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Milk Me

James McDonald 2014 Outlook

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The Cubs signed two pitchers today, both who had very solid seasons and were being spoken up on websites like Fangraphs it feels like just yesterday about how they had finally been breaking through or out, and had found their calling in ____'s staff and added a new pitch or yada yada yada. I will be making a post for Hammel as well in a little if no one else has already, and that is a guaranteed/6 million deal (unsure about addition details- assume 1 yr and perhaps some sort of incentives and/or an option maybe but I need to look it up ...just got in), but McDonald's deal is only a MLC. Wood having avoided arby and 3 other spots likely accounted for (Shark if not dealt, Edwin Jackson, and now Hammel, i would say, are all locks along with Wood.... )

But per rotoworld:

"McDonald should get a shot to compete for a rotation spot with the Cubs but could wind up in the bullpen. It's a solid no-risk move for Chicago."

This leaves the #5 spot, and the only real favorite is another former Orioles pitcher in Jake Arrieta. I would like to see McDonald at least get a chance to compete to start like they said, that is if he has the endurance in him and is healthy to do so, but I've also heard the Cubs are high on and expecting something from Grimm out of the back of their rotation by July or if injury strikes, or trades go down and they need reinforcements etc. etc.

With the possibility of a rotation spot or chance to compete next spring, I think he's a guy I'll target in auctions for $1 or $2 since the Cubs are such a gutter team, or look to put on my "watch" list in drafts he slips through in case he can get a #5 slot; he's worth watching in case he can get off to a hot start and stick like that one season w/ the Pirates even if he probably should have been pulled at various points...

I had some more stuff to post but I'm too gassed, so I'll let you guys go into it if you wanna. One thing to look into I'll suggest.... look at his '11 ERA and '12 ERA, in addition the IP from each season. Identical.... completely identical. 4.21 ERA and 171.1 IP in both seasons. I need to observe some splits in addition to post- and pre-ASB before I can crack this nut, but I am pleased as both a follower of the Cubs, and someone who looks for deals and plays in a very deep league where a guy like this being a prospect/burnout/finally begins to breakout/hurt and seemingly done, but now back... these are the few types my fellow GMs can overlook. He could be good value (and I think Hammel could as well... moving to the NL central could help these two).

If McDonald can't land a rotation spot, he doesn't look any part out of the pen to me (is it just me?), and if his control hasn't improved I don't know if he'll stick.... all I can see is long-reliever w/ the ability to spot-start and I think Wesley Johnson has the first part covered and could probably go 4-5IP in an emergency.

But I truly think if this guy took his year off with injury and used it to watch game tape, study his mechanics, which have often been in question to my recollection, and maybe he changed some things up. I don't see him fitting in the pen as someone who follows their roster. I also cannot recall if he is just a power pitcher who is working with lesser stuff, or if he has GB tendencies, and if he does it can't hurt having Rizzo at 1B and Darwin Barney's 2 Gold Gloves (I think he won another consecutive one this offseason?) can't hurt. I am almost 100% positive Hammel is a GB pitcher so i could be confusing the two.

I don't know, I like Arrieta and likewise don't see a place in the pen for him if he can't claim the 5th spot. You can "never have too much pitching" I guess they say, but it isn't the best situation for any fantasy starter when you're a Cubs SP and have their bullpen backing you. That said, i'm intrigued.... I like this guy and he also is a prime candidate to be dealt at the ASB is he is doing good assuming he can win the 5th slot. Arrieta may have an option left, but I'm not thinking so.... (if someone knows?)

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