Originally written on World Series Dreaming  |  Last updated 11/17/14
Yes! The news is finally official! After the longest physical in the history of western civilization the Cubs have signed Carlos Villanueva! So who is this mysterious pitcher from another country (Canada)?   A Carlos Raúl Villanueva no le gustaban los obesos. — Alexander (@AlexMateran12) January 28, 2013 Huh. Actually I don’t think that’s the right guy. Chicago Cubs Monday Headlines: Carlos Villanueva In, Lendy Castillo Out j.mp/112DLwP#Cubs#MLB — Aerys Sports (@AerysSports) January 28, 2013 Ah there we go. Well, Villanueva is a guy that has never cracked 150 IP in professional baseball. He has good stuff, his K% is pretty good, holding at 20.4% for his career, his peripheral numbers aren’t awful, ok K-BB ratio, decent xFIP. It looks like a low risk high reward signing for a guy who’s been hurt, can maybe start, and is looking to maybe put together a decent year. The Cubs are giving him 5mm a year to prove himself. I like the deal. What say the internet? BRAH, HE’S GONNA GO TO THE MINORS! Son of *****. One may assume that Villanueva would make the starting rotation. That’s not necessarily the case. Matt Garza, Jeff Samardzija and Edwin Jackson are all-but-guaranteed to start. That’s three-fifths of the rotation. These pitchers will make the cut because they either have too much upside or money invested into them. So lemme get this straight, the Cubs “overpaying” Villanueva doesn’t make sense because he isn’t guaranteed a roster spot on account of other guys in the rotation having too much moneys invested in them? So what, Villanueva is gonna be a middle reliever right? I mean the headline can’t possibly be right, you can’t actually think that the Cubs will voodoo magic Villanueva’s ass to Iowa, right? What does this mean? At least one of those free agents won’t make the starting rotation. Manager Dale Sveum would probably use that pitcher as a spot starter or middle reliever. Ah ok cool. Phew, you had me worried for a second, because you know, the pitchers would decline the assignment on account that they don’t have options left. It’d be silly to think tha- If Wood makes the rotation, then one of those free agents could start at Triple-A, much like John Lannan did with the Washington Nationals in 2012. If Wood makes the rotation, then one of those free agents could start at Triple-A,  then one of those free agents could start at Triple-A, could start at Triple-A, Triple-A, A … … … Dude, our guy Rice Cube spent 30 seconds googling the CBA and found this out: Article XIX, section 2 (a) states a player with 5 or more years of service time cannot be assigned to otherwise than to another major league club without the player’s written consent SAUCE: CBA PDF File And Rice is Amish. This is the only known picture of Rice. He thinks that cameras steal your souls and he wires his posts in with a carrier pigeon, he’s that Amish. So I mean, no, he won’t likely be a minor league pitcher for the Cubs unless it’s for a rehab assignment, which is sorta likely. Pitching depth was needed. Are the Cubs paying too much for it?   A need that they paid 5mm for? Nah. Since most of these contracts are no longer than one year, it shouldn’t have much of a long-term effect. Agreed. It’ll just look foolish when they’re paying a middle reliever or Triple-A pitcher like a No. 3 MLB starter. Edwin Jackson is a #3 starter, he got paid like one. Garza is also a 3, he also got paid like one. Carlos Villanueva got half of that. Sooooooo… fin.    
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