The Cubs announced that they’ve acquired right-hander Eddie Butler from the Rockies in exchange for minor league righty James Farris. Butler had been designated for assignment over the weekend.
The trade also includes the Cubs sending their top international bonus slot, No. 28 overall, to the Rockies in exchange for a lower slot — No. 74 overall. The swap of international slots adds an additional $255K to the Rockies’ international signing pool. To make room on the roster for Butler, the Cubs designated right-hander Dylan Floro for assignment.
Butler, who’ll turn 26 in March, once rated among the game’s top 50 prospects in the eyes of Baseball America, MLB.com and Baseball Prospectus, but the right-hander’s stock has tumbled substantially since that time. Butler has logged consistently impressive ground-ball rates as a professional but has never missed bats or been able to demonstrate exemplary command at any level. In parts of three big league seasons with the Rox, he’s struggled to a 6.50 ERA with 5.3 K/9, 4.0 BB/9 and a 48.6 percent ground-ball rate. His work in Triple-A (5.01 ERA, 4.3 BB/9, 3.1 BB/9 in 159 innings) doesn’t look much better on paper.
As recently as the 2014-15 offseason, though, Butler ranked as Baseball America’s No. 77 overall prospect, and prior to that he rated 24th overall. Butler’s career has been slowed by some shoulder troubles to date, but when his prospect status was at its best, BA’s scouting reports (subscription required/recommended) lauded his power sinker and “extraordinary” changeup while giving him credit for three plus pitches and a solid-average slider. His velocity has taken a step back since that time (perhaps due to the shoulder woes), but Butler does have a minor league option remaining. As such, he’s likely to open the season at Triple-A Iowa and look to get his career back on track, potentially serving as a depth piece for a Cubs team that will look to deploy a six-man rotation in the latter stages of the season. Chicago also lacks a defined fifth starter at this time, with lefties Mike Montgomery and Brett Anderson set to vie for that job in Spring Training.
This marks the second DFA of the winter for the 26-year-old Floro, who made his Major League debut with the Rays last season. In 15 innings with Tampa Bay, Floro posted a 4.20 ERA with 14 strikeouts and four unintentional walks to complement a strong 54.7 percent ground-ball rate. Floro also averaged a respectable 92.5 mph on his fastball and enjoyed a successful season at the Triple-A level, logging 50 innings with a 2.88 ERA, 7.2 K/9, 1.6 BB/9 and a 56.5 percent ground-ball rate. He’s walked just 1.3 hitters per nine innings in his minor league career, so there’s definitely some appeal in his blend of strong control and ground-ball tendencies. Floro, though, fell all the way to Chicago on waivers just two weeks ago, so there’s a chance that the Cubs will be able to pass him through unclaimed this time around and retain him without dedicating a 40-man spot.
The 24-year-old Farris split the 2016 season between Chicago’s Class-A Advanced and Double-A affiliates, working to a combined 2.59 ERA with 10.1 K/9, 2.3 BB/9 and a 47.1 percent ground-ball rate in 66 innings of relief. Farris also fired nine scoreless innings with an 11-to-2 K/BB ratio in the 2016 Arizona Fall League. Farris has never rated among the Cubs’ top prospects in recent years and didn’t make the cut on yesterday’s Cubs rankings from ESPN’s Keith Law, either. The former ninth-round pick averaged 91.7 mph on his fastball this season and 83 mph on his changeup, per PITCHf/x data at MLBfarm.com.
This move makes so much sense.
Why does it make sense?
I meant this type of move for the Cubs. They seem to have done pretty good lately at making guys decent starters or at the very least, effective bullpen arms.
Wow, and I thought you were being sarcastic with your initial comment. Another Cub fan who thinks Chris Bosio can transform any schlub into the next Jake Arrieta?
No different than Pirates fans thinking literally every worthless scrub will be turned into a Cy Young. (Which, btw, has never happened, but has with Bosio)
Or every Wht Sox fan that thinks COOP is a genie and a good pitching coach
Please enlighten us all on exactly what Eddie Butler has in common with Jake Arrieta, even when the latter pitched for the Orioles? Arrieta at least showed flashes of his potential with a better SO/9 and SO/W ratio which should be an indicator of ability regardless of the park in which each worked.
It makes sense because the Cubs have been searching a taxi squad starter all offseason. Their rotation is set. What they need is guys with big league experience who can stay stretched out in Triple A in case of injuries. Butler fills that spot better than anyone on their 40 man.
Zastryzny and Buchanan are better MLB options, probably. But Butler and Brooks are also on the 40, which helps, as well.
It’s funny because I’m a White Sox fan.
You’re the only one who brought up Jake Arrieta.
Cubsoxcessful – take “Cub” out of your user name if you are going to attack your own fan base. I can’t tolerate people who attack their own. Jesus Christ the move makes sense. Talk crap to cardinals or just pull for the Red Sox.
As a Cubs fan, I tend to agree with Cubssox-whatever. Butler’s K/9 ratio’s in the Minors have consistently dropped off since AA. They saw an increase in 2016, but Butler still sat below the league average. All the while, his BB/9 has been below league average.
Maybe a “change of scenery” guy, but also potentially a “doesn’t make it out of spring training” guy. Let’s, instead, focus on how we get Coghlan back to Spring Training. At this point his value says minor league contract, worth it and then some.
Yeah how dare a fan of a team not agree with every single thing every fan of his team thinks. Just because people root for the same team doesn’t mean they can’t have disagreements.
I’m a cubs fan and reading through the thread about how they’re gonna win their division by 20 games and whatever else was said was just painful.
Tim … perhaps. Im sure Buchanan would be an option. But Z will likely be used similar to Travis Wood. I don’t see him being a starter this year even if there is an injury.
The guy said “it made sense” Jesus Christ how does that equate to he’s gonna be Nolan Ryan, Sandy Koufax and Greg Maddux wrapped into one. “Disagreeing” with your own Fanbase over something as minuscule as “this makes sense” is justifiable. Good think it wasn’t blown out of proportion.
Don Cooper is a good pitching coach, as is Chris Bosio and Ray Searage in Pittsburgh. However, none are miracle workers or “genies”.
For the record, I have been a lifelong, die hard Cubs and White Sox fan since the early 1960’s. As such, I have taken heat from both fan bases, like I was committing some sort of sacrilege.
So, I have no problem in returning the favor when warranted. lol
Z will be in Iowa starting. Almost certainly.
He’s probably about the eighth starter as camp revs up.
That is funny…and sad, but mostly funny. Did you get lost? Were you looking for the Western Indiana White Sux AAA board?
Although they won by 17.5 last year. Schwarber and contreras for entire season. Russell Baez only getting better. Rondon and lackey will be healthy . Wade Davis is lights out. Heyward can only get better . Should be a close race 🙂
How can you be diehard fan of both ? Just curious. My son always ask who is your second favorite team? Nobody love Cubs and hate everyone else .
1-I was not born into being a Cubs or White Sox fan. My parents were generally disinterested in sports but became casual fans as I began playing baseball from little league on through high school ball.
2-I was born on the southside of Chicago and lived in the far south part of the city until my parents moved to a near north suburb when I was 5.
3-Once I started playing organized ball I couldn’t get enough baseball and watched every possible Cub and White Sox game on TV. This was well before cable when both teams were broadcast on WGN. I also listened to both teams when they played late at night (more Sox since the Cubs played only day games at home in that era) and went to bed with a transistor radio hidden under my pillow. lol
4-Growing up in a near north suburb, my friends were mostly Cub fans. We lived near a public transportation train line and our parents allowed us to go to Cubs games on our own once we were in junior high school. The train line hooked up to the el track that had a stop at Wrigley Field. I did attend some Sox games also but had to rely on my parents driving me. I never missed a Cub home opener from the late 1960’s through high school and probably attended about 10 games a year. I only went to a couple of Sox games until I could drive myself.
5-There were no interleague games back in the day. At that time, the Sox trained in Florida and the Cubs were in Arizona, so they never played one another except for an annual early season charity exhibition in Chicago when both teams were in town and had a shared off-day from their MLB schedule.
In this day and age it’s harder but still possible to root for both teams. My son-in law is proof positive. When he was courting and married my daughter, he was a Cub fan who grew up about 20 blocks from Wrigley Field. His entire family were Cub fans and barely knew the White Sox existed. Because of my daughter (another Cub/Sox fan) and I, my son-in law is now an avid White Sox fan as well. Because it is easier to get Sox tickets and the fact that he works downtown, he attends far more Sox games than Cub games. He has purchased two White Sox ballpark passes each of the last 3 seasons for games in April and May, which works out to 12-15 home games for a few dollars per seat. I accompany him a couple times each season when he doesn’t take my daughter, my grandkids or one of his other family members or friends…each of whom have also become Sox fans in addition to being Cub fans.
I respect that. My grandfather lived in Cicero and went to more Sox games watched babe Ruth play. He still was cub fan though and that’s how I became . But Cubs Sox series 2017 who do you root for ?
Red Ivy great reply. He always pretends to be a fan of both teams but he is a white sox troll
That’s the tough part, who to root for? I never had to consider it until regular season interleague play began. Previously, the Cubs and White Sox had never even reached the postseason in the same year, at least until 2008 when each team was eliminated in their respective first round divisional series.
Usually, I just watch the games impartially and concentrate on individual performances. In recent years, the games have come around midseason in two back-to-back home and away series. The Cubs have been the superior team the past two seasons so they had the better opportunity to reach the postseason. That being said, it was difficult to root against the Sox because they were still on the fringe of being contenders. It’s kind of like watching your kids compete against one another. You just want to see each of them perform to the best of their abilities without worrying about who actually won or lost the game.
Since both Chicago teams have now finally won a World Series in my lifetime, it would be tough for me to favor one or the other if they ultimately met for their next championship. I would just want the series to go the full seven and be decided in the final inning, perhaps similar to the Cubs/Indians series of last year….a classic one for the ages.
Theo is amazing. Great buy low/lottery ticket for the Cubs with a solid chance of becoming a bull pen piece at the very least.
Umm … I think James Farris is actually the better pitcher. And that’s not saying much about Farris. Total flyer because the Cubs are in what the heck we’re so good we don’t have to worry about anything mode. Highest ceiling in deal is certainly Butler, but overall a solid deal for Rockies. They’re really good at this kind of under the radar acquisition.
I’m not sure how good they are at making under the radar acquisitions. Can you please provide a few examples? We’re talking about a club that hasn’t made the post season since they made the WS.
Farris is not the better pitcher, he’s already a bullpen arm in the minors. Butler hasn’t had to explore that option just yet. I’d take Butler over Farris any day of the week.
Arrieta and Hendricks were both taken from the scratched and dented aisle. I think that was the context.
Correct. Writer makes it seem like stalking about the Rockies ability to find guys under the radar, though.
Just wait until you see him pitch. Butler’s broken. He hurt his shoulder in 2014 and lost several mph on his fastball, which made his change-up (his best pitch) useless. He’s cannon fodder.
One example: They flat stole German Marquez from the Rays while pretending they were really after Jake McGee. Marquez is now one of the better major league ready SP’s in baseball. Also they stole DJ LaMahieu from the Cubs. They list is actually pretty long.
The hope is we don’t see him pitch.
Just like kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber terrible picks by experts. Theo did pretty good on them. It’s a crap shoot but not going to break Cubs if he does nothing.
Why does this make sense?
Do you think the cubs are done with trades or other transactions
Need to trade a Baez happ type for a odorizzi Tehran type controlled young arm in my opinion. Dylan cease looks to be real deal in 2-3 years
The Cubs needed a taxi squad starter with big league experience who could stay stretched out in the minors in case of injuries. Why doesn’t it make sense?
Casey Kelly will likely be the 6th starter assuming he puts up decent results in the minors.
Kelly would need to be put on the 40-man to replace an injured starter. It’s possible he could be if he pitches well. But when that injured starter returns, Kelly would be sent back to the minors. And since hed have no options, he’d need to lead waivers. If he’s pitching well, he wouldn’t clear waivers.
This is why it’s important to have big league ready pitchers with options. You can shuttle them back and forth as needed.
The most valuable piece in this deal is the 28th international slot. Eddie Butler might contribute, but I’d guess there’s a higher chance of a negative WAR than a positive one. James Farris looks good, but every stat decreases in Coors so in essence, he doesn’t look good. International slots are just as good as draft picks, and a lot of quality guys are picked/signed lower than the 28th slot.
I know the Cubs are capped due to spending over their limit a couple years ago so it makes sense that they would trade their international slots if they can.
Cubs are still in the penalty box regarding International spending, so ACTUALLY using or swapping spots in a trade is the best value they can get out of it. It’s routine to see teams under penalty to trade their slots to teams that can add to theirs.
Anybody have anything to add about this acquisition?? Seems to be a player that has struggled the 3 years he’s been at MLB level.
Cubs like guys that limit walks, and have a useful change-up.
Iowa’s rotation looks to be Butler/Zastryzny/Buchanan/Brooks at the top.
All can be called to Chicago in case of injury.
I like Farris a decent bit, but if a 9th Round Pick gets you a guy at the MLB-type level, that fulfills his exceeding his draft slot.
The Rockies were smart to take talent/draft slot over surrender value.
Well played, both ways.
Pretty sure Butler is out of options, so he’ll have to be the RH long man in the bullpen
Article says he has one left.
My main source on the topic hasn’t weighed in yet.
Definitely has an option. It’s the only part of Butler that’s truly appealing to the Cubs. No reason to make this move without the option because he has zero chance of making the roster unless someone gets hurt.
Whaa?? This guy is nothing but emergency depth. His ERA is 6.5
Which is inflated by the fact that his career ERA at Coors is 7.92.
That’s bad even by Coors Field standards.
He cost a 9th Round pick. It’s not like they surrendered Happ to get him.
As a long-time Cubs fan, it’s nice to finally have FO that concerns itself with emergency depth and what-ifs.
Butler could be a solid pick up. Get him in Chicago playing baseball instead of moonball and he has a chance to be a mid-rotation starter
If he can keep the ball on the ground, he won’t give up many hits.
Home runs are not his problem. He gives up loads of line drives everywhere and hasn’t struck people out since 2013.
And when he goes to a place where sinkers sink, sliders slide, and curves curve, I suspect the K numbers to improve.
The only problem with Coors isn’t HR’s, pitches act very different in the high altitude.
Hes been tossing half his games on the road as it is…hes probably not some miracle waiting to happen.
Eddie butler has no chance to be a mid rotation starter. ERA aside look at his peripherals. Dude is trash.
Colorado wasn’t patient with Butler and brought him up too early. His confidence is shot but he’s got pretty good stuff. Is he healthy? With a new start and proper coaching, he’s got a decent shot and regaining value as a 4th or 5th starter / depth piece, or long relief guy. Absolutely a signature move by Theo and co. Reminds of the Arrieta acquisition but Butler comes even cheaper.
Waaaaaay too early. After no Triple-A success.
So’s his shoulder …
You call Butler possibly a long reliever then say reminds you of the Arrieta signing. In what way? Hes a former prospect that has done zero above A Ball.
Jake Arrieta redux?
I know that I’m being a negative Nancy here, but these are all of the same kinds of comments when the Cubs picked up Jacob Turner.
Turner would have been fine. If he was healthy. He wasn’t.
C’est la vie.
No. I wanted the Rangers to get him
Would you have wanted the Rangers to trade more?
Meh. Maybe the Cubs can fix him. Worth a shot.
You’re all crazy, they picked him up because teams use like 10 starters a season and at the moment the one thing the cubs need is better pitching depth below the majors to fill those starts. Could be a mid rotation starter… Give me a break.
Exactly. Butler makes sense because they can stash him in Triple A until he’s needed. If he finds his former prospect form, then that’s great. But the guy is just here to add depth to the taxi squad.
solid middle relief depth. i think they can and should give up on him being a starter though
He’ll start in Des Moines this year. If it doesn’t work over the next 14 months, the Cubs are out a 9th Round choice from 2014.
Disappointed in a way with this trade. I was high on Floro, I thought that he could be a decent bullpen piece. Hopefully he can be outrighted and potentially used later on.
Why would Butler have an option remaining? He came up in 2014 and used options in 14, 15, and 16. That’s usually all a non-international draftee gets.
How many options does each player get? I forgot, but I know one option is good for one year meaning that they can go up and down from Majors to minors multiple times in a season and it only counts as one option.
It’s normally 3 years, but it looks like you can qualify for a fourth if your professional career is less than 5 years old. Butler was signed in 2012, so I’m guessing he qualifies based on that stipulation. Could be wrong, but that’s my understanding of it from a Google search haha
The fourth option plays if too few years have been spent in the minor leagues.
Cubs pick up Butler and its a suave move by Epstein the genius. Colorado had this guy and has a stack of arms better…and some of these same people talk about how Colorado doesnt have anything in the system.
Can’t wait until the Cubs sign Tim Lincecum to see all the Cy Young projections. The thought-band wagon is careening down the hill.
These boards are hilarious, the trolls are kinda bush league, predictable and not very clever. Perhaps they’ll improve in a couple months. This is nothing more than a flyer, a AAA depth guy. Once a very highly touted prospect, maybe a change of scenery and a top notch organization can help him figure things out, or maybe not, who knows. It’s not like the Cubs are pinning their hopes on this guy.