Cubs Release 30 Minor Leaguers

The Cubs have released 30 minor leaguers:  

Carlos Asuaje, INF 
Dario Beltre, RHP 
Jhonny Bethencourt, INF  
Bryan Brickhouse, RHP 
Charcer Burks, OF 
Roberto Caro, OF 
Adam Choplick, LHP  
Noel Cuevas, OF 
Oscar de la Cruz, RHP 
Emilio Ferrebus, RHP 
Wladimir Galindo, 3B-1B  
Brian Glowicki, RHP 
Fauris Guerrero, RHP 
Zach Hedges, RHP
Chad Hockin, RHP
Corban Joseph, INF-OF    
Conor Lillis-White, LHP 
David Masters, INF
Marcus Mastrobuoni, C  
Alberto Mineo, C-1B 
Zach Mort, RHP 
Jordan Patterson, 1B-OF 
Jordan Procyshen, C
Luke Reynolds, 3B-1B 
Ian Rice, 1B-3B 
Caleb Simpson, RHP 
Brock Stewart, RHP 
Jake Stinnett, RHP   
Ben Taylor, RHP 
Matt Tenuta, LHP 

Asuaje, Beltre, Brickhouse, Choplick, N. Cuevas, Joseph, Mineo, J. Patterson, Procyshen, Simpson, B. Taylor, and Tenuta were signed as minor league free-agents post-2019, Burks, Caro, and O. de la Cruz were eliginle to be 6YFA post-2019 but signed a 2020 minor league successor contract, and Masters and Stewart were selected in the Minor League Phase of the 2019 Rule 5 Draft.

Asuaje, Beltre, Brickhouse, Burks, Caro, N. Cuevas, O. de la Cruz, Galindo, Hedges, Joseph, Masters, Mineo, J. Patterson, Procyshen, Simpson, Stewart, Stennett, B. Taylor, and Tenuta (6YFA) and Choplick (second-contract) were eligible to be MLB Rule 55 minor league free-agents post-2020, and of the players not eligible to be a minor league FA post-2020 (Bethencourt, Ferrebus, Glowicki, Guerrero, Hockin, Lillis-White, Mastrobuoni, Mort, L. Reynolds, and Rice), only L. Reynolds was not eligible for selection in the 2020 Rule 5 Draft.       

Comments la cruz had some decent looking spring outings (though late inning spring work isn't exactly challenging).  the years of injuries insanely slowed his progression.  totally wouldn't mind seeing him return in 2021 if the team would still be on his radar after getting cut at a time like this.

CRUNCH: Agreed. Not counting the "4-A" guys, Oscar de la Cruz is the one legit MLB prospect on the list.  

My understanding is that the other two Cubs minor leaguers who are to be released are the two post-2019 Article XX-B MLB free-agents who signed 2020 minor league contracts, Brandon Morrow and Jason Kipnis. The Cubs will then supposedly re-sign them to new minor league contracts without the $100K retention bonus and 6/1 opt-out. 

Presuming there is no traditional minor league season in 2020, expect an expanded Arizona Fall League (with potentially a new "Florida Fall League" as well) for the best prospects and expanded post-season instructs for other minor leaguers (all TBA). 

Hi Phil, yes, hoping for an extended AZ Fall League.  Do you think there will be more cuts?  De La Cruz was the only big sureprise to me. I thought he had some upside. 

These players weren't cut/released; laid off is more like it. Fifty-two minor leaguers let go before any real games played, in two waves. The draft will be five rounds this year, not forty.  This is industrial downsizing, anticipating no traditional season this year and capitulation to MLB demands for a much smaller minor league system in 2021.  Next year or 2022 could also see a labor stoppage in the big leagues, over what promises to be a very tough CBA negotiation.  The game will not be what it used to be after this.

Couldn't have said it better myself, unfortunately.

I am ready for MLB owners to give it a f***ing rest. I don't have any outrage to spare on them.

If they can't afford this crisis, maybe they can surrender franchise rights to the players, grounds crew, concession employees, etc., and MLB teams can be employee owned.

there's no way a system like that or something similar to that would work.

"oh hi." - green bay packers

*shoves out of way*

like i said, there's no way that would work.

Corey Black still has a job.

don't worry, i'm sure even though he was spared from cuts there's some hardship he's being tortured with that he has to unfairly overcome.  #coreystrong #onthecross #yolo #swag #kony2012

"Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports that there is "no evidence of progress yet" in talks between MLB and the MLBPA and, thus, "no realistic hope" of reaching a deal by the "soft" June 1 deadline.

Heyman adds, though, that the deadline "was soft for a reason" and the "hope remains to start (the) season (during the) July 4 weekend." In order for that to happen and for spring training 2.0 to start as hoped on June 10, June 5-9 appears to be the likeliest window for a deal to get done"

Yes, many players are millionaires too. However, a good percentage of MLB Owners are billionaires. If there's no MLB in 2020 that's on 30 owners, not the players no matter how the Press spins things. 

welcome to an unwelcome June 1st.

MLBTR has an update on the latest owner's revision proposal. 

It still seems like many non-starters as far as the MLBPA. I'm not sure fans would welcome a Thanksgiving World Series any more than Trump welcoming and acknowledging any bastard children or him releasing his tax returns voluntarily. MLB would get beaten up by weather unless the games are in AZ or FLA (again making this "the Bastard Season"). Covid is also a major wild card. Players can opt-out of playing if they are "covid risk" (like diabetics or on meds that immunocompromise) or even if they are not (family considerations) although the latter choice won't get the player paid.

"The players’ idea of extending the regular season through October also won’t be a welcome idea, as the playoffs wouldn’t be concluded until the end of November.  This also runs the risk of more of the baseball regular season and postseason conflicting with NFL games, which won’t bode well for Major League Baseball in terms of maximizing television ratings.  (Of course, this assumes the NFL season will also proceed as currently scheduled.) "

Minor League Baseball makes the cover of SI!  Two years ago, I would have been elated.  Today, it's depressing (like the article.)

Jeff Passan @JeffPassan
Major League Baseball intends to propose a shorter season in which they would pay players a full prorated share of their salaries, sources told ESPN. The league believes the late March agreement allows it to set the schedule, and that this would fulfill players’ pro rata desire.

The potential season Major League Baseball envisions would run somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 regular-season games, sources told ESPN. The exact number is being considered, but the aim would be to return in July. It would be less than half of players’ proposed season length.

An important clarification to this news: MLB will continue discussing alternatives to the shorter season with players but believes that its March agreement with players allows it to mandate a shorter season and is prepared to use that option in the absence of a deal with MLBPA.

...but now there's this...

"According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, Major League Baseball views a season of around 50 games as a "last resort" option should there be no agreement with the MLBPA.

When it was first reported Monday evening that Major League Baseball had been considering a proposal to the union of an abbreviated regular season schedule but with full prorated pay, it seemed like generally positive news. But the latest follow-up from Passan suggests that 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."

"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.

P.S. World Series could be WSox vs Reds (as in 1919) tp make America Great again in our now Bizarro-America.

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

Please consider taking action for a more just world. You can protest peacefully. You can donate to your local @Blklivesmatter chapter, the @NAACP_LDF or read this guide for other ways to help protestors.

Dale Murphy @DaleMurphy3

If you're a beneficiary of systemic racism, then you will not be able to dismantle it at no cost to yourself. You will have to put yourself at risk. It might not always result in being physically attacked, but it will require you to make yourself vulnerable.

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.

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

Here is the twitter video from Pastor Jarrod Parker:

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts is apologizing for calling black leaders “you people” after being shamed for the remark online. “I chose my words poorly, and apologized when it became apparent that I had caused offense,” the Republican said in a statement. A Baptist pastor brought Ricketts’ comment to light, posting a video online in which he recounted walking out of a meeting with city leaders to discuss the shooting of a young black man by a white bar owner during anti-racism protests over the weekend. “Pete Ricketts said, ‘The problem I have with you people,’” Pastor Jarrod Parker said, according to the Omaha World-Herald. “He called black pastors and black leaders in Omaha, ‘You people.’”

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

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. 

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

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.

"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.

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.

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 

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

On Monday, the Cubs were scheduled to host the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field before the season was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, Wrigleyville served as an impromptu staging ground for protesters speaking out against racism. That same day, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, whose family owns the Cubs, apologized after referring to African Americans as “you people” during a meeting with community leaders in Omaha.The Cubs sent an email to employees Monday night from team chairman Tom Ricketts, president of business operations Crane Kenney and president of baseball operations Theo Epstein.“We stand in support of black lives, brown lives, and all the victims of racism and injustice across the country,” the Cubs executives said in the letter, which was obtained by the Tribune. “We stand alongside associates who choose to use their voice to fight inequality.”The Cubs also posted a message Tuesday morning on Twitter, condemning racism and decrying violence against African Americans.“We support peaceful protest and pledge to channel our energies to rebuilding our city, especially the disenfranchised neighborhoods,” the team said.Hundreds of protesters marched near Wrigley Field on Tuesday.[email protected] 

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. Opening day would be June 30 and the regular season would end Oct. 31, nearly five weeks after the Sept. 27 conclusion that MLB’s proposal stuck to from the season’s original schedule.Management has said it will discuss a schedule of about 50 games, which would result in players receiving about 30% of their full salaries under the deal for prorated pay the union agreed to in March. “You confirmed for us on Sunday that players are unified in their view that they will not accept less than 100% of their prorated salaries, and we have no choice but to accept that representation,” Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem wrote in a letter Wednesday to chief union negotiator Bruce Meyer that was obtained by The AP. “Based on that position, the positions espoused in your counter-proposal, the significant health risk of extending the regular season past September, and the fact that we have missed our June 1 deadline for resuming spring training by June 10, we do not have any reason to believe that a negotiated solution for an 82-game season is possible,” Halem wrote. “Nonetheless, the commissioner is committed to playing baseball in 2020,” Halem added. “He has started discussions with ownership about staging a shorter season.” He ended his letter by telling Meyer “we stand ready to discuss any ideas you may have that might lead to an agreement on resuming play without regular fan access in our stadiums.” MLB does not want to play past October because it fears a second wave of the coronavirus could disrupt the postseason and jeopardize $787 million in broadcast revenue. Halem cited MLB’s infectious disease consultant, Dr. Ali Khan, Dean of the College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska.Pirates RHP Chris Archer, 31, won’t pitch if there’s a season this year after undergoing surgery Tuesday to relieve symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome.

Lol at worrying about a second wave disrupting revenue.

they should just play a quick weekend tourney where no one actually wins and everyone gets a small participation trophy.

declare the fans the MVPs and dedicate the series to everyone who has died in the history of humanity.

...then a free live-streamed Nickleback concert hosted by 2Pac's hologram

And a few kegs of beer. Hamberders too.

2020 quickly shaping up to be the best season ever.

I'm in.  What more do we need, really.  A beer.  A game or two.  The 162 game season can wait until next year (I hope).  Have fun with a micro-mini season.  Let the powers fight over the labor agreements.  They can finish by next spring, right?

Chicago Cubs Thumbs Up GIF by NBC Sports Chicago

A's have decided to not be horrible and to pay their minor leaguers through the end of the season (august)

"“I changed my mind after spending a lot of time talking to our team,” A's owner John Fisher told the Chronicle. “I concluded I’d made a mistake. I’ve listened to our fans and others, and there is no question that this is the right thing to do. We clearly got this decision wrong. These players represent our future and we will immediately begin paying our minor-league players. I take responsibility and I’m making it right.""

"Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times reports that MLB's proposal to the MLBPA includes a revision to the Operations Manual which would require players to sign an "acknowledgment of risk" waiver before playing."

"Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that MLB's recent proposal to players included a 16-team playoff." (this is more than the 14 intially proposed by MLB.  more playoffs = more revenue.  this may be a form of an easy to accomplish ask of the players by the owners).

...and no dice.

"According to Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic, the MLBPA will reject MLB's latest return-to-play proposal.

The plan proposed by the league on Monday morning called for a 76-game regular season in which the players would get 75 percent of their prorated salaries. The union, meanwhile, continues to demand 100 percent prorated salary shares. Another (new) sticking point is that MLB wants all players to sign an “acknowledgment of risk” waiver that would absolve the league of responsibility should a player have complications related to COVID-19."

Another (new) sticking point is that MLB wants all players to sign an “acknowledgment of risk” waiver that would absolve the league of responsibility should a player have complications related to COVID-19."


Go MLBPA. Who thought this would fly? Mitch McConnell?

Baseball's MLBPA vs Owners is not and will never be the Meat processing industry. I wish the meat processing workers had such protections, that situation is a crime against American laborers. The Crazed Executive branch interfered by crippling OSHA and the CDC and even with that, they intervened on behalf of companies (some not even owned by Americans) in a way that they never should have. The executive order blocks the owners from covid liability. Ugly stuff for people/communities that live paycheck to paycheck. 

At this point, it's June 8th. The soonest a season would start would be on/after July 15th. I'll pass on a 10 week season. I'm OK with tossing 2020 and look toward 2021 that hopefully has a viable vaccine (and a new President).

P.S. To our faithful readers (and writers) who live in AZ. Be extra careful. Phoenix and other major city Hospital ICU's are near capacity and the new Coronavirus case spike graph looks really ugly. 

Still thinking this through, but I'm not certain I have a problem with the 'acknowledgement of risk'.  If a player gets sick and dies from COVID-19 after playing ball, should the family be able to sue either the team or the MLB?  Is the MLB forcing players to play during this pandemic?  

The MLB has not been great during these negotiations but I don't see the acknowledgement as a problem as long as the team is doing everything they've agreed to to avoid the spread.  If they don't do the things they outline in the agreement, they they could be liable.  

Just my thought.

negociations are give/take.  sometimes sides choose to create a new point of contention in order to gain a possible concession for letting go of that point...or hedging some kind of value for letting go of another point.  when what's on the table isn't working, rather than giving in sometimes things are piled on.

i imagine the fact this is a recent addition rather than something coming out of the gate makes it transparent and a bit angering to the player's association.

meanwhile, in the history of sports on film news:

ESPN to revisit the Sosa-McGwire home run chase

Mark McGwire is hugged by Sammy Sosa after hitting his 62nd homer of the 1998 season. 

By Dan Wiederer

Chip Caray’s calls will take you there, back to that magical summer of 1998 when those three words spilled from his mouth with stunning regularity. That call will transport you back to Sammy Sosa’s remarkable emergence, back to a historic chase of one of baseball’s most hallowed records.

Sosa versus Mark McGwire.

Baseballs rocketing toward Jupiter just about every day.

Roger Maris’ single-season home run record had stood for 37 years when the 1998 season began. McGwire, coming off a 58-home run campaign the previous season, was an obvious favorite to challenge Maris’ mark. So, too, was Mariners star Ken Griffey Jr. But then Sosa made a surprise entrance into the show. With his massive swing, his magnetic charisma and his enjoyment of the spotlight, Sosa added to the theatrics of a landmark season.

Director A.J. Schnack always had been fascinated with that season’s energy, its fun and its historical significance. And in his latest film, “Long Gone Summer,” Schnack has taken out the microscope to more closely examine it all.

His documentary will air for the first time at 8 p.m. Sunday, the latest installment of ESPN’s acclaimed “30 for 30” film series.

...there is some Q&A with the director after the intro.

"The MLBPA has countered MLB's recent proposal for the 2020 season, asking for an 89-game campaign and full prorated salaries."

89 games, 100% prorated

76 games, 75% prorated

this is where we're at right now based on the extremely public dragging out of conditions from both sides.

i'm sure they'll work it out.  after all, there's very fine people on both sides.

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  • Eric S 1 hour 14 min ago (view)

    Edwin took the L today in team USA's extra inning loss to Japan - should be able to help the Cubs efforts to secure a high draft pick soon. 


  • Arizona Phil 4 hours 54 min ago (view)

    Even though the MLB Trade Deadline has passed, Cubs minor leaguers with MLB experience like RHSP Joe Biagini, LHRP Tony Cingrani, RHRP Ryan Meisinger, OF Ian Miller, and RHSP Adrian Sampson can still be traded up until one week prior to the scheduled conclusion of the MLB reegular season, and I would expect each of them to get some interest from contending teams prior to the August 31 midnight post-season roster eligibilty deadline.


  • cubbies.4ever 17 hours 24 sec ago (view)

    Still haven't seen/heard if Cubs signed 19th rd Daniel Avitia, the last of the unsigned or declined.


  • crunch 17 hours 12 min ago (view)

    imagine he'll go into indie ball somewhere and hope he doesn't end up like matt harrington.


  • Sonicwind75 17 hours 37 min ago (view)

    So is Kumar going "pro" by taking a KBO contract next season or something like that or does he just work out for a year?  Not sure what the rules are for a player in his situation.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 20 hours 29 min ago (view)

    Good. Suck it Mets


  • crunch 21 hours 36 min ago (view)

    mets fail to sign k.rocker.

    at the time it was considered a hell of a pick when he fell so far (11th pick).  he was considered a top-5 pick for most of the year, #1 for a chunk of it.  his medicals (elbow) gave the mets pause offering him slot value.  his agent, boras, says he's healthy.

    he will not return to vandy and will go "pro"...he returns to the draft next year and the mets get a compensation 11th pick in round 1 next season.


  • crunch 22 hours 15 min ago (view)

    rizzo, baez, and bryant all homered in their 1st game with their new team.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 22 hours 48 min ago (view)

    Winning very much to a backseat to profits. I would imagine it always kinda was that way, but it became very obvious after the title. I think when ownership saw Darvish struggle year one, that was that, no more free agent spending. And never adjusted after it became clear Darvish was back starting midway through year two.


  • Charlie 22 hours 59 min ago (view)

    Ownership absolutely decided sometime after 2016 that fans owed them and not the other way atound.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 23 hours 7 min ago (view)

    To be fair they also did a good job bringing in talent to the system that they were able to use to make trades. And a few solid signings such as Lester and Zobrist.

    I think part of it was the hunger mostly vanished after the title and things needed to be switched up to kick people in the ass a tad. Add a level of being hamstrung by Heyward deal, no one coming up to replace the lost farm system talent or aging players, no one but Rizzo and Hendricks signing extensions, and here we are


  • crunch 23 hours 9 min ago (view)

    HUGE standing O for bryant.  they're loving it.


  • Cubster 23 hours 34 min ago (view)

    The Chicago Ortegas


  • crunch 23 hours 34 min ago (view)


    who though we'd have "the ortega game" today?  alright, then.


  • Cubster 23 hours 58 min ago (view)

    Rizzo leading off for Yanks today


  • crunch 23 hours 59 min ago (view)

    the cubs had years of 1st round picks gained by tanking do well and they got very lucky with the arrietta/strop trade.  strop is especially underappreciated in that trade.  theo obviously wanted rizzo badly, and made the right call there.  hendricks was a complex back/forth trade because of player injuries, but at the end of the day the cubs wanted hendricks and they made the right call there, too.

    aside from that, it looks a lot like it's been for decades.