21 Cubs Are Declared Minor League Free-Agents

21 Cubs minor leaguers were declared post-2021 MLB Rule 9 (formerly MLB Rule 55) minor league free agents at 5 PM (Eastern) on Sunday 11/7.

Jose Almonte, RHP 
Abiatal Avelino, INF
Joe Biagini, RHP 
Dakota Chalmers, RHP
Yovanny Cuevas, OF  
Johneshwy Fargas, OF 
Taylor Gushue, C
Mike Hauschild, RHP 
P. J. Higgins, C-INF 
Tyler Ladendorf, INF 
Ryan Lawlor, LHP 
Luis Lugo, LHP 
Dillon Maples, RHP 
Ian Miller, OF
Kohl Stewart, RHP  
Marcus Walden, RHP 
Joe Wieland, RHP 

Juan Gamez, RHP (previously released by MIN)
Alex Katz, LHP (previously released by BAL)
Ryan Kellogg, LHP (previously released by CUBS)
Jackson McClelland, RHP (previously released by TOR)


Only four of the 16 Cubs 2021 Rule 9 second-contract minor league players were declared free-agents, which means the other twelve are signed for 2022. 

Also, RHRP James Bourque, C Erick Castillo, OF Donnie Dewees, LHSP Ben Holmes, LHRP Bryan Hudson, RHRP Nicholas Padilla, C Tyler Payne, LHSP C. D. Pelham, C Raymond Pena, RHRP Eury Ramos, and RHRP Aneuris Rosario were eligible to be a Rule 9 minor league 6YFA, but each of them signed a 2022 minor league successor contract prior to being declared a 6YFA. Therefore, these players will now be eligible for selection in next month's Rule 5 Draft, so it is possible that one or more (like maybe Bryan Hudson?) could be added to the Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) when minor league reserve lists are established on 11/19 in preparation for the 2021 Rule 5 Draft. 

In addition, RHRP Adrian Sampson (who was sent outright to AAA Iowa on Friday) has until the end of today (Monday 11/8) to decide whether to accept his outright assignment and sign a 2022 minor league contract with the Cubs, or elect free-agency.  

A club receives no compensation for losing a minor league free-agent.

A minor league free-agent can sign a major league or minor league contract with any club (including the player's former club) without any restrictions, so it's possible that one or more of the Cubs minor league free-agents will eventually re-sign with the Cubs at some point during the off-season. However, if the Cubs offered a 2022 minor league successor contract to a player prior to the player becoming a free-agent, the club's offer going forward will certainly be less than what the player was offered to sign a minor league successor contract (if a club is willing to increase its offer or even offer the same money after a player declines to sign a successor contract, nobody would ever sign one).  


So the Cubs 190-man off-season Domestic Reserve List now stands at 182, with eight slots are open for free-agents who might be signed to minor league contracts in the coming days & weeks. (It will be 183 with seven slots open if Adrian Sampson accepts his outright assignment today and signs a 2022 minor league contract). 


Thoughts on Cubs chances of keeping Chalmers?

I mean, our pitching is lite everywhere. He should stay for the right price shouldn't he?

Today's Mesa Solar Sox game was probably the most entertaining and exciting AFL game I can remember.

Most AFL games really drag and despite the pitch clock the pace can get maddingly slow, but this game was different. 

Down 10-0 early, the Solar Sox stormed-back in the middle innings to edge the Scottdale Scorpions 11-10, thanks to five shut-out shut-down innings by Cubs RHP Caleb Kilian (acquired frrom SF in the Kris Bryant trade) in innings 4-8 and a clutch grand slam HR high over the right-centerfield fence by Andy Weber. 

Weber also lofted a high fly triple off the CF wall and scored on a sac fly, and likely AFL MVP Nelson Velazquez lined a double into the LF corner and blooped a single to CF. 

With the ability to play 2B-3B-SS, Weber is definitely staking a claim for a spot on the 40. 

Kilian needed only 51 pitches and five minutes or less per inning to cruise through his five innings of work, featuring a 93-96 T-97-98 FB and a sweeping swing & miss 76-79 MPH CV. This is the best I've seen Kilian throw. An amazing outing in what is an extreme hitter's league.   

SP Ryan Jensen was unable to miss many bats and was tagged pretty good early, despite mixing a 95-98 MPH FB, a hard upper 80's SL/CT, a CH, and a CV.

Kilian clearly knows how to pitch, and no question he is the better SP prospect of the two. Kilian could be ready for MLB sometime in 2022, Jensen probably not so much.  

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In reply to by Arizona Phil

it would be nice if they'd televise more AFL games again.  i realize it's probably not worth it because of the cost to broadcast and have an announce team, but meh...

MLB.tv has an off-season package, but it's only for the dominican games (spanish language) and none of the other winter leagues.

if it wasn't $25 (or if other leagues were involved) i'd spring for it.

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In reply to by crunch

CRUNCH: MLB Network will be televising the AFL "Fall Stars" game this coming Saturday and also the AFL Championship Game the next Saturday.

Cubs RHP Caleb Kilian, OF Nelson Velazquez, and INF Andy Weber have been named to the Fall Starts East roster, and there is a very good chance that Mesa will win the AFL East and play in the Championship game, with Kilian on schedule to start that game (again, presuming the Solar Sox win their division).   

Here is another write up by Baseball America on the AFL on Tuesday: 

Nelson Velazquez, OF, Cubs — Velazquez has turned the Fall League into a combination of Christmas and Groundhog Day. Like clockwork, he gets up, takes quality at-bats, spits on tough offspeed pitches, makes loud contact and hits a ball a very long way. Then he goes home, goes to sleep, wakes up the next morning and does it all over again. This time, the victim was Peoria righthander and Pirates prospect Roansy Contreras, who was on such an upward trajectory this year that he made his big league debut.

In his first at-bat against Contreras, Velazquez worked the count full before getting a 94 mph fastball on the inner half of the plate. For most players, that might lead to a swing and miss or weak contact. Instead, Velazquez pulled his hands in, got the barrel to the ball and drove it some 400 feet down the right field line for a truly impressive combination of hittability and impact. His eight home runs are the the most in the league, and he also tops the circuit in average, RBIs, and slugging percentage. If he can catch Bryson Stott for the RBI crown, he will win both the traditional and sabermetric triple crowns.

Cubs MLB Roster

Cubs Organizational Depth Chart
40-Man Roster Info

39 players are on the MLB RESERVE LIST (one slot is open), plus two players are on 60-DAY IL   

28 players
are on the MLB ACTIVE LIST (26-man limit in effect on MLB Opening Day)

Four players signed to minor league contracts are Spring Training NON-ROSTER INVITEES (NRI) 

: 32 

Last updated 3-28-2023
* bats or throws left
# bats both

Adbert Alzolay
Javier Assad 
Brad Boxberger
Michael Fulmer
Kyle Hendricks
* Brandon Hughes
Julian Merryweather
Michael Rucker
* Drew Smyly
* Justin Steele 
Marcus Stroman
Jameson Taillon 
Keegan Thompson
Hayden Wesneski

* Ryan Borucki  
Tyler Duffey 
* Anthony Kay  
Mark Leiter Jr 

* Tucker Barnhart 
Yan Gomes
Luis Torrens

Nico Hoerner
* Eric Hosmer
Nick Madrigal
* Miles Mastrobuoni
* Edwin Rios
Dansby Swanson
Patrick Wisdom

* Cody Bellinger 
# Ian Happ
Trey Mancini 
Seiya Suzuki 

Keven Alcantara, OF 
Miguel Amaya, C 
Ben Brown, P 
Alexander Canario, OF 
Brennen Davis, OF 
Jeremiah Estrada, P 
Ryan Jensen, P 
Caleb Kilian, P
Christopher Morel, INF-OF
Adrian Sampson, P 
Nelson Velazquez, OF 

60-DAY IL: 2 
Codi Heuer, P 
Ethan Roberts, P

Minor League Rosters
Rule 5 Draft 
Minor League Free-Agents