Chicago - Des Moines Shuttle Not Always a Smooth Ride
Although it is not yet official, the Cubs have reportedly signed veteran RHRP Junichi Tazawa to a minor league contract. Because he was a post-2018 Article XX-B MLB free-agent, the 32-year old Tazawa will get a $100,000 retention bonus if he is not released at least five days prior to 2019 MLB Opening Day and added to an MLB 40-man roster by Opening Day, and he gets an automatic opt-out if he is not added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster by June 1st. And because he has Article XIX-A rights, if he were to be added to the MLB 25-man roster (and MLB 40-man roster) at some point in 2019, the Cubs would not be able to send him back to the minors without his pemission even if Outright Assignment Waivers are secured. (If he does not give his permission and the Cubs want to remove him from the 25-man roster, they could only release him or trade him, and if he is released, the Cubs would be on the hook for 100% of his salary as termination pay).
In addition to signing Tazawa, the Cubs have also reportedly signed veteran RHRP George Kontos to a minor league contract (also not yet official). Because he has accrued at least five years of MLB Service Time, Kontos (like Tazawa) has Article XIX-A rights and thus cannot be sent to the minors without his permission. (FWIW, both Tazawa and Kontos are out of minor league options, but even if they did have options available they could not be optioned to the minors without their permission). So if Kontos is added to the Cubs MLB 25-man Active List roster at some point in 2019 and then the Cubs subsequently decide they are not able to keep him on the 25, they would not be able to outright him back to the minors without his permission. And if he does not give his permission, the Cubs could only trade him or release him, and if he were to be added to the 25-man roster (and 40-man roster) and then is is subsequently released, the Cubs would be on the hook for 100% of his remaining salary as termination pay.
So players who have accrued at least five years of MLB Service Time (like Tazawa and Kontos) have Article XIX-A rights that make it a bit complicated to remove them from the 25-man roster (and 40-man roster) once the player is added. Assuming a player will cheerfully ride the "Chicago - Des Moines Shuttle" is a lot to expect of an Article XIX-A player, in that the player cannot be sent to the minors (by Optional or Outright Assignment) without his permission, and he gets 100% of his salary as termination pay if he is released.
And further, a player who has accrued at least six years of MLB Service Time and who signs a minor league contract after being declared an Article XX-B free-agent (like Tazawa) gets even more perks ($100K retention bonus if not released at least five days prior to MLB Opening Day and added to the MLB 40-man roster by Opening Day, and an automatic 6/1 opt-out if not added to the MLB 40-man roster by June 1st) that make retaining the player even beyond the conclusion of Spring Training somewhat problematic.
A player who has not yet accrued five years of MLB Service Time but who has accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time (or who qualifies as a "Super Two" player for salary arbitration) and/or who has been outrighted to the minors previously in his career has Article XX-D rights, which are different than Article XIX-A rights. Unlike a player with Article XIX-A rights, a player with Article XX-D rights does - NOT - have to give his permission before he can be sent to the minors, but he does have the right to elect free-agency immediately (or defer free-agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season for players who did not qualify as an Article XX-D player only by virtue of being a "Super Two" player) if he is sent outright to the minors (but if he is outrighted to the minors and elects free-agency immediately he forfeits the balance of his salary, and if he is sent outright to the minors and defers free-agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season but then is added back to an MLB 40-man roster prior to the conclusion of the MLB regular season, he cannot file for free-agency under Article XX-D).
While Tazawa is the only free-agent with Article XX-B rights who was signed by the Cubs to a 2019 minor league contract and Tazawa and Kontos are the only two free-agents signed by the Cubs to 2019 minor league contracts who have Article XIX-A status, the Cubs have signed eight free-agents with Article XX-D status to 2019 minor league contracts, including C Francisco Arcia, INF Cristhian Adames, OF-1B Jim Adduci, RHSP Christian Bergman, INF Phillip Evans, RHRP Carlos Ramirez, RHRP Rob Scahill, and LHRP Mike Zagurski. Besides having the right to elect free-agency if outrighted, Adames, Bergman, Scahill, and Zagurski are also out of minor league options, so it will be even more-complicated to remove those four from the 25-man roster (and place them on the "Chicago - Des Moines Shuttle") if one or more of them are called-up at some point in 2019. (While Arcia, Adduci, Evans, and Ramirez have Article XX-D status so that they would have the right to elect free-agency if outrighted off the 40, each of them do have at least one minor league option left, so they can be optioned to the minors if the Cubs want to add one of them to the 25 only temporarily without the risk of having the player claimed off Outright Assignment Waivers or having the player elect free-agency if outrighted, or in the case of Tazawa and Kontos, putting the Cubs in the position of having to release the player just to get him off the 25-man roster).
They weren't signed as free-agents, but Cubs minor leaguers OF Wynton Bernard, OF Johnny Field, OF Jacob Hannemann, LHRP Jerry Vasto, and LHRP Rob Zastryzny have Article XX-D rights (all five have been outrighted to the minors previously in their careers), so if added to the 40 at some point in 2019 they could get claimed off waivers or could elect free-agency if outrighted back to minors (all five do have at least one minor league option available, however), and while they do not have Article XX-D status and thus cannot elect free-agency if outrighted, both RHRP Allen Webster and LHRP Danny Hultzen are out of minor league options and thus (unlike Arcia, Adduci, Bernard, Evans, Field, Hannemann, Ramirez, Vasto, and Zastryzny) could not be optioned back to the minors should either of them be added to the 40 at some point in 2019.
Bottom line is, it's not always easy and smooth to add a minor league player to the 25-man roster (and 40-man roster), especially if it's expected to be just a temporary move. The "Chicago- Des Moines Shuttle" is really designed for players who can be recalled from AAA and then optioned back without hassle, and so for Tazawa and Kontos (in particular), it would probably be just a one-way trip if one or both were to get called-up to Chicago in 2019.
Eric S 8 hours 16 min ago (view)
Good deal - much better ballpark experience than at the Ted. Atlanta fans are buying in and showing up.
Eric S 8 hours 33 min ago (view)
It’s a shame that they had to burn Cishek with a five run lead. I guess they could have used Brach or Caratini. Probably not enough time to warm up Caratini. Wouldn’t want to risk blowing the lead with Brach.
crunch 8 hours 47 min ago (view)
gonna be in ATL over the 4th and catching the young braves club in person. i really don't like going to that park (hey, who wants 3-4 hours of the "tommy hawk chawp"?), but i wanna see this collection of kids.
Eric S 8 hours 47 min ago (view)
Kyle Ryan playing like a man who wants to keep his big league roster spot - well done!!
crunch 8 hours 49 min ago (view)
if javy has the ball you gotta play like you're on a basketball court. until the play is dead, no matter what your view is, that ball could be coming at you at any time from any angle.
bote also goofed earlier in the season playing 3rd during a lester start by not knowing how extreme one needs to cover for him. yeah, technically it should be lester's play, but realistically the 3rd baseman has more range to cover with lester on the mound.
Eric S 8 hours 51 min ago (view)
Barnette’s 88-91 mph fastball really is, uh, not very special.
Eric S 8 hours 53 min ago (view)
But for Flowers and the pitchers spot, the Braves lineup is relentless. When McCann plays, the only hole is the pitchers spot. Tough club.
crunch 8 hours 57 min ago (view)
welcome to the cubs barnette.
6 pitches to his 1st batter, solo HR.
you're gonna fit in just fine.
Eric S 9 hours 13 min ago (view)
Thanks Phil. What kind of prospect(s) do you think it would take to pick up Melky?
Eric S 9 hours 24 min ago (view)
Not the first time Bote has frozen on a catchable ball from Javy at second ... and leads to two unearned runs. Damn. Love Bote, but when you’re playing with Javy, you better expect the unexpected
crunch 9 hours 45 min ago (view)
also, wow at that 10 mile long leash teheran got to totally suck.
Eric S 9 hours 49 min ago (view)
Pro tip to the Cubs: score a ton of runs, then score a ton more. These Braves specialize in pulverizing and bludgeoning teams into oblivion, particularly after the six inning.
Eric S 9 hours 56 min ago (view)
Walnuts suck. Just sayin’
Arizona Phil 10 hours 4 min ago (view)
The Cubs have officially signed three more 2019 draft picks: RHP Zach Bryant (15th round - Jacksonville), RHP Johzan Oquendo (16th round - Leadership Christian Academy - Guaynabo, PR), and RHP Shane Combs (31st round - Notre Dame).
So the Cubs have now signed 24 of their 40 draft picks.
Arizona Phil 10 hours 12 min ago (view)
ERIC S: Dixon Machado is a glove-first SS (can also play 2B-3B) and a high contact hitter who is starting to show some HR pop. As for a veteran bat who might be available in a trade, OF Melky Cabera (PIT) might be a good target (switch-hitter who can play both OF corners).
crunch 10 hours 17 min ago (view)
while sharing chocolate chip cookie recipies contreras learned that flowers puts walnuts in his recipe and he's just not going to take that crap without speaking up. he took it a bit too far and said flowers might as well be making oatmeal raisin cookies, so it's all a big mess right now.
also, flowers survived his AB the next inning without incident.