21 Cubs Are Declared Minor League Free-Agents

21 Cubs minor leaguers were declared post-2021 MLB Rule 9 (formerly MLB Rule 55) minor league free agents at 5 PM (Eastern) on Sunday 11/7.


Jose Almonte, RHP 
Abiatal Avelino, INF
Joe Biagini, RHP 
Dakota Chalmers, RHP
Yovanny Cuevas, OF  
Johneshwy Fargas, OF 
Taylor Gushue, C
Mike Hauschild, RHP 
P. J. Higgins, C-INF 
Tyler Ladendorf, INF 
Ryan Lawlor, LHP 
Luis Lugo, LHP 
Dillon Maples, RHP 
Ian Miller, OF
Kohl Stewart, RHP  
Marcus Walden, RHP 
Joe Wieland, RHP 

Juan Gamez, RHP (previously released by MIN)
Alex Katz, LHP (previously released by BAL)
Ryan Kellogg, LHP (previously released by CUBS)
Jackson McClelland, RHP (previously released by TOR)


Only four of the 16 Cubs 2021 Rule 9 second-contract minor league players were declared free-agents, which means the other twelve are signed for 2022. 

Also, RHRP James Bourque, C Erick Castillo, OF Donnie Dewees, LHSP Ben Holmes, LHRP Bryan Hudson, RHRP Nicholas Padilla, C Tyler Payne, LHSP C. D. Pelham, C Raymond Pena, RHRP Eury Ramos, and RHRP Aneuris Rosario were eligible to be a Rule 9 minor league 6YFA, but each of them signed a 2022 minor league successor contract prior to being declared a 6YFA. Therefore, these players will now be eligible for selection in next month's Rule 5 Draft, so it is possible that one or more (like maybe Bryan Hudson?) could be added to the Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) when minor league reserve lists are established on 11/19 in preparation for the 2021 Rule 5 Draft. 

In addition, RHRP Adrian Sampson (who was sent outright to AAA Iowa on Friday) has until the end of today (Monday 11/8) to decide whether to accept his outright assignment and sign a 2022 minor league contract with the Cubs, or elect free-agency.  

A club receives no compensation for losing a minor league free-agent.

A minor league free-agent can sign a major league or minor league contract with any club (including the player's former club) without any restrictions, so it's possible that one or more of the Cubs minor league free-agents will eventually re-sign with the Cubs at some point during the off-season. However, if the Cubs offered a 2022 minor league successor contract to a player prior to the player becoming a free-agent, the club's offer going forward will certainly be less than what the player was offered to sign a minor league successor contract (if a club is willing to increase its offer or even offer the same money after a player declines to sign a successor contract, nobody would ever sign one).  


So the Cubs 190-man off-season Domestic Reserve List now stands at 182, with eight slots are open for free-agents who might be signed to minor league contracts in the coming days & weeks. (It will be 183 with seven slots open if Adrian Sampson accepts his outright assignment today and signs a 2022 minor league contract). 

Aneuris Rosario is a nice get/keep, tbh.

Hudson, Ramos, and Pelham too.

 Hope they can bring Chalmers back as well


Thoughts on Cubs chances of keeping Chalmers?

I mean, our pitching is lite everywhere. He should stay for the right price shouldn't he?

Childersb3: I don't think the Cubs will be able to re-sign Dakota Chalmers. 

Today's Mesa Solar Sox game was probably the most entertaining and exciting AFL game I can remember.

Most AFL games really drag and despite the pitch clock the pace can get maddingly slow, but this game was different. 

Down 10-0 early, the Solar Sox stormed-back in the middle innings to edge the Scottdale Scorpions 11-10, thanks to five shut-out shut-down innings by Cubs RHP Caleb Kilian (acquired frrom SF in the Kris Bryant trade) in innings 4-8 and a clutch grand slam HR high over the right-centerfield fence by Andy Weber. 

Weber also lofted a high fly triple off the CF wall and scored on a sac fly, and likely AFL MVP Nelson Velazquez lined a double into the LF corner and blooped a single to CF. 

With the ability to play 2B-3B-SS, Weber is definitely staking a claim for a spot on the 40. 

Kilian needed only 51 pitches and five minutes or less per inning to cruise through his five innings of work, featuring a 93-96 T-97-98 FB and a sweeping swing & miss 76-79 MPH CV. This is the best I've seen Kilian throw. An amazing outing in what is an extreme hitter's league.   

SP Ryan Jensen was unable to miss many bats and was tagged pretty good early, despite mixing a 95-98 MPH FB, a hard upper 80's SL/CT, a CH, and a CV.

Kilian clearly knows how to pitch, and no question he is the better SP prospect of the two. Kilian could be ready for MLB sometime in 2022, Jensen probably not so much.  

it would be nice if they'd televise more AFL games again.  i realize it's probably not worth it because of the cost to broadcast and have an announce team, but meh...

MLB.tv has an off-season package, but it's only for the dominican games (spanish language) and none of the other winter leagues.

if it wasn't $25 (or if other leagues were involved) i'd spring for it.

CRUNCH: MLB Network will be televising the AFL "Fall Stars" game this coming Saturday and also the AFL Championship Game the next Saturday.

Cubs RHP Caleb Kilian, OF Nelson Velazquez, and INF Andy Weber have been named to the Fall Starts East roster, and there is a very good chance that Mesa will win the AFL East and play in the Championship game, with Kilian on schedule to start that game (again, presuming the Solar Sox win their division).   

thanks for the heads up.

Here is another write up by Baseball America on the AFL on Tuesday: 

Nelson Velazquez, OF, Cubs — Velazquez has turned the Fall League into a combination of Christmas and Groundhog Day. Like clockwork, he gets up, takes quality at-bats, spits on tough offspeed pitches, makes loud contact and hits a ball a very long way. Then he goes home, goes to sleep, wakes up the next morning and does it all over again. This time, the victim was Peoria righthander and Pirates prospect Roansy Contreras, who was on such an upward trajectory this year that he made his big league debut.

In his first at-bat against Contreras, Velazquez worked the count full before getting a 94 mph fastball on the inner half of the plate. For most players, that might lead to a swing and miss or weak contact. Instead, Velazquez pulled his hands in, got the barrel to the ball and drove it some 400 feet down the right field line for a truly impressive combination of hittability and impact. His eight home runs are the the most in the league, and he also tops the circuit in average, RBIs, and slugging percentage. If he can catch Bryson Stott for the RBI crown, he will win both the traditional and sabermetric triple crowns.

Any word on Adrain Sampson?  Did he accept or become a free agent?

Phil doesn't have him listed with Iowa.

Recent comments

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  • videographer 3 hours 4 min ago (view)

    Darth Vader to rescue Carlos Correa's bruised ego. 


  • crunch 4 hours 23 min ago (view)

    carlos correa has hired scott boras...


  • bradsbeard 22 hours 49 min ago (view)

    The IFA market isn't exactly an equal access thing. Not only do the Cubs have a slightly smaller bonus pool than some teams, players are often linked to teams through their trainers well before they are able to sign. It's not like when these kids are 14 that the teams know for sure that they have a top of the class player on their hands two years in the future.


  • Wrigley Rat 1 day 10 min ago (view)

    Cubbies.4ever - I read that the Cubs strategy with international free agents has been to spend most of their bonus money on young, position players and then take chances on cheaper, older pitching prospects who have been late bloomers (taller, stronger, more command of pitches, etc.). They are also grabbing guys at the end of the international signing period and signing them to future service contracts. They have six pitchers that were signed last year to future service contracts, and only one position player.


  • cubbies.4ever 1 day 47 min ago (view)

    Cubs IFA Signings are heavy on SS (given SS usually can play many positions as the develop), but only 1 pitcher.  Given it's still early.  Also disappointing that their best signing is #18.  Gone are the days of Soler, Eloy, Torres, Marquez, Amaya etc.  I believe Christian Hernandez last year was highly rated though.


  • Wrigley Rat 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    One more international free agent signing announced today: Daniel Benschop, OF, Aruba


  • bradsbeard 1 day 23 hours ago (view)

    I hope all is well with AZ Phil. Hasn't posted in a few weeks and typically would expect him to have a post up tracking IFA signings. Maybe he's waiting for something official from the Cubs (who don't seem to have announced any of the signings officially)? 


  • Cubster 2 days 1 hour ago (view)

    Les Grobstein dies at age 69. Encyclopedic Chicago historian and longtime sports talk overnight radio host, plus a controversial listen. https://www.robertfeder.com/2022/01/17/les-grobstein-1952-2022/


  • Cubster 2 days 1 hour ago (view)

    Hernandez ranks 18th on MLB's International prospect list. Sanchez ranks at #43.
    Tribune article today on the Cub https://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/cubs/ct-chicago-cubs-alexis-hernan...


  • CubsCentral08 3 days 21 hours ago (view)

    List is up to 12 now

    Adan Sanchez, C/3B, Panama
    Alexis Hernandez, SS, Dominican Republic
    Jefferson Rojas, SS, Dominican Republic
    Josefrailyn Alcantata, OF, Dominican Republic
    Carlos Altuve, C, Venezuela
    Josias Ramirez, OF, Dominican Republic
    Moises Febrillet, SS, Dominican Republic
    Albertina Belliard, OF, Dominican Republic
    Yidel Diaz, C, Dominican Republic
    Freylin Silverio, RHP, Dominican Republic
    Sandy Sanchez, SS, Dominican Republic
    Darlin de Leon, SS, Dominican Republic


  • Wrigley Rat 3 days 22 hours ago (view)

    In addition to those signed today, it's worth noting that seven players were signed to future-service contracts during the last international free agent signing period, and are expected to make their system-debut this coming season (most likely in the Dominican Republic). Those players are:

    • RHP - Luis Angel Reyes
    • LHP - Kevin Valdez
    • RHP - Jensi Ramirez
    • RHP - Yafrerlyn Vasquez
    • RHP - Eligio Paredes
    • RHP - Jair Jimenez
    • OF - Edward Vargas



  • Wrigley Rat 3 days 22 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs added four more International Free Agents so far today:

    • Josias Ramirez, OF, Dominican Republic
    • Moises Febrillet, SS, Dominican Republic
    • Albertina Belliard, OF, Dominican Republic
    • Yidel Diaz, C, Dominican Republic



  • Wrigley Rat 3 days 22 hours ago (view)

    Sneak peak into the International Free Agent Signings that officially start tomorrow (Saturday):

    Chicago Cubs ($5,179,700 total bonus pool) - 5 Signings (so far):

    • Adan Sanchez, C/3B, Panama ($1,500,000 bonus)
    • Alexis Hernandez, SS, Dominican Republic ($1,300,000 bonus)
    • Jefferson Rojas, SS, Dominican Republic ($1,000,000 bonus)
    • Josefrailyn Alcantata, OF, Dominican Republic
    • Carlos Altuve, C, Venezuela



  • crunch 4 days 9 hours ago (view)

    wsox snagging cuban oscar colas...23 year old high end power prospect that could slot into the majors quickly.

    they're building a hell of a batting core on the south side of town.


  • Cubster 1 week 6 hours ago (view)

    Jon Lester retires. Definitely one of the key people in their Theo era run. 


  • crunch 1 week 19 hours ago (view)

    meeting on thursday.  hopefully this stuff can get done before going too deep into february.