Projected Cubs 2021 Spring Training Roster

UPDATED 12/2

There will no doubt be trades, MLB and minor league free-agent signings, waiver claims, perhaps even a Rule 5 Draft pick, some non-tenders on 12/2, and maybe one or more Cubs minor leaguers will get taken in the Rule 5 Draft, but - AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW - here is the preliminary projected Cubs Spring Training roster:  

34 players presently are on MLB RESERVE LIST (six slots are open)
30 projected NON-ROSTER INVITEES (NRI) 

Last updated 12-2-2020
 
* bats or throws left
# bats both

MLB PITCHERS: 21
Cory Abbott 
Jason Adam
Adbert Alzolay
Yu Darvish
Kyle Hendricks 
Craig Kimbrel
Dillon Maples
* Brailyn Marquez
Tyson Miller 
Alec Mills
James Norwood
Colin Rea
Manuel Rodriguez 
* Kyle Ryan
* Justin Steele
Robert Stock
Keegan Thompson
Duane Underwood Jr
* Brad Wieck 
Rowan Wick 
Dan Winkler

NRI PITCHERS: 17 
Craig Brooks
* Rex Brothers 
* Burl Carraway 
Juan Gamez 
Ryan Jensen 
Jake Jewell 
* Luis Lugo 
Trevor Megill
Dakota Mekkes
* Josh Osich 
* Jack Patterson 
Duncan Robinson
Michael Rucker  
* Wyatt Short 
Riley Thompson 
* Jerry Vasto 
Joe Wieland

++++++++++++

CATCHERS: 3  
Miguel Amaya
# Victor Caratini
Willson Contreras

NRI CATCHERS: 3  
# Taylor Gushue 
P. J. Higgins 
Tyler Payne 

+++++++++++++++

INFIELDERS: 8 
Javy Baez  
David Bote
Kris Bryant
Nico Hoerner
Christopher Morel
* Anthony Rizzo
* Max Schrock 
# Ildemaro Vargas

NRI INFIELDERS: 5 : 
Abiatal Avelino 
Trent Giambrone 
Hernan Perez 
* Alfonso Rivas
Chase Strumpf

++++++++++++++++++++

OUTFIELDERS: 2 
# Ian Happ
* Jason Heyward

NRI OUTFIELDERS: 5 
Brennen Davis  
Michael Hermosillo
Eddy Julio Martinez 
* Ian Miller 
* Rafael Ortega 
 

Comments

Jack Patterson, yes.

Cool concept.

no, joe patterson.

cubs 27th round pick from 1972 found a little something extra in his arm and he's making a comeback as a pitcher at age 70.  this is how you do moneyball 2021...we don't need theo...he's irrelevant now.

1970s pitchers are a market inefficiency

there are currently 0 signed...so it's an untapped market ripe for picking the best of the best.

well, bill 'spaceman' lee is probably out there pitching for a low-level Cuban team being paid in weed or something similar.

The "Big Three" Cubs first-time Rule 5 Draft-eligibles post-2021 will be RHSP Riley Thompson, 1B-LF Alfonso Rivas, and LHSP Jack Patterson (at least as far as things stand right now), so they will need to be scrutinized as much as possible during the course of the 2021 season (including at MLB Spring Training); That's why those three (in particular) need to get an NRI.  

As Jed is promoted to President of Baseball Ops, then when will be expect a formal announcement of who the "official" GM is?

i haven't even heard a rumor...which is interesting since "virtual" winter meetings start in a couple weeks.

surprised dan kantrovitz hasn't been named "interim GM" or something...which makes me wonder how wide of a net they're casting to fill the position.  he was snagged from the A's and was an assistant GM there (and director of scouting for STL).

Waiting for Ryan Pace to be available.  He should be a week from tomorrow.

https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/19-mlb-pro...

BA's list of 19 prospects who impressed at Instructs. One Cub:

Chase Strumpf, 2B, Cubs

Strumpf began showing opposite-field home run power during instructs while maintaining the calm, controlled approach extolled by scouts since he was drafted. He led all Cubs' hitters in hits, runs, home runs and OPS and showed just enough defensive ability to solidify his longstanding projection as a potential bat-first, everyday second baseman.

Jed Hoyer gets a new 5 yr contract that runs through 2025 season. 

minor league hitting coordinator chris valaika moves up assistant hitting instructor for the big league team.

looks like a.iapoce's job is safe.

With Tepera non-tendered and Winkler, Ryan, and Rea signed, the Cubs 2021 Opening Day bullpen (right now) would appear to be Kimbrel (clearly not tradeable), Wick (virtual lock), Winkler (can't be optioned without his consent), Underwood (out of minor league options), and Maples (out of minor league options), and then three from amongst Adam, Norwood, Rea, Ryan, Stock, and Wieck (each of whom can be optioned back & forth to AAA as needed). And that's presuming the MLB Opening Day roster limit is 26 with a maximum of 13 pitchers, which it might not be (it could be 27 or 28 and/or no max roster limit vis-a-vis pitchers).   

 And with six slots open on the 40, the Cubs can go crazy this off-season with mucho waiver claims (like Robert Stock), Rule 5 Draft picks, and/or acquiring DFA'd relievers (for cash or marginal prospects) if they so desire. 

I would think that both Colin Rea and Kyle Ryan must have signed contracts with minor league split salaries, otherwise I doubt very much that they would have been tendered. 

Besides the guys on the 40, Cubs 2021 NRI relievers with a legit chance to win a bullpen slot in Spring Training include LHRPs Josh Osich and Rex Brothers, and RHRPs Jake Jewell, Trevor Megill, Dakota Mekkes, Michael Rucker, and Joe Wieland (presuming they are not taken in the Rule 5 Draft). 

Brothers and Wieland are out of minor league options, however, so if added to the 40 they could not ride the "Chicago - Des Moines Shuttle" like the others could. 

At least as things stand right now, Kris Bryant is your Cubs de facto 2021 Opening Day LF! (Of course we know he will be traded before then...). 

Otherwise, minor league NRI outfielders Ian Miller, Michael Hermosillo, and Rafael Ortega will be competing for Opening Day OF slots, with a legit shot to win a job.

Even Alfonso Rivas (who was hitting rockets from foul line to foul line at AZ Instructs) and/or Eddy Julio Martinez (who has had a very good winter in the Mexican Pacific League) might have a shot.  

I really hope Rivas has a chance at the LF job. Would ease some of the sting of Schwarber being cut loose. 

I hadn't thought of that but I really like that option

Alfonso Rivas reminds me a bit of Rafael Palmeiro when Palmeiro first came up to the big leagues and was a "doubles machine" (before he started hitting home runs).   

Rivas played D-1 baseball at the University of Arizona, so (just like Nico Hoerner, who also played in the PAC-12) I don't think he needs a lot of additional time at AAA before he's ready for MLB. He's a very advanced hitter, as long as you are OK with lots of doubles & lots of walks but not many HR.   

BTW, Rivas was a two-way player in college (1B / LHRP) so he definitely has enough arm for LF, but his fly ball tracking needs work. (He spent a lot of time in LF at AZ Instructs, possibly because the Cubs were already planning to move-on from Schwarber as their LF). Rivas is very good at 1B, though, just in case the Cubs are unable to sign Rizzo to an extension.    

Keep in mind that Rivas is eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft for the first time post-2021 (and he's a virtual lock to get added to the 40), so if the Cubs think he's ready he could get called up to MLB at any time in 2021 without too much of a second thought. 

2B Chase Strumpf (another PAC-12 guy who was very impressive at Instructs) could be ready for MLB pretty soon, too (although he's not Rule 5 Draft eligible until post-2022, so his ETA is probably more like sometime in 2022).  

Rivas and Strumpf are the most advanced legit Cubs MLB position player prospects. They are just like the kind of polished D-1 college position player guys the Cardinals are always bringing up seemingly out of nowhere (like Carpenter, DeJong, Edman, Wong, Piscotty, Bader, Knizner, Voit, et al).   

Do you have any idea why Rivas and Strumpf weren't at the alternate site in South Bend? I thought Rivas especially showed enough in ST games to be viewed as a legitimate depth option, especially with the DH. 

BRADSBEARD: Strumpf was wearing a cast on his hand in Minor League Camp before everything got shut-down in March so his not being at South Bend might have had something to do with that. I don't know why Rivas wasn't at the ATS. 

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  • Charlie 59 min 56 sec ago (view)

    I would be happy to see the Cubs no longer spend DH time on Victor Caratini. Provided there's a Kyle Schwarber or better alternative, of course.

     

  • Arizona Phil 9 hours 2 min ago (view)

    DJL: I don't think Ildemaro Vargas being out of minor league options is much of a concern to the Cubs because as things stand right now he projects as the team's primary utility infielder in 2021. He can play all four INF positions (1B, 2B, 3B, and SS, plus corner OF, too), and he is switch hitter with some pop, especially from the right side (remember the 9th inning HR he hit off Josh Hader in September?). 

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 9 hours 45 min ago (view)

    I'm a little surprised Ildemaro Vargas was tendered, given that he's out of options. He has value and isn't expensive as he is pre-arb this year, but still a bit surprised. Have to think he's got an inside track to an Opening Day spot at this point

     

  • waveland 18 hours 31 min ago (view)

    really appreciate the years and years of your updates

     

  • Arizona Phil 20 hours 25 min ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: Strumpf was wearing a cast on his hand in Minor League Camp before everything got shut-down in March so his not being at South Bend might have had something to do with that. I don't know why Rivas wasn't at the ATS. 

     

  • bradsbeard 21 hours 9 min ago (view)

    Do you have any idea why Rivas and Strumpf weren't at the alternate site in South Bend? I thought Rivas especially showed enough in ST games to be viewed as a legitimate depth option, especially with the DH. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 21 hours 44 min ago (view)

    Alfonso Rivas reminds me a bit of Rafael Palmeiro when Palmeiro first came up to the big leagues and was a "doubles machine" (before he started hitting home runs).   

    Rivas played D-1 baseball at the University of Arizona, so (just like Nico Hoerner, who also played in the PAC-12) I don't think he needs a lot of additional time at AAA before he's ready for MLB. He's a very advanced hitter, as long as you are OK with lots of doubles & lots of walks but not many HR.   

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 22 hours 46 min ago (view)

    I hadn't thought of that but I really like that option

     

  • bradsbeard 22 hours 52 min ago (view)

    I really hope Rivas has a chance at the LF job. Would ease some of the sting of Schwarber being cut loose. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 22 hours 52 min ago (view)

    CRUNCH: I got the impression that Ross had seen enough of Schwarber in LF, so implementing the universal DH may be necessary before Schwarber returns to the Cubs in 2021. I think the Cubs would be fine with Schwarber as their main DH going forward. 

    BTW, I strongly suspect that the universal DH will be included in the next CBA, but whether there will be a DH in the National League in 2021 is still TBA (which is really stupid, since clubs need to know right now for sure one way or the other whether or not there will be a DH in the N. L. in 2021). 

     

  • Arizona Phil 23 hours 4 min ago (view)

    Besides the guys on the 40, Cubs 2021 NRI relievers with a legit chance to win a bullpen slot in Spring Training include LHRPs Josh Osich and Rex Brothers, and RHRPs Jake Jewell, Trevor Megill, Dakota Mekkes, Michael Rucker, and Joe Wieland (presuming they are not taken in the Rule 5 Draft). 

    Brothers and Wieland are out of minor league options, however, so if added to the 40 they could not ride the "Chicago - Des Moines Shuttle" like the others could. 

     

  • crunch 23 hours 10 min ago (view)

    i am rooting for the cubs to retain schwarber.

    even though he's average on the best of days in LF (except his above average arm), i would like to see him and his work ethic remain in the cubs system...the homers from the left side of the plate are nice, too.

     

  • Arizona Phil 23 hours 32 min ago (view)

    At least as things stand right now, Kris Bryant is your Cubs de facto 2021 Opening Day LF! (Of course we know he will be traded before then...). 

    Otherwise, minor league NRI outfielders Ian Miller, Michael Hermosillo, and Rafael Ortega will be competing for Opening Day OF slots, with a legit shot to win a job.

    Even Alfonso Rivas (who was hitting rockets from foul line to foul line at AZ Instructs) and/or Eddy Julio Martinez (who has had a very good winter in the Mexican Pacific League) might have a shot.  

     

  • Arizona Phil 23 hours 34 min ago (view)

    I would think that both Colin Rea and Kyle Ryan must have signed contracts with minor league split salaries, otherwise I doubt very much that they would have been tendered. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 23 hours 46 min ago (view)

    With Tepera non-tendered and Winkler, Ryan, and Rea signed, the Cubs 2021 Opening Day bullpen (right now) would appear to be Kimbrel (clearly not tradeable), Wick (virtual lock), Winkler (can't be optioned without his consent), Underwood (out of minor league options), and Maples (out of minor league options), and then three from amongst Adam, Norwood, Rea, Ryan, Stock, and Wieck (each of whom can be optioned back & forth to AAA as needed).

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 5 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have signed RHSP Colin Rea, LHRP Kyle Ryan, and RHRP Dan Winkler to 2021 MLB contracts (terms TBD) and tendered 2021 MLB contracts to all other unsigned players on their MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) except OF Albert Almora, OF-1B Jose Martinez, OF Kyle Schwarber, and RHRP Ryan Tepera.

    So Almora, J. Martinez, Schwarber, and Tepera are now unrestricted free-agents, free to sign an MLB or minor league contract with any club (including the Cubs) without any salary restrictions.   

    The Cubs MLB Reserve List now stands at 34 (six slots are open).