13 Cubs Are Declared Minor League Free-Agents

13 Cubs minor leaguers were declared MLB Rule 55 minor league free agents at 5 PM (Eastern) Sunday 11/1.

CUBS 2020 MLB RULE 55 MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENTS:
Corey Black, RHP 
Erick Castillo, C 
Eric Gonzalez, C 
Luke Hagerty, LHP 
Danny Hultzen, LHP
Ivan Medina, RHP 
Jordan Minch, LHP  
Erling Moreno, RHP
Tyler Olson, LHP 
Eugenio Palma, LHP  
Pedro Strop, RHP
Jerry Vasto, LHP  
Mark Zagunis, OF

All six of the Rule 55 second-contract players (Beard, G. Kelly, Lawlor, J. Ramirez Vasquez, and Vizcaino) are signed for 2021. 

LHP Rex Brothers, LHP Luis Lugo, LHP Josh Osich, INF-OF Hernan Perez, RHP (ex-!B) Jerrick Suiter, and RHP Joe Wieland were eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league 6YFA, but each of them signed a 2021 minor league successor contract prior to being declared a 6YFA. (The six will likely receive an NRI to MLB Spring Training in return for agreeing to sign a successor contract). All six of these players will now be eligible for selection in next month's Rule 5 Draft, so it is possible that one or more could be added to the Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) when minor league reserve lists are established on 11/20 in preparation for the Rule 5 Draft. 

A club receives no compensation for losing a minor league free-agent.

A minor league free-agent can sign a major league or minor league contract with any club (including the player's former club) without any restrictions, so it's possible that one or more of the Cubs minor league free-agents will eventually re-sign with the Cubs at some point during the off-season, although the club's offer going forward will certainly be less than what the player was offered to sign a minor league successor contract (if a club is willing to increase its offer or even offer the same money after a player declines to sign a successor contract, nobody would ever sign one).  

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  • Charlie 1 hour 6 min ago (view)

    I would be happy to see the Cubs no longer spend DH time on Victor Caratini. Provided there's a Kyle Schwarber or better alternative, of course.

     

  • Arizona Phil 9 hours 9 min ago (view)

    DJL: I don't think Ildemaro Vargas being out of minor league options is much of a concern to the Cubs because as things stand right now he projects as the team's primary utility infielder in 2021. He can play all four INF positions (1B, 2B, 3B, and SS, plus corner OF, too), and he is switch hitter with some pop, especially from the right side (remember the 9th inning HR he hit off Josh Hader in September?). 

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 9 hours 52 min ago (view)

    I'm a little surprised Ildemaro Vargas was tendered, given that he's out of options. He has value and isn't expensive as he is pre-arb this year, but still a bit surprised. Have to think he's got an inside track to an Opening Day spot at this point

     

  • waveland 18 hours 37 min ago (view)

    really appreciate the years and years of your updates

     

  • Arizona Phil 20 hours 32 min ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: Strumpf was wearing a cast on his hand in Minor League Camp before everything got shut-down in March so his not being at South Bend might have had something to do with that. I don't know why Rivas wasn't at the ATS. 

     

  • bradsbeard 21 hours 16 min ago (view)

    Do you have any idea why Rivas and Strumpf weren't at the alternate site in South Bend? I thought Rivas especially showed enough in ST games to be viewed as a legitimate depth option, especially with the DH. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 21 hours 51 min ago (view)

    Alfonso Rivas reminds me a bit of Rafael Palmeiro when Palmeiro first came up to the big leagues and was a "doubles machine" (before he started hitting home runs).   

    Rivas played D-1 baseball at the University of Arizona, so (just like Nico Hoerner, who also played in the PAC-12) I don't think he needs a lot of additional time at AAA before he's ready for MLB. He's a very advanced hitter, as long as you are OK with lots of doubles & lots of walks but not many HR.   

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 22 hours 53 min ago (view)

    I hadn't thought of that but I really like that option

     

  • bradsbeard 22 hours 58 min ago (view)

    I really hope Rivas has a chance at the LF job. Would ease some of the sting of Schwarber being cut loose. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 22 hours 59 min ago (view)

    CRUNCH: I got the impression that Ross had seen enough of Schwarber in LF, so implementing the universal DH may be necessary before Schwarber returns to the Cubs in 2021. I think the Cubs would be fine with Schwarber as their main DH going forward. 

    BTW, I strongly suspect that the universal DH will be included in the next CBA, but whether there will be a DH in the National League in 2021 is still TBA (which is really stupid, since clubs need to know right now for sure one way or the other whether or not there will be a DH in the N. L. in 2021). 

     

  • Arizona Phil 23 hours 10 min ago (view)

    Besides the guys on the 40, Cubs 2021 NRI relievers with a legit chance to win a bullpen slot in Spring Training include LHRPs Josh Osich and Rex Brothers, and RHRPs Jake Jewell, Trevor Megill, Dakota Mekkes, Michael Rucker, and Joe Wieland (presuming they are not taken in the Rule 5 Draft). 

    Brothers and Wieland are out of minor league options, however, so if added to the 40 they could not ride the "Chicago - Des Moines Shuttle" like the others could. 

     

  • crunch 23 hours 16 min ago (view)

    i am rooting for the cubs to retain schwarber.

    even though he's average on the best of days in LF (except his above average arm), i would like to see him and his work ethic remain in the cubs system...the homers from the left side of the plate are nice, too.

     

  • Arizona Phil 23 hours 38 min ago (view)

    At least as things stand right now, Kris Bryant is your Cubs de facto 2021 Opening Day LF! (Of course we know he will be traded before then...). 

    Otherwise, minor league NRI outfielders Ian Miller, Michael Hermosillo, and Rafael Ortega will be competing for Opening Day OF slots, with a legit shot to win a job.

    Even Alfonso Rivas (who was hitting rockets from foul line to foul line at AZ Instructs) and/or Eddy Julio Martinez (who has had a very good winter in the Mexican Pacific League) might have a shot.  

     

  • Arizona Phil 23 hours 41 min ago (view)

    I would think that both Colin Rea and Kyle Ryan must have signed contracts with minor league split salaries, otherwise I doubt very much that they would have been tendered. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 23 hours 52 min ago (view)

    With Tepera non-tendered and Winkler, Ryan, and Rea signed, the Cubs 2021 Opening Day bullpen (right now) would appear to be Kimbrel (clearly not tradeable), Wick (virtual lock), Winkler (can't be optioned without his consent), Underwood (out of minor league options), and Maples (out of minor league options), and then three from amongst Adam, Norwood, Rea, Ryan, Stock, and Wieck (each of whom can be optioned back & forth to AAA as needed).

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 12 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have signed RHSP Colin Rea, LHRP Kyle Ryan, and RHRP Dan Winkler to 2021 MLB contracts (terms TBD) and tendered 2021 MLB contracts to all other unsigned players on their MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) except OF Albert Almora, OF-1B Jose Martinez, OF Kyle Schwarber, and RHRP Ryan Tepera.

    So Almora, J. Martinez, Schwarber, and Tepera are now unrestricted free-agents, free to sign an MLB or minor league contract with any club (including the Cubs) without any salary restrictions.   

    The Cubs MLB Reserve List now stands at 34 (six slots are open).