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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  • Hagsag 52 min 21 sec ago (view)

    Tommy Birch tweets that Taylor Davis has signed with the Orioles. Hate to see him go. I will never forget his GS against the Deadbirds.


  • crunch 19 hours 51 min ago (view)

    cubs trade for travis lakins for a PTBNL or cash considerations from the rsox.



  • Charlie 1 day 30 min ago (view)

    I mean, the "overrated" criticism is always more about other people deserving of the honor being snubbed or put through more rigamarole. Jeter was definitely a great player for a long time. I just want people to remember that guys like Scott Rolen are not 60% less deserving, as the current voting system seems to indicate.


  • crunch 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    speaking of the HOF...

    schilling had a nice bump in his 8th eligable year going from 60.9% to 70.0%.  he's probably gonna get in next year...and if not for his abrasive personality and questionable interests outside of baseball he would probably already be in.  he's good enough to be there based on performance alone.

    fellow 8th year guys bonds and clemens held steady, going up around 1% point to 60%-ish range.  they may or may not get some love entering their 9th or 10th years.


  • crunch 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    m.ozuna signs with the braves 1/18m.

    he was expected to sign for similar pay over a number of years.  the cards must be "wtf?" about him walking away from the 17.8m qualifying offer, though.  at least they get a draft pick out of it.


  • crunch 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    5x gold glove...and earned 0 of them.

    whatever.  hell of a hitter, and he played SS "good enough" to not embarass himself or the team.

    but yeah, overrated even if he's a no-doubt 1st ballot hall of famer...which seems like an odd thing to say even if it's true (at least in the eyes of many).


  • Charlie 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    That's a significant boost for being the face of the Yankees. Expected, but in retrospect he wasn't that much better than plenty of people who didn't have full support for the hall (Santo comes to mind).

    *Tries to start an "over-rated" chant.*


  • crunch 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    d.jeter and l.walker (10th and final year on ballot, 76.6%) are going to the HOF.

    jeter got 99.75% of the vote...highest for a position player (griffey jr 99.32% 2016).  m.rivera got 100% last year.

    larry walker decided to dress up for his first post-election interview.  class act.



  • crunch 1 day 19 hours ago (view)

    nice.  i love seeing the undrafted who still try to make a career get a shot.

    it seems he's somewhat recently hit 97mph on his fastball which helped attract some interest.


    good luck to the dude.


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 20 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have released eight players from their Dominican Academy: RHRP Donato Auguste, RHRP Marco Encarnacion, RHRP Rodrigo Garcia, RHRP Francisco Gracia, LHRP Anderson Parra, RHRP Willians Vasquez, 1B Jeinser Brete, and OF Kevin Miranda.  


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    Rex Brothers has one minor league option left and Article XX-D status (so he can elect free-agency if outrighted) if he were to be added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster at some point in 2020. 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    RHSP Max Bain (contract acquired by Cubs from Utica Unicorns of USPBL last week) minor league UPC has not yet been filed with MLB. 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    The Josh Phegley, Bryan Brickhouse, Rex Brothers, Juan Gamez, and Caleb Simpson minor league contracts have been filed with MLB, but the Tyler Olson and Jason Adam contracts are still pending.  


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have signed LHRP Rex Brothers (ex COL, ex-ATL), RHRP Bryan Brickhouse, RHRP Juan Gamez (pitched in Mexican League in 2019), and RHRP Caleb Simpson to minor l;eague contracts, and Brothers is the only one of the four likely receive an NRI to Cubs MLB Spring Training. 


  • crunch 2 days 14 hours ago (view)


    ""There’s a lot of disrespect from people there that I don’t want to be a part of," Arenado said. "You can quote that." Arenado added, "You ask what I thought of Jeff’s quotes and I say I don’t care what people say around there. There is a lot of disrespect."

    The third baseman didn't want to elaborate on what he felt was disrespectful, but clearing the relationship between Arenado and the front office needs to be repaired."


  • crunch 2 days 15 hours ago (view)

    some good news...or bad news depending on how you feel about it...for the k.bryant trade market...

    "Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich on Monday indicated that Nolan Arenado will not be dealt prior to spring training and trade talks involving the third baseman are off for now."

    now MLB and crew need to decide whether bryant has an extra year of club control or not...still waiting...

    rangers, braves, and nats are supposedly looking at 3rd base upgrades.  cards are, too, but bryant to the cards would be a mutiny level trade decision.