Cubs Release Three, But Not So Fast...

The Cubs released LHRP , INF , and OF today, but hope to re-sign all three players. The trio were signed to minor league contracts during the off-season and were in big league camp as NRI (Non-Roster Invitees). 

Here's why this happened today... 

If an Article XX-B MLB free-agent (like Parra, Kawasaki, and Victorino) signs a minor league contract at least ten days prior to MLB Opening Day, and then is either not released by 12 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day prior to MLB Opening Day or added to an MLB Active List (25-man roster) or MLB Disabled List by 3 PM (Eastern) on MLB Opening Day, the player automatically receives a $100,000 retention bonus, and the player can unilaterally opt-out of the minor league contract on June 1st if he has not been added to an MLB Active List (25-man roster) or an MLB Disabled List by that date.

: (last updated 2-26-2016)
Munenori Kawasaki, INF 
Manny Parra, LHP 
Shane Victorino, OF 

So the Cubs can avoid paying the $100K retention bonus and having to deal with an automatic 6/1 opt-out by releasng the Article XX-B player now and then re-signing him to a new minor league contract that does not include the retention bonus and/or the 6/1 opt-out. 

The Cubs did the exact same thing with LHSP  two years ago, releasing him before the retention bonus and opt-out kicked-in, and then re-signing him to a new pre-arranged minor league contract the very next day. 

It's a bit like when a player is non-tendered on 12/2 and then is subsequently re-signed to a minor league contract for a lot less money (as happened with TJS rehabber LHRP last December after the Cubs claimed him off waivers from the Mets) than what the club could (by rule) offer the player if he was tendered and remained on the club's MLB 40-man roster. 


We will need Kawasaki and Parra before this season is over.

the kawasaki one seems a bit of a gamble, but at the same time his talent is redundant over the long haul with baez it seems like he's had a blast in cubs camp and might want to hang around for a chance to reconnect with the group. given how much he's played and how well he's done, he's a strong candidate for the cubs ST MVP (not that it actually means a lot, though it's something). -edit- and it seems that worked itself out already. neat.

Who had Javy for DL contest? Bruce Levine ‏@MLBBruceLevine 1m1 minute ago Cuba Javier Baez starting on DL with thumb contusion

I require a rule clarification. Is it still the first player on the in-season DL if they will begin the season on the DL, or is it the first player to be DL'd after starting the season on the active roster?

The first player DL'd after the season starts--or, "in-season DL" as it reads. Credit WISCGRAD for that clarification/qualification. He anticipated this very thing. By the way, have your guesses in by Sunday at noon.

Per Jesse Rogers, the Cubs have resigned all three to minor league deals. per Hagsag, All 3 (Kawasaki, Parra and Victorino) have re-signed. :D

CUBSTER: Just want to make sure they "re-signed" and not resigned.

AZ Phil got it right. I just had to follow his lead.

Patrick Mooney says LaStella, Szczur and Neil Ramirez make the 25 man. Baez DL is retroactive.

they really want to make szccruzrur work...time for another round of him. it's a 25th man...can't complain. *shrug*

You say "can't complain", but it seems like you are complaining for a 4th/5th OF? No?

no? no. why? because it's a 25th man. it doesn't matter that much. also, he's probably doomed once baez gets back. slot him for 400+PA and then you'll hear some complaining. even the guy(s) i'd pick over him for the long haul don't matter much because they're single-season rentals or 4th/5th OF options for an assumed ceiling anyway. they just seem to really like szcuzrurzurzcr for a bench OF callup role in the front office. they're gonna give him every chance to make that work.

Anybody know if any bullpen arms, other than Ramirez, have any options left?

According to AZ Phil's 40-man roster, Cahill, Grimm, Richard, and Warren all technically have options but also have the right to refuse assignment based on service time. So not really, no.

JOHN B: Clayton Richard and Trevor Cahill have minor league options left but both can decline to be optioned to the minors because they have accrued at least five years of MLB Service Time. I wrote a post here a couple of days ago explaining how Richard might agree to be optioned even though he can refuse.  


Justin Grimm and Adam Warren can elect to be a free-agent if they are sent outright to the minors, but they cannot refuse an Optional Assignment until they reach five years of MLB Service Time. However, Optional Assignment Waivers must be secured before Grimm and/or Warren can be optioned, but Optional Assignment Waivers are revocable the first time they are requested in a given waiver period, so opposing clubs almost never make claims on this type of waivers (although it is possible). 

So it really wouldn't be too difficult for the Cubs to option Grimm or Warren to the minors, if they were so inclined. 

So the Cubs are going to carry 8 relievers: Who's the odd man out? - Cahill, Rondon, Richard, Warren, Grimm, Ramirez, Wood, Strop or Brooks (assuming Dallas Beeler is on DL). Also is Beeler's a 60 day or 15 and same question with Villanueva? I would assume 60 for Villanueva being as it was a broken fibula.

Brooks is the odd man out. According to AZ Phil's 40-man roster, he also has one option remaining.

it's hard to say based on performance seeing as almost everyone's been in a race to be awful this spring, but at least their velocity/stuff is seemingly on pace for where it should be. that said, barring a trade for one of the "excess" lefties, i assume brooks would be the odd man out.

CUBBIES 4 EVER: The MLB 60-day DL is only used if a club's 40-man roster is fuil and a roster slot is needed for another player, but since the Cubs have one slot open on the 40 right now (after Rex Brothers was released) with no apprarent plan to add anybody new anytime soon, Villanueva and Beeler will be placed on the 15-day DL initially, although either (most likely Villanueva, since he will miss considerable time) could get transferred to the 60 at some point later on if the Cubs 40-man roster is full and another slot is needed.

But as I said, the Cubs presently have one slot open on the 40 with no obvious additional candidates to be added, and there would need to be two players added before for the Cubs would have to move a player from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL. 

the sloan park crowd is ALL about some kawasaki...chanting like crazy. hahaha...and he hits a 3-run homer. ...and he's getting a curtain call. biggest pop of the day, easy.

...another cruddy h.rondon performance. 1ip 3h 0bb 0k, 2r/er (couple sac flies) yeesh. hope he leaves this in arizona.

6.2 innings, 1 home run, 8 K v. 2 BB, .500 BABIP. The first two hits today were a line drive straight toward Burks that he had trouble measuring into the sun and a weak ground ball that found a hole.

it's the 16 hits in 7.2ip that's a bit more concerning, and arguably much more that it's all being spread out over most of his outings than a couple bad outings. most of his work is coming vs guys that are late game replacement players due for the minors, too. at least he's not walking guys. hopefully he'll leave it in arizona. his stuff seems to be there.

Az Phil, what do you think the Iowa Roster will end up being with Victorino, Parra and Kawasaki having re-signed?

CHILDERS: Take a look at the up-to-the-minute Spring Training Depth Chart, and it's pretty clear that Iowa is fairly loaded with players right now. The final cuts will be made on Friday or Saturday, and I would expect at least a dozen players to get released from Minor League Camp (mostly from the Iowa squad) at that time.   

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  • crunch 3 hours 46 min ago (view)

    cole hamels continues to suck.

    3.1, 4.1, 3.1 innings his last 3 starts.  he hasn't been the same since coming back after his july injury rest.


  • crunch 4 hours 43 min ago (view)

    so far so good...

    go schwarb

    it's kinda frightening that schwarb in LF is a better option than schwarb playing 1st with rizzo out.  i wonder how bad it really is...


  • crunch 7 hours 30 min ago (view)

    zobrist / cast / bryant / schwarb / contreras / caratini (1st) / heyward / hoe / ham


  • crunch 7 hours 33 min ago (view)

    rizzo to wear a boot for 5-7 days then they'll see where it goes from there.


  • Charlie 8 hours 26 min ago (view)

    It makes sense, for sure. I'm more concerned about the Brewers than the Nats, though. The optimal outcome would be Cubs sweep, Nats sweep, Brewers get swept. Can't pass the Nats that way, but can take the division lead and put the Brewers further back.

    Odds on that (using Fangraphs #s):

    Cubs sweep: 24.6%

    Cubs sweep and Cards get swept: 4.9%

    Cubs sweep, Cards get swept, Brewers get swept: 0.29%

    I can dream.


  • bradsbeard 10 hours 18 min ago (view)

    I just want whatever will maximize the odds of the playoffs. The Cubs have the opportunity to take care of the Cards themselves. Ideally there is still a wild card slot for them if they can’t. 


  • Charlie 10 hours 34 min ago (view)

    Absolutely agree. Winning the division is both much better for playoff progression chances *and* far more satisfying than coming in second to the Cards. I root for whatever gets them closest to that at this point.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 10 hours 59 min ago (view)

    Gotta root against StL. I don’t want a wild card appearance. I don’t like our chances at home vs Scherzer, Strasburg, or Corbin a whole lot more than I do in Washington.


  • bradsbeard 11 hours 46 min ago (view)

    I’d almost feel better if the Cards took 2 of 3 from the Nats. If the Cubs sweep, they'd be just 1 game back of the Cards and a half game up on the Nats.  


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 12 hours 21 min ago (view)

    Even worse for StL. 7 vs Cubs, 3 vs Nationals

    The fate of Cubs and Cardinals season is going to come down to 7 games against one another. Cubs gotta win 5 if they want to win division I think. Good thing 4 of 7 are at Wrigley.


  • crunch 15 hours 35 min ago (view)

    13 games left for CHC...7 vs STL

    13 games left for MIL...all vs teams under .500 (SD, PIT, CIN, COL)

    buckle's gonna be a "fun" couple of weeks.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 15 hours 58 min ago (view)

    The way MIL is playing makes me... uneasy. Too bad we didn’t bury them. Especially because they won’t play anyone with a winning record from here on out.

    That said, much as I LOATHE the team and fans at Wrigley North, I’d still rather see them take the division than the shitbirds.


  • crunch 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    bote really needs to overcome his weird habbit of trying to duck under high/inside pitches rather than leaning out of them.


  • crunch 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    47 cubs runs in this 3 game series...14 HRs.


  • crunch 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    STL up by 1...MIL with 2 outs, bases loaded, top 9th.

    r.braun grand slam.  MIL leads by 3.

    barring some crazy comebacks, STL's lead should shrink to 2 games.


  • crunch 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    sprained right ankle for rizzo...xray showed no break...MRI tomorrow