A Minor Point

The following Cubs have used up their last minor league option year in 2019 and thus will be out of options come Spring Training 2020 (presuming they are still on the Cubs 40-man roster):

Carl Edwards Jr
Alec Mills 
Randy Rosario  
Duane Underwood Jr 
Mark Zagunis

Mike Montgomery and Allen Webster (as well as Article XIX-A players Brad Brach, Xavier Cedeno, and Tyler Chatwood) were already out of minor league options coming into the 2019 season, and although he is not yet on the Cubs 40-man roster, Danny Hultzen is also out of minor league options (which matters only if he were to be added to the Cubs 40-man roster at some point in the future). 

Kyle Ryan came into 2019 with one minor league option year remaining, and although he was optioned to AAA Iowa at the end of Spring Training, he spent only nine days on Optional Assignment, so as long as he spends no more than ten more days on Optional Assignment to the minors over the balance of the 2019 season, he will still have one minor league option remaining in 2020. (If a player spends less than 20 days on Optional Assignment to the minors in a given season, an option year is not spent). 

Ideally, what a club would want to do with a player the club wants to keep but who is out of options is non-tender the player on 12/2, and then sign him to a minor league contract (for MLB 40-man roster money or maybe even a little bit more and with an NRI to Spring Training) after the Rule 5 Draft. That way the player basically gets what he would have received if he had been on the 40 at the start of Spring Training, but the club is able to remove the player from the 40-man roster without exposing the player to waivers and without taking the risk that he might be selected in the Rule 5 Draft, and then the club can send the player to the minors out of Spring Training (because he is already signed to a minor league contract and thus Outright Assignment Waivers would not need to be secured). This is what the Cubs did with Allen Webster post-2018, Taylor Davis post-2017, Zac Rosscup, Conor Mullee, and Gerardo Concepcion post-2016, and Jack Leathersich post-2015.   

However, there are essentially two problems with this approach.

The first is that the player has to agree to the proposition. He can't be forced to do it. It's his choice. That's why a club usually has to offer the player at least the same money (maybe even a bit more money) than he would have gotten had he remained on the 40. 

And secondly, the player's slot on the MLB 40-man roster might be needed for another player before contracts are tendered (or not tendered) on December 2nd. (Off-season minor league reserve lists -- the ones that are used to determine who can and cannot be selected in the Rule 5 Draft -- must be finalized and submitted to the MLB Commissioner by November 20th, almost two weeks prior to the date contracts are tendered or not tendered). Sometimes a club just can't wait for a player to be non-tendered.  

One other point is that just because a player on an MLB 40-man roster is out of minor league options doesn't mean the player has no value going into Spring Training or during the course of the season. It just means his value is diminished (somewhat) because he cannot be sent back & forth to AAA during the course of the season (on the so-called "Chicago - Des Moines Shuttle") as easily as a player who has minor league options available. Outright Assignment Waivers (which are irrevocable) would have to be secured in order to send a player who is out of options to the minors, and there is always a chance that a player the club wants to keep could get claimed off waivers by another club, or, in the case of a player with Article XX-D rights (player has been outrighted previously in his careeer, has accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time, or qualified as a "Super Two" player after the previous season), he can elect free-agency after being outrighted. 


PIT scores 5 runs in the bottom 9th to tie MIL...then lose in the 10th.

MIL inches into 1st place.

Recent comments

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • Charlie 20 hours 47 min ago (view)

    Lol at worrying about a second wave disrupting revenue.


  • Cubster 23 hours 20 min ago (view)

    IN BRIEF (Tribune, from their mini-sports section):    In a letter, MLB rejects players’ plan for 114 gamesNews services Major League Baseball rejected the players’ proposal for a 114-game schedule in the pandemic-delayed season with no additional salary cuts, telling the union that teams have no reason to think 82 games is possible and now will discuss even fewer.Players made their proposal Sunday, five days after management’s initial economic plan.


  • Cubster 23 hours 25 min ago (view)

    Pete Ricketts causing some backspin on their serve...Chi Tribune, Thursday AM:


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    Here are the last two Cubs minor league releases from this week (for a final total of 30): 

    Conor Lillis-White, LHP (acquired frrom LAA for Tommy LaStella post-2018 - missed 2019 season with hip flexor injury)

    Alberto Mineo, C-1B (has been quarantined in Italy since he re-signed with Cubs in February) 

    Lillis-White was eligible for selection in the 2020 Rule 5 Draft, and Mineo was eligible to be a minor league 6YFA post-2020 


  • Charlie 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    Great read from players I came of age watching. Really shows how badly MLB needs to empower their players to speak in real time and not just after retiring.


  • crunch 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    "A conversation: Retired African American MLB players on race, baseball, America"


    d.glanville, j.rollins, r.howard, d.willis, t.hunter, l.hawkins

    unlocked/free article.


  • Jackstraw 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    I'm trying to come up with scenarios where saying "The problem I have with you people....." really helps the conversation move forward constructively.  None really jump to mind.


  • crunch 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    i still want proof that tom ricketts and ted cruz aren't the same person


  • Cubster 1 day 15 hours ago (view)

    Tom's older brother is an ass, even with an embarrassing apology.

    Here is the twitter video from Pastor Jarrod Parker: 



  • Cubster 1 day 23 hours ago (view)

    I agree.  Laura is the real deal. I think she was the major influence that showed Tom R. and Crane Kenney how to show a "human side" and deal realistically and in a non-threatening way, with the local Chicago politicians. Kenney was clearly clueless in his initial attempts regarding the neighborhood, the Rooftop owners, and the Wrigley Field rebuild. 


  • Hagsag 2 days 8 min ago (view)

    I am a Laura Ricketts fan. To hell with the rest of them.


  • crunch 2 days 8 hours ago (view)

    some higher-end high school kids not expected to go very early in the draft are taking themselves out of the draft...including some top-100 ranked talent.


  • crunch 2 days 18 hours ago (view)

    Dale Murphy @DaleMurphy3

    Last night, my son was shot in the eye with a rubber bullet while peacefully protesting for justice for George Floyd. His story is not unique. Countless others have also experienced this use of excessive police force while trying to have their voices heard.

    Dale Murphy @DaleMurphy3


  • BobbyD 2 days 19 hours ago (view)

    But he has vicious dogs ready to kill the nig***. Oh wait, thugs. He's a real man. 


  • Cubster 2 days 23 hours ago (view)

    "this idea isn't a proposal at all and may actually be a measure that is forced into action by the league if the two sides can't sort out the financial details for a longer season."

    MLBPA: Over our dead bodies. Followed by Trump sending in the military to force ballplayers and fans to perform like puppets on strings with fans to yell (and cough and sneezing) at the umpires. Ah, baseball before Jackie Robinson. The Trump Republican Party: Bring back the Cheating/Pandemic  1919 White only - White Sox. Say it ain't so, Joe.


  • Hagsag 2 days 23 hours ago (view)

    Trump waiving a bible in front of the church is a total disgrace.