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 1 hour 30 min ago (view)
2019...cubs fan...being thankful heyward and chatwood are around...wtf...
Eric S 2 hours 16 min ago (view)
Like having a 5-1 lead going into the ninth?
Dolorous Jon Lester 3 hours 13 min ago (view)
With our vaunted late inning tandem of Tyler Chatwood and Rowan Wick!
Who would have thought?
Jackstraw 3 hours 13 min ago (view)
Cubs 1-10 with RISP in the series. Left lots of ducks on the pond. Could take some of the pressure off the pen.
Jackstraw 3 hours 15 min ago (view)
You could hit your thumb with a hammer. Or take a big bite of wayyyy too hot pizza. Just sayin.
Eric S 3 hours 18 min ago (view)
I’m a little surprised and confused that Bote wasn’t in the infield in the ninth? Wth - need that one out boot to complete my day
crunch 3 hours 20 min ago (view)
cubs win! about time.
Eric S 3 hours 28 min ago (view)
Cubs have to scratch mightily to get two runs against the mighty second half buccos
crunch 4 hours 13 sec ago (view)
K, diving catch by happ for an out, HBP to load the bases, ground out
PIT has loaded the bases 3 times in this game.
crunch 4 hours 9 min ago (view)
...and we're doing more 0 out, men on base stuff...
2 on, 0 outs...up to 103 pitches and lester's day is done.
bullpen time. oh. boy. neat.
crunch 4 hours 21 min ago (view)
bryant has not forgotten how to hit homers.
crunch 4 hours 24 min ago (view)
2 on, 0 out, and also gets out of that.
btw, bryant has forgotten how to play 3rd base the past 2 innings...da hell...
crunch 4 hours 38 min ago (view)
no one scores! hell yeah. phew.
crunch 4 hours 44 min ago (view)
walking the pitcher to load the bases with 0 outs.
this cubbery is thicker than the humidity.
Jackstraw 5 hours 11 min ago (view)
I knew this was going to be a tough series with the Pirates starting Cy Young last night and Walter Johnson today. Only weird thing is Cy was sporting a 4.59 ERA going into last night and Johnson came into today with a 4.15.
crunch 5 hours 30 min ago (view)
heyward(CF) / cast / bryant / rizzo / baez / russell / happ(LF) / lucroy / lester
lester and lucroy...