INDIANAPOLIS _ The Cubs and White Sox have cleared out of the Indy Marriott. I’ve checked out of my budget hotel and will be on the road soon, too. Finally. It’s been a long week. Cubs GM Jim Hendry seemed in a better mood this morning. Even though the Cubs didn’t make a big move here, Hendry said he feels he’s done enough groundwork to get a deal or two done in the coming days or weeks. He was up until the wee hours talking with teams and agents.
Tampa Bay still appears to be the best bet for a Milton Bradley landing place. Talks are ongoing.
The Cubs took a pitcher in the Rule 5 draft this morning, selecting righty Michael Parisi from the Cardinals. Parisi, 26, is 40-39 with a 4.27 ERA in 115 minor-league starts. He had Tommy John surgery in late 2008, and this year, he was 0-2 with a 4.70 ERA in 5 starts between Rookie League ball and Class A Palm Beach. He pitched this year in the Arizona Fall League.
Mark Riggins, the Cubs’ minor-league pitching coordinator, is said to like Parisi, whose curveball is his best pitch. People around the Cardinals said this morning Parisi worked on a cutter in the AFL. Parisi made his major-league debut May 5, 2008. He had an 8.22 ERA in 12 appearances, 2 starts, with the Cardinals in ’08.
For right now, he’s spring-training inventory. Parisi projects as a back-of-the-rotation starter or as a long reliever. Last year, as you know, the Cubs took reliever David Patton in the Rule 5, but he was no factor in the ’09 season and can be sent to the minor leagues in 2010. They also took pitcher Tim Lahey a couple years ago but Lahey didn’t stick, so it’s too early to tell how this will turn out. The Cubs did not lose a player in the major-league portion of the Rule 5. They felt they would have lost outfielder James Adduci for sure had they not added him to the 40-man roster.
The Cubs also are indirectly involved with a player the White Sox lost in the minor-league portion of the Rule 5. The Sox lost righty Arismendy Mota to the Washington organization. The Cubs are expected to make a trade with the Nationals to acquire Mota. The Sox also lost right-handed pitcher John Lujan to the Mets in the minor-league Rule 5.
Sox GM Kenny Williams left the Marriott with nothing new to report.
The Cubs vehemently denied a Trib report that a deal already has been made to move spring training from Mesa, Ariz., to Naples, Fla. As I’ve stated, a move to Florida would be a mistake for the Cubs, who have a longstanding relationship with Mesa. Travel in Florida will be brutal, not only for the Cubs’ major-leaguers but their minor-leaguers as well. The Ricketts family has no ties to Arizona, and team president Crane Kenney is a Boston guy who might want to be near the Red Sox in Florida. The Cubs are kings of Arizona. Would it be so in Florida? Maybe, maybe not. Anyway, there is still a whole lot of negotiating to go before a decision is made. To me, Florida wants the Cubs while Arizona needs the Cubs.
The final decision will tell us a lot about the Ricketts family.