When the lockout ended and Chicago Cubs President Jed Hoyer started filling out the roster with veterans on one-year offers, the working idea was he would attempt to flip most of them for a prospect or two on the commerce deadline.
That sign-and-flip technique labored nicely for Theo Epstein through the authentic rebuild with gamers akin to Paul Maholm, Scott Feldman, Jason Hammel and others bringing again youthful expertise in trades together with Jake Arrieta, Pedro Strop and Addison Russell.
Hoyer signed Andrelton Simmons, Mychal Givens, Daniel Norris, David Robertson, Robert Gsellman, Jonathan Villar, Clint Frazier, Drew Smyly and others within the spring, conserving the payroll low and hoping for the most effective.
However within the rebuild that’s not a rebuild, the sign-and-flip has up to now turn out to be the sign-and-flop.
Solely Robertson has put up adequate numbers to deliver again some high quality in return, and three of the veterans have already got been designated for project.
Gsellman and Frazier had been DFA’d earlier this month, ultimately cleared waivers and had been outrighted to Triple-A Iowa. On Friday it was Villar who was DFA’d shortly after seeing his identify within the Cubs beginning lineup for the opener of a three-game sequence in opposition to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Villar, 31, signed a one-year, $6 million cope with a mutual choice for $4.5 million for 2023. He’ll be paid an estimated $3.4 million of his remaining ‘22 wage if the Cubs don’t discover a taker. Villar hit .222 in 46 video games with two house runs and 15 RBIs and solely .175 in June after being on the injured listing with a mouth damage from a freak coaching accident.
Villar’s roster spot was made susceptible due to the return of infielder David Bote, who had left shoulder surgical procedure after the 2021 season and just lately was sidelined throughout a rehab stint at Iowa with what was described a dizziness.
Supervisor David Ross stated Bote would get an opportunity to play commonly — he began at second base Friday, batting seventh. Second baseman Nick Madrigal is on the IL with a groin damage.
“He’ll play second base lots, and I believe he’ll give Patrick (Knowledge) a breather at third each occasionally,” Ross stated of Bote. “We haven’t actually had loads of our bodies to fill that function, and ‘Wis’ has been coping with … nicely, all people is coping with a bit of stuff while you play daily.”
Christopher Morel seems to be solidifying a spot in middle area after being moved round when he got here up from Double-A Tennessee, although Ross stated the rookie remains to be an choice at third. Morel just lately stated he feels most comfy at third base however is keen to play anyplace.
Bote declined to elaborate on his dizzy spells at Iowa however stated he misplaced 20 kilos or so from final season and couldn’t hold his weight up.
“We’re nonetheless making an attempt to determine what the precise reason for the factor is,” he stated. “It was simply a type of issues the place I used to be shedding a bunch of weight quick. I couldn’t hold any weight on. I used to be nauseous and dizzy and simply wished to verify nothing was severely going unsuitable, particularly for so long as it had been happening. … There was like 48 hours straight the place I simply laid in mattress. I couldn’t do something.”
Bote, 29, who signed a five-year, $15 million extension in 2019 with two team-option years, stated he felt “goose bumps” returning to the sphere Friday after a lot time away. He hit .200 in 2020 and .199 final season however stated he made some tweaks to his method and feels extra comfy on the plate.
What sort of tweaks?
“It’s all baseball,” Bote stated, declining to supply specifics.
Whereas Bote was looking for solutions to the reason for his dizzy spells, so too was Cubs bullpen coach Chris Younger, who was hospitalized Thursday in Pittsburgh after feeling lightheaded within the pen. Younger stated Friday that he was positive till the second of his well being challenge early within the recreation.
“I used to be dapping up all of the relievers and felt nice and sat down and (stated) ‘I don’t really feel nice,’ ” he stated. “Then 60 seconds later, (I knew) I wanted a bit of little bit of assist.”
Younger stated he was well-hydrated and wasn’t affected by warmth exhaustion. On Friday he nonetheless had no thought what had occurred.
“I simply bought actually sizzling and had some hives and a few issues that had been powerful,” he stated. “I’ve talked to our physician and he’s unimaginable. We don’t actually have a working idea. … Thank goodness it occurred (on the park) and (trainers PJ Mainville and Nick Frangella) had been there to handle it.”
Ross stated Younger got here as much as him within the dugout late in Thursday’s recreation after coming back from the hospital.
“You’ll be able to’t eliminate me that simply,” Younger informed Ross.
However Ross added it was a “scary feeling” Thursday not figuring out “what’s happening in that second.”
Luckily Younger was OK and again dapping once more Friday within the Cubs bullpen.