Cubs 2023 Rule 5 Draft & Minor League Free-Agency Watch List

1/24 UPDATE

The Cubs have sent RHP Manuel Rodriguez and LHP Anthony Kay outright to AAA Iowa. Both were Designated for Assignment last week. 

Neither pitcher has the right to elect free-agency if outrighted, but both will be an MLB Rule 9 minor league 6YFA post-2023 if the player does not sign a 2024 minor league successor contract or is added back to the MLB 40-man roster in the meantime.    

Cubs Offseason In Progress

The Chicago Cubs' front office finds itself charting the middle ground again in the aftermath of a 74-88 season. With the most-valued prospects not yet ready for prime time, Hoyer and company has continued to add in places via free agency but appears not to have been given a green light to spend like a real competitor. The Cubs biggest move so far has clearly been the addition of shortstop Dansby Swanson on a 7-year contract that will see him through his age 35 season.

2022 MLB Rule 5 Draft Preview

12/7 UPDATE:

PLAYERS SELECTED BY CUBS IN MAJOR LEAGUE PHASE:
NONE

CUBS MINOR LEAGUERS SELECTED IN MAJOR LEAGUE PHASE:
Chris Clarke, RHP (selected by Seattle Mariners from AAA Iowa roster)
 
PLAYERS SELECTED BY CUBS IN AAA PHASE:
1. Jose Aquino, LHP (selected from Seattle Mariners ACL roster) 
2. Nick Burdi, RHP (selected from San Diego Padres AA San Antonio roster) 
3. Jefferson Encarnacion, OF (selected from Philadelphia Phillies Lo-A Clearwater roster)  

CUBS MINOR LEAGUERS SELECTED IN AAA PHASE:
1. Bryan King, LHP (selected by Houston Astros from AA Tennessee roster)
2. Luis Angel Rodriguez, LHP (selected by Houston Astros from Lo-A Myrtle Beach roster)



Cubs 2022 Rule 5 Draft & Minor League Free-Agency Watch List

11/10 UPDATE #2

The Cubs have released RHP Wilfri Figuereo, RHP Gabriel Jaramillo, RHP Jensi Ramirez, and 1B-OF Jerry Torres. Only Jaramillo was eligible for selection in the 2022 Rule 5 Draft. 


11/10 UPDATE #1

The Cubs have sent LHP Steven Brault, RHP Anderson Espinoza, RHP Alec Mills, LHP Brad Wieck, INF David Bote, OF Narcisco Crook, and OF Franmil Reyes outright to AAA Iowa.  

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Ballesteros Provides the Offense for Red Squad at Instructs

Moises Ballesteros ripped an RBI triple, walked twice, and scored a run, and five pitchers combined to hurl a two-hit shutout with 14 strikeouts, as the Cubs "Red Squad" blanked the Cubs "Blue Squad" 2-0 in AZ Instructional League intrasquad game action Friday morning at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ. 

Ismael Mena collected the two Blue Squad hits (both singles), but he was thrown out attempting to steal both times he reached base.  

The game was pre-planned as an eight-inning contest. 

This was the final AZIL Cubs game. 
 
Here is the box score from the game: 

Triantos Goes Full Beast Mode at Instructs

James Triantos belted an RBI triple in the bottom of the first and crushed a tape-measure three-run HR in the 5th, Cristian Hernandez tripled and scored in the first, collected an RBI on a sacrifice fly in the 2nd, and drilled an RBI double and scored in the 5th, Haydn McGeary blasted a two-run HR, and four pitchers combined to hurl a three-hitter, as the Cubs "Red Squad" battered the Cubs "Blue Squad" 9-2 in AZ Instructional League intasquad game action Tuesday afternoon at Sloan Park In Mesa, AZ. 

Pedro Ramirez singled twice, stole a base, scored a run, and drove-in another, and Ismael Mena tripled and scored to account for the Blue Squad's three hits and two runs.  

The game was pre-planned as a six-inning contest. 

Prior to the game, Nazier Mule and Koen Moreno threw one inning each (twenty pitches) of "live" BP, with Kevin Alcantara, Parker Chavers, and Raino Coran serving as the hitters.   

The AZIL Cubs have played only three games in the last ten days, instead spending most of their time working on ocular training, situational hitting, baserunning drills, fielding practice, cut-off drills, bullpen side sessions, and "live" BP, in addition to matriculating in the Pitch Lab and the Hitting Lab.  

Here is the box score from the game: 

2022 Cubs AZ Instructional League Roster

10/8 UPDATE

The Cubs have added RHP Juan Bello to their AZIL roster. Bello was signed as a 17-year old out of Colombia this past February, and spent the 2022 season pitching for DSL Cubs Red. He finished the season hurling a combined eight innings of no run / no hit ball over his last two starts. He is considered one of the Cubs top pitching prospects in the DSL.

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9/22 UPDATE
:

INF-OF Ezequiel Alvarez, OF Wilmer Bolivar, and OF Leonel Espinoza have been added to the Cubs instructs roster. All three spent the 2022 season on the DSL Cubs Blue 60-day IL, and they are presently rehabbing at the Cubs Nike Performance Center in Mesa.

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9/21 UPDATE
:

RHP Joel Sierra, C David Avitia, and OF Cristian More have been added to the Cubs instructs roster. 

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2022 CUBS ARIZONA INSTRUCTIONAL LEAGUE ROSTER
(last updated 10-8-2022) 

Cubs MLB Roster

Cubs Organizational Depth Chart
40-Man Roster Info

+++++++++++
 
40 players are on the MLB RESERVE LIST (roster is full)    

Last updated 1-24-2023
 
* bats or throws left
# bats both

PITCHERS: 21
Adbert Alzolay
Javier Assad 
Brad Boxberger
Ben Brown
Jeremiah Estrada
Kyle Hendricks
Codi Heuer 
* Brandon Hughes
Ryan Jensen
Caleb Kilian 
Julian Merryweather
Ethan Roberts 
Michael Rucker
Adrian Sampson
* Drew Smyly
* Justin Steele 
Marcus Stroman
Jameson Taillon 
Keegan Thompson
Hayden Wesneski
Rowan Wick

CATCHERS: 3 
* Tucker Barnhart 
Miguel Amaya
Yan Gomes

INFIELDERS: 8
Nico Hoerner
* Eric Hosmer
Nick Madrigal
* Miles Mastrobuoni
* Zach McKinstry
Christopher Morel
Dansby Swanson
Patrick Wisdom

OUTFIELDERS: 8 
Kevin Alcantara
* Cody Bellinger 
Alexander Canario
Brennen Davis
# Ian Happ
Trey Mancini 
Seiya Suzuki 
Nelson Velazquez


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Minor League Rosters
Rule 5 Draft 
Minor League Free-Agents

 

Recent comments

  • crunch 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    cubs sign ex-MIN bullpen arm tyler duffey (RHP) to a minor league deal.  he lost velocity and became a bit too hitable last year.

  • crunch 2 days 15 hours ago (view)

    these cubs off-season moves have been neat and all, but why hasn't 3rd base coach willie harris been signed to a 10 year contract extension yet?  get the real work done, cubs...

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 17 hours ago (view)

    DJL: Definitely true for Seiya Suzuki, but I was not aware that Nelson Velazquez was technology averse during games. I hadn't heard that before. 

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 20 hours ago (view)

    I thought that story was about Seiya? Or I guess both could operate that way?

  • Childersb3 3 days 8 hours ago (view)

    Well he better hit!! 

    Because he's got a lot of young and talented OFs coming right behind him!!

  • Wrigley Rat 3 days 9 hours ago (view)

    Childersb3 - I'm stuck on something that was said about Nelson Velazquez during the season last year (I think by Cubs' broadcasters, but can't remember). Nelson doesn't use any of the technology (iPads) during games to analyze his swing, the way he's pitched, etc. He believes more in basing things on feel and instinct. I WOULD be fine with that if he was having success, but as a rookie who was batting near the Mendoza line all season, he should have taken any and all advice offered to him (in my opinion).

    Not sure if this is all true, if there's more or less to it, or if he's willing to change this year, but something about that really bothers me and makes me think the Cubs don't value him as much as the players right behind him who want to do everything in their power to improve. Since he still has trade value, he is a player I assume will be on the move to a team who values him more than the Cubs do.

  • First.Pitch.120 3 days 13 hours ago (view)

    Thanks, Phil. Wasn’t sure if MM leaned more “not good” or “just bad”. Helpful context. 

  • George Altman 3 days 15 hours ago (view)

    Or maybe, Mervis is a very excellent DH and can be an emergency 1B. And the Cubs sign a Machado, Chapman or trade for a better 3rd Baseman. They've got like $70-80M coming off the 2024 AAV, so it's not there's no money and they have other big spending needs.

  • Arizona Phil 3 days 16 hours ago (view)

    As I have said here before several times, right now Matt Mervis is a DH. He is a true lug if there ever was one. Hopefully he will improve his agility sufficiently to be able to play defense at the MLB level, but I will believe that when I see it. Fortunately, the National League now has the DH, so an N. L. club can actually develop a player to be a DH.

    All that said, it is very possible that Mervis will eventually be able to play at least a passable 1B at some point. He certainly has the size you would like in a first-baseman. He provides a really good target. Third-base is probably A Bridge Too Far, however. 

    The Cubs have an excellent off-season strength & conditioning program for its minor leaguers, and hopefully Mervis will benefit from that. Agility is the issue with Mervis. 

  • Arizona Phil 3 days 16 hours ago (view)

    Because they signed Article XX-B FA Dansby Swanson, the Cubs will have $500K subtracted from their International Signing Period (ISP) International Signing Bonus Pool (ISBP) in 2024, so the Swanson signing doesn't affect the Cubs signing international free agents this year, but it will next year. 

    On a positive note, after a two-year moratorium on trading ISBP Signing Bonus Values (SBV), SBV can once again be traded beginning with the start of the 2023 ISP that began ten days ago, so a penalized club can recover some of its lost ISBP via trade. 

    ISBP SBV can be traded only in increments of $250K (including multiples of $250K), unless a club is trading the balance of its ISBP in one transaction. A club can trade 100% of its assigned ISBP during the course of the ISP if it so desires. However, a club can only add 60% of its assigned ISBP via trade or trades.

    ISBP SBV acquired via a trade or trades can be flipped to a third club, but SBV cannot be sold for cash and cannot be substituted for a PTBNL.  

    ISBP SBV can only be traded during the ISP (January 15th through December 15th), and SBV acquired via a trade or trades cannot be used in the next ISP. With one exception, any potion of a club's ISBP not spent goes away at the end of the ISP. 

    The one exception is that a club can carry-over ISBP space from one ISP to the next ISP if a player's contract is voided as the result of the player failing his physical or being unable to obtain a visa to the U. S., or if an investigation by the MLB Commissioner determines the player falsified his age and/or identity prior to signing the contract. It  does not apply to contracts voided by the MLB Commissioner as a result of a rules violation by the club.

    Bonuses of $10,000 or less do not count against a club's ISBP.