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 TarzanJoeWallis

I think it’s a case by case basis. Plenty of high dollar international free agents work out, plenty don’t. Sometimes it’s an effort thing, sometimes it’s an ability to progress or to translate raw ability into usable ability. I’d also say the comparison of the IFAs to post arb free agents isn’t entirely accurate even in regard to the human aspect… the 16 year old won’t be as mature as the 29 year old. The 29 year old is more likely to have a sudden downturn in ability.

All of that to say, there’s so many factors that go into it. Boiling it down to a question solely of motivation post payday is a bit reductionist.

[ ]

In reply to by Dolorous Jon Lester

Yes, of course the picture is more complicated than just incentive or lack thereof. Many factors come into play, such as the work ethic of the individual player and the quality of the system of the team who drafts them. That said, I do believe there is a large potential for disincentive when dumping what for most of us is a lifetime of earnings on a 17 year old. If any of us had that kind of money dumped on us at 17 (or really at any age) what percentage would say “Heck, I’m set for life. Why should I work my tail off?”

For fun I went to Sportstrac to see how many $1mm+ IFA’s have done really well. It should be noted that their statistics only go back to 2016, and because these guys are signed so young the jury is still out on the vast majority of them. That said, of the Latin players drafted 2016-2018, three of them out of 96 jump out at me as really good or at least MLB proven as promising. Luis Robert ($26mm bonus), Wander Franco and Randy Arazorena. I might be shortchanging a few others.

[ ]

In reply to by TarzanJoeWallis

Signing a 16 year old IFA (equivalent to a HS sophomore / junior in the U. S.) out of Latin America for big bucks is a huge gamble, even if scouts rate the player as among the best of the 16 year old IFA who are available to sign. 

For example, when the Cubs signed 16 year old Christopher Morel for $800,000 in 2015, he was a scrawny 5'11 145 SS with no power. Now he is 6'0 205 with elite exit velo and HR power but without a clear defensive position. There was just no way to accurately project any of that when the Cubs signed him.

And then the Cubs signed another 16 year old IFA player (catcher Ronnier Quintero in 2019) for $2.9M, but he never got rid of his "baby fat," was unable to develop any of his raw baseball tools into game-usable skills (he showed plus HR power in BP and a plus throwing arm in base running drills, but not in games), could not get out of rookie ball, and eventually got released. 

The Cubs signed one of the top two rated IFA in 2012 (RF Jorge Soler) and he developed into an MLB regular after he was traded, the top two rated 16 year old IFA prospects in 2013 (SS Gleyber Torres and OF Eloy Jimenez) and they both developed into MLB regulars (albeit both were traded before they reached MLB), Starlin Castro and Jeimer Candelario (both signed during the Hendry regime) became MLB regulars, and so did 3B Isaac Paredes (signed by the Cubs out of Mexico in 2015, but he reached MLB also only after he was traded). 

And Adbert Alzolay (signed by the Cubs in 2013, the same year they signed G. Torres and E. Jimenez) turned out to be pretty good, Javier Assad (signed by the Cubs out of Mexico at about the same time they signed Isaac Paredes) is an MLB pitcher, Miguel Amaya is the Cubs back-up catcher and could very well be the Cubs #1 catcher in 2025, and after the Cubs failed to hit on any IFA prospects signed in the years 2016-20, C-DH Moises Ballesteros (signed in 2021) and SS Jefferson Rojas (signed in 2022) are now among the Cubs Top 10 prospects. 

So signing a 16 year old out of Latin America is indeed a real crap shoot.You just never know what you're going to get, but it's a necessary part of the scouting & player development process. 

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

Every organization has a  Junior Lake, Aramis Ademan, Brett Jackson, Josh Vitters, Matt Szcur, Eddy Martinez, Jacob Hanneman, Christian Villanueva, Jose Albertos, Oscar De La Cruz, Dillon Maples, Trevor Clifton, Jake Stinnett, Carson Sands,  Brailyn Marquez, or Ryan Jensen (the latter two may still surprise us).

Young players who have the "raw talent" and "tools" to potentially succeed at the highest level of this game and, in the process, earn tens or hundreds of millions of dollars.

But for whatever reason, many do not succeed. They flame out in the minors or upon reaching The Show.

Why is that? I've always been fascinated by this question. 

Maybe a few days spent with someone like Tony Robbins would have made a difference. Maybe not.

Will Jefferson Rojas and/or Pedro Ramirez be able to keep their names off of the above list? 

Will Cristian Hernandez turn the corner and be the MBL star we expected when he signed in January 2021?

Hands up: Who expected Christopher Morel to be an MLB above average hitter in 2022 and 2023 upon getting the call from AA Tennessee in 2022 AFTER he had hit .223 .303 .427 in the minors in 2021? I sure didn't. Morel was said to have the "tools", including bat speed and power. But what happened between his disappointing 2021 season and his call-up in early 2022? Maybe he had a chat with Tony Robbins...

There are many players across the minor leagues of all organizations who have the "tools" to become an MLB regular - or even a star. But for every Juan Soto, there are a countless number who never realize their full potential.

The Cubs had an outfielder (not great defense) who put up the following numbers:

(age 22) AA   .338 AVG - 28 HR - 104 RBI - 88 BB - 117 SO - .451 OBP - .637 SLG

(age 23) AAA .286 AVG - 23 HR - 86 RBI - 91 BB - 142 SO - .389 OPB - .498 SLG

(age 24) AAA .316 AVG - 39 HR - 123 RBI - 100 BB - 109 SO - .436 OPB - .617 SLG

As a young Cubs fan in those late 1970s, I expected Karl Pagel to become an MLB star.

How could he not? Look at those numbers!

Karl Pagel's last MLB appearance was in 1983 for the Cleveland Indians. 

His career MLB stats were not what I (or probably he) expected.

There's more involved than mere "tools", obviously. But I can't put my finger on what precisely "it" is.

[ ]

In reply to by Karl Pagel Blues

And then there’s the flip side of that. Those who are seemingly bereft of physical tools that carve out a niche for themselves anyway. I’m thinking Rich Hill, Kyle Hendricks, Sam Fuld, Doug Dascenzo. I’ll add another guy who I think may make this list someday who will never make any prospect list (although sadly the clock is running out on him) - Darius Hill. The guy has almost nothing going for him - except he’s batted above average at almost every level, plays solid defense, can steal a base, shows occasional power. My guess is that he’s come as far as he has because he never stops working at getting better and he never gives up. He has HEART. 

I realize it’s another sweeping generalization, but I believe that the combination of sheer desire, work ethic and perseverance may be a large part of the X factor you’re referring to.

There’s my Tony Robbin’s piece for you!

[ ]

In reply to by Karl Pagel Blues

I’ve been pondering this post some more. The main subject was Karl Pagel. The teams he played for in that era - the Cubs and the Indians - weren’t exactly known for their player development. He continued to rake at AAA for several years but never really had a chance to prove himself at the MLB level. He had all of 3 MLB at bats with the Cubs. Perhaps the insiders knew he wasn’t the star he seemed to be or perhaps he hit his ceiling at AAA.

As far as the other players, several were derailed by injuries and, of the rest, none of them, with the possible exception of Jackson and Vitters (number one draft picks who were also rewarded handsomely before ever putting on a professional uniform) were as highly touted as Hernandez and almost all rose to at least the AA level, many to the majors although their careers didn’t amount to much.

When the Cubs brought Hernandez in he was drawing serious comparisons to a young Alex Rodriguez. Looking at his stats and listening to the description it sounds like there’s a good chance he never see’s AA ball unless they force him there to save face.

Yes, he could still turn the corner. In the interim though, you’re going to have a hard time convincing me that a guy with Alex Rodriguez tools who has been healthy and has all of today’s modern facilities and tools available to him yet has put up such pedestrian numbers at the lowest levels of the minors is putting in max effort to become the best version of himself. I could be dead wrong but as an outsider looking in it sure feels less like Karl Pagel and more like Buster Douglas.

[ ]

In reply to by gocubsgoinCO

Jefferson Rojas is the SS prospect the Cubs hoped Cristian Hernandez would be. Even 2B Pedro Ramirez (Rojas's DP partner at Myrtle Beach in 2023) is a better middle-infield prospect than C. Hernandez. Most of the people I know in baseball (outside of the Cubs organization) believe C. Hernandez is a bust. 

When he first arrived in Mesa in Spring Training 2022 C. Hernandez was showing slug power not seen in Extended Spring Training since Javier Baez. But he did that with an unsustainable 40%+ K-rate. To deal with that issue the Cubs remade C. Hernandez's swing at ACL in the summer of 2022, and while it did cut his K-rate, it also sapped his power. He just could not hit home runs without striking out almost every-other PA, and his hit tool even without the strikeouts is not particularly noteworthy. 

C. Hernandez is a legit SS and he runs well, but over the past year he has dropped from being a Top 10 or maybe even a Top 5 org prospect to being borderline Top 30. (I don't have him among my Cubs Top 30 prospects). 

Because J. Rojas and P. Ramirez will be (and need to be) the primary keystone combo at South Bend in 2024, it is likely that C. Hernandez will repeat Lo-A Myrtle Beach in 2024, where his younger (and VERY athletic) brother Alexis (who played in the ACL last year) will be a multi-positional guy. (Alexis has a higher floor and a lower ceiling than his older brother, but I would not consider Alexis to be a Top 30 prospect at this time, either).

I saw Cristian 6-7X in the ACL and I couldn’t believe how completely lost he looked at the plate.  On top of that he seemed really aloof. May be a case of over managing on the Cubs part. Probably needs a mental reset as much as a physical reset. 

Kilian probably goes to the 60IL. Awful break for him. He was fighting for a Bullpen call-up over the next three or so months.
Even if Kilian does move to the 60IL, I don't think Jed will add anyone because they probably wouldn't have options and have to go on the 26man.
Can anyone think of someone with flexibility that can go on the 40man in March/April?
Cam Sanders, maybe?

Also, Madrigal has more hamstring issues.
Mastro makes the roster for certain now (probably was anyway)
Does Vazquez get a bench spot to open the season if Madrigal goes to the IL?
It's just March 7th, I know. Plenty of time. Just theorizing.

[ ]

In reply to by Childersb3

Childersb3: Caleb Kilian won't be placed on the 60-day IL until a slot is needed on the 40. Otherwise, he will be placed on the 15- day IL on Opening Day retroactive to three days prior to Opening Day, and then he can be transferred to the 60- day IL whenever a 40-man roster slot is needed (if not prior to Opening Day). 

The Cubs won't add a player to their MLB 40-man roster just because Kilian can be placed on the 60-day IL, so they won't add Cam Sanders to the 40 unless he makes the Cubs Opening Day 26-man roster (possible but not too likely). 

As far as which ST NRI could get added to the 40, I would say the most likely one is LHRP Edwin Escobar, especially if he has an Opening Day opt out in his contract (TBD). Escobar's plus slider should be effective against LH-hitters, so if the Cubs want to have an actual one inning lefty in the pen, it could be Escobar. (Like Little probably needs some more time in AAA to refine his command). 

It is also possible that the Cubs could add one of the three post-2023 Article XX-B MLB free agents they signed to mInor league contracts (Cooper, Edwards, or Peralta), because they for sure (by rule) have automatic Opening Day opt-outs. 

As far as who would replace Madrigal on the MLB 26-man roster if he begins the season on the IL, I would say it will probably be David Bote. Keep in mind that Bote is already signed to an MLB contract and as such he counts $3M against the Cubs payroll AAV whether he is playing at AAA or in MLB, and I suspect the Cubs might like to add him to the 40, and then when Madrigal is reinstated, place Bote on waivers (hoping he will get claimed) or outright him to the minors and hope he will elect free-agency and forfeit what remains of his contract (not likely but the Cubs might as well give it a try). Bote also has one minor league option left if he is added to the 40. 

BTW, Bote has been getting a lot of reps at SS at ST (both in Cactus League games and on the backfields), and while he has limited range at SS, he does know the mechanics of the position (he played SS in HS and college), and so he would actually provide more defensive versatility than either Madrigal or Wisdom. 

The problem with Bote is that he is only 89 days shy of reaching 5+000 MLB Service Time, at which point he will reach Article XIX-A status and can't be sent to the minors (optioned or outrighted) without his consent. So selecting Bote to the 40 would probably have to be strictly a short-term add to the MLB active list (less than 89 days) if the Cubs want to be able to send him back to the minors. 

This was more of an issue last year because he was under control through 2024 and it was probably too soon to get stuck with him on the 40, but the Cubs can decline their 2025 club option on Bote after this season, so they could always just release him and eat what remains of his contract even if he attains Article XIX-A status prior to the conclusion of the season. (So therefore I guess Bote would be another candidate to get added to the 40 prior to Opening Day).

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

Phil, I'm sure you're right.

I just don't like it.

I want Luke Little in the pen.

I want Cam Sanders to be good (may not happen but I'm trying to will it into existence)

Escobar probably gets a chance

But he can have Leiter's spot.

Who are the best 8 bullpen arms?

Whoever they are, Counsell should take them.

He should get to chose thaloae guys regardless of contracts.

If Little is better than Escobar, Little should be in.

Bote in for Madrigal if he gets hurt makes sense. Should've thought of that.

But Madrigal probably gets healthy in time for OD.

Chicago Radio now says Alonso talk is dead. Mets wanted Horton and more.

They say Cubs are now looking for a SP. Cubs aren't sold on the rotation.

We'll see.

@ Childersb3 It's just March 7th, I know. Plenty of time.

That brought to mind March 26th, 1984. Dallas Green, unhappy with what he saw during spring training from the Cubs, for whom he was the GM after a long time working in the Phillies organization, made the following trade:  

RP Bill Campbell (age 35) and C Mike Diaz (24) to the Phillies for RP Porfirio "Porfi" Altamirano (32) and two other guys named CF Bob Dernier (27) and LF Gary Matthews (33). 

Without Matthews and Dernier, the 1984 Cubs would probably not have won the NL Central.

Let's see what Jed Hoyer and his people do in the coming three weeks prior to opening day. 

Tomorrow (Friday 3/8) is the first day that a 2023 MLB Rule 5 Draft-Excluded Player can be sent to the minors (optioned or outrighted). In the case of the Cubs that would be Luke Little, Michael Arias, Porter Hodge, and Luis Vazquez. BTW, tomorrow is also the first day that a 2023 MLB Rule 5 Draft Selected Player can be sent to the minors, but the Cubs have no Rule 5 Draft Selected Players on their MLB 40-man roster, and no Cubs minor leaguers were selected in the Major League Phase of the 2023 Rule 5 Draft.

Also, next Wednesday (3/13) is the deadline to send an injured player to the minors (optioned or outrighted) - IF - the player has accrued less than three years of MLB Service Time and the player did not accrue any MLB Service Time in 2023. In the case of the Cubs that would be Michael Arias, Porter Hodge, Luis Vazquez, Kevin Alcantara, Ben Brown, and Brennen Davis. (Ordinarily an injured player cannot be optioned or outrighted to the minors).  

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

The Cubs first major "batch cut" from MLB Spring Training will be coming up soon (probably on Monday or Tuesday) what with the Cubs having a day off on Monday, a night game on Tuesday, and with Cactus League Minor League Spring Training games beginning on Wednesday. (Players are not normally sent to minor league camp from big league camp until a day or two before minor leaguers start playing games on the backfields). 

Keep in mind that a player can play in an MLB Cactus League game even after being sent to Minor League Camp. However, the player would be paid at the daily MLB Spring Training allowance rate for just one day at a time and only when placed on the active list for a particular MLB Spring Training game. 

Also, expect most if not all of the six players who can be sent to the minors even if the player is injured (Arias, Hodge, L. Vazquez, K. Alcantara, B.Brown, and B. Davis) to be sent to the minors no later than next Wednesday. To not do so would be roster malpractice, because if one of the six players is not optioned to the minors by next Wednesday and then the player is injured, the player would have to be placed on the MLB IL and be paid at the MLB rate and accrue MLB Service Time until healthy enough to be optioned to the minors.

i don't want either guy anywhere near the cubs, but i'm low-key bummed joey votto and zack greinke haven't found work

Alex Cohen just said it again as Hodge came into the game. “Newly added to the 40 man roster.” But what you guys are saying sounds right to me. Strange.

looks like we got tauchman and bellinger solidly in CF.

i wouldn't be shocked to see garrett cooper break with the team to backup m.busch if he keeps doing what he's doing.

CIN just took a hardcore PED suspension...

noelvi marte, 80 games (roids).  he is a major part of the current reds core and was doing well this spring.

giving keegan thompson the 9th...oof.  that's not a good place to be finding work in spring for someone trying to break with the team.

also, morel with another fielding error.  1 throwing, 2 fielding this spring.

MLB.com has the Cubs minor league system ranked #2 (behind Orioles). 

They were #12 last preseason.

https://tinyurl.com/ys6xb4wk

"The Cubs haven't had this much prospect talent since they ranked No. 1 in 2015 with a system that helped them end their 108-year World Series drought the next season. This time around, they have much more pitching depth, which could help them build a longer-term contender. Four of their MLB-high seven Top 100 prospects arrived via trades (Crow-Armstrong, Caissie, Busch, Alcántara), while Horton and Shaw continue to boost their stock since being selected in the first round of the past two Drafts."

I'm willing Cam Sanders to Wrigley!! It will happen this year. 

Alzolay, Merryweather, Little, Palencia, Sanders, Hodge, Brown (at least to begin) & RThomp [Cuas brings the funk at 93-94]. All 95+ with spin! You have to dream people.

Phil and I are two of the few Cubs fans that can see a Nico move off 2B or trade. He's as solid a player as there is at 2B in MLB. He's a .280 hitter w/a .723 OBP. His SBs do help those numbers.His OPS+ in 2023 was 97. His career OPS+ is 97.

He has gold glove 2B defense.

He isn't an All-Star hitter.

Shaw might be an All-Star hitter. 

Tough call for Jed. Shaw has to force the change though with MiLB mega production. 

Folks like to say that there's time to handle all this. True.

Folks also say you can keep all the guys and just move them around. Not always true.

Someone probably gets traded to help balance out the roster.

Last thing: Steele will be the first ever LH OD SP that was drafted by the Cubs. It's not a big deal that's never happened before. But it's definitely fitting of Cubs development history.

Ken Holtzman was close. Got stuck behind a HOFer in Fergie.

Giants waive JD Davis. 
Davis hit .248/.325/.413 with 18 homers over 546 plate appearances with San Francisco in 2023”

Isn’t Madrigal for Davis an upgrade?

[ ]

In reply to by Cubster

Acquiring JD Davis to me would redundant to Wisdom more than Madrigal. So how did Davis compare to Wisdom in 2023?

JD Davis - 32% K rate, 18 HR, 3.75 HR/AB, $4.2mm

Wisdom - 41% K rate, 23 HR, 9.6 HR/AB, $763k.

And Wisdom actively worked on his swing during the offseason, telling me he’s still motivated to improve.

If it’s me, I’m keeping Wisdom.

[ ]

In reply to by bradsbeard

wisdom's one of those players that's great to have around until it's time to pay him multiple millions.

the ob% and K's are hard to take.  he's an average-at-best defender at 3rd/1st.  i hope we're done seeing him anywhere in the OF because that's been terrible.

...but the slugging .500-ish when placed in favorable conditions was worth the bit over 2m he was paid the past 3 years.  he led the team in HR in 2021 and 2022.

the first 3 seasons with the cubs was a no-brainer given his cost, but we're getting into gamble territory.  hopefully he's worth the 2.7m he's getting this year.

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

Agreed. This is almost certainly Wisdom’s last year with the Cubs but I do see a place for him on this year’s team.

Maybe at 31 it’s asking a bit too much but I’m hoping with the offseason work he put in the strike outs decrease.

[ ]

In reply to by Cubster

Per the new CBA, a player eligible for salary arbitration who signs a contract with his club anytime prior to an arbitration hearing has his contract guaranteed 100% (prior to the new CBA such a contract was not fully guaranteed), so if he is released prior to Opening Day he gets paid his entire salary as termination pay, although the salary liability for the club that released the player could be offset by the pro-rated MLB minimum salary if the player subsequently signs an MLB contract with a new club (or signs a minor league contract and then is subsequently selected to the MLB 40-man roster). 

So (for example), all of the Cubs players who were eligible for salary arbitration post-2023 (Alzolay, Leiter, Madrigal, Merryweather, Steele, Tauchman, and Wisdom, plus Yency Almonte, who was arbitration-eligible and signed a 2024 contract with the Dodgers prior to the Cubs acquiring him in a trade) signed their 2024 contracts prior to going to an arbitration hearing, and so their contracts are fully guaranteed. 

However, if a player eligible for salary arbitration files for arbitration, and the club and the player do not agree to settle prior to the hearing, and the player is awarded a contract by the arbitration panel (even if he loses!), that contract is NOT fully guaranteed. (This is what happened with J. D. Davis). If the club releases the player prior to Opening Day, the termination fee paid to the player would be 30 days pay (about 1/6 if his salary) if he is released more than 15 days prior to MLB Opening Day, or 45 days pay (about 1/4 if his salary) if the player is released 15 days or fewer prior to MLB Opening Day. 

So by going to an arbitration hearing instead of settling with the player, the Giants actually did a really smart thing, because they can cut J. D. Davis prior to MLB Opening Day and only have to pay him 30 days pay (about $1.15M), whereas if they had settled with him prior to the hearing, his contract (and his $6.9M salary) would be fully guaranteed.  

Why the MLBPA would have agreed to this (a salary arbitration-eligible player who signs prior to going to a hearing has his contract 100% guaranteed, but a salary arbitration-eligible player who does not settle with his club and goes to an an arbitration hearing and is awarded a contract by an arbitration panel does not have his contract fully guaranteed), I have no idea.  

But before releasing Davis, the Giants have placed him on Outright Assignment Waivers, hoping that another club will claim him for the $50,000 waiver price and assume 100% of his salary (the entire $6.9M). That would be better than an outright release, because not only would they not have to pay Davis any termination fee, they also receive the $50,000 waiver fee. It's just that the Giants won't be able to get a player or a minor league prospect back for Davis if they lose him off waivers, but they no doubt determined in conversations with other clubs after they signed Matt Chapman that nobody was offering anything more valuable (to the Giants) than the $50,000 waiver price. 

Only after Davis clears Outright Assignment Waivers (and only if he is not claimed) will the Giants place him on Unconditional Release Waivers. A club can claim a player off Unconditional Release Waivers for $1 and assume 100% of his salary (same as if the player was claimed off Outright Assignment Waivers, but without the $50,000 waiver claim fee). 

With one exception, a player claimed off Unconditional Release Waivers can decline the claim and elect to be a free-agent, but if the player declines the claim and elects free-agency, the player would forfeit his salary (same as when an Article XX-D player is outrighted to the minors and then elects free-agency immediately). The one exception is if a player with a "no trade" right is claimed off Unconditional Release Waivers and declines the waiver claim and elects free agency, he would still be owed 100% of his salary from the club that released him. 

Generally speaking, players are not claimed off Unconditional Release Waivers, partly because the player can decline the claim, but also because clubs would prefer to sign a player after he has been released and only have to pay him the pro-rated MLB minimum salary. The only problem with a club waiting until the player is released is other clubs might be interested in the player as well, and the player might choose to sign with another club.  

This procedure (first the player is placed on Outright Assignment Waivers, and if he is not claimed, he is then placed on Unconditional Release Waivers) is done almost always when a club is planning to release a player. The one exception would be if a player cannot be placed on Outright Assignment Waivers (a player with a "no trade" right or a Rule Draft Excluded Player). These players would just be placed on Unconditional Release Waivers only. 

The MLB office must be open In order for the waiver process to proceed, and the MLB office is open every day (including weekends and federal holidays) during the MLB regular season and for most of Spring Training (the MLB office is closed over the last weekend of Spring Training). The "waiver ride" actually takes 47 hours, so in the case of J. D. Davis, he was likely placed on Outright Assignment Waivers at 2 PM (Eastern) on Friday or Saturday, and so clubs will have until 1 PM (Eastern) on Sunday (if he was placed on Outright Assignment Waivers on Friday) or until 1 PM (Eastern) on Monday (if he was placed on Outright Assignment Waivers on Saturday) to make a claim. 

If he is not claimed off Outright Assignment Waivers, the Giants will just release him. In fact they would only have to wait one hour before placing him on Unconditional Release Waivers at 2 PM (Eastern) on the same day he clears Outright Assignment Waivers at 1 PM, and as long as Davis is released prior to Wednesday, the Giants would only have to pay him 30 days salary as termination pay.  

If he is released and isn't happy about it, one thing Davis can do is file a grievance with an arbitrator (asking for his entire $6.9M salary) and claim that the Giants released him purely for financial reasons (which is not permitted), but that would probably only happen if his termination pay ($1.15M ) and whatever salary he gets from his new club does not at least equal the $6.9M he was awarded by the arbitration panel. 

Also keep in mind that J. D. Davis was NOT placed on waivers to "gauge trade interest." That would have had to have been done before he was placed on waivers, because both Outright Assignment Waivers and Unconditional Release Waivers are irrevocable, and a player cannot be traded while he is on waivers. (The old "Major League Waivers" from back in the day were revocable the first time they were requested on a player in a given waiver period, so there was a time when a club could place a player on Major League Waivers in order to gauge trade interest and then revoke the waiver if the player was claimed, but that is no longer possible). 

One other thing. If a club makes a waiver claim and then is awarded the claim and then flips the claimed player to a third club in a trade, and a club with a waiver claim priority between those two clubs also claimed the player, the MLB Commissioner can void the waiver claim by the club that was awarded the waiver claim and then traded the player. That's because if a club claims a player off waivers and then trades the player to another club, and the intent or effect of the trade would be to prevent a club with a waiver claim priority between the two clubs involved in the trade from acquiring the player via waivers, the Commissioner can void the waiver claim by the club that traded the player after claiming him, and instead award the waiver claim to whichever club that is next in waiver claim priority that put in a claim. 

What is not clear in the rules and what would have to be decided by the MLB Commissioner is exactly how long a club would have to wait before it would be OK to trade a player the club claimed off waivers... 30 days?... 60 days??... 90 days???. What is clear is that a club must wait at least 48 hours or until the player has spent at least one day on an MLB 26-man active list (whichever comes first) during Spring Training and the MLB regular season or at least seven days during the off-season before placing a player who was claimed off waivers back onto waivers.   

So waivers are not at all like the Rule 5 Draft, where a club with a better draft position priority can select a player and then flip him to another club with an unfavorable draft priority. You can't do that with waivers. So (for example) the Oakland A's can't claim J.D. Davis off waivers and then flip him to another club (like maybe the Toronto Blue Jays) in a trade (at least not immediately), if a club with a waiver claim priority between the A's and the Jays also made a waiver claim on Davis.

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

So, while in theory he COULD be signed for league minimum, following his release, which seems like the most likely course, he’s essentially a free agent and presumably there could be some competition among teams to sign a player deemed by the arbitration process to be worth $6.2mm, correct?

[ ]

In reply to by TarzanJoeWallis

TJW: If a player signed to a non-guaranteed major league contract is released prior to MLB Opening Day and is paid a 30-day or 45-day termination fee (like if the Giants release Davis and pay him 30 days pay, which is about $1.15M), that contract is completely terminated. The Giants don't get anything if Davis signs elsewhere after being released, and it doesn't even matter to the Giants if he signs with another club, goes to Japan, or retires. The Giants will have paid Davis $1.15M to go away, and that's that.   

Now, if Davis's contract was fully guaranteed and he was getting paid $6.9M no matter what, then he would almost certainly sign with another club for the 2024 MLB minimum salary ($740K), and the Giants would be on the hook for the balance of the $6.9M (about $6.15M). But since Davis only gets $1.15M from the Giants as termination pay (not the entire $6.9M he would get if his contract was fully guaranteed), he is going to want a lot more than the MLB minimum salary to sign with another club. Just to reach the salary he had prior to being released, he would want at least $5.75M to sign with a new team. Of course whether anybody would be willing to pay that is TBD (I would think probably not). 

Which is why Davis might end up filing a grievance with an arbitrator if he is released and doesn't get the kind of contract offers he wants, claiming that the Giants released him purely for financial reasons (which is not permitted) and asking for the entire $6.9M (or at least whatever the difference is between the best contract offer he gets after he is released and $6.9M). 

However, if Davis does file a grievance, the Giants can just claim that they released Davis only after they signed Matt Chapman (which they were not planning to do at the time they tendered Davis a contract in November), and that by signing Chapman there is no longer a 26-man roster spot available for Davis, since both Chapman and Davis play 3B. And I suspect the Giants would win that one. 

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