Cubs 2020 Rule 5 Draft & Minor League Free-Agent Watch List

LAST UPDATED  10-26-2020

As things stand right now...


57 Cubs minor leaguers are eligible for selection in the December 2020 MLB Rule 5 Draft, and 24 Cubs minor leaguers (18 post-2020 6YFA and six second-contract players) are eligible to be declared MLB Rule 55 minor league 6YFA at 5 PM Eastern on the 5th day following the final game of the 2020 World Series (or at 5 PM Eastern on October 15th if the 2020 World Series is cancelled).   

LHP Matt Dermody, OF Ian Miller, LHRP Josh Osich, INF-OF Hernan Perez, and 1B-3B Patrick Wisdom were outrighted to the minors during the 2020 season and had the right to either elect free-agency immediately or else defer free-agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season, and all five accepted their respective outright assignments and deferred their respective option to elect free-agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season. Dermody, Miller, and Wisdom elected free-agency prior to the 10/15 deadline, while Osich and H. Perez did not. However, Osich and H. Perez will be automatically declared MLB Rule 55 minor league 6YFA after the World Series if the player does not sign a 2021 minor league successor contract or is not added back to the MLB 40-man roster in the meantime.   

The Cubs will have until five days after the final game of the 2020 World Series (or until October 15th if the World Series is cancelled) to either sign a post-2020 MLB Rule 55 minor league free-agent (including any Article XIX-A or Article XX-D player who did not file for free-agency by October 15th) to a 2021 minor league successor contract or add the player to their MLB 40-man roster, otherwise the player will automatically be declared a free-agent. 

Also, any 2020 Rule 5 Draft-eligible player who is not eligible to be a minor league free-agent after the World Series but who was sent outright to the minors after signing a 2020 MLB contract (Trevor Megill and Michael Rucker) must be added to the MLB 40-man roster no later than 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day after the final game of the 2020 World Series or else the player cannot be added back to the MLB 40-man roster of the club that outrighted the player until after the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft. 

Then the Cubs must decide by November 20th which 2020 Rule 5 Draft-eligible players (including any player eligible to be a minor league free-agent post-2020 who has signed a 2021 minor league successor contract) to add their MLB 40-man roster (to keep the player from being eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft). 

The Cubs also must decide by November 20th whether to place a 2020 Rule 5 Draft-eligible minor league player who is not added to the MLB 40-man roster on 11/20 on their AAA Iowa reserve list or on the reserve list of an affiliate of a lower classification. At most 38 of the 2020 Rule 5 Draft-eligible Cubs minor leaguers can be placed on the AAA Iowa Reserve List on 11/20. However, although the AAA Reserve List limit is 38, probably more like 35 of the Rule 5 Draft-eligible players will actually be placed on the AAA Iowa reserve list on 11/20 (the Cubs placed 35 players on their AAA Iowa reserve list in both 2018 and 2019), because slots need to be left open for players the Cubs might want to select in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft, as well as for free-agents signed to minor league contracts or players outrighted to the minors after 11/20 but prior to the Rule 5 Draft. (Any Rule 5 Draft-eligible player who signs a 2021 minor league contract prior to the Rule 5 Draft will be eligible for selection). Any 2020 Rule 5 Draft-eligible Cubs minor leaguer who is not placed on the AAA Iowa Reserve List on 11/20 will be eligible for selection in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft).

Here are some of the more-noteworthy Cubs minor leaguers who are either eligible to be a minor league free-agent post-2020 or eligible for selection in the 2020 Rule 5 Draft (full lists further down the post)... 

LAST UPDATED: 10-26-2020

GROUP 1 (Eligible to be Minor League FA post-2020 - MLB ready or near-MLB ready): 
USEFUL AAA DEPTH - NOT LIKELY TO BE RETAINED POST-2020
1. Josh Osich, LHRP - 4+119 MLB-ST - has Article XX-D rights & one minor league option left if added back to the 40
2. Hernan Perez, INF-OF - 5+097 MLB ST - has Article XIX-A rights & no minor league options left if added back to the 40
3. Pedro Strop, RHRP - 9+092 MLB-ST - has Article XIX-A rights & no minor league options left if added to the 40
4. Joe Wieland, RHRP - 3+035 MLB-ST - has Article XX-D rights & no minor league options left if added to thd 40)
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LEGIT PROSPECT (50/50 CHANCE TO BE ADDED TO 40 POST-WORLD SERIES IF NOT DURING SEASON)
5. Danny Hultzen, LHRP - 0+023 MLB-ST - has Article XX-D rights & no minor league options left if added to the 40
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NOT LIKELY TO BE ADDED TO 40 POST-WORLD SERIES
6. Tyler Olson, LHRP - 2+114 MLB-ST - has Article XX-D rights & no minor league options left if added to the 40 
7. Mark Zagunis, OF - 0+103 MLB-ST - has Article XX-D rights & no minor league options left if added to the 40 
8. Jerry Vasto, LHRP - 0+037 MLB-ST - has Article XX-D rights & two minor league options left if added to the 40
NOTE-1: Article XIX-A means player can't be optioned or sent outright to minors without his consent once he is added to MLB 40-man roster
NOTE-2: Article XX-D means player can elect free-agency if sent outright to minors after being added to 40

GROUP 2 (Eligible to be Minor League FA post-2020 - not ready for MLB): 
LEGIT PROSPECT (50/50 CHANCE TO BE ADDED TO 40 POSt_WORLD SERIES)   
1. Jerrick Suiter, RHP (ex-1B) 
SECOND TIER-PROSPECTS 
2. Luis Lugo, LHP - SWING 
3. Jordan Minch, LHRP 
4. Ryan Lawlor, LHRP (second-contract player)
5. Erling Moreno, RHP - SWING 
6. Corey Black, RHRP 
7. Erick Castillo, C 
8. Eugenio Palma, LHRP 
9. Ivan Medina, RHRP 
10. Luke Hagerty, LHRP (has Article XX-D rights & three minor league options left if added to the 40) 
11. Vance Vizcaino, OF (second contract player) 
12. Eric Gonzalez, C 
13. Garrett Kelly, RHRP (second-contract player) 
COMMENT: Only Jerrick Suiter has an outside chance to be added to the 40 post-World Series, but all of the pitchers and players in this group will likely be offered a 2021 minor league successor contract, although if offered one, the player does not have to sign it. 

GROUP 3 (Eligible for selection in 2020 Rule 5 Draft - likely on AAA Reserve List if not added to MLB 40-man roster)
LEGIT PROSPECT (AT VARIOUS LEVELS)
1. Cory Abbott, RHSP (AAA - likely to be added to 40 on 11/20) 
2. Christopher Morel, INF (Hi-A - likely to be added to 40 on 11/20)
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3. P. J. Higgins, C-INF (AAA - 50/50 chance to be added to 40 on 11/20 if not during season)
4. Michael Rucker, RHP - SWING (AAA - 50/50 chance to be added to 40 after World Series - has Article XX-D rights & three minor league options left if added to the 40)
5. Duncan Robinson, RHSP (AAA - 50-50 chance to be added to the 40 on 11/20)
6. Trevor Megill, RHRP (AAA - 50/50 chance to be added back to the 40 after World Series - has Article XX-D rights & three minor leaguie options left if added back to nthe 40)
7. Dakota Mekkes, RHRP (AAA - 50/50 chance to be added to 40 on 11/20) 
8. Keegan Thompson, RHSP (AAA - 50/50 chance to be added to 40 on 11/20)
9. Brendon Little, LHSP (AA - 50/50 chance to be added to 40 on 11/20)
10. Aramis Ademan, SS (AA- 50/50 chance to be added to 40 on 11/20)
11. Juan Gamez, RHRP (Hi-A - 50/50- chance to be added to 40 pmn 11/20) 
NOTE: The ten players listed above are good candidates to get selected in the Major League Phase of the 2020 MLB Rule 5 Draft if not added to the AAA Iowa reserve list by 11/20 (depending on how many AAA slots the Cubs leave open going into the Rule 5 Draft, there could be as many as 38 Rule 5 Draft-eligible players placed on the AAA Iowa reserve list).
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SECOND-TIER PROSPECT (AAA): 
12. Trent Giambrone, INF-OF 
13. C. D. Pelham, LHP - SWING (0+027 MLB-ST - has Article XX-D rights & two minor league options left if added back to the 40)
14. Wyatt Short, LHRP 
15. Matt Swarmer, RHP - SWING
16. Craig Brooks, RHRP
17. Donnie Dewees, OF
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SECOND-TIER PROSPECT (AA): 
18. Erich Uelmen, RHP - SWING 
19. Ben Hecht, RHRP 
20. Bailey Clark, RHP - SWING 
21. Eddy Julio Marttinez, OF 
22. Javier Assad, RHSP 
23. Jeffrey Passantino, RHP - SWING 
24. Bryan Hudson, LHSP  
25. Jared Young, 1B-OF  
26. Delvin Zinn, INF  
27. Zach Davis, OF 
28. Connor Myers, OF  
29. Tommy Nance, RHRP 
30. Scott Effross, RHRP  
31. Tyler Payne, C  
SECOND-TIER PROSPECT (SINGLE-A)  
32. Jose Albertos RHSP 
33. Cam Balego, C-INF 
34. Yunior Perez, RHSP  
35. Danis Correa, RHSP   
36, Aneuris Rosario, RHRP 
37. Peyton Remy, RHP - SWING  
38. Fernando Kelli, OF  
NOTE: All of the players listed above are good candidates to get selected in the AAA Phase of the 2020 MLB Rule 5 Draft if not added to the AAA Iowa reserve list by 11/20 (depending on how many AAA slots the Cubs leave open going into the Rule 5 Draft, there could be as many as 38 Rule 5 Draft-eligible players placed on the AAA Iowa reserve list).

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Fact is, it is not unusual for veteran players who are added to the MLB 40-man roster during the course of the season to be removed from the 40 when they are no longer of use to the club. For example, RHP Jason Adam, LHP Rex Brothers, LHP Matt Dermody, 2B Jason Kipnis, OF Ian Miller, INF Hernan Perez, C Josh Phegley, and 1B-3B Patrick Wisdom (all eligible to be minor league free-agents post-2020) were added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster just prior to or during the course of the 2020 MLB regular season, although Dermody, Miller, Perez, and Phegley were subsequenjtly outrighted back to the minors and Wisdom was Designated for Assignment prior to the conclusion of the season, and in 2019 RHP Allen Webster, Of-1B Jim Adduci, OF Carlos Gonzalez, LHP Tim Collins, INF Robel Garcia, and LHP Danny Hultzen (all eligible to be minor league free-agents post-2019) were added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster during the course of the 2019 season, although Adduci was outrighted back to AAA in June and elected free-agency aftef the conclusion of the MLB regular season, Webster was outrighted back to Iowa after the season and was declared a Rule 55 minor league 6YFA after the World Series, CarGo and Collins elected to be free-agents after being outrighted in July, and Hultzen was non-tendered in on 12/2. Robel Garcia (a second-contact player signed by the Cubs to a 2019 minor league contract post-2018 and who was added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster in July) was claimed off waivers by the Cincinnati Reds in July 2020.

Besides adding players who are eligible to be minor league free-agents to the 40 during the MLB regular season, a player eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league free-agent (second-contract or 6YFA) is sometimes added to the club's MLB 40-man roster post-World Series just to keep the player from becoming a minor league free-agent, especially if the player declines to sign a minor league successor contract. That's what happened in 2018, when the Cubs added RHRP Matt Carasiti (eligible to be a Rule 55 second-contract minor league FA post-2017) to the 40 after the 2017 World Series to keep him from walking away as a free-agent, although he was released about a month later so that he could pursue an opportunity to pitch for the NPB Tokyo Yakult Swallows in Japan. (The Cubs received a substantial cash payment from the Swallows as the release fee). 

But even if a minor leaguer who is eligible to be a free-agent signs a successor contract, the club might choose to add the player to the MLB 40-man roster because the club doesn't want to risk losing the player in the Rule 5 Draft. In fact this happened in 2016, when LHRP Jack Leathersich (who was eligible to be a Rule 55 second-contract minor league FA post-2016) signed a 2017 minor league successor contract prior to the conclusion of the World Series, only to be added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster on 11/18 so that he would not be eligible for selection in the December 2016 Rule 5 Draft.  

The bottom line is, if a player eligible to be an MLB Rule 55 minor league free-agent (either 6YFA or second-contract FA) is not added to an MLB 40-man roster or does not sign a minor league successor contract by 5 PM Eastern on the 5th day after the final game of the World Series, the player will be automatically declared a free-agent and the player's former club receives no compensation if the player signs elsewhere. So minor leaguers like Jerrick Suiter, Luis Lugo, and Jordan Minch (as well as the other players eligible to be a minor league FA post-2020) have leverage other Cubs minor leaguers do not have. 

As far as players who are eligible for selection in the 2020 Rule 5 Draft are concerned, only one (LHP Brailyn Marquez) was added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster during the 2020 MLB regular season (and that was on the last day of the season!).  

The Cubs did not add players who were Rule 5 Draft eligible to their MLB 40-man roster during the course of the 2019 MLB regular season, but they did add three (RHP Tyson Miller, C Miguel Amaya, and INF Zack Short) to the 40 on 11/20.
NOTE: INF Nico Hoerner was added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster during the 2019 season, but he would not have been eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft until post-2021. 

In 2018, the Cubs added RHRP James Norwood to the 40 during the course of the MLB regular season and LHSP Justin Steele to the 40 on 11/20. By comparison, during the course of the 2017 MLB regular season the Cubs added four players to the 40 (RHP Dylan Floro, RHRP Dillon Maples, RHSP Jen-Ho Tseng, and OF Mark Zagunis) who would have been eligible for selection in the December 2017 Rule 5 Draft, although Floro was subsequently claimed off waivers by the Los Angeles Dodgers. 
NOTE: INF-OF Ian Happ was also added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster during the 2017 season, but he would not have been eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft until post-2018. 

The Cubs then added three more post-2017 Rule 5 Draft-eligibles (RHSP Adbert Alzolay, INF David Bote, and RHSP Oscar de la Cruz) to the 40 on 11/20 of 2017, Bote after hitting a robust 333/395/536 for the Mesa Solar Sox in the post-season Arizona Fall League. (It's not unusual for the Cubs to assign a Rule 5 Draft-eligible player to the Arizona Fall League, as the AFL is often used as a "proving ground" for pitchers and position-players who are under consideration for promotion to an MLB 40-man roster). 
NOTE: Prior to 2019, players who were eligible to be MLB Rule 55 minor league free-agents after the World Series could not be assigned to the AFL unless the player had either been added to an MLB 40-man roster or had agreed to a minor league successor contract, but with the AFL season now starting and ending three weeks earlier than in prior years, the AFL season will end prior to MLB Rule 55 minor league players becoming free-agents, and so players eligible to be MLB Rule 55 minor leaguers five days after the final game of the World Series can play in the AFL even if the player has not signed a minor league successor contract).
 

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MLB RULE 5 DRAFT:  

The MLB Rule 5 Draft is held on the 2nd Thursday in December and is presently the last order of business at the MLB WINTER MEETINGS. 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 (any minor league classification) for $100,000 ("Major League Phase" Rule 5 Draft price increased from $50,000 to $100,000 beginning with the December 2016 draft), and 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 (below AAA) for $24,000 (Rule 5 "AAA Phase" draft price increased from $12,000 to $24,000 beginning with the December 2016 draft). 
NOTE: Effective December 2016, the "AA Phase" (where a club's AA minor league affiliate could select Rule 5 Draft-eligible players off the reserve lists of minor league clubs of a classification below AA for $4,000) has been eliminated.

There is no limit on the number of rounds in each phase (there could be one, there could be three, there could be five or more). As long as at least one club is still selecting players, the phase will continue, but as soon as all 30 teams have a full reserve list (so that clubs can no longer make selections) or have passed, the phase is over.

There is no limit on the number of Rule 5 Draft-eligible players any one organization can lose in a Rule 5 Draft.


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 following his first qualified season, 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 following his first qualified season.

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 (even if he signs prior to the Rule 5 Draft), the next season is considered to be the player's "first qualified season" for Rule 5 eligibility purposes. (Depending on the minor league, the conclusion of a minor league club's season could be as early as the first week of August, or as late as the second week of September).

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 a 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.
NOTE: A club might do this if the club is planning to release the player during the off-season. 

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.  

CUBS MINOR LEAGUERS ELIGIBLE FOR SELECTION IN 2020 RULE 5 DRAFT (last updated 10-15-2020)
Cory Abbott, RHP 
Aramis Ademan, INF 
Maikel Aguiar, RHP 
Jose Albertos, RHP 
Javier Assad, RHP 
Cam Balego, C-INF
Craig Brooks, RHP 
Jesus Camargo, RHP
Bailey Clark, RHP
Danis Correa, RHP 
Yovanny Cuevas, OF 
Zach Davis, OF
Donnie Dewees, OF
Christian Donahue, INF 
Scott Effross, RHP 
Juan Gamez, RHP (signed 2021minor league contract)
Trent Giambrone, IF-OF
Jose Gutierrez, OF 
Ben Hecht, RHP 
Ferrol Heredia, LHP 
P. J. Higgins, C-INF
Bryan Hudson, LHP  
Brandon Hughes, LHP (ex-OF) 
Ryan Kellogg, LHP 
Fernando Kelli, OF 
Brendon Little, LHP 
Eddy Julio Martinez, OF 
Hector Matos, RHP (Restricted List)
Trever Megill, RHP (Article XX-D player) 
Fidel Mejia, INF 
Dakota Mekkes, RHP
Christopher Morel, INF 
Connor Myers, OF 
Tommy Nance, RHP 
Carlos Ocampo, RHP 
Jeffrey Passantino, RHP 
Tyler Payne, C
C. D. Pelham, LHP (Article XX-D player) 
Raymond Pena, C
Henderson Perez, C 
Yunior Perez, RHP 
Yonathan Perlaza, INF 
Gustavo Polanco, C-1B   
Eury Ramos, RHP 
Peyton Remy, RHP 
Duncan Robinson, RHP 
Aneuris Rosario, RHP
Michael Rucker, RHP (Article XX-D player)  
Wyatt Short, LHP 
Jonathan Sierra, OF 
Matt Swarmer, RHP 
Keegan Thompson, RHP 
Erich Uelmen, RHP 
Didier Vargas, LHP 
D. J. Wilson, OF 
Jared Young, 1B-OF 
Delvin Zinn, INF 

Additionally, a free-agent who signs a 2021 minor league contract prior to the 2020 Rule 5 Draft or a minor league player who is eligible to be a minor league free-agent post-2020 but who signs a minor league successor contract prior to becoming a free-agent will be eligible for selection in the 2020 Rule 5 Draft 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 following his first qualified season, 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 following his first qualified season.

MLB RULE 55 FREE-AGENT POST-2020 WORLD SERIES

SIX-YEAR MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENTS
Corey Black, RHP
Erick Castillo, C 
Eric Gonzalez, C
Luke Hagerty, LHP (Article XX-D player)
Danny Hultzen, LHP (Article XX-D player)
Luis Lugo, LHP
Ivan Medina, RHP
Jordan Minch, LHP
Erling Moreno, RHP  
Tyler Olson, LHP (Article XX-D player) 
Josh Osich, LHP (Article XX-D player) 
Eugenio Palma, LHP
Hernan Perez, INF-OF (Article XIX-A player) 
Pedro Strop, RHP (Article XIX-A player)
Jerrick Suiter, RHP/1B  
Jerry Vasto, LHP (Article XX-D player)
Joe Wieland, RHP (Article XX-D player) 
Mark Zagunis, OF (Article XX-D player)

SECOND CONTRACT MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS (see NOTES below)
Aneudis Beard RHP (previously released by TEX)
Garrett Kelly, RHP (previously released by MIN)
Ryan Lawlor, LHP (previously released by ATL)
Jorge Ramirez, LHP (previously released by TEX)
Juan Vasquez, C (previously released by SD)
Vance Vizcaino, OF (previously released by KC)
SECOND CONTRACT MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS NOTES:
NOTE-1: With mutual consent (player & club), a second-contract minor league player who has accrued fewer than seven minor league seasons can be signed to a multi-year minor league contract with club control extending up through the player's seventh minor league season.
NOTE-2: RHP Aneudis Beard (previously released by TEX) and LHP Jorge Ramirez (previously released by TEX) are second-contract minor league players, but neither of the them is eligible for selection in the 2020 Rule 5 Draft if signed beyond 2020.

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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 minor league reserve lists on November 20th (or November 19th if November 20th falls on a Saturday or November 18th if November 20th falls on a Sunday) up through the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft.

2. A Rule 5 Draft-eligible player cannot be sent outright to the minors beginning at 5 PM (Eastern) on the third day prior to 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 affiliate must have as many slots open on its reserve list prior to the AAA Phase of the draft as the number of players the affiliate selects in the AAA Phase. 

4. 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.
NOTE: This actually happened at least once a number of years ago, after a club (Atlanta Braves) inadvertently left one of its top prospects off its MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) when minor league reserve lists were submitted to the MLB Commissioner on November 20th.

5. 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 (such as by concocting a phony injury and placing the player on the Injured List in an attempt to decrease a player's value when the player is not really injured). Also, a player selected in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft cannot be "hidden" to help the drafting club fulfill Rule 5 roster obligations (such as by leaving the player on the Injured List after he is healthy enough to play). 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 an Injured List, the offending club or clubs are subject to a penalty (TBD by the MLB Commissioner).

Comments

November 3, vote!

Crunch, thanks. I can be a jerk at times, but you bailed me out. Btw I'm the whitest white boy (who grew up next to Wrigley and also worked at my dad's warehouse next to Cabrini Green). I'm truly ashamed of this president. I don't believe anyone sane wants more of him. Go Cubs!! I miss Bobby Dernier's first home run against the Padres. 

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

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

Q got his stiches removed...gonna play catch tomorrow...it probably won't be as good as the end of Field of Dreams, though.

mid-july and watching pre-spring training scrimage games (no cubs tonight) because that's so 2020 and we're doing 2020.

the piped-in "ambient crowd noise" isn't that bad most of the time.

it's weird when some team's broadcasts amp up some cheers into the mix or raise the volume when "action" is happening, though.  if they do it for homers it's gonna be really weird with all the noise and empty stands.  i think we're all in for weird.  it's 2020.

the dodgers feed currently has their announce team going over the fine art of implimenting the "no spitting" rule and how it's okay to spit in the OF and sometimes on the IF depending on distance from others, but not in the dugout even with proper social distancing.  yeah, dawg.  2020.

...has the video board been showing the wild bullpen dancing on HR's?

that should be interesting.  no idea what's up with any cubs stuff.

they're not showing any of the cubs scrimages because...i dunno.

wsox/cubs on sunday...spring training...the real thing gets going 7/24 (friday) with the brewers in town.

k.hendricks is the cubs opening day starter.

Baseball America confirms that 2020 will be considered a "qualified season" for the purposes of determining minor league free agency.

https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/2020-milb-free-agents-eligible-for-free-agency-this-fall/

jdrnym: A player being on the Restricted List for a full season makes that season not a qualified season toward minor league free-agency, so will Mark Zagunis (who otherwise would be eligible to be a minor league 6YFA for the first time post-2020) being on the Restricted List as the result of opting-out of the 2020 season (he was assigned to the Cubs MLB Club Player Pool in July) keep him from being a minor league 6YFA post-2020? If not, then Zagunis needs to opt back in even if he is no longer assigned to the Cubs MLB Club Player Pool. 

Also, will the 2020 season be considered a "full season" as far as the five "full seasons" required before a player no longer qualifies for a 4th minor league option year? In order for a season to count, a player must spend at least 90 days on an MLB and/or minor league Active List roster(s) or at least 30 days on Active List roster(s) followed by time spent on the IL that together equals at least 90 days in order for that year to count as a "full season." If a player on an MLB 40-man roster uses up his third minor league option year before accruing five "full seasons," the player qualifies for a 4th minor league option year. tIS WILL Affect a number of playersx who could get as 4th minor league option year if the 2020 season is considered yo be less than 90 days (which it is in fact, but it might not counted that way).   

And finally, a player's eligibility for the Rule 5 Draft is determined by when the player signs his first contract. If the player signs his first contract prior to the conclusion of the minor league season of the minor league affiliate to which he is first assigned then that season counts as the player's "first qualified season" toward being eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft (three or four years later). But if a player signs his first contract after the conclusion of the minor league season of the minor league affiliate to which he is first assigned then the next season is considered to be the player's "first qualified season" toward being eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft. Since there was no minor league season in 2020, can the 2020 season be considered a "first qualified season" for any player who signed his first contract anytime this season (whether it be in April, May, June, July, or August)? If 2020 cannot be a "first qualified season" no matter when the player signed, then that will delay the eventual Rule 5 Draft eligibility for any player who signed his first contract in 2020 by a year. 

With the minor leagues prepped for a major downsizing, consolidation, and overhaul (especially the "short-season" affiliates), and with the increasing use of video scouting, the Cubs have let-go of a number of their scouts and short-season and Extended Spring Training minor league field staff, including AZL Cubs Blue manager & EXST Field Coordinator Carmelo Martinez, AZL Cubs Red manager Jimmy Gonzalez, DSL Cubs Red manager Leo Perez, AZL Cubs Blue & EXST hitting coach Jacob Rogers, AZL Cubs Red assistant coach & EXST infield coach Carlos Rojas, South Bend Assistant Hitting Coachy Ricardo Medina, Assistant Director of Amateur Scouting Lukas McKnight (2nd in command in thye Amateur Scouting Dept.), Director of Dominican Operations Jose Serra, Venezuelan Scouting Director Hector Ortega, and area scouts Marino Encarnacion (DR), Keith Lockhart (No. GA/No. SC), and John Koronka (Central FL).

This is just the beginning. There will be more to come. (Several trainers and strength coaches will also be cut).  

It's almost for sure that the Cubs advanced short-season affiliate in Eugene will be moved to the AZL, with the ex-Eugene affiliate becoming the "advanced" AZL team (probably AZL Cubs Blue) with AZL Cubs Red (probably) retained as the only "rookie" AZL team (as the AZL itself would be split into two levels, one advanced, and one rookie), and it's also possible that the two DSL Cubs teams will be combined and cut-back to just one (but that's still TBD). Whether the Cubs operate one or two AZL teams will depend upon how many of the MLB organizations with affiliates in the AZL are interested in operating both an advanced and a rookie team in the AZL, and whether the Cubs operate one or two teams in the DSL will probably depend upon whether they operate one or two teams in the AZL (so probably no more than three teams combined between the AZL and the DSL).   

Meanwhile, the Northwest League (including Eugene) will survive and in fact it is expected to be upgraded to a full season Lo-A league for the western MLB organizations (AZ, COL, LAA, LAD, OAK, SEA, and SF). The Pioneer League, the Appalachian League, and the Florida State League are the expected minor league casualties, although it's possible that some of the  PL, Appy, and FSL clubs (the most successful ones) will survive and be transferred to one of the other remaining leagues.  

OF Ian Miller (outrighted to the minors on 9/3) elected free-agency just prior to the 10/15 deadline, and the Cubs have signed RHRP Juan Gamez (who they released on 9/9) to a 2021 minor league contract. 

Of the 11 new guys, I'm leaning on Marino Sandy and Jerry Torres to be the most likely to reach full-season ball or get traded 

TIM: If nothing else, signing a boatload of IFA (35) in the 2019-20 ISP is a pretty good indicator that the Cubs fully intend to run two DSL teams into the forseeable future. 

That's as good of news as we'll get for awhile.

Has it been announced whether there will be a DR winter league this winter?

yup, they're gonna try.  starts in about a month.

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  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 21 min ago (view)

    Someone to keep an eye on in 2021 is RHP (ex-1B) Jerrick Suiter. 

    He was selected by the Cubs from the Pirates in the AAA Phase of the 2019 Rule 5 Draft and the Cubs  immediately converted him from a mediocre AA first-baseman to a full-time pitcher, having seen him throw garbage innings in blow-outs for the Pirates AA Altoona affiliate in 2019.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 3 hours 57 min ago (view)

    Good to see Roederer and Velasquez  providing some production. From what I've followed they haven't been up to much. Granted this season isn't great for development

     

  • Arizona Phil 8 hours 4 sec ago (view)

    The Cubs have added OF Brennen Davis to their AZIL Active List roster. 

     

  • crunch 9 hours 22 min ago (view)

    "He's a strong kid and shows a lot of HR power in BP and it's just a matter of making it game-usable."

    reggie golden flashblacks...if BP was a game he'd be an all-star.

     

  • Arizona Phil 10 hours 16 min ago (view)

    Unfortunately for the Cubs, all of their Top 10 position-player prospects (M. Amaya, Davis, Hearn, Howard, Made, C. Morel, R. Morel, Quintero, Roederer, and Strumpf -- listed alphabetically) are two or more years away from the big leagues, in most cases more like three or four or even five years away. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 10 hours 32 min ago (view)

    TIM: One of the things people wonder about when they see a young shortstop for the first time is does he have the arm and range necessary to play SS or would his tools maybe be better suited for 2B, 3B or OF. So far at Instructs Kevin Made has shown all of the attributes of a SS, and he is an advanced hitter (for his age) as well. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 11 hours 10 min ago (view)

    AZBOBBOP: Ethan Hearn showed off his plus-arm by back-picking a runner off 1st base last week. You don't see catchers with the confidence to attempt pick-offs much out here. 

    He's a strong kid and shows a lot of HR power in BP and it's just a matter of making it game-usable. His hitting (contact and barreling) has improved at instructs, and that's one of the things he needed to improve.

    His receiving should improve with experience as well. 

     

  • azbobbop 1 day 16 min ago (view)

    Phil, saw Ethan Hearn with a couple of hits today. How has he been trending?

     

  • tim815 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    That Kevin Made is already representing offensively seems, on the 1 to 10 scale with 10 being fantastic news, in the 17 or 18 range.

    Nwogu in the 9 to 11 span.

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 9 hours ago (view)

    For those of you wondering about catcher Ronnier Quintero (the Cubs #1 IFA signing in the 2019-20 ISP), he participates fully in pre-game and Camp Day work-outs and he catches bullpens, and while he has been the bullpen catcher at every AZIL game he has not yet played in a game.

    As a catcher he has a lot to learn, and the Cubs would prefer that Quintero mainly concentrates on receiving and learning how to work with pitchers right now. He can learn about hitting and baserunning later. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 10 hours ago (view)

    In adition to the 22 pitchers originally on the Cubs AZIL Active List roster plus RHP Manuel Rodriguez (right biceps strain last March) and LHP Brad Wieck (wearing a brace on his left knee) who are on the Cubs MLB 60-day IL and are rehabbing at AZIL, the Cubs have added four additional pitchers to their AZIL Active List roster:  

    RHP Josh Burgmann 
    RHP Chris Clarke 
    LHP D. J. Herz
    RHP Michael McAvene 

     

  • Charlie 3 days 6 hours ago (view)

    This is weird. He seemed well liked and shifting him to another role would've made just as much sense.

     

  • bradsbeard 3 days 11 hours ago (view)

    I'd say the only guys who struggled all season were Baez and Bryant. Willson struggled for a lot of August but was one of the few who hit in September. Most of the team hit well in 2019 (including Baez and Bryant before injuries derailed them). I don't know if there's any reason to blame Ipoce in particular for the September slump. 

     

  • crunch 4 days 1 hour ago (view)

    iapoce expected to stay.  i'm surprised.  i know it's a weird/short season, but it was a season-long slump for a lot of guys and answers weren't showing up.

     

  • crunch 4 days 2 hours ago (view)

    i eagerly await the espn 10 part mini-series "Rafael Palmeiro, More Like Rafael Baseballmerio" covering those 28 legendary games.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 4 days 2 hours ago (view)

    In fairness those 28 games he played at 1B were breathtaking that year