11/18 Valaika to Cubs

According to FOX Sports and MLB Network’s Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs have signed infielder Chris Valaika to a Minor League deal with an invitation to Spring Training. Valaika, 28, appeared in 22 games with the Marlins last season, batting .219. He was originally drafted by the Reds in the third round in 2006, and signed with the Marlins as a free agent one year ago. He opened the 2013 season with the Marlins but went on the disabled list May 8 with a fractured left wrist and was eventually sent to the Minor Leagues. He batted .246 in 37 games at Triple-A New Orleans last season.

It’s no surprise Valaika left the Marlins. According to the Miami Herald’s Clark Spencer, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria vetoed Valaika’s promotion from the Minors late last season. Loria was upset that Valaika, among others, had complained that he was verbally harassed by then-hitting coach Tino Martinez. Loria had picked Martinez to be the Marlins hitting coach. Martinez resigned from the Marlins in July.

Valaika’s agent, Joel Wolfe, told Rosenthal: “Chris is very excited to be with a first-class organization.”

8 Comments

Thanks Carrie, appreciate the news on all signings. Looks like another no risk with possible return signing.

Why does it seem the Cubs like .220 hitting middle infielders? They won’t win anything if this is the best they can do.

I dont see it as the best they can do Mike, I see it as a low risk gamble.
If you look at Valaika’s stats in just a few games with the Reds before his injury with the Marlins, there was some upside.
If he recovers and does well, good signing. If he does not do well, just a low risk gamble. Just my opinion, but nothing wrong with these signings.

They’re not making this move with the intention that he’s going to be the Opening Day second baseman. He’s in to get a few spring training at bats, maybe compete for a spot on the bench, but most likely spend the year at AAA, only to be called up if there’s an injury or other reason to fill a middle infield roster spot. The Cubs did the same thing last season with Brent Lillibridge, Alberto Gonzalez, and Edwin Maysonet. Lillibridge ended up making the team when Barney got hurt and Gonzalez came up to fill in for Barney as well. When Barney came back, both of them were gone and eventually left the organization. Maysonet stayed at AAA all season, as Barney stayed healthy after he got back and Castro was healthy all season long. The Cubs, and all the other 29 MLB teams, make moves like this every season. Your AAA team cannot be 100% prospects and every player acquired is not acquired to be the big move of the offseason.

This sounds like a repeat of the Ian Stewart saga. Injured wrist?

Does not sound like Ian Stewart at all. First they did not trade for him. Second he was signed to a Minor League contract. Third, he was not placed on the 40 man roster.

Dougs explanation is best above, unless of course, you want to turn a no risk signing into drama.

DRAMA?? Kathryn Hepburn was one of our neighbors in Hartford, CT. Bloomfield Avenue – she knew DRAMA! Comparing Stewart and Valaika is not DRAMA. – just a wrist injury observation. Unless, of course, you wish to make it so.

Valaika
Is solid at all infield positions, bad break last year when he broke is wrist. could turn out to be a solid utility player with some pop in his bat. Hard working kid

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