Cubs Add Four to 40-Man Roster

The Cubs selected the contracts of four minor league players today (all four from AA Tennessee), adding 3B , C , RHSP , and 1B to their MLB Reserve List (40-man roster), and thus insuring that the foursome will not be eligible for selection in next month's Rule 5 Draft.

So what exactly is the Rule 5 Draft? 

RULE 5 DRAFT

Each MLB club is required to file its MLB Reserve List and the reserve list for each of its minor league affiliates with the MLB Commissioner on November 20th each year (or November 19th if November 20th falls on a Saturday, or November 18th if November 20th falls on a Sunday), and the MLB Rule 5 Draft is held subsequent to the reserve lists being filed.

Although it actually could be scheduled anytime after November 20th, the MLB Rule 5 Draft (technically known as the "Rule 5 Selection Meeting") is (and has been for many years) the last order of business at the MLB Winter Meetins in December (it will be held on December 10th this year), and it is a mechanism that allows MLB clubs to select (draft) players off minor league reserve lists.

There is a "Major League Phase" where an MLB club can select Rule 5 Draft eligible players off the reserve lists of minor league clubs for $50,000, a "AAA Phase" where a club's AAA minor league affiliate can select Rule 5 Draft eligible players off the reserve lists of minor league clubs of a lower classification for $12,000, and finally a "AA Phase" where a club's AA minor league affiliate can select Rule 5 Draft eligible players off the reserve lists of Class "A" clubs for $4,000.

RULE 5 DRAFT ELIGIBILITY

1. A minor league player who was 18 or younger on the June 5th immediately prior to signing his first contract is eligible for selection starting with the 5th Rule 5 Draft after he signs, and a minor league player who was 19 years or older on the June 5th immediately prior to signing his first contract becomes eligible for selection starting with the 4th Rule 5 Draft that followed his signing.

2. If a player signs his first contract after the conclusion of the season of the MLB or minor league club to which he is first assigned, the next season is considered to be the player's "first season" for Rule 5 eligibility purposes.

3. A player eligible to be an MLB Rule 55 minor league free-agent who signs a minor league successor contract prior to being declared a free-agent and a free-agent with prior MLB and/or minor league service who signs a minor league contract prior to the Rule 5 Draft is eligible for selection if the player was 18 or younger on the June 5th immediately prior to signing his first contract and it is at least the 5th Rule 5 Draft since he signed his first contract, or the player was 19 years or older on the June 5th immediately prior to signing his first contract and it is at least the 4th Rule 5 Draft since he signed his first contract. 

4. Any player on a minor league reserve list who has either been released or had his contract voided and then re-signs with the same MLB organization within one year is eligible for selection. 

5. Any player on a minor league reserve list who has been outrighted to the minors previously in his career is eligible for selection. 

6. A player on the Voluntary Retired List, Disqualified List, or Ineligible List is not eligible for selection. 

7. An MLB club can designate any player on a minor league reserve list "eligible for selection" in the Rule 5 Draft even if the player would not normally be eligible, but once a player is designated eligible for selection, he remains eligible for selection in all subsequent Rule 5 drafts. 

8. A minor league player-manager who would be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft if he was only a player can be selected, but if he is selected, the player-manager can reject the selection and retire. He has 30 days to decide. If he rejects the selection and opts to retire as a player, the player-manager is ineligible to be reinstated as a player for a minimum of one year.  

RULE 5 DRAFT RESTRICTIONS:
 

1. A minor league player eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft cannot be added to an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster), traded to another organization, or transferred from one minor league reserve list to another within the same organization, starting with the filing of MLB & minor league reserve lists on November 20th up through the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft.

2. A player cannot be sent outright to the minors on the two days prior to the Rule 5 Draft and on the day of the Rule 5 Draft (through the conclusion of the draft).

3. A club must have as many slots open on its MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) prior to the Rule 5 Draft as the number of players it selects in the Major League Phase, and an MLB club's AAA and AA affiliates must have as many slots open on their respective reserve lists prior to the Rule 5 Draft as the number of players the affiliate selects in the AAA and AA phases of the draft. There is no limit on the number of Rule 5 eligible players any one organization can lose.

4. A player selected in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft must be placed on the drafting club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) immediately, and must be tendered a major league contract by 5 PM (Eastern) on the day of the draft.

PLAYERS WITH RULE 5 RESTRICTIONS ON CUBS MLB RESERVE LIST (40-MAN ROSTER): (updated 12-11-2014)
NONE

5. A player selected in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft can be traded at any time, but the player cannot be released or sent to the minors any earlier than 20 days prior to MLB Opening Day, and then only if Outright Assignment Waivers have been secured and the player's former club declines to re-claim the player.

6. If a player selected in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft spends at least 90 days on an MLB Active List during the MLB regular season following selection, Rule 5 restrictions are removed at the conclusion of the MLB regular season. If time spent on an MLB Active List is less than 90 days in the season following selection, the player remains a Rule 5 player into the next season, and the player continues to be a Rule 5 player until he has spent 90 days total on an MLB Active List.

7. If a club wishes to send a Rule 5 player to the minors before Rule 5 restrictions have been removed, the player must be placed on Outright Assignment Waivers, where any of the other 29 MLB clubs can claim the player for the $25,000 Rule 5 waiver price and assume the Rule 5 obligations.

CUB MINOR LEAGUERS SELECTED IN MAJOR LEAGUE PHASE OF 2015 RULE 5 DRAFT: (updated 4-1-2015)
Andrew McKirahan, LHP (by Miami Marlins - see NOTE)
NOTE: McKirahan was claimed off waivers by the Atlanta Braves on 4/1 (Braves assume Rule 5 obligations) 

8. If the Rule 5 player is not claimed off Outright Waivers, the player then must be offered back to the club from which he was drafted, and the player's former club can reclaim the player for $25,000, with the player being automatically outrighted to the Reserve List of the minor league club from which he was drafted. The club from which the player was drafted usually has 72 hours to decide whether to reclaim the player, but it has only 24 hours to decide if the player is eligible to be an Article XX-D Free-Agent if outrighted to the minors (player has accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time, qualifies for salary arbitration as a "Super Two" player, and/or has been outrighted to the minors previously in his career).

9. If a Rule 5 player is returned (outrighted) to the minor league club from which he was drafted, the drafting club is responsible for any portion of the player's salary above what the player was paid the previous season.

10. If a Rule 5 Player is returned (outrighted) to the minor league club from which he was drafted, and if the player has accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time, qualifies for salary arbitration as a "Super Two" player, and/or has been outrighted to the minors previously in his career, the player can elect to be an MLB Article XX-D minor league free-agent after being outrighted (he has three days to decide), or he can accept the Outright Assignment and defer the right to be a minor league free-agent until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season. (An outrighted "Super Two" Rule 5 player who has not previously been outrighted to the minors can elect free-agency if he is outrighted to the minors, but he cannot defer free-agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season).

11. If the club from which the player was drafted declines to reclaim the player, the Rule 5 restrictions are removed, the drafting club retains the player, and the player can be sent to the minors or released.

12. A player selected in the AAA or AA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft must be assigned to the Reserve List of the AAA or AA club that drafted the player, but the player can be assigned to the Active List of any minor league affiliate in the MLB club's organization once the minor league regular season commences. Also, unlike players selected in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft, a player selected in the AAA or AA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft does not have to be offered back to the club from which he was drafted if the player is ultimately assigned to the Active List of a minor league affiliate below the level of the minor league affiliate that drafted the player.

CUB MINOR LEAGUERS SELECTED IN A MINOR LEAGUE PHASE OF 2015 RULE 5 DRAFT
Rock Shoulders, 1B (by Texas Rangers AAA Round Rock affiliate from Cubs AA Tennessee affilate in AAA Phase)
Luis Flores, C (by Houston Astros AAA Fresno affiliate from Cubs AA Tennessee affiliate in AAA Phase)

MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS SELECTED BY CUBS IN A MINOR LEAGUE PHASE OF 2015 RULE 5 DRAFT
Ariel Ovando, OF (by Cubs AAA Iowa affiliate from Houston Astros AA Corpus Cristi affiliate in AAA Phase) 

13. A club can select a player off the reserve list of one of its own minor league affiliates, but if the player is selected in the Major League Phase, the club is bound by the same Rule 5 roster restrictions as if it had selected the player off the reserve list of another club's minor league affiliate.

14. A player eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft cannot be "covered up" from selection, either by agreement between two clubs or by effect. Also, a player selected in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft cannot be "hidden" on a Disabled List to help the drafting club fulfill Rule 5 roster obligations. If the MLB Commissioner believes a club "covered up" a player to avoid losing the player in the Rule Draft or "hid" a selected player on a Disabled List, the offending club or clubs are subject to a penalty (TBD by the MLB Commissioner).

DRAFT=-EXCLUDED PLAYER

A "Draft-Excluded Player" is any minor league player eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft whose contract is selected and who is added to an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) between August 15th and the Rule 5 Draft.

While a "Draft-Excluded Player" can be non-tendered on 12/2 and released or traded at any time, he cannot be sent to the minors by Optional Assignment beginning with the conclusion of the MLB regular season up until 20 days prior to MLB Opening Day. Also, a "Draft-Excluded Player" can be outrighted to the minors only if Outright Assignment Waivers are requested no later than 2 PM (Eastern) on the 4th day following the final game of the World Series, and if a "Draft-Excluded Player" is not outrighted to the minors prior to the Rule 5 Draft, the player cannot be sent outright to the minors any earlier than 20 days prior to the start of the MLB regular season. 

CUBS WITH DRAFT-EXCLUDED STATUS POST-2015
 (last updated 11-20-2015)
Jeimer Candelario, INF 
Willson Contreras, C 
Pierce Johnson, RHP
Dan Vogelbach, 1B

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

So Candelario, Contreras, Johnson, and Vogelbach have Draft-Excluded Status, and thus cannot be optioned or sent outright to the minors any earlier than 15 days prior to 2016 MLB Opening Day. (Draft-Excluded players can be non-tendered on 12/2, released, or traded, however). NOTE: Although he was added to an MLB 40-man roster after August 15th, Andury Acevedo does not have Draft-Excluded status, because he was not added to an MLB reserve list directly from a minor league reserve list (he was a free-agent in-between). 

With the addition of the four minor leaguers to the MLB 40-man roster today, plus one player (RHP ) acquired in a trade with Texas today, two recent waiver claims (RHRP from BOS and LHRP from NYM), and the signing of Rule 55 minor league 6YFA (ex-NYY) to a major league contract earlier this week, the Cubs MLB Reserve List that had only 29 players on it just two weeks ago now stands at 37, with three slots still open for free-agents who might be signed in the next few days or weeks, off-season waiver claims, or maybe even a Rule 5 draft pick next month.  

In addition to submitting their MLB Reserve List to the MLB office today, the Cubs (like all MLB clubs) also submitted the reserve lists of all of their minor league affiliates to the MLB office. While MLB reserve lists have a 40-man limit, AAA reserve lists have a 38-man limit, AA reserve lists have a 37-man limit, and reserve lists for clubs below AA have a 35-man limit.

So besides deciding which players to add to the MLB Reserve List to make them excluded from selection in the Rule 5 Draft (that's why they are called "Draft-Excluded Players"), the Cubs also had to decide which Rule 5 Draft-eligible players to place on the AAA Iowa Reserve List, and which players to leave on AA or Class "A" reserve lists.

Typically, most MLB clubs will leave four or five slots open on their AAA affiliate's reserve list, to leave room for free-agents who might be signed to minor league contracts prior to the Rule 5 Draft, for players on the MLB 40-man roster who might get outrighted to AAA between now and then, and for players the club might want to select from other organizations in the AAA Phase of the draft (a club can only select as many players in the AAA Phase of the Rule Draft as the number of open slots on the AAA affiliate's reserve list).

So figure about 33 or 34 of the Cubs 53 minor leaguers presently eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft were placed on the AAA Iowa reserve list today, with 19 or 20 left on AA or Class-A reserve lists, making those 19 or 20 eligible for selection in the AAA Phase (AA or Class-A players, $12,000 draft price, with no right to re-claim) or in the AA Phase (Class-A players only, $4,000 draft price, with no right to re-claim).

Here are the 53 Cubs minor leaguers presently eligible for selection in next month's Rule 5 Draft (there won't be any fewer than 53, but there could be more depending on whether the Cubs sign any free-agents to minor league contracts or outright any players off the 40-man roster between now & then).

I have highlighted in bold and underlined the 33 players I suspect were probably placed on the AAA Iowa reserve list today (making them eligible for selection in the Major League Phase of the draft only): 

CUBS MINOR LEAGUERS ELIGIBLE FOR SELECTION IN DECEMBER 2015 RULE 5 DRAFT (last updated 11-20-2015):
Gioskar Amaya, INF-C
John Andreoli, OF
Julian Aybar, RHP (MLB Rule 55 second-contract player - under club control in 2016) 
Pedro Araujo, RHP
Jeffrey Baez, OF
Frank Batista, RHP (post-2015 MLB Rule 55 6YFA - signed 2016 minor league successor contract)
Corey Black, RHP
David Bote, INF
Matt Brazis, RHP
Stephen Bruno, INF 
Ben Carhart, INF
Erick Castillo, C
Pin-Chieh Chen, OF (post-2015 MLB Rule 55 6YFA - signed 2016 minor league successor contract)
Gerardo Concepcion, LHP (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Josh Conway, RHP
Blake Cooper, RHP
Taylor Davis, C
Ryan Dent, INF (post-2015 MLB Rule 55 6YFA - signed 2016 minor league successor contract)
Andin Diaz, LHP
Shawon Dunston Jr, OF
Kevin Encarnacion, OF
P. J. Francescon, RHP
Anthony Giansanti, OF
Michael Heesch, LHP
Michael Jensen, RHP
Danny Lockhart, INF
Mark Malave, RHP (ex-C)
Dillon Maples, RHP
Ricardo Marcano, OF
Trey Martin, OF
Jonathan Martinez, RHP
Alberto Mineo, C
Yomar Morel, RHP
Yoanner Negrin, RHP
Ariel Ovando, LHP (ex-OF)
Juan Carlos Paniagua, RHP 
Jose Paulino, LHP 
Felix Pena, RHP (post-2015 MLB Rule 55 6YFA - signed 2016 minor league successor contract)
Carlos Penalver, INF
Steve Perakslis, RHP
Starling Peralta, RHP (post-2015 MLB Rule 55 6YFA - signed 2016 minor league successor contract)
Chris Pieters, OF (ex-LHP)
James Pugliese, RHP 
Bijan Rademacher, OF
Jasvir Rakkar, RHP
Austin Reed, RHP
Jacob Rogers, 1B
Jose Rosario, RHP (post-2015 MLB Rule 55 6YFA - signed 2016 minor league successor contract)
Alexander Santana, RHP 
Tayler Scott, RHP
Daury Torrez, RHP
Roberto Vahlis, C (MLB Rule 55 second-contract player - under club control in 2016)
Logan Watkins, INF (post-2015 MLB Rule 55 6YFA - signed 2016 minor league successor contract)

Comments

So who are the Cubs minor leaguers most-likely to be selected in next months's Rule 5 Draft?

Of course all it takes is one club to like a certain player enough to draft him, but I would say the five Cubs minor leaguers who are most-likely to get selected in the Major League Phase of the draft are:

1. Felix Pena, RHSP
2. Corey Black, RHRP
3. Daury Torrez, RHSP
4. Jonathan Martinez, RHSP 
5. P. J. Francescon, RHRP 

i wouldn't be shocked at all to see j.andreoli go.

If anybody here is unfamiliar with Frandy de la Rosa (the player the Cubs traded to Texas for RHRP Spencer Patton today), here is the link to some of the posts at TCR that mentioned him:   

link 

He very likely would have been the starting 2B at South Bend next season if he hadn't been traded. 

AZ Phil, wasnt Frandy one of the kids involved in that terrible car wreck in the Dominican with Encarnacion and Zapata?

HAGSAG: Frandy was the driver. 

Just to rerview, besides Candelario, Contreras, Johnson, and Vogelbach (who have "Draft-Excluded" status), other players who cannot be outrighted during the post-2015 off-season are Leathersich (because he is injured, and you can't outright an injured player after November 20th unless the player accrued no MLB Service Time the previous season), and Alcantara, Medina, Ramirez, Rosscup, Szczur, and Villanueva, who cannot be outrighted until the player either signs a 2016 major league contract (which he won't because not signing keeps the player from getting outrighted), or has his 2015 contract automaticaly renewed by the club on March 1st (likely), or agrees (in advance) to sign a 2016 minor league contract (not likely). And Ryan Cook can elect to be a free-agent if he is outrighted because he has accrued more than three years of MLB Service Time.

Conversely, Acevedo, Beeler, Jokisch, and Patton can be outrighted if necessary (presuming waivers can be secured), so expect one of those four (or possibly Ryan Cook, even though he can elect free-agency if outrighted) to get the DFA if the Cubs need a 40-man roster slot before they can place Leathersich on the 60-day DL (which they can't do until the start of Spring Training).  

Note that I did not mention Baez, Bryant, Edwards, Hendricks, LaStella, Russell, Schwarber, or Soler, because even though there is nothing to restrict them from being outrighted, there is just absolutely NO WAY any of them would be placed on waivers.   

However (and this is important)... any unsigned player on the 40-man roster can be non-tendered on December 2nd, so although Christian Villanueva (for example) can't be outrighted until the player signs a 2016 major league contract or agrees (in advance) to sign a 2016 minor league contract, and although Cook can elect free-agency if outrighted, the Cubs might opt to non-tender one of them on 12/2 and then try to re-sign the player to a pre-arranged minor league contract (albeit for "big league money" and an NRI to Spring Training) without having to place the player on waivers.

That would actually be a way the Cubs could retain Villanueva, Medina, and/or Szczur at Iowa in 2016 (even though they are out of options).... non-tender the player on 12/2, then re-sign the player(s) to a pre-arranged 2016 minor league contract for "big league money" and an NRI to Spring Traiining with the big club. Then if the player makes the team out of Spring Training you put him back on the 40-man roster on Opening Day; and if he doesn't, he goes directly to Iowa without having to be placed on waivers (because he is signed to a minor league contract).   

That';s why clubs circle December 2nd (the contract tender date) on the calendar. 12/2 is considered the off-season "roster oasis," because clubs can drop a player from the 40-man roster and then re-sign him to a minor league contract without having to expose the player to waivers (presuming the player goes along with the plan). Non-tendering a player also allows a club to re-sign an arbitration-eligible player without risking arbitration (again, presuming the player agrees to do it), and it also allows the club to circumvent the meximum 20% cut rule (if it's OK with the player).

 

Cubs talking to Braves about Miller or Tehran for Cubs bat

JACOS: Jorge Soler (plus a pitching prospect) to Cleveland for Carlos Carrasco or to Atlanta for Julio Teheran would make sense.

Soler is under club control through 2020, and both Carrasco and Teheran signed contract extensions that keep them under club control through the 2020 season at a reasonable salary (and not only that, but both contracts have a club buy-out--Carrasco post-2018 and post-2019 and Teheran post-2019--in case things go south). 

that scenario would pretty much make the cubs a sudden serious suitor for j.heyward.

Agreed

Isn't there a limit on the number of players (I think it is 4) that a team can lose in the rule 5 draft?

AZBOBBOP: There is no limit on the number of players any one organization can lose in a Rule 5 Draft, other than to say that a club can't lose any more than the number of players eligible for selection (which is 53 at present in the case of the Cubs). 

scottsdale scorpions AFL champs...meh. good game, though.

AZ PHIL: As I recall, over the years you have liked G Amaya for his glove and bat, Bruno for his bat (he has a weak arm), and Black for his power (but he can't throw strikes). Are any of these guys projected to have better success than Vogey?

E-MAN: I would say that Dan Vogelbach and Corey Black (and Felix Pena) are comparable prospects.  

A lot of clubs use the AFL as a proving ground for players who are "on the bubble" as far as being added to the 40-man roster is concerned, and Black essentially pitched himself off the 40 with a poor performance in the AFL. That said, he still could get selected in the Rule 5 Draft, and if he isn't, he could be a factor in the Cubs bullpen in 2016 or 2017. 

Also, with Black you're taikng about a prospect with a high-ceiling and a low-floor (the classic "boom or bust"), while Vogelback probably has a lower ceiling but also a higher floor. The main problem with Vogelbach's future with the Cubs is that he is blocked at 1B by Anthony Rizzo for at least the next five or six years, and even if he wasn't blocked, Vogelbach is really a DH, and the National League doesn't have the DH (yet), and even if the N. L. does adopt the DH after the CBA expires post-2016 (which I think it will), Kyle Schwarber (and not Vogelbach) would probably be the Cubs primary DH. But that doesn't mean that Vogelbach has no trade value, because the Cubs wouldn't have added him to their MLB 40-man roster if they thought that was the case.  

Bottom line with Vogelbach is that he will have to hit his way to the big leagues, and as long as he racks up doubles, walks a lot, and doesn't strike out too much, he really doesn't need to be a 25 HR guy to carve out a successful MLB career as a Billy Butler type DH. 

What is sometimes overlooked about Vogelbach because of his "bad body" and because he has struggled so much defensively is that he is a hard worker, has a great attitude, loves to play the game, and is very well-liked by his teammates, and while that may not seem important, teams do actually value stuff like that.   

Thanks PHIL. This is an intangible that I don't know about. Maybe "all things being equal", that could have been a contributing factor somehow in their decision to add him.

E-MAN: Yes. 

All things being about equal (which I suspect they were), the intangibles probably pushed Vogelbach ahead of Black and Pena. 

I imagine that other teams have signaled their interest in Vogelbach, and so the Cubs think they can use him in a trade, to an AL team, probably. We forget sometimes (or I do) that management can make use of other teams' expression of interest to evaluate its own players.

"What is sometimes overlooked about Vogelbach because of his "bad body" and because he has struggled so much defensively is that he is a hard worker, has a great attitude, loves to play the game, and is very well-liked by his teammates, and while that may not seem important, teams do actually value stuff like that. " As well they should. Replace a word here and there and you are describing any worker someone would hire.

btw, XM Radio is broadcasting the Cubs vs Dodgers, Cub broadcast. If you turn it on it's already at the top of the 9th. No commercials so it's moving along. Bryant 2 run HR in the first. Cubs had 11 hits and left a bunch on base. Arrieta has more hits than the Dodgers. Ron Coomer was doing his best to promote Jake for Cy Young. The stuff of dreams. I hope we don't warp into a different timeline.

Pat Hughes: After the top of 9th..."Fasten those seat belts. Give them a little extra tug for good measure." **warm and fuzzy feeling, no jinxing this puppy**

Nick Cafardo/Boston Globe, Cub related stuff... http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2015/11/22/... 1. Brett Gardner, OF, Yankees — Gardner could be available, according to a Yankees source, but it won’t be for an infielder such as the Cubs’ Starlin Castro, as was reported last week. The Yankees do need a second baseman, but any deal involving Gardner would have to net a starting pitcher. It’s also not a slam dunk that Gardner gets traded, given he’s one of the team leaders. 8. Trevor Cahill, RHP, free agent — Cahill rebounded well from some rough outings out of the Braves bullpen. After being released by Atlanta, he went to the Cubs and made 11 quality relief appearances, and at 27 is rebuilding his career. “His priority is to be a starting pitcher again, but he would accept a bullpen spot if he doesn’t secure a starting job,” said his agent, John Boggs. 9. John Lackey, RHP, free agent — The Cardinals may feel they’ve gotten the best out of Lackey, but they have kept their toes in the water. The Red Sox also inquired, but their priority is finding an ace. Lackey wants to stay in the NL, and the Cubs and Giants may have the best shot of signing him.

Sorry to go off-topic, but, given the lack of Cub news...it really sucks to be a Bears fan. They are on track to miss the playoffs for the 5th straight year and 8 out of 9 in a league set up to encourage parity. Sheesh. Hard to imagine an organization headed by a 90-year old woman can't compete in today's NFL. Now -- back to Theo and the Quest for Pitching!

On the plus side they are way outplaying their talent level and Cutler is doing well considering a complete lack of pass protection and all the injuries to the skill players around him. He made ridiculous plays all day avoiding the pass rush and making really nice throws but it just caught up to him at the end. Constantly passing or running out of the shotgun when near the goalline screwed them once again though and that is the one thing going on all season that has annoyed me with Gates. In the end though this is sort of a pass season in my mind and what I'm really looking at is seeing how the draft goes this offseason. I think we are the worst in the league at having our own draft picks on the field which is just insane.

I was just going to say that. Indeed, I think the coaching is 50% better or more. I can tell this is truly a professional, smart staff. The O & D Coordinators are in a level way above what was here with the "Trestman Era". As you say, that just don't have the talent. To play arguably the best AFC team (other than the Pats) with 4 starting receivers that would probably not start on most teams, a Shea McLlellin, and a terrible secondary, and nearly tie it at the end is commendable. But, there have been some nice bright spots in this dismal season. Plus they have been playing hard with the coaches. I am so glad to not see Jared Allen, too. Oh, by the way, how in demand was Trestman's staff? The former D coordinator who Trestman let cash checks a year after they set the record for worst Bears D ever is now a backfield coach for Bama. And, the former OC Kromer is an O-Line coach for the Bills. I know he's doing a bang-up job there. Phil Emery sure must have done the greatest con job in the history of the NFL to get that job.

Gase will be head coach somewhere next year, leaving befuddled Fox and grandma diapers spinning their wheels again.

I don't think of Fox as "befuddled" at all. He assumes that typical "Head Coach" non media speak. He is a professional coach IMO, with 4-straight AFC West titles (ok, so he had both Payton Manning and Tim Tebow). But it would be a bummer if Gase gets a HC gig when things have finally started to get brighter with the Bears.

you are down by 8 with 10 minutes left and you go for it on 4th and 1 and not take points? Not smart

Yep. I don't have a problem with that, nor do plenty of others. More than anything, there was just poor execution on the play - if you noticed on the line, the Center retreated as if a pass play while the tackles moved out aggressively as if it was a run. They did not pick up the play call. Further, Cutler could have scored on 4th and goal had he run the ball and not thrown to no-one in the end zone. Just missed opportunities. But they have to pick up 1 yard there when they didn't do anything all day.

Fox won't be around when/if they are good again. /Ricky Fox

I am actually amazed that they have won 4 games, given that their top 3 expected receivers (#1 pick Kevin White, Eddie Royal and Alshon) are always hurt and rarely on the field. Fox and Gase seem more like Lovie (limit turnovers, trust your defense) than that fool Trestman. But, they are middle of the pack at best and don't have an elite skill player who can impact a game. Their WRs should have scored 3 TDs today, but can't get into the end zone when they catch the ball in the open field at the 20. In the NFL, it's all about the Injury Report.

I haven't seen much Bears football this year - difficult to watch the games out here, but the game I saw the week before I was watching in shock as I saw them actually make tackles. And Cutler has looked really good, too. I guess people can quibble about play calling, but the team I saw is way more than 50% better coached (my only very minor disagreement with your comment). Under Trestman, the team didn't do anything right. This team played like a well coached team when I saw them play the Rams. I really look at Fox as just a guy who has come in to make the Bears a professional football team again. They weren't that at all under Trestman.

Amazing to me how quickly it fell apart under Trestman. Year 1, they were a Chris Conte brain fart away from making the playoffs. Year 2 -- coach, staff and GM all fired.

To be fair to Emery and Trestman the foreshadowing of last year started happening well before them with the failure or mismanaging of multiple draft classes forcing the team to overspend in a free agency market that is even worse than baseball. Kyle Long seems like a good pick but they traded away another good one in Olson because of Martz's stupidity and inability to change his offense to fit the team talent. Emery inherited an aging defense that had no transition plan. While I understood the need to move beyond Urlacher his ability to call plays and make sure the players around him were on the same page was always underrated and it showed with a lot of miscommunication both years. Combined with the injuries, we went from 3rd in team defense in 2012 to 31st in 2013 and 2014. Then you had an offensive line that has been terrible the whole time Cutler has been here and Kyle Long and Olin Kreutz the only two who were above average pass blockers and Kreutz simply too old. Slausen is a good run blocker but not so much on the pass. So you take an awful defense forcing the offense to pass a ton to keep up with a line that can't block for Cutler and Trestman wanting to pass even in situations that doesn't call for it and it's a recipe for disaster. 2013 Trestman was still new so I'm sure players were still in the honeymoon period and other teams weren't used to him yet so you saw some success but 2014 everyone knew they were going to be seeing mostly passes and a lot of bubble screens and the moment the Bears felt adversity Trestman had no ability to instil respect in his players or control his lockerroom and it turned into the disaster we saw. Plus Emery continued the trend of failing at drafting. I'm not sure specific #s but we are one of the worst teams at having our draft picks on the roster and starting and the packers are one of the best. Last year they doubled us in that department and we have seen the results.

The genius Angelo traded Olsen at Martzs request

To also be fair to Emery, wtf do you draft Shea McLellin as a #1, Jonathan Bostic in the same draft, let Peppers go in lieu of signing Jared Shit-Head, Brandon Hardin, Evan Rodriguez, Isiah Frey, on and on... I will give him credit for Kyle Long - who is like my favorite player (what does THAT say about the team - but he did throw in the 90's as a former pitcher), and Jeffrey. Just a whole pile of shit. He didn't know what he was doing, Trestman turned out to be a TERRIBLE hire when Bruce Ariens could have had the job, and I am sorry - but Emery in his hiring speech stressed that accountability lies with him. So, I don't agree with your assessments that the public is not "being fair to them" in hindsight evaluation. He was one of, if not THE, single worst GM in Bears history.

The drafting of Shea at #1 was a sign of things to come -- an undersized white linebacker who's not particularly fast; lets make him an NFL defensive end! Just idiotic. When the best thing you can say about your #1 pick is that he has a "high motor", that's a problem...that's what you should say about late-round picks.

dave roberts new LAD manager...awesome first gig...here, have a zillion dollar payroll team.

Yep. They now will be able to field an entire Cuban Team in LA.

Rockies sign Brian Schlitter to a minor league contract. Good luck in Coors Field. Enough said.

-0.3 WAR in 7.1ip last year... -3 WAR projected over the course of a season. the cubs just added an all-star reliever's worth of work by losing b.schlitter. /math

Hahahahaha

Hak-Ju Lee signs a minor league contract with SF Giants. Some closure on the 6 degrees of Separation for Matt Garza/Chris Archer

AZ Phil, what is your thoughts on Domonic Brown as a reclamation project?

HAGSAG: I think Domonic Brown does fit the criteria of a reclamation project, but unless he is willing to accept a minor league contract with an NRI to Spring Training, I don't think the Cubs would be interested given where the Cubs are right now. A couple of years ago? Yes. But probably not now.

Brown would be better-off going to a club that is rebuilding and re-establish his value there, like Chris Coghlan did with the Cubs. And if he can re-establish his value, he could get traded to a contender at the trade deadline and take it from there.  

How many options do each player on the 40-man roster have remaining? While i am primarily interested in who would have to be DFA if they don't make 25-man roster, would be interesting to see number of options for all.

INDYCUBFAN: I maintain a page here at TCR that provides  up-to-date information  about the players on the Cubs MLB 40-man roster.

link

I also have written a blog book here at TCR that explains (in excrutiating detail) the machinations of MLB roster rules. This informatiion is correct and is updated regularly. A former member of the Cubs front office once told me that he regularly consulted my roster rules book  because ihe said t's easier to understand than the actual MLB Rules book.

link

And then I also maintain a Cubs Organizational Depth Chart if you want to check that rout. 

link

Hardly excrutiating Phil. Spectacular is more appropriate.

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  • crunch 45 min 54 sec ago (view)

    paul dejong (STL) took out the M in  the "BIG MAC LAND" sign @STL with a big HR...lights went out on the letter and everything.  epic-ish.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ECYHA12XoAAyp45?format...

     

  • crunch 52 min 38 sec ago (view)

    i know bote will be back in a couple weeks, but dude has been hitting damn well since mid-july after having a big june/july slump.

     

  • Eric S 58 min 25 sec ago (view)

    David Bote sent down to Iowa today prior to Cishek’s activation off the IL tomorrow — nice of the Cubs do their part to help the I-Cubs down the stretch

     

  • Cubster 1 hour 50 min ago (view)

    And the Brewers are being no hit by Hudson thru 6.

     

  • crunch 3 hours 2 min ago (view)

    never really considered how that might be cool for people used to seeing those midwest fields as an everyday occurance.  in the south-east US you rarely see the vastly massive acerage of farm-against-farm-against-farm-etc...

    also, i spent a good amount of time out in corn fields in ames, iowa in my last job.  everyone wanted to go work the research fields in hawaii, but we always ended up in iowa.

     

  • Sonicwind75 4 hours 39 min ago (view)

    Hey, I'm pretty excited about the Field of Dreams game.  I grew up on a farm in middle of nowhere Iowa and my brother and I spent a lot of time trying to hit baseballs into a corn field.  I'm seriously considering coming back next summer from Texas to go to that game if prices aren't super stupid expensive.  Added bonus, I won't have to listen to A-Rod and Mendoza ignorantly discussing corn and no, you don't eat field corn like you would sweet corn. 

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 16 hours 43 min ago (view)

    That is truly staggering. Shame on the rest of the Central that we are only one loss behind the pissboys, we should have been buried by now with that kind of stat.

     

  • crunch 1 day 49 min ago (view)

    ...and strop gives up a hit then walks the bases loaded.

    ...and he closes it out with a K.  neat.

    this is the 1st cubs road series win since May 17-19 @WAS.

     

  • crunch 1 day 57 min ago (view)

    strop comes in to get the last out, but it has to be some kinda slow-walk back in a game that wasn't a save situation.

    homer, hbp, k, k...looks healthy.

     

  • crunch 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    welcome back kimbrel.

    1st pitch goes about 10 miles outside the park by marte.

     

  • crunch 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    one takeaway from this game...a slew of cubs players were fans of Hey Arnold! when they were kids.

     

  • crunch 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    woo, a good cubs away game.

     

  • crunch 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    heyward / cast / bryant / rizzo / baez / schwarb / caratini / kemp(2nd) / Q

     

  • crunch 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    so stoked for the williamsport game.

    the increasing amount of off-site games is a bit concerning (middle of nowhere Field of Dreams field, really?), but I love this one.  it's played out great so far and giving the kids playing in the LL series some primo seats (hope this continues) is a great touch.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    Craig Kimbrel reinstated from IL, Duane Underwood Jr optioned to Iowa, Mark Zagunis recalled as the "26th man" for tonight's game (special travel required to get to Williamsport so MLB Comissioner permits 26th man for both clubs). 

     

  • crunch 2 days 1 hour ago (view)

    at least...