Cubs Clear Roster Slots in Preparation for Off-Season
The Cubs have sent RHP James McDonald, INF Chris Valaika, IF-OF Josh Vitters, and OF Ryan Kalish outright to Iowa.
McDonald--who spent the entire 2014 season on the 60-day DL with a sore shoulder--elected to be a free-agent immediately (he was able to elect to be a FA because he has accrued more than three years of MLB Service Time). and Kalish and Valaika can elect free-agency right away, too (they have up to eight days to decide), because they both have been outrighted previously in their careers.
Vitters cannot elect to be a free-agent, but he will automatically be declared an MLB Rule 55 minor league six-year free-agent (6YFA) at 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series unless he agrees to sign a 2015 minor league successor contract before then (possible but not likely... he will probably prefer to try his luck elsewhere). Kalish and Valaika will automatically be declared minor league 6YFA at that time, too, if for some reason they have not elected free-agency in the meantime.
All of the outrighted players can sign 2015 minor league contracts with the Cubs if they wish (with Valaika and Kalish being the most likely of the four to do so). Any player who signs a minor league contract prior to the Rule 5 Draft is eligible for selection (as was the case with Hector Rondon post-2012 and Marcos Mateo post-2013), although if any MLB club was interested enough in McDonald, Kalish, Valaika, or Vitters to select the player in the Rule 5 Draft, the club would have just claimed the player off waivers.
So the Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man Roster) now stands at 37, but RHP Carlos Villanueva will automatically be declared an MLB Article XX-B free-agent at 9 AM (Eastern) tomorrow (or at 9 AM Eastern on Friday if the World Series ends after midnight Eastern). That will cut the roster down to 36. But then OF Justin Ruggiano and OF Ryan Sweeney must be reinstated from the 60-day DL no later than 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series, so that will put the roster up to 38.
In addition, the Cubs must decide in the next few days whether to exercise their 2015 club options on LHSP Tsuyoshi Wada and RHRP Kyuji Fujikawa. (I would say Wada.. yes, and Fujikawa... no).
The Cubs also must decide by 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series whether to add any of their potential minor league free-agents to the 40-man roster. They could try and sign the ones they want to keep to 2015 minor league successor contracts (probably for 40-man roster money plus an NRI to Spring Training), but it's a player option... if the player doesn't want to sign on the line which is dotted, the only way to be sure to retain the player for 2015 is to add him to the MLB 40-man roster.
RHPs Marcus Hatley, Starling Peralta, and Dae-Eun Rhee (plus LHRP Hunter Cervenka if he is eligible) are the potential minor league free-agents the Cubs would probably most want to retain post-2014, but again, preferably by signing the player to a 2015 minor league successor contract rather than by adding the player to the MLB 40-man roster. .
MLB RULE 55 CUBS MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT POST-2014: (last updated 10-29-2014)
Lars Anderson, 1B
Jeffry Antigua, LHP
Alberto Cabrera, RHP
Marcelo Carreno, RHP
Lendy Castillo, RHP
Hunter Cervenka, LHP (see NOTE)
Charlie Cutler, C
Eduardo Figueroa, RHP
Luis Flores, C
Edgar Gonzalez, INF
Marcus Hatley, RHP
Ryan Kalish, OF
Marcos Mateo, RHP
Jonathon Mota, INF
Starling Peralta, RHP
Carlos Pimentel, RHP
Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP
Jose Rosario, RHP
Chris Valaika, INF
Josh Vitters, OF
NOTE: Hunter Cervenka will be eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league 6YFA post-2014 if he signed a 2008 contract when he signed his "first contract" with the Boston Red Sox on 8-15-2008. However, if he was “Signed for Future Service“ (first contract was a 2009 contract), he will not be eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league 6YFA until post-2015.
SECOND CONTRACT FA:
Jesus Arias, RHP (previously released by CLE)
Humberto Garcia, INF (previously released by CHW)
Yeiker Lovera, RHP (previously released by CLE)
Nate Maldonado, C (previously released by CHC)
Manny Ramirez, OF (previously released by TEX)
Brohiglyn Rivero, RHP (previously released by TB)
Julio Sanchez, RHP (previously released by COL)
Roberto Vahlis, C (previously released by TOR)
crunch 8 hours 30 min ago (view)
corey seager signed a deal for 32.5m a year and that means carlos correa is having a really great day.
Dolorous Jon Lester 9 hours 5 min ago (view)
Texas has a wildly expensive middle infield. They've also set the market really high for the remaining SS. And they did it single handedly.
crunch 10 hours 32 min ago (view)
c.seager goes to TEX for 10/325.
they've committed to spend 1/2 billion this week (marcus semien added, too).
meanwhile, the cubs complained to the local paper about how their new multi-million dollar sports betting lounge isn't a casino and they sent out a "cyber monday" ad to offer the great deal of it costing nothing to get on the season tickets waiting list.
it already is and will continue to be a hell of a 24 hours. maybe the cubs will *shrug* i dunno...do something worth talking about.
crunch 14 hours 39 min ago (view)
BA released their top-10 cubs prospects list...
1. Brennen Davis
2. Cristian Hernandez
3. Brailyn Marquez
4. Pete Crow-Armstrong
5. Jordan Wicks
6. Kevin Alcantara
7. Caleb Kilian
8. Owen Caissie
9. DJ Herz
10. Yohendrick Pinango
reggie preciado got robbed.
crunch 15 hours 6 min ago (view)
m.scherzer mets 3/130m (wow)
that's more than the entire payroll for PIT last season per year and only a bit less than what BAL, CLE, and MIA paid out.
crunch 15 hours 11 min ago (view)
both are equally useful to a baseball team.
Dolorous Jon Lester 16 hours 22 min ago (view)
The violinist or the camera staring afficionado?
Hagsag 16 hours 22 min ago (view)
Taylor Davis might be next.
Dolorous Jon Lester 16 hours 41 min ago (view)
STOP THE PRESSES! They signed someone. Some random lefty RP named Locke St.John.
Sounds like a Bond villain.
Dolorous Jon Lester 16 hours 42 min ago (view)
That's a good way of looking at it. The race for the top draft pick is a pretty hardcore competition, too.
crunch 17 hours 22 min ago (view)
hey, they're working hard as hell.
just last week tom ricketts and other chicago sports team owners went out of their way to respond to a Tribune article calling sports betting lounges "casinos" by co-authoring a letter to the paper.
DraftKings being happy seems to be the cubs #1 offseason priority.
Sonicwind75 18 hours 16 min ago (view)
Just depends on what your definition of "being competitive" means. Technically the Cubs (barring a strike) will be "competing" against other baseball teams and therefore will "be competitive".
Dolorous Jon Lester 18 hours 37 min ago (view)
Flurries of activity and Cubs crickets.
BuT wE'rE tRyInG tO cOmPeTe!
Hagsag 21 hours 57 min ago (view)
Hey, Jed didn't lie. He said this wasn't a rebuild.
crunch 1 day 9 hours ago (view)
...and that was fake.
you can't even rely on a blue checkmark account anymore on twitter. thanks world.
okay, that was a real account (blue check) who retweeted someone they thought was real. this is inception-level internet stupidity and the account he re-tweeted is now disabled.
crunch 1 day 9 hours ago (view)
cubs weren't linked heavily, but m.semien is off the board to the rangers...7/175m
trevor story seems to be the most cubs-linked middle IF'r, but i havent heard anything about story/cubs in weeks.