The Rundown — 12/9/16: Rule 5 Happenings, Cubs Add to Pen, Dex Gets Paid

Here are today’s headlines for the Cubs and around the MLB:

  1. The Cubs acquired left-handed pitcher Caleb Smith during the Rule 5 draft. He was selected from the Yankees by the Brewers, then traded to the Cubs for cash considerations.
    • The thought is that Smith will be the long man, assuming he doesn’t implode during Spring Training.
    • This has ended some speculation that the Cubs could re-sign Travis Wood. I’d still like to see a reunion, but Wood wants a chance to start somewhere and with the lack of decent pitching on the market this offseason, I think he may get that chance.
  2. Other Cubs Rule 5 Happenings:
    • Further plundering the Yankees, the Cubs selected 1B/3B Kevin Cornelius in the minor-league portion of the draft.
      • Decent enough hitter and the Cubs get to keep him since it was during the Minor League phase, so it is worth a shot.
    • The Cubs lost Armando Rivero (Braves) and Daniel Lockhart (D-Backs) in the draft.
      • No big losses here. Rivero has had decent numbers in AAA, but for some reason never really got a shot to come to the big leagues and Lockhart is a light-hitting utility guy who wasn’t going to get many chances with the Cubs.
  3. The Rangers made a trade with the Braves, sending Luke Jackson to Atlanta for Tyrell Jenkins and Brady Feigl.
    • Kind of a change-of-scenery move for Jenkins and Jackson, with Fiegl having some success at the lower levels.
  4. The Cubs have reportedly signed Koji Uehara to a one-year deal worth $4.5M as they continue to build an excellent bullpen.
    • The 42-year-old Uehara was with the Red Sox last season and was actually their closer for a period of time (2012-2014).
    • He has been super-effective against lefties in his career, holding them to a .183 average and .555 OPS.
    • The Cubs are building quite the pen, adding Brian Duensing last week, Wade Davis and Uehara this week, and even Smith yesterday. Assuming these guys stay healthy, I already feel better about this pen then last year’s with Aroldis Chapman
  5. Dark days are here as the Cardinals have reportedly signed Dexter Fowler to a big contract (rumored to be 5 years over $80M).
    • He is going to undergo a physical this morning and then the deal will most likely be announced.

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