The team now has signed three more players to such deals with spring-training invitations:
#Cubs sign LHPs Sanchez, Wada and Hottovy plus OF Maier to Minor League contracts with invite to Spring Training— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) December 19, 2013
The signings of pitchers Tsuyoshi Wada and Tommy Hottovy have been previously reported. Wada pitched nine seasons in Japan for the Daiei Softbank Hawks, and in his last season there (2011) went 16-5 with a 1.51 ERA and 1.002 WHIP (by far his best year in NPB), which got him a deal with the Baltimore Orioles. He never pitched in the major leagues for Baltimore, instead spending 2012 and 2013 at Triple-A Norfolk, where he made 20 starts with a 4.44 ERA and 1.491 WHIP. Wada turns 32 in February.
Mitch Maier is a new name to add to these lists. He was a first-round pick of the Royals (30th overall) in 2003 and has spent his entire career in the Kansas City organization. In six seasons covering 1,117 plate appearances, Maier has hit .248/.327/.344 with 10 home runs. He's also 31 and hits lefthanded, so this is likely a signing for someone who'll spend much of the year at Iowa.
These aren't big-deal signings, obviously, but they're out there, so I thought I'd post this so you can discuss.