Your 2009 Wild Card Cubs!

And here are the 29 players eligible to play in the 2009 post-season for the Chicago Cubs:


* bats or throws left
# bats both

Ryan Dempster
Chad Fox
* Tom Gorzelanny
* John Grabow
Kevin Gregg
Angel Guzman
Rich Harden
Aaron Heilman
* Ted Lilly
Carlos Marmol
* Sean Marshall
David Patton
Randy Wells
Carlos Zambrano

# Koyie Hill
Geovany Soto

Jeff Baker
# Andres Blanco
* Mike Fontenot
Derrek Lee
# Aaron Miles
Aramis Ramirez
Ryan Theriot

# Milton Bradley
Jake Fox
* Kosuke Fukudome
* Sam Fuld
Reed Johnson
Alfonso Soriano

Any player who is on a club's MLB Active List (25-man roster) or MLB 15-day or 60-day DL as of midnight August 31st is eligible to play in the post-season (LDS, LCS, and World Series) should his team qualify.

Prior to each post-season series (LDS, LCS, and WS), each participating club submits its 25-man roster for that series to the MLB office. However, the 25-man roster (Active List) can be altered at the start of each series, depending on how the club matches-up with its opponent.

For instance, if a club so chooses, it could go with 11 pitchers and 14 position players in the LDS, replacing a starting pitcher with an extra "bat off the bench." And then the club could maybe replace a left-handed reliever with a right-handed reliever and/or a "5th outfielder" with an extra middle-infielder in the LCS, and then perhaps replace the extra utility infielder with "no defense" DH for the World Series. As long as a player is on the 8/31 post-season roster, he is eligible to be added to his club's 25-man roster for a post-season series.

In addition to the 29 Cubs players eligible to play in the 2009 post-season, any post-season eligible player who is on the DL at the start of a post-season series is considered a "roster exemption," and can be replaced on the Active List by any player (regardless of position) who was in the organization as of August 31st (and this includes minor league players). However, a minor leaguer who is selected to be a post-season roster-exemption "replacement player" must be added to his club's 40-man roster before the player can be placed on the 25-man roster.

Also, a player who is injured during a post-season series can (with the approval of the MLB Commissioner) be replaced prior to the conclusion of that series by a player who plays the same position as the injured player (a pitcher must replace a pitcher, a catcher must replace a catcher, etc). However, if an injured player is replaced during a post-seson series, he is ineligible to return to the Active List (25-man roster) for the balance of that post-season.

So prior to the start of NLCS, the Cubs can designate 25 players from their 8/31 post-season eligibility list as "active," with the additional right to replace any post-season eligible player who is on the 15-day or 60-day DL at the start of the NLCS with any player who was in the organization as of midnight 8/31, regardless of position.

INF Andres Blanco (strained calf), RHP Chad Fox (sore elbow), OF Reed Johnson (broken foot), and RHP David Patton (strained groin) were on the Cubs MLB 15-day DL on 8/31, but Blanco was reactivated from the DL today, and Patton is supposed to be reactivated tomorrow. Johnson is still recovering from his injury, but he will probably be going on a minor league rehab adssignment in a few days and should be 100% healthy by October. So unless somebody gets hurt during the last month of the regular season, Chad Fox will be the only Cubs player who was on the DL on 8/31 who will likely qualify as a potential post-season roster-exemption. However, the Cubs could have had a second potential post-season roster-exemption, but (apparently) chose not to take advantage of the opportunity.

LHP Neal Cotts is on the Cubs 40-man roster, and was on optional assignment to AAA Iowa when he suffered a season-ending elbow injury in July that required "Tommy John" surgery. Cotts was placed on the Iowa DL at that time, but if the Cubs had recalled him from his optional assignment yesterday and immediately placed him on their MLB 15-day DL, they would have had a second potential post-season roster-exemption.

It probably won't matter, partly because the Cubs are unlikely to get into the post-season, and partly because they probably wouldn't need more than the one post-season roster-exemption that Chad Fox provides. But still, why not take advantage of the rules and get a second potential roster-exemption in case it's needed?

For instance, maybe Micah Hoffpauir has a hot September (leading the Cubs to the top of the "Wild Card"!), and Justin Berg throws "lights out" (a la Les Lancaster '89) while Aaron Heilman gets creamed, such that the Cubs want to replace their 3rd lefty reliever (Gorzelanny) with an extra bat (Hoffpauir) and an ineffective righty reliever (Heilman) with a hot one (Berg). Right now they could do one move, but not the other (unless another post-season eligible player goes on the DL prior to the post-season). But simply by recalling Neal Cotts from his minor league Optional Assignment yesterday and placing him on the MLB 15-day DL (as they did last year with Rich Hill), they would have had two post-season roster-exemptions instead of one.


"Post-season?!?! Don't talk about post-season! Are you kidding me? Post-season?!?!

Nicely done, Manny. I like any reference to Jim Mora's tirade.

The four that get left off are really going to be bummed.

chad fox will be so pissed he may not come back to the cubs in 2010.

So we can still leave Marquis off the roster? Aces.

June 24 - August 8, 1989 Les Lancaster - 30.2 IP, 0 Runs (he ended up with a 1.36 ERA for the season).

RHP Chad Fox (sore elbow) --- I thought Chad Fox was on the dl because of duct tape poisoning

Why not "promote" Cotts and ML DL him? Would the Cubs have to pay him more on the ML DL vs. the Iowa DL? I think Cotts has a major-league guaranteed contract, but just asking.

AZ Phil, thanks but you're wasting your time on post-season. How about your current TOP 10 CUB PROSPECTS? We need to look ahead! Comments on the following guys?: Josh Vitters Starlin Castro (coming on) Andrew Cashner (having great season) Brett Jackson (nice start so far) Jay Jackson (demote to clear up control issues, but looking good again) Chris Huseby (earning some of that big $$$) Huk Ju-Lee (did I spell that right) John Gaub (will he make us forget DeRo?) Tyler Colvin (finally putting it together?) Wellington Castillo (good hit, no, good glove, no hit?) David Patton (must be good, we carried him all year)

What are you looking at, dum-dum? For those too young to remember the Flintstones-

Starting to think about offseason moves. What's the TCR consensus on trading for a guy like JJ Hardy? Seems like a perfect "Buy Low" opportunity. SS has been a problem position since..... Ernie Banks moved to 1st 20+ years before I was even born. Should be able to be had with some combo or Marshall/Gorzellanny Guzman/Stevens/Marmol A 3rd mid-tier prospect

A couple things. He'd be a 1 year rental, and make about $5 million. Obviously the first thing the Cubs would need to decide is that they could fix his hitting from this year. If we are just looking for a defensive upgrade, then you could get an Adam Everett type for a lot cheaper. If the Cubs are certain they can get his bat going again, then you're looking at a guy who's got a really good shot at being a type A free agent, so his value to the Cubs would increase. It's hard to envision them signing him to a long-term deal after 2010, though Lee and Lilly will be coming off the books so we'll have a little more room. That being said, you're offering too much there. Just mentioning Marmol's name is bound to get any team's attention. If Marmol continues to struggle with his command, he and your mid-tier prospect is probably enough to get Hardy. If he seems to straighten things out in September, and nails down that closer role, then he should be able to get Hardy straight up. I think a Gorzellanny, Stevens, Barney package could probably get him, but that all depends on who the Brewers' scouts like.

TRN- Good call on the package for Hardy. If he can hit close to his career#'s, .262/.323/.431, would getting him and moving Theriot to 2B help out in 2010? Hardy put together 2 pretty good seasons in 2007-2008, and he's only 27. For a reasonable price...why not?

I read somewhere that becuase he was demoted, it means he is now under control for 2 years, not one, making it more expensive to get him in theory edit - here's the link

Then you push Fountainout and Baker to the bench where they probably belong. And the lineup becomes unbalanced again, but I think the pitchers would really like the infield defense, and I am a big believer in the synergistic affect of defense on pitching.

"Obviously the first thing the Cubs would need to decide is that they could fix his hitting from this year." That's about the funniest line I've heard all year.

On a somewhat related note, I expect Gorzo and Marshall to come up in virtually every Cubs trade rumor this offseason. We've got 3 lefties (Lilly being the other) who have had success as starting pitchers, and room for only 1 or 2 of them in the rotation.

True, but it's been shown year in and year out that it's a good idea to have six guys you're comfortable with as starters. Unless Smardizijai or Atkins miraculously turn things around over the final 30 days, dealing one of those guys leaves us a starter short.

I'm not claiming it's a good idea just yet, I'm just saying that I think the GM will shop them. But maybe Hendry will look at the situation and decide to keep both and stretch them both out in the spring. I also think they'll be shopped because they are likely to be viewed by other clubs as some of the more valuable commodities the Cubs possess.

Love it but you'd have trouble trading for him in the division. In general I really like the idea of getting a real shortstop. Maybe they'd take Miles? Miles even pitches! (Of course he hits like a pitcher and pitches like a hitter...)

"SS has been a problem position since..... Ernie Banks moved to 1st 20+ years before I was even born." Don Kessinger (11 years, 6x All-Star)and Shawon Dunston (10 years, 2x All-Star) were a couple of post-Banks shortstops who filled the position competently for a good number of seasons...

I didn't have the highest regard for Shawon Dunston, but given the age cohort here, I realize I'm messing with people's nostalgia. In terms of my own nostalgia, I didn't love Kessinger either. But granting that both were quality shortstops, two in forty-plus years is not so good. It's a little like the Bears and their quarterbacks. I love the fact that the Cubs have six (or more) shortstops now who are better prospects than Ryan Theriot ever was. I don't think that position will be a problem for long, and I expect the overflow at shortstop to yield a solution at second base (and maybe third).

"It's a little like the Bears and their quarterbacks." Emphasis on the word "little". The Bears' epic QB drought goes back to Sid Luckman in the 1940's -- thus 60+ years since the Bears have had an All-Pro level QB manning that position for more than a year or two (McMahon doesn't count b/c of his constant injuries made him unavailable too often -- only year of consistently starting was 1985). In contrast, the Cubs have had at least 21 years of stability and quality at shortstop out of the last 47 years between Dunston and Kessinger.

Target a guy like Brandon Wood of the Angels, or even Ben Zobrist who might be due a raise for a team that can't/won't pay for talent (ala Scott Kazmir). If all your looking for is defense at SS Omar Vizquel is your boy. Jack Wilson will likely be available as well. You have a better shot at getting Jeter than getting Hardy. Milwaukee has no interest in helping the Cubs get better.

Jeter's a shitty shortstop. It's not like we're talking about Fielder, here. If the Cubs offer the best package of ML ready pitching, Milwaukee would have to consider it. Plus if they don't like Hardy's personality, maybe they will consider it a poison pill.

Problem is, Milwaukee really only has 3 MLB level starting pitchers. They don't have anyone pushing through from the upper minors right now either. So I figured any package would start with Cheap,young,club controlled starting pitching (Marshall/Gorzellanny) Then either another upper minors SP or 2 prospects of C/C+/B- variety. Bottom line is that Milwaukee wants the best haul possible. They have Escobar as their top prospect to slot into SS. Marshall would probably be the best cheap SP they could extract from ANYONE for JJ Hardy right now.

What don't you understand about "they wont trade in the division?" And from the Cubs perspective we have no interest in helping Milwaukee get better pitching to go along with that offense they have. Pitching helps them more than us trying to find Ryan Theriots replacement. Besides 29 other teams in baseball, the Cubs and their pitiful farm system would be the last place they would look for help.

Congratulations on your promotion to GM of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Brandon Guyer and Jay Jackson were recalled to Tennessee on Monday, ahead of the upcoming do-or-die series at West Tenn. Guyer replaces Doug Deeds, who was sent up to Iowa in time for their interesting weekend.

Phil - can you answer a hypothetical? Suppose Castro was put on the 40 man roster today and brought up to the ML club for the rest of this season. Next spring he does not make the big league roster and remains at Iowa for the entire 2010 season. Does either 2009 or 2010 count as one of his three option years?

2010 would count as his first option year. Assuming that he spent at least 20 days on optional assignment in Iowa.

Submitted by DavidP on Wed, 09/02/2009 - 2:17pm.
Phil - can you answer a hypothetical?

Suppose Castro was put on the 40 man roster today and brought up to the ML club for the rest of this season. Next spring he does not make the big league roster and remains at Iowa for the entire 2010 season.

Does either 2009 or 2010 count as one of his three option years?

Submitted by Dr. aaron b on Wed, 09/02/2009 - 2:26pm. 2010 would count as his first option year. Assuming that he spent at least 20 days on optional assignment in Iowa.


DAVID P & AARON B: If what David suggested were to happen, Starlin Castro would get four minor league option years instead of just three, because this season was his first "full season" (his first two seasons were spent with short-season clubs--DSL Cubs in 2007 and AZL Cubs in 2008--and seasons spent with short-season clubs do not count as "full seasons"). Same thing would happen if Andrew Cashner were to get added to the 40-man roster this month. He'd get four minor league option years (starting next season) too, because this is his first "full season," and ALL players get four minor league options as long as the fourth one is used prior to completing five "full seasons." That's why Jeff Samardzija will have one minor league option left next season (it will be his 4th minor league option), even though he used up minor league options in 2007, 2008, and 2009.

BTW, it doesn't matter when or if Esmailin Caridad is recalled. If he is recalled prior to spending 20 days on optional assignment (no later than September 12th), he has three minor league options left. But if he does not get recalled within 20 days and burns a minor league option year this season, it doesn't matter, because he still gets three more (as long as he uses the 4th one prior to completing five "full seasons") because he has completed only two "full seasons" through the 2009 season.

A "full season" is defined as spending at least 90 days on the Active List of an MLB and/or full-season minor league club(s) in a given season, or at least 60 days on the Active List of an MLB club and/or full-season minor league club(s) followed by a DL stint of at least 30 days. Time spent on the Active List of a short-season minor league club (DSL Cubs #1, DSL Cubs #2, AZL Cubs, or Boise) does not count.

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  • Cubster 1 hour 28 min ago (view)

    high fives followed by Rizzo passing out hand sanitizer

    elbow bumps

    how do you socially distance the dogpile?


  • crunch 16 hours 3 min ago (view)

    cubs in 11!

    7-2 record to start the year.

    the "socially distanced high-5s" in the middle of the infield is good stuff.


  • crunch 16 hours 40 min ago (view)


    been a while since i've seen a solid home plate collision...couldn't be avoided.


  • crunch 16 hours 55 min ago (view)

    game on...stupid rain delay...


  • Charlie 17 hours 45 min ago (view)

    Any other readers in southern Il.--are you blacked out of Cubs games? My dad is always blacked out as of this year even though MLB tv lists his zip as blacked out for Cards only.


  • Sonicwind75 18 hours 17 min ago (view)

    When then is ever over, gonna have to have some of them Magic City wings, they must be something!


  • Cubster 18 hours 33 min ago (view)

    For all the heat Lester took to this point, he's really "pitched" excellent in both starts. In fact, the entire starting staff has been really good. Bullpen not so much although I've liked Jeffress.


  • crunch 18 hours 44 min ago (view)

    cepedes is "opting out" of 2020, but didn't let the team properly know.  glad they found him.


  • Eric S 18 hours 57 min ago (view)

    60 game schedules are a perfect fit for Lester. Hell, if we know 2021 will also go 60, Cubs could do a lot worse than re-signing Big Jon


  • crunch 18 hours 57 min ago (view)

    we're 10-ish games in and the future is looking dim for finishing the season, much less forming a 16-team post-season.

    at this point it seems making it to playoffs with enough people to fill a roster is a wiser move than actually winning games.


  • Eric S 19 hours 10 sec ago (view)

    Magic City wings could be in play here. 


  • Eric S 19 hours 3 min ago (view)


    Well done, Dr Cubster


  • Cubster 19 hours 5 min ago (view)

    more on Cardinals...

    Jeff Passan says: The latest round of coronavirus tests from the St. Louis Cardinals are, in the words of someone with the team, "not good." There are expected to be multiple new positives, sources tell ESPN. Cardinals took more tests this morning, and results of those should arrive by tonight.

    Robt Murray: The St. Louis Cardinals have multiple new positive tests, according to sources with direct knowledge.


  • crunch 19 hours 16 min ago (view)

    ...and no one seems to know where y.cespedes (NYM) is...didn't show up for the game today and isn't answering calls.  they're on the road @ATL.


  • Cubster 19 hours 21 min ago (view)

    Telecast with Len/JD saying that several more Cardinals tested positive this am. Can't find it on twitter or net yet.

    Another Pirate pitcher removed with injury. 

    KB in Covid protocol even though he had a negative rapid test today.

    This is stressful. 


  • crunch 19 hours 33 min ago (view)

    contreras breaks up the no-hitter with a double in the 5th.

    lester needs to throw a complete game today.