Cubs Post-2013 Minor League Free-Agents & Rule 5 Draft Eligibles

For those of you who might be looking ahead a bit, here are the Cubs minor leaguers who are eligible to be free-agents post-2013, and the Cubs minor leaguers who are eligible for selection in the December 2013 Rule 5 Draft.

Minor leaguers who are eligible to be free-agents are the players most likely to get releaed during the season (because they have no long-term future as "organizational depth"), but they are also the ones who must be evaluated most-closely because a club must decide if it wants to risk losing that player permanently after the season. Sometimes a club will call up a player who is going to be a minor league free-agent to see if he's worth keeping around for the next season (as happened with Bryan LaHair a couple of years ago) 

Minor leaguers eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft who are considered MLB prospects are the players most likely to get called up to the MLB club during the season, because if they are considred MLB prospects, they are the players a club must add to its 40-man roster after the season anyway (or risk losing the player in the Rule 5 Draft). This is why the Cubs felt comfortable bringing up Brooks Raley, Brett Jackson, Josh Vitters, and Chris Rusin last summer, and why some of the player on the December 2013 Rule 5 Draft Eligibility List might get called up during the 2013 MLB regular season (especially in August-September).  


A minor league player can become a free-agent three ways:o

1. Outright Release
2. Per MLB Rule 55
3. Per Article XX-D of the CBA

OUTRIGHT RELEASE: Unlike for players on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster), Outright Release Waivers are not required to release a minor league player. A released minor league player receives two weeks termination pay if he is released during Spring Training or during the minor league season, but the player receives no termination pay if he is released during the off-season before the next season's salary addendum has been added to the player's contract. A minor league player who is injured during the course of Spring Training (Minor League Camp) or the minor league regular season receives two weeks termination pay if he is released no later than the 14th day of his club's regular season, but the player receives a full season's salary if he is released after the 14th day of his club's regular season.

MLB RULE 55: Sometimes called a "Six-Year Minor League Free-Agent," a minor league player qualifies for free-agency under MLB Rule 55 if the player has spent all or any part of at least seven separate seasons on a minor league club's Active List and/or Disabled List (including all or parts of any season spent on Optional Assignment to the minors), and/or if the player has been previously released or non-tendered in his career and his present contract (known as a "second contract" even if it's his third or fourth minor league contract) has expired. Note that a player who ordinarily would have been eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league free-agent is NOT eligible if the player is either added to an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) or agrees to a minor league successor contract with his previous club by 5:00 PM (Eastern) on October 15th or by 5:00 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series (whichever is later). The deadline for an MLB club to tender a contract to an unsigned minor league player who had previously agreed to a successor contract is January 15th. If an unsigned minor league player is not tendered a contract by January 15th, the player becomes an unrestricted free-agent.

ARTICLE XX-D: Any MLB player who has accrued at least three years of MLB service time, or who was eligible for Salary Arbitration as a "Super Two" after the previous season, and/or who has been outrighted previously in his career, has the right to be a free-agent if the player is outrighted to the minors. The player can exercise this right upon being outrighted, or (but only in the case of a player who has accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time and/or has been outrighted to the minors previously in his career) he can opt to defer the right until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season (he is given three days to decide if he is outrighted during Spring Training or the MLB regular season, and he has eight days to make up his mind if he is outrighted during the off-season). If a player eligible to be a free-agent under Article XX-D elects to be a free-agent immediately after being outrighted, the player's contract is terminated and the player receives no termination pay. (Because unsigned players do not receive termination pay, players eligible to be minor league free-agents under Article XX-D who are outrighted during the off-season before being tendered a contract for the following season almost always opt for free-agency immediately). But if the outrighted player accepts the Outright Assignment, the player's existing contract remains in force, and the player can elect free-agency beginning on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season up through October 15th. (A player who had the option to elect free-agency upon being outrighted only because he had been eligible for Salary Arbitration as a "Super Two" after the previous season does NOT have the right to defer free-agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season). However, an outrighted player who deferred the right to be an Article XX-D minor league free-agent until the conclusion of the MLB regular season is NOT eligible to be a free-agent if the player is added back to an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) prior to the conclusion of the MLB regular season.

A minor league free-agent can sign a contract with any major league or minor league club (including the player's former club) without any restrictions. A club receives no compensation for losing an MLB Rule 55 or Article XX-D minor league free-agent.

LAST UPDATED: 4-22-2013

Alberto Gonzalez, INF
Brent Lillibridge, IF-OF
Hisanori Takahashi, LHP


Jeffry Antigua, LHP
Brian Bogusevic, OF
J. C. Boscan, C
Kyler Burke, LHP
Drew Carpenter, RHP
Yeiper Castillo, RHP
Jaye Chapman, RHP
Johermyn Chavez, OF
Dayan Diaz, RHP
Jair Fernandez, C
Eduardo Figueroa, RHP
Marcus Hatley, RHP
Marcos Mateo, RHP
Edwin Maysonet, INF
Darnell McDonald, OF
Jose Morales, C-IF
Guillermo Moscoso, RHP
Jonathon Mota, INF
Brad Nelson, 1B
Blake Parker, RHP
Larry Suarez, RHP
Ryan Sweeney, OF
Tim Torres, IF-OF
Cory Wade, RHP
Casey Weathers, RHP
Ty Wright, OF

Michael de la Cruz, RHP (previously released by TEX)
Carlos Figueroa, INF (previously released by CHC)
Nate Maldonado, C (previously released by CHC)
Zach Putnam, RHP (previously non-tendered by CHC)
Orbandy Rodriguez, RHP (previously released by AZ)


1. A minor league player who was 18 or younger on the June 5th immediately prior to signing his first contract is eligible for selection starting with the 5th Rule 5 Draft after he signs, and a minor league player who was 19 years or older on the June 5th immediately prior to signing his first contract becomes eligible for selection starting with the 4th Rule 5 Draft that followed his signing.

2. If a player signs his first contract after the conclusion of the season of the MLB or minor league club to which he is first assigned, the next season is considered to be the player's "first season" for Rule 5 eligibility purposes.

3. Any free-agent with prior MLB and/or minor league service who signs a minor league contract prior to the Rule 5 Draft is eligible for selection, as long as the player was 18 or younger on the June 5th immediately prior to signing his first contract and it is at least the 5th Rule 5 Draft since he signed his first contract, or the player was 19 years or older on the June 5th immediately prior to signing his first contract and it is at least the 4th Rule 5 Draft since he signed his first contract.

4. Any player on a minor league reserve list who has either been released or had his contract voided and then re-signs with the same MLB organization within one year is eligible for selection.

5. Any player on a minor league reserve list who has been outrighted to the minors previously in his career is eligible for selection.

6. A player on the Voluntary Retired List, Disqualified List, or Ineligible List is not eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft, but a player on the Restricted List or the Military List is eligible for selection.

7. An MLB club can designate any player on a minor league reserve list "eligible for selection" in the Rule 5 Draft even if the player would not normally be eligible, but once a player is made eligible for selection, he remains eligible for selection in all subsequent Rule 5 drafts. However, a player who was signed after being selected in the First-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft) cannot be designated "eligible for selection" in a Rule 5 Draft until after the first anniversary of the player signing his first contract with an MLB organization.

8. A minor league player-manager who would be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft if he was only a player can be selected, but if he is selected, the player-manager can reject the selection. He has 30 days to decide. If he rejects the selection, the player-manager cannot be re-signed as a player during the following season.

CUBS ELIGIBLE FOR MLB RULE 5 DRAFT POST-2013 (last updated 3-30-2013):
Hunter Ackerman, LHP
Arismendy Alcantara, INF
Gioskar Amaya, INF
Jose Arias, RHP
Frank Batista, RHP
Xavier Batista, OF
Dallas Beeler, RHP
Justin Bour, 1B
Sergio Burruel, C
David Cales, RHP
Esmailin Caridad, RHP
Marcelo Carreno, RHP
Lendy Castillo, RHP
Javier Castro, RHP
Zach Cates, RHP
Hunter Cervenka, LHP
Pin-Chieh Chen, OF
Casey Coleman, RHP
Gerardo Concepcion, LHP
Willson Contreras, C
Wes Darvill, INF
Antonio Encarnacion, RHP
Luis Flores, C
Anthony Giansanti, OF
Micah Gibbs, C
Enyel Gonzalez, RHP
Carlos Gutierrez, RHP
Jae-Hoon Ha, OF
Marco Hernandez, INF
Eric Jokisch, LHP
Dong-Yub Kim, OF
Austin Kirk, LHP
Luis Liria, RHP
Matt Loosen, RHP
Jeff Lorick, LHP
Eric Martinez, RHP
A. J. Morris, RHP
Chad Noble, C
Juan Carlos Paniagua, RHP (see NOTE)
Loiger Padron, RHP
Amaury Paulino, RHP
Felix Pena, RHP
Starling Peralta, RHP
Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP
Kevin Rhoderick, RHP
Greg Rohan, INF
Jose Rosario, RHP
Zac Rosscup, LHP
Victor Salazar, RHP
Brian Schlitter, RHP
Ryan Searle, RHP
Elliot Soto, INF,
Nick Struck, RHP
Luis Villalba, LHP
Yao-Lin Wang, RHP
Oliver Zapata, OF
NOTE: Juan Carlos Paniagua signed his first contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks as "Juan Callado" on 5-8-2009 and pitched for the DSL Diamondbacks in the Dominican Summer League in 2009-10, but the contract was "pending" for almost two years and was never officially approved by MLB. The contract was eventually rejected by MLB due to "fraudulent paperwork" and Paniagua (Callado) was suspended for one year and then was declared a free-agent. He signed with the New York Yankees in March 2011 but then was suspended again and that contract was rejected, too, because his birth certificate could not be verified. Paniagua was cleared by MLB in 2012 and he signed with the Cubs on 7-9-2012. Therefore, Paniagua could be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft for the first time in December 2013, since 2009 was his "first season" on the field, and he was 18 on the June 5th immediately preceding the signing of his first contract, or he might not be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft for the first time until December 2015 if 2012 is considered Paniagua's "first season" for Rule 5 eligibility purposes.


Dumb Question Phil:
Is Brett Jackson hurt, or spending a lot of time working on his new swing? I don't see his name much in the Iowa box scores the last week or so.

DUSTYT B: Brett Jackson has a toe injury and is day-to-day.


I don't see any 40-man locks, just a lot of bubble players depending on this year's performances. Who do you see getting added this winter?

JOHN B: I think Arismendy Alncantara is a virtual lock to get added to the 40, and Jae-Hoon Ha will likely be added, too. I don't think either will be up during the season, though. They look like 11/20 (roster deadline) guys to me. LHRP Zac Rosscup is the one post-2013 Rule 5 eligible who might get a call-up in September. And Juan Carlos Paniagua would be a tough call if MLB rules him eligible for the Rule 5 Draft post-2013. Otherwise I think the Cubs will probably take their chances that other pitcherrs like Peralta, Arias, Loosen, Beeler, Struck, Kirk, et al won't get selected.  

The Cubs might think twice before letting Blake Parker, Lendy Castillo, Kyler Burke, and Marcus Hatley walk away as minor league free-agents. They might have to add them to the 40 just to keep them from being free-agents. If he keeps pitching as well as he has so far at Iowa, Parker will probably get a call-up sometime during the season, and Hatley might get a September audition just to see if he is worth keeping. RHSP Guillermo Moscoso (presently at EXST) might get called up later in the year, too. 

Braves and Rockies underway in Denver. 23 degrees at first pitch, the new all-time record low. Maybe the night game will break the record again.

Chad Billingsley out for a year, TJ surgery.

cmon Garza get better

Recent comments

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  • I love arriving here first thing in the morning, adding a few moronic posts (moranic for any Cardinals fans who may be trolling), and reading the sage posts of all you guys. Most knowledgeable fans on any forum, by far. So post like crazy today and help give TCR some visibility!

    I told my wife last night that I'm going to need a support system for tonight's game. Tonight is going to be a lot harder on me than it is going to be on these rookie bad asses.

  • James Russell elected free agency.

  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason.