Cubs 2016 Rule 5 Draft Watch List (Updated 7/12)

As things stand right now...


Of the Cubs minor leaguers who will be first-time eligible for the Rule 5 Draft post-2016, switch-hitting C  (a Braves Top 10 Prospect acquired by the Cubs in a 2014 trade deadline deal for LHRP James Russell and IF-OF Emilio Bonifacio), RHSP  (Cubs 2012 2nd round draft pick), RHRP (ex-Serie Nacional closer who received a $3M+ bonus iwhen he signed with the Cubs in 2013) , LHSP  (Cubs 2013 2nd round draft pick), RHSP  (Cubs 2012 Supplemental 1st round draft pick received when MLB Article XX-B FA 1B Carlos Pena signed with the Tampa Bay Rays post-2011), RHRP  (Cubs 2012 3rd round draft pick) , and OF (Cubs 2013 3rd round draft pick) are probably the only ones who have a legitimate shot at being added to the Cubs MLB Reserve List (MLB 40-man roster) prior to the 11/20 deadline, but it's by no means sure that all of them or even most of them will be added to the 40. (I would say that Caratini and Underwood Jr are virtual locks to get added and Rivero and Zastryzny are likely to get added, however, with Blackburn, McNeil, and Hannemann very much "on the bubble").

Of the Cubs minor leaguers who have been previously eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft and who will once again be eligible this year, OF  (Cubs 2012 13th round draft pick) and LHSP (2011 IFA - Dominican Republic) are probably the two most-likely (though not a lock) to be added to the Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) prior to the 11/20 deadline, and at this point I would say Rademacher is only as likely to get added to the 40 as Blackburn, McNeil, and Hannemann 

Jose Paulino is a special case, however. 

The dilemma the Cubs have with Paulino is that while he has not pitched above short-season ball and is probably a good three or four years away from MLB (presuming he gets that far), he is emerging as one of the Cubs top pitching prospects. And would the Cubs want to risk losing a lefty with a golden arm who features an arsenal that includes a mid-90's sinker & hard-slider combo? One thing to keep in mind about Paulino is that if if he is added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster post-2016, he would get four minor league options, rather than the usual three. So the Cubs would not have to rush him, and he could take a normal amount of time moving up through the pipeline. The only thing is, do the Cubs want to commit one of their MLB 40-man roster slots to a long-term develoment guy not likely to see the big leagues until 2019-20? And how sure would they be that if Paulino is left unprotected and then is selected in the Major League Phase of the 2016 Rule 5 Draft, that some rebuilding team would not be able to stadh him in the back of their bullpen for a year? 

Then there are the 28 players (6YFA and second contract players) who are eligible to be minor league free-agents post-2016, and these players can just walk away if not added to the MLB 40-man roster or signed to a 2017 minor league successor contract by 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day following the last game of the 2016 World Series (and if the player signs a 2017 minor league successor contract, he would then become eligible for selection in the 2016 Rule 4 Draft).

RHRP  (2009 IFA - Dominican Republic) is the one post-2016 minor league 6YFA likely to be added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster sometime pror to the post-World Series deadline, and in fact I would say Pena is a VERY good bet to get added. Pena was also eligible to be a minor league 6YFA after last season, but he signed a 2016 minor league successor contract (and received an NRI to Spring Training) prior to hitting free-agency, and then he was not selected in the Rule 5 Draft even though he was eligible for selection. But unless it's a veteran organizational guy functioning as a mentor/coach, most players eligible to be a minor league FA will not sign a successor contract a second time. So the Cubs stand to lose Pena via fre-agency if he isn't added to the 40, and even if he were to agree to a 2017 minor league successor contract, he would almost certainly get selected in the Rule 5 Draft.  

There are presently 51 Cubs minor leaguers (NOT counting the 28 potential post-2016 minor league free-agents who could sign 2017 minor league successor contracts post-2016) eligible for selection in the December 2016 Rule 5 Draft, and at most 38 (the AAA Reserve List limit) can be placed on the AAA Iowa Reserve List on 11/20 (minus any Rule 5 Draft-eligible players who are added to the MLB Reserve List prior to 11/20). NOTE: Although no more than 38 players can be placed on a AAA affiliate's reserve list in advance of the Rule 5 Draft, in practice most MLB clubs leave five or six slots open on the reserve list of their AAA affiliate for free-agents who might be signed to minor league contracts prior to the Rule 5 Draft, and for players the club might wish to select off the AA or "A" reserve lists of other organizations in the AAA or AA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft.   

The Cubs lost no players in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft last December, but they did lose four in the AAA Phase, and the most noteworthy player lost by the Cubs in the Rule 5 Draft in recent years (1B Justin Bour)  was selected in the AAA Phase post-2013. And so in addition to deciding which Rule 5 Draft-eligible minor league players to add to their MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) post-2016 to protect them frrom being selected in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft, the Cubs also must decide which players to place on their AAA Iowa affilate's reserve list. This is important because players selected off the AAA Iowa roster in the Major League Phase of the draft can be re-claimed if the player doesn't make the claiming club's MLB 25-man roster, but players selected off the reserve lists of the Cubs AA Tennessee and "A" affiliates are (like Justin Bour) just plain gone. They cannot be re-claimed.    

RULE 5 DRAFT:  

Each MLB club is required to file its MLB Reserve List and the reserve list for each of its minor league affiliates with the MLB Commissioner on November 20th each year (or November 19th if November 20th falls on a Saturday, or November 18th if November 20th falls on a Sunday), and the MLB Rule 5 Draft is held subsequent to the reserve lists being filed.


The MLB Rule 5 Draft is presently the last order of business at the MLB WINTER MEETINGS in December, and it is a mechanism that allows MLB clubs to select (draft) players off minor league reserve lists.

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 (any minor league classification) for $50,000, a "AAA Phase" where a club's AAA minor league affiliate can select Rule 5 Draft eligible players off the reserve lists of minor league clubs of a lower classification (below AAA) for $12,000, and finally a "AA Phase" where a club's AA minor league affiliate can select Rule 5 Draft eligible players off the reserve lists of minor league clubs of a lower classification (below AA) for $4,000.


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 55 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 the 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.

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. 


CUBS MINOR LEAGUERS ELIGIBLE FOR SELECTION IN DECEMBER 2016 RULE 5 DRAFT (last updated 7-8-2016):

Note: Names in bold intalics and underlined are the Rule 5 Draft-eligible players likely in contention for a spot on the Cubs MLB 40-man roster post-2016, and players in bold (but not in italics or underlined) are the ones most-likely to be placed on the AAA Iowa reserve list (making them eligible for selection in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft only). The other 18 will likely be available for selection in the AAA Phaase or AA Phase of the draft. 

John Andreoli, OF
Pedro Araujo, RHP
Jeffrey Baez, OF
Yasiel Balaguert, 1B
Corey Black, RHP
Paul Blackburn RHP
David Bote, INF
Cael Brockmeyer, C
Stephen Bruno, INF
Victor Caratini, C
Ben Carhart, INF
Roberto Caro, OF
Erick Castillo, C
Jesus Castillo, RHP
Josh Conway, RHP
Rashad Crawford, OF
Taylor Davis, C-1B
Andin Diaz, LHP
Greyfer Eregua, RHP
Luiz Escanio, RHP
Bryant Flete, INF
Scott Frazier, RHP
Robert Garcia, OF
David Garner, RHP
Jake Hannemann, OF
Luis Hernandez, RHP 
Erick Leal, RHP
Danny Lockhart, INF
Mark Malave, RHP (ex-C)
Dillon Maples, RHP
Trey Martin, OF
Jonathan Martinez, RHP
Ryan McNeil, RHP
Alberto Mineo, C
Jose Paniagua, 1B-OF
Juan Carlos Paniagua, RHP
Adonis Paula, INF
Jose Paulino, LHP
Carlos Penalver, INF
Steve Perakslis, RHP
Chris Pieters, 1B-OF (ex-LHP)
James Pugliese, RHP
Bijan Rademacher, OF
Will Remillard, C
Armando Rivero, RHP 
Alexander Santana, RHP
Tyler Skulina, RHP
Daury Torrez, RHP
Duane Underwood Jr, RHP
Michael Wagner, RHP
Rob Zastryzny, LHP

Additionally, any player eligible to be an MLB Rule 55 Six-Year Minor League Free-Agent (6YFA) post-2016 who signs a 2017 minor league contract or a 2017 minor league successor contract prior to the December 2016 Rule 5 Draft will be eligible for selection, and any player eligible to be an MLB Rule 55 Second Contract Minor League Free-Agent post-2016 who signs a 2017 minor league contract or a 2017 minor league successor contract prior to the December 2016 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.

POST-2016 RULE 55 SIX-YEAR MINOR LEAGUE FA:
Gioskar Amaya, INF-C
Jeffry Antigua, LHP
Scott Barnes, LHP (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Frank Batista, RHP
Jake Buchanan, RHP (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Kelly Dugan, 1B-OF (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Tim Federowicz, C (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Stephen Fife, RHP (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
David Freitas, C 
Ryan Kalish, OF (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Matt Murton, OF (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Kristopher Negron, IF-OF (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Manny Parra, LHP (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Felix Pena, RHP 
Joel Peralta, RHP (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Starling Peralta, RHP (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Juan Carlos Perez, OF-IF (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
C. J. Riefenhauser, LHP (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Jose Rosario, RHP
Logan Watkins, INF (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)

2016 MLB RULE 55 SECOND CONTRACT PLAYERS: 
Luis Aquino, RHP (previously released by CLE)
Aaron Crow, RHP (previously non-tendered by MIA - Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Elvis Diaz, RHP (previously released by BAL)
Jack Leathersich, LHP (previously non-tendered by CUBS)
Brian Matusz, LHP (previously released by ATL)
Miguel Mejia, RHP (previously released by DET)
Drew Rucinski, RHP (previously released by CLE)
Nick Sarianides, RHP (previously released by AZ)
NOTE: RHP Cole Brocker (previously released by ATL), RHP Yan de la Cruz (previously released by HOU), RHP Miguel Estevez (previously released by CIN), and RHP Robert Severino (previously released by SEA) are Rule 55 Second Contract Players, but they are not eligible for selection in the 2016 Rule 5 Draft. 


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, starting with the filing of MLB & minor league reserve lists on November 20th up through the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft.

2. A player cannot be sent outright to the minors on the two days prior to the Rule 5 Draft and on the day of 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 Rule 5 Draft as the number of players it selects in the Major League Phase, and an MLB club's AAA and AA affiliates must have as many slots open on their respective reserve lists prior to the Rule 5 Draft as the number of players the affiliate selects in the AAA and AA phases of the draft. There is no limit on the number of Rule 5 eligible players any one organization can lose.

4. A player selected in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft must be placed on the drafting club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) immediately, and must be tendered a major league contract by 5 PM (Eastern) on the day of the draft.

PLAYERS WITH RULE 5 RESTRICTIONS ON CUBS MLB RESERVE LIST (40-MAN ROSTER) (updated 12-10-2015)
NONE

5. A player selected in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft can be traded at any time, but the player cannot be 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 re-claim the player.

6. If a player selected in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft spends at least 90 days on an MLB Active List during the MLB regular season following selection, Rule 5 restrictions are removed 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 player into the next season, and the player continues to be a Rule 5 player until he has spent 90 days total on an MLB Active List.

7. If a club wishes to send a Rule 5 player to the minors before Rule 5 restrictions have been removed, the player must be placed on Outright Assignment Waivers, where any of the other 29 MLB clubs can claim the player for the $25,000 Rule 5 waiver price and assume the Rule 5 obligations.

CUBS MINOR LEAGUERS SELECTED IN MAJOR LEAGUE PHASE OF 2015 RULE 5 DRAFT: (updated 12-10-2015
NONE 

8. If the Rule 5 player is not claimed off Outright Waivers, the player then must be offered back to the club from which he was drafted, and the player's former club can reclaim the player for $25,000, with the player being automatically outrighted to the Reserve List of the minor league club from which he was drafted. The club from which the player was drafted usually has 72 hours to decide whether to reclaim the player, but it has only 24 hours to decide if the player is eligible to be an Article XX-D 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).

9. If a Rule 5 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.

10. If a Rule 5 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 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. (An outrighted "Super Two" Rule 5 player who has not previously been outrighted to the minors can elect free-agency if he is outrighted to the minors, but he cannot defer free-agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season).

11. If the club from which the player was drafted declines to reclaim the player, the Rule 5 restrictions are removed, the drafting club retains the player, and the player can be sent to the minors or released.

12. A player selected in the AAA or AA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft must be assigned to the Reserve List of the AAA or AA club that drafted the player, 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 or AA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft 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 the level of the minor league affiliate that drafted the player.

CUBS PLAYERS SELECTED IN A MINOR LEAGUE PHASE OF 2015 RULE 5 DRAFT (updated 12-10-2015)
1. Pin-Chieh Chen, OF (by Cincinnati Reds AAA Louisville affiliate from Cubs AA Tennessee affiliate in AAA Phase)
2. Ariel Ovando, LHP (by Los Angeles Angels AAA Salt Lake affiliate from Cubs AA Tennessee affiliate in AAA Phase)
3. Julian Aybar, RHP (by New York Yankees AAA Scranton affiliate from Cubs AA Tennessee affiliate in AAA Phase)
4. Michael Heesch, LHP (by St Louis Cardinals AAA Memphis affiliate from Cubs AA Tennessee affiliate in AAA Phase)

PLAYERS SELECTED BY CUBS IN A MINOR LEAGUE PHASE OF 2015 RULE 5 DRAFT (updated 12-10-2015):
1. David Freitas, C (by Cubs AAA Iowa affiliate from Baltimore Orioles AA Bowie affiliate in AAA Phase)
2. Mike O'Neill, OF (by Cubs AAA Iowa affiliate from St Louis Cardinals AA Springfield affiliate in AAA Phase)
3. Jesus Loya, OF (by Cubs AAA Iowa affiliate from Boston Red Sox AA Portland affiliate in AAA Phase)

13. 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.

14. 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. Also, a player selected in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft cannot be "hidden" on a Disabled List to help the drafting club fulfill Rule 5 roster obligations. 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 a Disabled List, the offending club or clubs are subject to a penalty (TBD by the MLB Commissioner).

Comments

Speaking of kids -- any info on the Dylan Cease injury yesterday?

Kawasaki was optioned over the All Star Break. Foreshadows Fowler coming off the DL. That's a great sign. Also, what was the site on maintenance for?

Figured Kawasaki was making room for Ross' return.

Well I was wrong. It was only to activate Ross. Well Cahill on the DL with Richard activated. Time to hold my breath again whenever he pitches. However, he pitched will during rehab and was stretched out. Also, Nathan eligible to come off 60 day DL tomorrow. IDK if he will actually be activated tomorrow. He's pitched well in rehab too.

Also, White Sox are calling up Carson Fulmer. Interesting to see if he pitches against the Cubs. He struggled in Double A, so the move doesn't make sense to me, but I hear they're trying to ease him into the bullpen like they did with Chris Sale.

He got injured yesterday??? Please tell me it had nothing to do with arm especially UCL. He's the one bright spot of that poor pitching farm system.

He was pitching into the fifth inning, then apparently pointed to his right shoulder and came out of the game. Haven't been able to find any other updates.

I have been looking as well and can't find anything. Yep, Cease, Hudson, Albertos...some of the top pitching in the Cubs' system. I am thinking T. Hatch will shoot to the top quickly in our good pitching-bereft minors.

They won't be announced until sometime next month and a trade or injury could change things, but here is my prediction for which Cubs players will be assigned to the Arizona Fall League (Mesa Solar Sox) post-2016: 

David Berg, RHRP 
Paul Blackburn, RHSP 
Victor Caratini, C 
James Farris, RHRP 
Jake Hannemann, OF 
Ian Happ, 2B 
Billy McKinney, OF (Taxi Squad)
Ryan McNeil, RHRP 
NOTE: RHSP Duane Underwood Jr could replace one of the pitchers -IF- he's healthy -AND- the Cubs feel he needs to make up lost innings (as happened with Pierce Johnson last season)

The AFL is often used as a means to help decide whether a pitcher or a position player should or should not be added to the club's MLB 40-man roster. (Blackburn, Caratini, Hannemann, McNeil, and Underwood Jr are Rule 5-Draft eligible post-2016). The AFL also helps a club get a better measure of where a particular pitcher or position player is in relation to the best prospects in baseball. 

@espn A career turnaround for a franchise turnaround. Best Breakthrough Athlete Jake Arrieta collects his first #ESPYS W.

Learn more about Jake Arrieta in ESPN's the Body Issue on newstands everywhere #synergy #totallylegit

ITL league wins the AAA AS game. http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?t=g_... vogelbomb went 0/2 with a K. a.rivero (28yo non-prospect reliever) pitched 0.1ip 1h 0bb 1k (hit was a HR)

Has there been an update on Dylan Cease's injury?

Cubs sign 11th Rd Pick Michael Rucker SENIOR RHP for $180,000. $80,000 against pool money. Why would you pay a SENIOR (no other options other than no ball or independent ball) that much. So much for any chance of getting any of those high school kids other than Sweeney. No Kyle Schwarber's this year, talent or willing to leave a lot of money on the table to help the rest of signings. Makes you respect Kyle even more.

My bad, I didn't see the transfer year from Gonzaga to BYU

Red Sox acquire D. Pomeranz...so far only RHP A. Espinoza (BA #15 in their mid-season Top 100 rankings) has been mentioned, but probably a few others.

Latest rumor seems to be that it might just be for Espinoza straight up. Deal definitely happening once medicals/physicals are all approved, return not quite certain yet. Pomeranz has 2.5 years of club control. Also has pitched his career highs in innings already this year.

Straight up for Espinoza it is....feels a lot like giving up A. Russell for Samardzija/Hammel to me. High end prospect for marginal SP on a hot streak.

Wouldn't mind Buchter from Padres, but he's hardly a sure-thing and who knows what it would cost at this point.

nathan to AAA...

never mind. What Rob said...

Pedro Araujo at Myrtle Beach--I've mentioned him before--just 27 innings (19 at South Bend), but he's been lights out, with numbers like Spencer Patton had at Iowa. 5.33 SO/W this year. Hate to lose him in the draft. I think they'll protect Brockmeyer. He played in the AFL last year, then back to Myrtle, then Knoxville, now Iowa. They like the way he catches, and they probably think other teams have noticed. (At 6'5, 235, he's hard to miss.) His bat is a work-in-progress, as is his arm.

Pedro Araujo was one of the last three pitchers cut from the South Bend squad at Minor League Camp (Jose Paulino and Daniel Lewis were the other two) and then he had a nice five or six weeks at Extended Spring Training prior to getting moved up to South Bend: 

1.93 ERA - 1.00 WHIP - .226 OppBA 
14.0 IP, 12 H, 4 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 21 K, 0 HR, 3 WP, 9/11 GO/AO, 73% strikes, 12.9 PITCHES-PER-INNING
1 ERROR 
8 GAMES

Although he only throws 90-92 MPH, Araujo has impeccable control and he can put his four-seam fastball wherever he wants it. He also throws his curve and change-up for strikes. He doesn't get a lot of ground balls, but he is the classic "control artist," So far he lacks the stamina to be a starting pitcher and he doesn't have the swing & miss stuff needed to be a successful late-inning reliever at the big league level, but he definitely throws strikes, so I guess you never know.  

I doubt that the Cubs would add Araujo to their MLB 40-man roster post-2016, but I could see a second-division/rebuilding club selecting him in the Rule 5 Draft and using him as a middle-reliever. The ability to throw strikes is an attractive trait, even if the velocity is just average (or even a bit below-average for a reliever).  

I doubt that the Cubs would add Cael Brockmeyer to the 40 post-2016. Maybe he will see the big leagues at some point in his career, and it's always possible that another MLB club desperate for catching could pop Brockmeyer in the Rule 5 Draft, but for the Cubs he is more of an organizational guy (good soldier) who is moved around from level-to-level (wherever he is needed) without complaining, and he does a credible job wherever he is sent. He could have a future as a coach. (Same goes for Gioskar Amaya, BTW).

RHP (ex-INF) Ho-Young Son made his game debut as a pitcher last night with the AZL Cubs at Sloan Park in Mesa. He has been throwing bullpen sessons and "live" BP for the last couple of months while making the transition to throwing off a mound, but this was his first "official" game action as a pitcher.

Son throws sidearm with short-arm action that makes it look like the ball is coming out of his right hip. The delivery can be deceptive for some hitters, and while he did strike out the first two batters he faced, he also surrendered a 400-ft HR and an inning-ending F-7 to the LF warning track before the inning was over. He then got high-fives from all of his teammates and coaches (the ones in the dugout, and the ones sitting in the stands befhind home pate), a couple of the scouts, and a security guard, and then he disappeared into the night. Sort of like when Elvis would leave the stage after a performance. I was surprised Son didn't come over and get a "high-five" from me, too, but I suppose he had places to go 

Also, Cubs 2016 32nd round draft pick CF Zach Davis (Texas Tech) suffered a left leg injury (looked like a knee) in last night's game when he tripped over the 3rd base bag and fell head-first into the ground while attempting to complete an inside-the-park-HR (actually would have been a 1B+E7). He was able to crawl back safely to 3rd base, and then was helped of the field by the AZL Cubs trainers, but it didn't look too good. Davis is a speed & defense guy, so hopefully it won't be a season-ending or career-limiting injury. 

Hi AZ Phil, I was wondering if you saw Oscar De La Cruz the other evening and how he looked. Was excited to see his name pop up in the box score.

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  • Hagsag 2 hours 32 min ago (view)

    Predictions on the Rule 5 draft this morning?

     

  • Hagsag 2 hours 50 min ago (view)

    Very, very interesting Phil. Thanks for the post.

     

  • Arizona Phil 7 hours 2 min ago (view)

    What was the stated purpose of the 1953 Bonus Rule? 

    COMMISSIONER FORD FRICK: "We want the kind of bonus rule that will discourage the Majors from paying out big bonuses, and encourage the little fellows (he is referring here to the minor leagues) to sign these youngsters and then sell them to clubs of a higher classification."

     

  • crunch 9 hours 31 min ago (view)

    g.cole - yanks - 9/324m

    s.strasburg - nats - 7/245m

    a.rendon - angels - 7/245m

    boras has signed $814m of contracts for his guys this week.  not bad.

     

  • crunch 9 hours 38 min ago (view)

    still waiting for rich hill to happen over here...i promise to be totally not impressed or happy about it.  not a tj guy, but he's injured as hell and not expected to show up until mid-season at best.

    whoever they pick to give a few million dollars over a couple seasons to not pitch for the cubs in any of them, i welcome them.

    on a serious tip, there are rumors of a minor league deal for b.morrow.

     

  • bradsbeard 10 hours 12 min ago (view)

    Taijuan Walker is a good candidate. 

     

  • cubbies.4ever 11 hours 37 min ago (view)

    So who is left in the free Agent market that has had Tommy John surgery?  That seems to be a Prerequisite for Theo.  Cotton and Winkler both did adding to all the other signings of Theo.  I would love to see how many people Theo has signed or drafted who has had TJS.

     

  • Charlie 20 hours 19 min ago (view)

    I hope "isn't happening" was more like, "we'd love to continue to discuss this soon"--after extensions/trades of younger players are a bit more sorted.

     

  • Charlie 20 hours 23 min ago (view)

    If only they had revenue from having recently won the World Series and a string of playoff appearances along with a new TV contract! Then they could really spend.

     

  • crunch 20 hours 40 min ago (view)

    i wish this team was owned by billionaires rather than these...oh, nevermind.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 21 hours 17 min ago (view)

    Apparently Cubs were approached by Rizzo's agent about an extension. They told him it wasn't happening.

    Cubs organization is performing a master class in how to burn good will among fans!

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    jdlym: The contract Brad Brach signed with the Mets includes a $850K base salary for 2020, a $1.25M club option for 2021, $400K in potential performance bonuses in 2020, potentially $2.25M in 2021 salary accelerators, and $500K in potential performance bonuses in 2021, so ordinarily the Cubs salary obligation to Brach would be the difference between Brach's new 2020 base salary ($850K) and what would have been his 2020 player option salary ($1.35M) if he hadn't been released by the Cubs. 

     

  • crunch 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    d.ross meets the media at winter meetings...video/audio

    https://www.pscp.tv/w/1ypKdBvlvzyJW

     

  • jdrnym 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    Hey AZPhil, when a player is released with money/years still remaining on his contract, does his next team *have* to give him the prorated major league minimum or can they offer more (meaning the original club owes less) to "outbid" other teams that may have had interest? I'm assuming that's what happened with Brad Brach, where the Mets signed him for 2020 at $850,000.

     

  • crunch 1 day 19 hours ago (view)

    jeremy jeffress agrees.

     

  • Rob Richardson 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    It's high time if you ask me.