The Rundown – 12/15/16: Beef in Baltimore, Sox Go Dutch, Cubs Re-Sign Three Pitchers

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

  1. Former Cub Welington Castillo signed a one-year deal (with a player option) worth $6M ($7M player option) with the Orioles yesterday.
    • Known affectionately as “Beef” by Cubs fans, Castillo will be 30 years old in April and he should get some decent playing time in Baltimore.
    •  The player option gives him a bit of a safety net if he has a down year, but he also has the chance to go test the FA waters again next year if he does well.
  2. Another former Cub, Andres Blancore-signed with the Phillies for one year, $3M.
    • Blanco has carved out a decent career for himself as a utility man and has been with the Phillies for the past 3 years.
    • He played for the Cubs in 2009 and had pretty much the same role, while hitting .252 with a HR and 12 RBI.
  3. Tommy Milone was signed by the Brewers for one year (financial terms not disclosed).
    • The LHP will serve as an option at the back end of the Brewers’ rotation or as a guy out of the pen who can go a few innings.
    • Interestingly enough, the Cubs are one of 3 teams that he has never faced; not a cause for concern as he holds a career 4.14 ERA with a .754 OPS against, just found it interesting.
  4. Derek Holland signed a one-year deal worth $6M with the White Sox yesterday.
    • It is another smart move by the Sox because Holland does well for the 1st half of the season then he becomes a very affordable and flippable option for them to trade.
    • Rick Hahn continues to make savvy moves. Has anyone actually seen Kenny Williams in public? I fear that he may be locked away somewhere, because it has been a long time (if ever) that the Sox have made this many good moves in an offseason.
    • Holland does come with his own history of injuries and he hasn’t made 30+ starts since 2013, but he had a nice run and could turn it around in a low-pressure setting of the South Side.
  5. The Cubs re-signed some guys to whom they didn’t tender contracts back in the beginning of December.
    • Zac Rosscup, Gerardo Concepcion and Conor Mullee all return on minor league deals.
    • I’m a big fan of bringing these guys back, especially Rosscup and Concepcion, who will provide depth as lefties in AAA.
    • Mullee is 28 but seemed to figure some things out last year as he had a 0.99 ERA with 11.1 Ks/9 in AAA; maybe those numbers can transfer to the big leagues on some level.
    • These guys are good depth pieces to stash at AAA and I think they all have shots at being up at some point this season to fill in for injuries.

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