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 eight players are on OPTIONAL ASSIGNMENT to minors and six players are on the 15-DAY IL

Last updated 5-25-2024

* bats or throws left
# bats both

PITCHERS: 13
Javier Assad
Ben Brown
Kyle Hendricks
Porter Hodge 
* Shota Imanaga
Mark Leiter Jr
* Luke Little
Tyson Miller
Hector Neris
* Drew Smyly
* 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: 8
Kevin Alcantara, OF
Michael Arias, P
Alexander Canario, OF
* Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF
Jose Cuas, P 
Brennen Davis, OF
* Miles Mastrobuoni, INF
* Matt Mervis, 1B

15-DAY IL: 6
Yency Almonte, P
Albert Alzolay, P
Colten Brewer, P
Daniel Palencia, 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

Camp Day at Fitch Park - Updated Cubs Extended Spring Training Roster

Thursday is "Camp Day" at Cubs Extended Spring Training, which means the entire squad participates in an extended training & workout session (PFP, pick-off drills, baserunning drills, fielding practice, BP, and situational hitting), with an intrasquad game to follow.

In post-Minor League Camp roster news, RHP Alvido Jimenez, Hector Mayora, and Jade Mendez, 1B Melvin Camarena, and OF Xavier Batista, Albert Hernandez, and Manuel Pestana arrived at Fitch Park from the Cubs Dominican Academy in Boca Chica, DR, last week (and Camarena, X. Batista, Hernandez, and Pestana have already seen EXST game action), and 23-year old 5'11 195 former catcher Alvaro Sosa (214/254/305 with a 33% CS% combined at AZL Cubs and Boise in 2009 and a career .225 hitter going back to 2005) is being converted to a RHP (joining ex-OF Drew Rundle, who continues his conversion to LHP that began at Instructs last October). And (as I have mentioned previously) utility INF Jonathan Mota continues his conversion to catcher, to help him improve his versatilty. (Mota will be assigned to a full-season minor league team after he has had a chance to get some more experience behind the plate).

Here is the current up-to-date Cubs Extended Spring Training roster (61 players) as of today:

EXTENDED SPRING TRAINING:

* bats or throws left
# bats both

ACTIVE LIST (49):

PITCHERS (25):
Frank Batista
Rogelio Carmona
Eduardo Figueroa
Jesse Ginley
Yohan Gonzalez
Gian Guzman
* Cody Hams
Alvido Jimenez
Danny Keefe
* Austin Kirk
* James Leverton
Luis Liria
Hector Mayora
Jade Mendez
* John Mincone
Tarlandus Mitchell
David Patton (ACTIVE REHAB)
* Marcos Perez
Carlos Rojas
Jose Rosario
* Drew Rundle (ex-OF)
Alvaro Sosa (ex-C)
Larry Suarez
Tzu-An Wang
Yao-Lin Wang

CATCHERS (5):
* Sergio Burruel
Jose Guevara
Jae-Hoon Ha
Jonathan Mota (ex-INF)
Carlos Romero

INFIELDERS (11):
# Arismendy Alcantara
# Vismeldy Bieneme
Melvin Camarena
* Pin-Chieh Chen
* Wes Darvill
# Rafael Disla
Brandon May
* Matt Spencer (ACTIVE REHAB)
Blair Springfield
Charles Thomas
* Bobby Wagner

OUTFIELDERS (8):
Xavier Batista
Runey Davis
D. J. Fitzgerald
* Francisco Guzman
Albert Hernandez
* Kyung-Min Na
Manuel Pestana
Cody Shields

INJURY REHAB (12):
Justin Bristow (unknown)
Chris Carpenter, RHP (shoulder soreness)
Julio Castillo, RHP (unknown)
Angel Guzman, RHP (March 2010 shoulder surgery)
Marcus Hatley, RHP (2009 TJS)
Dylan Johnston, RHP (2009 TJS)
Dong-Yub Kim, OF (unknown)
* Casey Lambert, LHP (2009 TJS)
Toby Matchulat, RHP (broken foot)
Rebel Ridling, 1B (appendectomy)
Melvin Rosa, RHP (unknown)
Adam Spencer, RHP (unknown)

Comments

lineup thur: ss theriot, rf fuke, 1b lee, 3b ramy, lf colvin, cf byrd, 2b font, c soto, p big z Lee back, Soriano sits

Thanks as always Phil. Could you shed some light on maybe one or two players from each "group" of players who you think are the most explosive, or highest impact guys? It also might help if we knew what positions most of these guys played in say the infield, but I'm obviously in no place to beg. Anything is great, Phil. I always love reading all of these things but a lot of times it is hard to distinguish which players are the most projectable. It's very exciting to me. Thanks in advance.

[ ]

In reply to by W Flag

Submitted by W Flag on Thu, 04/15/2010 - 11:02am. Thanks as always Phil. Could you shed some light on maybe one or two players from each "group" of players who you think are the most explosive, or highest impact guys? It also might help if we knew what positions most of these guys played in say the infield, but I'm obviously in no place to beg. Anything is great, Phil. I always love reading all of these things but a lot of times it is hard to distinguish which players are the most projectable. It's very exciting to me. Thanks in advance. ===================================== W Flag: INFIELDERS: Arismendy Alacantara: 18-year old switch-hitter with a decent bat... a little water-bug, he plays both SS-2B, but he can definitely handle SS... is a fast runner with excellent base-stealing technique... is probably the best all-around infield prospect at EXST at this time, although NOT yet in the class of S. Castro or HJ Lee.... Vismeldy Bieneme: 20-year old switch-hitter... "supersub" type who plays 3B-2B-LF-CF... is an outstanding base-stealer... bat needs work... good plate discipline... versatile, but not a particularly good defensive player... Melvin Camarena: Big guy (6'4) with OK speed... 20-years old, played two seasons (2008-09) in the DSL... plays 1B-LF-RF... just arrived from Boca Chica, and I've only seen him hit (BP and DH)... Rafael Disla: 19-year old switch-hitter... plays 2B-SS (mostly 2B)... fast runner, but without the base-stealing technique of Alcantara or the raw speed of Bieneme... has outstanding plate discipline, although he isn't much of a hitter... kind of shaky defensively (which is why he plays mostly 2B)... Charles Thomas: Cubs 10th round draft pick in 2009... 21-year old RH hitter... a lug (6'4 225+) who played college ball at Edward Waters College in Jacksonville, FL (the same school legendary Negro Leaguer and one-time Cubs Coach and Scout Buck O'Neill attended)... good hitter (he led the AZL Cubs in doubles and RBI in 2009) who has improved his plate discipline this year, he really needs to elevate his swing and hit some HR (he hit one HR in 45 games at Mesa last year) or he won't make it at 1B... played 3B in college and both 3B and 1B last year at Mesa (AZL Cubs), but he isn't very mobile so he has been playing only 1B and DH in Minor League Camp and Extended Spring Training so far this year... he was a two-way player in college (3B-RHP) who threw in the low-90's off the mound, so he might be a candidate to get moved to RHP if he doesn't develop HR power... he declined an invitation to attend Instructs last Fall so that he could return to college and get his degree... his father is a Captain in the U. S. Navy... Wes Darvill: Cubs 5th round pick in 2009 out of Langley, British Columbia... lefty hitter... just turned 18 last September... a raw project who will need some time develop (he hit just 223/295/231 at Mesa last year)... 6'2 with a long-stride, he's probably still a growing boy... played for the Canadian Junior National Team last year and played games in Cuba, DR, and all over the U. S... was drafted as a shortstop, but his arm is a lot like Ryan Theriot's so he might get moved eventually to 2B (or maybe to 1B or LF if he can develop power)... seems to have pull-tendencies, which is OK if he can eventually hit some HR... Ping-Chieh Chen: A lanky 18-year old lefty swinger from Taiwan... plays both SS and 2B... has a strong but scatter-gun arm... fast runner... good bat speed... Blair Springfield: 19-year old RH hitter... Cubs 7th round pick out of MacArthur HS in Decatur, IL... could have gone to Illinois State, but signed with the Cubs instead... has just average speed, but he does have raw plus-power... strikes out a ton, but he isn't afraid to take a walk... played SS and CF in HS, 2B and LF last year at Mesa, and 1B and RF in Minor League Camp this year... a man without a position, he will go as far as his bat will take him (he hit just 202/314/236 in his rookie year at Mesa)... D. J. Fitzgerald: 22nd round pick in 2009 out of Dyersburg State CC in Tennessee... 21 years old... "DJ Fitz" played SS in JC, but was moved to 2B after the Cubs signed him... defensively-challenged, he's playing LF full-time now... an aggressive first-ball fastball hitter with a nice line-drive stroke (he hit 290/327/425 combined with four HR in 54 games at Mesa/Boise/Peoria in 2009), he has just average speed and occasional HR power... will need to display more power to be an everyday LF... Bobby Wagner: A 23-year old Canadian who played college ball at Douglas College in British Columbia, Wagner is a slugging corner IF-OF with an upper-cut swing who has a lot of trouble making contact, but when he does he has big-time 25+ HR power (290/361/580 with 8 HR in 46 games combined at Mesa & Boise last year)... he played 3B in college, but the Cubs moved him to LF after he signed and now he's playing 1B... failing to make the Peoria Opening Day roster was not good for Wagner (and he got cut fairly early in Minor League Camp, too), because of his age (he turns 24 in July)... the clock is ticking... Brandon May: 36th round pick out of th U. of Alabama in 2009... was planning to return to Bama for his senior season, but then he signed with the Cubs at the last minute (mid-August signing deadline)... 22-year old polished RH hitter... can play 3B-2B-1B-LF-RF, and the Cubs even tried him at catcher in Instructs last Fall (but he sort of flunked-out of the program)... has been playing only 3B-1B so far this year... high baseball IQ with solid fundamentals, he looks like the kind of guy who will end up becoming a coach or a manager someday... although he might not have as high a "ceiling" as some of his teammates, right now he is the EXST Cubs most-reliable hitter... OUTFIELDERS: Cody Shields: 2009 15th round pick out of Auburn University (Montgomery campus)... 22-year old RH hitter... had Tommy John Surgery right after he reported to Fitch Park last June and just returned to action this year... 6'4 with plus-speed and the ability to play all three OF positions... he may be one of the worst hitters I've ever seen... Albert Hernandez: 6'1 175 21-year old Dominican... played previous three seasons in DSL where he was probably the best all-around hitter on the team... has arm enough to play RF... runs OK... good bat speed... Xavier Batista: 18-year old 6'3 corner OF... just arrived at Fitch Park from the Cubs Dominican Academy last week... a free-swinger with plus-power and with a legitimate "RF arm," Batista needs to work on his hitting approach... just average speed... Manuel Pestana: 20-year old Venezuelan RH outfielder just arrived at Fitch Park with Hernandez, Camarena, and X. Batista.. 5'11 155 (if that), Pestana is a wisp of a fellow... good defensive OF, above-average speed (but not a "burner"), questionable bat, no power... Francisco Guzman: 22-year old lanky 6'1 Dominican lefty hitting & throwing OF... A true CF and a true lead-off hitter, too, Guzman can bunt with the best of them... has outstanding speed and knows how to use it... plus-plus base-stealing skills (55 SB in 130 career minor league games)... hitting is sometimes a problem, though... has zero power... physically resembles Felix Pie, but without Pie's bat speed and power... Kyung-Min Na: 18-year old diminutive (5'7) lefty hitting & throwing Korean... was rated the fastest HS player in Korea in 2009, and he is indeed VERY fast... got a $700K+ bonus from the Cubs last year... is an outstanding defensive CF with a plus-arm... decent hitter, but not much power... understands situational hitting approach... good baserunning skills & instincts... Played in AZ Instrutional League last Fall... reminds me of Tony Campana (AA Tennessee CF)... Runey Davis: 21-year old 6'0 185 RH hitting Texan... Played at the U. of Texas his freshman year, then transferred to Howard JC in Texas, where he played in the 2009 JC World Series (where he faced Shelton State CC and Cubs RHP prospect Trey McNutt)... Davis led JC in HBP, and he does seem to find a way to get hit... otherwise he is a below-average hitter without much power... has above-average speed... below-average defender... Dong-Yub Kim: 19-year old 6'4 Korean corner outfielder... bats and throws right... played in AZ Instructional League last Fall... has plus-power, but needs to improve his hitting approach... has just average speed...

While we're asking... Phil, have you got a chance to see Kirk pitch much? Is the organization dissapointed that Suarez isn't able to make a full season roster by now (I know I certainly am). Have expectations really changed on him?

[ ]

In reply to by The Real Neal

Submitted by The Real Neal on Thu, 04/15/2010 - 11:10am. While we're asking... Phil, have you got a chance to see Kirk pitch much? Is the organization dissapointed that Suarez isn't able to make a full season roster by now (I know I certainly am). Have expectations really changed on him? ====================================== REAL NEAL: Yes. Austin Kirk is a stocky lefty with a low-90's fastball, a plus-curve, and a change-up that he can throw for strikes. He looked VERY good yesterday in Maryvale. The Cubs are being kind of cautious with him, but I can see him possibly moving up to Peoria before the short-season clubs (Boise and Mesa) begin play. It looked like he wasn't in the best of shape when he arrived at Minor League Camp, and then he got demoted to the Boise/Mesa squad early-on. As for Larry Suarez, he just missed the final cut at Peoria. It seems like when he needs to throw a good game, he implodes. He's very mercurial, and needs to develop more consistency from outing to outing. Like fellow-Venezuelans Carlos Zambrano and Carlos Silva, Suarez really needs to watch his weight. He must weigh upwards of 260+. I'm sure the Cubs are very frustrated with his lack of progress, but he is only 20, so he has time on his side.

Theriot SS Fukodome RF Lee 1B ARam 3B Colvin LF Byrd CF Fontenot 2B Soto C Z P Kind of surprised to see Lee in the line up. (Sorry didn't see Rob's earlier post)

MLB audio is $20 now? Bunk. I see the iPhone app for $15, but I assume getting the iPhone app doesn't also give you the subscription on the website. MLB is a rip off. And I assume MLB.tv games are still blacked out if you live too close. blah

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=stark_jayson&page… So what about the rest of the rent-a-closer field: Chad Qualls, Jason Frasor, Matt Capps, Octavio Dotel, Kevin Gregg, possibly Frank Francisco? Though Frasor has his fans, he's already lost his closer job in Toronto. Which is why another exec said: "Qualls is the only guy who would really interest me. It's just not a real attractive list. To me, Bell is the only legit closer out there who might be available. And I'm not even sure he'll really be available, or affordable."

Dubois takes Rich HIll deep for a 3-run HR, Dubois now 19 away from Iowa Cubs franchise record for home runs. T. Diamond pitching, 2 scoreless so far with 4 K's and 1 BB

on Castro and Cashner... http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/2010/04/your-morning-phil-theriot-…
Theriot, 30, is an excellent player. He does just about everything to the best of his abilities, and is a good teammate with leadership skills. He doesn't have a great arm, however, which is why Castro would be a significant upgrade at short.
~snip~
But the Cubs believe Cashner has the makings of a front-of-the-rotation starter and, so far, they haven't been willing to take short cuts in his development

2/2... should get another start tomorrow for Byrd I assume... Wandy pitches Sunday, so I assume that's the day Fuku next sits.

staying in but Lou and O'Neal came out briefly in the 5th... then came back out after a few pitches, animated discussion apparently...still staying in.

121 to get through 5 innings...efficient.

two straight walks to right-handed hitters by the pitcher (Soto and Narveson) Theriot swings at the first pitch and taps it to the pitcher. Bench him or cut him?

&*$#!@ zambrano! 121 pitches in 5 innings including 2 wp's & his 3rd error in 3 starts...lotta value for $36 million between him & the part-time LF...it will be a shame to lose the one productive big-money player we have because the others are such wastes...

made it sound like Ramirez hit it out.

This bullpen sucks. By my calculations the Cubs' bullpen has given up 19 ER in 26.2 IP for an ERA of 6.40. Take out Russell, Marshall, and Marmol and it's nearly than double that. The collection of Grabow, Gray, Berg, Samardzija, and Cardidad is sporting a combined ERA of 12.40 right now - 18 ER in just 13 IP. Man that is ugly.

Iowa Cubs won today, Thomas Diamond threw 5ip, 2 hits, 2 runs...and they won 7-5 against one time Cub "untouchable" Rich Hill who had this pitching line: 5 ip, 10 hits, 7 R/ER, 2 BB, 4K and 2 HR (Dubois and Castillo) at least Hill's case of yips seems to be cured.

He's only hitting .242, but Hoffpauir always knocks in the runs. He has 9 RBI in 8 games. No one else on the I-Cubs has half that many. LaHair is hitting over .400 but with one XBH and one RBI. Who else in the Cub minors has 9 RBI? If you said Castro (in seven games), you got it.

[ ]

In reply to by Newport

Don't underestimate English beer. I think you just have to know where to find it. I had a native take me to a hole in the wall down some side street. Just a door with a small sign. You walk in and go down 3 flights of stairs and find a basement covered in saw dust where they've been brewing their own beer for like 300 years. Best beer I've ever had and I have sampled Wisconsin's microbrews extensively. I would have no idea how to get there again though, but I suggest you ask around. But yeah, English food sucks. BUT, if you are into Ethnic food London is great. Indian food, Thai food, etc. Also, one of the blocks off Trafalgar square (between Whitehall and Northumberland) has a bunch of Italian places. So you can at least get some decent pizza.

on Monday... Today's start for Silva and Gorz's tomorrow should be the audition for who stays I'm guessing. Lilly could pitch against the Brewers next weekend.

[ ]

In reply to by Rob G.

Submitted by Rob G. on Fri, 04/16/2010 - 11:48am. on Monday... Today's start for Silva and Gorz's tomorrow should be the audition for who stays I'm guessing. Lilly could pitch against the Brewers next weekend. ================================ ROB G: Or Randy Wells could be moved to the bullpen for a while and pitch the 8th inning. He was used as a "swing-man" for most of his career in the minors.

who had April 16th in the pool for his first one?

Soriano not being cut...don't be shocked. Cubs GM Jim Hendry dismissed a report that said his team has considered releasing Alfonso Soriano and eating the nearly $90 million he's still owed. Asked the question by Jim Memolo on Sirius XM, Hendry replied: "Never been a thought to it, Jimmy. Never been a thought to it. No. Those things are speculated by probably people in your profession, not ours." Of course, it's a ridiculous thought that the Cubs would release Soriano now. Source: Chicago Tribune via Rototoworld

you have a shit bullpen that you don't trust past Marmol. You're up by 5 in the 9th, so you bring in Marmol? But then won't use him for more than an inning in a close game on most occasions? Brilliant. (not much of a riddle)

OK - for the 99% of us who thought that Silva would not have even made the team out of ST, yet alone have two very nice starts in the first ten games of the season, I think we should wait a little longer before throwing in the Silent Towel. He has done a nice job so far. May it continue. If our bullpen was as strong as our starting pitching, we'd be giving the FuckBirds a run for their money this year.

Recent comments

  • TarzanJoeWallis (view)

    Those million dollar systems are hardly infallible. AI does not yet dictate how the prospects develop or how game is played. If it did what would be the use of playing? Team with the best projected stats would win every time. We all know better

    Brailyn Marquez and Jose Albertos both had tremendous arms and potentially major league pitches. So did Kris Jensen. Problem is none of them could harness it and, even if they could, MLB players can hit good fastballs. Estrada sure looked to be on that kind of trajectory. Very likely that by mid summer he will be again once the law of averages catches up with the May superstardom.

    Now let’s take a moment to focus on Madrigal. You know, the best team in the league at the moment, the Phillies, have Whit Merrifield. 105 PA and batting .181. Dodgers are second best and have Kiki Hernandez on the bench. 125 plate appearances and .193. The Braves spread the AB’s a little more but they see fit to keep former Cub farmhand Zack Short around. 47 PA’s and .158. Nobody complains much about those guys. I didn’t do the digging but I would venture to say that each have another light hitting utility guy taking up a 40 man roster spot as well. Two wasted 40 man roster spots each on these winning teams, not dissimilar to the Cubs. So while an awful lot of keystrokes on here are spent discussing Madrigal and Mastrobouni as they are - let’s just say, somewhat underwhelming, they are not at the core of what ails this team.

    The real problem is that the guys who are paid to hit aren’t hitting. The league has caught up with Busch, Suzuki, and Morel, and while I believe they will adjust at some point, it’s a process. Swanson, Happ and Hoerner seem to be in that multi year contract comfort zone that folks on here tell me don’t exist. The offense from their catching sucks and seems unlikely to improve much with current personnel. Tauchman has come down to Earth to be the true player he is. To his credit and counter to my expectations, the only guy who may be turning corner a bit seems to be Bellinger.

    None of them seem willing to play the small ball, hustle game that gets teams out of slumps. They show no plate discipline and, to add insult to injury, they have been quite unlucky at times. The lack of offense and less than stellar infield fielding has greatly magnified the issues with the bullpen, as well as their low performing utility guys.

    So let’s ease off the Madrigal/Mastribouni scapegoating. They are not stars and never will be, but they are not enigmas either. Utility players are what they are, and replacing them with other utility players, while possible, isn’t likely to solve very much - nor is the other approach of bringing up farmhands and letting them ride the pine - until the “stars” break out of their May malaise and start hitting and fielding better.

  • crunch (view)

    just to throw a bit of salt in the j.estrada wound...

    he has struck out 13 batters in a row over his last 3 outings.

  • Dolorous Jon Lester (view)

    The short answer there is yes he gets credit for the wins but he also gets credit for the losses.

    Phil’s point about the crystal ball is spot on. If all of the machinery and data and systems they have don’t manifest into essentially a crystal ball, what use is all of that? Somebody messed up.

    As for who else could have gone, I agree with Phil that a pitcher like Estrada, as awful as he looked last year, had shown he had at least 1-2 legit MLB caliber pitches, it was just a matter of finding them again. He was pre arb young power arm. Whereas let’s say Madrigal was entering year 2 of 4 arb years. He’d proven to be a defense first backup infielder incapable of playing SS. You want to talk dime a dozen, THAT is dime a dozen. THAT is a NRI. I can squint and see the argument to not lose Wisdom’s power as a bench bat. Or even Boner as a utility guy who can play OF and handle an emergency SS run, who also hits left handed and has options. But choosing Madrigal over an arm like Estrada was a poor decision, even at the time.

  • TarzanJoeWallis (view)

    Ok, so it’s the end of 2023 and going into the postseason. Cuas, Alzolay, Leiter, and Merriwether all had respectable seasons last year.

    So among Killian, Wesneski, Estrada, Palencia, Brown, Horn, Rodriguez, Little, Hughes, Wicks, all of whom had huge potential but huge questions heading into 2024, 1) How are you going to protect all of them? 2) If you can’t, who do you protect?

    How many times was the phrase “good problem to have” tossed around?

    If it had been Palencia going to another team and hitting a May hot streak, which could just as easily have happened, would we not be having the identical conversation?

    Brown just pitched seven no hit innings yesterday. Does Jed get any credit for keeping him around? Does he get credit for ditching Horn and getting something with very decent upside, Thompson, in return? How about picking up Miller, who has been stellar so far? Does he get the blame for Meriwether, and Killian, who burned up the spring, getting hurt? And is there a single organization out there that can’t say they wish they had a reliever or two they had recently back?

    There is very definitely a “lottery” aspect to relief pitching. In the last couple of years the Cubs largely won the lottery and spun much of that good fortune into prospect gold. This year others have won and the Cubs for the most part appear to be holding the short stick. So are we really going to have the neck of the GM who took this team from the utter doldrums to the brink of contention and a number three rated system over the course of a couple of years?

  • Arizona Phil (view)

    Except Jed Hoyer does in fact have a crystal ball and it cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. The equipment and programs acquired by the Cubs are not just used in player development. They are also used in self-evaluation (self-scouting). With the information available these mistakes should not be happening. The mistakes also include the Cubs post-2023 November 40-man roster strategy that values guys like Madrigal, Mastrobuoni, and Hendricks over younger talent with more upside. 

  • TarzanJoeWallis (view)

    Quick reminder that during much of the offseason the question marks were at third base, first base and centerfield. While the organization was stacked with outfield prospects, Mervis was coming off a solid season in AAA and was being considered a serious candidate for first base. There simply wasn’t room at the inn for everyone. There was clearly a place for Perlaza somewhere but he simply didn’t possess the complete toolset that some of the other Cub outfield prospects do. For myself, I’ve always had a soft spot for Darius Hill. Unfortunately, he’s another odd man out in a stacked system.

    And hindsight is always 20/20. For example, Estrada always had potential but was totally erratic in 2023. Cuas had a much lower ceiling but he was a steady presence in a relief corp with many question marks. Sure, it seems like a silly decision now, but Jed doesn’t have the benefit of a crystal ball. Everyone, probably Jed included, hated to see Estrada go, but it wasn’t such a crazy idea at the time. BTW, in terms of Estrada leaving via waivers, does anyone honestly think Jed didn’t try to shop him first? I have to assume no one was willing to to give up anything for him.

    Even given the way the season has gone, I think the only place where Jed solidly and clearly missed the mark that could/should have been foreseen was with Hendricks, as just about everybody on this board recognized at the time. Still, even Hendricks wasn’t a totally illogical move because they had exactly two locks for starting pitching at the time - Steele and Taillon.

  • Arizona Phil (view)

    The roster mistakes I am talking about occur in November, when decisions are made regarding minor league free-agents, Rule 5 protection, exercising club options, and the tendering of contracts to players on the MLB 40-man roster. The idea should be to maximize long-term control of talented young players (including minor leaguers yet to establish themselves in MLB). 

    Roster slots that can be filled by Spring Training NRI should not be allocated in November to marginal non-prospects expected to fill non-critical positions on the 26-man roster (like back-up catcher, utility infielders, 4th outfielder, and middle relievers) or to older players likely to decline. 

    And as far as self-evaluation (self-scouting) is concerned, the Cubs have invested literally hundreds of thousands of dollars in proprietary player development and analytical technology and have doubled the player development staff, so they should not be making some of the piss-poor roster decisions in November as they have been making. 

    There are ex-Cub relievers on other MLB clubs who could be in the Cubs bullpen right now and would clearly be upgrades over what's there, but they are someplace else. No excuses. Clearly somebody screwed up.

  • Arizona Phil (view)

    As long as there isn't a sore thumb / weak link in the group, a six-man rotation is preferable if a club wants to minimize innings for younger starting pitchers and keep veteran guys from wearing down in September. So Imanaga, Steele, Assad, Brown, Taillon, and Wicks would be the six, and that is actually probably one of the best group of starting pitchers in MLB (a lot of clubs couldn't run a decent six-man rotation even if they wanted to).  

    A six-man rotation does require a solid seven-man bullpen with no weak links and a lock-down closer, however, and unfortunately the Cubs bullpen as it is presently constituted (with Hendricks and Smyly in the pen) is one of the worst and least-reliable in MLB. 

    It would definitely help if the 2023 version of Julian Merryweather can come back 100% next month (TBD), but even that is not enough. 

    And Hendricks and Smyly absolutely cannot be in the pen if the Cubs want to compete for a post-season slot. If one or both can be moved as part of a salary offset in a trade (and keep in mind that Hendricks gets "10 / 5 no-trade" rights as of June 26th), that's fine, but otherwise the Cubs will just have to bite the bullet and release them and be prepared to eat some payroll.  

  • Childersb3 (view)

    You're only thinking about the 26man roster. Perlaza should've been added to the 40man roster. He then would have three option years.
    No GM is perfect. Theo wasn't. Jed has done some really good things. Pitching has improved wholeheartedly under Jed. 
    RPs like Hudson and Estrada are going to hit and miss. 
    Giving Hendricks 16.5mil can now be stated as a clear miss, and Kyle needs to be moved off the roster. They have to pay him. But the Bullpen spot needs to go to someone else. Kyle isn't a bullpen guy. But he's not a SP anymore either. 2016 Nostalgia doesn't win.
    Perlaza got more money in the KBO than he'd have gotten on the 40man, but Jed had the choice to give him a shot anyway. Mervis would probably do really well in the KBO also. But having watched Perlaza's bat speed for three years, I think he was better than Mervis.
    And Phil made a good point about giving Happ an extension (after having not traded him at the TDL in 2022 along with not trading Willy) when you're real prospect depth was in the OF. Happ is a really good 7th hitter on a good team. 17 HRs and 70 RBIs with good LF defense. That's Ben Zobrist like #'s. The issue is we have a lot of those kind of guys already. We needed a bomber some where in the lineup and LF, RF, 3B, 1B and DH usually provide those bombs.
    Seiya is good when healthy. He's gotten hurt every year, but he's a 20HR 80RBI guy when healthy. He just hasn't been healthy for a year to provide those #'s.
    Happ isn't a bomber.
    Morel is getting his chance to work out 3B. I'm glad Jed has kept him.
    1B? Hopefully Busch becomes 20HRs and 80 RBIs.
    DH? There's our biggest issue. We don't have a guy who can bop there. Just a real hitter. Mervis missed it. That's why Perlaza leaving without a 40man chance burns me.
     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester (view)

    Generally I’ve agreed with almost all the points you’re making but Wicks is one I think we shouldn’t put in the pen. I also think wesneski is being done a disservice in the pen, he’s clearly more comfortable starting. Smyly is fine as an 8th man, but I agree they could better use Hendricks spot, much as it’s sad to say.