Players the Cubs Should Consider Signing

What an active, interesting off-season it’s already been for player activity — free agents, contract non-tenderings and a bunch of trades.  And we haven’t yet even hit the Winter Meetings (Dec. 8-12, with the Rule 5 draft on the final day).

Here’s a list of some players I think the Cubs should consider signing.  I’m trying to think as I think the Cubs are, looking for (a) reasonable contracts with bounce-back players who can either be signed to extensions or used as mid-season trade chips and (b) players in or nearing their prime who can be an important part of the team in two-three years when the top system prospects should be coming into their own.

The players below are free agents and non-tenders; the list does not include trade targets.  I will update the list as those listed sign contracts, noting them in Years/Millions.  Players listed as DL will spend at least the start of the season (and some of them half the season or longer) on the Disabled List.

Scott Baker pitched 15 innings in three starts for the Cubs in 2013, after missing all of 2012 and most of 2013 following elbow surgery.

Scott Baker pitched 15 innings in three starts for the Cubs in 2013, after missing all of 2012 and most of 2013 following elbow surgery.

Starting Pitchers

Scott Baker  [re-sign]  (Sea minor lg contract)

Dan Haren  (LAD 1/$10)

Daniel Hudson [DL, elbow]  (Ari re-sign, minor lg contract)

Josh Johnson  (SD 1/$8)

Brett Marshall  (CUBS waiver claim)

Kyle McPherson [DL, elbow]  (Pit re-sign, minor lg contract)

Jeff Niemann

Felipe Paulino  (CWS 1/$1.75)

Mark Rogers  (Sea minor lg contract)

Eric Surkamp  (CWS waiver claim)

Masahiro Tanaka  (NYY 7/$155)

Relief Pitchers

Jairo Asencio  (KIA Tigers, Korea)

John Axford  (Cle 1/$4.5)

Andrew Bailey [DL, shoulder]

Daniel Bard  [reclamation re-sign]  (Tex minor lg contract)

Jose Flores  (Oak minor lg contract)

Cristhian Martinez  [DL, shoulder]

Ryan Madson

Yunesky Maya  (Atl minor lg contract)

Edward Mujica  (Bos 2/$9.5)

Eric O’Flaherty  [DL, elbow]  (Oak 2/$7)

Tomo Ohka  [now a knuckleballer!]  (Tor minor lg contract)

Juan Carlos Oviedo  (TB 1/$1.5)

Sandy Rosario  [he was a Cub for 9 days in December a year ago, getting claimed on waivers by the As from the Red Sox, then back by the Red Sox, then by the Cubs and then by the Giants, all between Nov. 28 and Dec. 21, 2012]  (SF re-sign, minor lg contract)

Jesus Sanchez  (Mia minor lg contract)

Joe Smith  (LAA 3/$15.75)

Wesley Wright  (CUBS 1/$1.425)

Position Players

Kurt Suzuki  (Min 1/$2.75)

Scott Sizemore  (NYY minor lg contract)

Shin-Soo Choo (Tex 7/$130)/Jacoby Ellsbury (NYY 7/$153)/Curtis Granderson (NYM 4/$60)  [one of them would be nice but only at reasonable Yrs/$$]

Grady Sizemore  (Bos 1/$750,000)

Chris Young  (NYM 1/$7.25)

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3 Responses to Players the Cubs Should Consider Signing

  1. Mike Z says:

    Well done, Jon. Although the “lisp,” Cristhian Martinez is out for most of 2014 with TJ surgery – unless you took that into account?

    • jon kk says:

      Mike, it was actually his shoulder. I thought maybe he’d be pitching again by spring training (the surgery was in July) but you’re right, it could just as likely put him behind schedule. I’ll add a DL note.

  2. Jeff Manges says:

    I am with you on a lot of these Jon. Scott Baker is the first one of this list I would sign. He was always underrated when he was in Minnesota. With Tanaka’s age, I would go very aggressively on him as well, and I think they will. (if he is posted). I also like Axford and Bailey to bring some veteran leadership to the young arms in the pen. (Rondon, Strop, and possibly Vizcaino). I think Baez will be up by June, and I bet we see Bryant in August/September. But it sure would be nice to see another bat in the lineup on opening day. An outfield of Lake, Sweeney, and Schierholtz just doesn’t get the blood flowing as much. But I like your thought process, I think we are on the same page as the Cubs!

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