2/12 Roster moves

The Cubs made room for free agent pitchers Jason Hammel and James McDonald on the roster on Wednesday. The Reds claimed right-handed pitcher Brett Marshall off waivers while the Twins claimed lefty Brooks Raley from the Cubs. Chicago’s 40-man roster was at 40 prior to those moves.

Marshall, 23, never pitched for the Cubs. He was was claimed in December off the Yankees’ roster. The right-hander did appear in three games last season with New York.

Raley, 25, a sixth-round pick in 2009, has appeared in 14 games with the Cubs over two seasons. He was used as a starter in 2012 with the big league team but pitched in relief last season, compiling a 5.14 ERA in nine games.

The Cubs were expected to announce Hammel’s and McDonald’s signings on Thursday. Hammel, who has reportedly agreed to a $6 million, one-year deal, was the Orioles’ Opening Day starter last year, and finished 7-8 with a 4.97 ERA. He battled a right forearm strain that sidelined him from late July until early September. The last two seasons, the Cubs have signed free agents Paul Maholm and Scott Feldman and then flipped them at the Trade Deadline for prospects. If Hammel has success, that may be his fate as well.

McDonald, 29, spent last season with the Pirates.

— Carrie Muskat


Sure hate they lost Marshall. Only 23 or 24, had good success at AA. Looking at his stats, the Yankees may have rushed him up the ladder a little too soon. Sure dont like this loss.

He would have been interesting to keep an eye on this spring, but on the eve of pitchers & catchers reporting, someone had to go to clear a spot for Hammel and I guess Marshall was the low man on the totem poll. I also heard a report that Brooks Raley was claimed by the Twins, so I wonder if there is another move about to happen or if they just wanted an open spot on the 40 for more flexibility this spring.
On the plus side, with Marshall gone, guys like Grimm, Cabrera, Ramirez, Beeler, Vizcaino, Hendricks, and Loux now move up a spot on the depth chart. And in place of Raley, you will get Rosscup and Jockish bumped up a spot as well. Goes to show that the depth of the minor leagues is much better now than it was 3 years ago when the previous regime was in charge of player development.

Doug, enjoy your thoughts. Some of these guys need to be named George Jefferson, because they are movin on up.

Dont know if my imagination is running away with me or not, but it seems like a trade may be going down.
There are too many INF’s on the roster, with Watkins, Olt, Murphy, Valbuena and Barney. Castro and Rizzo have 1B and SS locked up. Murphy plays all and bats RH. Very valuable. Valbuena plays 3B and 2B, bats LH. Watkins 2b, bats LH. Then Barney plays 2B and SS batting RH. One may be gone.
Should Olt make the team, it will give Renteria lots of line up options.

Update explains the Raley move. McDonald mentioned as a possible addition to the 40 man roster.
Dont understand adding McDonald until they see how he performs in ST?

Also lost Brooks Raley to the Twins. That one, I am not so disappointed in. Clears up another roster spot, but for who?

I read in the paper today that the Phils replaced a member of their broadcast team, who was an ex Cub with another ex Cub. Gary “Sarge” Matthews was sent packing, and Jamie Moyer was brought aboard.

Carrie, why would the Cubs have to clear a space on the 40 man roster for a Minor League Free Agent now? This makes no sense.
If McDonald makes the team during ST, then a spot would need to be cleared?? Right?
If someone can explain this, I would appreciate it.

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