Before we begin…Hi. My name is Mauricio, I’m a low level writing prospect that WSD decided to take a flyer on. I guess good things happen when you are generally nice to people in forums and don’t act a fool on Facebook. You can follow me on twitter @MRubio52, I usually post Foodgram pictures, cry about Derrick Rose, and compare the Cubs and their players to various art movements (They’re in the Minimalist stage if you’re wondering).
The Cubs have signed Korean righty Chang-Yong Lim to a split contract that could be worth up to 5MM. Split contracts are usually reserved for players that have prior Major League experience but are signed to minor league deals. Lim is a player who has experienced a lot of success overseas in the bullpen. He has consistently posted dominant numbers as a reliever for the Yakult Swallows in Japan and he had other suitors for his services stateside.
I found a Youtube video of Lim’s 2011 highlights:
Lim is slight of build, he’s listed at 5’11. Lim showcases an OK change, decent run on his offspeed stuff and a pretty OK slider in that clip. This scouting report indicates that Lim used to charge the velocity (henceforth to be referred to as velo) up a few MPH.
There are a few things to note on Lim.
He’s coming off Tommy John surgery and it’s speculated that he won’t see MLB action until 2014 at the earliest. This is his second TJ procedure. His fastball velocity has been slipping lately as well. He generated a lot of swing and miss over in Japan, which is usually a strong indicator of success when you are attempting to make the jump from a lesser league to the Major League level.
On the surface this signing doesn’t seem to fit with what the Cubs are going for with their total rebuilding project, but let’s keep a few things in mind.
This is a low risk, moderately high reward move. Lim gets the 5MM only if he makes it to the bigs. If that happens in 2014, which might be when the Cubs make the jump from awful to mediocre and in semi-contention, then the Cubs have a valuable asset that they can either retain or flip to a team desperate for bullpen help at the trade deadline.
And of course, there’s the scenario that Rice blogged about a few days ago. It would make sense to start building the road blocks to success in 2014/2015 by acquiring some talent now that can help you when the Cubs feel that their window begins to open.
Essentially, the Cubs have taken a flyer on a player that can bring back some solid returns if it breaks right. He also won’t hurt the Cubs much if he doesn’t. It’s also worth noting the potential impact this move may have in the future concerning overseas scouting and player acquisition in the Asian market.
The two TJ surgeries are scary, but this isn’t a player that the Cubs are depending on. It’s a low risk closer that has enjoyed a lot of success in Japan as a dominant reliever and perhaps can do the same stateside.
I think it’s a smart move that has a lot of potential to pan out in a big way.