Earlier this week the Cubs re-signed Shawn Camp to a 1-year, $1.35 million contract. They also made a series of moves in preparation of protecting players from next month's Rule 5 Draft. They added Logan Watkins to the roster along with Trey McNutt, Christian Villanueva and Robert Whitenack. They traded Jake Brigham to the Rangers for former top draft prospect Barrett Loux and a player to be named later.
While Loux was highly thought of prior to the draft, he wasn't expected to go in the 1st round and definitely not in the top 6 picks. He did and my guess would be it was so the Diamondbacks could save a little money. Been there, done that. Usually doesn't work out.
Here was Loux's scouting report at the time of the draft:
The Tigers spent heavily to sign high school pitchers Rick Porcello ($7 million contract in the first round) and Casey Crosby ($748,500 in the fifth) in 2007, and thought they also met the $800,000 asking price of Loux, their 24th-rounder. He changed his mind about signing and instead opted to attend Texas A&M, where his 2009 season was halted by bone chips in his elbow. After having the chips removed, Loux is healthy again and racking up strikeouts with a 90-92 mph fastball that touches 95. The 6-foot-5, 220-pounder throws with such ease that his fastball appears even harder. If he had a standout second pitch, he'd be a first-round pick, but he may have to settle for the sandwich round because his curveball and changeup are merely effective. His curveball was his best pitch in high school but hasn't been as sharp since his elbow surgery. He'll show an average changeup, though not on a consistent basis. Some teams have medical concerns about Loux, who missed two months of his high school senior season with a tender shoulder.
Loux will be 24 in April so he's not really a young prospect and has only two professional years of experience. He did perform rather well in AA last season, but the sub 20% strikeout rate could be a concern. He does throw strikes. He had a decent 3.48 ERA and the same is true for his 3.66 FIP. He was not ranked in the Rangers top 10 last year and may not find himself ranked in the Cubs top 10 this year.
However, he does become one of the more interesting starting pitching prospects in the Cubs organization simply because they lack anyone else who could be ready before the end of the century.
Below is the updated 40-man roster with salaries for each player through 2020.
|Matt Garza||11/26/83||R-R||6'4"||215||Arb 4|
|James Russell||1/8/86||L-L||6'4"||200||Arb 1|
|Jeff Samardzija||1/23/85||R-R||6'5"||225||Arb 1|
|Ian Stewart||4/5/85||L-R||6'3"||215||Arb 2|
I used to enjoy taking a look at how much the Cubs were scheduled to be paying out and how much they might have left based on a realistic estimated payroll. This was fun for me becuase if I knew how much money they had, I could estimate how many wins they could buy. Buying wins is a lot more fun when the wins actually mean something and the Cubs have no intention of buying wins now. They're trying to buy wins for later through the farm system and maybe getting lucky here or there.
Knowing how much the Cubs already have under contract is kind of irrelevant at this point except unless I'm interested in bookkeeping. I'm not.
This will probably be my last look at the Cubs roster in this way. I was never very good at updating it throughout the season, but it had always been available on the menu here and at ACB. And I had always taken a thorough look prior to the next season. Usually more than a couple times. This post will find its way onto the menu until later in the 2013 season. I might again be interested in this, but it won't be until keeping track of the money provides some incentive for me to do so. The Cubs will suck in 2013 and in all reality 2014 too. Maybe in 2015 and 2016. It's going to be awhile before this team contends and there's no point in figuring out how many wins the Cubs can buy. It just doesn't do anything for me when the Cubs won't be buying those wins.