Rule 5 Draft Roster Decisions Loom for Cubs
11/18 UPDATE: The Cubs have selected the contracts of LHP Jack Leathersich from Iowa, C-1B Victor Caratini and OF Jake Hannemann from Tennessee, and RHP Duane Underwood Jr from Myrtle Beach, and all four have been added to the Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster).
The Cubs also claimed LHP David Rollins off waivers from the Seattle Mariners today, so the Cubs MLB Reserve List now stands at 39 (one slot is open).
Next Friday is the deadline for MLB clubs to file off-season MLB and minor league reserve lists with the MLB office.
These reserve lists are used to determine eligiblity for selection in the December 2016 Rule 5 Draft, and once the reserve lists are filed, Rule 5 Draft eligible players on minor league reserve lists are essentially "frozen," meaning the player cannot be added to the MLB 40-man roster, transferred to a different minor league reserve list, traded, or released until the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft. However, MLB and minor league free-agents can be signed throughout the "quiet" (frozen) period (and free-agents who meet Rule 5 Draft eligibility who sign a minor league contract can be selected in the Rule 5 Draft), and players can be sent outright to the minors during most of this "quiet" period as well. (Rule 5 Draft-eligible players can be outrighted to the minors up until two days prior to the Rule 5 Draft, and all players sent outright to the minors prior to the Rule 5 Draft are automatically eligible for selection in the draft, even if they otherwise would not be Rule 5 Draft eligible).
At present, the Cubs have six slots open on their MLB Reserve List (40-man roster), so they could add as many as six Rule 5 Draft-eligible players to the 40 without removing any players. However, it is more-likely that the Cubs will add no more than four (maybe five), and the players most-likely to be added are (in this order):
1. Duane Underwood Jr, RHSP
2. Victor Caratini, C-1B
3. Armando Rivero, RHRP
4. Jack Leathersich, LHRP
5. Jose Paulino, LHSP
6. Bijan Rademacher, OF
7. Jake Hannemann, OF
8. Corey Black, RHRP
9. Ryan McNeil, RHRP
10. Daury Torrez, RHRP
All it takes is one MLB organization to like a particular Rule 5 Draft-eligible player for the player to get selected, so useful MLB-ready (or near-MLB ready) Cubs minor leaguers like OF John Andreoli, C-1B Taylor Davis, C-1B Cael Brockmeyer, and/or RHSP Jordan Pries could very well get selected, but you can figure that the ten minor leaguers listed above are probably the ones the Cubs would least-like to lose.
In addition to deciding which players to add to their MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) to protect them from being selected in the Rule 5 Draft, the Cubs also must decide which Rule 5 Draft-eligible players to place on the 38-man AAA Iowa reserve list, as well as which ones to place on the 37-man AA Tennessee reserve list, and which ones to assign to the 35-man reserve lists of their Myrtle Beach, South Bend, Eugene, AZL Cubs, DSL Cubs #1, and DSL Cubs #2 affiliates.
The decision whether to place a Rule 5 Draft-eligible player on the AAA Iowa reserve list or on the AA Tennessee reserve list matters because players on AAA reserve lists can only be selected in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft ($50,000 draft price with a right to re-claim player for $25,000 if the player doesn't make the drafting club's MLB 25-man Active List), while players on the AA reserve list can be selected in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft ($12,000 draft price with no right to re-claim).
The Cubs have actually lost many more players in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft (including 1B Justin Bour) than they have in the Major League Phase over the past few years, a testament to the depth of their farm system. They are likely to lose a few more players this year as well.
At present there are 55 Cubs minor leaguers eligible for selection in next month's Rule 5 Draft. If (let's say) five of them (Underwood, Caratini, Rivero, Leathersich, and Paulino) are added to the MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) next week, that would leave 50 players eligible for selection. At most 38 can be placed on the AAA Iowa Reserve List, and clubs usually leave around five slots open on their AAA affiliate's reserve list for minor league free-agents who are signed and for players who might be outrighted to the minors during the 20-day "quiet" (frozen) period prior to the draft, and for players the Cubs might select in the AAA Phase (the Cubs selected three players in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft last year, and a club must have as many slots open on its AAA affiliate's reserve list prior to the start of the draft as players selected by the club in the AAA Phase of the draft).
So figure about 17 of the Cubs minor leaguers eligible for selection in this year's Rule 5 Draft will probably be available for selection in the AAA Phase of the draft, and once drafted, players lost in the AAA Phase are gone for good. NOTE: There is also a AA Phase where Rule 5 Draft-eligible players on Class "A" reserve lists can be selected for $4,000, but players available in this phase are usually injured, playing another sport, serving a prohibited substance suspension, and/or about to be released, so even getting $4,000 for the player is better than nothing. (No players were selected in the AA Phase last year).
CUBS MINOR LEAGUERS ELIGIBLE FOR SELECTION IN DECEMBER 2016 RULE 5 DRAFT (last updated 11-9-2016):
NOTE: Players in CAPS bold & underlined are likely to be added to the MLB 40-man roster, players in bold (but not underlined) are likely to be placed on the AAA Reserve List (eligible for selection in the Major Phase only), and players in italics are likely to be placed on the AA Tennessee reserve list or on the reserve list of one of the Class-A affiliates.
Andury Acevedo, RHP (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Gioskar Amaya, C-IF-OF
John Andreoli, OF
Jeffry Antigua, LHP
Luis Aquino, RHP
Pedro Araujo, RHP
Jeffrey Baez, OF
Yasiel Balaguert, 1B-OF
Dallas Beeler, RHP (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Corey Black, RHP
David Bote, INF
Cael Brockmeyer, C-1B
Stephen Bruno, INF
VICTOR CARATINI, C-1B
Roberto Caro, OF
Erick Castillo, C
Josh Conway, RHP
Taylor Davis, C-1B
Andin Diaz, LHP
Elvis Diaz, RHP
Greyfer Eregua, RHP
Luiz Escanio, RHP (on Resrtricted List)
Bryant Flete, INF
Robert Garcia, OF
David Garner, RHP
Jake Hannemann, OF
Luis Hernandez, RHP
Erick Leal, RHP
JACK LEATHERSICH, LHP
Danny Lockhart, INF
Mark Malave, RHP (ex-C)
Dillon Maples, RHP
Trey Martin, OF
Jonathan Martinez, RHP
Ryan McNeil, RHP
Alberto Mineo, C-1B
Jose Paniagua, 1B-OF
Juan Carlos Paniagua, RHP
Manny Parra, LHP (Article XIX-A player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Adonis Paula, INF
JOSE PAULINO, LHP
Carlos Penalver, INF
Steve Perakslis, RHP
Chris Pieters, 1B-OF (ex-LHP)
Jordan Pries, RHP
James Pugliese, RHP
Bijan Rademacher, OF
Will Remillard, C
ARMANDO RIVERO, RHP
Alexander Santana, RHP
Nick Sarianides, RHP
Tyler Skulina, RHP
Daury Torrez, RHP
DUANE UNDERWOOD JR, RHP
Michael Wagner, RHP
KingKongvsGodzilla 21 hours 32 min ago (view)
AZPhil, thank you for these updates! It's a nice little pick me up during this dumb year. If you have anything to say on Yohendrick Pinango, Joel Machado, Rafael Morel, or Richard Gallardo, I would love to hear it! Thanks again!
crunch 1 day 7 hours ago (view)
jim hickey new nats pitching coach.
bradsbeard 2 days 1 hour ago (view)
Several non-prospects ate up spots as well. Ultimately wish they had given a few more Rivas types a shot there.
tim815 2 days 2 hours ago (view)
Only 60 spots in SB. Others benefited more from the time.
crunch 2 days 5 hours ago (view)
not phil, but i think everyone is holding off on his potential ceiling until he gains enough weight to not look like someone you want to buy a sandwich every time you see him.
big upside if his skills can strengthen as he builds his body.
too early for a solid comp, but i wouldn't feel uncomfortable throwing ian happ's name around (bit better arm than happ, though).
bradsbeard 2 days 6 hours ago (view)
Me too. Thought it was weird he wasn't in South Bend at all.
Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 11 hours ago (view)
I am very, very intrigued by Rivas. If the DH is unfortunately here to stay, he's a prime candidate for that and give Rizzo a day off 1B here and there. If no DH, hopefully he is a passable OF. Big believer in his hitting ability
Hagsag 2 days 14 hours ago (view)
Phil, do you think Chris Morel is the real deal?
tim815 3 days 3 hours ago (view)
Blue and Red DSL instructs rosters. No Brayan Altuve.
crunch 3 days 6 hours ago (view)
yup, they're gonna try. starts in about a month.
Hagsag 3 days 13 hours ago (view)
Has it been announced whether there will be a DR winter league this winter?
tim815 3 days 19 hours ago (view)
That's as good of news as we'll get for awhile.
Arizona Phil 3 days 22 hours ago (view)
TIM: If nothing else, signing a boatload of IFA (35) in the 2019-20 ISP is a pretty good indicator that the Cubs fully intend to run two DSL teams into the forseeable future.
tim815 3 days 23 hours ago (view)
Of the 11 new guys, I'm leaning on Marino Sandy and Jerry Torres to be the most likely to reach full-season ball or get traded
Arizona Phil 4 days 32 min ago (view)
OF Ian Miller (outrighted to the minors on 9/3) elected free-agency just prior to the 10/15 deadline, and the Cubs have signed RHRP Juan Gamez (who they released on 9/9) to a 2021 minor league contract.
bigsky33 5 days 5 hours ago (view)
Phil, were you watching from outside the stadium?