Cubs 2021 Rule 5 Draft & Minor League Free-Agent Watch List

UPDATED 6/16

As things stand right now...


64 Cubs minor leaguers are eligible for selection in the December 2021 MLB Rule 5 Draft, and 48 Cubs minor leaguers (36 post-2021 6YFA and twelve 2021 second-contract players) are eligible to be declared MLB Rule 9 (formerly known as MLB Rule 55) minor league 6YFA 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, LHP Kyle Ryan was assigned outright to the minors on 5/11, C-INF Tony Wolters was assigned outright to the minors on 5/22, and OF Nick Martini was assigned outright to the minors on 6/7, and because Ryan and Martini have Article XX-D status (Ryan has accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time and Martini has been outrighted previously in his career) they had the right to elect free-agency, or else defer his right to elect free-agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season (they had 48 hours to decide), and because Wolters has Article XIX-A status (he has accrued at least five years of MLB Service Time) he had to give his consent before he could be outrighted and once outrighted he had the right to elect free-agency, or else defer his right to elect free-agency until after the conclusion of the World Series (he had 48 hours to decide). Ryan, Wolters, and Martini did accept the outright assignment and deferred their right to elect free-agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season, unless the player is added back to an MLB 40-man roster in the meantime, in which case he would not have the right to elect free-agency after the conclusion of the MLB regular season.  

Among the Cubs first-time Rule 5 Draft eligibles post-2021 are RHPs Derek Casey, Yovanny Cruz, Manuel Espinoza, Jeremiah Estrada, Eduarniel Nunez, Ethan Roberts, Benjamin Rodriguez, and Cam Sanders, LHPs Chris Allen and Jack Patterson, 1B Shendrik Apostel, 1B-OF Alfonso Rivas, INFs Luis Verdugo, Andy Weber, Luis Vazquez, Yeison Santana, and Fabian Pertuz, and OF Nelson Velazquez. These 18 players are all legit candidates 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 way too early right now to say which ones will and which ones will not be added. But whichever ones 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.

Cubs minor leaguers who were eligible for selection in the 2020 Rule 5 Draft and who will be eligible again in 2021 include RHPs Jose Albertos, Javier Assad, Danis Correa, Ben Hecht, Dakota Mekkes, Peyton Remy, Michael Rucker, Matt Swarmer, Erich Uelmen, and Dauris Valdez, LHPs Brendon Little and Wyatt Short, C-1B-3B Cam Balego, SS Aramis Ademan, INF Delvin Zinn, INF-OF Trent Giambrone, 1B-OF Jared Young, and OFs Edmond Americaan, Zach Davis, Connor Myers, and (ex-INF) Yonathan Perlaza. 

Among 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 Robert Stock, RHP Dakota Chalmers, LHRP Bryan Hudson, and RHRP Eury Ramos.   

Cubs minor leaguers eligible to be minor league free-agents again post-2021 are RHRP (ex-1B) Jerrick Suiter, LHRP Luis Lugo, and LHRP Ryan Lawlor (all three signed 2021 minor league succesor contracts). 
 

CUBS MINOR LEAGUERS ELIGIBLE FOR SELECTION IN 2021 RULE 5 DRAFT (last updated 6-16-2021)
Aramis Ademan, INF 
Jose Albertos, RHP 
Chris Allen, LHP 
Edmond Americaan, OF
Shendrik Apostel, 1B 
D. J. Artis, OF
Javier Assad, RHP 
Cam Balego, C-INF
Alejandro Carrillo, LHP 
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 
Kelvin Feliz, RHP
Reivaj Garcia, INF
Trent Giambrone, IF-OF
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
Connor Myers, OF 
Eduarniel Nunez, RHP 
Carlos Ocampo, RHP 
Jack Patterson, LHP 
Yonathan Perlaza, OF (ex-INF)  
Fabian Pertuz, INF 
Oswaldo Pina, INF
Jake Reindl, RHP 
Jorge Remon, RHP 
Peyton Remy, RHP 
Samuel Reyes, RHP 
Alfonso Rivas, 1B-OF 
Ethan Roberts, RHP 
Benjamin Rodriguez, RHP 
Luis Angel Rodriguez, LHP 
Michael Rucker, RHP (Article XX-D player) 
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 2021 minor league contract prior to the 2020 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.

ELIGIBLE TO BE ARTICLE XIX-A FREE-AGENT AFTER CONCLUSION OF MLB REGULAR SEASON
Tony Wolters, C-INF 

ELIGIBLE TO BE ARTICLE XX-B FREE-AGENT AFTER CONCLUSION OF MLB REGULAR SEASON:
Nick Marttini, OF 
Kyle Ryan, LHP

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
Joe Biagini, RHP (Article XX-D player) - no minor league options left 
James Bourque, RHP (Article XX-D player) - one minor league option left 
Craig Brooks, RHP (see NOTE-2)
Jesus Camargo, RHP (see NOTE-2)
Erick Castillo, C 
Dakota Chalmers, RHP (Article XX-D player - see NOTE-2) - two minor league options left
Yovanny Cuevas, OF(see NOTE-2)
Donnie Dewees, OF (see NOTE-2)
Scott Effross, RHP (see NOTE-2)
Taylor Gushue, C
Mike Hauschild, RHP (Article XX-D player) - two minor league options left 
Michael Hermosillo, OF (Article XX-D player) - no minor league options left
Ben Holmes, LHP
Bryan Hudson, LHP (see NOTE-2)
Jake Jewell, RHP (Article XX-D player) - one minor league option left
Tyler Ladendorf, INF (Article XX-D player) - one minor league option left 
Ryan Lawlor, LHP (see NOTE-2)
Luis Lugo, LHP 
Ryan Meisinger, RHP (Article XX-D player) - two minor league options left
Ian Miller, OF (Article XX-D player) - three minor league options left 
Jose Moreno, RHP 
Adam Morgan, LHP (Article XIX-A player) - no minor league options left
Nicholas Padilla, RHP (see NOTE-2)
Tyler Payne, C (see NOTE-2)
C. D. Pelham, LHP (Article XX-D player - see NOTE-2) - two minor league options left
Raymond Pena, C (see NOTE-2)
Eury Ramos, RHP (see NOTE-2)
Andrew Romine, INF (Article XIX-A player) - no minor league options left
Aneuris Rosario, RHP (see NOTE-2)
Adrian Sampson, RHP (Article XX-D player) three minor league options left 
Dee Strange-Gordon, INF (Article XIX-A player) - one minor league option left
Jerrick Suiter, RHP (ex-1B)
Trayce Thompson, OF (Article XX-D player) - no minor league options left 
Joe Wieland, RHP (Article XX-D player) - no minor league options left 
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: Brooks, Camargo, Chalmers, Cuevas, Dewees, Effross, Hudson, Lawlor, Padilla, Payne, 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. (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)
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)
Carlos Sepulveda, INF (previously released by LAD) 
Tyler Suellentrop, RHP (previously released by SEA) 
Tim Susnara, C (previously released by AZ) 
Vance Vizcaino, OF (previously released by KC) 
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 he is signed beyond 2021, Michael Arias is - NOT - eligible for selection in the 2021 Rule 5 Draft 

 
 
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Comments

A couple of days after the Cubs won the WS, I took a "W" flag to the cemetery to stick in the ground by my parents' graves. When I got there, I was moved to see a veritable forest of blue-and-white flags. That sort of thing, along with Game 7 starting on the Day of the Dead, when the ancestors come back for a visit, demonstrates the cosmic nature of the Cub victory. The downside was that we are just normal fanatical sports fans now. We live and die with the team, we second-guess management, we cheer, we boo, we raise a hullabaloo. But being a Cub fan is no longer a metaphor for the ultimate futility of existence. 

With that in mind, I can't get too upset about the Darvish trade. For one thing, we won't be able to judge it for years. Maybe Darvish will win the Cy Young Award and all the kids will flop. Maybe his arm will blow out in spring training and a couple of the kids become stars. Nobody knows. For another, though of course I'm  disappointed that the Cubs never made it back to the World Series, and sad to see the championship team being dismantled, it's nothing like the heartbreak I'd be feeling if they had lost Game 7. I'll still go to the games with the grandkids and watch them on TV. I'll follow the prospects on milb.com. There are more important things to worry about than whether the Cubs really could have afforded to keep the band together. 

But there still is a bit of the fatalistic Cub fan in me. I bought a World Champions Cubbie-blue hoodie in 2016, and wear it often to this day.  After some consideration, I bought another one a couple of weeks later, just...in...case there weren't going to be any more championships. The backup hoodie hangs in the closet, never worn, so I'm probably good for the rest of my life. Pessimism paid off this time, I guess. 

I'm still getting over them trading away Rick Reuschel.

*cough* should be in the HOF *cough*

just because him and his brother look like insurance salesmen that are serial killers in their off-time doesn't mean rick should be overlooked. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DXBHLjYXkAIr5vW.jpg

seriously, he put in more than a few overlooked seasons that were great.  luis tiant feels his pain.

tommy lasorda has died...93 years old.

ugg...i put this in the 2021 rule5 thread...my bad.

Nick Martini and Tommy Lasagna belong in the same thread. Wow.

RHP Edward Vasquez (2017 IFA - Dominican Republic) has retired.

E. Vasquez was one of the top SP on DSL Cubs Red in 2019 and was expected to be a SP on one of the Cubs AZL teams in 2020 if the minor league season hadn't been canceled.

He would have been first-time Rule 5 Draft eligible post-2021. 

The Cubs have signed second-contract FA SS Michael Arias (ex-TOR) to a 2021 minor league contract.

So there is a Michael Arias on Instagram who posted that he signed a contract with the Cubs a few weeks back but is a pitcher. Looks real young but near as I can tell the Arias who was a Blue Jay is only 19 and never appeared in any games. Is this a guy the Cubs are converting to pitcher maybe?

BRADSBEARD: The info I received is that Michael Arias is a second-contract player who was released by the Toronto Blue Jays sometime prior to signing with the Cubs. I don't know anything else about him, so I guess he must be either a two-way player or (as you speculated) he is being converted to a RHP (TBD).

The Cincinnati Reds have claimed INF Max Schrock off waivers from the Cubs. Schrock was Designated for Assignment by the Cubs last Friday to make room on the 40 for INF Sergio Alcantara (who was claimed off waivers by the Cubs from the Tigers).

The Cubs have signed veteran switch-hitting catcher Jose Lobaton to a 2021 minor league contract.

Jose Lobaton is the new Taylor Davis?

PJ Higgins is Taylor Davis

dj snelton's left elbow is screwed up...6 weeks rest then re-evaluate.

looks like he's going to try to avoid having surgery.

spring training TV is usually fluid...adding and subtracting broadcast games...

first cubs TV (as of now) is March 3 (wednesday) on ESPN at 3pm EST.

radio broadcasts available for almost every game that's not televised.  the cubs get going on monday and some other teams will start the day before.

Marquee has added a tuesday game, so now the first televised cubs game is March 2nd (3pm EST)

The Cubs have signed LHSP Ben Holmes (ex-LAD) and RHRP Jose Moreno (ex-NYM) to 2021 minor league contracts. Both were post-2020 minor league 6YFA and neither has been on an MLB 40-man roster.

Holmes pitched collegiately at Oregon State and has some AAA experience, but Moreno hasn't pitched above Lo-A over the course of seven seasons in the Mets organization.  

kevin rizzo is in camp with the cubs and is in workouts with the team.

very tiny guy, no power, but he can run down a ball in the field and he's almost impossible to pitch to.  time to give him a contract and put him in the OF.

https://twitter.com/Cubs/status/1366081602242023425

No matter how well he performs this spring, the smart play is still to send him down to Des Moines.  Delay his service clock for a month or six weeks, get seven extra years of team control.

I hear he dogs it, and is a bit of a hot dog.

Baseball America came out with a list of the top 2021-22 international singing class of 16 year olds and the Cubs were not list with any of the top 20.  I guess Tom Ricketts decided to pass next year on future Latin talent.

Stock clears waivers, is now NRI. Duane Underwood loses his 40 man spot to Tepera. I find it shocking that he was cut over Maples, but I'm sure Maples gets the boot before Opening Day, too.

maples, the unpolished diamond...maybe he'll figure it out in his 5th year of trying...

so far he's dollar store discount bin carlos marmol.

looked sharp as hell today with a groundout to 1st and a couple Ks.

Neither Robert Stock nor Duane Underwood Jr have the right to elect free-agency if outrighted, although both will be minor league 6YFA at 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day after the final game of the 2021 World Series if the player is either not added back to the 40 or signs a 2022 minor league successor contract prior to the deadline. 

odd with JD in the booth without len...nice to see the cubs back in action.

sciambi is a nice replacement.  can't complain.

20% seating for opening day at Wrigley. Not sure how they allocate who gets in yet. Masks and social distancing expected. Selling beer hats with straws?

Saw somewhere Cubs are likely to carry 9 relievers. Thoughts:

1. Gross

2. I thought pitching staffs were to maximize at 13? Did that get relaxed for this year because of the pandemic? Or is that not a thing anymore?

Per AZ Phil... Pitcher limit of 13 suspended for 2021 season due to COVID

Great. Then up roster limit to 27-28, so a team can carry a 5 man bench. Oh, I forgot...that extra $600K to $1.2M would put so many owners in the red.

The Cubs have signed RHRP Randy Meisinger (ex-STL) to a 2021 minor league contract. Unknown right now if he will get an NRI to MLB Spring Training. 

thomas hatch (TOR) left today's game with an elbow injury in the middle of pitching to a batter.

nice 1st inning D play at SS + 1st inning HR...sogard is pretty much stamping his ticket to break spring as the backup SS/2nd.

Update on MLB plan for short-season "complex" teams (AZL, DSL, and GCL) is that they will be run as a combined Extended Spring Training & Instructs for the entire season (through 10/15), with no "official" games.

This plan has nothing to do with CoViD-19. It was part of MLB's Master Plan for minor league baseball prior to the cancelation of the 2020 minor league season. 

However, some MLB clubs do not wish to change the nature of the AZL, DSL, and GCL, so there has been no final determination. 

Also, expect the 2021 minor league season (AAA, AA, Hi-A, and Lo-A) to be delayed until at least June 1st.  

In addition, it is very possible that the minor league baseball regular season will be permanently changed from second week in April through Labor Day to May 1st through third week in September beginning in 2022, with minor league Spring Training beginning after the conclusion of MLB Spring Training (as will be the case this season). 

a.romine not expected to be opening day ready...not surprising at this point.

sprained right knee that's on week 3 of being rested...

there's more masks in the dugout than the entire fan section of the park in TEX...and they're packed shoulder-to-shoulder at near full capacity.

Maddie Lee @maddie_m_lee
Injury update from David Ross: C Austin Romine (right knee soreness) left for South Bend today. He'll get live at-bats there. RHP Rowan Wick is still in AZ building up, but Ross said all signs are positive.

t.williams perfect through 5ip.

welcome to wrigley.

well that was over quickly.

still, only a single.  big standing O from the 25% crowd.

baez takes one flush to the knee...ow.  he took his base, but that was full-on right into the knee.

looks like sogard might be playing SS tomorrow.

Cubs get Dauris Valdez for Norwood. Another hard thrower who hits triple digits but has control issues. Hopefully, AZ Phil know more details but it seems they have focused their scouting on the SD system.

edit: sorry, see Phil's post in the other thread. Great info as always.

MLB All-Star game moved to COL...less humidity, more weed.

that should make for a great HR derby.

and Lobster Humidors

vogelbomb getting the start at 1st tonight for MIL.

also, fergie is finally getting a statue outside of wrigley (next season).

tyler oneil fouled one -exactly- off the lens of the camera behind home plate STL @ MIA...shattered the glass on the camera.

the TV crew is "tier 2" and they can't come on the field to clean up the glass.

delay of game while a random clubhouse guy cleans up the glass on the field.

hey, mills...you ready to have your starting job back?

odd seeing the backup catcher used to pinch hit in the 5th, but whatever.

waffles.

(nsfw) https://filebin.net/ht9zf3j35vn809qi/Joc_Pederson_...

of all the weird cubs stuff, i didn't think waffle makers in the dugout would make a comeback.  this core is interesting.  happ is a fun dude.

Kimbrel ends the 8th. To quote Carlos Zambrano: "Thanks God."

So, our team's Relief Pitchers are Kimbrel, Chafin, & Brothers. Then a half dozen part time baseball arsonists?

How do you walk the bases loaded with a 2 run lead? Then, how does the Manager let you?

I like this version Kimbrel. Seem apparent that he needs a normal spring training.  Year 1, signs a free agent contract mid season, no so good.  Year 2, Covid craziness, settles in 2nd half of the season.  Year 3, pretty bad beginning of ST and settles in at beginning of the season.

4.2ip 0h 0bb 9k

unf.  more please.

I am as befuddled as George A.  Back to back four pitch walks and Ross thinks Winkler gets another batter? 

Isn't the rule where the reliever must either finish an inning or face at least three batters still around? I know it was in effect last year but wasn't sure if that was a "2020 is a nonsense season, let's do whatever" rule or one they're sticking with  

Yeah, Winkler had to face a third batter (or intentionally walk him I guess) before Ross could pull him. Wondering how long before Shelby Miller takes over for Winkler or Workman...

I'd be good with either. The other can go when Rowan Wick is ready, as far as I'm concerned. Hope they keep Maples instead of one of those two.

Right.  Three batter minimum.  Hopefully the only time I'll need to be reminded this year. 

Hopefully.

d.ross and others around him are supposedly rather big on j.adam, fwiw...

wouldn't be shocked to see him around in cubs leading/tie/close middle relief.

k.rosenthal reporting that MLB has taken multiple baseballs from t.bauer's last start with "visible markings and were sticky."

they're cracking down on that, btw.  it's also -really- common accepted practice to get stickum/pine tar/etc on the ball as well as using your fingernail (or something else) to cut up or scuff/sand the ball.   so, while bauer may have thumbed his nose at the new rules, he was (maybe) not doing anything extrodinary in the world of baseball cheating.

remember when that ball stuck to yadi's chest protector full of stickum and everyone laughed?  or when they kept having to tell that pitcher for the yanks to not have obvious pine tar gobbed on his body that he was constantly dipping into on the mound?  they're trying to crack down on that kinda stuff...

the real gold about all this is bauer is very outspoken about doctoring the ball in this manner, comparing pitchers that do it to using steroids.  so there's that...

btw, don't pay any attention to that brown crap on kimbrel's cap...i'm sure it's just dirt.

Nats Covid update (wrt Former Cub factor): Brad Hand, Yan Gomes, Alex Avila and Jordy Mercer have all been cleared to return after being away due to COVID-19 protocols. Josh Bell, Kyle Schwarber, Jon Lester and Josh Harrison have not been cleared yet, 

Still looking forward to seeing Schwarbs play in a Nats uniform.

Sure makes it sound like Schwarber and Lester were among the positives. Hate that for them, especially Jon who has the cancer history and the recent thyroid issue. Hopefully both recover without significant lingering effects. 

j.musgrove throws SD's first no-hitter.  it would have been a perfect game if he didn't hit a batter.

not bad for his 2nd start for them.

Coach Craig Driver tested positive for Coronavirus and was sent back to Chicago. Apparently, no other Cub tested positive. No word about symptoms so it sounds like it was picked up in whatever the regular testing protocol covers  including Wed, Thursday and Friday which were negative for the "traveling party".

AAA exhibition game @south bend rained out.

Ex Cub Dexter Fowler, now with Maddon's Angels goes on the DL with a knee sprain. 

torn acl...ow

career high for zach davies, 7 runs given up...only took 1.2 innings.

neat-o.

RHSP Duncan Robinson (June 2019 TJS) has retired. 

-deleted, wrong thread-

Back door firing all the players through COVID protocols? Better clear some shelf space for that manager of the year trophy.

The Cubs have released veteran RHRP Trevor Kelley from Minor League Camp.

AA Tennessee must get down to 28 players by Opening Day, and South Bend and Myrtle Beach must get down to 30 players by Opening Day. (The ATS squad will become the AAA Iowa Cubs with a 28-man active list roster limit, the same as the ATS roster limit).

Because of CoViD-19 protocols and quarantine requirements, it will be difficult to move players from one minor league level to another during the course of the season, which is why minor league active list rosters have been expanded.  

It is expected that MLB clubs will be allowed to maintain a Taxi Squad (both home & road) indefinitely after the minor league regular season begins on 5/4 and the ATS is disbanded, presuming the minor league regular season actually does begin on time. 

Appreciate all you do for us AZ Phil!

+1 on that.

the content and feedback comes from a unique outlet that has the skills to properly describe what he's seeing.  where else you gonna get this particular news with the ability to have followup for more info?  thanks again, phil.

also, i really like charlie's digest game threads.  all the facts with some good, to the point, commentary.

The Cubs have released C-1B Gustavo Polanco from Minor League Camp. He was scheduled to be a minor league 6YFA post-2021. 

The Cubs have re-signed minor league LHP Ryan Kellogg. The Cubs released him last month during Minor League Camp, but they are already running out of fresh arms at Iowa and Tennessee, and they haven't even played a game yet!    

The Cubs have signed second contract minor league FA LHP Alex Katz (ex-KC) and RHP Austin Krzeminski (ex-LAA) to minor league contracts.  

arrieta threw a pen today (saturday)

The Cubs have traded for outfielder Trayce Thompson, who was with the Diamondbacks at Triple-A, but is formerly of the big league White Sox, Dodgers, and A’s. The Diamondbacks are getting cash in the deal, which is a reflection of the reality that Thompson, 30, is a depth outfielder at this point in his career. Thompson is the younger brother of NBA star Klay Thompson. https://www.bleachernation.com/cubs/2021/05/11/cub...

The Cubs have signed free-agent RHSP Adrian Sampson to a minor league contract and he has been assigned to AAA Iowa, and RHP Michael McAvene, LHP Jack Patterson, and OF Donnie Dewees have been placed on the 60-day IL to open up slots for Sampson, Trayce Thompson, and Kyle Ryan on the Cubs minor league 180-man Domestic Reserve List. 

The Cubs have released OF Luis Berrelleza, INF Rochest Cruz, LHP Misael Garcia, OF Orlando Guzman, C-1B Brayan Mancilla, RHP Yander Montero, OF Carlos Pacheco, and OF John Rodriguez. 

The rush to 70 players.

Rochest Cruz had some success in the DSL a couple of years ago.  Too bad he didn't pan out.  Carlos Pacheco showed power numbers in the DSL two or three years ago along with a high K rate.

VIDEO: Zach Davis and Rochest Cruz are (were) probably the two fastest players (sprint-speed on the bases) in the Cubs system (though not Cruz anymore, obviously). 

Cubs minor league RHRP Ben Hecht (Cubs 2017 12th round pick - Wichita State) had TJS a couple of days ago. 

The Cubs have apparently signed Tyler Suellentrop, a pitcher drafted by Seattle in 2018 from Indian River Community College in Florida. He's been assigned to Myrtle Beach. I expect he'll pitch on Friday.

there has been a ton of fringe signings the past 48 hours by many teams...guys that were not playing organized ball or playing indie ball for the past 1-2+ seasons.

Tyler Suellentrop:
- 92-95 mph https://twitter.com/P15Sports/status/1371873329565...
- Dominant in the B9th with a 1-2-3 frame, striking out all three batters. FB 93-97 T98 https://twitter.com/rayteodora1/status/13015758552...

on the meh front...

ESPN reporting Pujols has a deal with the Dodgers.

if you gave me 29 guesses where/if he would land the dodgers would be in the late 20s...surrounded by pretty much every NL team.

A possible second chance at Blackenhorn.

The Cubs have released OF Josue Fernandez from the DSL Academy. 

At present the Cubs have 65 players on their 70-man Intenational Reserve List (so five slots are open), but another 14 international players are "Signed for Future Service" (signed first contract last year between 7/1 and 12/31) and do not count against the reserve list limit right now, but they will need to be activated or placed on the 60-day IL or Restricted List by DSL Opening Day on July 12th. 

The Cubs also presently have 173 players on their 180-man Domestic Reserve List (seven slots are open), plus nine players (Yovanny Cruz, Donnie Dewees, Ben Hecht, Michael McAvene, Jack Patterson, C. D. Pelham, Jerrick Suiter, Riley Thompson, and Luis Vazquez) are on the 60-day IL and four players (Andres Bonalde, Craig Brooks, Jesus Camargo, and Manny Collier) are on the Restricted List (players on the 60-Day IL and the Restricted List do not count against the reserve list limit). Players who are presently on a minor league 60-day IL cannot be reinstated any earlier than July 3rd. 

Tennessee RHP Bailey Clark has retired. A reworked delivery and a high 90's FB wasn't enough to overcome his control issues.

Sergio's been impressive here. Doubled high off the wall tonight before he was yanked. Hitting .300+, league leaders in walks & OBP.  Reminds me some of both Ronny Cedeno & Starlin (only hiccup I've seen was a pop up he nonchalanted that dropped untouched on the infield dirt).

Guess Sergio can just keep on gettin' on down here...

Is Giambrone injured.

he's on "personal leave"...no idea why.  he's actually listed as temp inactive, so he might be gone a while.  he missed the start of the season due to his father being ill, but no idea if this has anything to do with that.

I hope everything is okay with Giambrone's family first and foremost.  The timing of what's going on has to be killing him...  with Bote joining the injured,  you'd have to think he'd be getting his shot at the big leagues by now

From today's I-Cub game notes: Alcántara recorded two more hits yesterday against St. Paul, giving him 20 hits in the 18 games he has played for Iowa this year. With the two hits, the infielder extended his hitting streak to a season-long eight games, tying the longest hitting streak for the team this year, set by Abiatal Avelino on May 5-May 14. Alcantara has been all you could ask for as a leadoff hitter, owning a high batting average and getting on base anyway he can for the middle of the lineup. The infielder ranks in the top-ten in the Triple-A East in three key categories. He owns a .364 (20-for-55) batting average (7th), has walked 15 times (2nd) and has an on-base percentage of .500 (2nd).

The Cubs have signed free-agent INF Tyler Ladendorf (ex-OAK) to a minor league contract and he has been asigned to AAA Iowa. Ladendorf spent the last couple of years playing indy ball. 

Stewart for Williams, right Phil?

Nothing screwy for him starting Kohl Stewart twice, or Stewart then Abbott.

Tribune article Monday said Bote had a shoulder dislocation. MRI was "better than they thought" per Ross, which meant no chip fractures. No timetable for Bote yet but if no surgery at this point, it could be 3-4 weeks (per me). So he rests it initially before some rehab begins. 
Also Trevor Williams had an appendectomy on Sunday. If done laparoscopically that should be a few weeks also.

" In the minors, pitchers like Cam Sanders, Cayne Uekert and D.J. Herz are starting to make a name for themselves."

Patrick Mooney with a nice article on some improvements in the Cubs minor league pitching (From the Athletic).
AZ Phil: Can you give your take on Sanders, Uekert and Herz?

https://theathletic.com/2621852/2021/05/30/from-craig-breslow-to-ed-howard-the-cubs-are-optimistic-about-their-player-development-evolution/?source=dailyemail

The Cubs have purchased the contract of RHSP Jose Almonte from New Jersey (Frontier League). and he has been temporarily assigned to EXST but will likely be moved to a full-season affiiate shortly.

Almonte spent seven seasons pitching in the Red Sox and Diamondbacks systems 2013-19 and was a D'backs Top 20 prospect a few years ago but never got past Lo-A. 

Shelby Miller has been released by the Chicago Cubs.

PHIL: I was wondering if you could answer some questions my friends and I have. 

1. Are Chris Clarke and Hunter Bigge expected to stay in Mesa? Neither are listed as rehabbing or on the developmental list. We expected them to start in High-A. Do you have any insight on this?

2. Any news on if there will be a DSL season this year? If so, do you know when it will start? And is the starting date for the complex leagues June 28th?

3. Are the backfields open to visitors? Does it help if you can prove you've been fully vaccinated?

Thank you, sir!

K-DUB: Clarke and Bigge are at EXST and will probably move up to a full-season affiliate eventually, the backfields are still closed even if you are fully vaccinated, and the DSL season is scheduled to run July 12th through October 2nd and AZL & GCL run June 28th through September 18th, which means DSL season will lag exactly two weeks behind AZL and GCL seasons instead of the other way around like it was in years previous. AZL, GCL, and DSL teams will play 60 games, five games per week, with Sundays and Wednesdays  off. 

PHIL: Thank you so much for the info. Do you have any idea what is keeping Clarke and Bigge in Mesa? 

K-DUB: As far as I know they are metriculating in the Pitch Lab. 

OF D. J. Wilson (Cubs 2015 4th round draft pick) has retired. He was scheduled to be a minor league 6YFA post-2021, and he had yet to get past AA. 

Today's hot (100+) take from EXST in Mesa: Catcher Miguel Fabrizio is now switch-hitting, and RHP Tyler Schlaffer (two innings - 30 pitches), LHP Bryan King (one inning - 20 pitches), and RHP Angel Gonzalez-Martinez (one inning - 15 pitches) threw in a two-inning "sim" game. Reggie Preciado made a nice play at SS, although he looks more like a Brennon Davis-type CF than an infielder (to me).  

I found it quite interesting Made and not Preciado was sent to Myrtle Beach.  Discussions on Preciado's development implied he was becoming an offensive force.  Made is doing ok but he is still really small physically.  Seems Preciado is not as far along offensively as described at time of trade or Cubs agree he isn't a SS and wanted Made to get the work while Howard is injured.

I suspect the goal for Preciado this spring is to add weight/muscle while working in a more controlled environment (judging from his recent instagram post he's making good progress). Made looks more physically mature to me, so different timeframe maybe. 

Also, to extent you could tell, how did Schafer look?  Was hoping for a DJ Herz like boost (even if on smaller scale).

Also is Angel Gonzalez-Martinez the 18 year old UDFA we signed last year?

SPRINGS: Angel Gonzalez-Martinez was signed as a non-drafted FA out of Puerto Rico after the 2020 draft. Michael Hermosillo took him big-time deep in the "sim" game. 

Schlaffer looked OK. I didn't notice anything eye-popping in the "sim" game, but he didn't get rocked, either. He's clearly being primed to be a SP in the AZL, so that will be a good measuring stick for him. 

Wednesday at EXST... Another two-inning "sim" game... RHP Porter Hodge (two innings - 30 pitches), RHP Nicholas Padilla (one inning - 20 pitches), and LHP Joel Machado  (one inning - 20 pitches). 

The 20-year old Hodge was impressive at 6'4 230+, getting swings & misses and soft-contact ground balls.... reminded me of a young Rowan Wick...  Machado gave up hard contact and struggled with command... Padilla is on rehab from South Bend and looks like he's about ready to return...    

For those of you not familar with a "sim" game, it's sort of a cross between "live " BP and an intrasquad game.

There are nine defenders and the defense makes plays just like in a real game. Pitchers are usually on a strict pitch count limit where an AB can be stopped as soon as the pitcher hits the "magic number."    

The position players hit in groups of four (just like a BP group) and run the bases just like in a real game, and then the the foursome rotates out to the field and four other players come in to hit each time there is a pitching change. 

Each pitcher has his own catcher who warms him up in the bullpen and then catches his inning/frame. The three catchers over the past couple of days were Fabrizio, M. Quintero, and Granadillo. Each catcher gets a round of ABs when he is not catching an inning or warming up a pitcher in the pen. 

The other position players rotate back & forth between defense and offense, but they sometimes also switch defensive positions. The position players in the "sim" games over the past couple of days were Hermosillo (DH), Rivas (1B), Apostel (1B-3B), Pabon, (2B), Santana (2B-SS), Preciado (SS), R. Morel (3B), Pagan (LF-CF), Stevens (LF-RF), Mena (CF), and Caissie (RF). 

RHP Johzan Oquendo and RHP Alberto Sojo threw "live" BP Thursday morning at EXST, with each throwing one inning (20 pitches).  

Good to see Rivas getting into some game action. Hopefully he's nearing a return. 

The Cubs have purchased the contract of 24-year old 6'6 250 1B / LHP  Matt Warkentin from Missoula (Pioneer League).

Formerly an affiliated short-season rookie league, the Pioneer League is now a quasi-independent  "partner league" with MLB, designed for players who have been released from affiliated ball and hope to return and players with no experience in affiliated ball who want a chance to show MLB scouts what they can do.   

A right-handed hitter who throws left-handed, Warkentin hit 249/321/433 with 23 HR and 81 RBI 40/138 BB/K in 134 D-1 games split between the University of San Francisco and Xavier with a year in between at Johnson County CC in Kansas before signing his first pro contract with Missoula in 2021. Although he is primarily a first-basman, Warkentin also logged some appearances as a LHRP in college. 

The Cubs have released OF Gabriel Disla from the Dominican Academy. 

Baseball America came out with their first major update to the TOP 100 minor league prospects. Cubs have:

  • 68 - Brailyn Marquez (previously ranked #44)
  • 70 - Brennen Davis (previously ranked #60)
  • 91 - Cristian Hernandez (new to the list)

looks like they're not buying into the ed howard hype.

baseball prospectus has him at #88.

The Cubs have signed ex-Cub minor league INF Carlos Sepulveda to a minor league contract and he has been assigned to AA Tennessee. Sepulveda was originally signed by the Cubs out of Mexico in 2014, and he was selected by the Dodgers in the Minor League Phase of the 2019 Rule 5 Draft. The Dodgers released him this past March. 

javy out...screwed up his thumb again diving into the seats yesterday.

Phil, can you give me a scouting report on Darious Hill? Thanks,

The Cubs have purchased the contract of RHSP Mike Hauschild (ex-TOR) from Lexington (Atlantic League) and he has been asigned to AAA Iowa. 

The Cubs are clearly beating the bushes of indepenent league baseball. Hauschild is the sixth player acquired by the Cubs from independent league teams in the last month (Jose Almonte, Tyler Ladendorf, Tim Susnara, Matt Warkentin, and Jarod Wright are the other five). 

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  • crunch 1 hour 46 min ago (view)

    he -really- needs to cue into this is a cubs broadcast and not a national/neutral broadcast.

    dude...don't get excited about marlins 3-run homers.

     

  • crunch 3 hours 13 min ago (view)

    lot of people wanted him when len left.  he's got a long game calling history, but not too much for baseball.  he did host "baseball tonight" for ESPN for a quite a while, so the game isn't a mystery to him.

    i find him a bit boring/dry.  some people like that he has that oldschool "announcer voice" thing going on.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 3 hours 31 min ago (view)

    He's uhhh.. not very good at it. Glad he wasn't the hire for the main role.

     

  • crunch 3 hours 45 min ago (view)

    wow...chris myers calling the cubs game for some reason (boog out for the MIA series).

    he is a marquee talent, but he's not been used to call a game as far as i know.

    also, zach davies looks like a kid in pajamas in those dark blue "wrigleyville" uniforms.

     

  • crunch 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    t.williams threw a 25 pitch pen thursday

     

  • crunch 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    tonight's game (thursday) is mlb.tv free game, btw.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have optioned RHP Robert Stock back to AAA Iowa, and recalled LHP Brad Wieck. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have purchased the contract of RHSP Mike Hauschild (ex-TOR) from Lexington (Atlantic League) and he has been asigned to AAA Iowa. 

    The Cubs are clearly beating the bushes of indepenent league baseball. Hauschild is the sixth player acquired by the Cubs from independent league teams in the last month (Jose Almonte, Tyler Ladendorf, Tim Susnara, Matt Warkentin, and Jarod Wright are the other five). 

     

  • crunch 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    (c) hendricks gives up at least 60 homers in the regular season

    seriously, though...wisdom has "slowed down" the past 10 days or so, but he still managed a couple homers.  he's got a damn good shot at 20+ even if bote+duffy come back to steal a little time from him.

     

  • Charlie 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    This Mets series is going poorly, so... off-topic question. Which of these outcomes do you currently think is more likely in 2021: (a) Javy hits at least 40 homeruns in the regular season, (b) Patrick Wisdom hits at least 20 homeruns in the regular season.

     

  • crunch 2 days 3 hours ago (view)

    wow...and he's done for the night.  that's not good...well, for mets fans.

    "right shoulder soreness"

     

  • crunch 2 days 3 hours ago (view)

    meanwhile...degrom with 8 Ks through 3 perfect innings.  he's also got a RBI single.

     

  • crunch 2 days 4 hours ago (view)

    and d.smith gets HBP.

    this is high end next level strategy.  you beat degrom by injuring everyone until they have to forfeit the game.  moneyballs.

     

  • crunch 2 days 4 hours ago (view)

    ow...villar got nailed in the ear and the back of the head by a throw from lobaton on a stolen base.

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 4 hours ago (view)

    CHARLIE: You are absolutely right.

    Granted there are existing rules prohibiting pitchers from using foreign substances, but you don't change enforcement protocols suddenly in the middle of the season. Pitchers should be given an opportunity to make adjustments during the course of Spring Training before any new enforcement policy is implememted.

    This can and should be addressed in the upcoming CBA negotiations. Not now. 

     

  • Charlie 2 days 5 hours ago (view)

    That was definitely my position prior to this year. But I am starting to buy into the claim that almost all pitchers are using something, even if it is rosin and sunscreen in many cases.