Cubs 2021 Rule 5 Draft Roster Prep

3/11 UPDATE

As was expected, 1B Tyler Durna (2018 15th round - UCSD) has been placed on the Voluntary Retired List (official papers have been filed).

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3/10 UPDATE:


Since the first of the year, the Cubs have officially signed LHRP Matt Dermody, RHRP Kyle Johnson, RHRP Kevin McCarthy, LHRP Eric Stout, and RHP Eric Yardley, and C-1B John Hicks to 2022 minor league contracts. 

Should they be added to the MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) at some point during the 2022 season, Hicks and McCarthy are out of minor league options, and Dermody, Hicks, McCarthy, Stout, and Yardley have Article XX-D rights and so they can elect free-agency if outrighted.

Johnson was an outfielder in college at Purdue and then was convertedf to RHP by the Yankees. He has never been on an MLB reserve list, and he has spent the past few seasons pitching in Indy ball. 

All five would be eligible for selection in the Major League Phase of the delayed 2021 Rule 5 Draft, unless it is officially postponed. 


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12/17 UPDATE


The Cubs have signed free-agent RHP Mark Leiter Jr, INF Dixon Machado, and INF Ildemaro Vargas to 2022 minor league contracts.

Should they be added to the MLB 40-man roster at some point during the 2022 season, Machado and Vargas are out of minor league options, and Leiter, Machado, and Vargas have the right to elect free-agency if outrighted. 

They also will be eligible for selection in the Major League Phase of the 2021 MLB Rule 5 Draft, whenever it takes place. 

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12/8 UPDATE


PLAYERS SELECTED BY CUBS IN AAA PHASE OF 2021 RULE 5 DRAFT
Connor Menez, LHP (selected by Cubs for AAA Iowa affiliate from San Francisco Giants Domestic Reserve List)

CUBS MINOR LEAGUERS SELECTED IN AAA PHASE OF 2021 RULE 5 DRAFT
Carlos Ocampo, RHP (selected by New York Mets for AAA Syracuse affiliate from Cubs Domestic Reserve List) 

All players selected in the AAA Phase of the 2021 MLB Rule 5 Draft will be eligible for selection in the Major League Phase, whenever it takes place.

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12/3 UPDATE


The Cubs have signed free-agent LHP Stephen Gonsalves to a 2022 minor league contract. If he were to be added to the MLB 40-man roster at some point in 2022, he has no minor league options left and he has Article XX-D rights (he can elect free-agency if outrighted). 

So 78 Cubs minor leaguers are now eligible for selection in the 2021 Rule 5 Draft. 

Also, the Cubs off-season minor league Domestic Reserve List now stands at 173 (17 slots are open). 

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12/2 UPDATE
:

The Cubs have signed RHRP Jonathan Holder and C-INF P. J. Higgins to 2022 minor league contracts.

Both are Rule 5 Draft-eligible (see full list below).

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11/29 UPDATE
:

The Cubs have signed free-agent LHRP Locke St. John (ex-TEX) to a 2022 minor league contract and he has been assigned to the AAA Iowa reserve list, so the Cubs now have 76 players eligible for selection in next month's Rule 5 Draft (see full list below), and they have 170 players on their minor league Domestic Reserve List (twenty slots are open).

St. John is the second post-2021 Rule 9 6YFA signed by the Cubs (they signed OF Narciso Crook ten days ago), and he will almost certainly get an NRI to 2022 MLB Spring Training.   

If he were to be added to the MLB 40-man roster at some point, St. John has two minor league options left, and he is an Article XX-D player (he was outrighted to the minors previously in his careeer, so he can elect free-agency if he were to be outrighted after being added to the 40).

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11/23 UPDATE
:

The Cubs have released LHP Chris Allen, 1B Shendrik Apostel, INF Widimer Joaquin, RHP Garrett Kelly, RHP Jorge Remon, and OF Vance Vizcaino.  

All six of the released players were 2021 Rule 5 Draft-eligible and were left off the AAA Iowa Reserve List when off-season rosters were filed last Friday. 

So 75 Cubs minor leaguers are now available for selection in the 2021 Rule 5 Draft (see full list below). 

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11/19 UPDATE

The Cubs have selected the contract of RHRP Ethan Roberts from AAA Iowa and the contract of OF Nelson Velazquez from AA Tennessee and they have been added to the Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster), so there are now three slots open on the 40 in preparation for the 2021 MLB Rule 5 Draft on December 9th. 

The Cubs have also officially signed minor league 6YFA OF Narciso Crook (ex-CIN) to a 2022 minor league contract (see updated list of Cubs Rule 5 Draft-eligibles below).  

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MODIFIED FROM ORIGINAL POST 11/8

The MLB Rule 5 Draft is held on the 2nd Thursday in December and is presently the last order of business at the MLB WINTER MEETINGS.
NOTE (12/8): The Rule 5 Draft was scheduled to take place on Thursday, December 9th, but the AAA Phase was moved up a day to December 8th, and the Major League Phase was postponed indefinitely due to the lock-out. 

The Rule 5 Draft began almost 120 years ago, when the American League, National League, and the National Association (the minor leagues) agreed to establish a mechanism that permitted MLB clubs to select (draft) players off minor league reserve lists for a fixed price, and for minor league clubs to select (draft) players off the reserve lists of minor league clubs of a lower classification for a smaller fixed-price.  

So 120 years later there is a "Major League Phase" where an MLB club can select Rule 5 Draft-eligible players off the reserve lists of minor league clubs of any minor league classification (but in actual practice, MLB clubs draft players only from AAA reserve lists) for $100,000 (the "Major League Phase" Rule 5 Draft price increased from $50,000 to $100,000 beginning with the December 2016 draft), and a "AAA Phase" where a club's AAA affiliate can select Rule 5 Draft-eligible players who are on a minor league reserve list of a lower classification (below AAA) for $24,000 (the Rule 5 "AAA Phase" draft price increased from $12,000 to $24,000 beginning with the December 2016 draft).
NOTE: Effective December 2016, the "AA Phase" (where a club's AA minor league affiliate could select Rule 5 Draft-eligible players off the reserve lists of minor league clubs of a classification below AA for $4,000) has been eliminated.

There is no limit on the number of rounds in each phase (there could be one, there could be three, there could be five or more). As long as at least one club is still selecting players, the phase will continue, but as soon as all 30 teams have a full reserve list (so that clubs can no longer make selections) or have passed, the phase is over.

There is no limit on the number of Rule 5 Draft-eligible players any one organization can lose in a Rule 5 Draft.

Rule 5 Draft order is based upon the inverse order of winning percentages from the previous season. If the winning percentages of two or more clubs are the same, the club with the lowest winning percentage from the previous season picks first. If two or more clubs are still tied, league standings from two years back (or three years back, four years back, etc) are used to break the tie.
NOTE: The Cubs will have the #7 slot in the 2021 Rule 5 Draft (both in the Major League Phase and in the AAA Phase), which is the best Rule 5 Draft slot they have had since 2013. 

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RULE 5 DRAFT ELIGIBILITY

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 following his first qualified season, 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 following his first qualified season.

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 (even if he signs prior to the Rule 5 Draft), the next season is considered to be the player's "first qualified season" for Rule 5 eligibility purposes. (Depending on the minor league, the conclusion of a minor league club's season could be as early as the first week of August, or as late as the second week of September).

3. A player eligible to be an MLB Rule 9 minor league free-agent who signs a minor league successor contract prior to being declared a free-agent and a 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 if 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.

7. An MLB club can designate any player on a minor league reserve list "eligible for selection" in a Rule 5 Draft even if the player would not normally be eligible, but once a player is designated "eligible for selection," he remains eligible for selection in all subsequent Rule 5 drafts.
NOTE: A club might do this if the club is planning to release the player during the off-season. 

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 and retire. He has 30 days to decide. If he rejects the selection and opts to retire as a player, the player-manager is ineligible to be reinstated as a player for a minimum of one year.  


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RULE 5 DRAFT RESTRICTIONS:

1. A minor league player eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft cannot be added to an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster), traded to another organization, or transferred from one minor league reserve list to another within the same organization, beginning with the filing of MLB minor league reserve lists on November 20th (or November 19th if November 20th falls on a Saturday or November 18th if November 20th falls on a Sunday) and extending through the completion of the Rule 5 Draft.

2. A Rule 5 Draft-eligible player cannot be sent outright to the minors beginning at 5 PM (Eastern) on the third day prior to the Rule 5 Draft through the conclusion of the draft.

3. A club must have as many slots open on its MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) prior to the start of the Rule 5 Draft as the number of players it selects in the Major League Phase, and an MLB club's AAA affiliate must have as many slots open on its reserve list prior to the start of the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft as the number of players the affiliate selects in the AAA Phase. 

4. A club can select a player off the reserve list of one of its own minor league affiliates, but if the player is selected in the Major League Phase, the club is bound by the same Rule 5 roster restrictions as if it had selected the player off the reserve list of another club's minor league affiliate.
NOTE: This actually happened at least once a number of years ago, after a club (Atlanta Braves) inadvertently left one of its top prospects off its MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) when minor league reserve lists were submitted to the MLB Commissioner on November 20th.

5. A player eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft cannot be "covered up" from selection, either by agreement between two clubs or by effect (such as by concocting a phony injury and placing the player on an Injured List in an attempt to decrease a player's value when the player is not really injured). Also, a player selected in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft cannot be "hidden" on an Injured List to help the drafting club fulfill Rule 5 roster obligations (such as by leaving the player on the Injured List after he is healthy enough to play). If the MLB Commissioner believes a club "covered up" a player to avoid losing the player in the Rule Draft or "hid" a selected player on an Injured List, the offending club or clubs are subject to a penalty (TBD by the MLB Commissioner).


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RULE 5 DRAFT SELECTED PLAYER

A player selected in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft is called a "Selected Player." 

1. A Selected Player must be placed on the drafting club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) immediately after selection and must be tendered a major league contract by 5 PM (Eastern) on the day of the draft. 

2. A Selected Player can be traded at any time, but the player cannot be Designated for Assignment, released, or sent to the minors any earlier than 20 days prior to MLB Opening Day, and then only if Outright Assignment Waivers have been secured and the player's former club declines to reclaim the player.

3. If a Selected Player spends at least 90 days on an MLB Active List during the MLB regular season following selection, the player ceases to be a "Selected Player" at the conclusion of the MLB regular season. If time spent on an MLB Active List is less than 90 days in the season following selection, the player remains a Rule 5 Selected Player into the next season, and the player continues to be a Selected Player until he has spent 90 days total on an MLB Active List.

4. If a club wishes to send a Selected Player to the minors, the player must be placed on Outright Assignment Waivers, where any of the other 29 MLB clubs can claim the player for the $50,000 Rule 5 waiver price (formerly $25,000), and if claimed off waivers, the player continues to have Rule 5 MLB Selected Player status.

5. If the Selected Player is not claimed off Outright Assignment Waivers, the player then must be offered back to the club from which he was drafted, and the player's former club can re-claim the player for $50,000 (formerly $25,000), with the player being automatically outrighted to the Reserve List of the minor league reserve list from which he was drafted. The club from which the player was drafted usually has 72 hours to decide whether to re-claim the player, but it has only 24 hours to decide if the player is eligible to be an Article XX-D or Article XIX-A minor league free-agent if outrighted to the minors (player has accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time, qualifies for salary arbitration as a "Super Two" player, and/or has been outrighted to the minors previously in his career).
NOTE: A Selected Player with Article XIX-A rights (player has accrued at least five years of MLB Service Time) cannot be re-claimed and outrighted back to the minor league club from which he was drafted unless the player consents in advance to the assignment.

6. If a Selected Player is returned (outrighted) to the minor league club from which he was drafted, and if the player has accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time, qualifies for salary arbitration as a "Super Two" player, and/or has been outrighted to the minors previously in his career, the player can elect to be an MLB Article XX-D minor league free-agent (or Article XIX-A minor league free-agent if the player has accrued at least five years of MLB Service Time) after being outrighted (he has three days to decide), or he can accept the Outright Assignment and defer the right to be a minor league free-agent until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season.   

7. If a Selected Player is returned (outrighted) to the minor league club from which he was drafted, the drafting club is responsible for any portion of the player's salary above what the player was paid the previous season.

8. If the club from which the Selected Player was drafted declines to re-claim the player, the player no longer has Rule 5 Selected Player status, the drafting club retains the player, and the player can be sent to the minors or released.

9. A player selected in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft must be immediately assigned to the reserve list of the AAA club that drafted the player and he must be given a 15-day trial during Spring Training with that club, but the player can be assigned to the active list of any minor league affiliate in the MLB club's organization once the minor league regular season commences. Also, unlike players selected in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft, a player selected in the AAA Phase does not have to be offered back to the club from which he was drafted if the player is ultimately assigned to the active list of a minor league affiliate below AAA.

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2021 RULE 5 DRAFT (MODIFIED FROM ORIGINAL POST):

At present the Cubs have one slot open on their MLB Reserve List (40-man roster).  

87 Cubs minor leaguers will be eligible for selection in the Major League Phase of the 2021 MLB Rule 5 Draft, whenever it takes place. 

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CUBS MINOR LEAGUERS ELIGIBLE FOR SELECTION IN 2021 RULE 5 DRAFT (last updated 3-11-2022): 
Jose Albertos, RHP 
Edmond Americaan, OF
D. J. Artis, OF
Javier Assad, RHP 
Cam Balego, C-INF
Aneudis Beard, RHP (second-contract player signed for 2022)
Andres Bonalde, LHP (second-contract player - on Restricted List) 
James Bourque, RHP (Article XX-D player - signed 2022 successor contract)
Craig Brooks, RHP (on Restricted List)
Jesus Camargo, RHP (on Restricted List)
Derek Casey, RHP
Erick Castillo, C (Article XX-D player - signed 2022 successor contract)  
Danis Correa, RHP
Narciso Crook, OF (post-2021 FA - signed 2022 minor league contract)
Yovanny Cruz, RHP 
Zach Davis, OF
Matt Dermody, LHP (Article XX-D player - post-2021 minor league FA - signed 2022 minor league contract)
Luis Devers, RHP 
Donnie Dewees, OF (signed 2022 successor contract)
Christian Donahue, INF 
Manuel Espinoza, RHP 
Jeremiah Estrada, RHP
Miguel Fabrizio, C-1B 
Kelvin Feliz, RHP
Edwin Figuera, INF (second contract player signed for 2022)
Reivaj Garcia, INF
Trent Giambrone, INF
Stephen Gonsalves, LHP (Article XX-D player - post-2021 FA - signed 2022 minor league contract)
Jose Miguel Gonzalez, RHP 
Ben Hecht, RHP 
John Hicks, C-1B (Article XX-D player - post-2021 minor league FA - signed 2022 minor league contract)
P. J. Higgins, C-INF (Article XX-D player - signed 2022 minor league contract)  
Jonathan Holder, RHP (Article XX-D player - signed 2022 minor league contract)
Ben Holmes, LHP (signed 2022 successor contract)
Bryan Hudson, LHP
Brandon Hughes, LHP (ex-OF) 
Josue Huma, INF
Gabriel Jaramillo, RHP  
Kyle Johnson, RHP (played Indy ball in 2021 - signed 2022 minor league contract)
Levi Jordan, INF
Caleb Knight, C 
Austin Krzeminski, RHP (second contract player signed for 2022)
Mark Leiter Jr, RHP (Article XX-D player - post-2021 FA - signed 2022 minor league contract)
Brendon Little, LHP 
Dixon Machado, INF (Article XX-D player - post-2021 FA - signed 2022 minor league contract)
Kevin McCarthy, RHP (Article XX-D player - post-2021 minor league FA - signed 2022 minor league contract) 
Dakota Mekkes, RHP
Connor Menez, LHP (selected in AAA Phase of 2021 Rule 5 Draft)
Eduarniel Nunez, RHP 
Nicholas Padilla, RHP (signed 2022 successor contract) 
Jack Patterson, LHP 
Tyler Payne, C (Article XX-D player - signed 2022 successor contract)
C. D. Pelham, LHP (Article XX-D player - signed 2022 successor contract)
Raymond Pena, C (signed 2022 successor contract)
Yonathan Perlaza, OF (ex-INF)  
Fabian Pertuz, INF 
Eury Ramos, RHP (signed 2022 successor contract)
Jake Reindl, RHP 
Peyton Remy, RHP 
Samuel Reyes, RHP 
Benjamin Rodriguez, RHP 
Luis Angel Rodriguez, LHP 
Aneuris Rosario, RHP (signed 2022 successor contract)
Cam Sanders, RHP 
Yeison Santana, INF
Carlos Sepulveda, INF (second contract player signed for 2022) 
Wyatt Short, LHP 
Jonathan Sierra, OF-1B
Jake Slaughter, INF-OF 
Locke St. John, LHP (Article XX-D player - ex-TEX post-2021 Rule 9 6YFA - signed 2022 minor league contract) 
Eric Stout, LHP (Article XX-D player - previously-released player - signed 2022 minor league contract) 
Tyler Suellentrop, RHP (second contract player signed for 2022)
Tim Susnara, C (second contract player signed for 2022)
Matt Swarmer, RHP 
Riley Thompson, RHP 
Erich Uelmen, RHP 
Dauris Valdez, RHP
Didier Vargas, LHP
Ildemaro Vargas, INF (Article XX-D player - post-2021 minor league FA - signed 2022 minor league contract)
Luis Vazquez, INF 
Luis Verdugo, INF
Andy Weber, INF 
Harrison Wenson, C (second contract player signed for 2022)
Blake Whitney, RHP 
Eric Yardley, RHP (Article XX-D player - post-2021 minor league FA - signed 2022 minor league contract)
Jared Young, 1B-OF 
Delvin Zinn, INF 

Additionally, any player sent outright to the minors prior to the 2021 Rule 5 Draft and any free-agent who signs a 2022 minor league contract prior to the Rule 5 Draft will be eligible for selection if 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 following his first qualified season, 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 following his first qualified season.

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RULE 5 DRAFTS PAST 

Among the more-notable players selected by the Cubs in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft over the years are OF Hack Wilson (selected from New York Giants in 1925), C Bob Scheffing (selected from the St. Louis Cardinals in 1940), RHP Johnny Klippstein (selected frrom Brooklyn Dodgers in 1949), RHP Turk Lown (selected from Brooklyn Dodgers in 1951), OF Jim King (selected from the St. Louis Cardinals in 1954), INF Johnny Goryl (selected from the Baltimore Orioles in 1955), OF Monte Irvin (selected from the New York Giants in 1955), C Cal Neeman (selected from the New York Giants in 1956), 2B Tony Taylor (selected from the San Francisco Giants in 1957), SS Jose Arcia and C Bill Plummer (both selected from the St. Louis Cardinals in 1967), OF Cleo James (selected from the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1969), LHP Willie Hernandez (selected from the Philadelphia Phillies in 1976), C Jody Davis (selected from the St. Louis Cardinals in 1980), RHP Rodney Myers (selected from the Kansas City Royals in 1995), OF Josh Hamilton (selected from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and then traded to the Cincinnati Reds in a pre-arranged deal immediately after the draft concluded in 2006), RHP Hector Rondon (selected from the Cleveland Indians in 2012), and RHP Trevor Megill (selected from the San Diego Padres in 2019), and probably the most-notable Cubs minor leaguers lost in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft are 2B Eddie Mayo (selected by the Philadelphia Athletics in 1942), INF Billy Klaus (selected by the Boston Braves in 1949), RHP Billy Muffett (selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1955), OF Jason Dubois (selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2002 but then later re-claimed by Cubs), LHP Andy Sisco (selected by the Kansas City Royals in 2004), RHP Randy Wells (selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2007 but then later re-claimed by the Cubs), LHP Donnie Veal (selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2008), INF Ryan Flaherty (selected by the Baltimore Orioles in 2011), INF-OF Marwin Gonzalez (selected by the Boston Red Sox and then traded to the Houston Astros immediately after the draft concluded in 2011), RHP Michael Rucker (selected by the Baltimore Orioles in 2019 but then later re-claimed by the Cubs), and INF Vimael Machin (selected by the Philadelphia Phillies and then traded to the Oakland A's immediately after the draft concluded in 2019). 
NOTE: Hack Wilson and Monte Irvin, (both selected by the Cubs - see above) and RF Roberto Clemente (selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates from the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1954 Rule 5 Draft) are the only members of the Baseball Hall of Fame who were selected in a Rule 5 Draft.

The Cubs have actually lost many more players in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft (most-notably 1B Justin Bour, who was selected by the Miami Marlins from the Cubs AA Tennessee affiliate in 2013) than they have in the Major League Phase over the past few years, a testament to the depth of their farm system. They are likely to lose a few more players in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft this year as well.

The most-notable players selected by the Cubs in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft over the years are C Vic Roznovsky (selected by the Cubs from the San Francisco Giants AA El Paso affiliate in 1963), C Chris Krug (selected by the Cubs from the St. Louis Cardinals AA Tulsa affiliate in 1964), OF Brock Davis (selected by the Cubs from the Houston Astros AA Dallas-Ft. Worth affiliate in 1968), RHP Heathcliff Slocumb (selected by the Cubs from the New York Mets Little Falls affiliate in the NYP league in 1986), and OF Roosevelt Brown (selected by the Cubs from the Florida Marlins AA Portland affiliate in 1997).    

Comments

The best part of getting the new CBA done is seeing AZ Phil's byline again.  Thanks for the update!  Now the season can begin.

Totally agree!

 

since we had time off...quick rundown of cubs moves of note...

m.stroman (SP) signed 2y deal (player option 3rd)

y.gomes (C) signed 2y deal (team option 3rd)

c.fraizer (corner OF) signed 1y deal

w.miley (SP) picked off waivers

d.ross extended through 2024 with a 2025 team option.

dude's done good for himself working his way up from the Bryzzo mailroom as an intern to running the show.

kershaw signs for 1yr with the dodgers.

evidently he's behind where he needs to be coming back from elbow injury and may miss time early in 2022.

cubs sign andrelton simmons 1yr/4m

supposedly this doesn't mean a pursuit of c.correa is over.

Andrelton Simmons to the Cubs . 1 year $4MM plus incentives. Great value signing. I don't think they are going anywhere near Correa and Simmons still provides top shelf defense for a ground ball heavy pitching staff

this team is getting very reliant on contact with it's current construction.  not a lot of walks going on.

it should be fun baseball to watch, at least.

*remembering Starlin Castro groundouts.*

Heyward swings, and there is a grounder to second...

The Cubs need a power bat, preferably left handed. Kyle Schwarber anyone?

cubs are pretty much counting on ian happ and rafael ortega for lefty production as it stands.

heyward also bats left handed, but he's heyward.  hopefully ortega wasn't a 1-season-wonder.

a lefty slugger would look damn good in the lineup.

No questioon the Cubs are in the market for a slugging DH, but I think another possibility besides signing Kyle Schwarber (which would be a great move) would be signing Anthony Rizzo and then using Frank Schwindel as the primary DH. Rizzo is a much better defensive first-baseman than Schwindel, and defense at 1B does matter.

Rizzo at 1B would make the other three infielders better, and no C-1B combo does the back-pick better than  Contreras / Rizzo. 

That's the best rationale for resigning Rizzo I've read. Thank you AzPhil!!

one thing i can't gauge about rizzo is his on-field "occurances" he's had with teammates and how it may be a product of circumstance or his personality.  i dunno if he's slightly toxic or just strongly opinionated, but with good points...

justin wilson had his "shut up" moment with rizzo on the mound...  contreras and rizzo got into it in the dugout...  lackey and rizzo got into it in the dugout...  that's just the stuff that was caught on camera.

that said, no one has come out and painted the guy negatively and he's played long enough that if he was totally toxic we'd hear about it by now.

wsox sign joe kelly 2yr deal.  their pen is deadly.

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