Cubs Facing Deadline to Set Rosters for Rule 5 Draft

11/20 UPDATE (TOLD YA SO): The Cubs have selected the contracts of RHP Adbert Alzolay and INF David Bote from AA Tennessee and RHP Oscar de la Cruz from Hi-A Myrtle Beach, and OF Jacob Hannemann has been sent outright to AAA Iowa. 

If it becomes an issue down the line, de la Cruz will be eligible for a 4th minor league option in 2021, so he will not need to be rushed.   

Hannemann will not be eligible to be a minor league 6YFA until post-2019, so he will remain under club control for at least two more seasons (longer if he were to be added back to the MLB 40-man roster at some point). While Hannemann is eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft, the fact that he wasn't claimed off waivers (for $50,000, with no roster restrictions) would mean he is very unlikely to be selected in the 2017 Rule 5 Draft (for $100,000, and with roster restrictions).  

The Cubs MLB Reserve List now stands at 36 (four slots are open). 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

11/20 ORIGINAL POST



Today (Monday 11/20) at 8 PM (Eastern) is the deadline for MLB clubs to file off-season MLB and minor league reserve lists with the MLB office, so the Cubs have just a few hours left to decide which Rule 5 Draft-eligible minor leaguers to add to their MLB 40-man roster in order to prevent the player(s) from being eligible to be selected by another MLB club in the Rule 5 Draft. 

The 2017 MLB Rule 5 Draft will be held on the last day of the Winter Meetings (Thursday December 14th).

MLB and minor league reserve lists are used to determine eligibility for selection in the 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, or traded 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 (40-man roster), so they could add as many as six Rule 5 Draft-eligible players to the 40 today without removing any players. However, it is more-likely that the Cubs will add no more than four (maybe five), leaving one or two slots open for free-agents they might sign, waiver claims and even possibly a Rule 5 Draft selection in the near-future. 

If they hadn't been traded, OF anmd INF would have been the big names the Cubs would have had to their MLB 40-man roster post-2017, but since they have departed, the Rule 5 Draft eligible players most-likely to have their contracts selected and get added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster today are RHP , RHSP , and INF . If one or two more are added, the most-likely candidates are (alphabetically) RHRP , OF ,  RHSP , RHSP ,. LHSP , RHRP , INF , and/or IF-OF . All it takes is one MLB organization to like a particular Rule 5 Draft-eligible player for the player to get selected, so the Cubs could very well lose one or more players this year.      

So far this season, the Cubs have added four players to the 40 who were eligible for selection in the 2017 Rule 5 Draft (RHP , RHRP , RHSP, and OF ), although Floro was subsequently claimed off waivers by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
NOTE: IF-OF was also added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster during the 2017 season, but he would not have been eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft until post-2018. 

In addition, C-1B-3B , IF-OF , RHSP and LHRP (all four eligible to be minor league 6YFA post-2017) were added to the 40 during the course of the 2017 season, although Rosscup was subsequently traded to the Colorado Rockies in June, Frankoff was claimed off waivers by the Seatle Mariners in September, and Freeman was sent outright to AAA Iowa on November 3rd. RHRP (acquired from the Rockies for Zac Rosscup) was added to the 40 on November 6th

The Cubs added RHRP (eligible to be a minor league FA post-2016) to the 40 after the 2016 World Series, and 2016 Rule 5 Draft-eligibles C-1B , OF , RHSP , and LHRP were added to the 40 on 11/18. (Leathersich was eligible to be a minor league FA post-2016, but he signed a 2017 minor league successor contract in September that kept him from being a free-agent after the World Series but made him eligible for selection in the 2016 Rule 5 Draft, and then the Cubs added Leathersich to the 40  on 11/18 so that he would not be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft).

Some of the Cubs minor leaguers who are Rule 5 Draft eligible (Alzolay, Araujo, Bote, Burks, Stinnett, and Vosler) played for the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League (AFL) post-2017. The Cubs will often assign a Rule 5 Draft-eligible player to the AFL to help the club decide which (if any) to add to the 40 on 11/20, as the AFL is often used as a "proving ground" for pitchers and position-players who are under consideration for promotion to an MLB 40-man roster. (Players who are eligible to be minor league free-agents after the World Series cannot be assigned to the AFL unless the player has either been added to an MLB 40-man roster or has signed a 2018 minor league successor contract).    

The Cubs also might try and outright one or two players from their MLB 40-man roster today to create additional openings on the 40. The days leading up to the November roster filing deadline is (generally speaking) one of the best times of the year to try and "sneak" a player through waivers, because all clubs have prospects they don't want to lose in the Rule 5 Draft, and claiming a player off waivers when a club is scrambling to open up slots for Rule 5 Draft-eligible prospects on the 40 just creates more of a log-jam headache. 

RHP and OF Jacob Hannemann would be the most likely players on the Cubs MLB 40-man roster to get outrighted today or possibly later in the off-season (if not caimed off waivers), because unlike C-IB-3B Taylor Davis (MLB Rule 6 Draft-Excluded player), LHP (MLB Rule 55 player), and RHP (MLB Rule 55 player), there are no restrictions on outrighting Farrell and Hannemann during the off-season.

The Cubs will likely also non-tender one or more of the players on their MLB Reserve List on December 1st (this year's MLB contract tender day), and that will open up even more slots on the 40. Because there are restrictions on outrighting T. Davis, Rosario, and Mazzoni during the off-season, one or more of the trio might be non-tendered on 12/1 and then re-signed to a minor league contract after the Rule 5 Draft -- presuming the player is willing to go along with the plan.

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 ($100,000 draft price with a right to possibly eventually re-claim player for $50,000), but players on a AA reserve list and the reserve lists of affiliates from classifications below AA can be selected in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft ($24,000 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 (most-notably 1B ) 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 in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft this year as well.  

But last year was one of the most-quiet Rule 5 Drafts for the Cubs in recent years. The Cubs lost one player (RHRP , selected by the Atlanta Braves off the AAA Iowa roster) and selected one player (LHP , selected off the roster of the New York Yankees AAA Scranton affiliate) in the Major League Phase, and lost one player (INF , selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks for their AAA Reno affiliate off the AA Tennessee roster) and selected one player (INF , selected for AAA Iowa off the roster of the Yankees AA Trenton affiliate) in the AAA Phase. C. Smith was re-claimed by the Yankees at the end of Spring Training, and Rivero spent the entire 2017 season on the Braves MLB 10-day and later 60-day DLs with shoulder problems before being outrighted to AAA and then eventually released last month (after the Cubs declined to re-claim him)

At most only 38 players can be placed on the AAA Iowa Reserve List (Rule 5 Draft-eligible players on the AAA Iowa Restricted List do not count against the AAA reserve list limit), 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 in the weeks prior to the Rule 5 Draft draft, and for players the club might select in the AAA Phase (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 30 of the Cubs minor leaguers eligible for selection in this year's Rule 5 Draft will be available for selection in the AAA Phase of the draft, and once drafted, players lost in the AAA Phase are gone for good (or at least they can't be re-claimed). 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

MLB RULE 5 DRAFT 

The MLB Rule 5 Draft is presently the last order of business at the MLB WINTER MEETINGS in December, and it is a mechanism that allows MLB clubs to select (draft) players off minor league reserve lists.

There is a "Major League Phase" where an MLB club can select Rule 5 Draft-eligible players off the reserve lists of minor league clubs (any minor league classification) for $100,000 ("Major League Phase" Rule 5 Draft price increased from $50,000 to $100,000 beginning with the December 2016 draft), and a "AAA Phase" where a club's AAA minor league affiliate can select Rule 5 Draft-eligible players off the reserve lists of minor league clubs of a lower classification (below AAA) for $24,000 (Rule 5 "AAA Phase" draft price increased from $12,000 to $24,000 beginning with the December 2016 draft).
NOTE: Effective December 2016, the "AA Phase" (where a club's AA minor league affiliate could select Rule 5 Draft-eligible players off the reserve lists of minor league clubs of a classification below AA for $4,000) has been eliminated.

There is no limit on the number of rounds in each phase (there could be one, there could be three, there could be five or more). As long as at least one club is still selecting players, the phase will continue, but as soon as all 30 teams have a full reserve list (so that clubs can no longer make selections) or have passed, the phase is over.

There is no limit on the number of Rule 5 Draft-eligible players any one organization can lose in a Rule 5 Draft.

RULE 5 DRAFT ELIGIBILITY

1. A minor league player who was 18 or younger on the June 5th immediately prior to signing his first contract is eligible for selection starting with the 5th Rule 5 Draft following his first qualified season, and a minor league player who was 19 years or older on the June 5th immediately prior to signing his first contract becomes eligible for selection starting with the 4th Rule 5 Draft following his first qualified season.

2. If a player signs his first contract after the conclusion of the season of the MLB or minor league club to which he is first assigned (even if he signs prior to the Rule 5 Draft), the next season is considered to be the player's "first qualified season" for Rule 5 eligibility purposes. (Depending on the minor league, the conclusion of a minor league club's season could be as early as the first week of August, or as late as the second week of September).

3. A player eligible to be an MLB Rule 55 minor league free-agent who signs a minor league successor contract prior to being declared a free-agent and a free-agent with prior MLB and/or minor league service who signs a minor league contract prior to the Rule 5 Draft is eligible for selection if the player;was 18 or younger on the June 5th immediately prior to signing his first contract and it is at least the 5th Rule 5 Draft since he signed his first contract, or the player was 19 years or older on the June 5th immediately prior to signing his first contract and it is at least the 4th Rule 5 Draft since he signed his first contract.

4. Any player on a minor league reserve list who has either been released or had his contract voided and then re-signs with the same MLB organization within one year is eligible for selection.

5. Any player on a minor league reserve list who has been outrighted to the minors previously in his career is eligible for selection.

6. A player on the Voluntary Retired List, Disqualified List, or Ineligible List is not eligible for selection.

7. An MLB club can designate any player on a minor league reserve list "eligible for selection" in the Rule 5 Draft even if the player would not normally be eligible, but once a player is designated "eligible for selection," he remains eligible for selection in all subsequent Rule 5 drafts. NOTE: A club might do this if the club is planning to release the player during the off-season. 

8. A minor league player-manager who would be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft if he was only a player can be selected, but if he is selected, the player-manager can reject the selection and retire. He has 30 days to decide. If he rejects the selection and opts to retire as a player, the player-manager is ineligible to be reinstated as a player for a minimum of one year.  

CUBS MINOR LEAGUERS ELIGIBLE FOR SELECTION IN 2017 RULE 5 DRAFT (last updated 11-16-2017):
Tyler Alamo, C-1B
Adbert Alzolay, RHP (ADDED TO MLB 40-MAN ROSTER on 11/20
Gioskar Amaya, INF (signed 2018 minor league successor contract)
Luis Aquino, RHP (previously released by CLE - second-contract player signed for 2018)
Pedro Araujo, RHP (signed 2018 minor league successor contract)
Delbis Arcila, 1B (AAA Iowa Restricted List - last active in 2013)
Luis Ayala, OF
Jeffrey Baez, OF (signed 2018 minor league successor contract)
Yasiel Balaguert, 1B-OF
Corey Black, RHP  
David Bote, INF (ADDED TO MLB 40-MAN ROSTER ON 11/20)
Cael Brockmeyer, C-1B
Charcer Burks, OF
Stephen Bruno, INF
Roberto Caro, OF
Erick Castillo, C
Trevor Clifton, RHP
Kevin Cornelius, INF
Oscar de la Cruz, RHP (ADDED TO MLB 40-MAN ROSTYER ON 11/20)
Yan de la Cruz, RHP (previously released by HOU - second-contract player signed for 2018)
Enrique de los Rios, RHP 
Elvis Diaz, RHP (previously released by BAL - second-contract player signed for 2018)
Rafael Diplan, RHP (AAA Iowa Restricted List - last active in 2013)
Andrew Ely, INF
Luiz Escanio, RHP
Miguel Estevez, RHP (previously released by CIN - second-sontract player in 2018)
Mike Freeman, INF (Article XX-D player - signed 2018 minor league contract after being declared minor league FA)
Robert Garcia, OF
David Garner, RHP 
Izaac Garsez, OF (AAA Iowa Restricted List - last active in 2012) 
Yapson Gomez, LHP 
Michael Hamann, RHP (AAA Iowa Restricted List - last active in 2013)
Justin Hancock, RHP (signed 2018 minor league successor contract) 
JACOB HANNEMANN, OF (SENT OUTRIGHT TO MINORS ON 11/20)  
Zach Hedges, RHP 
David Henrie, RHP (AAA Iowa Restricted List - last active in 2012) 
Luis Hernandez, RHP
Jesse Hodges, INF
Erick Leal, RHP  
Mark Malave, RHP (ex-C)
Brad Markey, RHP 
Joe Martarano, 1B-OF 
Ryan McNeil, RHP 
Jordan Minch, LHP 
Alberto Mineo, C-12B (signed 2018 minor league successor contract)
Erling Moreno, RHP
James Norwood, RHP 
Chris Nunn, LHP (previously released by SD - second-contract player signed for 2018) 
Adonis Paula, INF 
Amaury Paulino, RHP (AAA Iowa Restricted List - last active in 2012) 
Jose Paulino, LHP
Tyler Pearson, C 
Henrry Pedra, INF 
Carlos Penalver, INF (signed 2018 minor league successor contract) 
Stephen Perakslis, RHP 
Jhonny Pereda, C 
Chris Pieters, OF-1B 
James Pugliese, RHP (signed 2018 minor league successor contract) 
Bijan Rademacher, OF 
Will Remillard, C 
Manuel Rondon, LHP 
Jose Rosario, RHP (signed 2018 minor league contract after being released in September) 
Carson Sands, LHP 
Brian Smith, LHP (AAA Iowa Restricted List - last active in 2013) 
Ali Solis, C (signed 2018 minor league successor contract) 
Jake Stinnett, RHP 
Tommy Thorpe, LHP 
Daury Torrez, RHP (signed 2018 minor league successor contract) 
Roberto Vahlis (AAA Iowa Restricted List - last active in 2015)
Dilson Vasquez, RHP (AAA Iowa Restricted List - last active in 2014) 
Jason Vosler, INF 
Ryan Williams, RHP
Chesny Young, INF

Additionally, any player eligible to be an MLB Rule 55 Six-Year Minor League Free-Agent (6YFA) post-2017 who signs a 2018 minor league contract or a 2018 minor league successor contract prior to the December 2017 Rule 5 Draft will be eligible for selection, and any player eligible to be an MLB Rule 55 Second Contract Minor League Free-Agent who signs a minor league contract or a minor league successor contract prior to the Rule 5 Draft will be eligible for selection if the player was 18 or younger on the June 5th immediately prior to signing his first contract and it is at least the 5th Rule 5 Draft following his first qualified season, and a minor league player who was 19 years or older on the June 5th immediately prior to signing his first contract becomes eligible for selection starting with the 4th Rule 5 Draft following his first qualified season.


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


RULE 5 DRAFT RESTRICTIONS
:

1. A minor league player eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft 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 (or November 19th if November 20th falls on a Saturday or November 18th if November 20th falls on a Sunday) up through the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft.

2. A Rule 5 Draft-eligible player cannot be sent outright to the minors beginning at 5 PM (Eastern) on the third day prior to the Rule 5 Draft through the conclusion of the draft.

3. A club must have as many slots open on its MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) prior to the Rule 5 Draft as the number of players it selects in the Major League Phase, and an MLB club's AAA affiliate must have as many slots open on its reserve list prior to the Rule 5 Draft as the number of players the affiliate selects in the AAA Phase. 

4. A club can select a player off the reserve list of one of its own minor league affiliates, but if the player is selected in the Major League Phase, the club is bound by the same Rule 5 roster restrictions as if it had selected the player off the reserve list of another club's minor league affiliate. NOTE: This actually happened at least once a number of years ago, after a club inadvertently left one of its top prospects off its MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) when it was submitted to the MLB Commissioner on November 20th.

5. A player eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft cannot be "covered up" from selection, either by agreement between two clubs or by effect (such as by concocting a phony injury and placing the player on the disabled list in an attempt to decrease a player's value when the player is not really injured). Also, a player selected in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft cannot be "hidden" on a disabled list to help the drafting club fulfill Rule 5 roster obligations (such as by leaving the player on the DL after he is healthy enough to play). If the MLB Commissioner believes a club "covered up" a player to avoid losing the player in the Rule Draft or "hid" a selected player on a Disabled List, the offending club or clubs are subject to a penalty (TBD by the MLB Commissioner).

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

MLB RULE 6: SELECTED PLAYER

A "Selected Player" is any player selected in the Major League Phase of the MLB Rule 5 Draft.

MLB RULE 6 SELECTED PLAYERS ON CUBS MLB RESERVE LIST (updated 3-28-2017):
NONE AT THIS TIME

CUBS MINOR LEAGUERS SELECTED IN MAJOR LEAGUE PHASE OF 2017 RULE 5 DRAFT (updated 10-20-2017):
TBD  

1. A Selected Player must be placed on the drafting club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) immediately after selection and must be tendered a major league contract by 5 PM (Eastern) on the day of the draft.

2. A Selected Player can be traded at any time, but the player cannot be Designated for Assignment, released, or sent to the minors any earlier than 20 days prior to MLB Opening Day, and then only if Outright Assignment Waivers have been secured and the player's former club declines to reclaim the player.

3. If a Selected Player spends at least 90 days on an MLB Active List during the MLB regular season following selection, the player ceases to be a "Selected Player" at the conclusion of the MLB regular season. If time spent on an MLB Active List is less than 90 days in the season following selection, the player remains a Rule 6 Selected Player into the next season, and the player continues to be a Selected Player until he has spent 90 days total on an MLB Active List.

4. If a club wishes to send a Selected Player to the minors, the player must be placed on Outright Assignment Waivers, where any of the other 29 MLB clubs can claim the player for the $50,000 Rule 6 waiver price (formerly $25,000), and if claimed off waivers, the player continues to have Rule 6 Selected Player status.

5. If the Selected Player is not claimed off Outright Waivers, the player then must be offered back to the club from which he was drafted, and the player's former club can re-claim the player for $50,000 (formerly $25,000), with the player being automatically outrighted to the Reserve List of the minor league club from which he was drafted. The club from which the player was drafted usually has 72 hours to decide whether to re-claim the player, but it has only 24 hours to decide if the player is eligible to be an Article XX-D or Article XIX-A minor league free-agent if outrighted to the minors (player has accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time, qualifies for salary arbitration as a "Super Two" player, and/or has been outrighted to the minors previously in his career). NOTE: A Selected Player with Article XIX-A rights (player has accrued at least five years of MLB Service Time) cannot be re-claimed and outrighted back to the minor league club from which he was drafted unless the player consents in advance to the assignment.

6. If a Selected Player is returned (outrighted) to the minor league club from which he was drafted, and if the player has accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time, qualifies for salary arbitration as a "Super Two" player, and/or has been outrighted to the minors previously in his career, the player can elect to be an MLB Article XX-D minor league free-agent (or Article XIX-A minor league free-agent if the player has accrued at least five years of MLB Service Time) after being outrighted (he has three days to decide), or he can accept the Outright Assignment and defer the right to be a minor league free-agent until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season. (An outrighted Selected Player with "Super Two" rights who has not previously been outrighted to the minors can elect free-agency if he is outrighted to the minors, but he cannot defer free-agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season). 

7. If a Selected Player is returned (outrighted) to the minor league club from which he was drafted, the drafting club is responsible for any portion of the player's salary above what the player was paid the previous season.

8. If the club from which the Selected Player was drafted declines to re-claim the player, the player no longer has Rule 6 Selected Player status, the drafting club retains the player, and the player can be sent to the minors or released.

9. A player selected in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft must be assigned to the Reserve List of the AAA club that drafted the player and he must be given a 15-day trial during Spring Training with that club, but the player can be assigned to the Active List of any minor league affiliate in the MLB club's organization once the minor league regular season commences. Also, unlike players selected in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft, a player selected in the AAA Phase does not have to be offered back to the club from which he was drafted if the player is ultimately assigned to the Active List of a minor league affiliate below AAA.

PLAYERS SELECTED BY CUBS IN AAA PHASE OF 2017 RULE 5 DRAFT (updated 11-20-2017):
TBD

CUBS MINOR LEAGUERS SELECTED IN AAA PHASE OF 2017 RULE 5 DRAFT (updated 11-20-2017):
TBD

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

MLB RULE 6: DRAFT -EXCLUDED PLAYER

A "Draft-Excluded Player" is any minor league player who has accrued less than three years of MLB Service Time and who is eligible for selection in the MLB Rule 5 Draft, whose contract is selected, and who is added to an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) between August 15th and the Rule 5 Draft.

1. A Draft-Excluded Player can be non-tendered on 12/2, released, or traded at any time, but he cannot be sent to the minors by Optional Assignment beginning with the conclusion of the MLB regular season up until 20 days prior to MLB Opening Day.

2. A Draft-Excluded Player can be sent outright to the minors only if Outright Assignment Waivers are requested no later than 2 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day following the final game of the World Series, and if a Draft-Excluded Player is not outrighted to the minors prior to the Rule 5 Draft, the player cannot be Designated for Assignment or sent outright to the minors any earlier than 20 days prior to the start of the MLB regular season. 

CUBS WITH RULE 6 DRAFT-EXCLUDED STATUS: (last updated 11-6-2017)
Matt Carasiti, RHP
Taylor Davis, C-1B
Dillon Maples, RHP
Jen-Ho Tseng, RHP

Comments

I don't get the interest in Bote, AFL notwithstanding. That dude's upside is a 25th man on an MLB roster. Not worth the 40-man slot. I'd guess, given the current state of the Cubs, they'd be much more interested in protecting as many pitchers as they can, if they think they have MLB potential. For example, Stinnett as a bullpen arm, or Moreno for the projectable upside (and youth). Alzolay and DLC are of course locks.

given his age (25 in april), the fact he doesn't embarrass himself playing 2nd even if he's not slick, and his steady 2017 performance on with his bat, someone would end up snagging him to stash on the bench. he's probably not a starter on even the most desperate teams, but there's a lot that would be willing to give him a run as a bench 2nd/3rd/OF who may flash the upside to make it into the lineup on a more regular basis.

And you're confirming my point. Someone MIGHT see him as a fringey bench option, who cares? That has essentially no value, the 40-man spot is more valuable to the Cubs for the option value alone of maybe signing an extra free agent, or maybe identifying a lurking Rule 5 gem like a Santana or even Rondon. Waste of time to protect Bote.

The reason he has value as a fringe bench option is that he can extend the MLB roster beyond 25 men since he can be optioned between MLB and the minors. Depth is a good thing to have, and you can’t get the options feature off the FA wire ordinarily. But I think you’re also selling Bote a bit short. He’s a 2B (with enough versatility to handle other positions if needed) who has hit .295/.372/.460 (137 wRC+) over the past two seasons. That’s very good production from any spot, much less 2B. And while he’s older, occasionally guys who are overlooked due to age but who consistently hit in the minors break through to be productive major leaguers. I think fostering credible depth at AAA is a big factor in sustained success.

cubs bats are pathetic...it's v.caratini, m.zagunis, and then a lot of *shrug* in the system pipeline that's near MLB ready. hell, there's not much beyond that. hopefully a.ademan matures nicely with his bat. a right handed la stella (with better D) isn't a bad thing to have around to kick around for the next many years. besides, he became a lot more interesting with his power surge (not extreme, but noticeable) this year and this offseason in the AFL.

Somebody (w/ MiLB options) has to do the I-80 shuffle between Des Moines & Wrigley as the 25th (or 26th) man, and cover some of the infield. Probably not Caratini - want him playing everyday. Davis - could play 1B/3B in a really tight spot & be a bat off the bench. Sure R5 gems are nice, but rolling the dice on that roster spot (which is a 40 & then a 25 once the season starts) needs to be balanced with the high likelihood that the player isn't going to make it on the Cubs the whole season anyway. If they don't roster Bote, then they have to go shopping for a different 26th man infielder/utility. Sometimes the devil you know...

I agree with your point and the couple prior posts as well, but c'mon, 25th/26th men are available for free every spring training via roster cuts. If they can pass Bote through waivers and keep him, sure, he seems like a potential man for the job here. But it's not critical enough to use up a valuable 40-man spot this early in the offseason. I guess they could protect him now, and waive him later if the need arises and other teams no longer have available spots to use on an iffy player. But if I'm Jedstein, I protect an extra pitcher first, greater need and all that.

In 2016, he was among the system leaders in exit velocity. He plays second and third, and could dabble at SS. People often forget to value players who are league minimum. He's likely better than you think he is, unless you've watched him play 60 games.

phillies DFA mark appel. wow. what a bust. btw, very strong rumoring on draft day that if the phillies picked j.gray the cubs would be all over m.appel. they ended up going with k.bryant after appel was off the board. dang.

That was the Astros that picked Appel, not the Phillies. The Phillies was his second organization.

Chicago Cubs‏Verified account @Cubs 40s40 seconds ago More The #Cubs selected the contracts of RHP Adbert Alzolay and IF David Bote from @smokiesbaseball, and RHP Oscar De La Cruz from @Pelicanbaseball. Additionally, OF Jacob Hannemann has cleared waivers and been assigned to @IowaCubs.

aside from j.stinnett, i can't imagine who would be in danger of leaving. i dunno if there's even interest in him. chesny young is cool and all, but he's yet to produce even a shred of power and he's not good at SS. hopefully no one gets greedy and snags a "not quite ready" charcer burks or pedro araujo.

I'm a little bit surprised that Clifton wasn't protected. Any idea why?

Struggled mightily once June rolled around. How it goes sometimes.

Yankees protected Billy McKinney in addition to Gleyber Torres

I bet the Cubs would've kept McKinney if they would've known anyone who can hit 15 HRs at AAA can hit 30 in the bigs now.

Recent comments

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • jdrnym 21 min 11 sec ago (view)

    Brad Brach signs with the Mets for $850K but the Cubs are paying $500K, per Ken Rosenthal.

     

  • crunch 48 min 25 sec ago (view)

    Yeah, I've made myself familiar with a lot of the changes, but AZP's posts have both added more information and cleared up stuff I didn't fully grasp.  I appreciate the hell out of it.  Thanks Phil, thanks TCR.

     

  • bradsbeard 2 hours 30 min ago (view)

    Looks like Savant has his breaking pitch classified as a curve while Fangraphs calls it a slider. Suppose by ST he could have made everything over in the pitching lab, so who knows!

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 47 min ago (view)

    Again, none of these rules (including the one that requires a pitcher to face a minimum of three batters or else record the final out of the inning) have been officially approved.  

    I think one possible caveat that might be added to the three-batter minimum rule would be that the pitcher can be replaced prior to facing three batters or recording the final out of the inning if the other team puts up a pinch-hitter. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 51 min ago (view)

    Ptchers would also be treated differently under the new rules as far as the Injured list and Optional Assignment to the minors is concerned, with pitchers having to spend at least 15 days (up from 10 days) on the Injured List before being eligible to be reinstated and at least 15 days (up from 10 days) on Optional Assignment before being eligible to be recalled (inless the pitcher is being recalled to replace a pitcher on the 26-man roster who has been placed on an MLB inactive list).  

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 51 min ago (view)

    SONICWIND: As the rule is proposed, prior to the start of each MLB regular season a club must designate all players on its Opening Day 26-man roster as either a "pitcher" or a "position player." A maximum of 13 can be designated as pitchers (14 pitchers max when rosters expand from 26 to 28 beginning on 9/1). 

    For players who come up during the season, the club must designate the player as either a pitcher or a position player when the player is placed on the MLB active list roster. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 3 hours 4 min ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: Fangraphs shows the CT as his primary pitch in 2018 with the SL & FB (and an occasional CH) as his secondary pitches, with no CV at all. I guess I'll find out for sure in Spring Training. 

     

  • Sonicwind75 4 hours 20 min ago (view)

    AZ Phil, thank you as always for the detailed information.  How is the "cannot be a pitcher" part of the rule to be enforced?  With a few two way players and the increasing amount of mop up innings being handled by position players it seems like there could be a gray area there.  What is preventing a team from stashing an athletic relief pitcher as a "5th outfielder" that could be a pinch runner and play a passable OF when needed but could also provide them with extra relief pitcher.  Anytime I hear of a new rule I always think of how Bill Billichek would circumvent it t

     

  • bradsbeard 4 hours 21 min ago (view)

    AZ Phil, looking around Baseball Savant, it looks like Winkler now primarily throws a low 90s cutter, a 4-seamer that he throws a little harder (but is less effective), a curve and a sinker. The slider and change haven't been a major part of his repertoir the last two years. The cutter has been really effective the last two years but it looks like he lost command/effectiveness of his 4-seemer and curve last year For whatever reason  

     

  • bradsbeard 7 hours 40 min ago (view)

    They just signed this guy:

    https://twitter.com/mlbastian/status/1202973097223237632

     

  • Hagsag 8 hours 57 min ago (view)

    There seems to be a lot of player movement so far. Too bad the Cubs aren't involved.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 55 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 1 day 21 hours 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 1 day 21 hours 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 1 day 21 hours 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 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

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