Ranking the Chicago Cubs 2013 Free Agent Signings (On the Roster)

Taking a look at the 11 players (and Fujikawa) currently on the roster that the front of picked up as free agents, we decided to rank them.  This list should change based on how unlucky some of the players have been and vice versa.  Since it has been brought up with almost all the signings it will be interesting to see who stays and who will be dangled as trade bait.  Hope you enjoy.



  1. NATE SCHIERHOLTZ (.287/.316/.527): Remember the uproar on twitter when the Cubs signed Mr. Schierholtz? Well he has quickly quieted his doubters putting up a good triple slash along with 7HR and 22RBI. Nate has the highest WAR of all 2013 free agent signings on the roster right now at 1.0.  His BABIP sits at .298, which is about league average so we should expect him to stay consistent throughout the year. Other reasons Schierholtz sits at #1 is his wRC+ is an incredible 126 and his wOBA of .365 which according to Fangraphs sits just above the above average category.  It will be interesting to see if the front office will consider trading him because he is under team control.
  2. SCOTT FELDMAN (5-4 2.82era 60.2IN):  After a slow start that had everyone thinking he would be the guy put into the bullpen when Garza returned Feldman has been remarkable.  His .254 BABIP against suggests he has not been very lucky so far, which is encouraging. The problem is his FIP of 3.92 suggest a regression is expected.  Feldman’s FIP- is just about league average. His ERA- is 28% better than league average which is nice but most believe that will start to average out.  The way the season is going most believe he could be the first to go whenever the Cubs decide to sell off.
  3. KEVIN GREGG (1-0 0.59ERA 6SV):  Along with the Schierholtz signing almost everyone…and I mean everyone laughed at this signing.  The bullpen has been I guess a good word would be atrocious and Gregg has easily been the most consistent.  His FIP of 2.28 is incredible only lower than James Russell. Also the fact he is striking batters at a 24% is very very nice.
  4. CARLOS VILLANUEVA (1-3 3.57ERA 58.0IN):  The stache was pretty freakin’ awesome and Carlos did pitch pretty freakin’ awesome while in the starting rotation for the most part.  We knew that he could not keep rolling like that and it shows in his FIP of 4.12, which is below average as is his FIP- of 104.  The move to the bullpen should improve his K% of about 18%.  He has been effective in the bullpen thus far, which we all hope continues.
  5. Cody Ransom (.263/.311/.544):  For someone who was an extremely under the radar signing with no expectations when signed Ransom has been an extremely solid pick up.  One reason he is so far up on the list is because of necessity; the Cubs really needed an infielder as well as a right-handed bat off the bench.  It doesn’t hurt that he is a 0.7 WAR player.  His .367BABIP suggests he has been VERY lucky so again…..a regression is in the works.  His wOBA of .365 and wRC+ 132 are both better than our #1 on the list which is encouraging.  Here is to hoping Ransom remains consistent.
  6. DIONER NAVARRO (.230/.299/.541):  Sure he may not be the greatest behind the plate but the guy has come up with some big time hits this year and sports a 0.3 WAR.  But nobody should complain about him especially with the amount of Koyie Hill we have seen the past few years.  Looking at his .186 BABIP just shows how unlucky Dioner has been.  As we have done for the others, looking at his wOBA(.354) and wRC+(123) things should start looking up for him.  Again he has trouble blocking pitches behind the plate but on the hitting side he should continue to progress.
  7. EDWIN JACKSON (1-8 6.29ERA 58.2IN):  Everyone including Edwin himself is frustrated with how the 52 Million dollar man has performed.  Looking at his numbers he has been very, extremely, terribly unlucky.  His BABIP against is an astonishing .358…yikes.  According to Fangraphs his FIP of 3.65 is above average.   His ERA- is a disgusting 160 so another stat you would have to believe would come down.  It has been really tough to watch but a turnaround has to be in the cards, and even with all the bad his WAR still sits at 0.7.
  8. RYAN SWEENEY (303/.395/.515):  Sweeney has had to take most of his AB’s against LHP which he has done an excellent job.  His 13.2% BB rate is pretty awesome.  Some of his stats like BABIP(.360), .wOBA (394) wRC+(152) should all begin to digress a bit but with Sweeney’s approach at the plate it should not be a major meltdown.  Because of the small sample size he is lower on the list but could jump up.
  9. JULIO BORBON (.244/.320/.333):  I really have nothing horrible or nothing great to say about Borbon.  He does bring some much needed speed to the roster though.   Nothing really stands out for Julio and the only reason he is ahead of Hairston is because of the horrible start Scott had.

10. SCOTT HAIRSTON (.171/.208/.414):  Hairston had about as poor of start as you could possibly have.  His wOBA(.261) and wRC+(59) are both pretty dang bad.  The good news is he has picked it up a bit as of late and all his numbers should improve.  As the season continues there is no reason he should be last on this list.

INC.  KYUJI FUJIKAWA (1-1 5.25ERA 2SV):  Kyuji goes as an incomplete because we really have not seen him fully healthy.  He has had a string of bad luck injuries.  Looking at the small sample we had his stats were actually not bad at all.  His K% was 28%, which is excellent, and his FIP of 2.82 is also excellent.  Having a .323BABIP did not help either.  I am pretty upset we did not get to see a healthy Fujikawa because he would have really helped.


INC.  HECTOR RONDON (0-0 6.38ERA 18.1IN):  I have Rondon as incomplete because it is hard to judge a guy who really has not pitched in many tough situations.  I must say I am a big fan of Rondon and see him in the bullpen for the long run.  His FIP of 5.12 is pretty awful but that is a stat that should improve.  His advanced stats are bloated so one who really looks into those should expect Rondon to improve.

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