The Cubs have designated OF Jackson Melian for assignment
Christian: A mystery solved! After a series of emails with Scott Nelson, Director of Baseball Operations for the Cubs, I learned that in order to make room for Josh Paul on the 40-man roster the Cubs designated Jackson Melian for assignment. This actually happened on September 1st, so the Cubs have until the 10th to trade him, otherwise he becomes a free agent. I expect he’ll end up re-signing with the Cubs.
Melian’s star has fallen far since he was signed to a $1.6M bonus as a 17-year-old by the Yankees. The Venezuelan prospect impressed a lot of scouts with his tools and potential, but his seven years in teh minors have been all about not meeting expectations.
After four seasons in the Yankees system, he had progressed to AA Norwich, where he had shown good speed on the basepaths and a decent instinct in the outfield, but his K/BB ratio was nearly 4.0 in 2000, when he was traded to the Reds in the Drew Henson trade (speaking of busts). After a .237 season in AA Chattanooga, the Reds let him go and the Brewers claimed him on waivers. Almost immediately, they traded him to the Cubs for Robert Machado, and he put up sterling numbers (308/375/432) for the Diamond Jaxx. He was promoted to Iowa this year but struggled mightily (178/226/279) and found himself back in AA for a fourth season.
Brian: Nice work, Ruz.
This seemed like the obvious move to me. I had originally thought that perhaps Francis Beltran was transferred to the 60-day DL, but according to MLB.com, he’s actually been reinstated from the DL. So Melian seemed like the most sensible choice remaining to be exposed to waivers.
He is only 23, though, and underperforming or not, it wouldn’t make a lot of sense to lose him for the sake of Josh Paul. All the same, I wonder if the Cubs even want to re-sign him, since he wasn’t even playing everyday at West Tenn. They may just let him walk if they can’t work out a deal for him.
UPDATE 09-12-03: According to MLB.com, Melian has been outrighted to Iowa.