The Chicago Cubs announced today the long awaiting signing of starting pitcher Carlos Villanueva to a 2-year deal. The deal is worth 10 million, 5 million in 2013 and 5 million in 2014. The Cubs reportedly agreed to terms on a contract on December 20th. The Cubs kept saying they were finishing paperwork, but most people think they pondering ways to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.
In the corresponding move, the Cubs designated relief pitcher Lendy Castillo for assignment. If you recall, the Cubs acquired Castillo in the Rule V draft last Winter. Last year, Castillo started the year strong but eventually was placed on the disabled list. After he returned, Castillo didn’t seem like the same pitcher before the injury and struggled.
I predicted that this would be one of the moves to clear a spot on the 40-man roster. As I think Castillo will go unclaimed through waivers and be assign to Triple A.
Villanueva will compete for a spot in the starting rotation. If he doesn’t make the rotation, he’ll be the long relief guy out of the ‘pen. I think he’ll be in the bullpen come opening day.
One move is down … one more to go! The Cubs 40-man roster is still full and still have to add OF Scott Hairston. If no trades are made, I think Tony Campana will be DFA. Unlike Castillo, I think Campana will be claimed on waivers and out of the Cubs organization.