A Minor Point

The following Cubs have used up their last minor league option year in 2019 and thus will be out of options come Spring Training 2020 (presuming they are still on the Cubs 40-man roster):

Carl Edwards Jr
Alec Mills 
Randy Rosario  
Duane Underwood Jr 
Mark Zagunis

Mike Montgomery and Allen Webster (as well as Article XIX-A players Brad Brach, Xavier Cedeno, and Tyler Chatwood) were already out of minor league options coming into the 2019 season, and although he is not yet on the Cubs 40-man roster, Danny Hultzen is also out of minor league options (which matters only if he were to be added to the Cubs 40-man roster at some point in the future). 

Kyle Ryan came into 2019 with one minor league option year remaining, and although he was optioned to AAA Iowa at the end of Spring Training, he spent only nine days on Optional Assignment, so as long as he spends no more than ten more days on Optional Assignment to the minors over the balance of the 2019 season, he will still have one minor league option remaining in 2020. (If a player spends less than 20 days on Optional Assignment to the minors in a given season, an option year is not spent). 

Ideally, what a club would want to do with a player the club wants to keep but who is out of options is non-tender the player on 12/2, and then sign him to a minor league contract (for MLB 40-man roster money or maybe even a little bit more and with an NRI to Spring Training) after the Rule 5 Draft. That way the player basically gets what he would have received if he had been on the 40 at the start of Spring Training, but the club is able to remove the player from the 40-man roster without exposing the player to waivers and without taking the risk that he might be selected in the Rule 5 Draft, and then the club can send the player to the minors out of Spring Training (because he is already signed to a minor league contract and thus Outright Assignment Waivers would not need to be secured). This is what the Cubs did with Allen Webster post-2018, Taylor Davis post-2017, Zac Rosscup, Conor Mullee, and Gerardo Concepcion post-2016, and Jack Leathersich post-2015.   

However, there are essentially two problems with this approach.

The first is that the player has to agree to the proposition. He can't be forced to do it. It's his choice. That's why a club usually has to offer the player at least the same money (maybe even a bit more money) than he would have gotten had he remained on the 40. 

And secondly, the player's slot on the MLB 40-man roster might be needed for another player before contracts are tendered (or not tendered) on December 2nd. (Off-season minor league reserve lists -- the ones that are used to determine who can and cannot be selected in the Rule 5 Draft -- must be finalized and submitted to the MLB Commissioner by November 20th, almost two weeks prior to the date contracts are tendered or not tendered). Sometimes a club just can't wait for a player to be non-tendered.  

One other point is that just because a player on an MLB 40-man roster is out of minor league options doesn't mean the player has no value going into Spring Training or during the course of the season. It just means his value is diminished (somewhat) because he cannot be sent back & forth to AAA during the course of the season (on the so-called "Chicago - Des Moines Shuttle") as easily as a player who has minor league options available. Outright Assignment Waivers (which are irrevocable) would have to be secured in order to send a player who is out of options to the minors, and there is always a chance that a player the club wants to keep could get claimed off waivers by another club, or, in the case of a player with Article XX-D rights (player has been outrighted previously in his careeer, has accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time, or qualified as a "Super Two" player after the previous season), he can elect free-agency after being outrighted. 


PIT scores 5 runs in the bottom 9th to tie MIL...then lose in the 10th.

MIL inches into 1st place.

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  • Mike Wellman 2 hours 54 min ago (view)

    One 2 women umps in MiLB worked the SB series. Pal of our son’s from LL days was SB clubhouse mgr. this year. He spoke highly of Emma’s work but said visiting teams often did not. Also spoke highly of B-Zo on his brief rehab stay when he bought the team McD’s, a la Prez Dollar Menu. So, 2 Cub branches made playoffs so far. Can the big Cubs make it 3?


  • JustSayin' 11 hours 9 min ago (view)

    South Bend won seven post-season games.  No team they played won any against them.  So the Midwest League Cubs run the table and win the Championship!  A couple recurring offensive stars, solid defense and lots of strong pitching did the trick.


  • crunch 14 hours 30 sec ago (view)

    home or away for WAS...they can throw scherzer, strasburg, or corbin at anyone down the stretch and still have an ace for the 1-game wildcard.

    that should play well into their advantage in the last couple weeks as well as the WC playoff.  if the cubs can't luck their way back into 1st it's going to be a hell of a Wild Card if WAS is in no matter who's on top of the WC standings.


  • Charlie 14 hours 34 min ago (view)

    Might as well catch the Cards while they're at it ;)

    Last time I can remember the division and the Wild Card race this tight was 2015. Funny how similar and yet how different that situation was!


  • crunch 15 hours 33 min ago (view)

    the funny thing is, like early-career randy johnson, batters are extremely uneasy in the box when facing him.  part of that helps lead to weak contact and Ks...it also leads to walks and HBPs, though...


  • Craig A. 16 hours 17 min ago (view)

    Cubs better aim for the first wild card. There’ a very slim chance we beat Washington at home. 


  • Craig A. 16 hours 19 min ago (view)

    So we keep Maples for intimidation?


  • crunch 16 hours 54 min ago (view)

    maples showcasing how he can fall apart from batter to batter...from a sick 3-pitch K to a 2-2 HBP to a 3-1 HBP.

    it's all wild, not retalitory...umps in a bad place since warnings were given based on early HBP's by PIT and maples is tossed.  even PIT doesn't think it was intentional and their dugout is calm.


  • crunch 17 hours 43 min ago (view)

    236 homers...franchise record previously set in 2004.

    hoerner puts the team over the top.


  • crunch 18 hours 41 min ago (view)

    maddon (whether he's here next season or not) seems to be in no hurry to get him work.  it's actually a bit impressive how we've not heard even a shred of shade about his lack of use from descalso.

    ...but he did see what the organization did to pretty much end tony barnette's career...so there's that.  i think lastella ruined throwing roster movement and player use tantrums for everyone.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    I can’t imagine they go into next season like that. He’s been insanely bad.


  • crunch 1 day 7 hours ago (view)



  • Eric S 1 day 11 hours ago (view)

    He gets infrequent pinch hitting appearances - and seemingly K’s in each one. 

    I guess Descalso is the back up plan to start at second next season should Hoerner get injured while cliff diving or hit by falling space debris in the off season


  • Hagsag 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    Roller coaster crunch.lol


  • crunch 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    i keep forgetting descalso is back with the cubs.  he's practically been shelved on the pine.


  • crunch 1 day 14 hours ago (view)


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