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.
hopefully the fans stay respectful and don't lower themselves to the type of scum that were heckling hunter pence...
Careful what you tweet regarding KB - he’s reading and he’s pissed! I kinda like seeing KB hot under the collar - very out of character for him.
For those of you who did not see the game....
Kris Bryant's first inning HR off Chase Anderson was a towering fly ball that was a bit wind-aided, but not unlike what you might see at Wrigley Field. The line single had a lot of top-spin and fell in front of the left-fielder.
Here are some of the velo readings for the Cubs pitchers:
NOTE: Nibbled too much, but he did strike out Eric Thames with FB/SL combo.
looked like a good one from the box score. i've been out all day, back home now, and ready to take in my first televised game of the spring (HOU/WAS).
is o.de la cruz still considered a starter or is he transitioning to the pen? looks like he put in a solid inning pulling up the end of the game.
First 2019 Cubs MLB Cactus League game today. This is my 42nd year of Cubs Spring Training (first one was in Scottsdale in 1978).
HAGSAG: No word yet, but don't be surprised if guys like Rademacher, Martin, and Torrez end up in Mexico or in independent baseball.
A number of former Cubs minor leaguers and big leaguers (INF Arismendy Alcantara, C Sergio Burruel, INF Dustin Geiger, INF-OF Junior Lake, RHP Yoanner Negrin, OF Felix Pie, RHP Armando Rivero, INF Issmael Salas, OF Dave Sappelt, and RHP Carlos Zambrano) played in the Mexican League last year, and INF-OF Logan Watkins just signed with Tijuana after playing indy ball in 2018.
E-MAN: Mike Olt signed a 2019 minor league contract with the Minnesota Twins last month.
Don’t see BJ signed to any club yet. Mike Olt, however, played AAA for the Red Sawx last year. Anyone hear if he is resigned?
Has anyone heard if any of these past Cubs minor leaguers have found a team..Mazonni, Rademacher, D. Torrez, Coghlan or Trey Martin?
HAGSAG: The pecking order for minor league field assignments is:
It hasn't been announced yet, but I would expect either D'Angelo Jimenez (DSL Cubs #1 Hitting Coach) or Enrique Wilson (DSL Cubs #2 Hitting Coach) to replace Michael Carter as AZL Cubs #1 Hitting Coach, with Jovanny Rosario (Assistant Coach with DSL Cubs #2) replacing either Jimenez or Wilson.
Glad to see Mark Johnson get a promotion if that is what it is.
it's now 79-83 since the brews signed moosetacos, btw...
2/25 split squad cubs/dodgers game has been picked up to be televised (dodgers feed) ..cubs also playing SD the same day (radio only)
neither cubs sat/sun/mon/tues/wed/thurs games are televised.
lame...very very lame.
first televised game is friday march 1st unless something changes (@Dbacks on the ARZ feed).