Cubs 2018 Off-Season Roster Prep
LHRP Alberto Baldonado (declared an MLB Rule 55 Minor League 6YFA on 11/3) has signed a 2019 minor league contract with the Cubs and was assigned to AAA Iowa, and so he will be one of 74 Cubs minor leaguers who are (at present) eligible for selection in the 2018 Rule 5 Draft on December 13th. The Cubs signed Baldonado as a minor league free-agent last off-season after he completed his seventh minor league season with the New York Mets. The Mets originally signed Baldonado as a 17-year old J-2 IFA out of Panama in 2010, and while he has racked-up some impressive K-totals numbers in his minor league career, he also struggles to throw strikes. Still, the 6'4 250 hefty-lefty can be over-powering at times, and the Cubs no doubt hope he will discover consistent command one of these days (he's still only 25). Baldonado is the 4th Cubs post-2018 minor league free-agent to re-sign with the Cubs.
RHP Jose Rosario (declared an MLB Rule 55 Minor League 6YFA on 11/3) has signed a 2019 minor league contract with the Cubs and was assigned to AAA Iowa, and so he will now be one of 72 Cubs minor leaguers who are (at present) eligible for selection in the 2018 Rule 5 Draft on December 13th (see list of Cubs minor leaguers eligible for selection in 2018 Rule 5 Draft below). Born in New York City but signed by the Cubs as a 17-year old "J-2" IFA out of the Dominican Republic in 2008, Rosario is the uncle of ex-Cubs (now DET) 3B Jeimer Candelario. Now 28, Rosario missed the 2018 season with a right arm injury, and so he will be able to continue his rehab at the Cubs UAPC in Mesa in 2019. Rosario has spent his entire pro career with the Cubs, and in fact he has (somewhat amazingly) been a member of the Cubs organization for 11 seasons (2008-2018). He was considered enough of a prospect that he was added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster after the 2016 World Series to keep him from walking away as a minor league 6YFA at that time, and he was on the 40 as recently as September 2017, before being released on 9/1 and then signing a 2018 minor league contract with the Cubs two weeks later.
OF Wynton Bernard (declared an MLB Rule 55 Minor League 6YFA on 11/3) has signed a 2019 minor league contract with the Cubs and was assigned to AAA Iowa, and so he will now be one of 73 Cubs minor leaguers who are (at present) eligible for selection in the 2018 Rule 5 Draft on December 13th (see list of Cubs minor leaguers eligible for selection in 2018 Rule 5 Draft below). The 28-year old Bernard (ex-DET) was signed as a minor league 6YFA last off-season and hit 242/293/349 in 98 games between AAA Iowa and AA Tennessee in 2018, and was competing with Iowa CF Jacob Hannemann for the Cubs September "5th-OF/PR" gig before the Cubs acquired Terrance Gore from KC in August. While Gore may very well be - THE - fastest player in the upper levels of affiliated ball, Bernard is one of the fastest, and he will compete for the Iowa 4th OF job in Spring Training with the possibility that he could get a September call-up (presuming Terrance Gore does not re-sign with the Cubs).
RHP Corey Black (declared an MLB Rule 55 Minor League 6YFA last Friday) has signed a 2019 minor league contract with the Cubs and was assigned to AAA Iowa, and so he will now be one of 71 Cubs minor leaguers who are (at present) eligible for selection in the 2018 Rule 5 Draft on December 13th (see list of Cubs minor leaguers eligible for selection in 2018 Rule 5 Draft below). The 27-year old Black was originally drafted and signed by the New York Yankees in 2012 (4th round pick - Faulkner U.) and was traded to the Cubs in July 2013 in exchange for OF Alfonso Soriano. He is rehabbing from August 2018 right elbow surgery that followed February 2017 TJS, so now he will be able to continue his off-season rehab uninterrupted at the Cubs UAPC in Mesa.
11/3 ORIGINAL POST:
Now that six Cubs major leaguers (RHP Jesse Chavez, LHP Jorge de la Rosa, LHP Jaime Garcia, INF Daniel Murphy, C Bobby Wilson, and LHP Justin Wilson) and 17 Cubs minor leaguers have been declared free-agents, the Cubs will need to focus on their MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) as it pertains to signing free-agents and acquiring players via trade or waiver claim, and protecting players from possible selection in the MLB Rule 5 Draft.
At present, there is only one slot open on the Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster), but the Cubs will probably need at least three slots (maybe four) to be open when they add Rule 5 Draft-eligible players to the 40 on or before the 11/20 deadline for setting off-season minor league rosters. Then they will almost certainly need additional slots on the 40 beyond that for any free-agent(s) they might sign and for any player(s) they might acquire in a trade (if it isn't a straight one-for-one deal), claim off waivers, or select in the Rule 5 Draft.
As I have mentioned previously, it's very possible that the Cubs will try and run LHP Jerry Vasto, OF Johnny Field, and INF Jack Reinheimer (who were claimed off waivers this week) back through waivers in order to clear additional slots on their MLB 40-man roster in preparation for the upcoming Rule 5 Draft. The fact that the Cubs (who have the #25 waiver claim priority) were able to acquire Vasto, Field, and Reinheimer off waivers means they have a good chance of securing waivers on the trio if they put them back on waivers again ASAP. And there would be no restrictions on outrighting Vasto, Field, and Reinheimer during the off-season, either (which is probably one of the reasons the Cubs claimed those particular players). They are not Article XX-D players so they cannot elect free-agency if outrighted, they do not have MLB Rule 55 status so they didn't have to be outrighted by 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day aftef the final game of the World Series, and they do not have MLB Rule 6 Draft-Excluded Player status so waivers can be requested during the off-season.
RHP Jen-Ho Tseng and OF Mark Zagunis are in the same situation as Vasto, Field, and Reinheimer (no off-season restrictions on being outrighted), so they are also candidates to get run through waivers prior to the 11/20 minor league roster deadline as well, the main difference being the Cubs signed and developed Tseng and Zagunis, so the Cubs may value them more than a player they claimed off waivers from another MLB organization.
Two other players on the Cubs MLB 40-man roster (C-1B Taylor Davis and RHP Allen Webster) have Draft-Excluded Player status, so there are off-season restrictions as far as outrighting them to the minors is concerned. And RHRP Justin Hancock is an MLB Rule 55 player, so he can't be outrighted until he signs a 2019 contract (and the Cubs can't force him to sign until the March 1st auto-renewal date). So other than by trade or outright release, the only way T. Davis, Webster, and Hancock can be removed from the 40 during the off-season is by non-tendering the player on 11/30 (the MLB contract tender date, which was moved up to 11/30 this year because the normal contract tender date of 12/2 falls on a Sunday). So it would be a bit more difficult getting T. Davis, Webster, and Hancock off the 40 during the off-season than would be the case with Vasto, Field, Reingheimer, Zagunis, and Tseng, but an 11/30 non-tender would get it done (if the Cubs feel the player's slot on the 40 is needed for another player). And the added benefit of non-tendering a player on 11/30 is that he does not need to be placed on waivers in order to be removed from the 40, and he can be subsequently re-signed to a 2019 minor league contract after the Rule 5 Draft (if the player is willing).
So 70 Cubs minor leaguers (including seven who were eligible to be minor league free-agents but who signed 2019 minor league successor contracts) are eligible for selection in the December 2018 Rule 5 Draft. The Cubs must decide by November 20th which 2018 Rule 5 Draft-eligible player or players to add their MLB 40-man roster to keep the player from being eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft.
The Cubs also must decide by November 20th whether to place a 2018 Rule 5 Draft-eligible minor league player who is not added to the MLB 40-man roster by the 11/20 deadline on their AAA Iowa reserve list or on the reserve list of an affiliate of a lower classification. At most 38 of the 2018 Rule 5 Draft-eligible Cubs minor leaguers can be placed on the AAA Iowa Reserve List on 11/20. However, although the AAA Reserve List limit is 38, probably more like 32 or 33 of the Rule 5 Draft-eligible players will actually be placed on the AAA Iowa reserve list on 11/20, because slots need to be left open for players the Cubs might want to select in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft, as well as for free-agents signed to minor league contracts or players outrighted to the minors after 11/20 but prior to the Rule 5 Draft. (Any Rule 5 Draft-eligible free-agent who signs a 2019 minor league contract prior to the Rule 5 Draft will be eligible for selection).
Any 2018 Rule 5 Draft-eligible Cubs minor leaguer who is not placed on the AAA Iowa Reserve List on 11/20 will be eligible for selection in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft (the AAA Phase draft price is $24,000 compared to $100,000 for players selected in the Major League Phase, and unlike in the Major League Phase, there is no mechanism available for a club to possibly eventually re-claim a player it loses in the AAA Phase).
Here are some of the more-noteworthy Cubs minor leaguers who are eligible for selection in the 2018 Rule 5 Draft...
LIKELY TO BE ADDED TO THE MLB 40-MAN ROSTER BY 11/20:
1. Justin Steele, LHSP (pitching in AFL)
2. Trevor Clifton, RHSP
3. Jason Vosler, 3B-1B
"ON THE BUBBLE" TO BE ADDED TO THE 40 BY 11/20:
4. P. J. Higgins, C-INF (playing in AFL)
5. Jhonny Pereda, C (playing in AFL)
6. Erick Leal, RHSP (pitching in AFL)
UNLIKELY TO BE ADDED TO 40 BUT COULD RECEIVE RULE 5 DRAFT CONSIDERATION:
7. Ian Rice, C-1B
8. Erling Moreno, RHSP
9. Manuel Rondon, LHP - SWING (pitching in AFL)
10. Charcer Burks, OF
11. Jacob Hannemann, OF
12. Chesny Young, IF-OF
13. Craig Brooks, RHRP
14. Brad Markey, RHP - SWING
15. Zach Hedges, RHP - SWING
The Cubs added only one player who was eligible for selectiion in 2018 Rule 5 Draft (RHRP James Norwood) to the MLB 40-man roster during the course of the 2018 MLB regular season, but during the course of the 2017 MLB regular season the Cubs added four players to the 40 (RHP Dylan Floro, RHRP Dillon Maples, RHSP Jen-Ho Tseng, and OF Mark Zagunis) who would have been eligible for selection in the December 2017 Rule 5 Draft, although Floro was subsequently claimed off waivers by the Los Angeles Dodgers. NOTE: IF-OF Ian Happ 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.
The Cubs then added three more post-2017 Rule 5 Draft-eligibles (RHSP Adbert Alzolay, INF David Bote, and RHSP Oscar de la Cruz) to the 40 on 11/20 of last year, Bote after hitting a robust 333/395/536 for the Mesa Solar Sox in the post-season Arizona Fall League. (It's not unusual for the Cubs to assign a Rule 5 Draft-eligible player to the Arizona Fall League, 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).
So if it's like 2017, expect the Cubs to add three Rule 5 Draft-eligible players to their MLB 40-man roster on 11/20.
RULE 5 DRAFT
The MLB Rule 5 Draft is held on the 2nd Thursday in December and is presently the last order of business at the MLB WINTER MEETINGS. 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 2018 RULE 5 DRAFT (last updated 11-14-2018):
NOTE: Rule 5 Draft-eligible players most-likely to be on AAA Iowa Reserve List on 11/20 are in bold/italics/underlined (if player not added to MLB 40-man roster by 11/20)
Anderson Acevedo, RHP (Second-Contract Player signed for 2019)
Tyler Alamo, C-1B
Gioskar Amaya, INF (signed 2019 minor league successor contract)
Luis Aquino, RHP (Second-Contract Player signed for 2019)
Luis Ayala, OF
Yasiel Balaguert, 1B-OF (signed 2019 minor league successor contract)
Wynton Bernard, OF (Article XX-D player - signed 2019 minor league contract )
Corey Black, RHP (signed 2019 minor league contract
Casey Bloomquist, RHP
Andres Bonalde, LHP
Craig Brooks, RHP
James Buckelew, LHP (Second-Contract Player signed for 2019)
Charcer Burks, OF
Roberto Caro, OF (signed 2019 minor league successor contract)
Eric Castillo, C (signed 2019 minor league successor contract)
Trevor Clifton, RHP
Alfredo Colorado, RHP
Yan de la Cruz, RHP (Second-Contract Player signed for 2019)
Enrique de los Rios, RHP
Scott Effross, RHP
Wander Feliz, RHP (ex-OF)
Riger Fernandez, LHP
Emilio Ferrebus, RHP
Wladimir Galindo, INF
Hector Alonso Garcia, RHP
Robel Garcia, INF (Second-Contract Player free-agent signed for 2019)
David Garner, RHP (on AAA Iowa RESTRICTED LIST)
Dalton Geekie, RHP (Second-Contract Player signed for 2019)
Yapson Gomez, LHP
Eric Gonzalez, C
Jose Alejandro Gonzalez, RHP (ex-OF)
Jacob Hannemann, OF (Article XX-D player)
Zach Hedges, RHP
P. J. Higgins, C
Jesse Hodges, INF
Danny Hultzen, LHP (signed 2019 minor league successor contract)
Ryan Kellogg, LHP
Ryan Lawlor, LHP (Second-Contract player signed for 2019)
Erick Leal, RHP (signed 2019 minor league successor contract)
Vimael Machin, INF
Brad Markey, RHP
Junior Marte, RHP
Marcus Mastrobuoni, C
Ivan Medina, RHP
M. T. Minacci, RHP
Jordan Minch, LHP
Kevonte Mitchell, OF
Erling Moreno, RHP
Preston Morrison, RHP
Rafael Narea, INF
Richard Nunez, C
Pablo Ochoa, LHP
Eugenio Palma, LHP
Tyler Payne, C
Henrry Pedra, INF
Yeiler Peguero, INF
Jhonny Pereda, C
Chris Pieters, OF-1B (signed 2019 minor league successor contract)
Eury Ramos, RHP
Will Remillard, C
Ruben Reyes, LHP (ex-OF)
Ian Rice, C
Andry Rondon, RHP
Manuel Rondon, LHP
Jose Rosario, RHP
Justin Steele, LHP
Jake Stinnett, RHP
Franklin Tineo, INF
Sucre Valdez, RHP
Jason Vosler, INF
Ryan Williams, RHP
Chesny Young, INF
Rob Zastryzny, LHP (Article XX-D player)
NOTE: RHP Aneuris Rosario was eligible for selection in the 2018 Rule 5 Draft before being placed on the Disqualified List on 4/24, and as long as he remains on the Disqualified List he will not be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft.
Additionally, any free-agent who signs a 2019 minor league contract prior to the 2018 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 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 (Atlanta Braves) inadvertently left one of its top prospects off its MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) when minor league reserve lists were 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).
blockhead25 1 hour 6 min ago (view)
Ahh, 2 games against the Tigers, but seems to imply they'd only play those games if it will impact which teams make the playoffs. If the Cardinals win their last 2, I don't believe the other games could impact which Team makes it. Why would Detroit have any incentive to win those games? Well, hope the Cubs won one of the next 2 so it doesn't matter.
crunch 1 hour 51 min ago (view)
yeah, it may be another team. i just know they have a possible monday double header...unless i got that wrong, too.
blockhead25 2 hours 22 min ago (view)
Cubs? We played the cards the full 10 slate?
if Cards make playoffs, I would think they'd want nothing to do with having to play a double header Monday to improve playoff seeding.
crunch 2 hours 30 min ago (view)
the cubs may or may not have to play a doubleheader vs STL on monday depending on the next game or 2...i think
blockhead25 2 hours 33 min ago (view)
How did the Cubs not just clinch the division?
Aren't the Cards only scheduled for 58 games?
beat Cards can do is 31-27. Worst Cubs can do is 33-27.
crunch 2 hours 52 min ago (view)
j.baez is batting left handed...and hits a double.
CWS have a position player "pitching"
crunch 2 hours 54 min ago (view)
2nd contreras homer...no bat flip, no staring down the pitcher, quick trip around the bases, into the dugout.
crunch 2 hours 55 min ago (view)
i wish more non-AFL winter league was televised. dominican, puerto rico, etc...you can straight up showboat if you've earned it on a play without having to deal with retaliation (most of the time). bat flips, pitcher celebrations, swagger home run trots, etc...all fair game. it's you know...fun.
Craig A. 3 hours 19 min ago (view)
Plunking a guy for a bat flip only proves the pitcher has thin skin and short fingers. I'm glad Contreras scored.
Cubster 3 hours 34 min ago (view)
I goofed wrt Bluejays/Astros. They clinched a WC #2 and 8 seed but Houston has a lock on West div team 2. The Indians will be 7 seed and wild card #1, abd team #3 from the central
crunch 3 hours 35 min ago (view)
hey, guess who just got a fastball in the back.
crunch 4 hours 24 min ago (view)
that contreras bat flip, tho...
Cubster 5 hours 53 min ago (view)
Cards lose game 1 of DH w Brewers
crunch 7 hours 2 min ago (view)
happ / rizzo / contreras(DH) / heyward / baez / schwarber / caratini / kipnis / hoerner(3rd)
eloy will not start this weekend for CWS and may be unavailable to pinch hit, too (foot injury).
Dolorous Jon Lester 7 hours 11 min ago (view)
Even more of a shame when you consider we gave up a decent prospect for him
Jackstraw 7 hours 50 min ago (view)
Wisdom been in short supply in 2020. Glad we got some.