Chicago Cubs Claim a Player and Ink Three to a Minor-League Deal

The Chicago Cubs were busy yesterday by making a few minor moves. The Cubs announced that they claimed pitcher Liam Hendriks off waivers and signed outfielder Ryan Kalish, catcher John Baker and infielder Ryan Roberts to a minor-league deal.

The Cubs claimed 24-year old right-handed pitcher Hendriks off waivers from the Minnesota Twins. The Twins designated Hendriks for assignment last week in order to make room for new  starting pitcher Phil Hughes on their 40-man roster. The Twins signed Hughes to a 3-year contract worth 24 million.

Hendriks can really throw the ball, but has to keep the ball down. If he does that, he can be very effective. Hendriks has not been great in the majors as he has a 2-13 record with a 6.09 earn run average and 100 strikeouts. But he has great states in the minors as he has gone 42-28 with a 2.99 earns run average. If Hendriks does make the majors, I say it would be in the bullpen. With the acquisition of Hendriks, the Cubs 40-man roster now stands at 38 players.

The Cubs signed outfielder Ryan Kalish to a minor-league deal with an invitation to spring training. Kalish was non-tendered a contract a few weeks ago. Right when he was non-tendered, the Cubs were linked to him. Just because of Theo Epstein’s time with the Boston Sox. Kalish is 25-years old and bats right-handed. Kalish could be the Cubs fifth outfielder and possibly fourth outfielder if Nate Schierholtz is traded. Schierholtz being traded is unlikely, though. Kalish could join an outfield group of Schierholtz, Ryan Sweeney, Junior Lake and newly acquisition Justin Ruggiano. In his career, Kalish has a .243 average, 4 home runs and 24 runs batted in. The Boston Red Sox tried to re-sign Kalish, but were unsuccessful and he decided to sign with the Cubs.

The Cubs signed catcher John Baker to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training. Baker was signed as a free agent. Baker is 32-years old and bats right-handed. In his 5-year career, Baker has played for the Florida (now Miami) Marlins and the San Diego Padres. In his career, Baker has a .258 average with 14 home runs and 105 runs batted in. The Cubs starting catcher in Welington Castillo, but Baker could compete for the back-up job with George Kontarras. But my guess is, Baker will start in Triple-A Iowa.

In the final move of the day, the Cubs announced that they have signed infielder Ryan Roberts to a minor-league deal with an invitation to spring training. Roberts is 33-years old and bats right-handed. In his 8-year career, Roberts has played for the Toronto Blue Jays, Texas Rangers, Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Rays. Roberts was designated for assignment on August 15, 2013 to make room for Alex Cobb on the roster. The Cubs signed Roberts as a free agent. Roberts will complete for a utility spot in spring training and the final spot on the roster, but I see him as a depth move for Triple-A Iowa.

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