.
Probably LaStella and Szczur round out the bench unless they fall flat or someone else dominates ST.
Why make any trade we now look like the we are family Pirates but a better pitching staff and bullpen. That turned out ok Now Cubs are family but can’t live with the treat of being traded every week – no more trades till July if then! Theo
Jorge Soler Powered
You don’t really know much about baseball, do you?
Shane was of no help in Anaheim last season and will be of no help in Chicago this season….
This signing is nothing more than clearly kicking the tires on a GG player. Even if they dont release him, he is clearly a depth signing for the minors.
Blah blah blah
Its a minor league deal . Relax.
Probably a Theo favor to Victorino letting him show off for other teams scouts. Maybe he’ll be decent and land a job somewhere else.
This move does not mean they’re trading anyone, regardless if they do.
yeah but why wouldnt he sign with BALT – for the same deal
I just dont get what DD is doing over there.
Players want to be on the Cubs. Feel for their fans, but Baltimore is giving off some bad vibes right now.
Why would the O’s sign someone they didn’t want? They’re not really desperate for an outfielder and they’re not just gonna sign a player because he can play the outfield. DD has done a pretty good job this year signing players to help the team and if you don’t understand what he’s doing just look at the $250 million he has spent to help the team.
Out of place Met fan
He has spent money, but the team does not look better than the one that finished .500.
The Cubs signed an aging, not very productive, injury prone OF to a minor league deal. Who cares? The signing of Injurino is not the death knell for any current Cub OF. He won’t make the roster out of ST, I doubt he’d accept an outright to AAA. But maybe he gets a little showcase to see if any team is desperate enough for OF help they’d gamble a million bucks on him.
Again, the really pertinent question is this: Who cares?
^ Completely agree. It’s a showcase for him. Although I do enjoy all these Cub signings and all these conspiracy theories it brings about. They do look pretty solid minus starting pitching but my Royals proved you don’t need that last year.
I doubt the Cubs will pay him the retention bonus. When he doesn’t make the team, he will be cut.
Schwarber catches after Ross retires during Spring Training and joins the Cubs coaching staff
Chicago Red Sox!
Please don’t ever say that again.
The baseball intelligence of the majority of posters both cubs fans and other are hilarious. Maybe do a bit of research before posting, or don’t post your nonsense at all.
Blah blah blah
Same goes for you. Some high horse you ride…
Cubs fans suffer from the same disease as Yankee and Red Sox fans. The symptoms include, among many others, a strange delusion that teams are honored to do deals with them.
Cubs: Here’s some detritus we no longer have a place for because they strike out at a near 30% clip.
Other Team: Yeah, we might be able to use them at our AAA club. What do you want in return?
Cubs: Not that much. Just a young MLB All Star with several years of team control, and your #1 Prospect
Other Team: Why on earth do you think I’d make that deal?
Cubs: Because we’re the Cubs. Everyone wants to be us, every player wants to be on our team, and you would be honored to have us fleece you like this.
Other Team: Yeah, right. Let me think on that and I’ll get back you. Pffft.
Jorge Soler Powered
Tell me again what publication you write for?
Are you too busy doing research to post? Or are you one of the ones who would post nothing but nonsense?
Soler for Terhan looks to be back on the table.
Blah blah blah
It was never on the table. The Cubs do not like Teheran. Poor makeup.
Soler/Vogelbach and a minor league pitcher looks good for Sonny Gray.
Just stop that nonsense.
How is it nonsense? I think plenty would agree thats a pretty fair trade for both parties. Vogelbach is blocked by Rizzo. Soler is blocked by Heyward/Schwarber/Fowler.
How is it nonsense? I think plenty would agree thats a pretty fair trade for both parties.
It is nonsense because Gray is an absolutely outstanding pitcher. Soler, while he has immense potential, is not an absolutely outstanding hitter. On top of that, Vogelbach is way overvalued by Cubs fans, you’re giving us a bad rep. He is similar to Schwarber in that he is a big guy who best serves a team through his bat while playing DH, although he has not done anything spectacular in the minors let alone the majors. The A’s have Butler locked up for a while, so Vogelbach would be blocked there too. The throw in pitcher to even out the deal does not exist in the Cubs farm. We have some good names and guys with high ceilings, but there isn’t a ‘Urias’ or ‘Giolito’ to make that deal work.
For those of you talking about the opt out for Heyword, it’s after years 3 and 4. Not after the 2nd. Thanks
Opt out for Heyword is after the 3rd and 4th years. Not the 2nd. Thanks
okay Billy. why couldn’t toy sign him to a minor league deal? Unbelievable. atleast try and get Murphy on a minor league deal. smh.
Good luck trying to recreate the 2013 Red Sox team. Doesn’t always work.
Bank On It
They better hope all these deals workout for the best lol