Cubs MLB Roster

Cubs Organizational Depth Chart
40-Man Roster Info

40 players are on the MLB RESERVE LIST (roster is full), plus two players are on the 60-DAY IL

26 players on MLB RESERVE LIST are ACTIVE, plus seven players are on OPTIONAL ASSIGNMENT to minors and seven players are on the 15-DAY IL

Last updated 5-21-2024

* bats or throws left
# bats both

PITCHERS: 13
Javier Assad
Ben Brown
Jose Cuas
Kyle Hendricks
Porter Hodge 
* Shota Imanaga
Mark Leiter Jr
* Luke Little
Tyson Miller
Hector Neris
* Justin Steele
Jameson Taillon
Hayden Wesneski

CATCHERS: 2
Miguel Amaya
Yan Gomes

INFIELDERS: 7
* Michael Busch
Nico Hoerner
Nick Madrigal
Christopher Morel
Dansby Swanson
Luis Vazquez
Patrick Wisdom

OUTFIELDERS: 4
* Cody Bellinger
# Ian Happ
Seiya Suzuki
* Mike Tauchman

OPTIONED: 7
Kevin Alcantara, OF
Michael Arias, P
Alexander Canario, OF
* Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF
Brennen Davis, OF
* Miles Mastrobuoni, INF
* Matt Mervis, 1B

15-DAY IL: 7
Yency Almonte, P
Albert Alzolay, P
Colten Brewer, P
Daniel Palencia, P
* Drew Smyly, P
Keegan Thompson, P
* Jordan Wicks, P

60-DAY IL: 2
Caleb Kilian, P
Julian Merryweather, P

 





Minor League Rosters
Rule 5 Draft 
Minor League Free-Agents

2024 Cubs Spring Training

3/25 UPDATE

The Cubs have optioned RHP Hayden Wesneski and OF Alexander Canario to AAA Iowa, C Joe Hudson has been assigned to Minor League Camp, and C Jorge Alfaro has elected free-agency (he had a contractual opt-out).  

So there are now 30 players ACTIVE at Cubs MLB Spring Training (28 on MLB Reserve List and two NRI). 


3/24 UPDATE

RHP Carl Edwards Jr and 1B Dominic Smith have elected free-agency (Edwards had an automatic Article XX-B opt-out, and D. Smith had a contractual opt-out). 


3/22 UPDATE

The Cubs have assigned LHP Edwin Escobar to Minor League Camp. 

So there are now 36 players ACTIVE at Cubs MLB Spring Training (30 on MLB Reserve List and 6 NRI). 


3/21 UPDATE

The Cubs have optioned RHP Daniel Palencia to AAA Iowa. 

Also, RHP Colten Brewer, LHP Richard Lovelady, LHP Thomas Pannone, and INF David Bote have been assigned to Minor League Camp.  

So there are now 37 players ACTIVE at Cubs MLB Spring Training (30 on MLB Reserve List and 7 NRI). 


3/17 UPDATE:

The Cubs have optioned RHP Keegan Thompson and 1B Matt Mervis to AAA Iowa. 

Also, RHP Cam Sanders, C-INF Bryce Windham, and INF Chase Strumpf have been assigned to Minor League Camp. 
 
So there are now 42 players ACTIVE at Cubs MLB Spring Training (31 on MLB Reserve List and 11 NRI). 


3/9 UPDATE

RHP Chris Clarke, RHP Sam McWilliams, and LHP Brad Wieck have been assigned to Minor League Camp.

So there are now 47 players ACTIVE at Cubs MLB Spring Training (33 on MLB Reserve List and 14 NRI). 


3/8 UPDATE

The Cubs have optioned RHP Ben Brown, OF Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF Brennen Davis, and INF Luis Vazquez to AAA Iowa, and OF Kevin Alcantara, RHP Michael Arias, and RHP Porter Hodge to AA Tennessee.  

Also, NRI RHP Ethan Roberts, RHP Riley Thompson, C Pablo Aliendo, 1B-C Haydn McGeary, INF Matt Shaw, and OF Owen Caissie have been assigned to Minor League Camp. 
 
So there are now 50 players ACTIVE at Cubs MLB SPRING TRAINING (33 on MLB Reserve List and 17 NRI)


3/1 UPDATE:

The Cubs have added 1B-OF Garrett Cooper (# 41) to their MLB Spring Training roster as a Non-Roster Invitee (NRI). 


2/27 UPDATE:

The Cubs have signed free agent OF-1B Cody Bellinger (# 24) to an MLB contract, and the Cubs have traded LHP Bailey Horn (# 92) to the Chicago White Sox. Also, the Cubs have added OF David Peralta (# 6)  and 1B-OF Dominic Smith (# 12) to their MLB Spring Training roster as Non-Roster Invitees (NRI).


2/23 UPDATE:

The Cubs have added minor league C-1B Haydn McGeary (# 70) as an NRI to MLB Spring Training. He is catching "live" BP and bullpen sides.

Also, Miguel Amaya has switched from # 6 to # 9 (presumably so that David Peralta can wear # 6) and Carl Edwards Jr has switched from # 79 to # 58.


2024 CUBS SPRING TRAINING ROSTER: (last updated 3/25)

30 players

28 players on MLB roster
two players are Non-Roster Invitee - NRI

* bats or throws left
# bats both

MLB ROSTER PITCHERS: 15
25 Yency Almonte
73 Adbert Alzolay
72 Javier Assad
74 Jose Cuas
28 Kyle Hendricks
18 Shoto Imanaga *
45 Caleb Kilian
38 Mark Leiter Jr
43 Luke Little *
66 Julian Merryweather
51 Hector Neris
11 Drew Smyly *
35 Justin Steele *
50 James Taillon
36 Jordan Wicks *

MLB CATCHERS: 2
9 Miguel Amaya
15 Yan Gomes

MLB INFIELDERS: 7
29 Michael Busch *
2 Nico Hoerner
1 Nick Madrigal
20 Miles Mastrobuoni *
5 Christopher Morel
7 Dansby Swanson
16 Patrick Wisdom

NON-ROSTER INFIELDERS: 1
41 Garrett Cooper

MLB OUTFIELDERS: 4
24 Cody Bellinger *
8 Ian Happ #
27 Seiya Suzuki
40 Mike Tauchman * 

NON-ROSTER OUTFIELDERS: 1
6 David Peralta * 

MANAGER 
30 Craig Counsell

COACHES
96 James Adduci (Assistant Hitting Coach - Game Planning)
63 Juan Cabreja (Assistant Hitting Coach - BP Coordinator)
84 Ryan Flaherty (Bench Coach)
33 Willie Harris (3rd base coach)
79 Darren Holmes (Bullpen Coach)
68 Tommy Hottovy (Pitching Coach)
99 Danny Hultzen (Pitching Strategist)
76 Dustin Kelly (Hitting Coach)
80 John Mallee (Assistant Hitting Coach)
90 Jonathan Mota (Assistant Bullpen Coach)
53 Daniel Moskos (Assistant Pitching Coach)
55 Mike Napoli (1st Base Coach)
97 Alex Smith (Data Development & Process Coach)
81 Mark Strittmatter (MLB Field Coordinator)

OTHER:
85 Garrett Lloyd (Bullpen Catcher)

NUMBERS NOT CURRENTLY ISSUED: (as of 2/29)
3 (last worn by David Ross)
17 (last worn by Kris Bryant)
34 (last worn by John Lester)
37 (last worn by Dom Nunez - ST 2023)
44 (last worn by Anthony Rizzo)
47 (last worn by Brandon Hughes)
56 (last worn by Jeremiah Estrada)
59 (last worn by Michael Rucker)
60 (last worn by Sergio Alcantara - ST 2023)
61 (last worn by Brailyn Marquez - ST 2023)
64 (last worn by Jordan Holloway - ST 2023)
65 (last worn by Tyler Duffey)
69 (Cubs do not issue this number)
92 (last worn by Bailey Horn prior to being traded on 2/27)


RETIRED NUMBERS:
10 Ron Santo
14 Ernie Banks
23 Ryne Sandberg
26 Billy Williams
31 Ferguson Jenkins & Greg Maddux
42 Jackie Robinson

Comments

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

Sunday Tribune article interviewed Imanaga about the HR. 

"Even though (the HR) happened, it was a good learning experience to try to figure out how that could end up being a single in front of LF, " Imanaga said through interpreter Edwin Stanberry. "It was an 0-1 count and I should have thrown the fastball a little higher.  "I would like to work on throwing it higher in the zone or missing lower -- even if it's a lower pitch that would be a little bit better."

--

Seems like he has a plan and is  working on both the approach and execution of each pitch. 

Injury updates, From Sunday Tribune:

Happ out with a mild hamstring strain that happened Thursday. Hopefully, it will be OK before opening day. Wisdom is out for a few more days with Quad strain. G Cooper and Dom Smith are expected to get to play on Monday.

 

any time the wish-dot-com arizona version of ronnie woo woo feels like shutting up would be nice.

AZ Phil, what do you think the chances are that Jed makes a trade before OD?

MLB Network today and Chicago Radio have both speculated as recently as yesterday that Jed will make a sizable move.

They spoke about Alonso still and Bieber from Cleveland. 

Social Media thinks JD Davis from SF might work now (I think we have that RH/3B/DH spot covered though).

I wouldn't mind a SP like Bieber (he's in his last year of his original deal). Hendricks scares me. He's not the ground ball guy he used to be. He'd be lucky to have a sub 5 ERA in my opinion. CLEV needs OF slug. Canario is available (not even going to think about ONKC, PCA or Jaquar here). Brennan Davis probably needs a new spot. Mervis could get a chance at their 1B gig opposite Naylor as their DH. Vazquez appears ready for a shot at MLB level ball. 

Thoughts?

[ ]

In reply to by Childersb3

Childersb3: I don't think the Cubs will add any AAV until the MLB Trade Deadline (and even that is dependent on how well the Cubs are playing and where they are in the standings at that point in time). 

Otherwise, the Cubs might perhaps do something like "exchange" Drew Smyly ($10.5M in 2024 AAV plus an additional potential $3M in performance bonuses) for J. D. Davis ($6.9M in 2024 and then he is a FA post-2024) and then maybe (hopefully) jettison Patrick Wisdom and Nick Madrigal without having to eat any salary (like if clubs claim Wisdom and Madrigal off waivers and thereby take on 100% of Wisdom's 2024 $2.725M salary and 100% of Madrigal's $1.81M salary). The Cubs don't need to get anything back for Wisdom and Madrigal other than AAV space and the $50,000 waiver price. 

Another possibility would be a prospect for prospect trade, like when the Diamondbacks traded OF Daulton Varsho (the D'backs were overloaded with LH-hitting outfielders) to the Blue Jays for C Gabriel Moreno (Moreno was blocked in Toronto by Kirk and Jansen). 

So if the Cubs have an opportunity to trade an outfield or middle-infield prospect for maybe a young arm or a 3B or catching prospect of similar value, I could see that happening.

bellinger debut wednesday.

also, taillon may not start until this weekend (tentatively)...throwing a sim game today.  he's "working on things" and is having some minor leg soreness running with cleats (fielding, covering 1st), but not while pitching or off-field.

Hello TCR Community. After a year or more of reading comments I thought I would actually contribute. By way of introduction, I’ve been a fan since the early 70’s, and am quite happy with current regime, having seen a team playing playoff level but largely lackluster baseball since 2016 transformed into an exciting organization clearly on the rise with among the best systems in baseball in under three years. Solid draft classes, smart trades of the overrated 2016 stars and cheap off season relief pitchers and, I presume, excellent player development programs have been the general rule since Jed has taken the helm. The organization is, in my assessment, in the best overall shape I have seen it in my half century of being a fan.

I have much to say about some of the comments on the board but I’d like to start with a question. There is so much talk about Cubs ownership being cheap and not spending and I  so doing disregarding the fans. My question is, what deal should this team have made in outbidding the 29 other teams this offseason that one could predict will move the needle for the foreseeable future. I’m not looking for hypotheticals here like “a starting third basemen”. I’m looking for realistic moves. Should they have spent $750,000,000 (or more) of future revenue for Ohtani? Should they have traded five top rated prospects for a year of Soto? How about signing Bellinger for his presumed initial asking price of 8yrs/$200,000,000 - 30 teams passed on that one. $325,000,000 for an MLB unproven Japanese pitcher? Or the other Dodgers pitching acquisition, the oft injured Tyler Glasgow? Chapman? Montgomery or Snell at Boras prices, thereby effectively blocking any young starters? For all of the impassioned pleas for the Cubs to “spend money”, I’m wondering which the community thinks are wise moves other teams made on which the Cubs should have outbid the competition?

[ ]

In reply to by TarzanJoeWallis

Ohtani & Yamamoto might have been a packaged deal so to speak. Jed probably tried to get one or both. Just wasn't going to happen. 

Glasnow was "gettable". Jed gave Hendricks 16mil. I'm not a fan of that. I think Glasnow was a risk worth taking. You pay for SPs.

And Soto was the superstar worth sending out prospects plus regulars for.

LH power is needed

The Mets may have over priced Alonso. That could come back to hurt them at the TDL this July.

Jed isn't cheap. He just isn't the LAD or NYY.

~237 mil in payroll isn't cheap.

I think Jed settles for just better than average too often.

Happ, Seiya, Nico, Taillon, Kyle, Imanaga & Belli are all smart deals. They're all solid players that can have All Star months/stretches.

But they aren't sure fire All Stars.

Maybe Theo got lucky with all his guys.

Jed hasn't gotten that lucky, yet. Belli is his best bit of luck.

Not sure that answers your question, but Jed said he was going to be active this off season and signed three FAs and traded for a ranked rookie. Belli, Imanaga, Neris and Busch. Again, not bad. Not sure fire great.

He needs two of Horton, Brown, Caissie, PCA, Morel, Alcantara, or someone else to make a big jump. That'll be lucky.

Let's all hope Happ, Belli, Seiya, Morel, Dansby and Busch hit 20 HRs and 75+ RBIs each this year.

[ ]

In reply to by Childersb3

I can see an argument being made for Sonny Gray, although that hasn’t started out all that well for the Cardinals. I agree Hendricks is questionable but he is also the incumbent with a world experience and smarts to pass on to the younger pitchers - to me the influence is already apparent in starters like Jordan Wicks. Not the strongest guy to have in the rotation but not the worst either. At least , barring last year, he HAS been in the rotation. Can’t say that about Glasgow.

Every team needs a little luck to win it all. It has often been pointed out how lucky the 2016 Cubs are. The Rangers were among the few to have actually successfully “bought” a championship, yet they had their share of high performing rookies and career years from otherwise middling players without whom they would not have won the WS.

It’s true that Jed has settled for average but he was tasked to build from the ruins of the 2016 “dynasty” and a thoroughly depleted minor league system destroyed by the constant faith that a core was just one established player (Not unlike Gray or Glasgow) away from returning to glory. He had a average team to work with. Granted he was a part of the former regime but he says he learned from that and I believe he has. In many cases, he has turned average into potential gold, which is why we all wrung our hands about who to drop from the 40 man roster when Bellinger signed. Not a bad place to be when just a few years ago Aramis Ademan was considered our top position prospect and Brailyn Marquez the top pitcher.

No, I think I’m just fine with putting the younger and clearly enthusiastic and dedicated Wicks (Seen his interviews?) in the starting rotation at this point, and letting the Cardinals have Gray and the Dodgers have Glasgow.

BTW, let’s think about the Cardinals, our arch nemesis but, tip your hat, traditionally a very well run organization. That is until they changed their philosophy from developing home grown players and throwing money only at the pieces they considered to be integral (Molina, Wainwright) and instead, amidst much hoopla, deciding to buy high on players based on past performance - Goldschmidt, Arenado, and, yes, Contreras. Hasn’t worked out especially well for them. This year they bought a pitching staff. How will that go? I don’t know but I personally have serious doubts about it.

[ ]

In reply to by TarzanJoeWallis

Hi, TarzanJoeWallis!

I don't have many direct responses to your particular question, but I have certainly been critical of Cubs ownership for many cost saving measures--particularly when they are not clearly paired with corresponding reallocations of those funds toward improving the roster. I'll never be sympathetic to a statement from the Ricketts about needing to save money--though I can be open to arguments about better allocation of resources.

That said, the Bellinger and Imanaga signings both look pretty good to me and make the Ricketts look less cheap. I want them to be prepared to pass the CBT threshold and throw their weight around in the NL Central when a real opportunity comes along. Only Ohtani and Yamamoto qualify as free agents I'm really disappointed they didn't get. They may or may not have been close in money, but it's clear the Dodgers had huge advantages in reputation.

I do think they could push their way into being division favorites this year if they'd been willing to go hard at someone like Sonny Gray (and steal him away from the Cards). And I'm fine with moves like that taking money out of the owners' pockets. But my outlook on that stems from not being convinced that they have to scrimp to preserve profits. If they don't already experience the Cubs as a money printing machine that is their own fault. 

I won't pretend to know the true market value of any free agents. That's not an area of interest for me and seems to have been extremely volatile in recent years besides.

 

 

 

 

[ ]

In reply to by TarzanJoeWallis

hello and welcome!

for everything i've chimed in on, my main issue...90%+ of my issue...is all the "punt" years.

not going to be competitive?  need to stack the odds of the youth a bit more?  fine, punt a year...go a little easier for another season if things look dire.

let's not do 3-5 years of it.

we didn't even get to enjoy the last season of "the 2016 core" being together because they traded off their #1 starter pre-season (after finishing 1st in the NL Central months before) for a slew of low-minor league talent.  that was hard signaling we were in for the bare minimum...which we were.

we've done this long-punt thing twice under the new regime while an insane amount of revenue expansion has come into play.  what's going on at wrigley field has never been so greatly monetized by 1 group of people under various corporations (Hickory Street Capital, Marquee Sports & Entertainment, etc).

...and yeah, that ohtani contract was/is stupid unless the dodgers think this DH can actually pitch into his late 30s.  they can afford it, though...dodgers and the yanks play on their own payroll level.

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

Hi Crunch! I’ve enjoyed your posts.

I fully understand the frustration of the punt years. On the other hand, I have to assume Theo was primarily running the show while he was here and while all of us can be eternally grateful for the championship he brought us, he left the organization in ruins. While they were still in the playoffs year after year, they were a very lackluster group by the time they were disbanded. And the system was almost completely bereft of talent. I honestly thought it would be five years if not more before they could field a competitive team

Like many here I focus heavily on the minors and have for fifteen years or so now and have followed particularly the Smokies very closely. Out of the wreckage of the 2016 team plus flipping a few low cost relievers this organization is incredibly dynamic right now and I believe can compete this year as constructed.

As a corollary to my question about what moves the Cubs should have made this year, I would ask which of the 2016 players does anyone regret having let go? Bryant has been a disaster and now appears to have rebuilt himself into a clubhouse cancer. Rizzo has had value but, as a flat footed left handed slugger, he is uniquely suited to the Yankees and has been smart enough to realize it. Baez has been an anchor for the Tigers. Schwarber also has some value but is strictly a three outcome, no defense player who doesn’t necessarily fit the mold of the team. Soler too has been good at times but also very Jekyll/Hyde. Contreras has been less than stellar for the Cardinals. And just for fun, let’s add Darvish who, while not on the 2016 team, somehow feels associated with that group. When the Cubs traded him four four teenagers and a soft tossing lefty I knew they instantly won that trade, even if the kids never developed. The Padres have gotten all of three games over .500 out of him over the three years they’ve had Darvish, and they still have four years left on his contract. Cassie is icing on the cake. 

So, yes, they threw away a couple of years but given where they started being where they are right now is truly remarkable .
 

[ ]

In reply to by TarzanJoeWallis

They really only threw away one season (2022) while managing to build a top 5 farm system in two years’ time and also put a winning team back on the field in that time. Now they are poised to contend for the division with most of that top farm system still in the minors. The org is in amazing shape and Jed should be applauded for cleaning up the mess they were in at the end of 2020 so quickly. 

[ ]

In reply to by bradsbeard

I would say the team starting punting when the Darvish trade occurred.  That's 2020, 2021 and 2022 seasons.  The 2023 season was headed that way too until Bellinger got red hot in July.  



Maybe punting is too strong of a word.  Perhaps, "intentionally not putting out the most competitive team that could reasonably be expected" is a better way to phrase it.  

 

In 2021, Rangers lost 102 games, D-Back lost 110 and Cubs lost 91. Not sure I would say Jed has cleaned up the mess that quickly relative to other organizations given the over/under going into this season is around 85 wins and fringe playoff contender expectations.  Fangraphs has playoff odds for the Cubs at 40% for this season. 



Not to say Jed did a bad job.  Just that given 3 season of deadline selling and higher 1st round draft picks that Cubs should have a strong farm system.  To his credit, Jed didn't screw it up but he didn't exceed expectations either.  Any mediocre MLB GM with a conservative, low risk tolerance approach would have gotten similar results.  

[ ]

In reply to by Sonicwind75

Rangers and DBacks had gone many years of being uncompetitive prior to their ascendance and the DBacks “found the magic”. I don’t expect them to find the same success this year.

By contrast, in 2021 the Cubs were one year removed from the playoffs.

 

[ ]

In reply to by TarzanJoeWallis

TJW:  I love posing that question, re: 2015-2020's... what should have been done differently with the MLB roster, given the knowledge available at the time?  

 

2018 & 2019 were brutally hard years to be a Cubs GM. Even if the braintrust was developing concerns about the core players, pulling the trigger on a trade that would have actually made the team better in the short term was impossible.  In 2019 the average OPS for Rizzo-Bryant-Baez-Schwarber-Contreras was something like .890.  Even Heyward hit .350/.340/.430 with fading but above avg defense.   Anybody who says they would have sold high on Baez is lying to you. 

 

IMO, the only moves that are both good in hindsight & would have been reasonable at the time were moving on from Heyward & Almora earlier than  they did.  But even then, Heyward has a quiet but sold 2019 & then hits RHP to the tune of an .935 OPS in 2020... and you still owe ~$65m... who isn't going to risk the upside on keeping him?

 

Moves I regret?  Oddly enough, trading Victor Caratini... he had to be included w/ YuDv, but a switch-hitting C who can put up a ~90 OPS+, is good with pitchers & the gameplanning, & can play 1B capably or 3B in a pinch?  That is just a really useful piece to have on the roster for the long term. 

[ ]

In reply to by First.Pitch.120

The teams that are perennially competitive, notably Houston and Tampa Bay with a few others who may soon join the ranks, don’t seem to have a problem selling high. They keep a stocked farm system so that they can maintain a “next man up” mentality while trading their current stars to further enhance that farm system.

By contrast, post 2016, the Theo/Jed regime became married to a “core” group of players who they constantly saw as being one player away from being champions again. Upon departing, Theo would say he’s good at building champions but not maintaining them, something I will forever respect him for owning. And Jed has said he’s “learned from his mistakes”. I think both were referring to the dedication to “the core”, which to me has become antiquated in today’s game. It’s all about stocking a farm system and willing to part with the established when the opportunity arises. This approach is why former Tampa executives have are currently planted in front offices throughout baseball.

In 2017, I think you’re right. Trading from “the core” would have been unthinkable. In today’s game I think you have to be ready to do it, and I think Jed is positioning the Cubs masterfully to take this approach.

Ironically, it will be interesting to see how Tampa and Houston play out going into the future as both are in pickles at the moment. Tampa has boatloads of money into Wander Franco whose contract they undoubtedly planning to unload in the future and the Astros farm system looks to be totally depleted.

[ ]

In reply to by Dolorous Jon Lester

To the point of his career when the Cubs traded him Darvish had been a good but by no means a great pitcher. He had a great year in 2020, a year when factors like endurance weren’t an issue, and had the foresight to sell high. Fortunately they found a willing suitor, the Padres, who had for whatever reason fallen in love with Darvish and were willing to take on $124mm of the $127mm in foolish contract the Cubs had into him. The contract runs until 2028, when he is 41 years old. 

Without even the benefit hindsight I would have taken a paper clip in exchange for that kind of financial relief and said so at the time. Had the Cubs been able to find such deals for Soriano and Heyward in their days the history of the franchise might have been different in a positive way.

[ ]

In reply to by TarzanJoeWallis

You know what was a killer for that 2021 season? Not having an ace pitcher to stop that long losing streak. Zach Davies sure wasn’t that guy.

I get that you’re saying business-wise it worked out. But to be honest, I don’t care about the business aspect. I care about what is on the field. And thus far, that trade had provided no value at the major league level. Davies was so bad, the plan of flipping him at the deadline didn’t even happen because no one wanted him. 

It’s all on Owen Caissie. I like what I’ve seen of him this spring. If he’s a really good player on a team that is consistently good and a title contender, then sure, I’d say it’s a good trade. As it stands to me now, Jed got fleeced. But it wasn’t his fault. Ricketts demanded a salary reduction after the pandemic season, and Darvish had the biggest contract with good value as a player.

Viewing the trade as a win from a business perspective as a fan is something I just can’t wrap my head around.

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

The $124mm commitment I cited was AFTER the Cubs unloaded Yu to San Diego. The contract was truly horrendous and promised to be anchor for years and years to come.

I have no idea what the going rate for an established, mediocre, innings eating starting pitcher was in 2021 but I suspect $8mm wasn’t far off the mark.

[ ]

In reply to by TarzanJoeWallis

yu was extended by SD.

the cubs signed him to a 6/126m deal and paid 70m for their 3 years as well as taking on 8.6m of davies.

SD gave up a bunch of 12 year olds fresh out of little league so darvish could he had for, effectively, 15.8m a year for 3 seasons.

when the cubs made a trade for an end-rotation starter and a bunch of very young kids they were basically signaling it's punt time...months after winning the NL Central.

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

I stand corrected. He was indeed extended, making the Padres commitment to him seem all the more crazy.

That said, I still loved that they were able to get rid of him from the day the deal was made. The deal that raised my eyebrows at the time was non tendering Kyle Schwarber. I didn’t see him as part of the long term picture but it seems like they should have been able to get something for him. Maybe Jed’s worst move.

Wordy though I have been, I’d like to philosophize a bit on human nature as it relates to free agency. Remember when a guy named Buster Douglas defeated the perennial champ Mike Tyson. Everybody assumed he would be the next big thing but we hardly heard from him after his big win. What happened?

Turns out that Douglas became the latest celebrity and began living the high life at exclusive resorts. He forgot about the hard work and training that brought him to the pinnacle of his profession, put on weight, and fell out of sight pretty much as quickly as he became a household name.

As two cliches of investing go, “Buy low, sell high”, and “Past performance is not an indication of future results.”

Baseball is a difficult sport. Natural talent certainly helps, but it also takes constant conditioning, knowledge of the opposition, and the ability to stay sharp mentally and physically through grueling 162 game seasons year after year. Only the very best become the cream of the crop to true stardom and the promised land of free agency.

So, they get there. They have their multi year guaranteed contract. They buy their mansions and cars and raise their families in luxury. The problem is, where is the incentive to put in all the hard work? Add the lack of incentive to the ravages of aging and the undeniable fact is that free agent performance often declines, and often dramatically. This has struck very close to home pretty recently. Think Alfonso Soriano, Jason Heyward, Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, and any other of the vast majority of free agents. Are there exceptions? Sure. They are called “hall of famers” and there are precious few of them.

In my opinion, ownership isn’t cheap. Rather, at this stage in the organization, they see the wisest move for both the immediate and long term future to be to let the future stars they have acquired develop rather than blocking them in favor of the almost certain decline of whatever free agent they overpay. And I thoroughly agree with that approach. It has been successful for many teams while the perennial buyers in recent years have either floundered or fallen just short.

night game is a b-team lineup.  some good young talent and NRI, but the closest guy to an expected starter is busch at DH.

shaw playing 3rd...should be interesting to watch him field and throw if he gets chances.

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

shaw looking good fielding and throwing to 2nd + 1st over multiple plays through the 4th.

small sample size blah blah blah, but he doesn't look out of place.

-edit-  dude with the pick, pivot, and throw from foul ground in the 5th to get an out at 1st.  it wasn't a strong throw, but it was accurate and got there quickly on the bounce..

Eager to see what Killian does tonight. Young man seems to have turned a corner if ST is any indication. Could definitely be a part of the puzzle this year.

I am now struggling to separate Killian from Ben Brown.  Both throw a FB with the same velocity and movement.  Both struggle to throw strikes at times.  Both have a good breaking ball.  And both could transition from starter to reliever.  I think Brown's status is more flavor of the month and hope to win the trade deal with the Phillies.   As much as I want to like Brown, I see his over the top delivery as a career-long control issue.  The kid is fun to watch though.

I’d like to speak a bit to the business aspect of the Cubs operations and, as a fly on the wall, the way I would surmise the organization is run and financial decisions are made.

The Ricketts financial empire as it relates to the Cubs I would guess is run like any huge enterprise. It is divided into profit centers, each operated as a separate entity and under the guidance of a separate management team with the goal of making their entity as profitable as possible. This would only make sense as the the expertise required to bring in a Pearl Jam concert is going to be different than that of licensing and building a betting facility, which in turn is going to be different than that of real estate acquisition and running a media outlet. And all are different than that of choosing a starting first baseman.

Yes, the nucleus of the enterprise is the sports franchise, but all of these entities are likely to be run independently. At any given time, any could be sold to a different operator while the others continue to exist.

Additionally, each entity operates under its own set of regulations and taxation. At the beginning of the year each likely establishes its own budget and profit targets, all of which likely ends up in the hands of a board of directors, headed by the Ricketts family, but under the advisement of a board that is in place primarily to prevent foolish decisions that might otherwise be made by the individual at the helm.

When viewed from this standpoint, one can see why investing in additional capital in the form of an expensive free agent based upon profits from other sectors of the entity isn’t as easy as it sounds. One would have to rob Peter to pay Paul, thereby hampering Peter’s operation, and hope that Paul is profitable enough to justify the decision.

These are cold business decisions that take the passion of fandom out of the equation, something that I think is quite necessary for Tom Ricketts, who I truly believe is a fan as well as a businessman.

While we’re on the subject of fans, some may argue that failing to field “the best”, ie most expensive team is a disservice to fans of “the product”. Who are the fans anyway? While the segments are complimentary, I would argue the fans of the Cubs are different than the attendees of the Pearl Jam concert, who are different than the fans of the nightlife, who are different than the residents of the apartments. The Pearl Jam fans might not give a rip about whether the Cubs sign Ohtani.

So, I think this all deserves consideration before the owners are ripped for not putting Dodgers type money into the team. No, my heart doesn’t bleed for billionaires, but if I know the ownership of team I choose to root for in turn chooses to run the team as part of a business (as opposed to some superfan who is willing to throw away money), I’m very grateful that Ricketts let Jed run the team  independently (as Ricketts indicates in every interview) and that Jed has the wisdom not to bow to public sentiment and squander the resources on some pie in the sky acquisition (ala Soriano, Heyward) that promises to hamper the flexibility of the team for years to come.

Food for thought.

kilian going for a shoulder MRI.  things not looking good.

madrigal had his today (right hamstring), but no news yet (that i know of).

The latest Top 30 list for the Cubs is out on mlb.com

Fascinating to compare 2024 with the 2014 list, which included quite a large number of future MLB players.

[ ]

In reply to by Cubster

He is in Mesa.  Unfortunately, to date Cristian has not lived up to that bonus.  He was moved off of SS last season at Myrtle Beach by an 18 year old who is rocketing up prospect rankings, Jefferson Rojas.  Hernandez will likely start at MB this season as well.  Lets hope he gets it figured out at the plate and he regains some traction as a top prospect.

 

[ ]

In reply to by gocubsgoinCO

Can you really throw $3mm at a 17 year old and expect him to devote 100% effort to baseball and developing his skills to a major league level? Could happen but I’m not holding my breath. Please see my diatribe about human nature as it relates to high end free agents and the loss of incentive.

I realize the market probably dictated that level of bonus but no one should be surprised as others work harder and pass by him on the depth chart regardless of his physical attributes and natural talents.

Recent comments

  • crunch (view)

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  • crunch (view)

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  • Dolorous Jon Lester (view)

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  • Charlie (view)

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