12/30 Winter ball update

Cubs prospect Aaron Shafer gave up one run on four hits over six innings for his first win in Caguas’ 8-2 victory over Mayaguez in Venezuela on Wednesday. The right-hander struck out two. A second-round pick in 2008, Shafer had a 0.96 ERA in 24 relief appearances at Class A Daytona and a 5.03 ERA in 25 games at Double-A Tennessee.

Jeff Gray picked up his fourth save and second in as many outings for Zulia to preserve a 5-3 win over La Guaira. Gray gave up one run over two innings.

Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro went 1-for-3 with a third-inning sacrifice
fly in Escogido’s 4-2 win over Gigantes Wednesday in the Dominican
Winter League. Escogido improved to 3-1 in its bid for a berth in the
Caribbean Series and faces Los Toros Thursday.

— Carrie Muskat


Gray is in the White Sox organization now though.

Gray is in the White Sox organization now though.

I stand corrected. Gray did sign a Minor League contract with the White Sox on Nov. 23. Thanks, Jntg4

Wasn’t Gray considered the best of the three “prospects” Hendry received for Aaron Miles (no loss there…) and Jake Fox from Oakland? Now with Gray gone that leaves us with Ronny Morla and Matt Spencer (unless they too left the organization??). Not a typical bone-headed move by Hendry but just his average head scratcher. If Fox was moved because he was more of a “DH” type player without a positon on a NL team like the Cubs the same can be said for both Soriano and Nady. I understand a feeble minded person could be fooled by the name recognition of Soriano but a smarter GM would have maintained some common sense and realized even the “great” Soriano is without a position on a NL team. Fox? Not a great loss either and since traded to Baltimore BUT he certainly would have given you about the same mediocre defense at 1B with as much pop as the 2010 injured Nady for a lot less than 3.3 million. Hendry should have stood pat in 2010 on the Nady deal and just dealt with Fukodome in RF and ANYBODY off the bench subbing for D. Lee instead of WASTING 3 MILLION DOLLARS. I fear the same issue may be repeating itself because Hendry fell in love with Pena. Although a lot more upside with Pena than Nady, still not worth the 10 MILLION for one year to regain his “stuff” just to become a free agent in 2012? If Hendry could have gotten a team option for 2012 it would have made a lot more sense.

Hate to end the year on an argumentative note, Joey, but I don’t see a comparison between the Pena and Nady signings. Pena will be a full time 1B and is a terrific defensive player. Nady was added to be a veteran bat off the bench/sub in OF/backup 1B. As much as I like Jake Fox personally, he’s no Xavier Nady, offensively or defensively or experience-wise. The team that did not spend wisely for Nady was the Yankees ($6.55 mill in 2009), not the Cubs. Is Pena worth $10 mill? Let’s wait to pass judgement. He’s very motivated.

Carrie, no argument here as I agree that Nady was added to be a bat off the bench, OF sub and back up at 1B but Fox was ALREADY THAT the difference being the “veteran” part. And, as usual Hendry put way too much stock in a “veteran” being better just because he’s been around. In fact so much stock that Hendry “added” the awesome Nady even though he had a bum flipper and was nowhere near ready to contribute for a whole season so Hendry paid for what? The talent of being a VETRAN? Waste of 3.3 million for LESS than an entire season. It’s not as if Nady injured himself DURING the season, Hendry knew Nady was hurtin and still overpaid him and I think we all know Hendry was hoping beyond hope that Nady would miraculously replace the failing Fukodome in RF. Pena? One year a ten mil? He hits .310, 35-40 homers with stellar defense? All possible then what? He either moves on or Hendry signs him to 5-10 contract? Puhlease. A smarter GM negotiates some kind of club option for 2012. Again there seems to be NO PLAN from Hendry other than the free agent of the day. While other GM’s wheel and deal for IMPACT players Hendry is in the all you can eat leftover buffet. Kudos to Ken Williams as the Whitesox payroll gets closer to the Cubs’ his teams continually challenge without handcuffing the future.

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