2020 Cubs MLB First-Year Player Draft Ticker-Tracker

7/31 UPDATE 


Bradlee Beesley, OF 
R/R, 5'10 180, Age 22
Cal Poly 
AREA SCOUT: Tom Myers 
COMMENT: Speedy glove-first CF with enough arm to play RF... probably projects as a "4th OF" at the pro level...  hit 286/352/380 with 4 HR & 91 RBI, 45 doubles, and  21 SB (eight CS) in 180 college games over the course of four seasons at Cal Poly... 

Matt Burch, INF 
L/R, 5'7 170, Age 22
Old Dominion U. 
AREA SCOUT: Billy Swoope  
COMMENT: Plays 2B-3B but played mostly 2B in 2019-20...  hit 282/351/350 with 2 HR & 32 RBI, 13 doubles, and 25/47 BB/K in 74 NCAA D-1 games (309 PA) over the course of three seasons..  graduated from Warren Township HS in Gurnee, IL... spent freshman season at U. of Arkansas and then transferred to Wabash Valley JC (hit 384/480/557 in 56 games) before landing at ODU...
Angel Gonzalez-Martinez, RHP/OF 
R/R, 6'1 168, Age 17 
Emilio R. Delgado HS (Corozal, PR) 
AREA SCOUT: Edwards Guzman 
COMMENT: Two-way player in HS but projects as a pitcher (only) in pro ball... features a 94 MPH FB and a CH... had signed an NLI with Northwest Florida College (JC) before changing his mind and signing with the Cubs...

Scott Kobos, LHP 
L/L, 6'2 200, Age 22 
Coastal Carolina 
AREA SCOUT: Tom Clark 
COMMENT: Earned a spot in the Chanticleers 2020 starting rotation after a strong showing in fall ball and went 1-3 with a 5.59 ERA and 1.45 WHIP in five games (four GS) before the season was canceled... went 3-2 with a 6.61 ERA and 1.29 WHIP over the course of three seasons at CCU... was a two-way player (LF-LHP) prior to 2018... spent freshman year redshirting at UNC - Asheville... then transferred to St. John's River State College (JC) where he was the Vikings' Friday starter, going  6-3 with a 3.01 ERA, 23/68 BB/K, and 61 hits allowed in 71.2 IP for SJRSC in 2017... was selected by Cleveland Indians in 38th round of 2017 draft but did not sign... underwent elbow UCL transplant (TJS) in 2018...  

Graham Lawson, RHP 
R/R, 6'2 229, Age 24 
U. of South Carolina 
AREA SCOUT: Tom Clark 
COMMENT: Bullpen piece but not a closer... went 3-2 with a 5.27 ERA, three saves, 26/53 BB/K, and .250 OppBA (nine HR allowed) in 41 career games (56.1 IP) for Gamecocks... was selected by Washington Nationals in 12th round of 2018 draft but did not sign... missed 2019 season after undergoing UCL transplant (TJS)... spent freshman year at Spartanburg Methodist College before transferring to South Carolina... was named to SEC Academic Honor Roll in both 2018 and 2019... 

Ben Leeper, RHP 
R/R, 6'0 194, Age 23 
Oklahoma State 
AREA SCOUT: Ty Nichols 
COMMENT: Cowboys closer... went 4-4 with a 4.31 ERA and seven saves, 23/43 BB/K, and 24 hits (three HR) allowed in 29 games (31.1 IP) in 2019... was off to a strong start in 2020 (14 K in just 7.1 IP) before season was canceled...  missed 2017 season after undergoing his second elbow UCL transplant (TJS).. . also underwent TJS in 2015... went 20-5 with a 1.15  ERA and was an honorable mention Perfect Game All-American in both his sophomore and junior years in HS... 

Scott McKeon, INF 
R/R, 6'0 185, Age 22 
Coastal Carolina  
AREA SCOUT: Tom Clark 
COMMENT: Hit 341/401/488 with 4 HR & 38 RBI, 18 doubles, five triples, and 22/55 BB/K in 62 games (284 PA) for Chanticleers in 2019..  After hitting just six HR in 133 college games through 2019 season, he clubbed four HR in 16 games in 2020 prior to season being canceled...  spent two seasons at Brunswick CC prior to tranferring to Coastal Carolina... was selected first-team NJCAA Division II All-American at BCC in 2018... has the defensive skills necessary to play SS but probably projects more as a utility infielder at pro level... was selected in 21st round of 2019 draft by Detroit Tigers but did not sign... 

Matt Mervis, 1B-3B/RHP 
L/R, 6'4 225, Age 22 
AREA SCOUT: Billy Swoope 
COMMENT: Two-way player... team captain... hit .278/380/456 with 9 HR & 46 RBI, 14 doubles, 31/56 BB/K and 13 HBP in 119 games (301 PA) as a position player and went 6-2 with a 5.49 ERA and 1.59 WHIP, .262 OppBA (four HR allowed), and 34/52 BB/K in 50 games (59.0 IP) as a pitcher in four seasons at Duke... was rated the #19 college senior by Perfect Game going into the 2020 college baseball season... led team in hits & HR and hit safely in all games played in 2020 prior to the season being canceled... selected in 39th round of 2016 draft by Washington Nationals out of Georgetown Prep but did not sign...  

Sheldon Reed, RHP/OF 
L/R, 6'3 205, Age 22 
AREA SCOUT: Keith Lockhart
COMMENT: Bullpen arm but not a closer... hit 448/508/697 with 11 HR & 47 RBI, six doubles, and 22/40 BB/K in 51 games as an OF at Spartanburg Methodist College in 2016-17... he was converted to a RHP in 2018 after transferring to Clemson... 6.00 ERA and 2.00 WHIP, with six hits allowed and 6/8 BB/K in just 6.0 IP for Tigers 2019-20...  

Bailey Reid, RHP 
R/R, 6'2 205, Age 21 
Westmont College 
AREA SCOUT: Tom Myers 
COMMENT: Warriors closer... hard to hit but has difficulty throwing strikes... 5.29 ERA but did not allow an earned run and held opponents to an .073 OppBA in 2019... went 3-1 with 13 saves, 45/78 BB/K, 9 HBP, 12 WP, and .103 OppBA (no HR allowed) in 41 games (47.2 IP) over the course of four seasons at Westmont...  

Sam Thoresen, RHP 
R/R, 6'3 210, Age 21 
U. of Minnesota 
AREA SCOUT: John Pedrotty 
COMMENT: A project... hard to hit but has much difficulty throwing strikes (85 BB in 91 IP in three years at Minnesota, and more walks than IP in two summers spent pitching in collegiate wood bat leagues)... went 6-6 with a 5.74 ERA, 85/118 BB/K, 16 HBP, nine WP, and a .196 OppBA (four HR allowed) in 34 games (19 GS) and 91 IP for Golden Gophers 2018-20... pitched in summer collegiate wood bat leagues in both 2018 and 2019... went 1-3 with a 5.66 ERA, 12 hits allowed, and 19/28 BB/K in 20.2 IP and five games (4 GS) for Hyannis Harbor (Cape Cod League) in 2019, and 2-2 with a 5.20 ERA, 33/22 BB/K, and 19 hits allowed in nine games (5 GS) and 27.2 IP for Waterloo (Norhwoods League) in 2018... was a 2017 Rawlings Honorable Mention All-American as a senior at Minnetonka HS...  

Jacob Wetzel, OF 
L/L, 5'11 215, Age 20 
Frederick CC 
AREA SCOUT: Billy Swoope 
COMMENT: Speedy CF and lead-off hitter... hit a robust 367/509/638, with 6 HR & 62 RBI, 13 doubles and 13 triples, 51/37 BB/K, and 16 SB (3 CS) in 50 games (combined) in 2019-20 and set numerous offensive records for the Cougars over the course of two seasons... transferred to FCC from Old Dominion after freshman year...   




DAY ONE (6/10)

1st ROUND (16) 
Ed Howard IV, SS  
R/R, 6'2 185, Age 18 
Mt. Carmel HS - Chicago, IL 
COLLEGE COMMIT: U. of Oklahoma 
AREA SCOUT: John Pedrotty 
COMMENT: The top high school shortstop prospect in the 2020 draft... outstanding defensive SS... has plus range, soft hands, a quick release, and a strong arm... also has plus bat-speed and makes hard-contact so projects to have above-average power (for a shortstop) in pro ball... swing & miss is a problem, however... has decent speed (average for a SS) but is an outstanding base-runner... played in the Under Armour All-America game at Wrigley Field in 2019... also played for the Chicago Jackie Robinson West team that went to the Little League World Series representing the Great Lakes region in 2014... grew up on the south side of Chicago and he said in an interview prior to the Under Armour game that he is a White Sox fan... was given the nickname "Silk" by mentor Barry Larkin (because he is so smooth in the field)... 
BONUS SLOT VALUE: $3,745,500


DAY TWO (6/11): 

2nd ROUND (51): 
Burl Carraway, LHP 
L/L, 6'0 173, Age 21 
Dallas Baptist University  
AREA SCOUT: Todd George 
COMMENT: Patriots closer... also pitched for Team USA in 2019... rated by Baseball America as the top pure relief prospect in the 2020 draft... 2019 first-team All-MVC... went 4-2 with six saves and a 2.81 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, .195 OppBA (one HR allowed), 22/72 BB/K in 41.2 IP (28 games) for DBU in 2019... features a 93-96 MPH FB (T-98) and a 76-77 MPH knee-buckling CV... both pitches have a high spin-rate... struck out over 50% of LH hitters he faced in 2019... has a violent max-effort crossfire delivery with an inconsistent release point... throwing strikes has been a problem throughout his HS and college career... close to being MLB ready if he can throw strikes more-consistently...   
BONUS SLOT VALUE: $1,436,900

3rd ROUND (88):  
Jordan Nwogu, OF 
R/R, 6'3 235, Age 21
U. of Michigan 
AREA SCOUT: Jacob Williams  
COMMENT: 1st team All-Big Ten as a DH in 2019... hit 335/442/577 with 18 HR & 72 RBI, 21 doubles, five triples, 56/80 BB/K and 16 HBP, and 27 SB (five CS) in 105 games (430 PA) for Wolverines 2018-20... reached base in 30 consecutive games at one point during 2019 season when he led Michigan to a berth in the College World Series... was named to All-Big Ten Freshman Team in 2018... played CF and batted lead-off for Wolverines in 15 games in 2020 before season was canceled... he is an aggressive base-runner with plus speed and big-time HR power but he has a below-average arm and has difficulty reading and tracking fly balls so he projects (at best) as a LF or maybe even a DH in pro ball... crushes fastballs with plus bat-speed and a high exit-velocity but struggles with breaking balls and off-speed pitches...  played both baseball and football (OLB/DE) at Pioneer HS in Ann Arbor and he received football scholarship offers from Eastern Michigan and Kent State but he opted to stay home and play baseball (as a walk-on) at UM... is a member of the National Honor Society and was named an Academic All-Big Ten (computer science) in 2019...   

4th ROUND (117): 
Luke Little, LHP 
L/L, 6'8 225, Age 19   
San Jacinto College - North 
AREA SCOUT: Trey Forkerway 
COMMENT: Gators closer... supposedly threw a 105 MPH FB in a bullpen session shown on Twitter but velo was not independently confirmed by scouts... otherwise FB sits 96-97 (T-100-101)... also features a low 80's SL and an upper 70's CV and a CH that is a work-in-progress... walked more batters than innings pitched in 2019 (36 walks in 35.1 IP) but he also struck out 69 (that's 17.6 K per 9) with a .159 OppBA (one HR allowed) and a 2.04 ERA... strike-throwing showed improvement in 2020 (3/17 BB./K in 9.0 IP) prior to season being canceled... missed a month with a back injury in January... lost 30 pounds (he weighed 250+) after graduating from HS... will transfer to U. of South Carolina if he does not sign with Cubs... 

5th ROUND (147): 
Koen Moreno, RHP 
R/R, 6'2 170, Age 18 
Panther Creek HS - Cary, NC 
COLLEGE COMMIT: East Carolina  
AREA SCOUT: Billy Swoope 
COMMENT: Rated the #1 high school pitching prospect in North Carolina by Baseball America... Went 5-3 with a 1.62 ERA, .153 OppBA (one HR allowed), and 17/80 BB/K in 47.2 IP for the Catamounts in 2019... was on the varsity baseball squad all four years at PCHS... a multi-sport athlete, he also played basketball and ran track... features an 87-93 MPH FB (T-94), a swing & miss CH, and a promising but inconsistent mid-70's CV...   





Per an agreement between MLB and the MLBPA that was signed in March, the 2020 MLB First-Year Player Draft will be reduced from 40 rounds to five rounds and will be held (remotely) on June 10th (1st round) and June 11th (rounds 2-5).  

A player eligible for selection in the 2020 MLB First-Year Player Draft who is not selected can be signed by any MLB club as a Non-Drafted Free-Agent (NDFA) with a maximum bonus of $20,000 beginning at 9 AM (Eastern) on June 14th, but clubs are not permitted to discuss with a draft-eligible player the possibility of signing the player as a NDFA prior to the draft, during the draft, or anytime after the conclusion of the draft prior to 9 AM on June 14th. This temporary rule change will also be in place for the 2021 draft, although the date of the 2021 draft and the date when a club can begin to negotiate with and/or sign a NDFA will be different that it is in 2020. 

The deadline to sign a player selected in the 2020 MLB First-Year Player Draft (as well as a NDFA who was eligible for selection) who has college eligibility remaining is August 1st. The deadline to sign a player selected in the 2020 MLB First-Year Player Draft (as well as a NDFA who was eligible for selection) who has no college eligibility remaining is one week prior to the 2021 MLB First-Year Player Draft. 

If a player selected in one of the five rounds does not sign, the BONUS SLOT VALUE for that slot will be subtracted from the club's SBP. 

If a player selected in the third round of the 2020 draft does not sign, the club will receive a compensation pick in the 2021 draft one slot lower than where the club picked in 2020. (Prior to this temporary rule change, a club that failed to sign a player selected in the third round would receive a compensation pick after the conclusion of the third round in the next year's draft). 

If a player signs for less than the BSV for that slot, the left-over BSV assigned to that slot can be added to the club's aggregate SBP, but any left-over BSV from one of the five rounds cannot be added to the $20,000 maximum signing bonus allowed for a NDFA.   

Only $100,000 of a draft pick's signing bonus will be paid in 2020. The balance will be deferred and paid in equal installments in 2021 and/or in 2022. (This rule will also be in place for the 2021 draft). 


So noting and keeping in mind the exceptions in place for 2020 listed above...   


The MLB First-Year Player Draft (or "MLB Rule 4 Draft") is normally held annually over a three-day period in June. 

There are normally 40 rounds (there were 50 rounds prior to 2012), and draft order is based upon the inverse order of winning percentages from the previous season. If the winning percentages of two or more clubs are the same, the club with the lowest winning percentage from the previous season picks first. If two or more clubs are still tied, league standings from two years back (or three years back, four years back, etc) are used to break the tie.

Competitive Balance Rule 4 Draft picks are slotted in two groups (Competitive Balance Round "A" is slotted after the 1st Round, and Competitive Balance Round "B" is slotted between the 2nd and 3rd rounds). 
NOTE: Beginning with the 2017 Rule 4 Draft, Competitive Balance draft picks will no longer be awarded by lottery. Rather, all clubs who qualify (the ten smallest market clubs and the ten lowest revenue clubs) will receive Competitive Balance draft picks in either Competitive Balance Round "A" (between the 1st & 2nd round) or in Competitive Balance Round "B" (between the 2nd & 3rd rounds), with each club alternating between the two rounds every-other year.

If an Article XX-B Qualified Player subsequently signs a Major League contract with another (different) MLB club prior to the MLB Rule 4 Draft (MLB First-Year Player Draft), the player's former club (the club that lost the Qualified Player) normally will receive a compensatory draft pick in the MLB Rule 4 Draft between the 2nd & 3rd rounds (after Competitive Balance Round "B"). 
EXCEPTIONS: An MLB club that receives revenue sharing funds would receive a compensatory draft pick immediately after the conclusion of the 1st round (prior to Competitive Balance Round "A") - IF - the Qualified Player signs a contract worth at least $50M (the club would receive a compensatory draft pick between the 2nd & 3rd rounds and after Competitive Balance Round "B" if the Qualified Player signs a contract worth less than $50M), and an MLB club that is a Competitive Balance Tax (CBT) payor (club's payroll from the previous season exceeded the so-called "Luxury Tax") would receive a draft pick between the 4th & 5th rounds. 
NOTE: If more than one club receives the same type of compensatory pick, the draft order for the comp picks is the same as it is for all other rounds in that draft (clubs select in inverse order of league standings from the previous season, and in the case of two clubs finishing with the same record the previous season, league standings from two seasons back will be used to break the tie, and if If the clubs are still tied, league standings from three seasons back, four seasons back, etc, will be used to break the tie). 

An MLB club that signs an Article XX-B player who was extended a Qualifying Offer from his previous club forfeits its 2nd highest selection in the next MLB Rule 4 Draft and $500,000 is subtracted from its assigned International Signing Bonus Pool (ISBP) in the next full International Signing Period (ISP). 
EXCEPTIONS: An MLB club that receives revenue sharing funds would surrender its 3rd highest selection in the draft but nothing is subtracted from the club's ISBP in the next full ISP, and an MLB club that is a CBT payor (club's payroll from the previous season exceeded the so-called "Luxury Tax") would forfeit its 2nd & 5th selection in the draft and have $1,000,000 subtracted from its ISBP in the next ISP. 
NOTE: The Competitive Balance Tax threshold will be $195M in 2017, $197M in 2018, $206M in 2019, $208M in 2020, and $210M in 2021.

The next highest Rule 4 Draft pick (or draft picks) will be forfeited if a club signs more than one Article XX-B player who was extended a Qualifying Offer from his previous club (one draft pick forfeited for each Qualified Player signed). 
NOTE: A CBT payor (club's payroll from the previous season exceeded the so-called "Luxury Tax") would forfeit its 3rd & 6th highest selections if the club signs a second Qualified Player, its 4th & 7th selections if the club signs a third Qualified Player, and its 8th & 9th highest selections, 10th & 11th highest selections, etc, for additional Qualified Players signed. 

Draft picks subject to forfeiture include the club's own Rule 4 Draft picks, compensatory draft picks awarded to the club after losing an Article XX-B Qualified Player, and draft picks awarded as the result of the Rule 4 SBP Forfeited Draft Pick lottery (including draft picks that were subsequently acquired in a trade). Competitive Balance draft picks (including Competitive Balance draft picks acquired in a trade) and a compensatory draft pick awarded to a club for failing to sign a pick from a previous Rule 4 Draft are - NOT - subject to forfeiture.
NOTE: Prior to the 2018 MLB Rule 4 Draft, Competitive Balance draft picks were subject to forfeiture.

A Rule 4 Draft pick forfeited as the result of a club signing an Article XX-B player who was extended a Qualifying Offer from his previous club is not transferred to any other club (it just disappears).

Beginning with the 2018 Rule 4 Draft, any MLB club that had a payroll from the previous season that was $40M or more above the Competitive Balance Tax threshold will have its highest draft selection moved down ten slots, unless its first selection is among the top six picks in the draft, in which case it will have its second-highest draft slot moved down ten slots.
NOTE: In determining whether a club would have its highest or second-highest draft pick moved down ten slots, the six "protected" picks at the top of the 1st round would NOT include any compensation draft pick received by a club for failing to sign a 1st round draft pick from a previous draft -- these compensatory draft picks are already "protected."



An individual is eligible for selection in the MLB First-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft) if the person is at least 17 years old, has not previously signed an MLB or minor league contract, and is either a resident of a U. S. state or territory or Canada and has been for at least one year, or is not a resident but was enrolled in a high school (known as "secondary school" in Canada) or college in a U. S. state or territory or Canada within the previous year, and...

1. Player has graduated from high school and has received a diploma (if the player graduates early from high school and receives a diploma prior to turning 17, the player is eligible for selection if he turns 17 no later than 45 days after the draft and the player submits written notice of early graduation to the MLB Commissioner by January 15th); or

The player's high school class has graduated (12th grade) and 

2. Player has not yet graduated from high school but player's high school athletic eligibility has expired; or

3. Player dropped out of high school at least 365 days prior to the draft; or

4. Player attended a junior college the previous school year; or

5. Player is attending a four-year college and the school has no baseball program, or

6. Player is attending a four-year college and player has completed at least junior year of athletic eligibility, or

7. Player is attending a four-year college and is age 21 or older (or will turn 21 within 45 days of the draft); or

8. Player withdrew from a four-year college at least 120 days prior to the draft.

A player dismissed from a four-year college for academic reasons prior to the draft is eligible for selection only with the consent of the MLB Commissioner. 

For purposes of draft eligibility, a GED is not considered a high school diploma.
NOTE: Prior to the 2017 draft, a GED was considered equivalent to a high school diploma for purposes of draft eligibility. 

A club is not permitted to select a player in the Rule 4 Draft two years in a row, unless the player gives his approval in advance.

A high school player eligible for selection may elect (in advance) to have his name removed from draft eligibility in that particular Rule 4 Draft.

Prior to the draft, the MLB Commissioner's office will designate what it considers to be the Top 300 players in the draft, and offer each of the players an opportunity to furnish in advance of the draft access to the player's certified medical history available to be reviewed by all 30 MLB clubs. Players are not required to participate in the program, but if a player declines to participate, the player may not furnish medical records to any club or clubs prior to the draft.    

From among the Top 300 players, the MLB Commissioner's office will designate what it considers to be the Top 50 pitchers in the draft, and offer each of the pitchers an opportunity to submit a recent certified MRI of the pitcher's shoulder, elbow, or any other part of the body that has received medical treatment during the course of the previous season, available for review by all 30 MLB clubs prior to the draft. Pitchers are not required to participate in the program.   



Players selected in the MLB First-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft) are placed on a club's Negotiation List.

In most cases, a player selected by a club in the Rule 4 Draft will remain on the club's Negotiation List until either the player signs or until the signing deadline (whichever comes first), and if a club does not sign a Rule 4 Draft pick by the deadline (5 PM Eastern on the Friday that falls during the week July 6-12), the player is removed from the club's Negotiation List and becomes eligible for selection again in the next Rule 4 Draft in which the player would be eligible for selection. The exception to this rule is any college senior with no baseball eligibility left. This class of player remains on the club's Negotiation List until the player signs or until one week prior to the next Rule 4 Draft (whichever comes first).  

A player selected in the Rule 4 Draft will be declared a free-agent if he is not offered a contract by the signing deadline.

A player eligible for selection in the Rule 4 Draft who is not drafted ("Non-Drafted Free-Agent" or "NDFA") can sign with any club after the conclusion of the draft any time up until one week prior to the next Rule 4 Draft, unless and until the NDFA enrolls in a junior college or four-year college, in which case MLB Rule 4 Draft eligibility rules apply.

A player selected in the MLB Rule 4 Draft or a Rule 4 eligible NDFA cannot be signed to a Major League contract.

A player selected in the MLB Rule 4 Draft or a Rule 4 eligible NDFA can be "Signed for Future Service" (contract is for the following season) if the player signs a contract during the period of time extending from July 2nd through December 31st.

NOTE: The Cubs signed 32 of their 42 2018 draft picks, including their first twenty picks and 23 of their first 24. They also signed three NDFA. 

CUBS 2019 MLB RULE 4 DRAFT NEGOTIATION LIST: (updated 6-3-2019):



There is a maximum limit on the aggregate amount of money that each club can pay as signing bonuses to players selected in a First-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft) before penalties begin to accrue.

Prior to the Rule 4 Draft, each MLB club is assigned a “Signing Bonus Pool” (SBP) equal to the aggregate pre-assigned bonus value of all of the club’s draft slots in the first ten rounds (including supplemental & compensatory draft picks). The higher the slot, the higher the bonus value. (The collective MLB SBP is determined in advance by calculating industry revenues). 

If a club fails to sign a player selected in the first ten rounds (including supplemental draft picks), the value of that slot is deducted from the club’s SBP. There is no bonus value assigned to draft slots after the 10th round, but if a club pays a signing bonus in excess of $125,000 to a player selected in the 11th round or later or to a player eligible for selection who was not drafted, the amount of that bonus in excess of $125,000 is deducted from the club’s SBP.

If a club exceeds its SBP in a given Rule 4 Draft, a tax will be assessed and future Rule 4 Draft picks could be forfeited, depending on how much the club exceeded its SBP. (The club’s 1st Round draft pick in the next Rule 4 Draft is forfeited if the club exceeds its SBP by 5-10%, its 1st & 2nd round draft picks in the next Rule 4 Draft are forfeited if the club exceeds its SBP by 10-15%, and the club’s 1st Round picks in the next two Rule 4 Drafts are forfeited if the club exceeds its SBP by more than 15%).

Money collected from the tax on clubs that exceed their SBP will be distributed to qualifying clubs as Revenue Sharing funds, and forfeited draft picks will be reassigned by lottery. (Any club that exceeds its SBP is excluded from the lottery).



A Rule 4 Draft compensation pick is awarded to a club if the club is unable to sign a player selected in one of the first three rounds of the MLB Rule 4 Draft (including compensation draft picks between rounds 1-2, 2-3, and 3-4, Competitive Balance draft picks, draft picks awarded to a club after the club loses an Article XX-B MLB Free-Agent Qualified Player, and draft picks assigned to clubs from the SBP forfeited draft pick lottery).

A club must offer a drafted player at least 40% of the slot value in order to be eligible to receive a compensation draft pick if the player does not sign. 
EXCEPTION: A club is not required to offer a drafted player at least 40% of the slot value in order to be eligible to receive a compensation draft pick if the player does not sign if the drafted player is one of the Top 50 pitchers designated by the MLB Commissioner's office prior to the draft and the pitcher declined to submit an MRI

If a player selected prior to the 3rd round of the Rule 4 Draft does not sign, the club receives an extra compensation selection in the next Rule 4 Draft, one slot lower than where the club selected the previous season.

If a player selected in the 3rd round of the draft does not sign, the club receives an extra compensation selection after the 3rd round in the next Rule 4 Draft, with clubs selecting in inverse order of league standings from the previous season. (In the case of two clubs finishing with the same winning percentage the previous season, league standings from two seasons back will be used to break the tie. If the clubs are still tied, league standings from three seasons back, four seasons back, etc, will be used to break the tie).

A club would receive another compensation pick in the next Rule 4 Draft after that if a player selected with an extra compensation pick does not sign (same slot as the extra compensation draft pick for a player not signed after being selected prior to the 3rd round, and between the 3rd round compensation picks and the 4th round for a compensation draft pick not signed after being selected after the 3rd round), but there is no additional compensation pick awarded the following season (three years removed from the original draft pick) if a club is unable to sign that player.

A compensation draft pick awarded to a club after the club is unable to sign a player selected in a previous draft is NOT subject to forfeiture if that club signs an Article XX-B player who was extended a Qualifying Offer from another club.

Beginning with the 2018 MLB Rule 4 Draft, Article XX-B Qualified Player Compensation draft picks will be slotted between the 2nd & 3rd round of the draft (immediately after Competitive Balance Round "B"), between Rounds 1 & 2 (prior to Competitive Balance Round "A") for any club receiving revenue sharing funds that loses a Qualified Player who signs a major league contract worth more than $50M, and between rounds 4 & 5 for Competitive Balance Tax payors (club's payroll exceeds the so-called "Luxury Tax").

If a player selected with a draft pick awarded as the result of a club losing a Qualified Player does not sign, the club receives a compensation selection in the next Rule 4 Draft, one slot lower than where the club selected the previous season. There is no further compensation if a player selected with that compensation draft pick does not sign.

A compensation draft pick awarded to a club after losing an Article XX-B Qualified Player to another club is subject to forfeiture if that club signs a player who was extended a Qualifying Offer from another MLB club.



"Competitive Balance" Rule 4 Draft picks are slotted between the 1st and 2nd rounds (Competitive Balance Round "A") and between the 2nd and 3rd rounds (Competitive Balance Round "B").

Beginning with the 2017 Rule 4 Draft, Competitive Balance draft picks will no longer be awarded by lottery. Rather, all clubs who qualify (the ten smallest market clubs and the ten lowest revenue clubs, some of which are the same club) will receive Competitive Balance draft picks in either Competitive Balance Round "A" (between the 1st & 2nd rounds) or in Competitive Balance Round "B" (between the 2nd & 3rd rounds), with each club alternating between the two rounds every-other year.

Beginning with the 2018 Rule 4 Draft, Competitive Balance draft picks will no longer be subject to forfeiture by clubs signing a Qualified Player.

A Competitive Balance draft slot can be traded only during a period of time starting on December 2nd and extending up until two hours prior to the MLB First-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft). The slot cannot be traded for cash unless it is a financial adjustment made to offset the salary of one or more of the players involved in the trade. Also, a Competitive Balance draft slot can be traded only once (only by the club that was awarded the pick). Once traded, the slot cannot be "flipped" to a third club.
NOTE: 2020 and 2021 Rule 4 Competitive Balance draft picks cannot be traded beginning on March 28, 2020, and extending through the conclusion of the 2021 draft.  

If a player selected with a Competitive Balance draft pick does not sign, the club receives a compensation selection in the next Rule 4 Draft, one slot lower than where the club selected the previous season. There is no further compensation if a player selected with a Competitive Balance compensation draft pick does not sign.



A Rule 4 SBP Forfeited draft pick that is forfeited because a club exceeded its Rule 4 Draft Signing Bonus Pool limit will be reassigned to another club by lottery to be held on the Wednesday following the MLB Rule 4 Draft signing deadline. All MLB clubs that have not exceeded its SBP limit as of that point in time are eligible to participate in this lottery.

As with Competitive Balance draft picks, Rule 4 SBP Forfeited draft picks can be traded, but only during a period of time beginning on December 2nd and extending up until two hours prior to the MLB First-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft), and the pick cannot be traded for cash unless it is a financial adjustment made to offset the salary of one or more of the players involved in the trade. Also, a Rule 4 forfeited draft pick can be traded only once (only by the club that was awarded the pick). Once traded, the pick cannot be "flipped" to a third club.

If a club that is awarded a Rule 4 SBP Forfeited Draft pick subsequently exceeds its SBP, the pick will be forfeited and another lottery will be held (date and time TBA by the MLB Commissioner) to allocate the pick to another club.

If a club trades a Rule 4 Forfeited Draft pick to another club, it cannot subsequently sign a player subject to the club's Rule 4 SBP if signing the player causes the club to exceed its SBP.

If a player selected with a Rule 4 Draft SBP forfeited draft pick does not sign, the club receives a compensation selection in the next Rule 4 Draft, one slot lower than the forfeited draft pick slot from the previous season. There is no further compensation if a player selected with a compensation Rule 4 Draft SBP forfeited draft pick does not sign.


here's to hoping garrett crochet or cade cavelli last long enough to slip to the cubs...

I worry what kind of bad puns Pat Hughes would entertain us with if Crochet played for the Cubs.

Glad to see AZ Phil is still in fine form!

"MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in an interview on MLB Network Wednesday that "We're going to play baseball in 2020. 100 percent."

"The best thing for our sport is to reach a negotiated agreement with the MLBPA," Manfred said. The commissioner added that "if it has to be in that March 26 agreement, so be it." The March 26 agreement he's referencing gives him the ability to schedule a season with a number of games of his choosing, a right he fully plans on exercising if MLB and the MLBPA aren't able to bridge the gap on economic issues."

cade cavelli still on the board and the cubs are up...no idea where they're going, though

a local chicago HS shortstop!

wow, shocker.  best HS shortstop and one of the best defensive SS.  it's a "projection" pick with the bat.

1h 45m after the pick and ed howard is still trending top-10 in the US on twitter.

this seems to be a really popular pick all over chicago, both wsox and cubs fans giving love.

can't blame the wsox for jumping on garrett crochet with the earlier pick, though.

15 high school position-players have been selected by the Cubs in the first round since the draft's inception in 1965: 

Ed Howard IV, SS (2020) 
Albert Almora, OF (2012)
Javier Baez, SS (2011)
Josh Vitters, 3B (2007)
Ryan Harvey, OF (2003)
Luis Montanez, SS (2000) 
Corey Patterson, OF (1998) 
Earl Cunningham, OF (1989)
Derrick May, OF (1986) 
Shawon Dunston, SS (1982)
Brian Rosinski, OF (1975)  
Scot Thompson, OF (1974) 
Peter LaCock, OF (1970 - January draft)
Terry Hughes, SS (1967) 
John Dudek, C (1966 - January draft)
NOTE: Prior to 1987 there was a January draft in addition to the June draft. A player was eligible for selection in the January draft if he was not enrolled in college for the fall semester (so it was mostly college drop-outs who were eligible), but occasionally a player graduated from high school a semester early or a semester late (as was the case with Dudek in December 1965 and LaCock in December 1969) and those players could request to be made eligible for selection in the January draft. 

You answered my question.

So if there is NO MLB at all this year do their contracts toll?  As in just slide a year, so we'd still have Kris for 2 more or would we just lose a year of him and everyone else?

Only 15 high school position players have been selected by the Cubs in the first round over the course of 77 drafts (56 June drafts 1965-2020 and 21 January drafts 1966-86). That means less than 20% of the Cubs first round draft picks over those many drafts were high school position players. So it's not very often that the Cubs select a high school position player in the first round, and when they do, the eventual outcome is kind of a "mixed bag." 

Of the 15, I count six outright busts (Dudek, Hughes, Rosinski, Cunningham, Harvey, and Vitters), another who made it to MLB briefly (and it wasn't with the Cubs) but didn't stay very long (Montanez), four more who had somewhat lengthy and/or decent (if not especially significant) careers (LaCock, Thompson, May, and Patterson), one who was a good everyday player for a number of years (for the Cubs) but who never achieved anything approaching the greatness one expects from a first overall pick (Dunston), and then we have Baez, Almora, and now Howard (presuming he signs), whose eventual legacies are still TBD.     

I may be giving short shrift to Corey Patterson (who had a lengthy career with two or three really nice seasons -- 2003 before suffering a season-ending knee injury in July, then a nice rebound in 2004, and finally 2006 with BAL) only because so much was expected of him and he was such a disppointment (although it wasn't really entirely his fault, because he was rushed to the big leagues before he was ready). It did appear that he might be emerging as a star in 2003-04, but he was unable to sustain it. 

Not counting the six busts and Howard, as of right now I would list them like this: 

1. Baez 
2. Dunston 
3. Patterson 
4. Almora 
5. LaCock 
6. May  
7. Thompson  
8. Montanez

dunston was only as good as the 1st baseman bailing out his 150mph "where the hell is this going" throws...

I remember Montanez was with Baltimore when he came up for a bit. But didn't he spend a very very brief time with the Cubs for his last MLB time?


Reading some comps about Ed Howard IV. I'm wondering what floor/ceiling comps are out there. Apparently Barry Larkin gave him his nickname, "silk". Optimistic "floor" comp was Andrelton Simmons. The optimistic hitting/ceiling comp that I read was Francisco Lindor. (OK, comps are silly for an 18 yr old who hasn't played much this year). Of course, his bat has to come through and he can't get the Hak-Ju Lee injury bug. Honestly, it reminds me of the Almora draft pick since the age of drafting was similar and a strong defense profile. Everyone felt Almora's defense was polished and the bat was a projection but there was optimism because of the work ethic. I'm hearing that about Howard. It also has a Derrick Rose flavor to this, keeping the hometown hero in Chicago. I hope he has better luck with his knees.

CUBSTER: It's definitely not common for a high school position player to have a "high floor," but Albert Almora did and apparently so does Ed Howard IV. Character, make-up, and the ability to play plus-defense is what translates to a high floor for a HS player, and Almora and Howard fit that atypical profile. 

Also, I actually was going to mention Andrelton Simmons as my #1 MLB comp for Howard in the comments section of the ticker-tracker. Other possible comps might be Barry Larkin or Royce Clayton or even the pre-DV Addison Russell, but all things considered I think I would still go with Simmons.

The only thing about comparing Simmons to Howard is that Simmons is a high-contact hitter and Howard is not (at least not at this point in time). Howard probably has more power-potential than Simmons, however, and so if Howard can contribute Gold Glove quality defense in the field, and XBHs and take walks at the plate, and not run into outs on the bases, he would have value as an everyday MLB SS even if he doesn't hit for a high average and strikes out a lot.   

almora's swing was really sweet looking out of highschool.  it's a shame it's not more steady.  he's a see-ball-swing guy who's not gonna walk or K excessively, but that don't work when you're making iffy contact and you can't run fast.


Ariz Phil - Is your comparison to Simmons based on Howard's current hit tool and a projected, maxed out ceiling for his defensive play?  Given how ultra skilled and consistent Simmons has been in the field, it's kinda mind blowing to see Howard comped with him (I'd be beyond psyched to see Howard play defense in the same breath as Simmons)

I should add that with living in Atlanta, Simmons comes with a demi-god like reputation with both the glove and arm

ERIC S: A player comp is strictly a short-hand way of describing what a particular player at an early stage in his career projects to be - IF - he reaches (or at least comes close to) his projected ceiling, but you know as well as I do that young players (even top prospects) don't always get anywhere near their projected ceilings. 

For example, you may remember that my comp-ceiling for Albert Almora a few years ago was Curt Flood.  

So as things stand right now, given his body-type, his age, his tools, his style, his skills (and his shortcomings), and his present state of play, and presuming he develops and progresses as hoped, an Andrelton Simmons comp-ceiling would seem to be the best one (in my opinion) for Howard, although as I mentioned in an earlier comment, I can see a Barry Larkin, Royce Clayton, or even a pre-DV Addison Russell comp, too.  

AZ Phil - Makes sense and I appreciate the response.  Hopefully Cubs break the odds and have b2b outstanding high school shortstop first round picks (the other being Javy)

Too bad N. Yorke went to Boston. The Mets could have saved money on putting his name on the front and back of all their uniforms. (read that in a clever article in Baseball Prospectus by Ben Carsley and Craig Goldstein, Mocking the Draft: the 2020 Name Game)


I expect the Cubs to sign 15-20 Non-Drafted Free-Agents (NDFA) beginning on June 14th (the first day MLB clubs are permitted to sign NDFA). The maximum allowable NDFA bonus in 2020 is only $20,000 (down from $125K in previous years, and no adding to the $20K max by using left-over SBP funds from the five draft rounds, either), so we're talkng mostly college seniors with limited potential. 

PHIL, as far as you know... are minor league 6YFA and first-time Rule 5 eligible players still scheduled to go as they would in a normal season, even though (as far as I know) "years of eligibility" that count towards those benchmarks are contingent on being on a minor league reserve list during a season (of which there likely will be none).

jdrnym: Eligibility for the Rule 5 Draft is based on when a player signed his first contract, but "qualified" seasons needed for minor league free-agency requires that a player to be on an active list, injured list, or temporarily inactive list for at least one day that season for that season to count toward minor league free-agency. So Rule 5 Draft eligibility is still what is is, but eligibility for future minor league free-agency is unclear.  

Also unclear is if a minor league option year will be spent if a player was optioned to the minors during Spring Training 2020, especially if the MLB season is canceled (not likely) and/or if the minor league baseball season is canceled (very likely). The AFL is not considered to be part of the minor league season, so things like minor league service time accrued toward minor league free-agency and the spending of a minor league option year (or not) is unclear right now since the AFL is a special animal and (at least previously) doesn't count as a "regular" minor league. And who knows how the proposed MLB "taxi squad" (players available to back-up MLB rosters) will be defined?  

Compared to the rather contentious and complicated MLB-MLBPA negotiations, it should be relatively simple and easy for MLB clubs to get the Arizona Fall League (and the proposed Florida Fall League) going. 

Each MLB club would field it's own AFL (or FFL) team with about 40 players assigned to each team. The make-up of the teams would be mainly AAA and AA players with maybe a handful of top prospects from single-A. The games (probably about 60-70 games total over 11 weeks) would be played from about Labor Day to Thanksgiving (without fans) at the Arizona and Florida Spring Training stadiums, with pre-season prep-camps on the Spring Training backfields in August. 

The AFL and FFL teams would include the members of the proposed MLB "taxi squads" that will be created if and when the 2020 MLB regular season starts (presumably sometime in July?). 

And If the MLB season were to be canceled (not very likely, but possible), that would have no effect on the planned expansion of the AFL/FFL. 

In addition to the expanded AFL (and FFL), MLB would also run two terms/groups of expanded fall intructs at their Dominican academies (probably two groups of 40 players in each group), and winter instructs at Arizona and Florida Spring Training facilities in several groups of 40 players each begining in January and running through March.

Minor League Camps (Spring Training/EXST) would probably not begin until April and then would run through May (or even through June) before the "full season" minor league teams would leave Arizona and Florida and begin play, depending on how the fight against CoViD-19 progresses around the country over the next 9-10 months. 

It's also possible that minor league baseball will be confined to Spring Training backfields (only) for the entire 2021 season, although that's only if CoViD-19 is not under control by mid-2021.   

I then expect minor league baseball to be reconfigured for the 2022 season, with Extended Spring Training for all minor leaguers at the MLB Spring Training facilities in Arizona and Florida April-May, and then the affiliated "full season" minor leagues (four levels) operating for four months (June-September), with just two "short-season" leagues (AZL and GCL only) operating at the Arizona and Florida Spring Training facilities June-August.   

The Northwest League will almost certainly become an eight-team low-A full-season league for MLB clubs located in the west (SEA, SF, OAK, LAA, LAD, SD, AZ, and COL), and then the Midwest League would operate with maybe 12-14 teams, and the NYP League (with 8-10 teams) would be the eastern full-season Lo-A league. 

The South Atlantic League would merge with the Florida State League to form a 12-team Hi-A league (in addition to an eigfht-team California League and a ten-team Carolina League). 

The strongest franchises in the Pioneer League and Appalachian League could join the Northwest League and NYP League respectively, with the weaker PL and APP franchises either joining independent (non-affiliated) baseball leagues or disbanding.     

dillon maples has a left handed friend...neat.

...make that 2 friends.  did the cubs coaching staff add a god-tier minor league control/command guru in the offseason?  2 very wild lefty relievers through 4 rounds...both throwing gas.

padres with a bold 3rd round pick in cole wilcox...dunno if they can get that done, but if they do they got a steal.  he slots in a 750K-ish where he's drafted and he's probably looking twice that (if not more).

Luke Little made the news last month doing this...


local kid (to me, NC), koen moreno...extremely athletic guy, strong work ethic, low 90s fastball.

So Phil, can the Cubs sign any/all of them (assuming Howard will be easy, otherwise they would've taken him and hometeam dicount hopefully) since 2 are HS and one JC transfer?  Along with that do any of these guys besides Howard have a legitamate shot at the MLB someday (I know you mentioned Carraway as near MLB ready)?  I hope none of them have Scott Boras as an agent for the Cubs sake.

moreno might be hard because he's rather new to pitching and (barring injury) will probably only get better.  he puts work in and has seen returns on the work, such as increasing velocity.  he did go where he was expected to go in this year's draft (round 5).

i dunno how much he wants to get on with being a pro vs going to college, though.

that said, with the limited amount of draft picks this year one would hope teams have had enough contact with guys they're drafted to assume they have a good chance to fairly negociate and sign them.

CRUNCH: Koen Moreno threw 51.1 IP in his freshman season (2017), 51.0 IP in his sophomore season (2019), and 47.2 IP in his junior year (2019), and that's just what he did with his high school varsity team 2017-19 and doesn't include summer travel ball and prospect showcases, so he's not really new to pitching.  

he's not new to it, but he supposedly wasn't "raised" on pitching and didn't spend his youth tossing a lot of innings.

it's not like josh hamilton who could have been drafted as a pitcher or hitter (hamilton threw mid/high 90s with ease in highschool and got results).  moreno's "woah" comes solely from his pitching projection.  i never went to see moreno in person.  i had to go see hamilton because he was something special and locally very well known for his talent.

cubbies.4ever: The Cubs have signed their first five draft picks every year going back to 2004 (when they failed to sign their 4th round pick - OF Adrian Ortiz) -- and that was in the Hendry adminstration -- so I would say it's likely that they will sign their five 2020 draft picks.  

Does anyone know...

  1. How many players are teams currently allowed to have under contract within a system (Major Leagues, Minor Leagues, International, etc.)?
  2. Is that number changing with the possible elimination of minor league teams? If so, what might the new number be?
  3. Are teams expecting to release more minor leaguers to fit under that number or will the smaller draft this year take care of the difference?
  4. Are we expecting the Cubs to have five minor league teams next year (AAA, AA, HA, LA, R) and a Dominican team, or might they still have two teams in Arizona and two in the Dominican?

Thanks in advance!

I have no other reason to say "I really like these picks!" except that this might be as much baseball as will happen this year.

Replying to my own questions:

  1. Not sure, but might be tied to roster limits in each league (25 for AA & AAA, 35 for everything else)?
  2. MLB teams would be limited in the proposal to fielding five minor league clubs in the United States. That’s four full-season teams plus one complex-based Rookie affiliate. In addition to their 40-man roster players, each MLB team club would be limited to 150-200 players under minor league contracts on MiLB rosters. The proposal does not address roster limits for international players playing in the Dominican Summer League. (Source: https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/mlb-floats...)

  3. Under the proposal, some teams would have to shed as many as 100 players from their current MiLB rosters. The Yankees currently field eight U.S. minor league affiliates, which means they can currently have as many as 285 players under contract. Under this proposal, they would have to drop as many as 135 players to meet the new restrictions. Right now, there are no restrictions on how many teams—and, therefore, how many players—a team can field. Under this proposal, all MLB teams would be limited to the same number of teams and players. (Source: https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/mlb-floats...)

  4. Looks like AAA, AA, HA, LA, R, and as many international teams as we'd like?

Please reply if any of this is wrong. Thanks!


1. A free-agent with prior MLB and/or minor league service who signs a minor league contract must be added to a minor league reserve list when he is added to a minor league club's Active List or when the contract is filed with the MLB Commissioner (whichever comes first). Contracts must be filed with the MLB Commissioner within 20 days of signing.

2. A player must be added to a minor league reserve list immediately if the player is sent outright to the minors, is acquired in a trade, or is selected in the AAA Phase of the MLB Rule 5 Draft.

3. A player who was eligible for selection in the First-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft) who signs a minor league contract after being selected in the Rule 4 Draft or as a Non-Drafted Free-Agent (NDFA) and who is not "Signed for Future Service" must be added to a minor league club's Active List within 15 days or when he plays in his first game (whichever comes first). The player cannot be released until he spends at least 15 days on a minor league active list or receives a (minimum) 15-day trial in Spring Training.

4. A player on a minor league reserve list 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.

5. With the approval of the MLB Commissioner, a club may assign (loan) a player signed to a minor league contract to the Active List of a minor league club in another organization or to a club in the Mexican League. However, the player must be returned no later than September 30th.

6. With the consent of the player and the club, a player who has not previously signed an MLB or minor league contract may be "Signed for Future Service" (contract is for the following season) if the player signs a minor league contract after July 1st but before January 1st and is not placed on a minor league club's Active List, Injured List, Temporarily Inactive List, or Military List  prior to the conclusion of the Minor League season. (Attendance at a post-season Instructional League and/or participation in Instructional League games do not count).

7. An international player who has not previously signed an MLB or minor league contract MUST be "Signed for Future Service" (contract is for the following season) if the player signs a minor league contract after July 1st and the player does not turn 17 before September 1st or until after the conclusion of the regular season of the minor league club to which the player is assigned (whichever is later).

8. A player who is "Signed for Future Service" cannot be released until he receives a 15-day trial in Spring Training.

9. An MLB player who was sent outright to a minor league club during the previous season or after the conclusion of the previous season cannot be tendered a minor league contract for the following season with a salary less than 80% of his previous season's salary (what he was actually paid that season).

10. If an unsigned MLB player is outrighted to a minor league club after the conclusion of the MLB regular season and then is not tendered a minor league contract by January 15th, the player is a free-agent.

11. If a minor league player under club control (a minor league "auto-renewal" player) is not tendered a salary addendum by March 15th, the player is a free-agent.

12. An MLB club can automatically renew a minor league player's contract no more than six times, so a club can unilaterally control a minor league player (that is, a player not on an MLB 40-man roster) for no more than seven minor league seasons. For purposes of determining eligibility to be a free-agent, a player does not accrue a minor league season if the player spends the entire season on an MLB Active List, MLB Disabled List(s), and/or other MLB inactive list, or if the player spends an entire season on the Restricted List, Disqualified List, Suspended List, Ineligible List, Voluntarily Retired List, and/or Military List. Also, participation in a post-season instructional league, the Arizona Fall League, and/or international winter league(s) do not count toward a minor league season.



AAA: $12,048
AA: $8,400 
SINGLE-A: $6,960
SS-FR: $3,000 

Salaries are paid weekly and are pro-rated.  

AAA: $16,800 (39% increase)
AA: $14,400 (71% increase)
SINGLE-A: $12,000 (72% increase)
SS-A/SS-R: $9,600 (38% increase)
SS-FR: $3,000   

NOTE: The Cubs have established the following minor league minimum & maximum salaries for 2020: 
AAA: $16,248 (min) - $16,800 (max)
OTHER LEVELS (not including SS-FR): $13,464 (min) - $$14,568 (max)   
SS-FR: $3,000 



For the purpose of determining minor league roster limits & restrictions, a minor league player accrues a year of "service time" for every season in which the player spends at least 30 days on an MLB and/or minor league active list and/or injured list, unless the player spent the entire season on the Injured List.

1. Service time accrued by a player while assigned to a club or clubs in the Dominican Summer League (DSL) and/or Venezuelan Summer League (VSL) does not count when determining minor league roster limits and restrictions for minor league clubs in non-foreign affilated leagues.
NOTE: Although the VSL has been defunct since 2016 (last season was 2015), there are players in the minor leagues today who accrued minor league service time while assigned to a VSL club back when the VSL was still an active minor league.   

2. A position player making a position change to pitcher or a pitcher making a position change to position player receives a one-year exemption from minor league service time restrictions. However, a position player being converted to a pitcher may not be used as a position player in a minor league game during the exempt year, and a pitcher being converted to a position player may not be used as a pitcher in a minor league game during the exempt year.

3. A player on a minor league "rehabilitation" or "conditioning" assignment does not count against the Active List or Reserve List of the affiliate to which he is assigned.

4. A maximum of three players on a minor league Injured List, Restricted List, and/or Miltary List may be assigned on a "rehabilitation" or "conditioning" assignment to any one minor league affiliate at any one time, but there is no limit to the number of players who can be on a "rehabilitation" or "conditioning" assignment with the organization's Extended Spring Training and post-season or off-season Instructional League squads. There is also no limit on the number of players on an MLB Injured List, Restricted List, and/or Military List who can be assigned on a "rehabilitation" or "conditioning" assignment to any one minor league affiliate at any one time.

5. A player who has been "Signed for Future Service" can be carried on the roster of a short-season affiliate(s) only  A player with "Signed for Future Service" status does not count against the reserve list limit of the minor league club to which he is assigned until the official Opening Day of that affiliate's league or until he is placed on a club's active list (whichever comes first). A maximum of 50 players in any one organization may have "Signed for Future Service" status at any one point in time, and no more than 12 players "Signed for Future Service" may be assigned to any one short-season minor league afficiate at the same time.  



SS = Short Season League
R = Rookie League 
FR = Foreign Rookie League

ROSTER LIMITS: 38 players (RESERVE LIST) - 25 players (ACTIVE LIST)

ROSTER LIMITS: 37 players (RESERVE LIST) - 25 players (ACTIVE LIST) 

ROSTER LIMITS: 35 players (RESERVE LIST) - 25 players (ACTIVE LIST) 
SERVICE TIME LIMITS: Maximum two players and one player-coach with six or more years of service time (not including DSL/VSL service time)

ROSTER LIMITS: 35 players (RESERVE LIST) - 25 players (ACTIVE LIST) 
SERVICE TIME LIMITS: Maximum two players with five or more years of service time (not including DSL/VSL service time)

ROSTER LIMITS: 35 players (RESERVE LIST) - 35 players (ACTIVE LIST) - 25 players designated "ACTIVE" for each game (ten must be pitchers) 
SERVICE TIME LIMITS: Maximum three players with four or more years of service time (VSL/DSL service time excluded)

ROSTER LIMITS: 35 players (RESERVE LIST) - 35 players (ACTIVE LIST) - 30 players designated "ACTIVE" for each game (ten must be pitchers) 
SERVICE TIME LIMITS: No players with three or more years of service time (VSL/DSL service time excluded)

ROSTER LIMITS: 35 players (RESERVE LIST) - 35 players (ACTIVE LIST) - 30 players designated "ACTIVE" for each game (ten must be pitchers) 
SERVICE TIME LIMITS: No players with three or more years of service time (VSL/DSL service time excluded)

ROSTER RESTRICTIONS: International players only (maximum two players from Puerto Rico)
ROSTER LIMITS: 35 players (RESERVE LIST) - 35 players (ACTIVE LIST) - no more than 30 players designated "ACTIVE" for each game (ten must be pitchers);
SERVICE TIME LIMITS: No players with four or more years of service time (including DSL/VSL service time) 

ROSTER RESTRICTIONS: International players only (maximum two players from Puerto Rico)
ROSTER LIMITS: 35 players (RESERVE LIST) - 35 players (ACTIVE LIST) - no more than 30 players designated "ACTIVE" for each game (ten must be pitchers)
SERVICE TIME LIMITS: No players with four or more years of service time (including DSL/VSL service time)

There is no Active List roster limit for the Cubs Extended Spring Training and post-season Instructional Leagues ("instructs") squads.

Each MLB club must have a current working agreement with each of its minor league affiliates not owned outright by the club. The agreement is called a "Player Development Contract" (or "PDC"). The PDCs between the Cubs and their Iowa, Tennessee, Myrtle Beach, South Bend, and Eugene affiliates expire after the 2022 season. (The Cubs own their AZL Cubs #1, AZL Cubs #2, DSL Cubs #1, and DSL Cubs #2 affiliates, so there is no PDC between the Cubs and those four clubs).


CUBS MINOR LEAGUE ROSTERS (last updated 5-29-2020):

* bats or throws left
# bats both

NOTE: Players on Optional Assignment from MLB Reserve List are in green
Players "Signed for Future Service" (2020 contract) are underlined in orange  

IOWA: 32 (including seven players on Optional Assignment)


PITCHERS: 20 (including five players on Optional Assignment)
Jason Adam 
Adbert Alzolay 
Corey Black 
Craig Brooks
* Rex Brothers 
* Danny Hultzen
Dillon Maples 
Dakota Mekkes   
Tyson Miller 
* Jordan Minch
Brandon Morrow 
James Norwood 
* Tyler Olson 
* C. D. Pelham 
Colin Rea 
Duncan Robinson
Michael Rucker
* Wyatt Short
Matt Swarmer
* Jerry Vasto 

Erick Castillo
P. J. Higgins
Josh Phegley  

INFIELDERS: 5 (including two players on Optional Asignment)
# Robel Garcia 
Trent Giambrone
* Jason Kipnis 
Hernan Perez
Zack Short 

* Donnie Dewees
* Ian Miller
Connor Myers 
Mark Zagunis

TENNESSEE: 18 (including three players on Optional Assignment) 


PITCHERS: 10 (including two players on Optional Assignment) 
Cory Abbott 
Bailey Clark 
Ben Hecht 
* Luis Lugo 
Tommy Nance
* Jack Patterson 
Manuel Rodriguez 
* Justin Steele 
Keegan Thompson 
Erick Uelmen

CATCHERS: 2 (including one player on Optional Assignment)
Miguel Amaya 
Tyler Payne 

* Christian Donahue
* Jared Young 

# Zach Davis
# Jose Gutierrez
Eddy Julio Martinez
* Vance Vizcaino 



Javier Assad 
Jesus Camargo 
Scott Effross 
Juan Gamez
* Luke Hagerty 
* Bryan Hudson 
* Ryan Kellogg 
Garrett Kelly 
* Ryan Lawlor 
* Brendon Little
* Brailyn Marquez
Erling Moreno 
Jeffrey Passantino
Ethan Roberts

Eric Gonzalez

* Aramis Ademan  
Cam Balego
* Tyler Durna
* Alfonso Rivas 
Delvin Zinn 

* D. J. Artis
Zac Taylor
* D. J. Wilson  



Jose Albertos  
Derek Casey
Kohl Franklin
* Brandon Hughes (ex-OF)
Ivan Medina 
* Eugenio Palma 
Eury Ramos 
Peyton Remy
Cam Sanders
Jerrick Suiter (ex-1B) 
Riley Thompson
Blake Whitney 

Caleb Knight 
Gustavo Polanco 

Levi Jordan
# Fidel Mejia 
Nelson Maldonado
Christopher Morel 
# Yonathan Perlaza
Jake Slaughter
Chase Strumpf 
* Andy Weber

Brennen Davis
* Darius Hill 
* Cole Roederer
* Jonathan Sierra
Nelson Velazquez 



Maikel Aguiar
* Chris Allen
Hunter Bigge
Matteo Bocchi 
Zach Bryant
Josh Burgmann
Chris Clarke
Yovanny Cruz
Tanner Dalton
Brad Deppermann 
Jeremiah Estrada
Richard Gallardo
Ryan Jensen 
Chris Kachmar 
* Bryan King 
Michael McAvene
Joe Nahas
Eduarniel Nunez
Yunior Perez
Jake Reindl
Aneuris Rosario 
* Didier Vargas 

* Jonathan Soto
Jake Washer 

* Grayson Byrd
# Josue Huma
# Pedro Martinez
# Ryan Reynolds
Luis Vazquez

* Edmond Americaan 
Yovanny Cuevas
Fernando Kelli
Jacob Olson 



Elian Almanzar
Max Bain 
Shane Combs
Jonathan de Marte 
* Misael Garcia 
Porter Hodge
* Joel Machado
Carlos Paula
Jorge Remon 
Benjamin Rodriguez
* Luis Rodriguez

Raymond Pena
Henderson Perez 

# Flemin Bautista
Widimer Joaquin
Miguel Pabon
Oswaldo Pina 

Manny Collier
Kevin Moreno 
Carlos Pacheco  
* Brailin Pena



Willy Cabrera
Danis Correa
Manuel Espinoza 
Francisco Fermin 
Jose Miguel Gonzalez
Manuel Heredia
* D. J. Herz
* Adam Laskey
Alex Moore
Carlos Ocampo
Johzan Oquendo  
Tyler Schlaffer 
Cayne Ueckert

* Ethan Hearn
* Bryce Windham (ex-INF) 

* Rochest Cruz
# Reivaj Garcia
Fabian Pertuz
Luis Verdugo 

Carlos Morfa 
* Ezequiel Pagan



Jonathan Alvarez
Aneudis Beard 
Emir Blanco
Moises Diaz
Anderson Feliz
Gregoris Carrasquel (SIGNED FOR FUTURE SERVICE - 2020 contract)
* Jesus Gomez 
Edmar Gonzalez
Darling Grullon
Andy Hernandez
Frank Hernandez (SIGNED FOR FUTURE SERVICE - 2020 contract)
Joel Jimenez
* Johan Lopez 
Luis Marte
Anthony Martinez (SIGNED FOR FUTURE SERVICE - 2020 contract) 
Anthony Mendez (SIGNED FOR FUTURE SERVICVE - 2020 contract) 
Edgar Mercedes (SIGNED FOR FUTURE SERVICE - 2020 contract) 
Marco Prieto 
* Jorge Ramirez
Oliver Roque (SIGNED FOR FUTURE SERVICE - 2020 contract)
* Andricson Salvador
Alberto Sojo
Luis Valenzuela 

Brayan Altuve (SIGNED FOR FUTURE SERVICE - 2020 contract)
Efren Aular
Miller Chacon
Dilan Granadillo (SIGNED FOR FUTURE SERVICE - 2020 contract)
Brayan Mancilla
* Ronnier Quintero (SIGNED FOR FUTURE SERVICE - 2020 contract) 
Juan Vasquez 

Augusto Acevedo
* Edwin Castillo
Nestor Heredia
Kevin Made (SIGNED FOR FUTURE SERVICE - 2020 contract)
Juan Mora 
Rafael Morel 
Joanfran Rojas

Luis Berelleza
Gabriel Disla (SIGNED FOR FUTURE SERVICE - 2020 contract)
Elias Fabian
# Josue Fernandez
* Orlando Guzman
* Cristian More
* Yohendrick Pinango 
Jonathan Rodriguez
* Anderson Suriel (SIGNED FOR FUTURE SERVICE - 2020 contract)



Jose Acila (SIGNED FOR FUTURE SERVICE - 2020 contract)
Jorge Arellano
Yovanny Cabrera 
* Alejandro Carrillo
Enmanuel de la Cruz
Luis Devers
Kelvin Feliz
Wilfri Figuereo
Leury Gomez (SIGNED FOR FUTURE SERVICE - 2020 contract)
Ricardo Green  
* Ferrol Heredia 
Gabriel Jaramillo
Gregori Montano
Yander Montero 
Gleiber Morales (SIGNED FOR FUTURE SERVICE - 2020 contract)
Dawel Rodriguez
Robinson Rodriguez (SIGNED FOR FUTURE SERVICE - 2020 contract) 
* Samuel Rodriguez  
* Wilker Ruiz 
Albaro Santana (SIGNED FOR FUTURE SERVICE - 2020 contract) 
Edward Vasquez

Pablo Aliendo
Miguel Fabrizio
Edgar Gamargo
Malcom Quintero 
* Wally Soto

Christhian Espinal
Rafael Herrera
* Luis Maza (SIGNED FOR FUTURE SERVICE - 2020 contract)
Lizardo Ruiz
# Ronny Simon
# Esmarly Tatis 
Liomny Vasquez 
* Orlando Zapata

# Ezequiel Alvarez
Samuel Duarte 
* Jose Lopez 
Starlin Mateo
Felix Stevens
* Marco Valenzuela


IOWA: Marty Pevey (Manager), Ron Villone (Pitching Coach), Desi Wilson (Hitting Coach), and Will Remillard (Assistant Coach)
TENNESSEE: Michael Ryan (Manager), Charlie Haeger (Pitching Coach), Chad Allen (Hitting Coach), and Chase Spivey (Assistant Coach)
MYRTLE BEACH: Steve Lerud (Manager), Anderson Tavarez (Pitching Coach), Paul McAnulty (Hitting Coach), and Wil Skett (Assistant Coach)
SOUTH BEND: Buddy Bailey (Manager), Jamie Vermilyea (Pitching Coach), Dan Puente (Hitting Coach), and Ricardo Medina (Assistant Coach)
EUGENE: Lance Rymel (Manager), Armando Gabino (Pitching Coach), Osmin Melendez (Hitting Coach), and Travis Fitta (Assistant Coach)
AZL CUBS BLUE: Carmelo Martinez (Manager), Doug Willey (Pitching Coach), Jacob Rogers (Hitting Coach), and Rachel Folden (Assistant Coach) 
AZL CUBS RED: Jimmy Gonzalez (Manager), Tony Cougoule (Pitching Coach), Eric Patterson (Hitting Coach), and Carlos Rojas (Assistant Coach)
MESA REHAB: Josh Zeid (Rehab Pitching Coordinator) and Tyler Pearson (Rehab Coach)
DSL CUBS BLUE: Carlos Ramirez (Manager), Jose Zapata (Pitching Coach), D'Angelo Jimenez (Hitting Coach), and Chris Pieters (Assistant Coach) 
DSL CUBS RED: Leo Perez (Manager), Luis Hernandez (Pitching Coach), Enrique Wilson (Hitting Coach), and Jovanny Rosario (Assistant Coach) 
ATHLETIC TRAINERS: Ed Halbur and Toby Williams (Iowa), James Edwards (Tennessee), Logan Severson (Myrtle Beach), Matt Hussey (South Bend), Sean Folan (Eugene), Ike Ojata (AZL Cubs Blue), German Suncin (AZL Cubs Red), Leroy Martinez (DSL Cubs Blue), and Arnoldo Goite (DSL Cubs Red)
STRENGTH & CONDITIONING COACHES: Keegan Knoll (Iowa), Dallas Lopez (Tennessee), TBA (Myrtle Beach), TBA (South Bend), TBA (Eugene), Ryan Clausen (AZL Cubs Blue), Andres Rondon (AZL Cubs Red), Manny Estrada (DSL Cubs Blue), and Amaury Gonzalez and Tomas Sanchez (DSL Cubs Red)

latest MLB proposal on table thru Sunday...(mlbtr reporting):

72 game season; 21 game spring training

8 teams per league in playoffs. Regular season: July 14 Tuesday thru Sept 27th (Sunday).  Rosters expanded to 26-30 palyers



2:33pm: MLB’s proposal promises players $1.5 billion if there’s a postseason, Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets. It’s $1.27 billion for the regular season, which would begin July 14 and conclude Sept. 27. Teams would be able to carry 29 players on their roster during the first month. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic adds that players receive 70 percent of prorated salaries for a 72-game regular season and 80 percent if the playoffs take place.

2:45pm: The deadline for the union to accept this 72-game offer is Sunday night, per Nightengale, who adds that players who fear contracting the coronavirus can choose not to play. However, only high-risk players would still get paid and accrue service time. If the union approves, which seems unlikely, the league will announce a season timeline and a resumption of a 21-day spring training within 48 hours, Rosenthal reports. This plan would also suspend draft-pick compensation for the 2020-21 offseason and expand the playoffs to as many as eight teams per league. If the playoffs are completed, players would receive 83 percent of prorated salaries.  2:48pm: Jeff Passan of ESPN has more info on roster size: Teams would be able to carry 30 players for the first two weeks, 28 for the next two and 26 for the rest of the season. They’d be able to use a total of 60 players during the season.

really seems like we're getting closer to a mandated 50 game (or slightly less) season if the players don't budge on the $$ issue.  commish has said he will use that option if it's not cleared up in time to get things rolling properly.

I think if it's forced on the players, we might see them go on strike.

 And that's in advance of the likely post 2021 lockout we're looking at.

I can't imagine the union not striking if the owners try to force them into pandemic play without any further agreement.

since we're talking about 2020 season stuff...

k.hendricks has a $16m 2024 vesting option (1.5m buyout) if he finishes top-3 in 2020 cy young voting.  ordinarily this would be a hell of a race to do that, but with a severely shortened season it's well within his reach looking forward from "preseason"...especially if he does what he was doing this spring.

...so that's something to watch when we finally get going.

MLBPA has rejected the MLB's proposal and will not counter...looks like the commish will have to put together a season and the terms via the march agreement.


the last sentences of the player's statement is "It's time to get back to work.  Tell us when and where."...so it seems they're ready for a 50-ish (48 probably) game full-pay (prorated) season.  players are all over twitter pretty much saying "okay, let's do it."

we could realistically have players in preseason camps in days.

Jon Heyman @JonHeyman
Mildly positive baseball news (very mild): If a season is mandated by the commissioner (as allowed by the March 26 agreement), it wouldn’t be for just 48 games. I hear the number of games would start with a 5.

Cubs sign Scott Kobos- P Coastal Carolina (TJS 2018).  Theo loves his TJS boys

So far, five undrafted college signees today:


Cubs Undrafted signee Graham Lawson - South Carolina- TJS 2018.

So, why cut the draft back to just five rounds, then watch most teams rush to sign several amateur free agents the day after?  Could it have something to do with limiting the non-draftee signing bonus to $20,000?  Historically, most bonuses in the first dozen rounds or so of the draft have been six figures.  Try to save a million here, a million there, I suppose.

  I'm really wondering if the owners could possibly do more to look cheap and poison the well for the 2022 CBA negotiations.  They keep coming up with ways I hadn't thought of......

"The game isn't as profitable as people think"

 Couple days later the Turner postseason deal is announced.

The level of tone-deafness is really on such a high level it doesnt seem real, like it's out of a comedy movie.

I imagine if you are a rich person watching what's been going on in the U.S. lately, you might suspect there are no consequences for visible evil.

Cubs signed 8 undrafted free agents today (Sunday, June 14th):

Source: Baseball America

And possibly a 9th that hasn't been announced yet:

  • Angel Gonzalez Martinez - RHP/OF with a 6-1 168 lb. frame from Corozal, PR who attends Emilio R Delgado School. Tall, lanky frame with athleticism and lots of room for additional strength and physicality. Primary righthanded pitcher who only threw during the event. Small side step into a high leg lift. Longer stride down the mound with good extension. Stays online through the delivery and doesn’t have much effort at release. Long, loose arm stroke with requisite arm speed and whip through the zone. Slow-paced delivery towards the plate and stays tall over the backside into drop and drive mechanics. Attacked hitters with fastballs that topped out at 87 mph. Fastball flashed some arm side run and threw mostly fastballs while mixing in a couple of changeups.

mervis has legit power and that's probably where he'll get his first shot...and a low 90s fastball + low 80s slider if he needs a second look at a career.

What no spin rate? What kind of scouting report is that?  (I  Keed :-p)

thanks Wrigley Rat, high quality info and is greatly appreciated)

Are there any benefits to getting drafted (and signing for $20K as an underslot senior) as opposed to signing as an undrafted free agent for the same amount?

AZ Phil could answer this better, but most of these NDFA signings appear to be college players. I'm assuming those that are Juniors don't have a big inducement to play their Senior year and would be lucky to get $20k next June. The Sophomores may not feel like playing another year and $20k might be more than they would get going Round 11 or later.

Seven of the nine NDFA signed by the Cubs over the past couple of days were college seniors (the two others were a college junior and a JC player), and three of the seniors were 5th year seniors with prior medical redshirt seasons due to TJS (and one has already had two TJS).

jdrnym: Even with a max $20,000 bonus for NDFA in 2020, college seniors would (in almost all cases) be better off being a NDFA rather than being a draft pick simply because college seniors who are drafted generally don't get significant signing bonuses anyway (some get as little as $1,000), so being able to negotiate with all 30 clubs instead of with just one is leverage for the player, both in terms of potentially receiving a better bonus by playing one club off against another, and in terms of the player being able to choose the organization instead of the other way around. 

Rob Manfred: Not ‘100 certain’ there’s going to be an MLB season

Not even a week after saying there would “unequivocally” be a season, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred told ESPN Monday that he’s not 100 percent certain they will play baseball this year.

"I'm not confident. I think there's real risk; and as long as there's no dialogue, that real risk is gonna continue," Manfred told Mike Greenberg for ESPN's "The Return of Sports" special.

"It's just a disaster for our game, absolutely no question about it. It shouldn't be happening, and it's important that we find a way to get past it and get the game back on the field for the benefit of our fans."

Just saw Phil's update. So thankful we have him!!! Feel free to skip my comment below.

Only one unconfirmed free agent signing today (BA has it though):

Here are a couple quotes I grabbed from Twitter. Sorry I don't have sources...

Cubs sign Minnesota RHP Sam Thoresen for 20K, per Baseball America. Ranked 397th on my board. Mostly projection based, long levers, can spin it, but has zero control of his three offerings. If any team can turn him into a late inning reliever, it’s the Cubs. Great investment.

Thoresen has command issues, but the arm is big-time. Was 92-96 when I saw him earlier this season.

A 21-year-old junior, Thoresen posted a 5.74 ERA in three seasons with Minnesota, amassing 118 strikeouts against 85 walks in 91 innings. That equates to a rate of 11.7 strikeouts per nine innings for the righty in 34 outings (19 starts) in his collegiate career. Before the 2020 season was stymied due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Thoresen had 19 strikeouts and 18 walks in 9 1/3 innings across five appearances (two starts).

phil's great for learning things about baseball dudes.  great job once again, phil.

it's neat to look back on some of these old reports/intros we have on players as they move their way up the system.  these draft threads aggregate some good info from many people.

NEW YORK (AP) — MLB letter obtained by The Associated Press says several players and staff have tested positive for COVID-19.

...a'ite then.

"Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that MLB's proposal to the MLBPA is for 60 games and full pro rata salaries for the players.

Additional details of the proposal include the season starting on July 19 or 20, expanded playoffs in 2020 and 2021 and the MLBPA agreeing to waive any potential grievance. The number of playoff teams would go from 10 to 16. Rosenthal adds that the MLBPA figures to counter and ask to play more regular season games (Jayson Stark of The Athletic notes that 66 games might make the most sense scheduling-wise)."


"Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that if MLB and the MLBPA are able to reach an agreement, the plan is to begin spring training 2.0 by June 29.

The goal is to have three weeks of spring training before beginning the regular season on July 19. "


Tom @Haudricourt (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Pending MLB agreement reportedly includes DH in NL for both 2020 and 2021. Then comes new CBA which almost certainly will include it. So, NL is a DH league now.

I guess we all knew this was coming. 

i don't like the DH, but long ago i made my peace with it being inevitable.  the players want it, the front offices want it...

i hardcore do not like a 16 team playoff setup, but owners really want that whole "over half the league gets to the postseason" thing for revenue purposes.  a lot of players aren't passionate about keeping it from happening and some would welcome it.  i truly hope this one gets it's 2 years then done.  i can't see a 16-team playoff after a 150-160+ game season being fullfilling.

It seems that a 16-game playoff would probably require 3-game series for the first round.   As we know from the regular season, anything can happen in a 3-games series, and it would be such an embarassment if the top team in the leauge were eliminated in a 3-game series.   There's got to be a better way to maintain attendance for middling teams. Maybe the team with the best record in each league should be allowed to start all the first round games with a player on second base.  (Ducks)

Unlike the other three major pro sports (NFL, NHL, and NBA), MLB relies more on league play (162 games played over the course of six months in the form of multi-game series) than match play (post-season playoffs) to determine the best teams, and allowing more MLB teams into the post-season mix gives clubs a chance to compete for a championship when they have clearly proven over the course of a long season of league play that they do not deserve that opportunity.  

The best team almost always wins in an NFL post-season game (the NFL teams with the best record in a conference get a first round bye -- a game you don't play you can't possibly lose-- and play no road playoff games until the Super Bowl, and that game is played at a neutral site), and the best teams usually win in an NBA or NHL post-season match play series (when the best players aren't rested like they frequently are in regular season games and where the best players can just "take-over" a game), but probably because of the importance of pitching and the tendency of position players to go into temporary batting slumps, there is a lot more inherent randomness in an MLB match play series than there is in a post-season NFL game or post-season NBA or NHL best of seven series. And as a result, it would not be unusual or shocking for even the worst MLB team to defeat the best MLB team in a post-season series if given the chance.  

In 1984, the Cubs had the best record in the National League, and they had a losing record against only one N. L. team, that being the Pittsburgh Pirates, who had the worst record in the East Division and finished 21.5 games behind the Cubs in the standings. But the Pirates beat the Cubs in head-to-head (match) play. So were the Pirates better than the Cubs? No. Because in MLB, league play trumps match play until the start of the post-season. So moreso than in any of the other major sports, it is important for MLB to allow only the best teams into the post-season. Anything more than that devalues MLB league play (162 games played in mostly three-game series over the course of six months). 

That said, a truncated 2020 MLB season (60 games or so) makes the results of league play much less conclusive than would be the case in a typical 162-game season, and so I really don't have a problem with an expanded MLB post-season field (16 teams) - IN 2020 ONLY. 

However, the proposed MLB-MLBPA agreement also supposedly provides for a 16-team playoff field in 2021 when it is expected that there will be a full 162-game regular season schedule, and I think that an expanded post-season field of 16 teams (more than half of MLB clubs) after a 162-game regular season played over the course of six months is an absolute joke. 

The biggest mistake MLB makes is when they try to be like the NBA or NHL. Baseball is what it is, and shouldn't have to aplogize for that. If you don't like baseball, adding extra playoff teams isn't going to change that. The last thing I want to see is a September "race" for the final spots in a 16-team playoff field between .500 (or below .500) teams and a big deal made out of competing for the extra home game in a best-of-five or best-of-seven post-season series when home field advantage in MLB is the least important of all the four major sports (remember when the Cubs won the 2016 World Series.... by winning the last two games on the road?).

Jon Heyman @JonHeyman
MLB owners are so upset by the players’ counterproposal — which is said for about $300M more — that no response is expected to be immediate. Time is obviously getting short so hopefully it’s not too long, of course.

...okay, are they just stalling for time to get a shorter schedule or are they really that pissed about $10m more per team of whatever the hell they're asking for that has a 300m value?

As Willy Nelson would say," turn out the lights, the parties over".

...and the BJays shut down their training facility over a player (unnamed pitcher) showing covid signs.

also, 5 phillies players + 3 staff (unnamed) have tested positive for covid (under control, not serious).

this is all going just great.

...and the giants shut down their scottsdale facility because of possible exposure (no one diagnosed, possible exposure).

florida and arizona.  neat.

...and an astros player has tested positive (florida)

this is shaping up quickly to be a "close all the camps" thing.

...and all MLB camps closed effective immediate via orders of the commish.

sites will be "deep cleaned" and all players + staff will have to pass a covid test to come back.

in other news, it's not a good night to be a statue.  so, there's that, too.  2020 is the weirdest timeline and i either want a do-over or to be reassigned to another reality.

Lol. I cannot picture a season happening without multiple teams having to shut down over the course of it.

Ironically, the worst-hit COVID states early on have been disciplined and now have the country's best trends.  Governor Cuomo says Yankees and Mets "spring" training will happen in NYC.  Where I live, in the Boston area, men's amateur baseball is practicing and leagues may resume games right after July 4.  Good trends in the Northeast don't help MLB overall, which seems to be counting on AZ and FL to play an expanded role (Yikes!)  And God help the minor leagues at this point......

FL and AZ are well on their way to being unable to host these games thanks to masks and social distancing being a commie plot to turn the nation into a socialist muslim homeland for antifa abortion fans.

i have no idea where they think they're going to have 30 teams playing 1500+ games...before an expanded post-season.

Stay healthy AZ Phil. Arizona is another mess.


Two Angels have Coronavirus per GM Billy Epler. I don't see how this is going to work once the teams start grouping together. Just to be safe, they should move all the MLB games to the Tulsa Drillers ONEOK Field.


ditto (Stay Safe AZ Phil).

If (and when) the 2020 MLB regular season gets going, one way for MLB to deal with the likely possibility that a player (or multiple players) on a specific club test positive for CoViD-19 during the course of the regular season would be to expand regular season active list rosters to 40 (as has been the case in September but which was scheduled to change in 2020) with 26 players (13 pitchers & 13 position players) designated "active" for each series and with the other 14 players on the 40 designated "inactive" but available to be activated if a player on the club's 26-man active list is injured or if a player is diagnosed with CoViD-19 during the series.

There could also be a special "CoViD-19 List" that would be 40-man roster exempt such that additional players can be temporarily added to a club's MLB 40-man roster to replace players who test positive for CoViD-19 and who will be unavailable for at least 14 days. These replacement players (who would not be on the club's 40-man roster prior to being activated) would be on a special "Taxi Squad" that would need to be located within driving distance of the MLB club's home city but not actually in the same place. (So for the Cubs, that might be South Bend, with members of the Taxi Squad staying in shape by playing intrasquad "sim" games three or four times a week). 

Also, all players on a club's MLB 40-man roster (even those not considered anywhere near to being MLB-ready) would get credit for a full season of MLB Service Time in 2020, and players on the 40 who are signed to "split contracts" would be paid their MLB split salary (pro-rated) rather than the player's minor league split salary. Also, all Optional Assignments that occurred during 2020 Spring Training would be voided so that no minor league option years would be burned in 2020 by players on an MLB 40-man roster who were optioned to the minors during Spring Training.  

Additionally, all minor league players would get credit for a "qualified season" toward minor league free-agency (6YFA), even though the minor league season has obviously been canceled. 

covid all-star team gonna be hype.

a.russell has signed to a korean team

per Rotoworld: Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the MLBPA will take a vote Sunday on whether to accept MLB's proposal of a 60-game season with full prorated pay.

Nightengale reported Saturday that the players would wait on a vote as they gather more safety and health information in light of the recent rash of positive COVID-19 test results at spring training sites. However, he's now hearing that they have reversed course and will make a decision Sunday. It appears at this point that the negotiating between the two sides is over

Either way, it's appropriate that the season decision day is Father's Day.

Happy Father's day to all the Dads out there.

Take time to call your dad and thank him for making you a baseball fan. If he's not around, then just take a moment to think back on your favorite memories of him.

...and a special thanks to AZ Phil on fathers day too.

ed howard signed, 3.75m (slot value)

"According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred sent a letter to MLBPA chief Tony Clark on Sunday "offering to cancel expanded playoffs and universal DH for 2021 if a full season isn’t played in 2020." "


"In his letter to MLBPA director Tony Clark on Sunday, commissioner Rob Manfred wrote, "I really believe we are fighting over an impossibility on games."

That tidbit comes from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, who adds in a later tweet that the MLBPA cut short its executive committee meeting on Sunday after Clark received Manfred's letter."

"Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that a total of 40 players and staff members around Major League Baseball have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past week."

MLBPA rejects latest offer...Manfred is supposedly ready to go with a 60-game season starting july 29th...

MLBPA will probably file a grievance which may or not delay things while the players bitch about how many infield rakes and simoniz it will take to offset financial losses.

"USA Today's Bob Nightengale is hearing that MLB commissioner Rob Manfred will not make the decision to implement a season on Monday night or even Tuesday."

player's last offer was 70, owners supposedly 60, and it might end up being 50-60 if this drags on too much longer.

...and of course the whole thing will probalby fall apart after 1 week with 10-20 teams in quarantine with outbreaks or something...i'm not holding out much hope for 2020 even with a road map.

aubrey huff and trevor bauer spent a chunk of last night on twitter trying to find out who's the biggest black hole of needy negative attention...bitching at each other like a couple of middle school kids who's egos are bigger than their body...

i hate 2020.

curt schilling joined in with huff piling onto bauer and it ended up with schilling deleting his twitter account.

3 ego-centrentic children having a public pissing contest.  the only winners are popcorn sellers.

I've heard players are being told to get on planes to head to spring training. Unfortunately, my source didn't say what their destinations will be. AZ to visit with Phil (or Fat 45)? Florida?  Pick your coronavirus hot spot. I doubt spring training will be at the Tulsa Drillers stadium.

pretty sure the plan at this point is to hold 'spring 2.0' at the home pro ballparks...info for everything has been all over the place as the owners and players fight an information campaign in public, though.

FL and AZ did an amazing job deciding to not take this virus seriously and piss away a potenially massive tax + income bounty at a time where cities, counties, and states are hurting for revenue.

Declare whichever city that is best handling the epidemic the world series champ already.

mlb website statement:

“Today, the Major League Baseball Players Association informed us that they have rejected the agreement framework developed by Commissioner Manfred and Tony Clark. Needless to say, we are disappointed by this development.
“The framework provided an opportunity for MLB and its players to work together to confront the difficulties and challenges presented by the pandemic. It gave our fans the chance to see an exciting new Postseason format. And, it offered players significant benefits including:
1) The universal DH for two years
2) A guaranteed $25 million in playoff pools in 2020
3) $33 million in forgiven salary advances that would increase the take home pay of 61% of Major League players
4) Overall earnings for players of 104 percent of prorated salary
5) Over the last two days, MLB agreed to remove expanded Postseason in 2021 in order to address player concerns
“In view of this rejection, the MLB Clubs have unanimously voted to proceed with the 2020 season under the terms of the March 26th Agreement. The provisions listed above will not be operative.
“In order to produce a schedule with a specific number of games, we are asking that the Players Association provide to us by 5:00 p.m. (ET) tomorrow with two pieces of information. The first is whether players will be able to report to camp within seven days (by July 1st). The second is whether the Players Association will agree on the Operating Manual which contains the health and safety protocols necessary to give us the best opportunity to conduct and complete our regular season and Postseason.”

The above implies that the major items that need to be confirmed  is a July 1st report date and the Health & Safety protocols. Everything else is unilateral on the part of MLB. They might as well ask The Coronavirus for approval. The season start date, schedules, locations have not been reported yet but if there is a 3-week spring training, then the season would be starting about 3rd week in July (July 19th?) and end the last week in Sept for about an 8-9 week season of around 60 games. This season will be dedicated to the sportsbook sites rather than the fans. Welcome to the Coronavirus workaround that methinks is doomed. I desperately hope that none of the Cubs, especially Javy Baez and Kris Bryant get sick let alone become infected.

This ends poorly.  Some familiar MLB name winds up on a ventilator.

dusty baker, joe maddon, and brian snitker aren't exactly young guns, especially dusty.

it's worth mentioning that there's a slew of younger people out there who never entered an ICU, much less died, that have now months-long body damage (lungs, kidneys, etc) that may or may not be permanent.  that's not good for athletes.

all-in-all, chances are high that if any of us catch this it won't do much to us, but scale that out to 750 players and a few hundred coach/support staff and things don't look so great.  it's not dangerous because it's instantly harmful, it's dangerous because of how easy it is to pass around and make those small % of negatives cover a huge amount of people.

...and baseball players, coaches, managers tend to eat out at local popular restaurants. They take on risk just by dining out frequently. Hotel bars? Some of the best fun was hanging out at the hotel restaurant and/or bar where the Cubs were staying just to say hi to Ronny Santo. On that thought, how do you think sports owned restaurants will do? Survival is tough enough but when the celebrity is long out of the public eye? Joe Maddon, I'm thinking of you on this question but of course, there are many others.

and I agree with Crunch, even with mild enough respiratory cases, it's the secondary symptoms that can really be a significant problem. Often, the patient is just physically exhausted for many months. Sort of like recovering from Mononucleosis or Valley Fever. Other organ disease could be career threatening too.

"Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com reports that MLB will open with 30-man rosters, reduced to 28 players on the 15th day of the season and 26 on the 29th day of the season."

"According to USATODAY's Bob Nightengale, MLB players have agreed to report to spring training by July 1 in preparation for a 60-game season beginning July 24-26."

it's nice to attempt to get back to a regular season.  i hope it works out.

it's safe to say lester isn't going to throw 200 innings and trigger his $25m/2021 option.  he's not thrown 200+ since 2016 anyway, so it's not like that was a given.  he gets a $10m parting gift if the team option isn't picked up.

last season of Q and chatwood...

2021 is looking like hendricks/darvish and nothing you can on to slot in while the minor league system is mostly taking 2020 off.

that lester, Q, chatwood money might come in handy.

...as far as 2020 goes, it will be nice to see more schwarber DH and less schwarber LF...also, i hope we get good kimbrel.

feels good to type out something baseball related that's "normal" baseball related.  time to see if we can even get this out of the gate past spring training 2.0

The 2021 free agent period is going to be weird as heck. In hindsight, I guess it's fine from a roster perspective that they did basically nothing this offseason?

The Cubs need to clear as much 2021 payroll as possible in order to pay for a mega contract extension for Baez (with probably a lesser extension in terms of money & years for Rizzo, too) while at the same time getting under the 2021 CBT threshold, so the Cubs will decline Lester's 2021 $25M club option and buy him out for $10M and re-allocate the $15M savings to a Baez extension.

Keep in mind, however, that Lester has a 2021 $25M vesting option if he pitches a least 200 IP in 2020, and that number will be pro-rated (200 IP in 162 games would be 74 IP in 60 games). 

Have their been any rule changes to the Rule 5 Draft picks, as far as requiring to keep the player on the 25 or whatever limit roster, for the Cubs being Trevor Megill, or is that being excluded this year?  Seems with bigger rosters it'd be easier, but I haven't heard anything about that brought up, so I assume there's no exception on that rule this year.

cubbies.4ever: 2019 MLB Rule 5 Draft picks like Trevor Megill must spend at least 50 days (was 90 days in prior seasons) on the Active List roster of an MLB club in 2020 for restrictions to be removed, otherwise the restrictions will continue into the 2021 season until the player has spent at least 50 days (total) on an MLB Active List roster, at which point he can be outrighted or optioned to the minors, or released.  

Am I the only one that thinks the Cubs should pick up Lester's option (assuming he does)?  Or am I just mistaken?  I'd hate to think the Cubs go into 2021 (maybe the last go around with "the core") with Kyle/Yu and then only have guys like Colin Rea, Alec Mills, Jharel Cotton, Alzolay, Underwood currently in the system with any MLB experience at starting and all with little or VERY little.  I can't imagine guys like Swarmer, Rucker, Steele, Marquez, Jensen, or Abbott are legitimately ready. That is assuming they have to stay in house due to all the BIG raises "the core" will get

watching lester struggle to throw more than 90mph was getting hard to watch.  10m to cut him loose, 25m to keep him around...dunno if they think lester is worth that extra 15m or if they want to move on and put that $$ elsewhere.  chatwood's 13m would almost cover lester, but *shrug*...maybe if he shows up sharp in this weird mini-season...

Cole Hamels got 1 yr @ $18 million, is that a fair comp? Aging lefty on a 1 year deal who has a long solid track record. 

SONICWIND: I think it's very possible that Jon Lester will get a 2021 deal like the one Cole Hamels got from the Braves post-2019, but just like it wasn't the Cubs who signed Hamels, I can't see the Cubs being the club that will sign Lester, either. As I said, the Cubs need to clear 2021 payroll so that they can sign Baez (and probably Rizzo, too) to a significant extension, and paying Lester even $18M for one year in 2021 would probably hinder that. 

What I think the Cubs will do post-2020 is sign one or maybe two veteran free-agent SP to a contract(s) in the $5M for one year range or two years / $12M range with maybe a $2M club option buy-out for the second year (which would spread the money out over two years and allow the Cubs to reset their CBT in 2021). They could even re-sign Lester, Chatwood, and/or Quintana (after they become free-agents post-2020) - IF -  they are willing to significantly downsize their salary expectations. 

Do you think Lester would get a qualifying offer? I'd lean probably not because of salary considerations, in the same way Hamels wasn't offered one. They were both toss ups to me.

I would agree signing Baez and Rizzo should be their top concerns. To a lesser extent (but still important) would be signing Contreras and Schwarber to extensions too.

I really hope they don't trade Contreras. Catchers like him are quite rare. I know they love Miguel Amaya, but he's so unproven and didn't exactly set the world on fire last year, and he wasn't even at AA yet. After seeing him in spring training this year, he screams "backup catcher" to me. Phil can you tell me what there is to dream on with Amaya?

DJL: Presuming Lester's $25M 2021 vesting option does not vest, I just do not see the Cubs declining Lester's 2021 club option and paying him a $10M buy-out and then extending him a QO after the buy-out, because he might take it and then the Cubs are stuck paying him the $10M buy-out - AND - a $17M-$18M QO salary (for a total well in exess of $25M) when they will need that money for a Baez extension. 

As for Miguel Amaya, his intelligence, character, and leadership skills are off the charts. Back when he was at Extended Spring Training & Fall Instructs in 2017-18, he used to lead the other players in the morning run around the bases. He was clearly the team leader and all of the other players looked up to him. He is a lot like Javier Baez in that respect. I know it might seem ridiculous to project that a 21-year old is manager material, but I predict Miguel Amaya will be a future manager. 

As for his baseball skills, the three things that stand out are his game awareness & game management skills from behind the plate, his plus-arm, and his plus-power. He might not ever hit for average, but I can see him hitting 20 HR with a 40% CS while bringing out the best in a pitcher.   

Keep in mind that Amaya was the #1 catcher at Myrtle Beach in 2019 at the age of 20. When Willson Contreras was 20, he was at Extended Spring Training and playing short-season ball. 

That said, the Cubs could still give Contreras an extension and keep Amaya (and even keep Caratini, too), especially if the DH is made permanent in the N. L. in the next CBA (which I believe it will be), and what with Contreras being able to play LF and Caratini being able to play 1B in addition to catcher.  It's also possible that Caratini would prove to be a better long-term primary DH than Schwarber, especially if the Cubs need to focus their 2021+ payroll on other extension priorities (like Baez and Rizzo and maybe Contreras, too) over Schwarber.  

I always thought of Baez as a "punk" essientially when he was coming up.  Always arguing strikes.  Always seemed to be that immature kid who thought he was better than everyone and deserved special treatment.  Ironically I thought Almora was very mature for his age coming up, humble.  Now fast forward Baez is a true team leader.  Skills aside (off the charts), he's always the first to descelate a situation between teams and always tipping his hat when he gets out done on the basepaths.  He has matured into a true team leader.  Now if you watch Almora he has digressed.  Whenever there's bench clearing while Javy is trying to break it up Almora is always the "third-man" in throwing punches at whoever.  Watch the videos of those, he is always getting the middle for no reason.  Dissappointed in him.  I hope Amaya stays the course of a true leader.  I'm OK with the Cubs eventually sticking with Cartini/Amaya (or a stop gap until Amaya is ready) if losing Willson means being able to sign deals with Javy and a combo of KB/Rizzo (who I think will take a hometeam discount)/Schwarber (Theo has a man crush, it'll happen)

i trust baez to still play high quality SS/2nd way longer than i trust bryant to play average 3rd.

if they're gonna throw loot and years at someone, i'll take baez even with the low-walk, high-K aspects of his batting game.

also, he's been the highest selling merch player for the cubs for a couple years.  he's got huge fan appeal.

Agreed. I'd prioritize them as Baez, Rizzo, Contreras, Schwarber, Bryant.

I would list Bryant before Schwarber, but KB isn't signing an extension and isn't giving a discount. He won't be a Cub in 2022, sad as that is.

Those traits about Amaya are great. I just don't know that I see it translating into an above average starting catcher. We have an absolute monster in Willson. Don't let that get away if you can help it.

I also really like the idea of Victor as main DH if Schwarber wants too much money. I feel like Theo will give it to him cause he loves Schwarber, but you never know. I've always been a Caratini fan and he just keeps improving offensively.

Regarding Baez and Almora, I think having success at your current level can really affect how you present your personality.

How is luxury tax being handled this season?  Is it based on what is actually paid to players or based on their initial contract or prorated somehow.  If actual money paid, then basically every team would reset their luxury tax this season. Also, a team could take on as much salary via trade as they want without worrying about additional payroll tax and draft pick penalties. 

Could see a situation where a team with financial limitations could firesale out players to organizations with deeper pockets that are in a better spot to absorb a one year loss. 

SONICWIND: The way it was reported in March, a club's 2020 payroll for Competitive Balance Tax (Luxury Tax) purposes is what the payroll was - PRIOR TO - salaries being pro-rated, so the Cubs are not off the hook. The Cubs are still about $5M over the 2020 CBT threshold. 

The Cubs have signed their 10th 2020 Rule 4 NDFA, RHP/OF Sheldon Reed (Clemson). 

Thye Cubs have signed their 11th 2020 NDFA : 

Angel Gonzalez-Martinez, RHP/OF 
R/R, 6'1 168, Age 17 
Emilio R. Delgado HS (Corozal, PR) 
AREA SCOUT: Edwards Guzman 
COMMENT: Two-way player in HS but projects as a pitcher (only) in pro ball... features a 94 MPH FB and a CH... had signed an NLI with Northwest Florida College (JC) before changing his mind and signing with the Cubs... 

After signing 1st round pick SS Ed Howard IV for slot money ($3,745,500) on Monday, the Cubs have signed three more of their five 2020 draft picks: 

2nd round - LHP Burl Carraway ($1.05M - $386,900 under-slot) 
4th round - LHP Luke Little ($492,700 - slot money) 
5th round - RHP Koen Moreno, RHP ($900K - $432,100 over-slot) 

The Cubs can spend up to 5% ($336,080) above their pre-assigned 2020 Signing Bonus Pool without incurring penaties, and since they are now $45,200 over-slot after signing Howard on Monday and three more draft picks today, the Cubs can safely spend up to $290,880 above the third round slot ($678,600) to sign their one remaining unsigned draft pick (3rd round pick OF Jordan Nwogu). So Nwogu could get as much as $969,480 if the Cubs "shoot the wad" to sign him. 

Since Nwogu was conspicuous by his being the only remaining unsigned Cubs draft pick who did not sign today, my guess is that he wants the absolute most he can get, and even then he might not sign (TBD). 

Unlike in previous seasons, unspent Signing Bonus Pool (SBP) space cannot be re-allocated to sign Non-Drafted Free-Agents (there is a fixed $20,000 max bonus allowed for each NDFA signed in 2020), so there is no reason (other than just not wanting to spend the money) not to give Nwogu $969,480 (presuming he is willing to sign for that). And of course if he is willing to take less than that, then that's fine, too.

Keep in mind that the 2020 First-Year Player Draft signing deadline has been pushed back to August 1st, so the Cubs have about five weeks left to convince Nwogu to sign. 

i guess we found out how much it would cost to talk moreno out of college.

carraway could be competiting for a job in 2021 in the pen.  with the way he throws and how advanced his current skills are, might as well burn up the miles on his arm where it counts in the bigs asap.  i wonder if they picked him because he agreed to sign cheap, or if he had something come up in his medicals that knocked his price down. 

The last time the Cubs failed to sign a player they selected in the first three rounds of the MLB First-Year Player Draft was 1986 (OF Ray Lankford - 3rd round - Modesto JC). And he had a pretty good MLB career (15 seasons). 

Prior to Lankford, there were seven others drafted by the Cubs in the first three rounds of the First-Year Player Draft (June - regular phase) who did not sign:

1. Chuck Crim, RHP (1979 - 3rd round - HS Thousand Oaks, CA) - attended U. of Hawai'i - played eight seasons in MLB
2. Terry Francona, OF (1977- 2nd round - HS New Brighton, PA) - attended U. of Arizona - played ten seasons in MLB
3. Randy Wallace, OF (1975 - 3rd round - U. of Tennessee) - did not play pro ball
4. John Henderson, C (1974 - 3rd round - HS Macon, GA) - did not play pro ball  
5. Jeff Pederson, OF (1968 - 3rd round - HS San Pedro, CA) - did not play pro ball  
6. Mike Lisetski, SS (1967 - 3rd round - Rider College) - did not play pro ball 
7. C. E. Bryson, OF (1966 - 3rd round - HS Findlay, OH) - did not play pro ball 

If the Cubs are unable to sign 2020 3rd round pick OF Jordan Nwogu, they will get a comp pick (#89 overall) in next year's draft, one slot lower than where the Cubs picked in the 3rd round of the 2020 draft.  

Prior to 2020, a club failing to sign a player selected in the 3rd round would get a comp pick after the conclusion of the 3rd round (between the 3rd & 4th rounds) rather than one slot lower than where the club selected in the previous draft, but that rule was changed for the 2020 draft (only) so that failing to sign a player selected in the 3rd round is the same as failing to sign a player selected prior to the 3rd round. 

There is no compensation if a club fails to sign a player selected in the 4th or 5th rounds of the 2020 draft (same as was the case in all previous drafts). So failing to sign a 2020 3rd round pick is really no big deal, although I'm sure the Cubs would like to sign Nwogu if at all possible.  

players/personel will be tested every other day

temperature/symptom checks twice a day

non-game participating players will be in the stands (that should be interesting)

antibody testing once a month

covid-positive players will have to test negative twice to return

there will be a covid-IL

So pitchers taken out of the game get to sit in the box seats?

...or the Tom Browning seats?


haha.  i haven't thought about that browning stunt in forever.  hate i missed that game broadcast.

I also really like Caratini.  His offense given more PT has gone up and outside the rare times KB/Javy have played 1st Caratini is the only real option and with Rizzo's bad back.  Plus I believe Caratini's defensive numbers are better than Contreas' at least framing.  Though I think Willson likes the Cubs.  He stuck with them in the minors for many years not even thought of as a real prospect.  He has the most time spent in this organization than any other current Cub.  Followed by Baez/Maples. Has switched from 3B to C due to Vitters/Olt/KB to LF due to Schwarber and now back to catcher (Schwarber again) just to make it here, and stay.  So hopefully that'll mean a hometeam discount either way he has been as loyal as it comes.

never-ending-chances-blown former MLB'r andrew toles (of course, a rays draft pick because they cannot avoid drafting/signing a troubled player because it's a "good deal") was arrested for trespassing in FL.  he was found sleeping behind a Fed Ex building at an airport.

sounds like he's gone from constantly blowing his baseball career to having a screwed up life.  he's only 28.  hopefully he can get his shit together before he doesn't have any more chances at anything in life.

the toles update is worse than his troubled past.  toles has been diagnosed bipolar + schizophrenia and has been in/out of institutions over the past couple years.  he can't seem to stick to any program long enough to get good treatment.

hope he turns whatever corner he needs to in order to get enough treatment to decide what kind of future he'd like to have.

this article sums up a lot of it: https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/columnis...

"(Andy) Martino (SportsNet New York) obtained new language that was added to the March 26 agreement on Tuesday, and it outlines commissioner Rob Manfred's authority to cancel or suspend events as Major League Baseball attempts to stage a season amid a pandemic. The scenarios that would result in a possible cancelation or suspension: further travel restrictions being imposed, a "material change in circumstances" that would bring about "an unreasonable health and safety risk," and/or the number of diagnoses among the league ranks reaching a level where "the competitive integrity of the season is undermined.""

AZ Phil- The Cubs are going to have a 60 man squad, but they will only carry 30.  The other 30 will probably go to Iowa.  Do you know if the other 30 sitting at Iowa are occuring MLB time?  I know every man on the 40 (including the 10 at Iowa) are getting paid. I'd just hate to start a guy like Miguel Amaya MLB service for sitting at Iowa and never playing, although on the road they have to carry an extra 3 (one required to be a C), so assuming they don't use Higgins or Phegley (probably) Amaya could see some taxi time.

cubbies.4ever: The way it was described in March is that players on the 40 who are on Optional Assignment to the minors and who have a split contract (one salary if the player is on an MLB Active List or MLB IL and another lesser salary if the player is on a minor league active list or IL) will be paid at the minor league rate (pro-rated) once the MLB regular season starts. Only the split contract players who are on the MLB 30-man roster (which will be a 28-man roster after two weeks and a 26-man roster after four weeks) will be paid at the MLB rate (again, pro-rated). 

As for players signed to a 2020 minor league contract, the ones on the Cubs 60-man MLB Club Player Pool  (who will be eligible to attend pre-season training camp and then be on the Cubs MLB Practive Squad) will be paid their normal minor league salaries (again, pro-rated) once the MLB regular season starts, but obviously they will not acrue MLB Service Time while on the MLB Practice Squad since they are technically assigned to a minor league reserve list.  

If a player signed to a minor league contract is elevated from the MLB Practice Squad to the MLB Active List at some point during the season, the player must first be added to the club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) just like in all previous seasons, and a corresponding 40-man roster move must be made if the 40 was already full.

And if a player is moved-up from the MLB Practice Squad to the MLB Active List roster, another player on the Active List roster has to be either placed on an MLB Injured List (or other MLB inactive list), optioned, outrighted, traded, or released.  

There is supposed to be a special allowance for all players (MLB 40-man roster guys as well as minor leaguers) who are attending the special pre-season camp in July (it's about $1,200 per week in normal Spring Training, so I would think it will be the same or something similar for the three weeks of training camp in July).  

As for MLB Service Time, only players on an MLB 30-man/28-man/26-man active list roster (or MLB IL) will accrue MLB Service Time, and a player who spends the entire MLB regular season on an MLB Active Lst roster (and/or MLB inactive list) with get credit for a full season of MLB Serice Time in 2020. For players who do not spend a full season on an MLB Active List (and/or MLB inactive list) in 2020, each day of MLB Service Time accrued will be multiplied based upon the 67-day (and 60-game) season so that each day of the MLB regular season will be worth 2.78 days of MLB Service. At least that's the way it was presented in March. 

Also unclear is how days will be counted toward the 20 days on Optional Assignment needed to burn a minor league option year or else get credit for a full MLB season. It could still be twenty days (as it is written in the CBA), or it could be based on the 2.78 multiplier (so for example once a player has spent eight days on Optional Assignment the option year will be burned).  

What's also not clear is the status of Cubs minor leaguers who are not on the club's MLB Club Player Pool and who thus will not be on the MLB Practive Squad July-September and who will therefore essentially be inactive for the entire 2020 season, first as far as pay is concerned, but also whether or not minor leaguers who do not yet have MLB Rule 55 status and/or who are not eligible to be an Article XX-D minor league free-agent post-2020 will accrue a year of minor league service toward minor league free-agency (6YFA) in 2020. 

The Cubs assigned only 50 players to their MLB Club Player Pool (ten slots were left open), so only those 50 players are eligible to attend the three-week July pre-season camp and then be assigned to either the MLB Active List or MLB Practive Squad by MLB Opening Day, although up to ten additional players could be added to the list at a later point in time.   

Four players on the 40 (RHP Tyson Miller, RHP Manuel Rodriguez, LHP Justin Steele, and INF Zack Short) were left off the list (so their seasons have basically been canceled), as were some notable players signed to 2020 minor league contracts like legit MLB SP prospect RHP Cory Abbott (who was on Limited Activity in Minor League Camp in March and may have been shut-down for the season), AAA INF-OF Trent Giambrone, veteran MLB INF-OF Hernan Perez (VERY puzzling), and RHRP Brandon Morrow (who can't stay healthy and who will probably be released).   

Conversely, three minor leaguers (all top prospects) not on the 40 who have really no chance to play in MLB in 2020 (OF Brennen Davis, LHSP Brailyn Marquez, and INF Christopher Morel) are on the Cubs MLB Club Player Pool. Of course that might be just so they can be around big leaguers and get reps at pre-season training Camp in July and then play with the MLB Practice Squad July-September, since the minor league season has been canceled.  

Brandon Morrow is a Type 1 diabetic.  So even if he is able to throw a baseball, he might not want to risk exposure to Covid19.

The thing about Brandon Morrow (and this also applies to Jason Kipnis) is that he was a post-2019 Article XX-B MLB free-agent who signed a 2020 minor league contract, which meant the Cubs had until five days prior to 2020 Opening Day (and Opening Day was orginally scheduled to be 3/26, so by 3/21) to either add him to the 40, retain him on the minor league contract and pay him a $100K retention bonus with a June 1st player opt-out, or release him (and possibly re-sign him to a different minor league contract without the retention bonus and the 6/1 player opt-out).  

Because the start of the MLB regular season was delayed, MLB and the MLBPA agreed that clubs would not have to make a decision regarding Article XX-B minor leaguers (like Morrow and Kipnis) until five days prior to the new MLB Opening Day (which means they now must decide by 7/18). And although the player opt-out is no longer an issue, I cannot see the Cubs paying Morrow a $100K retention bonus just to stay home and stay safe when he will be a free-agent after the season anyway.    

So I strongly suspect that the Cubs will release Morrow sometime on or before 7/18 (thus avoiding having to pay him the $100K retention bonus), and add Kipnis to the 40 by that date also (although depending on how things shake-out at the July pre-season training camp with Bote, Hoerner, and Descalso, it's possible that the Cubs could release Kipnis by 7/18, too). 

Jason Kipnis was released on June 29th and then he was re-signed to a new (different) 2020 minor league contract that does not require a $100K retention bonus if he is not added to the Cubs MLB Reserve List by 2020 MLB Opening Day (7/23).  

Brandon Morrow remains on his original 2020 minor league contract which pays him a $100K retention bonus if he is not released by 7/18 or added to the Cubs MLB Reserve List by 7/23. 

The Cubs have released RHRP (and their erstwhile closer) Brandon Morrow. There is no indication that they plan to re-sign him to another (different) 2020 minor league contract without the Article XX-B $100K retention bonus provision (as happened with Jason Kipnis last week).  

That's a big OUCH for Z Short. Puzzling for him, and puzzling for Perez and Giambrone too. Perez cause of versatility and MLB service time and the other two because they're at worst good depth pieces and Giambrone had a really good spring.

DJL: It's especially puzzling since now the only two legit shortstops assigned to the Cubs Club Player Pool are Baez and Hoerner.

Z. Short is a bonafide SS (and he is big league ready defensively if not offensively), and while he has below-average range, H. Perez can play SS as well (he played 40+ games at SS for the Brewers 2018-19).  

Per the Operations Manual... "For the avoidance of doubt, the crediting of Major League Service for days on an optional assignment less than 20 days during the 2020 championship season shall be no greater than 19 total days of Major League Service, per Article XXI(B) of the Basic Agreement" 

jdrnym: But the reason for doubt is that by definition a day of MLB Service Time in 2020 is actually one day multiplied by 2.78, so I suspect that MLBPA might not interpret days of MLB Service Time accrued while on Optional Assignment (if less than 20 days) the same way as MLB (one day equals one day, or one day equals 2.78 days?). 

I believe the other 30 are going to South Bend.

I would have guessed Iowa since it's not that much farther to Iowa and it's AAA complex rather than an A, but whatever

South Bend, because it has the system's best workout and analytics facilities between Mesa and Chicago, some players say.  Or, because the SB owner also owns a sliver of the parent club.  Or, because it is closest and nobody really knows how the hell staffing is going to work if some player gets COVID 19 and other players need to quarantine on short notice.  I appreciate that MLB is finally trying to do something for the fans but this could be a mess.  Can we imagine "regional action," if the region is South or West?

How does this affect players without options or Rule V 5 draftees? Do they need to stay active (unless injured/ sick) or can they be on the non active group?

DJL: Players on a club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) who are not on the club's Opening Day MLB Active List on 7/23 will either have to be optioned or outrighted to the minors, traded, released, or placed on an MLB IL. 

Keep in mind that players who were optioned to the minors during 2020 Spring Training (like Maples, Norwood, Rea, et al) can be recalled at any time. They do not have to spend the first ten days of the 2020 MLB regular season on Optional Assignment as would have been the case in previous seasons. And the clock won't start ticking for optioned players with regard to either burning an option year or getting credit for a full season of MLB Service Time until the first day of the MLB regular season, so the fact that they were optioned to the minors really doesn't mean anything at this point. For example, despite having been optioned to AAA Iowa during MLB Spring Training in March, Maples and Norwood could just replace Cotton and Winkler on the Cubs Opening Day MLB 30-man Active List roster, and Cotton and Winkller could be optioned to Iowa instead.  

And of course being "optioned to Iowa" or "optioned to Tennessee" is just a paper move right now because there is no minor league season in 2020. But technically, Maples, Notwood, Rea, et al have been optioned to Iowa and so they are - TECHNICALLY - assigned to the Iowa roster.  

As far as 2020 Rule 5 Draft-eligible players are concerned, Rule 5 Draft eligibility is based upon when the player signed his first contract, so Rule 5 Draft eligibility is already baked-into the 2020 Rule 5 Draft. It is unclear, however, whether 2020 will be considered a "Rule 5 qualified season" for players who signed their first pro contract this year (Howard IV, Carraway, L. Little, K. Moreno, and the ten NDFA) since there is no minor league season. Normally, a season is considered the player's first Rule 5 "qualified season" if the player signs and is assigned to a particular minor league affiliate prior to the conclusion of the regular season of that affiliate (which is why some International Free-Agents who sign during August might or might not have signed prior to the conclusion of the DSL season, which usually ends in mid-August). But we won't have to worry about that until the 2023 Rule 5 Draft, and things should be clearer by then.

In fact, for Rule 5 Draft eligibility purposes for players who signed their first contract in 2020, they could make things very easy and just say whether a player signed before or after August 1st, August 15th, or September 1st (take your pick) is the determining factor for when the 2020 minor league season ended (on paper) and whether 2020 would or wouldn't be the player's first Rule 5 Draft-eligibility "qualified season." 

Another (different) type of qualified season is for minor league free-agency. A player must spend all or any part (even just one day) of seven separate seasons on a minor league club's active list or injured list (this includes players on the MLB 40-man roster who are optioned to the minors) for that season to count as a "qualified minor league season" toward minor league free-agency. (An entire season spent on the Restricted List, Ineligible List, or Disqualified List does NOT count toward the seven seasons needed to qualify for MLB Rule 55 minor league 6YFA free-agency, which is why a player assigned to a short-season affiliate -- where they play maybe 60 games -- who is serving a lengthy PED suspension might have his minor league free-agency delayed by an extra year). 

And this issue only affects players who have not already qualified as a Rule 55 player. Once a player qualifies for Rule 55 minor league free-agency, it stays with that player forever. So (for example), guys like Rex Brothers, Josh Phegley, Jason Adam, Ian Miller, Danny Hultzen, Erick Castillo, Corey Black, et al, have previously qualified as Rule 55 players (6YFA), so if they are on a minor league reserve list at the close of the 2020 season and are not added to an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) or sign a 2021 minor league successor contract by 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day after the last game of the World Series, they will be automatically declared a minor league free-agent (and that applies to every future season as long as they keep playing). 

But for players who were scheduled to be eligible to be an MLB Rule 55 minor league 6YFA for the first time post-2020 (like Mark Zagunis, Jerry Vasto, Jordan Minch, Erling Moreno, Eugenio Palma, Eric Gonzalez, Ivan Medina, Jerrick Suiter, et al), they absolutely need the 2020 season to be a considered a "qualified minor league season" in order to be eligible to be a minor league 6YFA post-2020.  

I have one question for AZ Phil, what the hell are you going to do with yourself until there is some type of Instructional League begins in the Fall?

Will Nwogu sign?

Cubs sign Nwogu!

The Cubs have signed their 12th Rule 4 NDFA, INF Matt Burch (Old Dominion). He attended Warren Township HS in Gurnee before starting his college career at the U. of Arkansas.  

Recent comments

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  • Cubster 1 hour 18 min ago (view)

    btw, gotta love the banner photo showing white cleats with Wrigley mud stuck to them. Great choice (and very 3D).


  • Hagsag 5 hours 2 min ago (view)

    Cant picture not having AZ Phil as a infomation source.


  • Mike Wellman 16 hours 52 min ago (view)

    On top of what everyone else sez, TCR is my passport to the I-Cubs every year. Plz keep up the good work!


  • First.Pitch.120 22 hours 7 min ago (view)

    I echo what everyone else has said. I am in no way an expert (or even novice) at the nuts & bolts of website construction; however, I have dabbled in some website maintenance for various entities. If there is a need for another set of hands, I would be willing to see if I could help ( or at least pull a Jonathan Herrera & cheer from the bench with an awesome helmet).


  • Wrigley Rat 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    This site is great! It's pretty much the only Cubs site I visit daily, other than a Google search for Cubs news. 90% of the information I get on Cubs prospects is from here. Commenters are usually very respectful and it seems that most are well-informed or want to be. I'm hoping the site can continue. Thanks to everyone who contributes to its content! :)


  • George Altman 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    I'd like to add, without meaning to take a superior attitude, that ALL the content and commentators on TCR are a step above every other Cubs Blog I've seen. I'm better informed, better briefed about not only what's happening but what's likely to happen.

    You all have made me a better Cubs fan. Whatever happens,  thank you. 


  • Charlie 1 day 20 hours ago (view)

    I will be happy to continue to do gameday posts for another season and would like to keep the site active. Thanks for your labor!

    Sorry for all the delayed and abbreviated posts at season's end, by the way.


  • fullykräusened 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    Like the other posters, I don't post often, but have enjoyed Arizona Phil and crunch (who was right about Jason Heyward :) ). I am grateful for all the work that has gone into maintaining the site, and whatever you want to do to make it work is okay with me!


  • Cubster 2 days 1 hour ago (view)

    Chiming in that TCR is still a major part of my daily Cub routine and has always been my browser homepage. The site contains much love for AZ Phil and his subtle sense of humor as the war correspondent for the Arizona Scoring Service. 

    "Just because it isn't official doesn't mean it didn't happen"


  • Hagsag 2 days 4 hours ago (view)

    Thank you forTCR, and it is the first site I check daily. Please keep it going.


  • Karl Pagel Blues 2 days 7 hours ago (view)

    Thank you for this site. It's the first one I turn to every single day. There may be other sites with more daily content, but there's only one TCR. Again, a big thank you to everyone actively contributing here!


  • crunch 2 days 11 hours ago (view)

    no matter the future, i've learned a whole lot being here and i'm still learning.  phil's post earlier with the end-season instructs stats is a great example of this.  lots of love for the team, the farm system, and the game here.

    also, it looks like dusty's crew is 3 outs away from going to the WS with 5 runs to cushion.


  • George Altman 2 days 13 hours ago (view)

    Please keep it going if at all possible. No other Cubs website compares. I've spent 15 years with AZ Phil, Crunch, Cubster. Don't want to see that end.


  • Alexander Dimm 2 days 15 hours ago (view)

    Like the others, I don't post often, and it's not the only Cubs baseball site I read.  However, it is the first site I read each day and if I only read one, this is it.  I hope you can hang in there.  

    Cubs baseball will be a little less fun without TCR.


  • Childersb3 2 days 16 hours ago (view)

    I've been reading, commenting and asking questions here for over a decade now. Cubdom wouldn't be whole without TCR.

    Hope it stays in any form possible. 

    Whatever is most manageable, cheapest, time efficient manner you.


  • bradsbeard 2 days 16 hours ago (view)

    Absolutely want to see if stay if possible.