The Cubs announced on Wednesday that the club acquired pitcher Alec Mills from the Royals in exchange for minor league outfielder Donnie Dewees. To create roster space, the Cubs designated pitcher David Rollins for assignment.
Mills, 25, made his major league debut last season, making three appearances and allowing five runs. Despite the lackluster performance in a very small sample, Mills progressed quickly. He was with the Royals’ High-A affiliate in Wilmington in 2015, started 2016 at Double-A Northwest Arkansas and made his way to Triple-A Omaha in mid-June.
Dewees, 23, spent last season with Single-A South Bend and High-A Myrtle Beach, hitting a combined .284/.338/.416 with 25 doubles, 14 triples, 31 stolen bases, 73 RBI, and 90 runs scored in 557 plate appearances. ESPN’s Keith Law rated him as the Cubs’ 15th-best prospect.
The real story here, though, is Rollins. On the heels of a great article by Sports Illustrated’s Jon Tayler, I discussed the tough offseason some fringe major leaguers go thorugh. Rollins was among them. This has been Rollins’ offseason thus far after ending the 2016 campaign with the Mariners:
- November 18: Cubs claim Rollins off waivers from the Mariners
- November 22: Rangers claim Rollins off waivers from the Cubs
- December 2: Phillies claim Rollins off waivers from the Rangers
- December 14: Phillies designate Rollins for assignment
- December 21: Rangers claim Rollins off waivers from the Phillies
- December 23: Cubs claim Rollins off waivers from the Rangers
- February 8: Cubs designate Rollins for assignment
So, once again, Rollins has no idea where he’ll actually have to report to for spring training.
At the end of January, the Nationals signed relievers Joe Nathan and Matt Albers. Today the Nationals have released Joe Nathan and Matt Albers.
Nathan, 42, pitched in just ten games last year, totaling only six and a third innings, between the Giants and the Cubs. He missed the entire 2015 season except for one third of an inning on Opening Day. Albers pitched in 58 games for the White Sox last year, posting an unsightly 6.31 ERA He pitched wonderfully in 30 games in 2015 however.
This spring Nathan and Albers pitched in more games than any other Nats relievers. Twelve for Nathan, ten for Albers. And they pitched well, with Nathan giving up five earned runs and Albers none. Apparently, however, there just isn’t room on the roster for those two.
This could be the end of the line for Nathan, a 16-year veteran with 377 career saves.
The substance of the report is not shocking. Francisco Lindor is one of baseball’s brightest young stars and the Cleveland Indians would, no doubt, wish to lock him up for an extended period of time. The surprising part is the guy who reported that, yes, the Indians are working to get Lindor a seven-year extension.
That guy: six-year-old Brody Chernoff, son of Indians general manager Mike Chernoff. Brody was invited into the team’s broadcast booth during the ninth inning of their game against the Chicago White Sox. Indians announcer Tom Hamilton asked, no doubt jokingly, if his working on anything interesting. Brody:
“He’s trying to get, um, Lindor to play for seven more years,”
Again, not shocking. It would’ve been way worse if Brody had said “Dad’s working on a three-way deal that’ll send Naquin to an NL team in order to affect a three-way trade that’ll land us Verlander without having to deal directly with a divisional rival.” But I imagine Dad still would’ve preferred he not mention that.