The Padres have signed former Cub pitching prospect and convicted osprey killer Jae Kuk Ryu. Here is what ex-Dodgers GM and current Padres exec Paul DePodesta has to say about the pickup on his blog:

Jae Kuk Ryu is a 25-year old right-handed pitcher from Seoul, South Korea. Originally signed for $1.6 million by the Cubs in 2001, Ryu has spent parts of the past three seasons in the Majors with Chicago and Tampa Bay. His 2008 season ended prematurely, however, as he was shut down in May and had relatively minor elbow surgery in June.

Ryu's fastball sits around 90 mph while reaching as high as 92, and he complements it with both a curveball and a changeup. According to our scouts, all of his pitches grade out as at least Major League average, and he can throw all three for strikes. Given his repertoire and success as a starter in the minor leagues, we believe Ryu can compete for a spot in our rotation or our pen. He has one minor league option remaining.
The Ryu pickup comes a couple days after the Padres re-signed Mark Prior, about whom DePodesta wrote on Tuesday:
A San Diego native, we signed Mark last year to a Major League contract after the Cubs declined to tender him a contract. After progressing well early in the spring, Mark had a setback that required another surgery and cost him the rest of the season.

Mark has now lost the entirety of the last two seasons to injury, but when he pitches he can be dominant. In his first four seasons in Chicago (2002-2005) Mark used the power fastball/curveball combo to pitch 613 innings with a 3.24 ERA.

Mark has been working out all winter here in Petco, and we're encouraged by his progress. If we can get him back and healthy for us in 2009 we believe he could make a significant difference.
"...when he pitches he can be dominant."

Indeed, Paul, indeed.

(By the way, I'm completely distraught that Ivy Leaguer DePodesta would start the Prior passage with a dangling modifier. Harvard should demand that he return his diploma.)

A year after the Cubs' Class-A Peoria affiliate drew 26,000 fans to a regular season Midwest League game at Wrigley Field, the Triple-A Iowa Cubs will follow suit, meeting Las Vegas in a Pacific Coast League contest in The Friendly Confines on August 9th.

Apart from the major market exposure and a cut of the gate, the I-Cubs, or at least the I-Cub players, will realize another benefit from the game:
(Iowa G.M. Sam) Bernabe said he will transport both teams to Chicago on a chartered airplane.

“I can’t expect them to bus six hours to Chicago after a Saturday night game, and then bus back another six hours Sunday and for a Monday game. The exposure – that’s what makes the trip worth it.”


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