Cubs 2016 Rule 5 Draft Watch List
As things stand right now...
CF Albert Almora Jr (Cubs 2012 1st round draft pick), RHSP Duane Underwood Jr (Cubs 2012 2nd round draft pick), RHRP Armando Rivero (ex-Serie Nacional closer who received a $3M+ bonus iwhen he signed with the Cubs in 2013) , LHSP Rob Zastryzny (Cubs 2013 2nd round draft pick), and switch-hitting C-1B-3B Victor Caratini (a Braves Top 10 Prospect acquired by the Cubs in a 2014 trade deadline deal for LHRP James Russell and IF-OF Emilio Bonifacio) are probably the five most-noteworthy Cubs minor leaguers who will be first-time eligible for the Rule 5 Draft post-2016, but (as with Willson Contreras and Jeimer Candelariio in 2015), others (perhaps OF Jake Hannemann, RHSP Tyler Skulina, and/or RHSP Paul Blackburn) could enter the picture during the course of the 2016 season.
In addition, RHSPs like Daury Torrez and Jonathan Martinez will likely have had a year of AA under their belts by the end of the 2016 season, and so they very well could be more-likely to get protected on the "40," because they would probably be more-likely to get selected in the Rule 5 Draft post-2016 than they were post-2015.
And fireballin' RHRP Corey Black (who basically pitched-himself out of the Cubs MLB 40-man roster pisture post-2015 with an atrocious performance in the AFL following a mediocre 2015 season) could pitch himself back into the picture with a strong 2016 season.
"Five-tool" OF Jeffrey Baez will (once again) be eligible for selection in the 2016 Rule 5 Draft, but unless he establishes himself in AA in 2016, I doubt that the Cubs would add him to the 40 post-2016, because he would still be unlikely to get selected (and even if he were to be selected, it would be difficult for the claiming club to keep him on their MLB 25-man roster for an entire season).
Then there are the 30 players (6YFA and second-contract players) who are eligible to be minor league free-agents post-2016 (like RHSP Felix Pena, RHRP Starling Peralta, and C-INF Gioskar Amaya) and who could just walk away if the player is not added to the MLB 40-man roster or signed to a 2017 minor league successor contract by 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day following the last game of the 2016 World Series (and if the player signs a 2017 minor league successor contract, he would then become eligible for selection in the 2016 Rule 4 Draft).
What's really intetresting about the 2016 Rule 5 Draft as far as the Cubs are concerned is that (at present) 73 Cubs minor leaguers (NOT counting the 30+ potential post-2016 minor league free-agents who could sign 2017 minor league successor contracts post-2016) are eligible for selection in the December 2016 Rule 5 Draft, and at most 38 (the AAA Reserve List limit, and actually probably more like 32 or 33, to leave slots open for players the Cubs might want to select in the AAA Phase, as well as for free-agents signed to minor league contracts or players outrighted to the minors prior to the Rule 5 Draft) will actually be placed on the AAA Iowa Reserve List on 11/20, making upwards of 40 players (and likely some fairly decent ones, too) eligible for selection in the AAA Phase of the Draft.
As you may recall, the Cubs lost no players in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft this year, but they did lose four in the AAA Phase, and the most noteworthy player lost by the Cubs in the Rule 5 Draft in recent years (1B Justin Bour) was selected in the AAA Phase post-2013.
That's the problem the Cubs have right now..., a very deep farm systtem, but only a maximum of 38 slots available on their AAA affiliate's reserve list to keep decent prospects from getting selected in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft (where there are no roster restrictions for the claiming club, and no right to re-claim by the player's former club).
CUBS MINOR LEAGUERS ELIGIBLE FOR SELECTION IN DECEMBER 2016 RULE 5 DRAFT (last updated 12-23-2015):
Albert Almora Jr, OF
John Andreoli, OF
Pedro Araujo, RHP
Jeffrey Baez, OF
Yasiel Balaguert, 1B-OF
Harrinson Bermudez, RHP
Corey Black, RHP
Paul Blackburn RHP
David Bote, INF
Matt Brazis, RHP
Cael Brockmeyer, C
Kevin Brown, OF
Stephen Bruno, INF
Victor Caratini, C
Ben Carhart, INF-C
Roberto Caro, OF
Erick Castillo, C
Jesus Castillo, RHP
Gerardo Concepcion, LHP (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Josh Conway, RHP
Rashad Crawford, OF
Taylor Davis, C
Andin Diaz, LHP
Shawon Dunston Jr, OF
Greyfer Eregua, RHP
Luiz Escanio, RHP
Bryant Flete, INF
P. J. Francescon, RHP
Scott Frazier, RHP
Robert Garcia, OF
David Garner, RHP
Jordan Hankins, C-INF
Jake Hannemann, OF
Luis Hernandez, RHP
Corbin Hoffner, RHP
Tyler Ihrig, LHP
Michael Jensen, RHP
Erick Leal, RHP
Danny Lockhart, INF
Mark Malave, RHP (ex-C)
Dillon Maples, RHP
Ricardo Marcano, OF
Trey Martin, OF
Jonathan Martinez, RHP
Trey Masek, RHP
Ryan McNeil, RHP
Alberto Mineo, C
Jose Morel, RHP
Yomar Morel, RHP
Yoanner Negrin, RHP
Jose Paniagua, 1B-OF
Juan Carlos Paniagua, RHP
Adonis Paula, 3B
Jose Paulino, LHP
Carlos Penalver, SS
Steve Perakslis, RHP
Chris Pieters, OF-1B (ex-LHP)
James Pugliese, RHP
Bijan Rademacher, OF
Jasvir Rakkar, RHP
Will Remillard, C
Armando Rivero, RHP
Carlos Rodriguez, LHP
Jacob Rogers, 1B
Alexander Santana, RHP
Tayler Scott, RHP
Tyler Skulina, RHP
Daury Torrez, RHP
Duane Underwood Jr, RHP
Dilson Vasquez, RHP
Michael Wagner, RHP
Sam Wilson, LHP
Rob Zastryzny, LHP
Additionally, any player eligible to be an MLB Rule 55 Six-Year Minor League Free-Agent (6YFA) post-2016 who signs a 2017 minor league contract or a 2017 minor league successor contract prior to the December 2016 Rule 5 Draft will be eligible for selection, and any player eligible to be an MLB Rule 55 Second Contract Minor League Free-Agent post-2016 who signs a 2017 minor league contract or a 2017 minor league successor contract prior to the December 2016 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.
POST-2016 RULE 55 SIX-YEAR MINOR LEAGUE FA:
Gioskar Amaya, INF-C
Jeffry Antigua, LHP
Scott Barnes, LHP (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Frank Batista, RHP
Blake Cooper, RHP
Fernando Cruz, RHP
Luis Cruz, LHP
Ryan Dent, INF
Kelly Dugan, 1B-OF (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Kevin Encarnacion, OF
Stephen Fife, RHP (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
David Freitas, C
Anthony Giansanti, IF-OF
Brandon Gomes, RHP (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Jesus Loya, OF
Jean Machi, RHP (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Mike O’Neill, OF
Luis Parra, LHP
Felix Pena, RHP
Starling Peralta, RHP (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Juan Carlos Perez, OF (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Jose Rosario, RHP
Logan Watkins, INF (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
2016 MLB RULE 55 SECOND CONTRACT PLAYERS :
Luis Aquino, RHP (previously released by CLE)
Jesus Arias, RHP (previously released by CLE)
Jack Leathersich, LHP (previously non-tendered by CUBS)
Miguel Mejia, RHP (previously released by DET)
Drew Rucinski, RHP (previously released by CLE)
Roberto Vahlis, C (previously released by TOR)
NOTE: RHP Miguel Estevez (previously released by CIN) is a Rule 55 Second Contract Player, but he is not yet eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft.
KingKongvsGodzilla 1 day 10 hours 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 19 hours ago (view)
jim hickey new nats pitching coach.
bradsbeard 2 days 14 hours 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 15 hours ago (view)
Only 60 spots in SB. Others benefited more from the time.
crunch 2 days 18 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 19 hours ago (view)
Me too. Thought it was weird he wasn't in South Bend at all.
Dolorous Jon Lester 3 days 53 min 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 3 days 3 hours ago (view)
Phil, do you think Chris Morel is the real deal?
tim815 3 days 16 hours ago (view)
Blue and Red DSL instructs rosters. No Brayan Altuve.
crunch 3 days 19 hours ago (view)
yup, they're gonna try. starts in about a month.
Hagsag 4 days 2 hours ago (view)
Has it been announced whether there will be a DR winter league this winter?
tim815 4 days 8 hours ago (view)
That's as good of news as we'll get for awhile.
Arizona Phil 4 days 11 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 4 days 11 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 13 hours 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 18 hours ago (view)
Phil, were you watching from outside the stadium?