Cubs 2021 Rule 5 Draft & Minor League Free-Agent Watch List
As things stand right now...
60 Cubs minor leaguers are eligible for selection in the December 2021 MLB Rule 5 Draft, and 37 Cubs minor leaguers (21 post-2021 6YFA and 16 2021 second-contract players) are eligible to be declared MLB Rule 9 (formerly known as MLB Rule 55) minor league free-agents at 5 PM Eastern on the 5th day after the final game of the 2021 World Series (or at 5 PM Eastern on October 15th if the 2021 World Series is cancelled).
In addition, INF Andrew Romine was assigned outright to the minors on 9/8, and because he has Article XIX-A status (he has accrued at least five years of MLB Service Time) he had the right to elect free-agency upon being outrighted, or else accept the outright assignment and defer the right to elect free-agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season (he had 48 hours to decide).
Among the notable Cubs first-time Rule 5 Draft eligibles post-2021 are RHPs Derek Casey, Yovanny Cruz, Luis Devers, Manuel Espinoza, Jeremiah Estrada, Gabriel Jaramillo, Eduarniel Nunez, Ethan Roberts, Benjamin Rodriguez, Cam Sanders, and Riley Thompson, LHPs Chris Allen, Jack Patterson, and Luis Angel Rodriguez, INFs Fabian Pertuz, Yeison Santana, Luis Vazquez, Luis Verdugo, and Andy Weber, and OFs Edmond Americaan and Nelson Velazquez. From amongst this group, Roberts (likely), Velazquez, Estrada, R. Thompson, and Y. Cruz (on the bubble), and Patterson and Sanders (outside shot) probably have the best chance to get added to the 40 on 11/19 (the roster filing deadline will be a day earlier than usual in 2021 because 11/20 falls on a Saturday), although it's too early right now to say which ones will and which ones will not be added. But whichever ones of the pitchers and position players listed above are not added to the 40 on 11/19 will very likely be placed on the AAA Iowa reserve list so that they will be eligible for selection in the Major League Phase of the Rule Draft only.
Some of the noteworthy Cubs minor leaguers who were eligible for selection in the 2020 Rule 5 Draft and who will be eligible again in 2021 include RHPs Javier Assad, Danis Correa, Dakota Mekkes, Carlos Ocampo, Peyton Remy, Erich Uelmen, and Dauris Valdez, LHPs Brandon Hughes and Brendon Little, 1B- OF Jared Young, INF Delvin Zinn, and OFs Zach Davis and Yonathan Perlaza. J. Young (on the bubble) and Correa, Hughes, B. Little, and Mekkes (outside shot) are the ones from this group who could possibly get added to the 40 by the November deadline.
The noteworthy Cubs minor leaguers who will be eligible to be a Rule 9 minor league free-agent for the first time post-2021 (if the player is not added to the 40 or signs a 2022 minor league successor contract prior to being declared a 6YFA at 5 PM Eastern on the 5th day after the final game of the World Series) are RHP Dakota Chalmers, LHP Bryan Hudson, and RHP Eury Ramos.
Among Cubs minor leaguers eligible to be minor league free-agents again post-2021, LHP Luis Lugo is the most noteworthy. He signed a 2021 minor league successor contracts post-2020, and he has an outside shot to get added to the 40 if he declines to sign another successor contract post-2021.
NOTE: If not added to the MLB 40-man roster, the players underlined and in bold green below will likely be placed on the 38-man AAA Iowa reserve list on 11/19 so that they will be eligible for selection only in the Major League Phase of the 2021 Rule 5 Draft
CUBS MINOR LEAGUERS ELIGIBLE FOR SELECTION IN 2021 RULE 5 DRAFT (last updated 10-3-2021)
Jose Albertos, RHP
Chris Allen, LHP
Edmond Americaan, OF
Shendrik Apostel, 1B
D. J. Artis, OF
Javier Assad, RHP
Cam Balego, C-INF
Craig Bro0oks, RHP (on Restricted List)
Jesus Camargo,. RHP (on Restricted List)
Derek Casey, RHP
Danis Correa, RHP
Yovanny Cruz, RHP
Zach Davis, OF
Luis Devers, RHP
Christian Donahue, INF
Tyler Durna, 1B
Manuel Espinoza, RHP
Jeremiah Estrada, RHP
Miguel Fabrizio, C-1B
Kelvin Feliz, RHP
Reivaj Garcia, INF
Jose Miguel Gonzalez, RHP
Ben Hecht, RHP
Brandon Hughes, LHP (ex-OF)
Josue Huma, INF
Gabriel Jaramillo, RHP
Widimer Joaquin, INF
Levi Jordan, INF
Caleb Knight, C
Brendon Little, LHP
Dakota Mekkes, RHP
Eduarniel Nunez, RHP
Carlos Ocampo, RHP
Jack Patterson, LHP
Yonathan Perlaza, OF (ex-INF)
Fabian Pertuz, INF
Jake Reindl, RHP
Jorge Remon, RHP
Peyton Remy, RHP
Samuel Reyes, RHP
Ethan Roberts, RHP
Benjamin Rodriguez, RHP
Luis Angel Rodriguez, LHP
Cam Sanders, RHP
Yeison Santana, INF
Wyatt Short, LHP
Jonathan Sierra, OF
Jake Slaughter, INF-OF
Matt Swarmer, RHP
Riley Thompson, RHP
Erich Uelmen, RHP
Dauris Valdez, RHP
Didier Vargas, LHP
Luis Vazquez, INF
Nelson Velazquez, OF
Luis Verdugo, INF
Andy Weber, INF
Blake Whitney, RHP
Jared Young, 1B-OF
Delvin Zinn, INF
Additionally, a free-agent who signs a 2022 minor league contract prior to the 2021 Rule 5 Draft 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.
NOTE: If signed to a 2022 minor league successor contract and not added to the MLB 40-man roster, the players underlined and in bold green below will likely be placed on the 38-man AAA Iowa reserve list on 11/19 so that they will be eligible for selection only in the Major League Phase of the 2021 Rule 5 Draft.
ELIGIBLE TO BE ARTICLE XIX-A FREE-AGENT AFTER CONCLUSION OF MLB REGULAR SEASON:
Andrew Romine, INF
ELIGIBLE TO BE ARTICLE XX-B FREE-AGENT AFTER CONCLUSION OF MLB REGULAR SEASON:
MLB RULE 9 FREE-AGENT POST-2021 WORLD SERIES
SIX-YEAR MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENTS:
Jose Almonte, RHP
Abiatal Avelino, INF (Article XX-D player) - one minor league option left in 2021
James Bourque, RHP (Article XX-D player) - one minor league option left in 2021
Dakota Chalmers, RHP (Article XX-D player - see NOTE-2) - two minor league options left in 2021
Yovanny Cuevas, OF(see NOTE-2)
Donnie Dewees, OF (see NOTE-2)
Taylor Gushue, C (Article XX-D player) - three minor league options left in 2021
Mike Hauschild, RHP (Article XX-D player) - two minor league options left in 2021
Ben Holmes, LHP
Bryan Hudson, LHP (see NOTE-2)
Ryan Lawlor, LHP (see NOTE-2)
Luis Lugo, LHP
Dillon Maples, RHP (Article XX-D player) - no minor league options left in 2021
Ian Miller, OF (Article XX-D player) - three minor league options left in 2021
Nicholas Padilla, RHP (see NOTE-2)
C. D. Pelham, LHP (Article XX-D player - see NOTE-2) - two minor league options left in 2021
Raymond Pena, C (see NOTE-2)
Eury Ramos, RHP (see NOTE-2)
Aneuris Rosario, RHP (see NOTE-2)
Marcus Walden, RHP (Article XX-D player) - one minor league option left in 2021
Joe Wieland, RHP (Article XX-D player) - no minor league options left in 2021
NOTE-1: Article XX-D means players can elect free-agency if sent outright to minors, and Article XIX-A means player must give his consent before he can be sent to minors by optional or outright assignment.
NOTE-2: Chalmers, Cuevas, Dewees, Hudson, Lawlor, Padilla, Pelham, R. Pena, E. Ramos, and A. Rosario are eligible to be MLB Rule 9 minor league 6YFA for the first time post-2021, but only if the 2020 season is considered a "qualified season" toward minor league free-agency for those players. Also, if Brooks and/or Camargo spend the entire 2021 minor league season on the Restricted List they will not be eligible to be a minor league 6YFA post-2021 because the 2021 season will not count as a minor league season for them. (Even though the 2020 minor league season was canceled before it began, the 2020 season - WAS - considered to be a "qualified season" for minor leaguers who were eligible to be minor league 6YFA for the first time post-2020). If the canceled 2020 minor league season is not considered to be a "qualified season" for players eligible to be Rule 9 minor league 6YFA post-2021, then those players will not be eligible to be free agents after the World Series, and will instead be eligible for selection in the 2021 Rule 5 Draft (if the player is still on a minor league reserve list as of 11/20).
SECOND CONTRACT MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS (see NOTE-1 below)
Michael Arias, INF / RHP (previously released by TOR - see NOTE-2 below)
Aneudis Beard, RHP (previously released by TEX)
Andres Bonalde, LHP (previously released by CUBS)
Edwin Figuera, INF (previously released by STL)
Juan Gamez, RHP (previously released by MIN)
Alex Katz, LHP (previously released by BAL)
Ryan Kellogg, LHP (previously released by CUBS)
Garrett Kelly, RHP (previously released by MIN)
Austin Krzeminski, RHP (previously released by LAA)
Jackson McClelland, RHP (previously released by TOR)
Carlos Sepulveda, INF (previously released by LAD)
Dalton Stambaugh, LHP (previouysly released by BAL - see NOTE-2 below)
Tyler Suellentrop, RHP (previously released by SEA)
Tim Susnara, C (previously released by AZ)
Vance Vizcaino, OF (previously released by KC)
Harrison Wenson, C (previously released by LAA)
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. So it is possible that one or more of the Cubs minor league second contract players are signed beyond the 2021 season (TBD).
NOTE-2: If signed beyond 2021, Michael Arias and Dalton Stambaugh are - NOT - eligible for selection in the 2021 Rule 5 Draft
crunch 15 hours 50 min ago (view)
a lot of people were all-in on it being a 2022 thing, but given how MLB has held the DH over the player's heads like it's some kind of extremely valuable chip worth more than the players seem to think it's worth...who knows...
Cubster 17 hours 20 min ago (view)
any estimates on the chances of the DH in the NL anytime soon?
crunch 17 hours 45 min ago (view)
k.schwarber is hella good at post-season baseball.
crunch 19 hours 44 min ago (view)
e.castillo and t.payne off the 40man in 100% totally expected moves.
both are/were catcher organizational depth.
crunch 20 hours 32 min ago (view)
for those keeping track of the heating-up Mets head of baseball operations search, theo has already ruled himself out.
mets want(ed) some heavy hitters (including b.beane and d.stearns), but none of them are on board...well, MIL took stearns off the board before he could chime in because he has a year left on his contract.
Arizona Phil 1 day 52 min ago (view)
Something to keep in mind about clearing MLB 40-man roster slots for players eligible for selection in this year's Rule 5 Draft is that you can't non-tender players to create 40-man roster space for Rule 5 Draft eligibles. That's because players can only be non-tendered on 12/2, and the pre-Rule 5 Draft roster filing deadline is 11/19 (almost two weeks - PRIOR TO -the contract tender date). NOTE: Normally the roster filing deadline is 11/20, but it's moved up to 11/19 this year because 11/20 falls on a Saturday in 2021
Arizona Phil 1 day 1 hour ago (view)
BRADSBEARD: Just one game, some BP, infield practice, and baserunning drills. So not much to glean from that so far.
crunch 1 day 16 hours ago (view)
minor league baseball has to provide housing for minor leaguers starting 2022 (paid for by MLB parent clubs). this is HUGE news and will make it possible for guys to stick around longer without having to quit the game just to earn a basic living. for minor league players working in expensive housing markets this is a life saver.
activist players from the OAK and LAA minor league teams as well as minor league player labor advocacy organizations were a huge part of making this happen. good work.
bradsbeard 1 day 20 hours ago (view)
Did you have any occasion to observe Pedro Ramirez? Not sure if he got into any games or not (now that I think of it, you wrote up at least one game he played in).
Arizona Phil 2 days 1 hour ago (view)
azbobbop: Certainly LHSPs Drew Gray and Luke Little have emerged as legit significant high-end SP prospects. RHSP Luis Devers has probably displaced Koen Moreno as the top "pitchability" SP prospect in the lower levels of the Cubs system. Tyler Schlaffer (another "pitchability" guy) also had an impressive Instructs, although Devers is a better SP prospect because he has a solid three-pitch mix and knows how to use it, while Schlaffer has just the 92-94 FB & CV (although both are solid offerngs) and isn't as polished as Devers is.
Hagsag 2 days 7 hours ago (view)
This is the first time I have heard about the four month program in November.
azbobbop 2 days 14 hours ago (view)
Phil, now that instructional scare finished, which players impressed you the most and who are disappointments.
tim815 2 days 18 hours ago (view)
Cool. Should help his trade value if the bat plays.
Arizona Phil 2 days 20 hours ago (view)
TIM: Peter Matt looks very comfortable at 3B. He is a classic "four-corner" guy (1B-3B-LF-RF).
Arizona Phil 2 days 20 hours ago (view)
KKvG: I strongly suspect Koen Moreno's outing was more about getting out on the mound and throwing in a game than anything. He did get several swings & misses from his CH (which is a plus-pitch), and he uses his low 90's FB to set-up the CH.
I didn't see any breaking balls, although it's possible I might have mistaken a CH for one.
Koen Moreno is what scouts call a "pitchability" guy. Nothing wrong with that, BTW. MLB starting rotations are full of pitchers like that.