Projected Post-2018 Chicago Cubs 40-Man Roster (11/20)


40 players

* bats or throws left
# bats both

Adbert Alzolay (will be recalled from Iowa & placed on 60-day DL on 9/1 - will be reinstated post-World Series)
Anthony Bass (will likely be added back to 40 in September - possible 11/30 non-tender)
Tyler Chatwood
Steve Cishek
Trevor Clifton (will likely be added to 40 on 11/20)
Yu Darvish (will be reinstated from 60-day DL in September)
* Brian Duensing
Carl Edwards Jr
Luke Farrell (possible 11/30 non-tender)
Justin Hancock (will be reinstated from 60-day DL post-World Series - possible 11/30 non-tender)
Kyle Hendricks
Brandon Kintzler  (Cubs will decline $10M club option & then Kintzler will exercise $5M player option for 2019)
* Jon Lester
Dillon Maples
* Mike Montgomery
Brandon Morrow
James Norwood 
* Jose Quintana (Cubs will exercise $10.5M club option for 2019)
* Randy Rosario
* Kyle Ryan (post-2018 6YFA could be added to 40 post-World Series if not in September)
* Drew Smyly (will be reinstated from 60-day DL in September)
* Justin Steele (will likely be added to 40 on 11/20)
Pedro Strop (Cubs will exercise $6.25M club option for 2019)
Duane Underwood Jr 
NOTE: If Bass, Farrell, and/or Hancock are non-tendered on 11/30 (the usual 12/2 contract tender date will be moved-up two days to 11/30 because 12/2 falls on a Sunday) expect the Cubs to try and re-sign them to 2019 minor league contracts (preferably after the Rule 5 Draft) for "big league money" and an NRI to Spring Training. 

# Victor Caratini
Willson Contreras

P. J. Higgins (will likely be added to 40 on 11/20)
NOTE: It is VERY likely that Chris Gimenez will be called-up from Iowa on 9/1 to be the Cubs #3 catcher, but there is an outside chance that C-1B-3B Taylor Davis could get called-up instead (or in addition to Gimenez if there is room on the 40 for both), but whether one or both are called-up, neither will be retained on the 40 post-World Series. 

Javy Baez
David Bote

Kris Bryant
* Tommy LaStella
* Anthony Rizzo
Addison Russell

* Jason Vosler (probably will be added to 40 on 11/20)
# Ben Zobrist
: The Cubs could add an extra infielder who is a legit SS (like Mike Freeman) to the MLB 40-man roster in September to provide insurance/depth behind Russell and Baez, but if Freeman is added to the 40 in September, he would certainly be dropped from the 40 post-World Series. Or Chris Coghlan could be added to the roster as an extra LH bat off the bench, but if he is added to the 40 in September he would certainly be dropped post-World Series.  

Albert Almora Jr
# Ian Happ
* Jason Heyward (will not opt-out post-2018)
* Kyle Schwarber
Mark Zagunis
NOTE: The Cubs will very likely add a 5th OF/PR to the roster in September, and it could be a player acquired in a trade at the 8/31 post-season roster deadline or a player from within the organization (like Jacob Hanneman or Wynton Bernard). But whoever is added will certainly be dropped from the MLB 40-man roster post-World Series. 

Oscar de la Cruz, P
NOTE: Cannot be reinstated until MLB JDPTP suspension expires in April 2019

Alec Mills, P (cannot elect free-agency if outrighted but would be 6YFA post-World Series) 
Cory Mazzoni, P (cannot elect free-agency if outrighted but would be 6YFA post-World Series)
Jen-Ho Tseng, P (would remain under club control thru 2020 if outrighted)
* Rob Zastryzny, P (would remain under club control thru 2019 if outrighted)
NOTE: Outright Assignment Waivers would have to be secured before player can be outrighted to minors

Jesse Chavez, P 
* Jorge de la Rosa, P 
Chris Gimenez, C (likely to be added to 40 on 9/1) 
* Cole Hamels, P (2019 $20M club option will almost certainly be declined)  
* Justin Wilson, P
NOTE: None of the free-agents will be extended a Qualifying Offer 


Sure would like to see Hamels and Chavez back next year.

Based on age and performance, Brian Duensing would seem to be a candidate for DFA.  Do the Cubs think he recover his 2017 form?

CRAIG: I think Brian Duensing will probably survive at least through Spring Training 2019. He took less money to sign with the Cubs (the A's offered him more $$$) and I think the Cubs (and Joe Maddon) appreciated his loyalty and are trying to give him every possible chance to turn it around. 

Double post

Why the love for P.J. Higgins? Between Alamo/Remillard/Higgins there doesn't seem to be a lot of difference.  Alamo was draft out of HS so spent a couple of years buried in AZL before turned loose and plays 1B and is the only of the three that shows power but never played above A+, Remillard (so I've heard is excellent defender) but has missed a lot of time due to botched TJS, only to play AAA, Higgins doesn't seem to stand out.  All 3 being rule 5 eligible.  Amaya seems like the only real C prospect, but is too young.  Seems like a vet FA off season move.

Also no Chavez or Mazzoni.  Mazzoni hasn't been good at Iowa, but has been great while at CHI and I know Chavez is older and struggled early in TEX, but like Mazzoni has made the most of his time in CHI and it's not back in the Hendry days where every player was 30+ or derailing "the next saviors" (Patterson, Pie, Jackson, Hill, Vitters, and to a degree Prior and Wood), the Cubs are pretty young still despite their experience, they'd only have 3 guys 35+ (Zobrist, Dunesing (assuming he remains), and Chavez)

cubbies.4ever: The Cubs top "pure" catching prospects are Miguel Amaya and Jonathan Soto, but P. J. Higgins is considered a better MLB prospect (and a more-likely candidate to get selected in the December 2018  Rule 5 Draft) than Pereda, Rice, Remillard, or Alamo, because he is the most-athletic and versatile (he plays infield as well as catcher) of the four and he has the highest upside.

Higgins was a 2B-3B-C in college and he played INF-only (not catcher) for the AZL Cubs and Eugene after the Cubs drafted him in 2015. So he has been catching more-or-less full-time only since post-2015 AZ Instructs.

I expect the Cubs to assign one of their Rule 5 Draft-eligible catching prospects to the AFL, and I would say the most-likely one to be assigned is P. J. Higgins, because while it's not a lock that he gets added to the 40 on 11/20, he is the most-likely one to be added as things stand right now.

Don't get too hung-up on his minor league stats. In terms of projection (ceiling), the best comp for P. J. Higgins is J. T. Realmuto.

If P.J. Higgins is equal to JT Realmulto I'm happy with that :),  That will give the Cubs a great trade piece deciding which combo of the Contreras/Caratini/Higgins to keep and who to trade,  It'd be a nice problem to have to many catchers + Amaya in the future.

sometimes guys are just "useful pieces" and it's worth more to keep him protected than leave him exposed.  there may be better talent in the system, but the skill set of the exposed dude would make him a target to be snagged by other teams.

even though he's been nothing much worth missing for the cubs, it was almost 100% known that leaving ryan flaherty unprotected meant he was going to be someone else's property very quickly into the rule5 because of his versitile skill set.

in this particular case, higgins may not be showing up on many prospect lists, but whether some other team believes he's a jt realmuto posibility or a bench guy who can adeptly play C/3rd/etc, his exposure may keep the cubs from finding out where his true ceiling is while some other team gets to figure it out.

PHIL: Flaherty is the only Maine born baseball player ever to hit a HR in a post-season game (Orioles). He was also a #1 draft pick for the Cubs in a very notable draft incl. Garrett Cole a few picks before him, and Wade Miley after in 2008. You may recall he was also a comp. pick for the Cubs losing Jason Kendall. 

All it takes is one club to like a guy, but presuming Steele, Clifton, Higgins, and Vosler are added to the 40 on 11/20, the Cubs minor leaguers who stand the best chance of getting plucked in the 2018 MLB Rule 5 Draft are C-1B Ian Rice, C Jhonny Pereda, RHP Erling Moreno, RHRP Craig Brooks, and INF Chesny Young. 

Among the Cubs post-2018 minor league FA eligibles, LHP Kyle Ryan is the most-likely one to get added to the 40 either in September (if there is room for him) or post-World Series (before he can walk away as a FA). The only other Cubs post-2018 6YFA who might get some consideration for the 40 are LHRP Alberto Baldonado, OF Jeffrey Baez, and RHP Erick Leal, but it's much, much more-likely that the Cubs will overpay (in salary) to try and entice Baldonado, Baez, and Leal to sign 2019 minor league successor contracts (with an NRI to Spring Training) and then take their chances that they won't get selected in the Rule 5 Draft (and actually all three of them would be pretty good candidates to get selected in the Rule 5 Draft if they do sign successor contracts).  

Do upcoming XX(B) free agents on the 60-day disabled list have to be reinstated prior to the date they're declared a free agent?

jdmym: An Article XX-B FA who is on the 60-day DL is automatically reinstated and declared a free-agent at 9 AM (Eastern) on the day after the final game of World Series (the same day and time all other Article XX-B free-agents are automatically declared a FA and removed from a club's MLB 40-man roster), and then  all other players on the MLB 60-day DL must be reinstated no later than 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day after the final game of the World Series (and that's even if the player has not spent 60 days on the 60-day DL). 

BTW, that's why the 60-day DL is officially called the "Emergency Disabled List" (and - NOT - the "60-day Disabled List"), because it isn't always the case that a player must spend at least sixty days on the "60-day DL" before he can be reinstated. Usually, but not always. 

Phil, can you give me a scouting report on Edmond Americaan?

HAGSAG: Edmond Americaan makes hard-contact with a line-drive stroke, he is a fast runner but is sometimes too aggressive on the bases, and he has enough range to play CF and enough arm to play RF but he needs to improve his reads, tracking, and routes in the OF. In other words, he's toolsy and raw. And he's 21, so he's not exactly a kid.

But here is a picture of Americaan when he was a kid, pitching for Curacao in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA, in 2009... 


Not Phil, but I watched him play a few games on the computer when he was at Chipola Ju Co. Bigger dude, with big power. At least, at the level. I was happy to see the pick, and to see him get signed. A bit surprised he's off to such a good start as a pro.

PHIL - What do you think the chances are that the White Sox leave Dylan Cease unprotected and Cubs could get some of the Q mistake trade (although on paper smart at the time) back?  They already have Eloy on their 40.

cubbies.4ever: Unless he suffers a career-ending or career-limiting injury in the next couple of months, there is no way the White Sox will leave Dylan Cease unprotected post-2018. 

And, if left unprotected (which won't happen), there's no reason he would slip to the Cubs in the Rule 5 Draft.

Recent comments

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  • Arizona Phil 1 hour 43 min ago (view)

    Beginning in 2019, a club must wait a minimum of seven days before it can place a player who was claimed off Outtright Assignment Waivers during the off-season back onto waivers, so because he was claimed off waivers on Wednesday 11/27, yesterday (Wednesday 12/4) was the first day the Cubs could place LHRP C. D. Pelham back onto Outright Assignment Waivers, and so tomorrow (Friday 12/6) is the first day the Cubs can send Pelham outright to the minors (if he was placed back onto waivers yesterday).


  • Arizona Phil 22 hours 30 min ago (view)

    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), so don't be surpised if these draft picks are traded during the off-season.

    Keep in mind that 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.


  • Arizona Phil 22 hours 32 min ago (view)

    The active list roster limit changes scheduled to go in effect in 2020 have not yet been officially approved. Same goes for the three-batter minimum (or else record the third out in the inning) for relief pitchers. 


  • Arizona Phil 22 hours 34 min ago (view)

    And then the active list roster limit will expand from 26 to 28 on September 1st (max 14 pitchers in September). 


  • Arizona Phil 22 hours 37 min ago (view)

    The "26th man" who was added for doubleheaders will now be the "27th man" and he can be a pitcher. 


  • crunch 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    ATL signs cole hamels 1/18m...a'ite then.

    also, z.wheeler 5/100+ to the phillies.


  • Charlie 1 day 20 hours ago (view)

    I think without the off-field issues, a front-office might at least be tempted to gamble on Russell's youth and dreams of his upside. But with what we all know about him now, the challenges of improving both on and off the field are too great to gamble on.


  • George Altman 2 days 10 hours ago (view)

    This was the easiest non-tender decision, maybe ever. As if there weren't enough off-field reasons alone, there were even more baseball reasons. He became a sub .700 OPS hitter with bottom of the order OBA results. His defense, formerly his strength, became inconsistent due to attention deficit issues. He turned himself into bench infielder with suspect skills which is someone you don't pay more than $1--1.5M/yr.


  • crunch 2 days 23 hours ago (view)

    he was due for a 3.5-4m payday (3.4m last year) at a minimum, anyway.

    it's as good of a time as any to cut him loose.  nico hoener's spring just became a lot more important.


  • Craig A. 2 days 23 hours ago (view)

    Addison Russell, to no one's surprise, was  non-tendered. I still think he has the talent to excel in the major leagues, but it'll take a new attitude for him to realize his potential. It can't be easy to deal with his baggage in front of millions of fans. I won't forget his contributions in 2016, or that beautiful play that used to be the banner of TCR.


  • crunch 4 days 18 hours ago (view)

    keuchel doesn't have draft pick compensation attached to him and he's a decent enough ground ball pitcher...that will be attractive to a lot of clubs.  that would put 3 lefties in the cubs rotation (pending a trade) again, though.  not sure they want to go for that look again.

    that said, i still imagine the cubs are probably looking to make this thing happen via trade.  it's hard to tell what their $$ situation is, but they've done a great job signaling they're not looking to spend $$ this offseason.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 5 days 33 min ago (view)

    Looking for impact starting pitchers, but won't be shopping at the top of the market? So I guess they won't be in the market for impact starting pitching.

    Still hoping they find a taker for Q.


  • crunch 5 days 2 hours ago (view)

    "Patrick Mooney of The Athletic writes the Cubs are in the market for impact starting pitchers but won't be shopping at the top of the market."

    darvish, lester, hendricks, Q, (???, a.mills, t.chatwood)...pending trades

    d.keuchel?  r.porcello?  trade target pitcher?


  • Arizona Phil 5 days 3 hours ago (view)

    HAGSAG: I suspect going into his age 30 season and coming off a great year as a pinch-hitter, LaStella wanted a chance to be an everyday player, and since that obviously wasn't going to happen if he stayed with the Cubs, TLS (or his agent) may have asked the Cubs to trade him somewhere he could get that opportunity.


  • crunch 5 days 3 hours ago (view)

    dunno any official reasoning, but his D is miserable and they decided to "upgrade" there with descalso for similar loot as well as getting a trade piece back.  the whole a.russell thing was lingering over the team.

    it's not like descalso is great with the glove, but la stella plays a miserable 2nd and meh 3rd.

    i do wonder if things would have turned out differently if russell wasn't due to miss significant time.


  • Sonicwind75 5 days 7 hours ago (view)

    Was just thinking about this, maybe that isn't a good thing for TLS?  I wonder if Maddon will use TLS differently after seeing his success last year.  That's my gripe with people complaining about Theo trading away a player that turns into an All Star.  If TLS had stayed with the Cubs, Maddon would most likely kept using him in the same manner and with the same results.