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 6 hours 17 min ago (view)

    i forgot about these types of update posts...thanks for the breakdowns.  they're really useful.

    strong agreement on the mess t.olson was throwing.  he didn't even look happy with himself out there.  


  • Arizona Phil 6 hours 17 min ago (view)

    I know most of you saw the game or will be seeing the game, but for anyone else who might be interested, here are the Cubs pitchers velo readings from Saturday night's game: 

    Alec Mills: 
    FB: 90-92 
    CH: 82-83 
    SL: 80-81 
    CV: 68 
    NOTES: Nice mix of pitches... Mills obviously comes from the "I'm a pitcher not a thrower" school, all of which means command & control matters a lot and he had both tonight... a legit candidate for the Cubs #5 SP slot... 


  • crunch 7 hours 18 min ago (view)

    hell of a 1st game.  even the good and bad mean nothing this early in spring, but it was a nice one.  i'm not worried about rizzo misplaying a couple balls in the first innings, nor do i think bote is on his way to a batting title.  spring is meaningless enough without trying to read into february spring games.  it was a fun watch, though.

    my biggest regret is not seeing souza chase down any plays in LF while he was in the game.  that's something i really would like to see this early in spring.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 8 hours 7 min ago (view)

    I also hope they edit it for the season. doesn't list pitcher or hitter or pitches thrown.


  • crunch 9 hours 15 min ago (view)

    "i'm feeling right at home." - mark grace


  • crunch 9 hours 22 min ago (view)

    really not a big fan of the marquee network's score bug graphic location.


  • crunch 10 hours 53 min ago (view)

    d.ross got sent home with flu-like symptoms, andy green managing...


  • crunch 11 hours 2 min ago (view)

    cubs coming out big for their marquee network debut lineup...

    bryant / rizzo / baez / heyward / contreras / kipnis / souza (LF) / bote (DH) / almora...mills pitching


  • Arizona Phil 14 hours 47 min ago (view)

    Besides Quintero, Altuve, and Made, a fourth significant IFA signing by the Cubs during the off-season was 16 year old Dominican CF Anderson Suriel. He played for the Dominican 15U World Cup team in 2018.  


  • Arizona Phil 14 hours 47 min ago (view)

    Contrary to reports, 2019-20 IFA J-2 C Brayan Altuve was -NOT - signed by the Cubs in July. The Cubs did not have enough ISBP room initially to fit in his $1M bonus, so instead he was "officially" signed after the conclusion of the 2019 season, which means the Cubs will get an extra year before Altuve will be Rule 5 Draft eligible (post-2024, instead of post-2023 which would have been the case if he had signed in July).  


  • Arizona Phil 14 hours 55 min ago (view)

    CRUNCH: It's still drizzling in Mesa but it's clearing to the southwest (which is where the rain came from) so the Cubs should have at least three hours to get the field ready. The infield is covered, so it's just the outfield that will be wet. 


  • Arizona Phil 15 hours 18 min ago (view)

    As things stand right now, 109 pitchers and 20 catchers are scheduled to report to Cubs Minor League Camp next week. 


  • Arizona Phil 15 hours 56 min ago (view)

    Jordan Patterson will not get an NRI to MLB Spring Training but he will likely get considerable playing time in Cubs MLB Cactus League games as he competes with Corban Joseph for AAA Iowa primary 1B. 


  • crunch 17 hours 35 min ago (view)

    cubs moving the game up was a wise choice unless the rain lingers very long.  everyone else in ARZ is rained out except LA/SF which starts in 4 hours (cubs in 7 hours)...and that LA/SF game still might get rained out because other games in that time slot have been cancelled/postponed (though they posted a lineup for today's game on twitter 10 minutes ago).

    speaking of LA, m.betts makes his debut tomorrow vs CHC.


  • Arizona Phil 18 hours 28 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have signed post-2019 minor league 6YFA 1B-OF Jordan Patterson (ex-COL) and RHRP Dario Beltre to 2020 minor league contracts.

    Patterson (who has considerable AAA experience and some MLB time as well) was assigned to AAA Iowa and Beltre (who has not pitched above AA in ten minor league seasons) was assigned to AA Tennessee. 


  • Arizona Phil 18 hours 39 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have released 13 minor leaguers: 

    LHP Andres Bonalde 
    RHP Alfredo Colorado 
    RHP Julio Guante
    OF Albert Hinirio 
    RHP M. T. Minacci 
    INF Rafael Narea 
    INF Herson Perez 
    RHP Tyler Peyton 
    RHP Casey Ryan 
    LHP Saul Vazquez 
    RHP Omar Ventura 
    OF Ricardo Verenzuela 
    OF Brandon Vicens