Cubs 2019 Payroll a Bit Tight

ARTICLE XX-B MLB FREE-AGENTS POST-2018 (updated 9-4-2018)
Jesse Chavez
Jorge de la Rosa 
Jaime Garcia
Cole Hamels (club option)
Jason Heyward (player option)
Brandon Kintzler (club option or else player option if club option declined)
Daniel Murphy
Jose Quintana (club option) 
Pedro Strop (club option)
Bobby Wilson
Justin Wilson

(updated 7-31-2018)

Jon Lester ($22.5M in 2019 & $15M in 2020, plus $2.5M signing bonus each post-2018-19 & $10M post-2020, & $25M vesting option for 2021 if 200 IP in 2020 or 400 IP in 2019-20 or $25M club option for 2021 or $10M buy-out) - $24.25M (AAV)

Yu Darvish ($20M in 2019, $22M each in 2020-21, $19M in 2022, and $18M in 2023, 2019-23 salaries escalate $2M per season going forward if Cy Young Award in previous season or $1M per season going forward if #2-5 finish in Cy Award in previous season, and player may opt-out of contract post-2019)  - $21M (AAV) 

Jason Heyward ($20M in 2019, $21M each in 2020-21, and $22M each in 2022-23, and player may opt-out of contract post-2018, or post-2019 if 550 PA in 2019, plus $20M signing bonus deferred with $5M paid each April 1st 2024-27, or entire $20M to be paid by April 1st of the next season following opt-out) - $23M (AAV)

Cole Hamels ($20M club option) - $20M (AAV)

Tyler Chatwood ($12.5M in 2019 & $13M in 2020, and 2020 salary escalates to $15M if Top 10 Cy Young Award in 2018 or 2019 or if named to All-Star team in both 2018 & 2019, and 2020 salary escalates to $17M if Top 10 Cy Young Award in both 2018 & 2019) - $12.67M (AAV) 

Ben Zobrist ($12M in 2019) - $14M (AAV)

Anthony Rizzo ($11M in 2019, $14.5M each in 2020-21 with $2M club option buy-out each post-2019-20, 2019-21 salaries increase by $1M if one MVP or two Top 5 MVP 2013-19, and player may void 2021 club option with Top 2 finish in MVP 2013-19 and/or with subsequent trade) - $5.35M (AAV) 

Jose Quintana ($10.5M each in 2019-20 with $1M club option buy-out each post-2018-19, and 2020 salary increases to $14M with Cy Young Award or to $13M with 2nd or 3rd place in Cy Young 2014-19) - $10.5M (AAV)

Brandon Kintzler ($10M club option or else $5M player option in 2019) - $5M (AAV)

Brandon Morrow ($9M in 2019 and $12M vesting option with $3M buy-out in 2020) - $9M (AAV)

Drew Smyly ($7M in 2019 with $6M in potential performance bonus if SP or $1M in potential performance bonus if RP) - $5M (AAV)

Steve Cishek ($7.5M in 2019 - salary escalated $250K each by virtue of pitching 30, 40, 45, and 50 G in 2018) - $7M (AAV)

Pedro Strop ($6.25M club option in 2019 or else $500K buy-out) - $6.25M (AAV)

Brian Duensing ($3.5M in 2019) - $3.5M (AAV)

2019 SUB-TOTAL: $170.25M (plus additional $9.75M in potential performance bonuses) - $146.5M (AAV) 


Javy Baez - $7.25M?
Kris Bryant - $12.5M?
Carl Edwards Jr (possible “Super Two”) - $1.5M? 
Kyle Hendricks - $7.25M?  
Tommy LaStella - $1.25M?  
Mike Montgomery - $3M? 
Addison Russell – POSSIBLE NON-TENDER - $4.5M? 
Kyle Schwarber - $3.25M?


AUTO-RENEWAL (PRE-ARBITRATION) POST-2018 (updated 9-19-2018)
Albert Almora Jr
Adbert Alzolay 
David Bote
Victor Caratini
Willson Contreras 
Oscar de la Cruz
Carl Edwards Jr (if not “Super Two”) 
Dillon Maples
Alec Mills
James Norwood
Randy Rosario
Jen-Ho Tseng 
Duane Underwood Jr
Mark Zagunis

ESTIMATED PROJECTED 2019 SUB-TOTAL$3.5M??? - $2.5M (MLB) plus $1M (minor league splits)  

ESTIMATED PROJECTED 2019 PAYROLL: $191M??? AAV (with Hamels 2019 option declined) 


2019 TOTAL (AAV+PBC):   $205M



COMMENT: So the Cubs will be very close to the 2019 Competitive Balance Tax ("Luxury Tax") threshold even if they sign no free-agents, and that's even if they decline the 2019 $20M option on Cole Hamels (which they almost certainly will). They would save about $4M AAV by non-tendering Addison Russell (which would get their AAV+PBC down to about $197M), but otherwise there won't be much wiggle-room unless the Cubs are able to unload contracts in a trade. 

It's possible that the Cubs will attempt to trade one or two arbitration-eligibles like Kyle Schwarber and/or Mike Montgomery for prospects, but even doing that won't save more than about another $5M AAV combined, and they probably couldn't get "A"-level prospects back for either player.  

Otherwise, unless they can find takers for Tyler Chatwood, Brandon Kintzler, Brian Duensing, and/or Drew Smyly (whose combined contracts are worth about $25M AAV), or eat a large chunk of his salary ($23M AAV) and trade Heyward (who now can be traded - see comment below), the Cubs are pretty-much stuck payroll-wise going into the post- 2018 off-season. 

And so unless they are OK with exceeding the CBT threshold (and suffer the penalties that go along with that), there is almost no way they can sign a free-agent like Bryce Harper or Manny Machado to a high-AAV contract this coming off-season, and in fact they probably couldn't even re-sign somebody like RHRP Jesse Chavez without exceeding the CBT threshold unless they non-tender Russell or trade Schwarber and Montgomery.

However, if they do exceed the CBT (Luxury Tax) threshold in 2019, the penalties are:

With the Cubs having exceeded the 2019 CBT ("luxury tax") threshold of $206M by about $15M by virtue of picking up the Cole Hamels option on Friday, here are the potential penalties the Cubs would face in 2019 and into 2020 if their payroll remains above the CBT threshold in 2019:  

Because they did not exceed the CBT threshold in 2018, the Cubs will pay a 20% tax on any amount over the $206M CBT threshold they spend in 2019 (it would have been a 30% tax if they had exceeded the CBT threshold in both 2018 and 2019 and it would have been a 50% tax if they had exceded the CBT threshold in 2017, 2018, and 2019). If they exceed the 2019 CBT threshold by more than 20% (in other words $226M+) they would pay an additional surcharge of 12% on the amount spent in excess of $20M over the threshold. And if they exceed the 2019 CBT threshold by more than $40M ($246M+) they would pay an additional surcharge of 42% on the amount spent in excess of $40M over the threshold (the additional surcharge would have been 45% over $246M+ if they had paid a CBT tax in both 2018 and 2019). 

Also, if the Cubs pay any CBT in 2019, they will have their compensation for losing a post-2019 Article XX-B MLB free-agent who is extended a Qualifying Offer reduced from a draft pick after the 2nd round in the 2020 MLB First-Year Player Draft to a draft pick after the 4th round. Also, if the Cubs sign an Article XX-B Qualified Player after the 2019 season they will have to surrender their second and fifth highest draft picks in the 2020 MLB First-Year Player Draft and would have $1M subtracted from their 2020-21 International Signing Bonus Pool (ISBP) instead of losing only their second-highest draft pick and having their 2020-21 ISBP reduced by $500K (the latter being the case if they do not exceed the CBT threshold in 2019). 

Also, if the Cubs were to exceed the 2019 CBT by more than $40M ($246M+), they would have their first pick in the 2020 First-Year Player Draft moved-down ten slots (the Cubs second overall pick would be moved-down ten slots if their 1st pick is one of the first six overall picks in the draft). 


The full "no trade" rights for Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist are now only partial "no trade" rights. Heyward can block a deal to twelve clubs, and Zobrist can block a deal to eight. 

The Heyward partial "no trade" will remain in effect only through the 2020 season, however, because he will get full "no trade" rights again when he becomes a "10/5 player" in mid-September 2020. 

Wasn't the reason virtually every team dropped below the Luxury Tax threshold this year was to play in the market next year, go over the threshold and pay a lower tax percentage?

Point being, will the Luxury Tax stop anyone, including the Cubs, from spending freely next year?

BLOCKHEAD: Good question. If the Cubs do sign a high-AAV free-agent like Machado or Harper this coming off-season, they won't just go over the 2019 CBT threshold, they will sail way past it, but that said, the Cubs will get back about $50M AAV post-2019 (offset by post-2019 arbitration raises TBD) from the subtraction of Zobrist, Strop, Duensing, Kintzler, Smyly, and Morrow (presuming Morrow's 2020 option doesn't vest and the Cubs buy him out), so the financial, draft, and free-agent compensation penalties associated with exceeding the CBT threshold in 2019 would probably only apply for one year (2020).  

Tangent: Russell suspended 40 games.  Sounds a light to me, but guess we'll never know the details.

I agree that that suspension seems light relative to other suspensions given that the blog post describes a long period of abuse and not only one incident.

Suspension aside, I don't know that I'll be able to root for him again. Publicly apologizing and taking responsibility might help, I suppose. I'm not sure I've ever seen a public figure apologize for abuse in a way that seemed genuine, though.

Nationals SS Trea Turner this year immediatley and sincerely apoligized for his poor choice of comments he made years ago on twitter, given not physical abuse, but its a different kind of abuse.

So Russell will get credit for the eleven regular season games he missed in 2018, making it effectively a suspension for the first 29 MLB regular season games in 2019. 

Addison Russell will remain on the Restricted List until his suspension is finished, and (with the player's consent) he will be allowed to spend up to twelve days on a minor league conditioning/rehab assignment (without pay, although he will receive MLB meal money while on the road) with one of the Cubs minor league affiliates prior to being reinstated from the Restricted List. He can (if he so chooses) participate in Extended Spring Training (without pay) prior to and/or instead of the minor league conditioning/rehab assignment. 

The Cubs can wait up to 30 days to add Russell to their MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) and MLB Active List (25-man roster) after he is reinstated from the Restricted List, depending on when the Cubs determine he is in playing shape.

So barring rain-outs, Russell's suspension will be completed on 5/1 and the earliest he could play in an MLB regular season game would be May 3 vs STL at Wrigley Field (after the off day on 5/2). 

Of course that's presuming he is tendered a contract for 2019. 

AZ PHIL- You don't actually believe that they'd let Addy walk??  He still has shown so much potential and his draft pedigree, age, team control still seems like they could get a decent trade out of him.  They may have to wait until he returns.  That didn't stop Osuna getting traded or people (Cubs) shying away from Chapman.  Given Addy doesn't throw 100mph.  They gave up on and traded D.J. LeMaheiu (with Colvin)  too early to get Ian Stewart/Casey Weathers.  Stewart was a detriment and Weathers had TJS and never saw Iowa.  I can't believe they'd just let Addy walk, I would think they trade him.  Bote/Happ (Zobrist too) has made him expendible via Baez and Nico Hoerner looks like he's going to be on the fast track to MLB.  Personally the less Scott Boras clients on the team the better (Bryce Harper).  Thoughts?

cubbies.4ever: I think if it's just up to Theo, then Russell stays, serves his suspension, and then gets reinstated, nothing personal and no hard feelings. So if the Cubs non-tender Russell on 12/2, it will likely be an ownership decision (Ricketts Family). If the Ricketts family decides that cutting ties with Russell must happen and it must be done with conviction, then Theo will have no recourse. Yes, Russell could be traded, but if he is I would think it would have to be before the contract tender date.   

Another factor that could come into play is if the Cubs are willing to fly past the CBT threshold and Theo/Jed think they can sign Manny Machado. Adding Machado would allow the Cubs to play Machado-Baez at SS-2B with Bryant playing 3B and Zobrist playing LF or RF, or Machado-Baez at 3B-SS with Zobrist playing 2B and Bryant playing LF or RF. I think it's fairly obvious that the Cubs need another substantial bat in the middle of the order, and it doesn't look like it will be Happ or Schwarber. Whether it could be Bryce Harper or Manny Machado remains to be seen, but of the two, Machado would seem to be the better fit on a Joe Maddon team. 

Based on Russell's wife's blog, Russell has a drinking problem. Darwinism suggests that means he can't handle being on a Joe Maddon team, which loves to party after wins. It would also explain his deterioration at the plate (although his fielding didn't seem to suffer, so I could be just being an idiot). My point being I don't think he'd get a chance to come back if he doesn't address the core problem - drinking, and I don't know how you do that, or fit in, on a Maddon team. 

AZ PHIL- Ultimately it is the "The Ricketts team, obviously" however I thought they gave Theo full contol to do whatever.  Have they ever stepped in before that you know of?  I know some owners are a pain, being a Dolphins fan (sorry Bears fans) despite their coach (ex Bear Adam Gase) having full control of player personal their owner constantly steps in to voice his opinions on who he thinks would be a good Dolphin (nudge, nudge) just so he can see himself speak on TV.

cubbies.4ever: As you probably know, before the Cubs acquired Daniel Murphy from Washington the Ricketts Family (particularly Laura Ricketts) were consulted and gave their consent to the transaction. (Murphy gave an interview in 2015 that was anti-gay).

The Ricketts Family was also supposedly consulted prior to the Cubs acquring Aroldis Chapman in 2016  (Chapman had been suspended in early 2016 after an off-season DV incident at his residence in Florida).

So sometimes (not often, but sometimes) a final decision regarding a player matter rises to the level of ownership, especially if the player might potentially reflect badly on the Cubs "brand."

The last thing the Ricketts Family wants is LGBTQ groups (in the case of Murphy) or the #MeToo movement (in the case of Russell) protesting outside Wrigley Field.  

So a player transaction matter is not always just a pure baseball decision. 

Hence the Colin Kaepernick situation.  Like him or his views he's probably better than most backups and some starters in the NFL.  Note: He was once drafted by the Cubs put chose to play football at Nevada.

Russell was an All Star and MVP-19 in 2016 at age 22, a charter member of what the Cubs referred to as their core. Certainly as he nears free agency he'll see the error (costliness) of his ways and mend them. I expect he'll have a long successful career and that these domestic episodes will have been a bump in the road. The question for us is, will the Cubs get anything in return for Russell when he shapes up?  In order to recoup something significant, they'll have to maintain a relationship with him for a while.  So I expect to see Baez at second, Russell at short for a few more years. Things being equal, which they obviously aren't, I think the Cubs would like to install Baez at short and dispel all this talk about Javy's "versatility," which in regard to anyone else would mean "can't defend anywhere well."

until russell actually accepts and appologizes rather than deny, things are going to be iffy.  it may end up with him getting non-tendered or traded for below market value if he holds onto his denials.

he's carrying a lot of baggage for a guy who not only has a direct alligation, but has others backing things up that he's accused of.

he's gotta repair his reputation, and denial probably won't do it.

given that d.smylylylylyly should be ready to go next year, and he's probably not going to pitch more than 150-ish innings in this current pitcher management era...montgomery might be good as gone in some kind of trade.

Here's any annoying historical thing about losing the division this year.  

# of NL Central division Championships this decade:

Cardinals 3 ('13, '14, '15)

Brewers 2 ('11, '18)

Cubs 2 ('16, '17)

Reds 2 ('10, '12)

So we are kinda also-rans when people look back at these stats in 20 years.  Fewer division championships this decade vs. last too.  

The division losses this year and in 2015 really skew the view on the Cubs if you don't keep the win-loss record in mind, given that both years they won 95+ games and ended up wild-card teams despite having the second or third best record in the league.

The Cubs still have 2019 to catch up to the Cards in this decade. Also, it would be a little unfair to compare the 2000s to the 2010s because the competition windows were so different. In the 2000s, two significantly different rosters had two significantly different windows: The Sosa and Alou Cubs in 2003-2005 and the Lee, Ramirez, DeRosa Cubs 2007-2009. In the 2010s, the Matt Garza Cubs (?) were absolute trash 2010-2012, the rebuild was its own thing 2013-2014, and the Rizzo, Bryant Cubs have been awesome 2015-2018 despite really stiff in-division competition. This window should extend through 2020 and potentially longer, if not at quite the same height.

Yes, it is a completely arbitrary look and silly meaningless stat without context.  Just one of those things when you see books or articles on this decade 30-40 years from now, it looks less cool on paper than had the won three in a row and won the decade so to speak. 

On the arb #'s I got to believe Boras is going to want a lot higher for Bryant, Baez (all though an MVP season, but hit or miss before) $6MIL 1st time arb might be high (going by history), I can't believe they'd double Hendricks amount at $9MIL, and Schwarber I'd gues get more than $3MIL just because he has a cult following (including Theo, hence why he's not in the AL yet) no matter what he does.

I'm following this Brewers/Rockies game and really not having any "Can't believe the Cubs aren't playing in this game" thoughts that I usually would have.  Moved on from the losses quickly.

killer game 1.

moosetacos plays hero with a RBI single in the bottom 10th.

my boss is a brewers fan.  i'm doing him a solid and rooting for them to go all the way.  plus they're damn likeable (aside from braun, that dude is junk).

good deadspin article (rare, i know) about the russell situation...

Gotta Keep Schwarber... 

I know there are a bunch of hot takes right now about who stays & who goes. I want to point out that KS has virtually the same # of career PAs as Javy did at the end of 2017 (KS:1274, JB: 1269).  Comparing stat lines (KS/JB)... HR: 72/47  BB: 174/64  K: 369/371  AVG: .228/.255 OBP: .339/.300 SLG: .470/.427

Of course JB brings the glove & other intangibles...

I guess my larger point is "what a difference a year makes"... Javy went from potential trade bait and/or "will he live up to potential?" to totally untouchable in one year.  People talking about needing the team needing fire/urgency, and I think that Schwarbs brings those things. 

Yeah, I'd be patient with these core guys, including Russell, not because they need him but because of what he could bring in return after a solid season.

Brewers are good at that whole pitching thing.

AFL/Mesa begins on tuesday (9th)

cubs actually sending some guys worth watching this year.

I love Eckersley as a color man. 

"Miguel Sano was detained by police in his native Dominican Republic on Sunday after being involved in a traffic incident.

According to reports, Sano was asked to stop at a police checkpoint, but instead drove through and injured a police officer."


it's also worth mentioning that in our current "fureners r bad" state of governing, getting a felony when you're a citizen of another country can hinder your re-entry in the US and it's already effected baseball players even from favored countries.

Not that it changes much, but I thought the Zobrist AAV was $14M year ($56M over 4 years).

mbauer: Thank you VERY much for double-checking that. I have changed it. Thanks again. 

Always enjoy the thoroughness of your posts! Thanks for taking the time to dissect the $$ situation for 2019. 

It looks like MLB Trade Rumors posted their first pass at 2019 Arbitration estimates:

Kris Bryant – $12.4MM

Kyle Hendricks – $7.6MM

Javier Baez – $7.1MM

Addison Russell – $4.3MM

Kyle Schwarber – $3.1MM

Mike Montgomery – $3.0MM

Carl Edwards Jr. – $1.4MM

Tommy La Stella – $1.2MM

"A source told NBCSChicago's David Kaplan that the Cubs offered Kris Bryant a deal in excess of $200 million that was turned down by the player."


also, i wonder if the "2015 screw job" is still in his agent's mind.

Jed Lowrie ... right?

Anybody else think that JL would be a great add to the roster?  I'm thinking Russell & Happ are out (traded/released) and Schwarber & Bryce Harper are in.  Lowrie provides a 2B option w/ some flexibility to be another lefty (switch) infielder. Also can be the back-up short stop... which is something that is going to need to be addressed w/o Russell (buh-bye). 

I could see Almora staying (great D, still developing) or going (replace with a RHB bench OF with a complimentary skill set).  I actually could sort of see Zagunis taking the spot... lots to prove in spring, etc. but a doubles hitter w/ great zone control would look awfully good pinch hitting. And it's not like there will be a surfeit of OF innings w/ Zo, Schwarbs, Jhey, & Harper.  On the other hand, a late inning OF of Harper-Almora-Heyward sounds nice. 

If the Cubs really end up in on Harper, I hope there are some good takes to get me excited. I have very little interest in that dude.


I know many people are all-in on Harper but I just don't see him being worth the money and length of contract.  If Cubs are swimming in the financial deep end this offseason, I would rather get Machado to replace Russell and move Javy back to 2nd.

Harper's career so far reminds of the 2018 Cubs; loads of talent, moments of greatness, some injury issues, some consistency issues, ends up reaching 95 wins but still falls short of expectations and goals. 

Machado makes some sense for the Cubs at least. He'd be a defensive boost over KB at 3rd, and KB would be a defensive boost in LF. It would also give them an option other than Javy at SS if they end up trading or otherwise cutting ties with Russell. Harper is just a bat who downgrades the defensive situation in RF or is sort of a wash in LF (by the advanced metrics at least). I like Harper's plate discipline, but he is inferior to Machado in every other regard. I wonder how big the price difference will be between the two.

Jason Vosler and Cory Abbott named Cubs MiLB P.O.Y.

that vosler nod is sad, but that's the state of the system's bats.

i mean, dude works hard and isn't trash, but a 24 year old with a nice AA season combined with a meh AAA season shouldn't be your system's accomplished bat.

i look forward to seeing if his power and batting eye develops more.

The Cubs Minor League Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year awards are strictly performance-based, and Jason Vosler led the Cubs minor leagues in HR, 2B, and RBI and was top ten in BB, SLG, and OBP. The only other players who were in contention for POY were Jared Young and Trent Giambrone.  

Phil, do you think Vosler will be added to the 40 man roster?

HAGSAG: While I have Jason Vosler listed "on the bubble" to be added to the 40, I would say he probably will be added.

It will partly depend on how many players the Cubs feel they can safely add to the 40 without hand-cuffing themslves during the off-season, and whether they think Vosler would be taken in the Rule 5 Draft if left unprotected. 

I would say that If Vosler is not added to the 40 by 11/20, he would be a good candidate to be selected in the Rule 5 Draft, and if he is selected, it's unlikely that the Cubs would get him back. So that's why I think he will probably be added to the 40 by the 11/20 deadline. 

it's a tough one.  he's 25, a lefty hitter, and he works at his game.

while he was not impressive at all at AAA, he's got above average "line drive power" and plays a decent enough 3rd/1st to not be a roster waste with a big league club NL or AL team.

Maybe La Stella gets non-tendered and Vosler is waiting in the wings?

ERICH081: The thing about Tommy LaStella is that he has proven that he can pinch-hit and handle a high-velocity FB "cold" off the bench. That is a very specific skill and it is fairly rare. 

Cubs a little short on lefty bats--why we saw as much as we did of Happ and Caratini--and, who knows, maybe Vosler can actually play third. But I agree with you about the signal that the Cubs had another bad crop this year.

Chili is a goner per Gonzo.


Theo was pretty harsh, but on the money.  Noted the offense simply “broke” in the 2nd half across the board.  Called out that the Cubs groundball rate in 2H was far and away the highest in baseball And the Cubs stopped hitting line drives and taking walks.

I don't watch as much as you guys--God, it's a long season--but every time I looked, Contreras was hitting a chopper to third, usually on the first pitch.

cubs bench coach b.hyde has interviewed for the rangers manager job.  he's 1 of 3 so's early.

I did an unofficial preliminary "audit" of MLB Service Time for all players who were on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) as of the end of the MLB regular season, and from what I can determine there are (apparently) 123 players who are unsigned for 2019 who have accrued at least two but less than three years of  MLB Service Time with at least 86 days accrued in the 2018 season, meaning 27 of the 123 players (that's 22% - or 27.06 - which is 27 players because per the CBA a fraction is rounded to the nearest whole number) would qualify for salary arbitration post-2018 as a "Super Two": 

1. Travis Jankowski, OF (SD) - 2+170
1. Luis Severino, P (NYY) - 2+170
3. Kevin Plawecki, C (NYM) - 2+167
4. Austin Hedges, C (SD) - 2+166
5. Blake Swihart, C (BOS) - 2+164
6. Pat Valaika, INF (COL) - 2+161
6. Tony Wolters, C (COL) - 2+161
8. Tyler Austin, 1B (MIN) - 2+160
9. Byron Buxton, OF (MIN) - 2+159
9. Nick Goody, P (CLE) - 2+159
11. Michael Fulmer, P (DET) - 2+157
11. Sean Manaea, P (OAK) - 2+157
13. Junior Guerra, P (MIL) - 2+155
14. Jose A. Ramirez, P (ATL) - 2+153 
15. Curt Casali, C (CIN) - 2+152
15. Max Kepler, OF (MIN) - 2+152
17. Adam Conley, P (MIA) - 2+148
18. Alex Dickerson, OF (SD) - 2+146
18. Jefry Marte, 1B (LAA) - 2+146
20. Matt Davidson, 3B (CHW) - 2+145
20. Taylor Rogers, P (MIN) - 2+145
22. Eddie Butler, P (TEX) - 2+141 
22. Ryan Dull, P (OAK) - 2+141
22. Jose Peraza, INF (CIN) - 2+141 
25. Ronald Torreyes, INF (NYY) - 2+139
26. Matt Boyd, P (DET) - 2+136
27. Carl Edwards Jr, P (CHC) - 2+134
27. Jacob Lindgren, P (ATL) - 2+134

The above "unofficial" list presumes 27 players will be awarded Super-2 status, in which case the Super-2 threshold will be 2+134 (the Super-2 threshold was 2+122 post-2017). NOTE: If two or more players finish in a tie for MLB Service Time for the last slot (as is the case with Edwards and Lindgren at #27), both players qualify and therefore 28 players (not 27) will be awarded Super-2 status. . 

Players who fall just under the Super-2 threshold if 28 qualify are:  

Scott Schebler, OF (CIN) - 2+132
Drew VerHagen, P  (DET) - 2+126
Mallex Smith, OF (TB) - 2+125   

So Schebler would be next in line to qualify for Super-2 status if more than 28 players qualify. 

Thanks Phil, looks like a lot of work putting this together. 

The usual MLB contract tender date (12/2) gets moved-up to Friday 11/30 this year because 12/2 falls on a Sunday. (Last year it was moved up to Friday 12/1 because 12/2 fell on a Saturday). So the Cubs will have to decide by 11/30 whether to tender 2019 MLB contracts to the unsigned players on their MLB Reserve List (40-man roster). 

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  • Arizona Phil 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    In addition to 40 players signed to 2020 MLB contracts, after releasing 22 minor leaguers this week the Cubs now have 279 players signed to 2020 minor league contracts (plus one minor leaguer on the Restricted List), for a total of 320 players in the organization (181 pitchers, 30 catchers, 60 infielders, and 49 outfielders).   


  • JustSayin' 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    Years of over-drafting pitching shown here.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 20 hours ago (view)

    Some of the players cut I am not too surprised by. Some of them I think are definitely victims of the minor league pay thing and being squeezed out.

    That said, I am very surprised they gave up already on Riley McCauley and Niels Stone.


  • Hagsag 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    Baseball America is showing a big group of players that have been released.


  • Arizona Phil 2 days 11 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have released minor league catcher Rafelin Lorenzo. He was selected from the Pittsburgh Pirates in the AAA Phase of the 2018 Rule 5 Draft and spent the 2019 season at South Bend. He was eligible to be a minor league 6YFA post-2020. 


  • JustSayin' 3 days 20 hours ago (view)

    The organizations will cut rosters down, as if the full-season teams were breaking camp to start the season, THEN pay the remaining minor leaguers $400/week or whatever.  That's similar to what costs would have normally been but the "one last chance" players who got spring training invitations this year and didn't have an obvious roster spot won't be getting their last chance.


  • crunch 3 days 22 hours ago (view)

    "According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, all minor league players will be receiving $400 per week from MLB through at least May 31."

    so that's where that promise landed.  the scary thing is that's still more than some in the low minors make on a weekly basis.


  • crunch 6 days 14 hours ago (view)

    "Jeff Passan of ESPN writes that the players and league agreed that the 2020 season won't start until "there are no bans on mass gatherings that limit the ability to play in front of fans, there are no travel restrictions and medical experts determine games will not pose a risk to health of teams and fans." Passan does add that the two sides "will consider the feasibility of playing in empty stadiums" and also at neutral sites.


  • crunch 6 days 20 hours ago (view)

    i miss baseball.  it could happen in may happen in late might not happen either way.

    there's so many things getting messed up right now i would get lost making a list.  there's some college guys making a serious "okay, we need to look at that guy" push that's dead.  former cubs draft pick russell smith (2017, LHP highschool) took last season off for injury (TCU college) and returned with a low 90s fastball, impressive control, and a MLB-quality changeup.  his "comeback" was 4 games and done thanks to this current situation...


  • JustSayin' 6 days 22 hours ago (view)

    COVID 19 + a short draft + Manfred's obsessive drive to shrink the minor leagues will change baseball forever.  It WAS still America's grass roots sport.  Where I live, from June through August, you could see a quality live game any day of the week, within an hour's drive.  I believe that era is over.  What's going on will have ripple effects, contracting serious college ball, college summer leagues and independent pro ball just as much as the MiLB systems.  With those changes, some of the game's charm will also go.  I've seen a kid from Cape Cod play in the Ca


  • crunch 1 week 20 hours ago (view)

    fyi for anyone who bought

    for "some reason" getting a cancel+refund via phone is like pulling teeth, but if you contact them via a webpage contact request many people are getting a cancel+refund confirmation within an hour or 2...


  • bradsbeard 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    I imagine because the new labor agreement freezes rosters as of whenever the agreement is approved by the owners and it might affect what those guys are paid under the agreement. 


  • Hagsag 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    AZ Phil. what was the reason that a whole bunch of teams optioned or assigned players to the minor leagues yesterday on March 26 ? Thanks.


  • Arizona Phil 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    jdrnym: Ordinarily, players on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) who are on Optional Assignment to the minors do not accrue MLB Service Time, are paid at the minor league rate rather than at the MLB rate if the player has a "split" contract, and if the player gets hurt or becomes sick after being optioned, he can be placed on a minor league IL instead of on an MLB IL (so that he cannot accrue MLB Service Time or be paid at the MLB rate while he is on the IL). Also, a player who is optioned to the minors for at least 20 days will burn an option year.   


  • jdrnym 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    AZPhil, what are the technical ramifications of optioning/not optioning guys during this period of no baseball? Seems like some teams are more eager than others to trim their roster down.


  • crunch 1 week 3 days ago (view)

    "Major League Baseball has agreed with the MLBPA to grant a full year of service time to players in 2020 regardless of how many games the schedule includes.

    Rosenthal adds, however, that the two sides have agreed to "table discussions" on how much service time the players would receive if the worst-case scenario plays out and the 2020 season has to be canceled entirely due to the coronavirus pandemic."