Projected Cubs 2021 Spring Training Roster


There will no doubt be trades, MLB and minor league free-agent signings, waiver claims, perhaps even a Rule 5 Draft pick, some non-tenders on 12/2, and maybe one or more Cubs minor leaguers will get taken in the Rule 5 Draft, but - AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW - here is the preliminary projected Cubs Spring Training roster:  

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

Last updated 2-5-2021
* bats or throws left
# bats both

Cory Abbott 
Jason Adam
Adbert Alzolay
* Andrew Chafin
Zach Davies 
Gray Fenter
Kyle Hendricks 
Jonathan Holder
Craig Kimbrel
Dillon Maples
* Brailyn Marquez
Tyson Miller 
Alec Mills
James Norwood
Manuel Rodriguez 
* Kyle Ryan
* Justin Steele
Kohl Stewart
Robert Stock
Keegan Thompson
Duane Underwood Jr
* Brad Wieck 
Rowan Wick 
Trevor Williams
Dan Winkler

Joe Biagini  
James Bourque
Craig Brooks
* Rex Brothers
* Burl Carraway 
Juan Gamez 
Ryan Jensen 
Jake Jewell 
Trevor Kelley 
* Luis Lugo 
Trevor Megill
Dakota Mekkes
Shelby Miller
* Adam Morgan 
* Jack Patterson 
Duncan Robinson
Michael Rucker  
* Wyatt Short 
Riley Thompson 
* Jerry Vasto 
Joe Wieland


Miguel Amaya
Willson Contreras
Austin Romine 

# Taylor Gushue 
P. J. Higgins 
Tyler Payne 


# Sergio Alcantara
Javy Baez  
David Bote
Kris Bryant
Nico Hoerner
Christopher Morel
* Anthony Rizzo
# Ildemaro Vargas

Abiatal Avelino 
Matt Duffy 
Trent Giambrone 
* Alfonso Rivas
Chase Strumpf
Patrick Wisdom


Phillip Ervin 
# Ian Happ
* Jason Heyward
* Joc Pederson

Brennen Davis
* Donnie3 Dewees 
Michael Hermosillo
Eddy Julio Martinez 
* Nick Martini 
* Ian Miller 
* Rafael Ortega 


Will Schilling storm the HOF with a mob?

currently he's throwing a tantrum and demanding to be removed from the HOF ballot for 2022.

Ranting about how the elections (both his and the other clown's) were stolen.

I hope he ends up one vote short next year, just to really rub it in.

I'm all for removing him from the ballot. His bloody sock already made it. That was enuf.

imagine being so toxic that you go from a no-doubt 1st or 2nd year HOF'r to having to try for it in your 10th year...and then imagine doubling down on the toxicity every chance you get a chance to redeem yourself.

every time he's called out, even for minor stuff, he piles on more and then complains that people that have an issue with him are "cancelling" him for no good reason.

he deleted a slew of "those people that stormed the capital are great people" posts pre-election so he has some kind of self-awareness in that skull of his somewhere.

...speaking of toxic (and being a perpetual complainer about being a victim)...corey black is still a cub.  he might want to scrub that picture of Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio off his Twitter page at some point if he gets close to the bigs...along with a slew of other social media things he's yet to delete.

WSCR online reporting that the Cubs are going to watch lefty Carlos Rondon pitch. They desperately need another lefty that breaks down with the regularity of my Comcast service. 

kolten wong rumors heating up for the cubs, too.  i could live with that.  giving nico hoerner 600 ab's a year sounds absolutely terrible after what little he did last year.

The only joy I feel at this rumor is the potential field day the BestFansStLouis twitter account is going to have with the Fartinal fan reaction

The above post was approved by the Jim Edmonds fan club (mostly his mother).

joc pederson is a cub...

i wonder if bryant is about to leave or if pederson is a "4th OF'r" that will see a lot of ABs in LF/RF while bryant occasionally covers 3rd...

I think Joc and Phillip Ervin are the left fielder tandem.

That said, trying to fix our offense (let's be real, they're not trying to fix a damn thing) by swapping out Schwarber and swapping in Joc Peterson is ridiculous.

1/7m on pederson.

the cubs slightly upgrade the defense and save 3m compared to schwarber...meh...pretty much a wash on whole when it comes to pros/cons of actual expected production.

i dunno if that 3m actually matters, but hopefully they can make it matter.

Pederson does strike out less often and is a little better defender, so I do think he improves on Schwarber somewhat (for apparently less money). But he's worse against LHP so they have to be willing to strictly platoon him. 

Apparently they've told him he'd have a shot to be an every day player and it was a deciding factor in his signing the contract.

Yeah, that was kind of a weird report and I'm not sure I buy it. Maybe the Cubs are willing to let him try since they are sort of half in this year, but I imagine they'll still try to play matchups with him when they can.

Agreed. As long as they're not really trying, it's pretty much sure Joc, go ahead and hit .130 against LHP with a .300 SLG. If theyre better than they have any real right to be, he either will have shocked everyone and hit LHP or they'll say "we gave it a shot, back to a platoon for you."

Joc in at 1 yr/ $7M plus incentives. He's being given the chance to be a starter. Is he still able to play CF?

think he's pretty much a RF/LF guy at this point...arm is average, but his coverage is good.

given that he's a lefty, the team would probably slot heyward in CF before pederson if both are available.

cards get nolan arenado.

he's under contract until 2026 (supposedly 2027 with another season tacked on to make the trade happen), but has a 2021 opt out...2022 opt out being staying intact after the trade to STL...commish will have to sign off on the deal.

it seems arenado agreed to waive the no-trade from a position of strength by getting his concessions.

supposedly a significant amount of cash is going to STL from COL, too.

there's a lot more "extra" information compared to normal trades involved in this one and things may not be 100% correct on the early leaks.

What was the Rockies return for Arenado?

Nothing's official, yet. Including Arenado waiving his NTC.

Looks like it'll be basically nothing, a reliever going to CO and Arenado and $50 mill going to StL.

carlos rondon returns to the wsox...there's one "broken goods" cubs target off the board.

i still got my money on jake arrieta...jeff samardzija in the mix, too.

CRUNCH: Jeff Samardzija threw for the Cubs on Friday and the Cubs declined to offer him an MLB contract, apparently opting to sign Trevor Williams instead (although the contract has not yet been filed).  

cubs sign trevor williams (PIT).

they gave him $2.5m.


Trevor Williams has minor league options left and he hasn't accrued enough MLB Service Time to reject an Optional Assignment, so the Cubs could option him to AAA if he isn't one of the 13 pitchers on the Opening Day 26-man roster. 

Shelby Miller is different in that it's pretty much MLB or bust for him, so the Cubs would probably give him the first shot at the #5 SP slot, unless T. Williams clearly out-performs S. Miller in Spring Training Cactus League games.

If Williams is clearly the better choice, the Cubs can just release Miller and pay him the termination fee (his contract is not guaranteed, so he would get 45 days pay -- which is about $200K -- if he is released prior to MLB Opening Day).    

How much would Villar cost to sign? 

depends on if the ricketts plan on paying the contract in Camel Cash or Canadian Tire Money

"Jesse Rogers of ESPN reports that a reunion between the Cubs and Jake Arrieta is "doubtful."

Rogers reported on Friday that the Cubs had interest in a possible reunion with Arrieta, but a couple of days appears to have changed things. He notes that Arrieta's salary request is not in line with what Chicago is likely wanting to spend."

yeah, the cubs don't got that stupid large jake arrieta loot to throw around.

wonder what he's looking for, though.  if he can manage to get more than 5m, good for him.

There will be at least three Millers at Cubs Spring Training (Shelby, Tyson, and Ian), so along with soft-tossing SP, apparently the Cubs have found yet another arcane market inefficiency to exploit. 

Also an Alec Mills!

cubs fans: can we get miller?  can we grab brad miller?  oh...maybe we can we get andrew miller?

ricketts family: no, we have plenty of miller at home.

miller at home: shelby, tyson, and ian...

Ownership is just following Jon Lester's appeciation of Miller Lites. 

I wouldn't mind signing Brad Miller actually. 

Harry Chapin signed  to sing with Harry Caray TMOTTBG in the 7th inning?

andrew chafin 2.75m option for 5.25m 2022

so we're a week out from tom ricketts "expanding the budget" and so far we've gotten joc pederson and andrew chafin for around 10m combined.

f'n austin romine's 1.5m contract was the big signing until joc got signed...and that's not exactly an exciting signing (though it's not trash).

i'm not expecting trevor bauer or anything on that scale, but i was hoping there would be more to this budget expansion...still time to surprise, i guess.

Trevor Williams too. But it looks to me that this is all just repurposing the money they saved by trading Darvish (about $13M) and selling Colin Rea's rights (about $1.6M). Romine, Pederson, Stewart, Williams, and Chafin appear to total right about $14.5M for 2021.

Dexter goes home to Maddon as Cards dump his salary.

I wonder when we're going to see the full list of NRI. It's usually end of January but still nothing so far

I also wonder when they will announce the coaching staffs at the minor league levels.

they will probably ask the parents of players to volunteer while the rest of the parents take turns bringing cookies and kool aid for the post-game spread.

the money saved will benefit the organization greatly...maybe some new signage at the hotel zachary or they could build another digital advertising scoreboard on top of one of the existing digital advertising scoreboards...bud light presents the garden claw gold cubs scoreboard.

i am beating the living hell out of this dead horse.  still not tired...i could go all season.

they will probably ask the parents of players to volunteer...

At this point, Mike Bryant (KB's dad) might be the better hitter.

get that man a contract and a rental bus.

cubs claim sergio alcantara off waivers from DET...can play SS/2nd and he's trying out 3rd a little bit (big plus arm).

practically no power, and only mildly above average with speed...did HR in his first MLB at bat, though.

not a bad pickup, but at his best he's bench or injury replacement talent.

AZ Phil saw a - LOT - of Sergio Alcantara back when he was a hot-shot D-backs prospect.

Here are some of the highlights...

Alcantara is unusual in that he was a BA Top 30 prospect for NINE YEARS in a row. This is amazing, because after nine years in the minors either a player graduates to MLB, or he becomes an itinerant 4-A guy, or he gets released, but Alcantara has somehow managed to continue to roll along as a legit prospect for nine years, without having reached AAA! 

BTW, Alcantara was one of the pieces that went from AZ to DET in the J. D. Martinez trade a few years ago. It's just too bad that he ran out of minor league options before reaching AAA. 

Damn. I just ordered my Max Schrock T-shirt. Sigh.

they're giving up a bit of bat upside for better D + arm.  schrock's not got power, but there's a lot more upside than alcantara, who's a line drive hitter at best.

schrock's D (good), arm (meh), and the better bat upside vs alcantara's D (very good), arm (well above average), and an extremely questionable bat without power.

Hoping Schrock clears waivers because I do like the bat (or at least I like how he hit before the Cardinals somehow ruined him - reverse devil magic I guess). Has a really pretty swing. 

would be awesome to keep both around.  neither project to be difference makers, but they're MLB-ready infield talent if needed.

Almora Jr a Met. MLB deal w incentives. $$ not mentioned yet.

unless the incentives are "having a pulse" or "i pooped today" i don't know how he'll trigger any of them given recent performance.

MLB is making changes to the official baseball in order to make it more consistent in it's production, the result being a less bouncy/hitter-friendly baseball.

also 5 more teams (10 total) will be using humidors.

lot of good news for pitchers today.

it's "PECOTA day"...for those that care about this kind of thing.  i'm not a big fan of it, but it is what it is and people do find it interesting.

cubs 2nd place (85.1 W - 76.9 L) behind MIL (88.8 W - 73.2 L)

dodgers with 102.9 W

"As part of the health and safety protocols announced by MLB on Tuesday, in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak, teams will be allowed to add to their active roster temporarily without having to later make 40-man roster moves when the COVID-impacted players return."

also, opening day rosters will be 26 (expanding to 28 in september).  7-inning double-headers is on for 2021 and that "runner on 2nd" thing for extra innings is happening, too.

Still no agreement on NL DH?

not happening in 2021...might happen in the playoffs depending on how the season goes.

owners still standing on the weakest ground known to man, animal, plant, and microbe thinking "DH for expanded playoffs" is even a bargaining chip.

Marquee Network's top 20 Cub prospect rankings.

Being that this is simply a Cubs PR piece, should I be worried that we're being set up for Willson Contreras being traded soon with this line:

  "The idea that Amaya could handle the majority of starts at catcher for the Cubs in 2021 and produce average results in his age 22 season is real."

Although I believe he is a future MLB front-line catcher, I think it is highly unrealistic to believe that Miguel Amaya could be MLB-ready anytime in 2021, short of a September call-up to be the #3 catcher when rosters expand to 28.

Even 2022 would probably be a stretch, although that would be more possible, depending on how he progresses in all phases of his game in 2021.

"Patrick Mooney @PJ_Mooney
After closing deals with Joc Pederson, Trevor Williams and Andrew Chafin, Jed Hoyer anticipates the Cubs will add more major-league payroll before spring training: “A number of factors allowed us to sort of move from the lower end of that range to the higher end.”

neat...well, maybe...i guess we'll see...

I share your enthusiasm :-(

I share your enthusiasm :-(

Maybe with the current starting rotation front office realized they could save a few bucks layoff the radar gun operators. 

Max Schrock claimed by Reds

Jake Marisnick.... okay. He's uh.... fine?

 I hope this doesn't push Ervin off the roster. I solidly prefer his talents to Marisnick.

First with Schwarber >>>> Pederson, now Almora >>>> Marisnick. Twice swapping out a player for a very similar player and/or marginal upgrade for an almost identical contract (in $ and yrs).  That is interesting to me... Frustrations about spending, team debt load, etc. aside, I want to give credit to Jed Hoyer for pulling the trigger on those deals.  For whatever reason, there was something with KS & AA that didn't have them convinced for 2021  (which kills me to type b/c I love Schwarber's swing).  Making those swaps involves quite a bit of swallowing of ego & shows a willingness to make tough calls (especially with Schwarber's 2016 story endearing himself to fans - myself included).  

Also Lester .... 

the mets and cubs are supposedly talking about k.bryant again...because of course they are.

cubs spring schedule...

seems to be a lack of "split squad" games

arrietta/cubs rumors getting extremely hot...

arreita confirmed, pending physical...

Per Jon Heyman: Arrieta had higher offers elsewhere but loved the idea of a reunion with the Cubs, and pursued it

Funny comment of the day from Phillie fan: commenting on a pic of Jake in a Cub uniform: "crappy photoshop job of Jake's uniform."

The Jake Arrieta contract has been officially filed with the MLB Office & has been approved, and Kyle Ryan goes to the CoViD-related IL (which is 40-man roster exempt) to make room for Arrieta on the 40. There is no minimum or maximum limit on the number of days a player can remain on the CoViD-related IL. 

Jake Arrieta gets $4M in 2021 and a $10M mutual option or $2M buy-out in 2022, with $1M in performance bonuses ($250K each for 150 IP, 160 IP, 170 IP, and 180 IP), and also the automatic Article XX-B "no trade" through June 15th.  

So Arrieta ($10M), Pederson ($10M), and Chafin ($5.25M) will have fairly substantial salaries in 2022 if both the player and the club exercise their part of the mutual option (which rarely happens), but the buy-outs ($2M for Arrieta, $2.5M for Pederson, and $500K for Chafin) aren't that bad if the Cubs decline the option. 

Adbert Alzolay Will Have an Option Year Remaining

Could have an option year remaining.  Bleacher Nation walked it back, per the link above.