25 Cubs Minor Leaguers Have Been Declared Rule 9 Minor League Free-Agents

25 Cubs minor leaguers were declared post-2022 MLB Rule 9 minor league free agents at 5 PM (Eastern) on Thursday 11/10.

CUBS POST-2022 MLB RULE 9 MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENTS:

SIX-YEAR MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENTS (24) 
Jose Albertos, RHP 
James Bourque, RHP
Steven Brault, LHP 
Kervin Castro, RHP 
Erick Castillo, C 
Narciso Crook, OF 
Donnie Dewees, OF 
Anderson Espinoza, RHP  
Trent Giambrone, INF 
John Hicks, C-1B 
Jonathan Holder, RHP 
Bryan Hudson, LHP 
Dakota Mekkes, RHP 
Alec Mills, RHP 
Tyler Payne, C 
C. D. Pelham, LHP 
Franmil Reyes, OF 
Carlos Sepulveda, INF
Wyatt Short, LHP 
Jonathan Sierra, OF 
Matt Swarmer, RHP
Dauris Valdez, RHP 
Brad Wieck, LHP 
Delvin Zinn, INF  

SECOND CONTRACT MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENTS (1)
Harrison Wenson, C (previously released by LAA) 


Only one of the nine Cubs 2022 MLB Rule 9 second-contract minor league players (Harrison Wenson) was declared a free-agent, which means the other eight are signed for 2023. 

Also, OF Zach Davis, LHP Stephen Gonsalves, and OF Yonathan Perlaza were eligible to be Rule 9 free-agents post-2022, but they apparently have signed 2023 minor league successor contracts because they were not declared free-agents with the other 25. As such, they will now be eligible for selection in the 2022 Rule 5 Draft, if not added to the MLB 40-man roster by next Tuesday (11/15).

In addition, LHP Andres Bonalde, RHP Craig Brooks, and RHP Jesus Camargo came into the 2022 season eligible to be 6YFA post-2022, but because they spent the entire season on the Restricted List they did not accrue the additional season they need to be a Rule 9 6YFA.   

Nothing will prevent any of the 25 minor leaguers who were declared free agents today to re-sign with the Cubs at a later point in time, but as of today they are no longer under club control and  so they free to sign with any club.   

Comments

cubs rumor machine is all-in on tons of names coming from high-end media sources as guys they're talking to...almost too many to mention, and lots of bats.

looks like 2023 is going to be a legit run unless this turns into something like the trade deadline non-event fiasco and nothing gets done.

The Cubs minor league Domestic Reserve List roster limit expanded from 180 to 190 at 5 PM (Eastern) today.

22 Cubs domestic minor league players were reinstated from the 60-day IL at 5 PM (Eastern), 25 domestic minor leaguers were declared Rule 9 minor league free agents at 5 PM (Eastern), and two domestic players were released earlier in the day, leaving 169 players on the Cubs minor league DRL (21 slots are open)

The Cubs 70-man International Reserve List (IRL) is full. 

Something to keep in mind as the Cubs head into the depths of the off-season is that Xander Bogaerts and Christian Vazquez were both signed by the Red Sox when Theo & Jed were running the team, so Hoyer might still view those two as "his guys" (all things being equal...). 

I have a question for Arizona Phil:

When MLB collapsed the two-level Rookie Leagues into the complex leagues, how did that affect player development, in your view? It would seem to me that the youngest players, who would have been in the old "lower" rookie league, would be overshadowed by the slightly-older players (college draftees, etc.) who would have been in the "higher" rookie league before. And does the new system speed up the movement of the more advanced complex-league players into low A? Your thoughts would be appreciated, no hurry! 

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In reply to by fullykräusened

fullykrausened: 

The elimination of the SS-A (short season - advanced) level has mainly affected the development of teenaged international free-agents and HS draft picks.

Most college draft picks and NDFA are not adversely affected by going immediately to Lo-A (with maybe a week or so at ACL/FCL before moving up), because Lo-A is kind of like D-1 college baseball. But the development of teenaged prospects really requires that extra SS-A level that has been eliminated. 

What ended up happening was some players were promoted to Lo-A before they were ready for that level, mainly because they had mastered SS-R (short season - rookie). Or in some cases a player would be held back at SS-R when he should have been promoted to SS-A (if it was still there).  

You can see that with several Cubs prospects who skipped the old SS-A level and went directly from SS-R to Lo-A, most notably position players like Ed Howard, Reggie Preciado, Ethan Hearn, and Ezequiel Pagan, and pitchers up from the DSL who were too advanced for SS-R but not  really ready for Lo-A.

The SS-A level was eliminated because the in-season Domestic Reserve List was set at 180, and it would be very difficult for organizations to operate six domestic affiliates (four full season and two short season) with that roster limitation. There would probably be enough position players to operate six teams, but teams would run short of pitchers such that the number of games would have to be significantly reduced at all levels. 

One idea that has been floated is to separate the FCL / ACL (complex) level into two sub-levels, rookie & advanced. Players at the complex would be divided into two groups, one advanced and one rookie. Because there aren't enough pitchers available for two complex squads, the number of games would be cut such that the SS-A and SS-R complex groups would each play three games per week (so a total  of six games played by the two squads each week), with a day off in between each game that would be used for instruction for that group. That hasn't happened (yet), but it might, because it would not require DRL roster expansion. 

Another idea that almost happened when the SS-A level  was eliminated was for the SS-R level (complex) to operate like Extended Spring Training & instructs for the ENTIRE season, with no "official" games or "official" stats. That was shot down, however, because the majority of MLB organizations (but NOT all of them) felt that was just too radical of a change. It still could happen, though, because it might be a better way to do player development, especially for younger players not yet ready for Lo-A, as well as for injured players who are rehabbing. 

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

Thanks, Phil.  Very thorough and informative post, as usual. 

You confirmed my suspicion that the HS draftees and young international players wouldn't be well served by this new format. It will be interesting to see whether the tweaks you mentioned will be adopted. Wonder whether the new format will affect teams' draft practices; maybe they'll shy away from US-resident high schoolers and let them develop in college, to be drafted after that...

the chris martin that was traded for zach mckinstry signs with BOS for 2/17.5m

that was a very profitable 2 months in LA for him.

rylan bannon didn't make it through waivers...astros claim him.  cubs picked him up a couple weeks ago from ATL.

Wait!  Why are the Cubs trying to sneak him through waivers now?  They need roster space?  Planning for a big week?

Also, if the Pirates trade Bryan Reynolds, how would he look in a Cubs uniform?  

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In reply to by Alexander Dimm

it would be nice.  winter meetings start tomorrow (ends wednesday).

hopefully there will be at least 1 addition this week.  ian happ might be traded, too.

cubs and the rule5 should be interesting.  heard nothing, but i imagine they're buyers.  gotta imagine they may be considering jake mangum if someone doesn't get to him before them.  great CF and lefty hitting gamble, even if he ends up on the bench.  cubs need all of that.

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In reply to by crunch

I’d like to see the Cubs be buyers in rule 5 too. Agreed Mangum is a name to watch. Personally I’d rather see them take a position player than a pitcher given that relievers seem to be where the system has generated enough guys close to MLB readiness and AZ Phil’s assessment that with a max of 8 RP and SP innings minimized the way they’ve been, it’s harder to hide a RP. Not to mention the ton of holes on the positional side of things at the MLB level.

Mangum would be my first choice in the draft, but I expect that if anything, it will be a reliever.  I just hope that it is a reliever as good as the guys they might lose, such as Thompson or Correa.

Cubs MLB Roster

Cubs Organizational Depth Chart
40-Man Roster Info

+++++++++++
 
36 players are on the MLB RESERVE LIST (four slots are open)  

Last updated 12-2-2022
 
* bats or throws left
# bats both

PITCHERS: 20
Adbert Alzolay
Javier Assad 
Ben Brown
Jeremiah Estrada
Kyle Hendricks
Codi Heuer 
* Brandon Hughes
Ryan Jensen
Caleb Kilian 
Mark Leiter Jr
Ethan Roberts 
Manuel Rodriguez
Michael Rucker
Adrian Sampson
* Justin Steele 
Marcus Stroman
Keegan Thompson
Erich Uelmen 
Hayden Wesneski
Rowan Wick

CATCHERS: 3 
Miguel Amaya
Yan Gomes
P. J. Higgins 

INFIELDERS: 7
Nico Hoerner
Nick Madrigal
* Miles Mastrobuoni
* Zach McKinstry
Christopher Morel
* Alfonso Rivas
Patrick Wisdom

OUTFIELDERS: 6
Kevin Alcantara 
Alexander Canario
Brennen Davis
# Ian Happ
Seiya Suzuki 
Nelson Velazquez

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

Minor League Rosters
Rule 5 Draft 
Minor League Free-Agents