A "Draft-Excluded Player" is any minor league player eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft whose contract is selected and who is added to an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) between August 15th and the Rule 5 Draft.
While a "Draft-Excluded Player" can be non-tendered on 12/2, released, or traded at any time, he cannot be sent to the minors by Optional Assignment beginning with the conclusion of the MLB regular season up until 20 days prior to MLB Opening Day. Also, a "Draft-Excluded Player" can be outrighted to the minors only if Outright Assignment Waivers are requested no later than 2 PM (Eastern) on the 4th day following the final game of the World Series, and if a "Draft-Excluded Player" is not outrighted to the minors prior to the Rule 5 Draft, the player cannot be sent outright to the minors any earlier than 20 days prior to the start of the MLB regular season.
CUBS WITH DRAFT-EXCLUDED STATUS POST-2015 (last updated 11-20-2015)
Jeimer Candelario, INF
Willson Contreras, C
Pierce Johnson, RHP
Dan Vogelbach, 1B