The Cubs have shipped minor league shortstop Marco Hernandez to Boston as the player to be named later in the Felix Doubront trade. Nothing too shocking or outlandish.
Hernandez, 22, hit .270/.315/.351 last year in High-A Daytona. It was speculated before the Rule 5 Draft last week that he could be picked up by another team, but it didn’t happen.
Doubront, who was acquired from the Red Sox on July 30, likely will battle for a bullpen spot in 2015, with an outside shot at the rotation. He looked OK for moments in four starts last season, but I don’t think the chances are very good for him starting. Looking at the trade as a whole — Doubront for Hernandez — it seems pretty fair to me.
On the flip side of Hernandez heading out of the organization, the Cubs will be receiving a player from the A’s to complete the Jeff Samardzija trade from last summer. Expect that announcement sometime this week.
Lester’s ‘broken barrier’ and no-trade clause
The decision by the Red Sox to trade Jon Lester to Oakland last July did have an effect on the pitcher’s view of free agency, writes WEEI’s Alex Speier.
Lester said that experiencing success with a new club helped him envision a change. “I think going there prepared us for this time. I think if we finished out the year in Boston and you get down to this decision, I think it would be a lot harder,” Lester said to reporters after his introductory press conference yesterday. He said being traded “broke that barrier” of wondering what it would be like to play for another team.
I can’t tell for sure how much Lester factored the trade into his decision to sign with the Cubs. But I’m glad it happened, for the Cubs’ sake. And it makes me think of Cubs fans who wonder whether Jeff Samardzija will return to the Cubs after he becomes a free agent next year.
I don’t see it happening. I think he’s a little hurt that the Cubs didn’t go all-out to extend his contract, but instead shipped him off to Oakland. One of the points of contention in negotiations between the Cubs and Samardzija reportedly was a no-trade clause. As in, the Cubs under Theo Epstein don’t do them.
Until the Lester deal, of course. I can’t imagine that sits well with Shark either.
Bruce Miles writes why the no-trade clause was necessary in Lester’s case: Lester was traded by a team (Boston) who relied on young players and who fell on some rough times and he had to be assured this same thing wouldn’t happen in Chicago. “In the spirit of the negotiation, it was something that we initially objected to but didn’t keep the fight up too long because it was also in the spirit of the connection we were trying to make,” Epstein said.
* As Evan wrote last night, the Cubs have signed reliever Jason Motte to a one-year deal. When I first heard the news on the radio yesterday, I figured it would be a minor league deal due to Motte’s recent struggles. But whether it is a minor or major league deal is unclear at this point. The Cubs’ 40-man roster is at 40 right now, so they might need to move somebody to account for Motte.
* Perhaps one of the best quotes from the Lester press conference came from Theo Epstein when he joked about taking Jon Lester on a hunting trip. “I was prepared to. I was ready to soak myself in deer urine, if necessary,” Epstein said. Now that is the dedication I look for in a front office.
* The Dodgers have agreed to a one-year, $10 million deal with LHP Brett Anderson, according to Buster Olney. I would’ve like to see the Cubs take a chance on Anderson, and I would’ve been OK with that price. Anderson is only 26, but he has battled injuries over the years. The Dodgers strike again.
* Last Sunday, Javier Baez hit his first home run of Winter Ball. He finished 2-for-4 with the HR and a double. He also struck out two more times. He played second base and hit third for Cangrejeros de Santurce. Baez has gone 4-for-11 in his three games played. Monday’s game was suspended due to rain.