Cubs MLB Roster

Cubs Organizational Depth Chart
40-Man Roster Info

40 players are on the MLB RESERVE LIST (roster is full), plus two players are on the 60-DAY IL

26 players on MLB RESERVE LIST are ACTIVE, plus eight players are on OPTIONAL ASSIGNMENT to minors and six players are on the 15-DAY IL

Last updated 5-25-2024

* bats or throws left
# bats both

Javier Assad
Ben Brown
Kyle Hendricks
Porter Hodge 
* Shota Imanaga
Mark Leiter Jr
* Luke Little
Tyson Miller
Hector Neris
* Drew Smyly
* Justin Steele
Jameson Taillon
Hayden Wesneski

Miguel Amaya
Yan Gomes

* Michael Busch
Nico Hoerner
Nick Madrigal
Christopher Morel
Dansby Swanson
Luis Vazquez
Patrick Wisdom

* Cody Bellinger
# Ian Happ
Seiya Suzuki
* Mike Tauchman

Kevin Alcantara, OF
Michael Arias, P
Alexander Canario, OF
* Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF
Jose Cuas, P 
Brennen Davis, OF
* Miles Mastrobuoni, INF
* Matt Mervis, 1B

15-DAY IL: 6
Yency Almonte, P
Albert Alzolay, P
Colten Brewer, P
Daniel Palencia, P
Keegan Thompson, P
* Jordan Wicks, P

60-DAY IL: 2
Caleb Kilian, P
Julian Merryweather, P

Minor League Rosters
Rule 5 Draft 
Minor League Free-Agents

Cubs 2021 Rule 5 Draft Roster Prep


As was expected, 1B Tyler Durna (2018 15th round - UCSD) has been placed on the Voluntary Retired List (official papers have been filed).


3/10 UPDATE:

Since the first of the year, the Cubs have officially signed LHRP Matt Dermody, RHRP Kyle Johnson, RHRP Kevin McCarthy, LHRP Eric Stout, and RHP Eric Yardley, and C-1B John Hicks to 2022 minor league contracts. 

Should they be added to the MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) at some point during the 2022 season, Hicks and McCarthy are out of minor league options, and Dermody, Hicks, McCarthy, Stout, and Yardley have Article XX-D rights and so they can elect free-agency if outrighted.

Johnson was an outfielder in college at Purdue and then was convertedf to RHP by the Yankees. He has never been on an MLB reserve list, and he has spent the past few seasons pitching in Indy ball. 

All five would be eligible for selection in the Major League Phase of the delayed 2021 Rule 5 Draft, unless it is officially postponed. 


12/17 UPDATE

The Cubs have signed free-agent RHP Mark Leiter Jr, INF Dixon Machado, and INF Ildemaro Vargas to 2022 minor league contracts.

Should they be added to the MLB 40-man roster at some point during the 2022 season, Machado and Vargas are out of minor league options, and Leiter, Machado, and Vargas have the right to elect free-agency if outrighted. 

They also will be eligible for selection in the Major League Phase of the 2021 MLB Rule 5 Draft, whenever it takes place. 



Connor Menez, LHP (selected by Cubs for AAA Iowa affiliate from San Francisco Giants Domestic Reserve List)

Carlos Ocampo, RHP (selected by New York Mets for AAA Syracuse affiliate from Cubs Domestic Reserve List) 

All players selected in the AAA Phase of the 2021 MLB Rule 5 Draft will be eligible for selection in the Major League Phase, whenever it takes place.



The Cubs have signed free-agent LHP Stephen Gonsalves to a 2022 minor league contract. If he were to be added to the MLB 40-man roster at some point in 2022, he has no minor league options left and he has Article XX-D rights (he can elect free-agency if outrighted). 

So 78 Cubs minor leaguers are now eligible for selection in the 2021 Rule 5 Draft. 

Also, the Cubs off-season minor league Domestic Reserve List now stands at 173 (17 slots are open). 



The Cubs have signed RHRP Jonathan Holder and C-INF P. J. Higgins to 2022 minor league contracts.

Both are Rule 5 Draft-eligible (see full list below).


11/29 UPDATE

The Cubs have signed free-agent LHRP Locke St. John (ex-TEX) to a 2022 minor league contract and he has been assigned to the AAA Iowa reserve list, so the Cubs now have 76 players eligible for selection in next month's Rule 5 Draft (see full list below), and they have 170 players on their minor league Domestic Reserve List (twenty slots are open).

St. John is the second post-2021 Rule 9 6YFA signed by the Cubs (they signed OF Narciso Crook ten days ago), and he will almost certainly get an NRI to 2022 MLB Spring Training.   

If he were to be added to the MLB 40-man roster at some point, St. John has two minor league options left, and he is an Article XX-D player (he was outrighted to the minors previously in his careeer, so he can elect free-agency if he were to be outrighted after being added to the 40).


11/23 UPDATE

The Cubs have released LHP Chris Allen, 1B Shendrik Apostel, INF Widimer Joaquin, RHP Garrett Kelly, RHP Jorge Remon, and OF Vance Vizcaino.  

All six of the released players were 2021 Rule 5 Draft-eligible and were left off the AAA Iowa Reserve List when off-season rosters were filed last Friday. 

So 75 Cubs minor leaguers are now available for selection in the 2021 Rule 5 Draft (see full list below). 


11/19 UPDATE

The Cubs have selected the contract of RHRP Ethan Roberts from AAA Iowa and the contract of OF Nelson Velazquez from AA Tennessee and they have been added to the Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster), so there are now three slots open on the 40 in preparation for the 2021 MLB Rule 5 Draft on December 9th. 

The Cubs have also officially signed minor league 6YFA OF Narciso Crook (ex-CIN) to a 2022 minor league contract (see updated list of Cubs Rule 5 Draft-eligibles below).  



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.
NOTE (12/8): The Rule 5 Draft was scheduled to take place on Thursday, December 9th, but the AAA Phase was moved up a day to December 8th, and the Major League Phase was postponed indefinitely due to the lock-out. 

The Rule 5 Draft began almost 120 years ago, when the American League, National League, and the National Association (the minor leagues) agreed to establish a mechanism that permitted MLB clubs to select (draft) players off minor league reserve lists for a fixed price, and for minor league clubs to select (draft) players off the reserve lists of minor league clubs of a lower classification for a smaller fixed-price.  

So 120 years later 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 of any minor league classification (but in actual practice, MLB clubs draft players only from AAA reserve lists) for $100,000 (the "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 affiliate can select Rule 5 Draft-eligible players who are on a minor league reserve list of a lower classification (below AAA) for $24,000 (the 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 order is based upon the inverse order of winning percentages from the previous season. If the winning percentages of two or more clubs are the same, the club with the lowest winning percentage from the previous season picks first. If two or more clubs are still tied, league standings from two years back (or three years back, four years back, etc) are used to break the tie.
NOTE: The Cubs will have the #7 slot in the 2021 Rule 5 Draft (both in the Major League Phase and in the AAA Phase), which is the best Rule 5 Draft slot they have had since 2013. 



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 9 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.  



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, beginning with the filing of MLB 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) and extending through the completion 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 start of 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 start of the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 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 an 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" on an Injured List 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).



A player selected in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft is called a "Selected Player." 

1. A Selected Player must be placed on the drafting club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) immediately after selection and must be tendered a major league contract by 5 PM (Eastern) on the day of the draft. 

2. A Selected Player can be traded at any time, but the player cannot be Designated for Assignment, released, or sent to the minors any earlier than 20 days prior to MLB Opening Day, and then only if Outright Assignment Waivers have been secured and the player's former club declines to reclaim the player.

3. If a Selected Player spends at least 90 days on an MLB Active List during the MLB regular season following selection, the player ceases to be a "Selected Player" at the conclusion of the MLB regular season. If time spent on an MLB Active List is less than 90 days in the season following selection, the player remains a Rule 5 Selected Player into the next season, and the player continues to be a Selected Player until he has spent 90 days total on an MLB Active List.

4. If a club wishes to send a Selected Player to the minors, the player must be placed on Outright Assignment Waivers, where any of the other 29 MLB clubs can claim the player for the $50,000 Rule 5 waiver price (formerly $25,000), and if claimed off waivers, the player continues to have Rule 5 MLB Selected Player status.

5. If the Selected Player is not claimed off Outright Assignment Waivers, the player then must be offered back to the club from which he was drafted, and the player's former club can re-claim the player for $50,000 (formerly $25,000), with the player being automatically outrighted to the Reserve List of the minor league reserve list from which he was drafted. The club from which the player was drafted usually has 72 hours to decide whether to re-claim the player, but it has only 24 hours to decide if the player is eligible to be an Article XX-D or Article XIX-A minor league free-agent if outrighted to the minors (player has accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time, qualifies for salary arbitration as a "Super Two" player, and/or has been outrighted to the minors previously in his career).
NOTE: A Selected Player with Article XIX-A rights (player has accrued at least five years of MLB Service Time) cannot be re-claimed and outrighted back to the minor league club from which he was drafted unless the player consents in advance to the assignment.

6. If a Selected Player is returned (outrighted) to the minor league club from which he was drafted, and if the player has accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time, qualifies for salary arbitration as a "Super Two" player, and/or has been outrighted to the minors previously in his career, the player can elect to be an MLB Article XX-D minor league free-agent (or Article XIX-A minor league free-agent if the player has accrued at least five years of MLB Service Time) after being outrighted (he has three days to decide), or he can accept the Outright Assignment and defer the right to be a minor league free-agent until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season.   

7. If a Selected Player is returned (outrighted) to the minor league club from which he was drafted, the drafting club is responsible for any portion of the player's salary above what the player was paid the previous season.

8. If the club from which the Selected Player was drafted declines to re-claim the player, the player no longer has Rule 5 Selected Player status, the drafting club retains the player, and the player can be sent to the minors or released.

9. A player selected in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft must be immediately assigned to the reserve list of the AAA club that drafted the player and he must be given a 15-day trial during Spring Training with that club, but the player can be assigned to the active list of any minor league affiliate in the MLB club's organization once the minor league regular season commences. Also, unlike players selected in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft, a player selected in the AAA Phase does not have to be offered back to the club from which he was drafted if the player is ultimately assigned to the active list of a minor league affiliate below AAA.



At present the Cubs have one slot open on their MLB Reserve List (40-man roster).  

87 Cubs minor leaguers will be eligible for selection in the Major League Phase of the 2021 MLB Rule 5 Draft, whenever it takes place. 


Jose Albertos, RHP 
Edmond Americaan, OF
D. J. Artis, OF
Javier Assad, RHP 
Cam Balego, C-INF
Aneudis Beard, RHP (second-contract player signed for 2022)
Andres Bonalde, LHP (second-contract player - on Restricted List) 
James Bourque, RHP (Article XX-D player - signed 2022 successor contract)
Craig Brooks, RHP (on Restricted List)
Jesus Camargo, RHP (on Restricted List)
Derek Casey, RHP
Erick Castillo, C (Article XX-D player - signed 2022 successor contract)  
Danis Correa, RHP
Narciso Crook, OF (post-2021 FA - signed 2022 minor league contract)
Yovanny Cruz, RHP 
Zach Davis, OF
Matt Dermody, LHP (Article XX-D player - post-2021 minor league FA - signed 2022 minor league contract)
Luis Devers, RHP 
Donnie Dewees, OF (signed 2022 successor contract)
Christian Donahue, INF 
Manuel Espinoza, RHP 
Jeremiah Estrada, RHP
Miguel Fabrizio, C-1B 
Kelvin Feliz, RHP
Edwin Figuera, INF (second contract player signed for 2022)
Reivaj Garcia, INF
Trent Giambrone, INF
Stephen Gonsalves, LHP (Article XX-D player - post-2021 FA - signed 2022 minor league contract)
Jose Miguel Gonzalez, RHP 
Ben Hecht, RHP 
John Hicks, C-1B (Article XX-D player - post-2021 minor league FA - signed 2022 minor league contract)
P. J. Higgins, C-INF (Article XX-D player - signed 2022 minor league contract)  
Jonathan Holder, RHP (Article XX-D player - signed 2022 minor league contract)
Ben Holmes, LHP (signed 2022 successor contract)
Bryan Hudson, LHP
Brandon Hughes, LHP (ex-OF) 
Josue Huma, INF
Gabriel Jaramillo, RHP  
Kyle Johnson, RHP (played Indy ball in 2021 - signed 2022 minor league contract)
Levi Jordan, INF
Caleb Knight, C 
Austin Krzeminski, RHP (second contract player signed for 2022)
Mark Leiter Jr, RHP (Article XX-D player - post-2021 FA - signed 2022 minor league contract)
Brendon Little, LHP 
Dixon Machado, INF (Article XX-D player - post-2021 FA - signed 2022 minor league contract)
Kevin McCarthy, RHP (Article XX-D player - post-2021 minor league FA - signed 2022 minor league contract) 
Dakota Mekkes, RHP
Connor Menez, LHP (selected in AAA Phase of 2021 Rule 5 Draft)
Eduarniel Nunez, RHP 
Nicholas Padilla, RHP (signed 2022 successor contract) 
Jack Patterson, LHP 
Tyler Payne, C (Article XX-D player - signed 2022 successor contract)
C. D. Pelham, LHP (Article XX-D player - signed 2022 successor contract)
Raymond Pena, C (signed 2022 successor contract)
Yonathan Perlaza, OF (ex-INF)  
Fabian Pertuz, INF 
Eury Ramos, RHP (signed 2022 successor contract)
Jake Reindl, RHP 
Peyton Remy, RHP 
Samuel Reyes, RHP 
Benjamin Rodriguez, RHP 
Luis Angel Rodriguez, LHP 
Aneuris Rosario, RHP (signed 2022 successor contract)
Cam Sanders, RHP 
Yeison Santana, INF
Carlos Sepulveda, INF (second contract player signed for 2022) 
Wyatt Short, LHP 
Jonathan Sierra, OF-1B
Jake Slaughter, INF-OF 
Locke St. John, LHP (Article XX-D player - ex-TEX post-2021 Rule 9 6YFA - signed 2022 minor league contract) 
Eric Stout, LHP (Article XX-D player - previously-released player - signed 2022 minor league contract) 
Tyler Suellentrop, RHP (second contract player signed for 2022)
Tim Susnara, C (second contract player signed for 2022)
Matt Swarmer, RHP 
Riley Thompson, RHP 
Erich Uelmen, RHP 
Dauris Valdez, RHP
Didier Vargas, LHP
Ildemaro Vargas, INF (Article XX-D player - post-2021 minor league FA - signed 2022 minor league contract)
Luis Vazquez, INF 
Luis Verdugo, INF
Andy Weber, INF 
Harrison Wenson, C (second contract player signed for 2022)
Blake Whitney, RHP 
Eric Yardley, RHP (Article XX-D player - post-2021 minor league FA - signed 2022 minor league contract)
Jared Young, 1B-OF 
Delvin Zinn, INF 

Additionally, any player sent outright to the minors prior to the 2021 Rule 5 Draft and any free-agent who signs a 2022 minor league contract prior to the Rule 5 Draft will be 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 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.


Among the more-notable players selected by the Cubs in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft over the years are OF Hack Wilson (selected from New York Giants in 1925), C Bob Scheffing (selected from the St. Louis Cardinals in 1940), RHP Johnny Klippstein (selected frrom Brooklyn Dodgers in 1949), RHP Turk Lown (selected from Brooklyn Dodgers in 1951), OF Jim King (selected from the St. Louis Cardinals in 1954), INF Johnny Goryl (selected from the Baltimore Orioles in 1955), OF Monte Irvin (selected from the New York Giants in 1955), C Cal Neeman (selected from the New York Giants in 1956), 2B Tony Taylor (selected from the San Francisco Giants in 1957), SS Jose Arcia and C Bill Plummer (both selected from the St. Louis Cardinals in 1967), OF Cleo James (selected from the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1969), LHP Willie Hernandez (selected from the Philadelphia Phillies in 1976), C Jody Davis (selected from the St. Louis Cardinals in 1980), RHP Rodney Myers (selected from the Kansas City Royals in 1995), OF Josh Hamilton (selected from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and then traded to the Cincinnati Reds in a pre-arranged deal immediately after the draft concluded in 2006), RHP Hector Rondon (selected from the Cleveland Indians in 2012), and RHP Trevor Megill (selected from the San Diego Padres in 2019), and probably the most-notable Cubs minor leaguers lost in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft are 2B Eddie Mayo (selected by the Philadelphia Athletics in 1942), INF Billy Klaus (selected by the Boston Braves in 1949), RHP Billy Muffett (selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1955), OF Jason Dubois (selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2002 but then later re-claimed by Cubs), LHP Andy Sisco (selected by the Kansas City Royals in 2004), RHP Randy Wells (selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2007 but then later re-claimed by the Cubs), LHP Donnie Veal (selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2008), INF Ryan Flaherty (selected by the Baltimore Orioles in 2011), INF-OF Marwin Gonzalez (selected by the Boston Red Sox and then traded to the Houston Astros immediately after the draft concluded in 2011), RHP Michael Rucker (selected by the Baltimore Orioles in 2019 but then later re-claimed by the Cubs), and INF Vimael Machin (selected by the Philadelphia Phillies and then traded to the Oakland A's immediately after the draft concluded in 2019). 
NOTE: Hack Wilson and Monte Irvin, (both selected by the Cubs - see above) and RF Roberto Clemente (selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates from the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1954 Rule 5 Draft) are the only members of the Baseball Hall of Fame who were selected in a Rule 5 Draft.

The Cubs have actually lost many more players in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft (most-notably 1B Justin Bour, who was selected by the Miami Marlins from the Cubs AA Tennessee affiliate in 2013) than they have in the Major League Phase over the past few years, a testament to the depth of their farm system. They are likely to lose a few more players in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft this year as well.

The most-notable players selected by the Cubs in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft over the years are C Vic Roznovsky (selected by the Cubs from the San Francisco Giants AA El Paso affiliate in 1963), C Chris Krug (selected by the Cubs from the St. Louis Cardinals AA Tulsa affiliate in 1964), OF Brock Davis (selected by the Cubs from the Houston Astros AA Dallas-Ft. Worth affiliate in 1968), RHP Heathcliff Slocumb (selected by the Cubs from the New York Mets Little Falls affiliate in the NYP league in 1986), and OF Roosevelt Brown (selected by the Cubs from the Florida Marlins AA Portland affiliate in 1997).    


slew of cubs news...

d.bote (shoulder surgery) will need 6-ish months to recover and will most likely be delayed to start the season.

b.wieck is fully recovered from his heart procedure in august and will be ready to go for 2022.

minor leaguer b.marquez is expected to be ready for spring training with no limitations.  he missed 2021 with left shoulder isses (he's a lefty).  he pitched part of 1 game in 2020 and only pitched a little over 100 innings in 2019.  he'll be 23 in january, so he's still got youth on his side.

...on the negative side of things, b.little has a non-surgical (for now) left elbow injury and he's been shut down.  he'll be re-evaluated in a few weeks.

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

Definitely good news on Wieck and Marquez. Having that happen to Little when he was seemingly so close to a 40 man spot at last sucks.

As for Bote... as a person I hope he's alright. I think he isn't important baseball-wise, though.

[ ]

In reply to by Dolorous Jon Lester

the past couple seasons, especially last season, bote has been a whole lot of meh.

i was hoping he could be a 3rd/2nd placido polanco type (with a touch more power) and make his contract with 2 team options a hell of a deal.

he's got 3y/12m left before his option years come up.

caleb kilian gets the start for the East in the AFL Fall Stars game tonight.

the 2 other cubs, andy weber (2nd) and nelson velazquez (RF) are both in the starting lineup.

Caleb Kilian went two innings, gave up three hits, two walks, two earned runs, and struck out four. The first three hitters of the game reached and then Kilian seemed to settle in a bit. Stuff looked okay, but these All Star hitters were the best of the best!

Andy Weber and Nelson Velazquez were 0-for-the-game. Weber did a great job of ensuring he doesn't get drafted in the Rule 5 Draft - made an error on a soft chopper & a had a bunch of weak outs at bat. Velazquez looked like he was looking for FB mistakes but these pitchers didn't make any.

[ ]

In reply to by Wrigley Rat

glad that ethan roberts got protected.  he's a very intelligent pitcher.  if he had more velocity he'd be a lot more attractive in rankings (and if he was a starter), but if he had more velocity he may not approach his game the way he does.

in a world where everyone's pen has like 5 guys throwing mid-high 90s, he could be sneaky good even if not a closer type.

It's always a bit tricky to predict who might get selected in the Major League Phase of the MLB Rule 5 Draft, because unlike the MLB Rule 4 First-Year Player Draft where there is usually a general consensus among scouts as to who the best HS and college players are, all it takes is one club to like a particular player for that player to get selected in the Rule 5 Draft. 

A club might have scouted the player in HS or in college or in the Dominican or in Venezuela and has always liked him, or maybe one of your minor league managers saw the guy play or pitch up close & personal in games and remembers him as being better than others who haven't seen him first-hand, or maybe there is a coach or another player in your organization who knows a lot about a certain player and gives a very favorable report. You just never know. 

But there are several important things to remember about the Rule 5 Draft: 

1. It is better to lose a player in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft for $100,000 with better than a 50/50 chance that you will have a chance to later re-claim the player for $50,000 (so that's a $50,000 profit - AND - you get the player back!), than it is to add a player to the MLB 40-man roster and then find out later you need his slot on the 40 and you end up losing him off waivers for $50,000 with no chance to re-claim him later. It is a very delicate balance that requires careful consideration, weighing whether you will have a chance to re-claim the player later if he is selected, or if you maybe feel that getting $100K for that particular player is actually good value (you can make two waiver claims for $100K!).    

2. A player may have more value to another club even as a Rule 5 pick with roster restrictions than he would have to your club if you had added him to the 40. 

EXAMPLE: LHRP Brandon Hughes 

Brandon Hughes was a two-way player (OF / LHP) in college at Michigan State, and he even led the Big Ten in stolen bases one year. He's a decent defensive OF who can play LF-CF-RF, but he can also pitch - AND - PR (and maybe steal a base in a tight game), so his value as a Rule 5 player on an MLB 26-man roster is better than most because he can do  other things besides pitch 

And with the 13-man pitcher limit likely to finally become a reality in 2022, where a club must designate a player as either a "pitcher" or as a "position player" (or with very tight conditions, as a "two-way player" who does not count against the 13-man pitcher limit) prior to start of the season, a club could select Hughes in the Rule 5 Draft, designate him as a "position player" on MLB Opening Day, but still be able to use him as a pitcher in extra-inning games or in blow-outs (players on the MLB active list roster who are designated as a "position player" will be allowed to pitch only in an extra inning game or in a game where his club is ahead or behind by at least six runs, which is probably the only times you would actualy want to use a pitcher who was selected on the Rule 5 Dtaft!). 

3. Normally a pitcher on an MLB 40-man roster can go on a minor league rehab assignment for a maximum of 30 days, but a pitcher who is rehabbing from an elbow UCL transplant (Tommy John Surgery) can spend up to - 60 DAYS - on a minor league rehab asignment. (this - ONLY - applies to a TJS rehab)

So if a club selects a pitcher in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft who is rehabbing from Tommy John Surgery, the club can place the pitcher on the MLB 60-day IL on the first day of Spring Training (the day pitchers & catchers report), assign the pitcher to minor league Extended Spring Training through June, then send the player on a 60-day minor league rehab asignment at whatever minor league level is appropriate for him in July and August, and then reinstate him from the 60-day IL on September 1st when MLB active list rosters will expand from 26 to 28 and the maximum number of pitchers expands from 13 to 14. And then the pitcher can be designated by the club as a "position player," so that he can be used only in blow-outs or in extra uinnings (which is probably the only times you would want a Rule 5 Draft pick to pitch).  

And then in 2023 the pitcher would only need to spend another 60 days on the drafting club's MLB active list roster (again, designated as a "position player") before Rule 5 restrictions are removed and he can be optioned to the minors to whatever level is appropriate for him, and then he would get - FOUR - minor league option years starting in 2023. (If a Rule 5 Selected Player spends time on an MLB IL In his Rule 5 selected player season, he only needs to spend 90 days on the MLB active list roster for Rule 5 restrictions to be removed, but if he is still short of the minimum 90 days by the end of the Rule 5 selected season, he would remain a Rule 5 Selected Player into the next season and can make up the remaining days needed to reach the 90 days in that next season).   

4. Sometimes there is a position player or a pitcher far away from MLB who is projected as having an MLB  ceiling even if he is not anywhere near ready for The Show, and the club wants to find out if the player can maybe develop without getting regular innings or playing time for an entire season. Very few young guys can do it, but every now & then somebody does. 

EXAMPLES: RHRP Danis Correa, RHSP Luis Devers, and OF Yonathan Perlaza 

Correa's FB sits in the upper 90's and his breaking ball shows promise but he has not pitched above single-A, Devers is a plus-pitchability SP prospect with outstanding command of a 2SFB / CV / CH combo who only just reached Lo-A at the end of the 2021 minor league season but who then wowed scouts at Instructs, and Perlaza is a switch-hitting bat-first corner OF (ex-INF) or maybe a DH who along with Owen Caissie, Felix Stevens, James Triantos Jr, and Nelson Velazquez, has one of the top five average exit-velocities in the Cubs system.  

5. Somebody is MLB-ready or very close to being MLB ready (TBD) and so he could actually maybe be a useful player or pitcher on an MLB active list right away. 

EXAMPLES: INF Andy Weber, RHRP Dakota Mekkes, LHRP Bryan Hudson, RHSP/RP Cam Sanders, 1B-OF Jared Young, RHRP Dauris Valdez, and INF Levi Jordan 

These guys aren't great prospects but they do have some MLB upside and might be able to hold their own in MLB in 2022 (would have to be evaluated in Spring Training, so it's a gamble).     

6. The kind of guys you would probably want to avoid selecting in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft are injured non-TJS rehab pitchers (like LHRP Brendon Little and RHSP Riley Thompson) where you don't know exactly what his injury is or you know what it is but you don't know the extent of it. You don't want to select a pitcher in the Rule 5 Draft and then end up having to pay him the MLB minimum salary (about $600K) for a year while he is on the 60-day IL and also have to pay for his surgery and then he can't pitch for another year or two after that, during which time he must remain a Rule 5 Selected Player.

7. What you absolutely do not want to do is fail to add a pitcher or position player to the 40 before the Rule 5 Draft, and then end up losing somebody who subsequently becomes a rotation SP, a high-leverage RP, or a position player starter or other useful position player who generally cannot be replaced by waiver claim. That's why self-scouting and knowing your organization really well matters a lot.

That's sort of what happened with Epstein-Hoyer when they took over the Cubs ten years ago and lost Marwin Gonzalez and Ryan Flaherty in the Rule 5 Draft and traded D. J. LeMahieu. They really didn't know the orgaozation well enough to make informed decisions, and it cost them.  

With new Cubs GM Carter Hawkins coming over from Cleveland, and with the Cubs having three slots open on the 40, and with the Guardians having DFA'd seven guys yesterday, I wouldn't be too surprised if the Cubs make a waiver claim or two involving one or more of the Cleveland DFAs, like maybe corner OF Harold Ramirez, LHSP Scott Moss, RHSP J. C. Mejia, RHRP Justin Garza, and/or LHRP Kyle Nelson.   

Ramirez and Mejia are out of minor league options (and Ramirez wil be eligible for salary arbitrationas a "super two"), so if they claim either or both of them the Cubs would probably want to non-tender the player on 12/2 and then (hopefully) re-sign him to a minor league contract, preferably after the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft. 

Moss, Garza, and Nelson do have minor league options available and have absolutely no off-season outright assignment restrictions, so the Cubs could claim them and then just put them back on waivers again seven days later, hoping to outright them to AAA.  

These are the Cubs "on the bubble" guys most-likely to get non-tendered oi 12/2 to avoid the possibility of player later getting claimed off waivers, and if non-tendered, the Cubs would (hopefully) be able to re-sign the player to a 2022 minor league contract.  

1. Michael Hermosillo - He is a Draft-Excluded Player so he can't be outrighted until mid-March, and he is out of minor league options so he can't be optioned to the minors out of Spring Training, and he can elect free-agency if he eventually is outrighted. He is the "poster boy" for a non-tender candidate. 

2. Sergio Alcantara - He is out of minor league options so he can't be optioned to the minors out of Spring Training, and he can elect free-agency if he eventually is outrighted. 

3. Brad Wieck - He is out of minor league options so he cannot be optioned to the minors out of Spring Training. He also is recovering from September heart surgery, although he has reportedly been cleared for full activity. He does - NOT - have the right to elect frree-agency if he is outrighted and there are no restrictions  for him as far as outright assignment is concerned.   

4-5. Michael Rucker & Trevor Megill - They can be outrighted at any time and they have minor league options available if they don't make the Opening Day roster out of Spring Training, but they both have the right to elect free-agency if outrighted.  

6. Jason Adam - He is a Draft-Excluded Player so he cannot be outrighted until mid-March, but otherwise he will have no option or outright resrtctions coming out of Spring Training and he cannot elect free-agency if he is outrighted, although Cubs might not want to expose him to waivers - IF - they anticipate that his roster slot might be needed.  

7-8. Tommy Nance and Greg Deichmann -  No outright or option restrtictions here, but player's 40-man roster slot might be needed later in off season for FA signing and Cubs might not want to expose player to waivers - IF - they anticipate player's roster slot might be needed.

Although Adbert Alzolay, Alec Mills, and Rafael Ortega are out of minor league options, Alzolay will absolutely be tendered a contract, Mills will almost certainly be tendered, and Ortega will very likely be tendered (though not a lock for Ortega). 

Top 15 Cubs first-time Rule 5 Draft-eligibles post-2022 (that is, after NEXT season) will be: 

1. Brennon Davis, OF 
2. Caleb Kilian, RHSP 
3. Kevin Alcantara, OF 
4. Ryan Jensen, RHSP 
5. Kohl Franklin, RHSP 
6. Cole Roederer, OF 
7. Yohendrick Pinango, OF 
8. Chris Clarke, RHSP 
9. Richard Gallardo, RHSP 
10. Michael McAvene, RHSP 
11. Chase Strumpf, INF 
12. Cayne Ueckert, RHRP 
13. Darius Hill, OF
14. Bryce Ball, 1B  
15. Nelson Maldonado, 1B 

The above list does not include players who are Rule 5-draft eligible this year and will be again next year, like Brendon Little, Riley Thompson, Danis Correa, Jared Young, Andy Weber, Brandon Hughes, Cam Sanders, Jeremiah Estrada, Eduarniel Nunez, Yovanny Cruz, and Jack Patterson.  

First-time Cubs Rule 9 minor league 6YFA post-2022 of note will include: 

1. Yonathan Perlaza, OF 
2. Dakota Mekkes, RHRP 
3. Dauris Valdez, RHRP 
4. Matt Swarmer, RHSP 
5. Trent Giambrone, INF 
6. Delvin Zinn, INF 
7. Carlos Ocampo, RHRP  
8. Zach Davis, OF 
9. Javier Assad, RHSP 
10. Wyatt Short, LHRP 

The above list does not include players who were eligible to be a minor league 6YFA post-2021 but signed a 2022 minor league successor contract, and will be a Rule 9 minor league 6YFA again post-2022, like Bryan Hudson, Eury Ramos, Nicholas Padilla, Donnie Dewees, and C. D. Pelham. 

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In reply to by Arizona Phil


Does it make sense for Kevin Alcantara to be Rule 5 eligible?

I know after 2022 he'll have been under contract for four seasons. And, I know that 2020 still counts even though there was no season. But, he'd be 20 years old. The Cubs have to put him on the 40 to protect him at 20 yrs old?

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In reply to by Childersb3

childersb3: If you mean it's too bad that Kevin Alcantara will be Rule 5 Draft-eligible post-2022, then yes, I guess it is. But barring a change in the new CBA, Alcantara will be Rule 5 Draft-eligible post-2022, and unless he suffers a career-threatening injury or has an absolutely abysmal year at Myrtle Beach in 2022, the Cubs almost certainly will add him to the 40 this time next year. He is one of the Cubs Top 10 prospects, and you don't leave a healthy organizational Top 10 prospect (who could be an MLB Top 100 prospect next season) available for selection in the Rule 5 Draft, no matter how young he is.

However, if Alcantara is added to the 40 post-2022, he will get a 4th minor league option year (in 2026), so he will not need to be rushed. It's just that he will take up a spot on the 40 when he is nowhere near MLB-ready. 

Something very similar happened with OF Alexander Canario, acquired by the Cubs from the San Francisco Giants in the Kris Bryant trade. 

Canario was signed by the Giants as an IFA J-2 16-year old in July 2016, and so he was first-time Rule 5 Draft-eligible post-2020 when he was only 20 years old, and despite not having played above short-season ball. He also had suffered a shoulder injury that required surgery after making a diving catch in an Instructs game versus the Cubs at Sloan Park in October 2020, but the Giants added him to their MLB 40-man roster last November anyway.

And just like Alcantara will get a 4th minor league option year if he is added to the 40 post-2022, Canario will get a 4th minor league option in 2024. And because Canario has four minor league option years, the Giants weren't pressured to rush him and so they optioned him to Lo-A San Jose coming out of Spring Training this past season. (The Cubs moved him up to Hi-A South Bend after the trade, but they could have just as easily moved him laterally to Lo-A Myrtle Beach, if they had wanted to do that).   

Again, the problem with guys like Canario and Alcantara is that they are too valuable to be left exposed in the Rule 5 Draft, but they are also so far away from MLB that they occupy a 40-man roster slot that can't be used to shuttle a player back & forth between AAA and the big club during the season. 

This is going to be a contiuning problem for the Cubs going forward as more & more of their best prospects become Rule 5 Draft-eligible when they are nowhere near MLB ready. It really puts a crimp on in-season roster management. 

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In reply to by Arizona Phil

The Cubs will likely have a lot more roster protection decisions next year than they did this year.  

Right now, Brennon Davis, Caleb Kilian, Kevin Alcantara, Ryan Jensen, and Kohl Franklin, plus probably Yonathan Perlaza (who is eligible to be a first-time minor league FA post-2022), and maybe Bryan Hudson (who will once again be eligible to be a minor league FA post-2022) are the Cubs minor leaguers most-likely to be added to the 40 prior to the 11-18-2022 deadline, and that doesn't even include 2021 Rule 5 Draft-eligible pitchers who were injured in 2021, like Riley Thompson, Jack Patterson, Yovanny Cruz, Brendon Little, and Jeremiah Estrada. 

BTW, the pre-Rule 5 Draft roster filing deadline next year wil be Friday November 18th, because November 20 falls on a Sunday. 

The 4th option helps. I guess I was speaking to the CBA forcing these guys to the 40man so quickly. But, I'm sure that acceleration helps drive up salaries eventually. 

cubs aquired harold ramirez from CLE for long time journeyman "cash considerations"

technically he can play all 3 OF slots, realistically he's not good at any of the slots.

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In reply to by Dolorous Jon Lester

DSJ: Exactly. Even though he was just acquired in a trade, the Cubs still might opt to non-tender Ramirez on 12/2, that is, as long as he goes along with the plan. I doubt that the Cubs would non-tender him if he declines (in advance) to sign a 2022 minor league contract.  

Miguel Amaya to have Tommy John surgery. Will likely miss most of next season. (I speculate that he could maybe DH a bit in the second half and throw towards August.)

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In reply to by tim815

TIM: Yes, except a position player only gets a maximum of 20 days on a minor league injury rehab assignment, so the 30 extra days allowed for a position player rehabbing from TJS would mean a maximum of 50 days, whereas it would be a maximum of 60 days for a pitcher (the original 30 days that pitchers get plus the additional 30 days in the form of three 10-day increments). And this also only applies to players on an MLB IL. 

Keep in mind that a player on an MLB IL must consent to a minor league injury rehab assignment, including the additional 30 days (in the form of three ten-day increments to which the player must consent every ten days) for TJS rehabbers.

However, a player who can be optioned to the minors (that is, a player with a "usable" option) will almost always consent to a minor league rehab assignment if they know that the alternative would be getting optioned to the minors, because a player on a minor league rehab assignment gets paid at the Major League split rate and also accrues MLB Service Time (and gets MLB meal money, too!) while he is on a minor league injury rehab assignment. 

In the case of Miguel Amaya, because he did not accrue any MLB Service Time in 2021, has not yet accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time, and was not selected in the immediately preceding Rule 5 Draft, he can be optioned to the minors  - EVEN IF HE IS INJURED OR REHABBING FROM AN INJURY - up until 15 days prior to MLB Opening Day, so it is unlikely that the Cubs would place him on their MLB 60-day IL unless they absolutely need his 40-man roster slot, because if he is placed on the MLB 60-day IL he would be paid at the MLB rate (about $600K pro-rated versus about $100K pro-rated) - AND - he would accrue MLB Service Time. 

That might matter if 2022 is Amaya's last option year, but he already is getting a 4th minor league option in 2023, but that's only if if he uses his 3rd option in 2022, so there is no reason to try and preserve an Amaya option year in 2022 because either way he will get one in 2023. Therefore, I would expect him to get optioned to AA Tennessee or AAA Iowa on or before the 15th day prior to 2022 MLB Opening Day, and then be placed on a minor league IL on minor league full-season Opening Day in April. (Again, unless the Cubs absolutely, positively need his 40-man roster slot for another player).   

BTW, Miguel Amaya isn't the only player on the Cubs MLB 40-man roster who can be optioned to the minors up until 15 days prior to 2022 MLB Opening Day even if he is injured or rehabbing from an injury. There are actually seven more!... Alexander Canario, Anderson Espinoza, Brailyn Marquez, Christopher Morel, Ethan Roberts, Nelson Velazquez, and Alexander Vizcaino.  

As you probably know, Roberts and Velazquez are Draft-Excluded Players, which means they cannot be sent to the minors (optioned or outrighted) any earlier than 20 day prior to 2022 MLB Opening Day, so if Roberts and/or Velazquez are injured during the 2021-22 off-season or during Spring Training, they can be optioned (or outrighted) to the minors only during the five-day period between 20 days prior to 2022 MLB Opening Day (the first day a Draft-Excluded Player can be sent to the minors) and 15 days prior to MLB Opening Day (the last day an injured player who did not acrue any MLB Service Time the previous season can be sent to the minors)  

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In reply to by Wrigley Rat

W-RAT: Of all the TJS rehab types, a catcher TJS rehab is probably most similar to a pitcher's because of the laser pinpoint rifle throws a catcher needs to make to 2nd base.

So I would expect Amaya will be able to DH by mid-season (hitting shouldn't be a problem by then), and then (hopefully) be able to throw normally in games (as a catcher) at post-season Instructs and then maybe in the AFL, with 2023 Spring Training being when he should be 100%. 

And then as I mentioned in another comment, Amaya will get a 4th minor league option in 2023 if he uses his 3rd in 2022, otherwise if he doesn't use his 3rd minor league option in 2022 (if he is placed on the MLB 60-day IL instead) he would have his 3rd minor league option available in 2023, and the 4th minor league option will be available in 2024 (but - ONLY - if he doesn't accrue at least 90 days on a minor league and/or MLB active list roster in both 2022 and 2023), so a 4th minor league option being available in 2024 if he spends the entire 2022 season on the Cubs MLB 60-day IL and spends his 3rd minor league option in 2023 is TBD. 

w.franco (rays) extend 11y/185m

not bad for a guy with 1/10th of a season service time.

The Cubs have released LHP Chris Allen, 1B Shendrik Apostel, INF Matt Burch, INF Widimer Joaquin, RHP Garrett Kelly, RHP Marco Prieto,  RHP Jorge Remon, RHP Dawel Rodriguez, and OF Vance Vizcaino, so the off-season Cubs Minor League Domestic Reserve List is now at 169 (21 slots are open).  

Six of the nine players who were released (Allen, Apostel, Joaquin, Kelly, Remon, and Vizcaino) were Rule 5 Draft-eligible, and all six had been left off the Iowa Reserve List when rosters were filed last Friday. 

With Amaya's 2022 year as a catcher essentially an non-factor and Robinson Chirinos and Austin Romaine again free agents, It looks like any rumors of moving Willson Contreras will go quiet. At least Chirinos could hit (for a backup catcher). 

AZ Phil: what are your thoughts about the current state of the Cubs minor league catching? Also who do you favor for the list of usual suspects for backup position to Contreras. It seems Jed Hoyer has said out loud that Willson would have a better offensive season if he weren't overused from the catching position. I'm sure David Ross must think this as well.  In 2021, they just couldn't keep a backup catcher healthy. 

[ ]

In reply to by Cubster

CUBSTER: Unless you consider Erick Castillo and Tyler Payne as legit contenders to be the Cubs back-up catcher in 2022, the Cubs have no catcher who is projected to eventually play in MLB anywhere near MLB ready.

I would expect the Cubs will eventually re-sign Robinson Chirinos to a 2022 minor league contract with an NRI to Spring Training, and as things stand right now he would almost certainly get the back-up job (mostly by defauil), but I cannot believe that the Cubs did not claim Pedro Severino off waivers from the Orioles earlier this month when Baltimore outrighted him to AAA (he is an Article XX-D player, so he elected free-agency after being outrighted). 

Severino was the Orioles #1 catcher in 2021 and under club control for two more seasons, albeit salary arbitration eligible. But then, Harold Ramirez is salary arbitration eligible ("super two"), too.

So then Severino becomes a FA and signed a one-year deal for $1.9M with the Brewers a couple of days ago. 

Severino is only 28 years old and would have been an ideal back-up catcher for the next two years, and the Cubs still could have traded Contreras (presumably for a younger close-to-being-MLB-ready catcher).  

Not that TJS is ever necessarily a good thing, but taking a year off from catching could give Miguel Amaya a chance to work on his hitting.

His glove & arm were probably a year ahead of his bat coming into 2021, so once he gets going again hopefully he will be able to spend a significant part of his rehab working in the cages. 

Also, although he won't be able to throw for a while, he should be able to work on his receiving during the summer, once he is cleared to resume non-throwing baseball activities.  

every other team: hey, we're signing and trading players!

cubs: we had a college football game recently at wrigley and the betting sportsbook we're building at the park is starting to come along nicely.  you guys got money?  we'd like to have some.  want to bet on something?  watch a concert?  maybe stay at the hotel?

seriously, though...cubs are at least linked to m.stroman, but there is 0 indication how strong the link is vs the other teams who have spoken publically.

there's no cubs convention this year because no one wants to take accountability over this off-season, i mean covid, so they're going to have to give interviews to indicate what's going on with the club aside from further monitizing wrigley field.

cubs weren't linked heavily, but m.semien is off the board to the rangers...7/175m

trevor story seems to be the most cubs-linked middle IF'r, but i havent heard anything about story/cubs in weeks.

[ ]

In reply to by Dolorous Jon Lester

hey, they're working hard as hell.

just last week tom ricketts and other chicago sports team owners went out of their way to respond to a Tribune article calling sports betting lounges "casinos" by co-authoring a letter to the paper.

DraftKings being happy seems to be the cubs #1 offseason priority.

m.scherzer mets 3/130m (wow)

that's more than the entire payroll for PIT last season per year and only a bit less than what BAL, CLE, and MIA paid out.

BA released their top-10 cubs prospects list...

1. Brennen Davis

2. Cristian Hernandez

3. Brailyn Marquez

4. Pete Crow-Armstrong

5. Jordan Wicks

6. Kevin Alcantara

7. Caleb Kilian

8. Owen Caissie

9. DJ Herz

10. Yohendrick Pinango

reggie preciado got robbed.

c.seager goes to TEX for 10/325.

they've committed to spend 1/2 billion this week (marcus semien added, too).

meanwhile, the cubs complained to the local paper about how their new multi-million dollar sports betting lounge isn't a casino and they sent out a "cyber monday" ad to offer the great deal of it costing nothing to get on the season tickets waiting list.

it already is and will continue to be a hell of a 24 hours.  maybe the cubs will *shrug* i something worth talking about.

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

Have to admit that as someone that now lives in Texas and enjoys baseball in general (not just Cubs), will likely head to DFW instead of Houston this summer to get my baseball fix.  New stadium, some exciting new players.  Guess that covers $100 of those millions they just spent.

I figured the Rangers would make a Jason Werth type of signing this offseason.  Overpay to bring in a big time free agent that signals that the organization is transitioning from rebuilding to trying to be competive.  Didn't expect them to double down on it. 

j.baez to DET....6/140m

cubs are obviously in the market for a SS, especially since hoerner has been put on notice he could be a ultility player in 2022.  it's looking a lot like trevor story time unless he gets priced out.

not too stoked on his bat, but his glove is solid.

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

CRUNCH: I would be very surprised if the Cubs sign anyone with a QO attached, so that rules out Story and Correa. I could see the Cubs maybe acquiring Didi Gregorius from the Phillies as a Phillie salary dump if the Phils sign Correa or Story. Then the Cubs could flip Gregorius at the trade deadline. Gregorius is signed thru 2022 at about $14M. Gregorius could end up back with the Yankees for a year under a similar scenario. 

The Cardinals are a team that might be a fit for Story, with the Cards then maybe trading DeJong for a mid-level prospect to at least partially offset the forfeited draft pick. Story and Arenado were long-time teammates in Colorado and Story seems like the type of player the Cardinals like.   

Or the Nationals might sign Carlos Correa as a way to prove to Juan Soto that they are serious about being a contender for the next decade.

Otherwise, both Story and Correa could very well return to their 2021 teams and then try FA again this time next year, when they wouldn't have a QO attached. 

Another trade that could happen is SS Isiah Kiner-Falefa and a nowhere-near MLB-ready but still Top 10 pitching prospect or two to the Reds for one of their SPs (Castillo or Gray). Kyle Hendricks (who was originally drafted and signed by the Rangers) might be another potential SP trade target for Texas. The Rangers really, really need a couple more legit MLB SPs if they are serious about being a contender in 2022.  

yan gomes 2/13m cubs.

contreras trade watch underway...maybe...dunno if you can actually count on gomes to catch 120+ games a year.  he may be high-end backup/rest with powerful bench option between him and contreras.

So, who's stoked for the Miley, Gomes, Frazier era?

I'm really amped how strong Tom Ricketts commitment is to putting a winner on the field. 

Here is a different twist to the Gmez signing:  There is a strong indication that 2022 will have the DH in the national league.  The Cubs could have signed Gomez with the thought of DH-ing Wilson the keep him fresh.  Think 100 -110 games behind the plate for Wilson and the rest at DH.

[ ]

In reply to by videographer

jed did mention recently wanting contreras to get more non-catching rest days.

the problem with the DH so far has been owners dangling it over the players as if it's the key thing all players want...grossly over-valueing it.  i think everyone is kinda expecting it to happen with the next labor contract, though.

matt boyd non-tendered by DET...that sounds about the right part of the scrap pile the cubs are digging around

MIN claimed t.megill from CHC and then non-tendered him.

CHC non-tender jason adam and mike hermosillo

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In reply to by Arizona Phil

With Jason Adam and Michael Hermosillo having been non-tendered, the only 2021 Rule 5 Draft-Excluded Players remaining on the Cubs MLB 40-man roster are Scott Effross, Alfonso Rivas, Ethan Roberts, and Nelson Velazquez. Draft-Excluded players cannot be outrighted to the minors until 20 days prior to MLB Opening Day, so Effross, Rivas, Roberts, and Velazquez are the only players on the 40 with off-season roster-removal restrictions.  

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

The Cubs re-signed OF Michael Hermosillo to a 2022 Major League contract just prior to the midnight Wednesday MLB transaction freeze. 

Hermosillo was non-tendered on Tuesday because he was a Rule 5 Draft-Excluded Player, and if he had remained on the 40 the Cubs would not have been able to outright him to the minors any earlier than 20 days prior to MLB opening Day. 

However, by non-tendering him and then re-signing him he is no longer a Draft-Excluded Player (the chain was broken, so to speak), so although I'm sure the Cubs would have preferred to sign Hermosillo to a minor league contract after the Rule 5 Draft, removing his Draft-Excluded status by non-tendering him and then re-signing him to an MLB contract means the Cubs can now outright him to the minors at any time during the off-season without restriction, should his slot on the 40 be needed for another player. 

Simply put, a club can't force a non-tendered player to sign a minor league contract if he doesn't want to do it, although hopefully the club will have some idea in advance of how the player feels about signing a minor league deal before the club non-tenders him. In Hermosillo's case, the Cubs were going to non-tender him, no matter what.  

Of course if Hermosillo is placed on Outright Assignment Waivers at some point down the line he could get claimed by another club (as happened withTrevor Megill on Tuesday), and if he is outrighted he can elect free-agency immediately, although if he does that he forfeits what is left of his salary.

So if Hermosillo is outrighted, he would very likely accept the assignment and defer free-agency until after the conclusion of the 2022 MLB regular season. 

[ ]

In reply to by George Altman

until clint fraizer came on board i wouldn't have counted bryant out.

OF is kinda crowded right now, though there's no stars in the mix.  fraizer - happ - ortega - heyward - h.ramirez leading the group...  even if he split time between OF/3rd with wisdom that just makes it more crowded, plus the team allegedly wants hoerner to prepare to be used as a super-utility guy.

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

CRUNCH: Clint Frazier's 2022 base salary is only $1.5M and he has a minor league option available, so I think it's more likely than not that he opens 2022 at AAA. 

On the other hand, Harold Ramirez is out of minor league options, and it is unknown at this point what he will get in 2022 as a "super two." 

[ ]

In reply to by Sonicwind75

we shouldn't, especially with how much payroll room for 2024+ this top-costing-for-fans team with a heavily monitized ballpark in a major media market has.

backloaded contracts aren't exactly groundbreaking new things...neither are cheap-ass owners.  i don't expect them to compete every year, but i expect them to try after a punt season where they traded away the core.  NYY, NYM, LAD, LAA, BOS, etc. don't seem to have trouble doing this even if it means throwing a bit of money around...

Owners' stooge Bobby Manfred coming out swinging at the players with his statement about the owners instituting a lockout.

The Cubs have re-signed RHRP Jonathan Holder and C-INF P.J. Higgins to 2022 minor league contracts, presumably with an NRI to MLB Spring Training. 

They will be Rule 5 Draft-eligible, if and when there is a Rule 5 Draft. 

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

Hey Phil - Could David Bote be outrighted at any point before the start of the season (obviously not now while players are being locked out). I wonder because if someone claimed him, oh well. If he elected free agency, wouldn't that void his contract? These are the thoughts going through my head as I look to open up another 40-man spot, and Bote will be out until at least May.

I've read your 40-man tag for him, but I'm not quite smart enough to figure this out! :) Thanks!

NOTE 5 - Any player who has accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time (David Bote, Clint Frazier, and Ian Happ) has the right to elect free-agency if outrighted.

[ ]

In reply to by Wrigley Rat

W-RAT: The Cubs can outright David Bote (if he is not claimed off waivers) once the transaction freeze is lifted. That's not a problem. 

If he is outrighted and then elects free-agency, he would forfeit what remains of his contract - AS LONG AS - the contract is not fully guaranteed. 

If the contract is fully guaranteed he would likely elect free-agency and the Cubs would be on the hook for what remains of his salary, offset by the MLB minimum salary if he were to sign an MLB deal with another club.

If the contract is not fully guaranteed, he would almost certainly accept the outright assignment and not elect free-agency if outrighted, and continue to be paid "big league money" to play in AAA for what remains of the contract (unless he were to be added back to the 40 in the meantime).  

I just can't see Bote giving up that salary -- even if it means playing in AAA for the next few years to keep it -- because I doubt that he could get that kind of money on the open market.  

I don't know if the contract is guaranteed or not, but if I had to hazard a guess, I would say it is probably not fully guaranteed.  

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

W-RAT: I should also mention that the Cubs cannot outright David Bote while he is injured or rehabbing from an injury, except during a window starting on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season up until the day that off-season reserve lists must be filed (normaly 11/20, but it was 11/19 in 2021 because 11/20 fell on a Saturday, and it will be 11/18 in 2022 because 11/20 will fall on a Sunday). 

Jeff Passan @JeffPassan
Marcus Stroman signed a three-year, $71 million contract with the Chicago Cubs that includes an opt out after the second season, sources tell ESPN. He’ll make $25 million in 2022, $25 million in 2023 and $21 million in 2024. It includes $2M escalators for 160 IP in ‘22 and ‘23.

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

Stroman's salary escalators apply to 2024, so if Stroman reaches 160 IP in either 2022 or 2023 (but not both) it adds $2M to his 2024 salary, and if he reaches 160 IP in both 2022 and 2023 it would add $4M to his to 2024 salary.

So he gets $25M in both 2022 and 2023 (that's locked-in), and then either $21M, $23M , or $25M in 2024, depending upon whether he reaches his salary escalators in 2022 and/or 2023. 

kristin call has been named GM of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.  she's been the assistant/associate GM for a few years and was formally a marketing director for the team.

she's been involved in baseball for a living for 16+ years.

"Mark Berman of FOX 26 in Houston reports that Carlos Correa's agent has been contacted by the Astros, Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Cubs and Braves.

It's not clear when the contact took place or what level of interest each club has."

...with the yanks and dodgers both with piles of cash and a bit of need, i wouldn't get too stoked...but at least there seems to be some interest in what his market is.

Phil, can you settle a Twitter discussion? A team can only select players in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft until its 38-man Triple-A reserve list is full, correct? Don't believe this changed with the latest Major League Rules that introduced the Domestic Reserve List and eliminated individual level reserve lists during the offseason.

[ ]

In reply to by jdrnym

jdrnym: That's correct.

Under the new rules, the 38-man AAA reserve list is now only used beginning on the date reserve lists are filed in November and extending up through the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft. Then after the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft, everybody goes back into the off-season 190-man Domestic Reserve List hopper. 

So the AAA reserve list is now just a - TEMPORARY - subset of a club's 190-man off-season minor league Domestic Reserve LIst, and Rule 5 Draft-eligible minor leaguers must be assigned to the AAA reserve list in order to be available for selection in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft only.

Only Rule 5 Draft-eligible minor leaguers not on the AAA reserve list may be selected in the AAA Phase, and players selected in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft must be placed on the temporary 38-man AAA reserve list immediately after selection, so there must be at least as many open slots on the AAA Reseve List as the number of players selected in that phase. 

That's one of the reasons most clubs leave one or more slots open on their AAA reserve list when it is filed in November (the other reasons being to provide slots for players who might be outrighted to the minors and for free-agents signed to minor league contracts between the filing of reserve lists in November and the Rule 5 Draft).  

Also, the number of pre-Rule 5 Draft available slots on a club's 38-man AAA reserve list can be increased if players are selected from that club's AAA reserve list in the Major League Phase. That's why you can't have the AAA Phase of the draft without first having the Major League Phase. 

Because of the lock-out and the subsequent postponing/delaying of the 2021 Rule 5 Draft until (perhaps) March or maybe even later, free-agents who sign minor league contracts in December, January, and February who are not normally eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft because it's over before they sign, will be eligible for selection. 

In other words, unless the lock-out is really short and the Rule 5 Draft happens very soon, there will be many, many more players available for selection in the Rule 5 Draft than usual, which is why most MLB clubs left more slots open on their AAA reserve list than would normally be the case when reserve lists were filed on 11/19. 

The Cubs have signed free-agent LHP Stephen Gonsalves to a 2022 minor league contract.

If he were to be added to the MLB 40-man roster at some point in 2022, he has no minor league options left and he has Article XX-D rights (he can elect free-agency if outrighted).

So 78 Cubs minor leaguers are now eligible for selection in the 2021 Rule 5 Draft.

Also, the Cubs off-season minor league Domestic Reserve List now stands at 173 (17 slots are open).

gil hodges, jim kaat, minnie minoso, tony oliva, buck oneil, and bud fowler new HOF members.

dick allen fell 1 vote short.

According to the Twittersphere, Yohendrick Pinango had surgery last week. From the pic it looks pretty major. What a bummer, he had a great year as a 19 year old in Myrtle Beach.

I guess the silver lining is he'd be able to work with the team to rehab because he's not on the 40 man, unlike Amaya in his TJS recovery.

[ ]

In reply to by bradsbeard

also not a doctor.  for all i know he was in his post-surgery setup to keep him from doing stupid stuff with his hand while he was coming off post-surgery drugs or something like that.

since i don't know what i'm doing i'm also going to diagnose him with consumption, falling sickness, and st vitas dance.

LHRP Connor Menez has pitched in MLB so he should be at Iowa in 2022 with the possibility of a 2022 call-up to Chicago

While he has a "live" arm with some upside as a potential high-leverage reliever at the upper levels, RHRP Carlos Ocampo was going to be a minor league 6YFA post-2022 and he hasn't pitched above Lo-A. However, of the 44 Cubs minor leaguers who were available for selection in the AAA Phase, Ocampo was probably the best one. 

[ ]

In reply to by tim815

I don't disagree with this at all.

Team definitely needs to sign a handful of relievers. The only locks I see are the Wi(e)cks, Heuer, and Steele. Thompson is a probably and I'm currently assuming Mills and Alzolay are SP (very much subject to change).

Nice having flexibility though.

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

Between Locke St. John, Stephen Gonsalves, Connor Menez, Bryan Hudson, and Brandon Hughes, the Cubs should be able to find somebody to pair with Brad Wieck (who is out of minor league options).

And if that doesn't work, there's always the possibility of selecting a LHRP in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft (the Cubs have the # 7 pick), a waiver claim (the Cubs have the # 7 waiver claim priority through the 30th day of the MLB regular season), or a trade for a LHRP who is out of options (like Wieck) at the end of Spring Training. 

A second lefty reliever is probably the most-fungible of all fungible relievers. No need to spend payroll there. 

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

With the 13-man pitcher limit coming, I think one thing that will become necessary and therefore very common going forward is the "bulk reliever," meaning a pitcher who can throw two or three innings and 45-60 pitches and go one time through the order, either as an opener or as a middle-innings RP. 

Clubs wil probably need at least three of them, because they will likely need two days off between outings.  

I could see most starting pitcher prospects beginning their MLB careers as a bulk reliever, and then some might gradually transition to a traditional 90-100-pitch SP. 

Using this model, the Cubs MLB pitching staff right now is probably:  

SP: Marcus Stroman, Kyle Hendricks, Wade Miley, and two from among Alec Mills, Adbert Alzolay, and/or Justin Steele
BP: Mills, Alzolay, and/or Steele, Keegan Thompson, and Cory Abbott 
RP: Rowan Wick, Codi Heuer, Brad Wieck, and either Scott Effross, Tommy Nance, Manuel Rodriguez, Michael Rucker, or Ethan Roberts, and a second LHRP (TBD from amongst Spring Training NRI). 

I think the Cubs still might add at least one more MLB BOR SP and a veteran high-leverage RHRP (like a Ryan Tepera-type). 

Caleb Kilian and Ryan Jensen will probably begin the 2022 season percolating at AAA. Kilian fits the profile of a traditional SP, while Jensen probably projects more as a permanent bulk reliever or maybe even a one-inning RP. Both Kilian and Jensen will be Rule 5-Draft eligible post-2022, so they will both likely get an NRI to MLB Spring Training, and then could get called-up at any time. 

Ben Leeper, Dauris Valdez, and Cayne Ueckert are the RHRPs who could conceivably make the Cubs MLB Opening Day roster or else get an early call-up to Chicago, although Valdez looked very good at Instructs and could get selected in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft. Ueckert will be Rule 5 Draft-eligible post-2022, but Leeper won't be Rule 5 Draft-eligible until post-2023.  

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

I love all the info. Thanks Phil!!

With the maximum number of pitchers enforcement finally arriving, options and roster flexibility in the bullpen are going to be enormously important. I think the days of the Cubs bullpen being 6 guys who are proven MLB guys that won't be sent down, 1 out of options guy, and 1 spot with flexibility are gone.

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

Knowing Menez has a bonus option is awesome info. Thanks Phil!

I think Steele is also going to be strongly considered for the second LHRP, or they may opt for only one LHRP. Maybe an established ones falls into their laps. Fungible is the perfect way to describe the role. I agree that they're set for that role.

Cubs are apparently considering taking on a bad contract in order to get more prospects. I think that's a great idea, though I don't know that I like the idea of 4 years of Eric Hosmer.

I did look at a few other bad contracts and found a few that could work:

Didi Gregorius (1 year left)

Robinson Cano (2 years left)

Nick Ahmed (2 years left)

Bumgarner and Corbin each with three years to go I am less enthused about.

[ ]

In reply to by Dolorous Jon Lester

owned by billionaires.

owned by billionaires sinking big loot into a TV Nework that promised big time things when completed...owned by billionaires who's major off-season priority seems to be their DraftKings betting lounge (resturant + sports book) at Wrigley.

if they do it, hope it's done intelligently and they can put a legit competitive team on the field.

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

They're going to do what they did last year. Sign short term guys, see if they can sneak into contention. Then when they prob don't cause STL is good and MIL is loaded, sell off those short term pieces again. Reload and hope "waves and waves" happens this time, but not everyone arriving at the same time again

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

Those billionaires brought us the first World Chamionship in over one hundred years.  And kept us in the playoffs for half a dozen years, something no other owners have done.  If they can turn a profit while doing that, more power to them.  A Major League franchaise is NOT a public utility.

[ ]

In reply to by DavidP

This is all well and good but they've also been up to some nefarious shit. And I'd be fine with them turning a profit if the team on the field continues winning. Pulling some of the nonsense they've been up to the last few years is shitty for fans.

Youre right. it's not a public utility. It's entertainment. Losing is not all that entertaining, is it?

[ ]

In reply to by Dolorous Jon Lester

I have no idea what neferiious shit you are talking about.  But you are right.  They are in the entertainment business.  And judging from the amount of time you spend on this site, they seem to be very successful in entertaining you.  If not, you would have abandoned them long ago to go watch Gunsmoke reruns.

[ ]

In reply to by DavidP

This is getting off topic and I don't want to get into a political argument, so I'll steer it back to the team. I, as a fan, am unhappy at how instead of addressing flaws on the team, they allowed only enough money to sign the likes of Daniel Descalso during free agency. I also think the optics of the "biblical losses" comment was so maniacally tone deaf when coupled with the obscene amount of money in the sport. I also think it's terribly disingenuous for them to talk about how this isn't a rebuild.

I echo crunch's sentiment of loving the Cubs but not loving the owners. You can love them all you want, that doesn't mean anyone else is required to. There is no incorrect way to be a fan (short of violence- that is definitely the wrong way to fan). I wish I felt the way you did, but I don't. If anything I hope you always feel that way.

[ ]

In reply to by Dolorous Jon Lester

yeah, i mean chicago isn't los angeles or new york city...but i don't see boston doing this kind of stuff.

boston wouldn't have had a world series victory in 2013 and maybe not even 2007 following the cubs lead.

the cubs doing multi-year rebuilds and not going all-in when they have a quality core around is kinda...meh.  we're going into the 2nd multi-season rebuild with this ownership group in 13 seasons....7 out of 13 seasons "rebuild" seasons.  it was a fun ride that got a world series, and this rebuild won't be 5 painful years long (hopefully), but c'mon...this is chicago and wrigley + cubs have never been more monetized.

[ ]

In reply to by bradsbeard

This is a fair point, but they also managed to extend Bogaerts, didn't dump Martinez, and had Devers as well.

Boston will tend to be really good for years, then have a year where they're terrible, then right back into contention. I'd be good with that. It kinda feels like they half-assed last season and might be half assing 2022 too. Hope not, but it isn't outside the realm of possibilities.

To me, the main thing I don't want to see happen is prolonged periods of bad/ meh teams. Given the resources, this feels doable.

[ ]

In reply to by bradsbeard

they went from 240m to 205m and traded for a MLB-ready piece with alex verdugo (though a downgrade).

they did cut payroll, but they were already 35m over luxury tax threshold and this move brought them barely below that line.

they were back with the checkbook (modest/medium spending) in 2021 after finishing 5th in the AL East in 2020...managed to make it to the ALCS rather than doing a reset becasue they came in 5th.

[ ]

In reply to by DavidP

for me it's simple.

i want both to be true.  i want them to enjoy the riches of ownership and invest back into the product that's supplying those riches.

it's true for other teams.  in fact, it's true for other teams with less wealthy owners.

i didn't even bring up the Ricketts family new multi-acre resorts they're building or their investment in political activities, both of which are happening in real time.  they are not at all crippled by anything happening at wrigley field.

we have tom ricketts making more appearances in front of government entities and the press to plead for his new betting palace they want up and running by 2023 at wrigley than in front of fans or press about the product that people are showing up to wrigley to see to begin with.

wrigley has been turned into a huge digital billboard, the area surround it turned into a commercial-filled "entertainment complex"...a TV network...partnerships with other commercial entities to monitize the field+team.  at no point has this team or wrigley been more monitized.

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

Again, if the above activities ruin the baseball experience for you, then go root for another team whose owners are more acceptable to you.  The baseball portion of their activities have been more successful than any Cub owner since Bill Wrigley, and have created a great deal of enjoyment for the vast majority of the fans.

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

The Ricketts family is building multi-acre resorts?  What is wrong with that?  They own the Cubs.  They also own a number of other businesses.  Good for them.  As far as appances in front of government entities, I don't understand your point.  If you are as all familiar with Chicago, you realize that nothing can be done without  kissing the local representative's butt.  If you are familiar with the United States, you realize that the same applies to the federal government.  I seldom wager, but I have no objections to someone else doing it,  Nor do I object to someone creating a wagering facility for those who do.  Nor do I object to their making money on the enterprise.

[ ]

In reply to by DavidP

nothing is wrong with it.

i don't object to monetizing the cubs.  i object to monetizing the cubs/wrigley and running the team like it's the brewers.

there are lots of people with my same viewpoint and opinion.  hell, some outlets are writing "sell the cubs" articles which i think is a bit too far.

this isn't some takedown or threat to capitalism.  i'm wealthy (not having kids helps) even though i'm no where near Ricketts family wealth.  i didn't inherit or otherwise have it handed to me.  i understand wealth creation and retention.

long story short, fans of teams are at the "mercy" of what the owners want to do. also, we are not operating in a pure capitalist realm with a baseball team.  owners can block other potential owners from buying a club regardless of how much money or what intent they have.  it's an curated invite-only thing.  clubs are not subject to anti-trust laws.  it is wholely unique from who gets to own their team to how it operates.  i feel comfortable shitting on what's going on right now.

it's not the first ownership group i've not been happy with.  sam zell set the club back years (imo) on the way out of his ownership stake.  also...we might not have "wrigley field" without cubs fans heavily voicing their opinion when zell wanted to sell naming rights to the park.  fans complaining is a huge part of why that didn't happen.

[ ]

In reply to by DavidP

let's cut to the chase.

what's going on now and what they're telegraphing for 2022 after selling off 2021 is pure ass.  what was going on pre-season 2021 was pure ass.  they didn't make an attempt to make a run at their last core-competitive season in 2021 and the great sell-off from 2021 has resulted in a 2022 team that's looking pathetic rather than re-tooled.

feel free to attempt to change my mind, but i think i have a good handle on what's been going on.

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

They made an incredible mistake in allowing their top three offensive players come to free agency in the same year.  Compounded by the fact that they had no one internally to replace them.

The stupidity began several years ago when they traded two of their top young prospects in return for pitcher who had a future potential of slightly better than mediocracy.  They gave in to the demand of the fans to "go all in before the window closes", just as they did when they kept their "stars" untill free agency forced their handj.

They seem to have learned their lesson.  Build through an outstanding minor league system, adding stability though free agency and judicious trades of class B prospects.  Never trade top prospects for rentals, and never allow all of your core players come to free agency in the same season.

[ ]

In reply to by DavidP

how to rebuild after disappointment/failure/etc is open ended as hell.

i'm not trying to do an "all sides same" thing as far as ranking which is more desirable.  strong opinions are allowed to have strong stances.  strong opinions tend to be far apart from each other.

i understand what's going down, but i don't like it.  i do accept it's happening, though.  it could be worse...could be a marlins fan in 1998.

for those holding out a small shred of hope for a rizzo return, he officially moved out of his Chicago apartment he's been in for 7 years recently.

ildemaro vargas and dixon machado return to the cubs on minor league deals.

boring middle IF AAA/injury filler for some teams...most likely 1 of them will break with the cubs as a bench player, though.

rooting for dixon machado over here...seen enough vargas.

Bruce Levine @MLBBruceLevine
Cubs will bring these seven players as non roster invitee’s to major league spring training. RH Jonathan Holder,RHP Mark Leiter Jr, LHP Stephen Gonsalves,LHP Locke St John, C PJ Higgins , Inf Dixon Machado and Inf Ildemaro Vargas.

Ah, Gunsmoke-helluva show. But what about The Rifleman? Wasn't Lucas McCain a Cub farmhand at one time?

"(670 The Score) While contact between MLB teams and players is prohibited amid the ongoing lockout, there remains mutual interest between the Cubs and free-agent shortstop Carlos Correa, according to multiple sources."

"The Cubs have the money to sign Correa,” a source said. “However, the only hesitation is about the length of the deal – not the annual average value of the contract.”…

Kyle Seager's wife announced on Twitter her husband is retiring.  Here is an outside the box question:  Can he offically retire and then negotiate with all 30 teams and then unreitre to sign a contract when the collective barganing agreement is signed?  This question would give Seager a head start and move him near the front of the queue of free agents when the frenzy starts again.  Also, he has played in Seattle his whole career and an extended negotiation period would allow he and his family time to think about where they want to relocate.

[ ]

In reply to by videographer

retirement in MLB is an official paperwork process so it might be a frozen issue for filing.  technically there is still work being done like business worked on but not completed before the lockout, as well as other business both sides agree isn't an issue.  dunno if they're processing retirement paperwork.

seager hit 35 homers last year and could, at the very least, platoon with someone while still earning decent loot.

that said, he's in his mid-30s and made 100m at his job.  plus, covid-era baseball just isn't fun even if you toss the health issues aside.

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

Kyle Seager is a post-2021 Article XX-B free-agent who is not under the control of an MLB club, so his announcing his retirement is no different than announcing he and his family are going out to dinner tomorrow night or taking a trip to Hawaii next month.  

The only time a player "files for retirement" and is placed on a club's Voluntary Retired List is if he is signed, or unsigned but under the control of a club. 

As far as whether announcing his retirement makes it OK for Kyle Seager to negotiate with MLB clubs, it does not. Whether he intends to retire or not is irrelevant. What matters is that he was and continues to be a post-2021 Article XX-B free-agent, and a post-2021 Article XX-B free-agent cannot negotiate with or sign a major league or minor league contract until a new CBA is signed.   

As to why Kyle Seager's wife announced his retirement, she probably is proud of what he has accomplished in his career, and wants to see him get some attention and some love. Otherwise, the "announcemennt" is not official, and it actually never will be, and doesn't have to be, unless he were to sign a contract after the CBA is ratified and then officially announces his retirement. Players will do that sometimes, that is, sign a contract with a certain club and then immediately retire or retire the next day or something like that, because he wants to retire as a member of that particular club. What Seager is doing is similar to that, except the Mariners do not retain control of his services in case he decides to un-retire. 

Thanks Phil. Great reply as always. Have a happy and healthy New Year (everyone, but especially AZ Phil)!

Welcome to 2022. 
First news of the year: The Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks have reached a deal with Tyler Chatwalk! Hope they have a bigger strike zone there.

cameron maybin is retiring, which saves the cubs from once again obtaining or attempting to obtain cameron maybin.

2022 looking good so far.

AZ Phil or others - Are major league teams allowed to announce new minor league affiliates for 2022 during this lockout? I ask because there was some discussion about possibly adding a short season league team for next year. Are clubs even allowed to have a 5th non-rookie league team? With all the players jammed up at the A level, it seems like it would be smart to add an additional team for them and this year's incoming draft picks. Of course, they could always just keep two Arizona teams going and it would probably be just fine. Just wondering - thanks and Happy New Year!

[ ]

In reply to by Wrigley Rat

As best as I understand, there are the 4 full-season levels with only one affiliate per organization at each level, and the compound league. Toss in the DSL, and that's it. If a team wants and can accommodate a second (or third) Compound League team, that's a decision for "later than January".

"Evan Drellich of The Athletic reports that Major League Baseball is preparing new economic proposals to present to the MLBPA, "likely this month.""

yanks low-A naming rachel balkovec as manager.  first female manager in the minors.

she was also the first female strength/conditioning coach and hitting coach in rookie leagues for the yanks.

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

Awesome, looking forward both to hearing from AZ Phil again and having actual baseball things to think about!

i can't recall the last time i've been relieved to hear about a total stranger's safety and well being.  this news has lifted my day and i was already having a great day.

everyone out there take care of yourselves.

Completely agree Crunch

Fantanstic news and great sense of relief out here in Tahoe.

Thanks to CTSteve for checking in with AZ Phil!  Glad to hear AZ Phil is doing well and is just taking a break along with the owners.  He deserves it.  Not certain the owners do.  That said, I hear they are really optimistic they are going to get a deal done, with or without the players support, so we can start the season on time.  Good news!

That huge sigh of relief you hear comes from southern Bavaria.

Phil, I'm thankful you're okay! The only reason I've kept coming back here is for your unparalleled insightful and no-nonsense nformation. Thank you!

By the way, isn't it time for an "About Arizona Phil" post? I'm not asking for intimate details about your life. But instead, how you came to do what you do and what keeps you doing it.

Danke schön für alle die Information über so viele Jahre! 

The best part of getting the new CBA done is seeing AZ Phil's byline again.  Thanks for the update!  Now the season can begin.

since we had time off...quick rundown of cubs moves of note...

m.stroman (SP) signed 2y deal (player option 3rd)

y.gomes (C) signed 2y deal (team option 3rd)

c.fraizer (corner OF) signed 1y deal

w.miley (SP) picked off waivers

d.ross extended through 2024 with a 2025 team option.

dude's done good for himself working his way up from the Bryzzo mailroom as an intern to running the show.

kershaw signs for 1yr with the dodgers.

evidently he's behind where he needs to be coming back from elbow injury and may miss time early in 2022.

cubs sign andrelton simmons 1yr/4m

supposedly this doesn't mean a pursuit of c.correa is over.

Andrelton Simmons to the Cubs . 1 year $4MM plus incentives. Great value signing. I don't think they are going anywhere near Correa and Simmons still provides top shelf defense for a ground ball heavy pitching staff

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

No questioon the Cubs are in the market for a slugging DH, but I think another possibility besides signing Kyle Schwarber (which would be a great move) would be signing Anthony Rizzo and then using Frank Schwindel as the primary DH. Rizzo is a much better defensive first-baseman than Schwindel, and defense at 1B does matter.

Rizzo at 1B would make the other three infielders better, and no C-1B combo does the back-pick better than  Contreras / Rizzo. 

[ ]

In reply to by Childersb3

one thing i can't gauge about rizzo is his on-field "occurances" he's had with teammates and how it may be a product of circumstance or his personality.  i dunno if he's slightly toxic or just strongly opinionated, but with good points...

justin wilson had his "shut up" moment with rizzo on the mound...  contreras and rizzo got into it in the dugout...  lackey and rizzo got into it in the dugout...  that's just the stuff that was caught on camera.

that said, no one has come out and painted the guy negatively and he's played long enough that if he was totally toxic we'd hear about it by now.

Recent comments

  • George Altman (view)

    I couldn't agree more with everything you've said here Phil. It's 40-man Roster malpractice by Jed since November. Hendricks, Madrigal, and Mastrobuoni shouldn't be on the 40-man, let alone the 26-man. Add Smyly to that group, too.

  • TarzanJoeWallis (view)

    Those million dollar systems are hardly infallible. AI does not yet dictate how the prospects develop or how game is played. If it did what would be the use of playing? Team with the best projected stats would win every time. We all know better

    Brailyn Marquez and Jose Albertos both had tremendous arms and potentially major league pitches. So did Kris Jensen. Problem is none of them could harness it and, even if they could, MLB players can hit good fastballs. Estrada sure looked to be on that kind of trajectory. Very likely that by mid summer he will be again once the law of averages catches up with the May superstardom.

    Now let’s take a moment to focus on Madrigal. You know, the best team in the league at the moment, the Phillies, have Whit Merrifield. 105 PA and batting .181. Dodgers are second best and have Kiki Hernandez on the bench. 125 plate appearances and .193. The Braves spread the AB’s a little more but they see fit to keep former Cub farmhand Zack Short around. 47 PA’s and .158. Nobody complains much about those guys. I didn’t do the digging but I would venture to say that each have another light hitting utility guy taking up a 40 man roster spot as well. Two wasted 40 man roster spots each on these winning teams, not dissimilar to the Cubs. So while an awful lot of keystrokes on here are spent discussing Madrigal and Mastrobouni as they are - let’s just say, somewhat underwhelming, they are not at the core of what ails this team.

    The real problem is that the guys who are paid to hit aren’t hitting. The league has caught up with Busch, Suzuki, and Morel, and while I believe they will adjust at some point, it’s a process. Swanson, Happ and Hoerner seem to be in that multi year contract comfort zone that folks on here tell me don’t exist. The offense from their catching sucks and seems unlikely to improve much with current personnel. Tauchman has come down to Earth to be the true player he is. To his credit and counter to my expectations, the only guy who may be turning corner a bit seems to be Bellinger.

    None of them seem willing to play the small ball, hustle game that gets teams out of slumps. They show no plate discipline and, to add insult to injury, they have been quite unlucky at times. The lack of offense and less than stellar infield fielding has greatly magnified the issues with the bullpen, as well as their low performing utility guys.

    So let’s ease off the Madrigal/Mastribouni scapegoating. They are not stars and never will be, but they are not enigmas either. Utility players are what they are, and replacing them with other utility players, while possible, isn’t likely to solve very much - nor is the other approach of bringing up farmhands and letting them ride the pine - until the “stars” break out of their May malaise and start hitting and fielding better.

  • crunch (view)

    just to throw a bit of salt in the j.estrada wound...

    he has struck out 13 batters in a row over his last 3 outings.

  • Dolorous Jon Lester (view)

    The short answer there is yes he gets credit for the wins but he also gets credit for the losses.

    Phil’s point about the crystal ball is spot on. If all of the machinery and data and systems they have don’t manifest into essentially a crystal ball, what use is all of that? Somebody messed up.

    As for who else could have gone, I agree with Phil that a pitcher like Estrada, as awful as he looked last year, had shown he had at least 1-2 legit MLB caliber pitches, it was just a matter of finding them again. He was pre arb young power arm. Whereas let’s say Madrigal was entering year 2 of 4 arb years. He’d proven to be a defense first backup infielder incapable of playing SS. You want to talk dime a dozen, THAT is dime a dozen. THAT is a NRI. I can squint and see the argument to not lose Wisdom’s power as a bench bat. Or even Boner as a utility guy who can play OF and handle an emergency SS run, who also hits left handed and has options. But choosing Madrigal over an arm like Estrada was a poor decision, even at the time.

  • TarzanJoeWallis (view)

    Ok, so it’s the end of 2023 and going into the postseason. Cuas, Alzolay, Leiter, and Merriwether all had respectable seasons last year.

    So among Killian, Wesneski, Estrada, Palencia, Brown, Horn, Rodriguez, Little, Hughes, Wicks, all of whom had huge potential but huge questions heading into 2024, 1) How are you going to protect all of them? 2) If you can’t, who do you protect?

    How many times was the phrase “good problem to have” tossed around?

    If it had been Palencia going to another team and hitting a May hot streak, which could just as easily have happened, would we not be having the identical conversation?

    Brown just pitched seven no hit innings yesterday. Does Jed get any credit for keeping him around? Does he get credit for ditching Horn and getting something with very decent upside, Thompson, in return? How about picking up Miller, who has been stellar so far? Does he get the blame for Meriwether, and Killian, who burned up the spring, getting hurt? And is there a single organization out there that can’t say they wish they had a reliever or two they had recently back?

    There is very definitely a “lottery” aspect to relief pitching. In the last couple of years the Cubs largely won the lottery and spun much of that good fortune into prospect gold. This year others have won and the Cubs for the most part appear to be holding the short stick. So are we really going to have the neck of the GM who took this team from the utter doldrums to the brink of contention and a number three rated system over the course of a couple of years?

  • Arizona Phil (view)

    Except Jed Hoyer does in fact have a crystal ball and it cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. The equipment and programs acquired by the Cubs are not just used in player development. They are also used in self-evaluation (self-scouting). With the information available these mistakes should not be happening. The mistakes also include the Cubs post-2023 November 40-man roster strategy that values guys like Madrigal, Mastrobuoni, and Hendricks over younger talent with more upside. 

  • TarzanJoeWallis (view)

    Quick reminder that during much of the offseason the question marks were at third base, first base and centerfield. While the organization was stacked with outfield prospects, Mervis was coming off a solid season in AAA and was being considered a serious candidate for first base. There simply wasn’t room at the inn for everyone. There was clearly a place for Perlaza somewhere but he simply didn’t possess the complete toolset that some of the other Cub outfield prospects do. For myself, I’ve always had a soft spot for Darius Hill. Unfortunately, he’s another odd man out in a stacked system.

    And hindsight is always 20/20. For example, Estrada always had potential but was totally erratic in 2023. Cuas had a much lower ceiling but he was a steady presence in a relief corp with many question marks. Sure, it seems like a silly decision now, but Jed doesn’t have the benefit of a crystal ball. Everyone, probably Jed included, hated to see Estrada go, but it wasn’t such a crazy idea at the time. BTW, in terms of Estrada leaving via waivers, does anyone honestly think Jed didn’t try to shop him first? I have to assume no one was willing to to give up anything for him.

    Even given the way the season has gone, I think the only place where Jed solidly and clearly missed the mark that could/should have been foreseen was with Hendricks, as just about everybody on this board recognized at the time. Still, even Hendricks wasn’t a totally illogical move because they had exactly two locks for starting pitching at the time - Steele and Taillon.

  • Arizona Phil (view)

    The roster mistakes I am talking about occur in November, when decisions are made regarding minor league free-agents, Rule 5 protection, exercising club options, and the tendering of contracts to players on the MLB 40-man roster. The idea should be to maximize long-term control of talented young players (including minor leaguers yet to establish themselves in MLB). 

    Roster slots that can be filled by Spring Training NRI should not be allocated in November to marginal non-prospects expected to fill non-critical positions on the 26-man roster (like back-up catcher, utility infielders, 4th outfielder, and middle relievers) or to older players likely to decline. 

    And as far as self-evaluation (self-scouting) is concerned, the Cubs have invested literally hundreds of thousands of dollars in proprietary player development and analytical technology and have doubled the player development staff, so they should not be making some of the piss-poor roster decisions in November as they have been making. 

    There are ex-Cub relievers on other MLB clubs who could be in the Cubs bullpen right now and would clearly be upgrades over what's there, but they are someplace else. No excuses. Clearly somebody screwed up.

  • Arizona Phil (view)

    As long as there isn't a sore thumb / weak link in the group, a six-man rotation is preferable if a club wants to minimize innings for younger starting pitchers and keep veteran guys from wearing down in September. So Imanaga, Steele, Assad, Brown, Taillon, and Wicks would be the six, and that is actually probably one of the best group of starting pitchers in MLB (a lot of clubs couldn't run a decent six-man rotation even if they wanted to).  

    A six-man rotation does require a solid seven-man bullpen with no weak links and a lock-down closer, however, and unfortunately the Cubs bullpen as it is presently constituted (with Hendricks and Smyly in the pen) is one of the worst and least-reliable in MLB. 

    It would definitely help if the 2023 version of Julian Merryweather can come back 100% next month (TBD), but even that is not enough. 

    And Hendricks and Smyly absolutely cannot be in the pen if the Cubs want to compete for a post-season slot. If one or both can be moved as part of a salary offset in a trade (and keep in mind that Hendricks gets "10 / 5 no-trade" rights as of June 26th), that's fine, but otherwise the Cubs will just have to bite the bullet and release them and be prepared to eat some payroll.  

  • Childersb3 (view)

    You're only thinking about the 26man roster. Perlaza should've been added to the 40man roster. He then would have three option years.
    No GM is perfect. Theo wasn't. Jed has done some really good things. Pitching has improved wholeheartedly under Jed. 
    RPs like Hudson and Estrada are going to hit and miss. 
    Giving Hendricks 16.5mil can now be stated as a clear miss, and Kyle needs to be moved off the roster. They have to pay him. But the Bullpen spot needs to go to someone else. Kyle isn't a bullpen guy. But he's not a SP anymore either. 2016 Nostalgia doesn't win.
    Perlaza got more money in the KBO than he'd have gotten on the 40man, but Jed had the choice to give him a shot anyway. Mervis would probably do really well in the KBO also. But having watched Perlaza's bat speed for three years, I think he was better than Mervis.
    And Phil made a good point about giving Happ an extension (after having not traded him at the TDL in 2022 along with not trading Willy) when you're real prospect depth was in the OF. Happ is a really good 7th hitter on a good team. 17 HRs and 70 RBIs with good LF defense. That's Ben Zobrist like #'s. The issue is we have a lot of those kind of guys already. We needed a bomber some where in the lineup and LF, RF, 3B, 1B and DH usually provide those bombs.
    Seiya is good when healthy. He's gotten hurt every year, but he's a 20HR 80RBI guy when healthy. He just hasn't been healthy for a year to provide those #'s.
    Happ isn't a bomber.
    Morel is getting his chance to work out 3B. I'm glad Jed has kept him.
    1B? Hopefully Busch becomes 20HRs and 80 RBIs.
    DH? There's our biggest issue. We don't have a guy who can bop there. Just a real hitter. Mervis missed it. That's why Perlaza leaving without a 40man chance burns me.