Cubs MLB Roster

Cubs Organizational Depth Chart
40-Man Roster Info

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

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

Last updated 6-15-2024

* bats or throws left
# bats both

PITCHERS: 13
Javier Assad
Colten Brewer
Kyle Hendricks
* Shota Imanaga
Mark Leiter Jr
* Luke Little
Tyson Miller
Hector Neris
* Drew Smyly
* Justin Steele
Jameson Taillon
Keegan Thompson
Hayden Wesneski

CATCHERS: 2
Miguel Amaya
Yan Gomes

INFIELDERS: 6
David Bote
* Michael Busch
Nico Hoerner
Christopher Morel
Dansby Swanson
Patrick Wisdom

OUTFIELDERS: 5
* Cody Bellinger
* Pete Crow-Armstrong
# Ian Happ
Seiya Suzuki
* Mike Tauchman

OPTIONED: 11
Kevin Alcantara, OF
Michael Arias, P
Alexander Canario, OF
Jose Cuas, P
Brennen Davis, OF
Porter Hodge, P 
Nick Madrigal, INF 
* Miles Mastrobuoni, INF
* Matt Mervis, 1B
Daniel Palencia, P 
Luis Vazquez, INF

15-DAY IL: 3
Yency Almonte, P
Ben Brown, P 
* Jordan Wicks, P 

60-DAY IL: 3
Adbert Alzolay, P 
Caleb Kilian, P
Julian Merryweather, P


Minor League Rosters
Rule 5 Draft 
Minor League Free-Agents

Cubs 2023 Rule 5 Draft & Minor League Free-Agency Watch List

11/6 UPDATE #2

RHP Yovanny Cruz, LHP Stephen Gonsalves, RHP Carlos Guzman, RHP Ben Hecht, C-INF P. J. Higgins, LHP Brailyn Marquez, RHP Nick Neidert, OF Yonathan Perlaza, and RHP Samuel Reyes were declared MLB Rule 9 minor league free agents at 5 PM (Eastern) on Monday. 

Also, RHP Nick Burdi (who has Article XX-D rights because he has accrued more than three years of MLB Service Time in jhis career) elected free-agency Monday afternoon after being outrighted, but before he was declared an MLB Rule 9 minor league 6YFA. 

All of the second contract players are signed for 2024. 

RHP Eduarniel Nunez was eligible to be a minor league 6YFA post-2023, but he has signed a 2024 minor league successor contract, so he will be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft next month. 

In addition, LHP Jose Aquino, RHP Anthony Mendez, and RHP Gleiber Morales have been released. Aquino was eligible for selection in the 2023 Rule 5 Draft; Mendez and Morales were not.  


11/6 UPDATE #1:  

The Cubs have selected the contract of INF Luis Vazquez from AAA Iowa. Otherwise he would have been declared an MLB Rule 9 minor league 6YFA at 5 PM (Eastern) today. 

Also, the Toronto Blue Jays have purchased the contract of minor league LHP Brendon Little (Cubs 2017 1st round draft pick - SCF Manatee-Sarasota) from the Cubs and selected him to their MLB 40-man roster. Like Vazquez, B. Little otherwise would have been declared an MLB Rule 9 minor league 6YFA at 5 PM (Eastern) today. 


11/4 UPDATE

The Cubs have released OF Bryan Altuve, RHP Derek Casey, RHP (ex-OF) Raino Coran, LHP Scott Kobos, RHP Michael McAvene, C Malcom Quintero, RHP Tomy Sanchez, C Jake Washer, and RHP Jarod Wright. 

Casey, Kobos, McAvene, Quintero, and Washer were eligible for selection in the 2023 Rule 5 Draft; the other four were not.



10/13 UPDATE

1B-3B Edwin Rios has elected free-agency. 

Rios was sent outright to AAA Iowa on July 30th, and as an Article XX-D player (that's any player who has accrued at least three years but less than five years of MLB Service Time and/or has been outrighted previously in his career), Rios had the right to elect free-agency after being outrighted, terminate his contract, and forfeit the balance of his $1M 2023 salary (a player has 48 hours to decide if he is outrighted during Spring Training or during the MLB regular season, otherwise he has 72 hours to decide), or accept the outright assignment, keep the contract in force, continue to get paid, and defer his election of free-agency until a window beginning on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season and extending through October 15th (Rios chose to accept the outright assignment, continue to get paid, and defer free agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season). 

Note that this is the only type of free-agency that still requires a player to affirmatively elect free-agency. In the case of Article XX-B MLB free-agency, MLB Rule 9 minor league 6YFA and second contract free-agency, and an MLB non-tender, the player doesn't have to do anything. In those types of free-agency, the player is automatically declared a free-agent. Only Article XX-D requires the player to make a choice. 

Most Article XX-D players who accept an outright assignment and defer the election of free agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season will elect free agency ASAP, on the day after the final day of the MLB regular season, but Rios waited until almost the very last day. This might indicate that Rios was hoping to negotiate a 2024 minor league successor contract. However, as an outrighted player, the very least Rios could get paid in 2024 on a minor league successor contract was $800K, because an outrighted player's salary must be at least 80% of what he was paid the previous season. Now that he is a free-agent, there is no such restriction.    

BTW, if Rios had not elected free-agency by October 15th, he would have been automatically declared an MLB Rule 9 minor league 6YFA on the 5th day after the final game of the World Series, unless he was selected to an MLB 40-man roster or signed a 2024 minor league successor contract in the meantime.  



10/1 UPDATE:

The Cubs have selected the contracts of RHP Tyler Duffey and RHP Shane Greene from AAA Iowa. 

Unless the player signs a 2024 MLB contract in the meantime, both Duffey and Greene will be automatically declared MLB Article XX-B free-agents at 9 AM on the day after the final game of the World Series. 



9/12 UPDATE

The Cubs have released RHP Edwin Uceta.

He was claimed off waivers from the Mets on August 18th, and then was sent outright to AAA Iowa on 8/26. 

He was eligible to be an MLB Rule 9 minor league 6YFA post-2023. 



9/10 UPDATE

The Cubs have released RHP Seth Roberson.

He was acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays in the Adrian Sampson / Manuel Rodriguez trade at the 2023 MLB Trade Deadline and was eligible to be an MLB Rule 9 minor league 6YFA post-2023.



9/8 UPDATE:

The Cubs have sent RHP Seth Greene outright to AAA Iowa. 

Greene signed an Article XIX-A 45-day waiver prior to having his contract selected and being added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster on 9/1, so he cannot elect free-agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season.



9/6 UPDATE:

The Cubs have selected the contract of LHP Luke Little from AAA Iowa. 

Because he was eligible for selection in the 2023 Rule 5 Draft and  had his contract selected and was added to an MLB 40-man roster after August 15th, L. Little has Draft-Excluded Player status (cannot be outrighted to the minors anytime after the Rule 5 Draft up until twenty days prior to MLB Opening Day). 



9/1 UPDATE

The Cubs have selected the contract of RHP Shane Greene from AAA Iowa and he has been added to the MLB Reserve List (40-man roster). 



8/30 UPDATE

The Cubs have released LHRP Richard Bleier.   



8/26 UPDATE

The Cubs have sent RHRP Edwin Uceta outright to AAA Iowa (so Uceta is now eligible to be an MLB Rule 9 minor league 6YFA post-2023 if he does not sign a 2024 minor league successor contract or get added back to the Cubs MLB Reserve List by 5 PM Eastern on the 5th day after the final game of the 2023 World Series).

Also, the Cubs have released RHRP Danis Correa and RHRP Gregori Montano (Correa was eligible to be an MLB Rule 9 minor league 6YFA post-2023 and Montano was eligible for selection in the 2023 Rule 5 Draft). 



8/22 UPDATE

The Cubs have released 2023 second contract LHRP Jack Aldrich (previously released by KC).  



8/17 UPDATE

The Cubs have signed LHRP Richard Bleier to a minor league contract and he has been assigned to AAA Iowa. 

Bleier has two minor league options remaining and he has the right to elect free-agency if outrighted after being added to the 40. However, Bleier also has Article XIX-A rights, so if he is added to the 40, he cannot be sent to the minors (by optional or outright assignment) without his consent.



8/8 UPDATE

The Cubs have released C-1B Miguel Fabrizio.



8/7 UPDATE

The Cubs have released C-1B Dom Nunez.



8/1 UPDATE

The Cubs have traded minor league RHPs Manuel Rodriguez and Adrian Sampson (plus ISBP space) to the Tampa Bay Rays for minor league RHP Josh Roberson. 

Sampson is a 2023 outrighted Article XX-D minor league player so he was eligible to file for free-agency beginning on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season up through 10/15, and both M. Rodriguez and Roberson are eligible to be a Rule 9 minor league 6YFA post-2023 World Series, unless the player is added to an MLB 40-man roster or signs a 2024 minor league successor contract prior to 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day after the final game of the 2023 World Series.  



7/31 UPDATE

The Cubs have traded minor league LHP DJ Herz and INF Kevin Made to the Washington Nationals for 3B-1B Jeimer Candelario. 

Both Herz and Made are first-time Rule 5 Draft-eligible post-2023. 



7/30 UPDATE: 

1B-3B Edwin Rios has been sent outright to AAA Iowa. Rios has Article XX-D rights (he accrued more than three years but less than five years of MLB Service Time) so he has the right to elect free-agency after being outrighted. (He has 48 hours to decide whether to accept the outright assignment and defer free-agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season, or decline the outright assignment and elect free-agency immediately, in which case he would forfeit the balance of his 2023 salary). 



7/27 UPDATE

The Cubs have released 1B-C Lizardo Ruiz. 



7/24 UPDATE:

The Cubs have signed second-contract minor league FA RHP Brayan Diaz to a minor league contract and he has been assigned to DSL Cubs Red.

B. Diaz was originally signed by the Seattle Mariners in 2021, and was released this past January.  

In addition, RHP Adrian Sampson has been sent outright to AAA Iowa. Sampson has Article XX-D rights so he has the right to elect free-agency after being outrighted. (He has 48 hours to decide whether to accept the outright assignment and defer free-agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season, or decline the outright assignment and elect free-agency immediately, in which case he would forfeit the balance of his 2023 salary). 

Also, INF Sergio Alcantara has been released. 



7/19 UPDATE

The Cubs have released RHRP Elian Almanzar (2019 22nd round - Florence-Darlington Tech) and OF D. J. Artis (2018 7th round - Liberty University). 

Both player would have been eligible for selection in the 2023 Rule 5 Draft. (They were also eligible in 2022). 


 

7/18 UPDATE:

The Cubs have released OF Zach Davis. He was eligible to be a minor league 6YFA post-2023. (He also had been eligible for minor league free-agency post-2022, but he signed a 2023 minor league successor contract prior to hitting free-agency). 

One of the fastest players in the organization since being drafted out of Texas Tech in 2016, Davis learned to switch hit early in his pro career to take better advantage of his plus-plus speed, but he has no power and never was able to master the art of hitting. He also has a well below-average arm in the OF.    



7/16 UPDATE

The Cubs have purchased the contract of minor league (and ex-Cubs) C-INF P. J. Higgins from the Arizona Diamondbacks, and he has been assigned to AAA Iowa. 

As is typical for these types of transactions, the D'backs were probably paid an amount equivalent to the MLB waiver price ($50,000), even though Higgins was on a minor league reserve list.  



7/15 UPDATE: 

The Cubs have released RHRP Rowan Wick.

Wick had been sent outright to the minors in March, and as Article XX-D player, he had the right to elect free-agency immediately (in which case his contract would have been immediately terminated and he would have received no termination pay), or accept the outright assignment and defer free-agency until the after the conclusion of the MLB regular season (presuming he had not been added back to MLB 40-man roster in the meantime). He accepted the outright assignment. 

Also, because he was an outrighted player, Wick could not have been traded after the MLB Trade Deadline on 8/1 (same goes for David Bote and Manuel Rodriguez, BTW). 



7/6 UPDATE

The Cubs have released LHP Didier Vargas and RHP (ex-OF) Welington Santana. 

Vargas was eligible to be a Rule 9 minor league 6YFA post-2023 and W. Santana was signed by the Cubs as a second contract player (previously released by BAL) last month. 



7/4 UPDATE

The Cubs have selected the contract of RHRP Daniel Palencia from AAA Iowa and he has been added to the MLB Reserve List (40-man roster). 

Also, 1B Bryce Ball has been released. 

Palencia was acquired from the Oakland A's for LHRP Andrew Chafin and Ball was acquired from the Atlanta Braves for OF Joc Pederson (both in July 2021). 



7/1 UPDATE

The Cubs have released AAA Iowa RHRP Jordan Holloway.

Holloway had a July 1st opt-out in his contract that he elected to exercise after the Cubs failed to add him to their MLB 40-man roster or trade him to a club that would add him to their MLB 40-man roster.



6/27 UPDATE

The Cubs have selected the contract of INF-OF Jared Young from AAA Iowa and he has been added to the MLB Reserve List (40-man roster).

Young has three minor league options available, and he can elect free-agency if he is outrighted. 



6/26 UPDATE: 

The Cubs have signed FA RHRP Shane Greene to a minor league contract.

Greene has been temporarily assigned to the ACL Cubs in Mesa while he gets himself into game shape. However, by rule a player with his service time cannot remain on an ACL roster after June 30th. 



6/19 UPDATE: 

The Cubs have re-signed FA RHRP Tyler Duffey to a minor league contract.

Duffey opted out of his previous 2023 minor league contract on 6/1, but he apparently could not find a deal he liked once he got onto the open market. He likely has another opt-out (probably 8/1) in his new contract. 

Duffey has been temporarily assigned to the ACL Cubs in Mesa while he gets himself back into game shape. However, by rule a player with his service time cannot remain on an ACL roster after June 30th. 

Duffey is out of minor league options should he be added to the MLB 40-man roster at some point in 2023, and he has the right to elect free-agency if outrighted after being added to the 40. However, Duffey has also Article XIX-A rights, so if he is added to the 40, he cannot be sent to the minors without his consent.



6/16 UPDATE

The Cubs have released INF Yeison Santana. He was one of five players acquired by the Cubs from the San Diego Padres for Yu Darvish in December 2020. 



6/13 UPDATE

The Cubs have selected the contract of LHRP Anthony Kay from AAA Iowa and he been added to the MLB Reserve List (40-man roster). 

Kay has one minor league option available, and he has the right to elect free-agency if he is outrighted. 



6/4 UPDATE

After signing two second contract free agents for their DSL squads on Saturday -- RHP (ex-1B) Francis Reynoso and RHP Jeral Vizcaino -- the Cubs signed a third second-contract free-agent on Sunday, RHP (ex-OF) Welington Santana (ex-BAL). 

If he is signed beyond 2023, W. Santana will be eligible for selection in the 2023 Rule 5 Draft (he signed with the Orioles as an 18 year old in 2019).  

So the Cubs now have 65 players assigned to their International Reserve List (five slots are open), plus two players are on the Restricted List and three are on the 60-day IL.   


 
6/3 UPDATE #2

The Cubs have signed two second contract minor league free-agents, RHP (ex-1B) 1B Francis Reynoso (ex-STL) and RHP Jeral Vizcaino (ex-MIL), and they will play in the DSL (Reynoso was assigned to DSL Cubs Blue, and Vizcaino was assigned to DSL Cubs Red).  

Normally a player cannot play in the DSL once he has played in a U. S. minor league (Reynoso played for the FCL Cardinals last season), but that restriction does not apply to second contract players. 

A "second contract player" is a player who does not yet qualify to be a MLB Rule 9 minor league 6YFA but who has been previously released or non-tendered in his career (even if the player re-signs with the same team after being released or non-tendered, and even if he has been released or non-tendered more than once).

A second contract player can be signed for just one year, or (with mutual consent of the player and the club) for as many years as the player has left before he accrues seven seasons of minor league service and becomes eligible to be a Rule 9 minor league 6YFA. 

Also, if he is signed beyond 2023, Reynoso will be eligible for selection in the 2023 Rule 5 Draft (he signed with the Cardinals as a 16 year old in 2019), but if J. Vizcaino is signed beyond 2023, he will not be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft until post-2025 (he was signed by the Brewers as a 19-year old in June 2022).  



6/3 UPDATE:  

The Cubs have released AAA Iowa RHRP Tyler Duffey.

Just like Vince Nittoli (see 6/2 UPDATE), Duffey had a June 1st opt-out in his contract that he elected to exercise after the Cubs failed to add him to their MLB 40-man roster or trade him to a club that would add him to their MLB 40-man roster.



6/2 UPDATE:

The Cubs have traded AAA Iowa RHRP Vinny Nittoli to the New York Mets for cash considerations (probably $50,000). 

Nittoli had an opt-out clause in his contract that required the Cubs to either add him to their MLB 40-man roster by June 1st, trade him to a club that will add him to their 40-man roster immediately, or grant him his unconditional release.    



5/23 UPDATE

RHRP Bradford Deppermann (Cubs 2019 7th round draft pick - U. of North Florida) has retired. 



5/19 UPDATE

The Cubs have selected the contract of OF Mike Tauchman from AAA Iowa and he has been added to the MLB Reserve List (40-man roster). 

Tauchman is out of minor league options, and he has the right to elect free-agency if he is outrighted to the minors. 



5/18 UPDATE

The Cubs have released catcher Tim Susnara.



5/15 UPDATE

The Cubs have selected the contract of RHRP Nick Burdi from AAA Iowa and he has been added to the MLB Reserve List (40-man roster). 



5/9 UPDATE

The Cubs have released RHP Bailey Reid and INF Josue Huma. 



5/5 UPDATE

The Cubs have selected the contract of 1B Matt Mervis from AAA Iowa and he has been added to the MLB Reserve List (40-man roster). 

Also, catcher Ronnier Quintero has been released. 

In addition, LHP Ryan Borucki (Designated for Assignment on 5/2) has been sent outright to AAA Iowa. Borucki has Article XX-D rights so he has the right to elect free-agency after being outrighted. (He has 48 hours to decide whether to accept the outright assignment and defer free-agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season, or decline the outright assignment and elect free-agency immediately, in which case he would forfeit the balance of his 2023 salary). 



5/4 UPDATE

The Cubs have released LHP Roenis Elias so that he can sign with SSG Landers (KBO). 



4/30 UPDATE

The Cubs have selected the contract of LHRP Ryan Borucki from AAA Iowa and he has been added to the MLB Reserve List (40-man roster). 

Borucki is out of minor league options, and he has the right to elect free-agency if he is outrighted to the minors. 



4/29 UPDATE

The Cubs have released RHRP Curtis Taylor.   



4/25 UPDATE
The Cubs have released RHP Peyton Remy. 



4/18 UPDATE

The Cubs have released second contract players RHP Kyle Johnson (previously released by NYY), RHP Stanley Guzman (previously released by TEX), and RHP Abel Moya (previously released by LAD.  



4/12 UPDATE

The Cubs have released LHP Eric Stout.   


 

3/30 UPDATE

The Cubs have selected the contract of RHP Mark Leiter Jr and he has been added to the MLB Reserve List (40-man roster). 



3/29 UPDATE

The Cubs have signed free-agent LHP Jack Aldrich (ex-KC) to a 2023 minor league contract and he has been assigned to Myrtle Beach. 

Also, the Cubs have released OF Ben DeLuzio.    



3/28 UPDATE

The Cubs have selected the contract of C Luis Torrens and he has been added to the MLB Reserve List (40-man roster).   



3/27 UPDATE

The Cubs traded INF Zach McKinstry (who was on the Cubs MLB 40-man roster) to the Detroit Tigers for minor league RHP Carlos Guzman. 

Guzman has been assigned to AA Tennessee. 

Also, Guzman is eligible to be a post-2023 MLB Rule 9 minor league 6YFA if he is not selected to an MLB 40-man roster or signs a 2024 minor league successor contract by 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day after the final game of the 2023 World Series.



3/26 UPDATE

The Cubs have reclaimed RHP Chris Clarke (selected by the Seattle Mariners in the Major League Phase of the 2022 MLB Rule 5 Draft) and he has been assigned back to the AAA Iowa reserve list.



3/24 UPDATE

The Cubs have released INF Christian Donahue, RHP Trey Lang, LHP Andricson Salvador, and INF Esmarly Tatis. (C Fredy Montenegro was also released, but he was not Rule 5 Draft eligible). 



3/23 UPDATE

The Cubs have sold the contract of minor league INF Esteban Quiroz to the Philadelphia Phillies. 



1/31 UPDATE

The Cubs have signed FA RHP Curtis Taylor to a 2023 minor league contract. 



1/30 UPDATE

The Cubs have signed FA RHPs Tyler Duffey, Jordan Holloway, and Mark Leiter Jr to 2023 minor league contracts. 

All three are out of minor league options should they be added to the MLB 40-man roster at some point in 2023, and all three also have the right to elect free-agency if outrighted after being added to the 40. 

However, Duffey has Article XIX-A rights, so once he is added to the 40, he cannot be sent to the minors without his consent.



1/24 UPDATE

The Cubs have sent RHP Manuel Rodriguez and LHP Anthony Kay outright to AAA Iowa. Both were Designated for Assignment last week. 

Neither pitcher has the right to elect free-agency if outrighted, but both will be an MLB Rule 9 minor league 6YFA post-2023 if the player does not sign a 2024 minor league successor contract or is added back to the MLB 40-man roster in the meantime.    



1/20 UPDATE

The Cubs have signed FA catcher Luis Torrens to a 2023 minor league contract. 

Torrens is out of minor league options if he is added to the MLB 40-man roster at some point in 2023, and he has the right to elect free agency if he were to be outrighted after being added to the 40.  



1/13 UPDATE:

The Cubs have signed FA OF Mike Tauchman to a 2023 minor league contract. He played in the KBO in 2022. Tauchman has Article XX-D player status, so he can elect free-agency if he is added to the 40 at some point in 2023 and then is subsequently sent outright to the minors. He is also out of minor league options, should he be added to the 40.  



1/12 UPDATE:

The Cubs have signed FA RHRP Vinny Nittoli to a 2023 minor league contract. He was released by the Phillies yesterday after being Designated for Assignment last week. Nittoli has Article XX-D player status, so he can elect free-agency if he is added to the 40 at some point in the future and then is subsequently outrighted back to the minors. 



1/6 UPDATE:

The Cubs have signed FA RHSP Nick Neidert to a 2023 minor league contract. He was non-tendered by the Miami Marlins in November. 



1/4 UPDATE

The Cubs have signed signed FA LHRP Ryan Borucki to a 2023 minor league contract. Borucki is out of minor league options should he be added to the 40 at some point in 2023. He also has the right to elect free-agency if he is added to the 40 and then is subsequently outrighted back to the minors. 



1/2 UPDATE

The Cubs have signed FA C Dom Nunez to a 2023 minor league contract. He was non-tendered by the San Francisco Giants in November. 

Also, the Cubs have re-signed LHRP Brad Wieck (2022 TJS) to a 2023 minor league contract with a 2024 addendum. Wieck is out of minor league options if he is added back to the 40-man roster at any point during the next two seasons. He also has the right to elect free-agency if he is added to the 40 and then is subsequently outrighted back to the minors. Although he is not eligible to be a minor league FA until post-2024, he will be eligible for selection in the 2023 Rule 5 Draft if he is not added back to the 40 or released in the meantime. 



12/20 UPDATE

The Cubs have signed FA LHP Roenis Elias to a 2023 minor league contract. He is out of minor league options if he is added to the 40 at some point in 2023, and he has the right to elect free-agency if he is added to the 40 and then is subsequently outrighted back to the minors. 


 

12/19 UPDATE

The Cubs have signed FA INF Sergio Alcantara to a 2023 minor league contract. He is out of minor league options if he is added to the MLB 40-man roster at some point in 2023, and he has the right to elect free-agency if he is added to the 40 and then is subsequently outrighted back to the minors.    


 

12/14 UPDATE

The Cubs have signed FA LHP Eric Stout and FA OF Ben DeLuzio to 2023 minor league contracts. DeLuzio was non-tendered by the St. Louis Cardinals in November. Stout has the right to elect free-agency if he is added to the 40 and then is subsequently outrighted back to minors.  



As things stand right now (11/2)...

62 Cubs minor leaguers are eligible for selection in the December 2023 MLB Rule 5 Draft, and 19 Cubs minor leaguers (twelve post-2023 6YFA and seven 2023 second-contract players) are eligible to be declared MLB Rule 9 minor league free-agents at 5 PM Eastern on the 5th day after the final game of the 2023 World Series (or at 5 PM Eastern on October 15th if the World Series is cancelled).

Among the notable Cubs first-time Rule 5 Draft eligibles post-2023 are LHRP Bailey Horn and RHRP Porter Hodge.   

Some of the noteworthy Cubs minor leaguers who were eligible for selection in the 2022 Rule 5 Draft and who will be eligible again in 2023 include RHSPs  Michael Arias (if he is signed beyond 2023), Luis Devers, Kohl Franklin, Richard Gallardo, and Riley Thompson, C Pablo Aliendo, INFs Chase Strumpf and Jake Slaughter, and OFs Darius Hill, Yohendrick Pinango, and Cole Roederer.    

The most noteworthy Cubs minor leaguers who will be eligible to be an MLB Rule 9 minor league free-agent for the first time post-2023 (if the player is not added to the 40 or signs a 2024 minor league successor contract prior to being declared a 6YFA at 5 PM Eastern on the 5th day after the final game of the World Series) are RHRPs Carlos Guzman and Eduarniel Nunez and LHRP Brailyn Marquez.   

The most noteworthy Cubs minor leaguer who will be eligible to be a Rule 9 minor league free-agent once again post-2023 (if he is not added to the 40 or signs a 2024 minor league successor contract prior to being declared a 6YFA at 5 PM Eastern on the 5th day after the final game of the World Series) is OF Yonathan Perlaza.  

There are almost always one or two unexpected pop-up break-out guys every season, so a lot is still TBD.  

NOTE: If not added to the MLB 40-man roster, the players underlined and in bold below will likely be placed on the 38-man AAA Iowa reserve list on 11/15 so that they will be eligible for selection only in the Major League Phase of the 2023 Rule 5 Draft. 

CUBS MINOR LEAGUERS ELIGIBLE FOR SELECTION IN 2023 RULE 5 DRAFT (last updated 11-6-2023):
Pablo Aliendo, C 
Ezequiel Alvarez, INF-OF 
Jose Aquino, LHP 
Max Bain, RHP   
Bradlee Beesley, OF  
Hunter Bigge, RHP
David Bote, INF (Article XX-D player)
Yovanny Cabrera, RHP 
Burl Carraway, LHP  
Chris Clarke, RHP (Article XX-D player) 
Luis Devers, RHP
Jefferson Encarnacion, OF 
Manuel Espinoza, RHP  
Anderson Feliz, RHP (on Restricted List)
Kohl Franklin, RHP
Richard Gallardo, RHP
Reivaj Garcia, INF
Saul Gonzalez, RHP   
Ethan Hearn, C   
Darius Hill, OF 
Porter Hodge, RHP 
Bailey Horn, LHP 
Joel Jimenez, RHP 
Levi Jordan, INF
Chris Kachmar, RHP
Caleb Knight, C
Adam Laskey, LHP 
Ben Leeper, RHP 
Joel Machado, LHP
Nelson Maldonado, 1B-OF
Scott McKeon, INF 
Ismael Mena, OF  
Juan Mora, INF
Cristian More, OF 
Rafael Morel, INF-OF 
Joe Nahas, RHP     
Jordan Nwogu, OF 
Johzan Oquendo, RHP 
Miguel Pabon, INF-C
Ezequiel Pagan, OF
Jack Patterson, LHP
Fabian Pertuz, INF 
Yohendrick Pinango, OF
Reggie Preciado, INF 
Sheldon Reed, RHP 
Jake Reindl, RHP 
Samuel Rodriguez, LHP  
Cole Roederer, OF
Cam Sanders, RHP
Tyler Schlaffer, RHP 
Jake Slaughter, INF
Felix Stevens, 1B-OF
Chase Strumpf, INF
Riley Thompson, RHP
Sam Thoresen, RHP
Cayne Ueckert, RHP  
Luis Verdugo, INF 
Andy Weber, INF  
Jacob Wetzel, OF 
Blake Whitney, RHP   
Brad Wieck, LHP (Article XX-D player) 
Bryce Windham, C-INF

Additionally, a free-agent who signs a 2024 minor league contract prior to the 2023 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.

SIX-YEAR MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENTS POST-2023:
Craig Brooks, RHP (if reinstated from Restricted List)
Jesus Camargo, RHP (if reinstated from Restricted List)
Yovanny Cruz, RHP 
Stephen Gonsalves, LHP (Article XX-D player - out of minor league options if added to the 40)
Carlos Guzman, RHP  
Ben Hecht, RHP 
P. J. Higgins, C-INF (Article XX-D player)
Brailyn Marquez, LHP 
Nick Neidert, RHP  
Eduarniel Nunez, RHP 
Yonathan Perlaza, OF
Samuel Reyes, RHP  

SECOND CONTRACT MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS (see NOTE-3 below)
Michael Arias, RHP (previously released by TOR)
Andres Bonalde, LHP (on Restricted List - previously released by CUBS)
Brayan Diaz, RHP (previously released by SEA) - see NOTE 4
Fraiman Marte, RHP (previously released by STL) 
Francis Reynoso, RHP (ex-1B - previously released by STL) 
Dalton Stambaugh, LHP (previously released by BAL)
Jeral Vizcaino, RHP (previously released ny MIL) - see NOTE-4 
NOTE-3: With mutual consent (player & club), a second-contract minor league player who has accrued fewer than seven minor league seasons can be signed to a multi-year minor league contract with club control extending up through the player's seventh minor league season. So it is possible that one or more of the Cubs minor league second contract players are signed beyond the 2023 season (TBD).
NOTE-4: If signed beyond 2023, Brayan Diaz and Jeral Vizcaino are not eligible for selection in the 2023 Rule 5 Draft.  

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Comments

Thanks for all this useful info you've produced over the years.  It's nice to come back to it as the season (and years) roll by for reference.  It's some of the most useful Cubs system info around that wouldn't ordinarily be readily available.

Phil, interested to hear your thoughts on the Phillies taking Noah Song from the Red Sox in the Rule 5 Draft. I'd venture to guess that there hasn't been an active Major Leaguer on the Military Leave list in decades...

Phil - Can you help me understand why players like Walker Powell, Bailey Horn, Jarod Wright, Chase Watkins, Tyler Santana, Liam Spence, Ed Howard, BJ Murray, and Casey Opitz are NOT Rule 5 eligible next year. They're all entering their third year in the Cubs organization and were never teenagers in the system. I never seem to understand these exceptions. Maybe it has something to do with the 2020 COVID season??? Thanks!

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In reply to by Wrigley Rat

W-RAT: 

To determine Rule 5 Draft eligibility, you need to know three things 

1. What was the official signing date of the player's first contract? 

2. How old was the player on the June 5th prior to signing his first contract? 

3.  What was the last day of the regular season of the minor league affiliate to which the player was first assigned?

A player who was 19 or older on the June 5th prior to signing his first contract is eligible for selection in the fourth Rule 5 Draft after his first "qualified season," and a player who was 18 or younger on the June 5th prior to signing his first contract is eligible for selection in the fifth Rule 5 Draft after his first "qualified season." 

So despite what you might read elsewhere on the internet,  Rule 5 Draft eligibility is - NOT - about whether the player was a high school player or college player. It is 100% about the player's - AGE - on the June 5th prior to signing his first contract.   

For Rule 5 Draft eligibility purposes (only), a player's first "qualified season" depends on if the player was signed before or after the conclusion of the regular season of the minor league affiliate to which he is first assigned.

Also, Rule 5 Draft eligibility has absolutely nothing to do with when the player played in his first pro game. The only relevant point is the date the player officially signed his first contract, even if he doesn't play in a game for two years. Doesn't matter.  

For example, in 2015 the Cubs signed a number of high-value international free-agents (SS Aramis Ademan, 2B Luis Diaz, OF Jose Gutierrez, LHP Brailyn Marquez, RHP Hector Matos, SS Christopher Morel, C Henderson Perez, RHP Yunior Perez, INF Yonathan Perlaza, and OF Jonathan Sierra) on August 23rd, which just so happened to be the day - AFTER - the conclusion of the DSL regular season.

Isn't that something? The Cubs best IFA prospects in 2015 all signed on the VERY SAME DAY!, which just coincidentally happened to be the day AFTER the conclusion of the DSL regular season, which meant they would not be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft until post-2020, instead of post-2019 (if they had signed just a day earlier).  

Therefore, even though Morel and the others were signed prior to the end of the U. S. (domestic) minor league seasons which concluded the first week of September, it was after the conclusion of the DSL season, and so it was 2016 (NOT 2015) that was considered Morel's first "qualified season." And so he was not eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft until 2020 (not 2019), which was the SIXTH Rule 5 Draft after he actually signed (2015), but only the FIFTH Rule 5 Draft after his first "qualified season" (2016)! Even Fangraphs got that one wrong. 

Because most players who sign after the First-Year Player Draft sign prior to the conclusion of the minor league season of the affiliate to which the player is first assigned, what happened with Morel is usually only possible with international free-agents. However, sometimes a drafted player or a NDFA (like a college senior with no eligibility left) signs after the signing deadline.

This happened with INF Christian Donahue, a college senior (Oregon State) with no eligibility left, who signed on August 26, 2017, AFTER the conclusion of the AZL Cubs regular season (Donahue was initially assigned to the AZL Cubs reserve list). In that case, Donahue was not Rule 5 Draft eligible until the FIFTH Rule 5 Draft after he signed (instead of the FOURTH Rule 5 Draft after he signed)  because the year he actually signed (2017) was not his first "qualified season." He signed too late (after the conclusion of the AZL Cubs season). BTW, Donahue participated in AZ Instructs the year he signed, but Instructs (and the AFL and Latin winter ball) don't count toward that season being considered the player's first "qualified season."   

Also, sometimes a high school player turns 19 prior to June 5th. This happened with Dillon Maples a few years. Even though he was a high school draft pick, he had been held back a year sometime earlier in his life, and so he turned 19 on May 11, 2011, prior to June 5th the year he was drafted and signed (2011). So even though he was a high school player, he was eligible for selection in the 2014 Rule 5 Draft, just as if he had been a college player when he was drafted.  

So it isn't just a matter of being a high school player versus a college draft pick that determines Rule 5 Draft eligibility.  What ACTUALLY matters is how old the player was on the June 5th prior to signing his first contract. Again, it is all about the player's AGE on June 5th, not whether he was a high school or college draft pick. 

Which brings us to 2020.... 

What happened in 2020? 

CoViD-19.

And the minor league season was canceled. 

But it wasn't - OFFICIALLY - canceled (by MLB) until June 30th. 

So the conundrum about the 2020 season is... what about players who signed that year? Was 2020 their first "qualified season" toward Rule 5 eligibility, even though the minor league season was canceled? 

Or, for players who signed prior to the minor league season being canceled on June 30th (Beesley, Carraway, Horn, L. Little, McKeon, Mervis, Reed, and Wetzel), was that their first "qualified season" toward Rule 5 Draft eligibility, but not for players who signed after the minor league season was officially canceled (Kobos, Leeper, Nwogu, Reid, and Thoresen)? This also affects whether Pete Crow-Armstrong, Owen Caissie, and Koen Moreno will be Rule 5 Draft eligible post-2024 or post-2025. 

Or is 2020 considered the first "qualified season" for ALL players who signed that year, even though the minor league season was canceled? 

Or will 2021 be considered the first "qualified season" for ALL players who signed in 2020?  

I do know that MLB and the MLBPA agreed that the canceled 2020 minor league season WOULD count toward the number of seasons a player requires before he can be a minor league 6YFA.  

So as of right now, I have listed ALL of the players who were 19 or older on June 5, 2020, who signed in 2020 after the draft (Mervis, Leeper, Nwogu, et al) either after being drafted (the draft was cut-back to five rounds in 2020) or as a post-draft NDFA, as being Rule 5 Draft eligible post-2023 (see my list above).

BUT THAT IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE!!! 

Because I have not yet received a clear definitive answer to the question of whether or not the 2020 season will be considered the first "qualified season" for players who signed that year.  

Stay tuned!

Thanks for all this info Phil. You rule.

Who, in your opinion, are the locks to be added next November? And who else can jump into that conversation?

[ ]

In reply to by Dolorous Jon Lester

DJL: RHSP Daniel Palencia, LHSP DJ Herz, LHSP Luke Little,  and RHSP Porter Hodge are the best pitching prospects coming up for first time Rule 5 eligibility post-2023, and 1B Matt Mervis, SS Kevin Made, and OF Jordan Nwogu are the best first-time Rule 5 Draft eligible position-player prospects.

At least as of right now. 

However, given the way the Cubs played "chicken" with the Rule 5 Draft in 2022 (and got away with it!), it's possible that some of the better prospects might not be protected if they are deemed too far away and/or risky.   

Obviously Mervis and RHRP Ben Leeper are near MLB-ready so they could get called up at anytime, maybe even on Opening Day.

LHRP Bailey Horn is another possibility to get called up in 2023, since he will likely get an NRI to Spring Training and begin the season at AAA, and (at least right now) the Cubs don't have a lot of lefty options in the bullpen

And then there are the guys who were Rule 5 Draft eligible this year and didn't get selected, like RHSP Riley Thompson, RHRP Cam Sanders, RHSP Luis Devers, OF Darius Hill, OF Yohendrick Pinango, INF Chase Strumpf, RHSP Kohl Franklin, et al, and they will be a step closer to MLB this time next year and so could be more in-line to get added to the 40.

And then there are the minor league free-agents post-2023, most notably OF Yonathan Perlaza, RHRP Danis Correa, RHRP Yovanny Cruz, LHRP Brendon Little, and LHSP Brailyn Marquez. If the Cubs want to retain a player eligible to be a minor league 6YFA post-2023 and the player is unwilling to sign a 2024 minor league successor contract, the only way to keep the player is to add him to the 40 after the World Series (although it's fairly likely that Correa and B. Little will be called up to Chicago sometime during the 2023 season).    

Something to keep in mind about the 2023 Cubs:

Cubs top prospect CF Pete Crow-Armstrong is at the same place right now that 2022 N. L. Rookie of the Year Michael Harris was in the Braves system this time last year. (Harris played at Hi-A in 2021 and was rated the Braves top prospect coming into the 2022 season). 

So things can happen in a hurry. 

PCA will get an NRI to MLB Spring Training, and while he almost certainly will not make the Cubs Opening Day MLB roster, if he lights it up at AA (like Harris did), he could conceivably skip AAA and go directly from AA to MLB.

Just sayin'.  

One of the questions yet to be answered is who the Cubs will drop from their MLB reserve list (40-man roster) if they sign more free-agents than they have roster slots available. 

At present the Cubs have four slots open on the 40, but two of them will go to Cody Bellinger and Jameson Taillon once their signings become official.  

That leaves two slots open for a FA catcher (presuming they don't trade for one) and a FA SP (again, presuming they don't trade for one). 

If the Cubs sign a SS, Nico Hoerner moves to 2B, and Nick Madrigal is gone. If the Cubs do not sign a SS, then Madrigal stays and is the Cubs starting 2B and Hoerner remains the SS. Madrigal has no value as a utility player because he can only play 2B, and he certainly isn't somebody you would want to use as a DH. 

One thing unique about Madrigal is that he is eligible for salary arbitration as a "Super Two," and Super Two players have the right to elect free-agency if outrighted, and if the player has not been outrighted previously in his career (and Madrigal has not been outrighted previously in his career), a Super Two player must elect free-agency immediately upon being outrighted if he wants to be a FA (he actually has 72 hours to decide). So he can't defer free-agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular like Article XX-D players can.  

Also, if Madrigal files for salary arbitration prior to being outrighted and then elects free-agency, the Cubs are on the hook for 100% of whatever Madrigal requested in arbitration. All arbitration requests will be delivered by the MLB LRD to the MLBPA on Friday, January 13th, so figure the Cubs will need to DFA Madrigal before that date in order to avoid having to pay Madrigal's requested salary as termination pay if he elects free-agency after being outrighted. If he is outrighted prior to January 13th and then elects free-agency, his termination pay is whatever the Cubs offered him when they tendered him his contract (likely the MLB minimum salary because that's the minimum required to make the salary tender valid, even though he is going to make much more than the MLB minimum salary if he files for arbitration).

The other player most like to be dropped from the 40 to make room for a FA is 1B Alfonso Rivas, especially if it is to make room for a 1B-DH type like Trey Mancini. Rivas does NOT have the right to elect free-agency if he is outrighted, but there is a reasonable chance that he would get claimed off waivers by a bottom-feeder (like OAK, WAS or DET).  

So I would expect the Cubs to DFA Madrigal (if they sign a SS) and Rivas (if they sign a 1B-DH) and then wait out the seven day DFA period, with the hope that they can get at least a second-tier prospect back in a trade before they risk losing the player off waivers for $50,000. 

So again, Bellinger and Taillon take roster slots #37 and #38, a catcher would take #39, and as SP would take #40. Madrigal gets dropped ONLY if the Cubs sign Correa or Swanson, and Rivas gets dropped if the Cubs sign a 1B-DH.    

If the Cubs sign a couple of veteran relievers (probably one LH and one RH) to MLB contracts,-- and I believe they will, then the Cubs will drop an equal number of relievers from the 40, from among Erich Uelmen, Michael Rucker, and Mark Leiter Jr.  

Leiter is out of minor league options as of 2023 (which is why I do not understand why he was tendered a contract) and Rucker and Leiter can elect free-agency if outrighted, so either Leiter (because he is out of options) or Uelmen (because he cannot elect free-agency if outrighted) would probably get axed off the 40 before Rucker. Like Leiter, Rucker can elect free-agency if he is outrighted, but unlike Leiter but like Uelmen, he has minor league options left (so he is fungible).  

One other player who could get dropped from the 40 to make room for a FA is INF Zach McKinstry. However, because he is an MLB Rule 9 player (that is, he would have been declared a minor league 6YFA on the fifth day after the World Series if he had not been on the MLB 40-man roster at that time), he cannot be outrighted unless and until he signs a 2023 MLB contract. Knowing that and probably not wanting to be outrighted, his agent would likely tell McKinstry to not sign his 2023 contract until he arrives at Spring Training. That's why I was puzzled by the Cubs tendering McKinstry a contract last month. 

One player not likely to be dropped from the 40 is INF-OF Miles Mastrobuoni, acquired from the Rays prior to the roster filing deadline last month. Unlike INF Rylan Bannon (claimed by the Cubs off waivers and then lost off waivers a couple of weeks later), Mastrobuoni was not a "why not?" waiver claim.  The Cubs gave up a decent RP prospect (Alfredo Zarraga) to get Mastrobuoni, and so I doubt very much that they would risk losing him off waivers just to open up a 40-man roster slot.   

Also, unlike McKinstry (who is out of minor league options as of 2023), Mastrobuoni has three minor league option years available, making him an ideal Chicago - Des Moines shuttle guy for the next three seasons. So therefore McKinstry is far more likely to get dropped from the 40 than Mastrobuoni, although it may not be by outright assignment (unless the Cubs offer McKinstry extra money to sign immediately so he can be outrighted prior to Spring Training).   

There are four other players on the 40 (Alexander Canario,  Ethan Roberts, Miguel Amaya, and Brennen Davis) who are rehabbing from injuries and therefore could be placed on the MLB 60-day on the first day of Spring Training (the day pitchers & catchers report) or any other time during Spring Training if additional 40-man roster slots are needed.

Roberts would go on the 60-day IL first, because the Cubs can option Canario, Amaya, and Davis to the minors (even though they are injured or rehabbing from an injury) and  thereby avoid paying them their MLB split salary and keep them from accruing MLB Service Time because they did not accrue any MLB Service Time in 2022. (Roberts did accrue MLB Service Time in 2022, so he cannot be optioned to the minors until he is healthy enough to pitch).  

However, even though a club can wait up to twenty days to place a player signed as a free-agent on the 40, most if not all of the free-agents the Cubs will sign will probably be signed way too early to have their roster slots opened by way of placing Canario, Roberts, and/or Amaya on the 60-day IL.

However, the Cubs might be able to convince one or two of the free-agents they sign to initially sign a minor league contract, with the promise that they will absolutely, positively, be added to the 40 on the first day of Spring Training. That could be one or both of the relievers, or maybe somebody like 1B Dominic Smith.  

[ ]

In reply to by George Altman

Someone on Twitter told me that even with Super Two status Madrigal will make just over 1mil. So even if it were 2mil, it sounds like he's staying through today. I hope he gets traded, but that's another discussion.

 

Cubs Twitter verse is saying Morel and Velazquez are or need to go to Iowa.

If that's true, who are our 13 bats?

Gomes/Barnhart

Hosmer / Mervis (think that's solid chance)

Nico / Madrigal

Swanson

Wisdom / McKinstry

Happ

Bellinger

Suzuki

4th OF? Who gets this spot if Morel and Velazquez are Optioned? Not BDavis

Sign DPeralta?

Any thoughts?

So, will the Cubs be serious competitors for Swanson, or have they been priced out of shortstop free agency? Options to upgrade the offensive have narrowed quickly.

[ ]

In reply to by Charlie

the cubs aren't priced out of any free agent on the market, now or in the past.  whether they will take the money they've not spent the past many years and even more available this year and spend it on the team is up to them.  they even have a share of the 900m MLB just made for selling it's remaining BAM Tech share to Disney coming (for all 30 teams).  money was never the issue.

they sure as hell have a lot less options to spend on, though...and 29 other teams have a payday from that BAMTech money coming, too.  that sale was completed just last month.

As is the case every year, the MLB Commissioner's Office in NYC will be closed over the holidays, beginning tomorrow (12/24) and extending through Monday 1/2. That's why there has been a bit of a rush to get things done before Saturday. 

During the time that the office is closed, contracts and trades can be consummated and filed, but they cannot be officially approved by the Commissioner until 1/3. So "official" 40-man roster moves will be frozen for about ten days. 

Also, all waiver activity will stop for ten days. A player cannot be placed onto waivers while the office is closed, and if a player was placed on waivers yesterday or today, he will not clear waivers until after the first of the year.

Same thing with players who have been Designated for Assignment this week. The DFA period will not expire after the normal seven days. It will be extended into the first week of January, allowing a club to place a player who was Designated for Assignment this week onto waivers on 1/3, with the "waiver ride" (and DFA period) ending on 1/5.

That doesn't mean a player who was Designated for Assignment this week can't be traded over the holidays. It's just that the trade won't be official until 1/3.  

Also, if a player is released he must first pass through Outright Release Waivers before he is free to sign with another club, so if a player was placed on Release Waivers yesterday or today, he won't be free to sign with a new club until Outright Release Waivers have been secured after the first of the year. 

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

The MLB office re-opened at 9 AM Eastern this morning (1/3) after being closed for ten days over the holidays, so the waiver process and the DFA clock are back up again. 

Any player who was placed on Outright Assignment or Outright Release waivers two days prior to Christmas Eve (12/22) will complete his "waiver ride" today, any player who was placed on Outright Assignment or Outright Release waivers the day prior to Christmas Eve (12/23) will complete his waiver ride tomorrow (1/4), and any player who was Designated for Assignment less than five days prior to the holidays up through last Thursday will need to be placed on  Outright Assignment Waivers today (1/3) if not traded prior to 2 PM (Eastern). 

In the case of Eric Hosmer, he was released by the Red Sox on Thursday 12/22 and so he would have been placed on Outright Release waivers that day, and so therefore he would have cleared release waivers today at 2 PM (Eastern) and would be free to sign with any MLB club as of that point in time. That's why the Cubs couldn't sign him any earlier than today. 

In regards to the Cubs signing RHRP Vinny Nittoli to a 2023 minor league contract today.... 

Nittoli was Designated for Assignment by Philadelphia last week after the Phillies acquired RHRP Erich Uelmen from the Cubs for "cash considerations" (in excess of the $50,000 waiver price, probably more like $100K), but the reason it could not just have been a simple one-for-one trade instead of two separate seemingly unrelated transactions is that the Cubs did not have room on the MLB 40-man roster for Nittoli (that's why they DFA'd Uelmen), and Nittoli had Draft Excluded Player status, so he could not be sent outright to the minors until 20 days prior to MLB Opening Day.

So for the Cubs to get Nittoli and be able to assign him to their AAA Iowa roster (which is obviously what they wanted to do), Nittoli - HAD TO - (first) be released by the Phils.

If he was acquired by the Cubs and then released, he could not be added back to the Cubs 40-man roster until May 15th. But because the Phils released him and then the Cubs signed him, he could conceivably win a spot in the Cubs Opening Day MLB bullpen. 

He also could not have been acquired by the Cubs and then have been outrighted to the minors, because of his Draft Excluded Player status, which precludes him from being outrighted to the minors for another couple of months.

[ ]

In reply to by Cubster

Per Baseball America, January 15 update: 

Chicago Cubs ($5,284,000)

Derniche Valdez, SS, Dominican Republic
Ludwing Espinoza, SS, Venezuela
Angel Cepeda, SS, Dominican Republic
Brailin Pascual, SS, Dominican Republic
Omar Ferrera, SS, Dominican Republic

Jostin Florentino, RHP, Dominican Republic
Albert Gutierrez, 3B, Dominican Republic
Miguel Cruz, LHP, Dominican Republic
Emmanoel Madeira, RHP, Brazil
Grenyerbert Velasquez, 3B, Venezuela
Daniel Campos, C, Venezuela

[ ]

In reply to by videographer

Because they signed Article XX-B FA Dansby Swanson, the Cubs will have $500K subtracted from their International Signing Period (ISP) International Signing Bonus Pool (ISBP) in 2024, so the Swanson signing doesn't affect the Cubs signing international free agents this year, but it will next year. 

On a positive note, after a two-year moratorium on trading ISBP Signing Bonus Values (SBV), SBV can once again be traded beginning with the start of the 2023 ISP that began ten days ago, so a penalized club can recover some of its lost ISBP via trade. 

ISBP SBV can be traded only in increments of $250K (including multiples of $250K), unless a club is trading the balance of its ISBP in one transaction. A club can trade 100% of its assigned ISBP during the course of the ISP if it so desires. However, a club can only add 60% of its assigned ISBP via trade or trades.

ISBP SBV acquired via a trade or trades can be flipped to a third club, but SBV cannot be sold for cash and cannot be substituted for a PTBNL.  

ISBP SBV can only be traded during the ISP (January 15th through December 15th), and SBV acquired via a trade or trades cannot be used in the next ISP. With one exception, any potion of a club's ISBP not spent goes away at the end of the ISP. 

The one exception is that a club can carry-over ISBP space from one ISP to the next ISP if a player's contract is voided as the result of the player failing his physical or being unable to obtain a visa to the U. S., or if an investigation by the MLB Commissioner determines the player falsified his age and/or identity prior to signing the contract. It  does not apply to contracts voided by the MLB Commissioner as a result of a rules violation by the club.

Bonuses of $10,000 or less do not count against a club's ISBP. 

Using COTS, current AAV payroll for 2023 is $215,929,047.

 

With a CBT Threshold of $233,000,000 that leaves $17,070,593 of AAV Space.

 

That reflects revised Arbitration salaries for Happ, Hoerner, Madrigal, & Heuer. Also MLB minimums for Auto-Renewal players most likely to make the 26-man and IL (Hosmer, Wisdom, Mervis, Steele, Wesneski, K. Thompson, Alzolay, Hughes, & Roberts). And Hendricks.

 

Position Players: Barnhart, Gomes, Hosmer, Mancini, Hoerner, Swanson, Wisdom, Happ, Bellinger, Suzuki, Morel, Madrigal, Mervis or NRI.

 

Pitchers: Stroman, Steele, Taillion, Smyly, Wesneski, K. Thompson, Alzolay, Samson, Hughes, Boxberger, Wick, Hendricks, Heuer, Roberts.

 

If the Cubs reserve $8-9M for trade deadline, IL, and bonuses, that leaves about $8,000,000 for 1-2 RPs.

 

Of course, trades would change those numbers. Not as dire as some Cubs boards are posting.

[ ]

In reply to by George Altman

recently signed mike tauchman (returning to the US from korea) and andrew chafin share an agent, fwiw.  meister management is an older agency, but they don't carry a lot of high-end clients these days.  their "star" client is brett gardner (NYY).  they also represent ex-cubs john andreoli, james norwood, and blake parker so there's a relationship there.

I cannot understand any argument for keeping Madrigal, given how this current Roster is constructed. Absent a significant long IL stint for Hoerner, what is his value to this team over a Darius Hill-type LH hitting OF? Also, I cannot see any type of 'exciting' return for him. 

[ ]

In reply to by George Altman

off the bench he's a great tool because if you want contact without K'ing to move a runner, that's your dude.  guy on 2nd, 0-1 outs, want to get that runner on 3rd or home...etc...

good D and his value right now is rather low compared to the cost to pick him up years ago.  if they have the room to keep him for a while and get him favorable ABs off the bench and regulars-rest starts, he could rediscover some of his value given the club control left on him.  if things go as planned, the team will need mid-season talent for trades.

[ ]

In reply to by Dolorous Jon Lester

Nick Madrigal has value as a starting MLB second-baseman for any team that doesn't have one, and in fact prior to the Cubs signing Dansby Swanson (which moved Nico Hoerner back to 2B), Madrigal was the leading candidate to be the Cubs starting 2B in 2023. 

Unfortunately, Madrigal has a rag arm that limits him defensively to playing 2B (or DH), and most all MLB clubs want slugging out of the DH position. 

By my reckoning, there are probably just four MLB clubs that could use a starting 2B at the present time: the Red Sox, the Pirates, the White, Sox, and the Nationals. 

The Cubs are not likely to get a Top 20 prospect back for Madrigal no matter where he is traded, meaning a player from the other club's 40-man roster would probably be the best the Cubs can hope to get back in return.  

But that actually isn't a problem, because unlike last  season, the Cubs do appear to be at least attempting to piece together a borderline N. L. Central Division (if not N. L. Wild Card) contending team for 2023 while waiting for their top prospects to develop. And as such, taking back a more-useful 40-man roster piece than Madrigal in a trade isn't necessarily a bad thing. 

As far as the type of player the Cubs might be able to get back in a trade involving Madrigal, I had mentioned here last month that trading Madrigal to the Red Sox for 3B-1B-DH Bobby Dalbec might be a good fit for both teams, but that was before the Cubs signed Trey Mancini. However, Dalbec is still the type of player the Cubs should be able to get back for Madrigal (same MLB Service Time class as Madrigal and, like Madrigal, a misfit with his present club). Like Madrigal, Dalbec can be optioned to the minors if he doesn't make the MLB 26-man roster, and while he has a similar profile as Patrick Wisdom (HR hitting third-baseman who strikes out a lot), Dalbec is four years younger than Wisdom and still has time to develop into a more-complete MLB player, and so he could possibly replace Wisdom at 3B or Mancini as the RH DH in 2024. 

The Pirates signed LHRP Jarlin Garcia to a contract very soon after he was non-tendered by the Giants in November ($2.5M in 2023 a $3.25M club option with no buy-out in 2024), probably with the intent to flip him at the trade deadline. But Garcia would fit a Cubs need right now (a veteran LHRP who can be had for Brad Boxberger money), and if the Cubs were to send Madrigal and a LHRP with MLB upside like Brendon Little or Bailey Horn to the Pirates, they might be able to acquire Garcia immediately, instead of having to wait until the trade deadline. 

With closer Liam Hendricks out indefinitely while battling cancer, the White Sox almost certainly would not trade a bullpen arm (even a middle reliever) for Madrigal, but switch-hitting INF-OF Leuris Garcia ($5.5M AAV through 2024) is the utility player Madrigal is not, and while he has too much MLB Service Time time to be a fungible bench guy, Garcia is a switch-hitter who can play anywhere. He is signed through 2024 and could be a decent super-sub utility player for the next couple of seasons.  If a salary offset is required to make the AAV work for both clubs, the David Bote ($3M through 2024) and Nick Madrigal ($1.225M in 2023 then under control through arbitration through 2026) combined AAVs are close to Garcia's.    

But of the four MLB clubs I mentioned who are likely in the market for a starting 2B, the Nationals could be the best fit of all for a Madrigal trade. It probably would require including OF Nelson Velazquez and possibly a minor league RP with MLB upside like Cam Sanders or Danis Correa along with Madrigal, but OF Lane Thomas ($2.2M AAV) and RHRP Tanner Rainey ($1.5M AAV) would be the type of return the Cubs could possibly get back in a trade involving Madrigal.

Thomas is one of the best 4th OF in MLB (not especially useful to a non-contender) and would be a good RH complement with Cody Bellinger in CF in 2023, as well as backing up all three OF spots. He is under control via arbitration through 2025, and so he could function as a fourth OF until whenever the Cubs other OF prospects are actually ready for The Show, and then he could be easily jettisoned.

Rainey is (was) the Nats closer, but he underwent TJS this past July and will likely miss the entire 2023 season. However, like Thomas, Rainey is under club control via arbitration through the 2025 season, and presuming he comes back 100% from the TJS, he could be the Cubs closer in 2024 and 2025.  

So while Madrigal is clearly no longer a fit with the Cubs, all is not lost. He could be a fit with the Red Sox, White Sox, Pirates, or Nationals. 

[ ]

In reply to by Dolorous Jon Lester

Madrigal might be a RH La Stella and be able to hit off the bench. He might. No clue. No shift now. He could punch the ball thru the infield with his contact skills. But his defense is scary to me. 

What scares me a little right now is that Morel, McKinstry, Wisdom and Mancini are the backup OFs. So, Morel is only backup CF that's passable. For a team built on defense that's a bit lite. 

AZ Phil once wrote the Ben DeLuxio could be 4th OF guy who plays CF and pinch runs. 

What that make more sense than having Madrigal or McKinstry?

But Morel has to be on the 26-man roster. He could start at 3B, but he's absolutely the backup SS and CF as of today.

Therefore, to me, Madrigal hasn't made the team, yet. McKinstry being LH with his defensive versatility gives him a spot. Unless Mastrobuoni just kills in ST and shows he's better than McKinstry. But, Mastrobuoni can be hid in Iowa with his option.

DeLuzio as the 4th OF is still unique to me. He'd serve a direct job. Maybe when Bellinger doesn't start in CF, Morel starts in CF, but DeLuzio finishes in CF.

Hoerner is the backup shortstop.

I’ve seen no evidence that McKinstry can hit. 

[ ]

In reply to by azbobbop

Can't argue with no evidence of McKinstry hitting. So, let's hope Mastrobuoni's AAA stats translate better than McKinstry's. 

I get that Hoerner slides to SS when Swanson gets a day off, or do to injury. So, Morel isn't the backup SS (even though I think he's a natural SS). So, as of today, he's the only backup CF on the 40-man roster that I see.  I guess an argument can be make for Happ there in a pinch.

Someone made a good point the other day of not needing to project a 26-man roster right now. But, that's simply not fun.

[ ]

In reply to by Childersb3

childersb3: Nelson Velazquez plays all three OF positions, and in fact he played more CF than LF or RF in 2022 (combined MLB / minors). Also, unlike Christopher Morel, Velazquez is a natural OF, while Morel is learning to play OF on the "fly" (so to speak). 

That doesn't mean that Morel won't be the Cubs' 4th OF and occasional platoon mate with Cody Bellinger in CF in 2023, but Morel has more upside than Velazquez and would no doubt benefit from additional seasoning at AAA, both at the plate and in the field (where multi-positional defensive versatility is his likely future).   

I mentioned some potential trades involving Nick Madrigal here a couple of days ago, and one involved acquiring OF Lane Thomas from the Nationals in a deal that would also include sending Velazquez back to the Nats. That still stands, even if it's just Velazquez for Thomas straight-up. Thomas would be a perfect fit as both 4th OF and an occasional platoon with Bellinger in CF. 

Why would the Nationals be interested in such a trade? Velazquez came into last season as the Cubs #15 prospect (BA), so he has a prospect pedigree, and he just turned 24 last month, and he has six years of club control remaining.  

[ ]

In reply to by Childersb3

childersb3: I'll project the Cubs 2023 MLB Opening Day lineup: 

I presume Corbin Burnes will be the Brewers' SP, so.... 

1. Ian Happ, LF 
2. Dansby Swanson, SS 
3. Seiya Suzuki, RF 
4. Cody Bellinger, CF
5. Trey Mancini, DH 
6. Eric Hosmer, 1B
7. Nico Hoerner, 2B 
8. Patrick Wisdom, 3B 
9. Tucker Barnhart, C 
SP: Marcus Stroman 

BENCH:
Yan Gomes, C 
Zach McKinstry, INF (out of options, or else DFA'd)
Nelson Velazquez, OF (unless Cubs acquire a RH hitting veteran MLB 4th OF)
TBD (could be Mervis or Morel, or both if McKinstry gets DFA'd)

STARTING ROTATION AFTER STROMAN: 
Jameson Tailon 
Drew Smyly
Justin Steele (out of options)
Adrian Sampson 

PEN (alphabetical): 
Adbert Alzolay (out of options)
Brad Boxberger
Brandon Hughes
Julian Merryweather (out of options, or else DFA'd)
Michael Rucker 
Keegan Thompson 
Rowan Wick 
FA LEFTY TBA (still to be signed) 

60-DAY IL (if 40-MAN ROSTER SLOTS NEEDED): 
Ethan Roberts (he will be the first one to go on the 60-day IL)
Codi Heuer (but only if second slot needed, otherwise 10-day IL)
Kyle Hendricks (will likely be on the 10-day, not the 60-day IL IL) 

Also, I expect the Cubs to option Alexander Canario to AAA (which they can do even though he is injured,  only because he did not accrue any MLB Service Time last season), so he will NOT be placed on the MLB 60-day IL. 

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

And just for S & G, here is my projection for the Cubs Opening Day lineup in 2025: 

1. Pete Crow-Armstrong, CF 
2. Dansby Swanson, SS 
3. Seiya Suzuki, RF 
4. Matt Mervis, 1B 
5. Brennen Davis, LF 
6. Nico Hoerner, 2B 
7. Owen Caissie, DH 
8. Patrick Wisdom. 3B 
9. Miguel Amaya, C 
SP: Jameson Taillon 

BENCH: 
Pablo Aliendo, C 
Miles Mastrobuoni, INF-OF 
Christopher Morel, INF-OF 
TBD - probably an OF from amongst Velazquez, Canario (if he comes back 100% from his injuries), Perlaza, D. Hill, Pinango, or Roederer, but also could be Strumpf, Made, Verdugo, or Slaughter
NOTE: K. Alcantara ETA likely not until 2026 or 2027 as eventual replacement for Suzuki

ROTATION AFTER TAILLON: 
Justin Steele 
Hayden Wesneski
Jordan Wicks 
TBD (probably from among B. Brown, Kilian, Assad, Hodge, and Devers)  

BULLPEN (alphabetical):
Adbert Alzolay 
DJ Herz 
Brandon Hughes  
Keegan Thompson 
​​​​​​Rowan Wick (possible post-2023 or post-2024 non-tender)
AT LEAST THREE TBD (probably from among Palencia, Jensen, Leeper, Correa, Sanders, Leigh, Horn, and L. Little, or any of the left-over starters) 

Of course all of this presumes the Cubs will sign no free-agents between now & then, which is EXTREMELY unlikely. 

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

My way too early prediction is the Cubs go after either Matt Chapman or Machado next off-season. The pitching staff seems(hopefully) to not need any big signings. Maybe one if Stroman opts out. With the hitters really only Suzuki, Swanson, Hoerner are the only everyday players without opt outs or options. 

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

Ditto on the WBC. My pitching staff predictions:

 

Hendricks doesn't throw 20 IPs this year.

By May 1st the SPs are Stroman, Steele, Taillon, Smyly, & Wesneski.

MiRPs are K. Thompson, Alzolay, Sampson.

SiRPs are Hughes, Boxberger, the FA/LhRP, and an Iowa shuttle with Rucker, Estrada, Brown, et al until Heuer and Roberts come (If) back.

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

I didn't like how Jed handled Nelson V last year, sticking him on the bench with no regular ABs. But, he must not be apart of the bigger plans. So, having him stay in that 4th OF role and not get ABs in AAA seems to fit.

I've been with you on Madrigal being shipped out. But, him and Morel not on the roster would interesting to me. That's a lot of pressure on McKinstry to be at least somewhat productive. This would probably mean Mervis makes the roster out of ST and that's where the production is supposed to come from. So, this isn't out of the question. But, I thought with the Hosmer and Mancini combo and Mash playing in WBC that signaled Mash going to Iowa first.

I am 100% with you on adding a lefty RP (Moore or Chafin please!!).

Would rather have Wesneski in Wrigley though. Sampson can be a long man in pen. He goes in Merryweather's spot after he's DFA'd. I think Keegan or Alzolay get late inning role eventually.

But, I love the info Mr. Phil. Thanks as always!!

[ ]

In reply to by Childersb3

Childersb3 - I'm stuck on something that was said about Nelson Velazquez during the season last year (I think by Cubs' broadcasters, but can't remember). Nelson doesn't use any of the technology (iPads) during games to analyze his swing, the way he's pitched, etc. He believes more in basing things on feel and instinct. I WOULD be fine with that if he was having success, but as a rookie who was batting near the Mendoza line all season, he should have taken any and all advice offered to him (in my opinion).

Not sure if this is all true, if there's more or less to it, or if he's willing to change this year, but something about that really bothers me and makes me think the Cubs don't value him as much as the players right behind him who want to do everything in their power to improve. Since he still has trade value, he is a player I assume will be on the move to a team who values him more than the Cubs do.

[ ]

In reply to by azbobbop

Although it might seem obvious that Hoerner is the back-up  SS in 2023, in actual practive most managers do not move "regulars" around to fill-in for injured players.

For example, Alex Bregman was not moved back to SS when Carlos Correa was injured in 2021. and Manny Machado was not moved back to SS last year when Fernando Tatis was unavailable.

I think it's likely that once Hoerner moves to 2B that he will just stay there and never play SS again, and so the Cubs will carry another infielder on the 26-man roster capable of playing SS, most likely  Zach McKinstry (because he is out of minor league options), although it could be Mastrobuoni, Morel, or even Sergio Alcantara (depending on how things develop during the course of Spring Training).   

As for McKinstry, although he didn't show much at the plate with the Dodgers and Cubs in 2022, he has absolutely raked at AAA (323/401/550 in 489 PA). Also, while he has played only ten games at SS in MLB, he has played more games at SS than at 3B in the minors.  

Both Manuel Rodriguez AND Anthony Kay have been sent outright to AAA Iowa, so the Cubs successfully sneaked both through waivers (so congratulations to Jed & Co). Also, unlike Higgins and Leiter, neither ManRod nor Kay have the right to elect free-agency. 

The whole Madrigal playing 3rd thing feels like the Cubs trying to pitch his value to other teams to me. Not saying there's internal hope that he can actually pick it up, but more of a "see, he can do it" to others.

The depth options potentially coming out of spring training are interesting to me. I expect McKinstry will get some run, at least through June since they traded for him last July knowing he'll be out of options. I suspect whatever they saw in him they were able to flesh out and let him make those adjustments during the off-season. He raked in the minors and had some pretty good stints with the Dodgers(though it seems like everyone can hit while in a dodgers uniform.) He can also play 2B, 3B, LF, SS, and probably RF and CF decently if they asked him too.

But beyond that, Mancinis ability to moonlight in the corner outfield allows flexibility for Mervis if he forces the issue. Wisdom has the ability to play the 4 corners. Morel is athletic enough to not suck at multiple positions, and then there's multiple ways to go with that 13th guy. My money is on DiLuzio since he's 28, fast and can play a solid CF. Dont have to worry about getting him ABs since I doubt Bellinger signed with the Cubs to get platooned.

I asked this before, but I didn’t see a response… just how bad would Mervis be at 3B?  
 

It seems to me that if he’s at least sorta marginal, then there is a calculus that makes it worth getting the LHB in the lineup.  Especially if they are otherwise strong in the middle INF, and given that MM has an above avg (plus?) arm due to his pitching background. 

[ ]

In reply to by First.Pitch.120

As I have said here before several times, right now Matt Mervis is a DH. He is a true lug if there ever was one. Hopefully he will improve his agility sufficiently to be able to play defense at the MLB level, but I will believe that when I see it. Fortunately, the National League now has the DH, so an N. L. club can actually develop a player to be a DH.

All that said, it is very possible that Mervis will eventually be able to play at least a passable 1B at some point. He certainly has the size you would like in a first-baseman. He provides a really good target. Third-base is probably A Bridge Too Far, however. 

The Cubs have an excellent off-season strength & conditioning program for its minor leaguers, and hopefully Mervis will benefit from that. Agility is the issue with Mervis. 

I have never seen Mervis play defense, even at first base.  But I have seen reports that he is rather stiff at first base, and may have to DH.  That doesn't sound promising for success at third.

 

However, I agree with you.  If he can play a marginally acceptable defense at third, they should consider moving him there when they consider his bat is ready to play.  If the offense of Mancini/Hosmer is much better than Wisdom, perhaps we could live with a lower defensive level with Mervis at third base.

 

Of course, since Hoyer seems to be placing more emphasis on defense this year, I doubt they will consider it.

[ ]

In reply to by videographer

Pretty good discussion, I thought. Especially liked the Brennen Davis analysis and the fact that he has only played over 53 games once in four seasons of minor league ball due to injuries. Like Tom Waddle says, the greatest ability is availability. You don’t really know what you have because he can’t stay on the field. 

A Mets fan has recently posted on my Twitter that the Cubs have signed the following IFAs.

 

Royal Strop- outfield

Wilfry de la Cruz- shortstop

McKinstry traded to Tigers for single A pitcher Carlos Guzman. Glad the roster spot is going somewhere else.

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

Rowan Wick has Article XX-D rights, so he has the right to elect free-agency after being outrighted.

He can elect to be a free-agent immediately (but forfeit his $1.55M contract), or accept the outright assignment  (and keep the $1.55M salary) and defer free-agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season (unless he is added back to an MLB 40-man roster in the meantime). 

In that spirit the I-Cubs play a few games each season as Los Demonios, a nod to a previous local bush league team, the Des Moines Demons.

One of the provisions in the new Minor League CBA is that players who were 19 or older on the June 5th prior to signing their first contract will be eligible to be a minor league 6YFA free-agent after six seasons spent in the minors  instead of after seven seasons (if the player is not added to an MLB 40-man roster or signs a minor league successor contract for the next season by 5 PM Eastern on he 5th day after the final game of the World Series). 

Depending on whether this provision will take effect in 2023 or in 2024 and also depending on if it applies to players who are already signed or only to players who sign in the future (starting in 2023), the following Cubs minor leaguers COULD be eligible to be minor league free-agents post-2023 (TBD): 

D. J. Artis, OF 
Derek Casey, RHP 
Caleb Knight, C 
Levi Jordan, INF 
Jack Patterson, LHP
Jake Reindl,RHP 
Cam Sanders, RHP 
Jake Slaughter, INF 
Riley Thompson, RHP 
Andy Weber, INF 
Blake Whitney, RHP 

R. Thompson and Sanders were already virtual locks to get added to the 40 post-2023 (if not earlier) just to make them ineligible for selection in the 2023 Rule 5 Draft, but if they are eligible for minor league free-agency post-2023, adding them to the 40 will be even more likely than it already is. 

It will also make it more important to get a clear read on Slaughter, Jordan, Reindl, and Weber to gauge if the player might be interested in signing a successor contract, and if the player clearly is not interested, it might motivate the Cubs to call up one or more of these players during the 2023 season (if the player can be minor league 6YFA post-2023 anyway) when the player otherwise might not have been considered. 

Why was Stout released?  Heading to Korea?  Another gig lined up?  Last year we sent him to Pittsburgh.

I remember Remy, didn't realize his ERA had been so high for so long; too bad.......

Hendricks got 5 outs, 3 of them Ks, before pitch limit. Shook some rust off. I-Cubs win 18-16. 2 more bombs from Morel. Mervis hit one w/ a flick of his wrist on a pitch down & away. 20 hits for I-Cubs. It wasn’t nearly THAT windy!

Wind blowing in a gale today-no matter; 13-zip I-Cubs w/out Morel! Mervis 3/3, couple 2Bs, 4 scored, 3 knock-ins…after 5!

AZ Phil,

It's an off-day, so here's a question about 2023 Rule 5 guys.

Who would you protect?

Here's the seven guys I see as must adds to protect:

Slaughter in Madrigal's spot

Perlaza in Velazquez's spot

Horn in ERobert's spot

Hodge in Sampson's spot

Palencia in Hendrick's spot

Herz in Fulmer's spot

L. Little in Boxberger's spot

I have Burdi or Sanders getting Merryweather's spot in summer 2023

I'm leaving Bellinger, Stroman, Alzolay, & Kilian on the 40.

Hosmer's & Rios' spots are left empty to get down to the 40 max

This leaves the following guys unprotected that I'd worry about:

Made-Nwogu-Aliendo-KFranklin-Strumpf-RThompson-Vazquez-Pagan-DHill

[ ]

In reply to by Dolorous Jon Lester

Fulmer and Hosmer are free-agents. 

Stroman ($21M, or $23M if 160 IP in 2023) and Barnhart ($3.25M) have 2024 opt outs. (Barnhart will probably be released if he doesn't opt-out). 

Smyly ($8.5 plus potential escalators) and Mancini ($7M plus potential escalators) have 2024 vesting opt-outs.

Gomes ($6M or $1M buy-out) and Hendricks ($16M or $1.5M buy-out) have club options. (Cubs will likely not exercise Hendricks club option, but will likely exercise Gomes club option).  

Bellinger ($25M or $5.5M buy out / severance) and Boxberger ($5M or $800K buy-out / severance) have mutual options. (Mutual options are almost always declined by one side and/or the other). 

Wisdom, Alzolay, Leiter, and Merryweather will be first-time salary arbitration eligible post-2023. (Merryweather could get non-tendered).

Steele will be a "Super Two", and K. Thompson might be a "Super Two" (cut-off TBD post-2023).

Heuer, Rios, Madrigal and Sampson will be arbitration-eligible again post-2023 (Madrigal and Sampson were "super Two" post-2022). Rios and Sampson are likely non-tenders, maybe Madrigal, too. Heuer getting tendered or non-tendered post-2023 will depend on how he pitches the rest of the 2023 season after he is reinstated from the 60-day IL (can be no earlier than May 29th). 

Ethan Roberts (July 2022 TJS) is another potential non-tender.

[ ]

In reply to by Childersb3

Just in terms of value, I would rank them like this: 

LIKELY WILL GET ADDED TO THE 40 POST-2023 (if not during the season):  
Bailey Horn, LHP 
Pablo Aliendo, C 
NOTE: These are the guys you will lose and won't get back.  

MLB-UPSIDE BUT PROBABLY NOT MLB-READY POST-2023: 
Daniel Palencia, RHP
Luke Little, LHRP
Porter Hodge, RHSP 
DJ Herz, LHSP 
Kohl Franklin, RHSP 
Kevin Made, SS  
Yohendrick Pinango, OF
Jake Reindl, RHRP
NOTE: Most of these guys are Top 30 prospects, and yet they are still "on the bubble" as far as getting added to the 40 post-2023. It all depends on how many slots on the 40 will be available when reserve lists are filed in November.     

MLB-READY OR VERY NEAR-MLB READY
Cam Sanders, RHRP 
Jake Slaughter, INF  
Riley Thompson, RHP 
Chris Clarke, RHP 
Darius Hill, OF
NOTE: Any one of these guys could get called up to MLB during the season for a trial, otherwise Sanders, Slaughter, and R. Thompson are the only ones who might get added to the 40 post-2023 (and they would be "on the bubble").   

BEST MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENTS POST-2023 
Nick Burdi, RHRP 
Manuel Rodriguez, RHRP 
Yonathan Perlaza, OF 
Brendon Little, LHRP
Anthony Kay, LHRP 
Brailyn Marquez, LHSP 
Luis Vazquez, SS 
Danis Correa, RHRP 
Eduarniel Nunez, RHRP
Carlos Guzman, RHRP  
NOTE: Burdi, M.Rodriguez, Perlaza, B. Little, Kay, and/or Marquez (presently at EXST) are the most-likely ones from this group to get a call-up during the season for a trial, or else they will be offered attractive 2024 minor league successor contracts... however, Perlaza and Marquez have already signed one successor contract (post-2022) so they probably won't do it again, so an in-season call-up to Chicago (try-out) would probably be the only way they get to the 40 before they walk... Vazquez has yet to prove himself at AAA, so signing him to a 2024 minor league successor contract would be ideal... Correa's FB was topping out at 99 earlier this week at EXST and E. Nunez FB was topping out at 100 last week at EXST, and so while they both have explosive FB they both also have major command issues that will require additional development time... 

The problem with minor league free-agents is that a club cannot compel the player to sign a minor league successor contract. A club can offer the player a salary roughly equivalent to "40-man roster money" (the salary he would have received if he had been added to the 40) plus an NRI to MLB Spring Training and maybe an opt-out, but even then the player might just want to get a fresh start and try his luck with another organization. 

Also, if a player eligible to be a minor league free-agent signs a successor contract, he then immediately becomes eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft (and that is how and why the Cubs were able to select Hector Rondon in the Rule 5 Draft about ten years ago).  

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

I really hope Aliendo keeps hitting. If he earns his way onto the 40man....just wow!

Perlaza being a switch bat just makes too much sense to me for the DH spot. Just seems like a guy who can hit anywhere. Almost Tampa Bay Ray like. 

Horn probably gets added to 40man this summer.

Losing L. Little's velo and slider after just two seasons seems wasteful and reckless. I think he makes it post 2023 as long as he pitches even just okay.

Same situation for Palencia. Obviously, he's been pitching longer than Little, but his velo and breaker out of the pen seems Rule5 worthy. He gets the nod if he pitches well.

Hodge, Herz and Franklin might be able to "hide" from Rule 5 selection. "Bad" teams could hide them as the 13th arm though.

If Slaughter hits .300+ with 20 HRs in Iowa this yr and plays solid 3B/2B def, what else does he have to do to get a spot? Probably too late for him to start hitting lefty.

I like the call on signing Vazquez to a successor deal. He should probably get a chance at Iowa this year. Sergio Alcantara is playing great up there and he's still just 26 yrs old. Hope Vazquez makes the decision tougher every week!!

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

Thanks Phil! Comprehensive, informative, and enjoyable to read as always!

Out of everyone on this list (excluding the two you listed as on the 40 post 2023), who would you like to see and reasonably expect to see protected on the 40, and who do you think we would be able to leave off without too high of a potential they would be selected in the Rule 5 draft?

Couple Saturday morning questions… First, I notice there is a pitcher listed on both the Dominican Blue and Dominican Red teams as Joandy Duran.  Are there really two different Joandy Duran’s signed and playing in the Dominican Leagues or is it a typo?

Second, how long is a player kept on the restricted list in the minors?  Jesus Camargo, Craig Brooks and Andres Bonalde have been on the restricted list for over a year.  I remember reading during the spring that they were likely to be released once coming off the list, but how long will they remain?  Are they being paid while on the restricted list?  

Last thought:  Although I’m not especially disappointed that Nick Madrigal was optioned to Iowa, I am surprised that Edwin Rios was kept.  I’m not even sure he’s taken an at bat since being brought back from Iowa.  At least they found things for Madrigal to do.  Any thoughts?

[ ]

In reply to by Alexander Dimm

ALEXANDER: There is just one Joandy Duran and he is assigned to the DSL Cubs Red reserve list. So thanks for caching that (it has been corrected). Typical AZ Phil brain fart. BTW, Duran actually has been with the Rehab Group in Mesa all year (going back to Minor League Camp in March), so I doubt that he will be returning to the DSL once he is healthy enough to pitch. 

As far as the Restricted List is concerned, a player is not paid and a player does not accrue minor league service time toward Rule 9 minor league 6YFA while on the Restricted List.

Once a player has been placed on the Restricted List he remains there in perpetuity (or until he is reinstated, released or dies). However, a player on a minor league affiliate's Restricted List is automatically transferred to the organization's "Long-Term Restricted List" once they have been carried as a restricted player on a minor league reserve list for two off-seasons, at which point they should disappear from the minor league affiliate's roster and disappear into the ether.  

As far as Edwin Rios is concerned, I suspect the Cubs identified "LH power" as a pressing need and that's why they signed Rios, but it appears that for his power to be "usable" in games he must play regularly (which is not happening). Therefore, I expect Rios will be optioned back to Iowa when Codi Bellinger is reinstated from the IL (and then probably DFA'd whenever they need a 40-man roster slot for Codi Heuer). 

We interrupt this bitchfest for a side note on Ben Brown’s outing today (6 scoreless, 11 Ks, 0 BBs). It came against a club, Indianapolis (Pirates affiliate), that’s beaten him twice. He’s had a few clunkers to go w/ his dazzlers but man, his ceiling looks high. Also, Bellinger’s played 1B twice in deference to his tender knee. Got a hit & knocked in a run today.

Saturday night is Matt Mervis bobblehead night in Des Moines. He & CB may have swapped spots by then.

Young has been tearing the cover off the ball at Iowa all month. So has Perlaza. He’s built like Jimmy (Toy Cannon) Wynn. 

taillon...man...what is going on...

he's not the same pitcher without the slider.  his slider is more of a wild low-velocity changeup at this point and when it hangs...ugg.

Man, they just keep pushing Windham up the levels, and he just keeps on playing well, and he bats lefty............is he good defensively? Maybe he could be an alternative to Barnhart in the future?

AZ Phil,

What is the difference between Outrighting and DFA'ing a player?

Do both situations put the player on waivers?

Thanks

[ ]

In reply to by Childersb3

Childersb3: 

Outright Assignment Waivers must be secured before a player on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) can be sent outright to the minors (that is, removed from a club's MLB 40-man roster and transferred to the club's Minor League Domestic Reserve List).

Outright Assignment Waivers are irrevocable once they are requested (they cannot be withdrawn once they are requested).

The waiver claiming period (the time during which other clubs can make a claim) lasts two business days (actually it's 47 hours) during MLB Spring Training and the MLB regular season, but it can last up to 72 hours or possibly even 96 or 120 hours hours during the off-season, because Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays are not considered to be "business days" during the off season. 

So during MLB Spring Training and the MLB regular season, the waiver list is transmitted every day at 2 PM (Eastern), and the "Waiver Claiming Period" for players on that particular waiver list expires at 1 PM (Eastern) two days later (actually 47 hours from the time the list was transmitted), at which point the MLB Commissioner (or his baseball operations  deputy) determines if there were any claims, and if there was more than one claim, which club is awarded the claim and  acquires the player. 

A player cannot be traded while he is on Outright Assignment Waivers, but the player can continue to play in games pending the outcome of the "waiver ride" as long as he was not "Designated for Assignment:" prior to being placed on waivers.   

Also, a player does not have to be outrighted once Outright Assignment Waivers are secured. Sometimes a club will place a player on Outright Assignmrent Waivers just to try and bait another club to claim the player (or more importantly, claim the player's contract!). 

Once secured, the waiver is "good" (in effect) for the balance of the waiver period (31st day of the MLB regular season through August 31st), or for seven days (September 1st through the 30th day of the MLB regular season). 

So (for example), a player can be outrighted to the minors during the waiver period that extends from the 31st day of the MLB regular season up until the MLB Trade Deadline, and then if he is selected back to the 40 and then outrighted back to the minors prior to the conclusion of that waiver period, he does not have to be placed back onto waivers again the second time, because once it is secured the waiver is"good" (in effect) for the entire waiver period.   

However, sometimes a club needs to remove a player from its MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) and/or MLB Active List (26-man or 28-man roster) IMMEDIATELY, but Outright Assignment Waivers have not yet been secured (again, it takes two business days to run a player through waivers). In this case, a player can be Designated for Assignment (DFA).

When a player is Designated for Assignment, the "Designated Player" is immediately removed from his club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) and MLB Active List (26-man roster), and then the club has up to seven days (formerly ten days) to either trade, release, or non-tender the player, or option or outright the player to the minors. (Because it takes two business days to run a player through Outright Assignment Waivers, the club really only has five days to trade a DFA'd player before having to place him on waivers). 

While an Outright Assignment to the minors often involves the player being Designated for Assignment prior to being outrighted, it doesn't always happen that way.

Sometimes a club wants to "bait" other clubs into claiming a player the club wants to drop from the 40 but doesn't want to release (because if the player is released the club is on the hook for 100% of what remains of the player's contract, minus the MLB minimum salary or minor league minimum salary -- but that's only if the player subsequently signs with another club after being released, but if the player is claimed off waivers the claiming club assumes 100% of the player's remaining salary).

Or the club might be attempting to "bait" the player into electing free agency after being outrighted (presuming the player has Article XX-D rights, meaning he has accrued at three years but less than five years of MLB Service Time and/or he has been outrighted previously in his career). 

In the case of David Bote last off season and more recently with Adrian Sampson and Edwin Rios, the Cubs really really hoped that the player would get claimed off waivers (all three are making well above the MLB minimum salary) so that the Cubs could collect the $50,000 waiver fee - AND - get out from under the player's contract, but if not claimed off waivers, at least the player might elect free agency immediately after being outrighted (and forfeit what remains of the player's salary), rather than accept the outright assignment and defer the right to elect free-agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season. 

BTW, "DFA" is sometimes used on blogs and in the media as shorthand for "get rid of this guy," but the definition of DFA is actually more specific than that. A p[layer does NOT have to Designated for Assignment before he can be placed on waivers, traded, released, or non-tendered, although a DFA does often precede an outright assignment, a trade, an outright release, or an off-season non-tender. 

[ ]

In reply to by Childersb3

Childersb3: 

Edwin Rios was not Designated for Assignment prior to being sent outright to the minors because the Cubs did not unexpectedly and/or immediately need his slot on the 40. 

It was more a matter of the Cubs deciding that Rios had no fit on the 26-man roster going forward, and therefore hoping that another MLB club might claim him off waivers for the $50,000 waiver fee - AND - assume his contract and the balance of his 2023 salary (about $350K remains, or about $100K more than what is left of the MLB minimum salary), or if he wasn't claimed, that Rios would elect free agency after being outrighted (instead of deferring free-agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season) and forfeit what remains of his 2023 salary (again, about $350K). 

It's certainly not common to do this (outright a player when his 40-man roster slot isn't immediately needed), but as you can see there are financial reasons why the Cubs would want to drop Rios from the 40 at this time.  

Another factor that could be in play is that a player on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) who is on Optional Assignment to the minors cannot be placed on a minor league Development List without the player's consent, but a minor league player not on the MLB 40-man roster can be. This would matter in the case of Rios (and the recently outrighted Adrian Sampson, too), because Iowa will need to drop four players from its 28-man active list roster by tomorrow, once Mastrobuoni and Rucker report and after Duffey and Greene are activated. 

Jonathan India to the IL, will miss the upcoming 4 games at Wrigley. Left foot plantar fasciitis. 

ARZ gets paul sewald...that's one high end pen arm down.  ATL is supposedly looking a high end relief arm, too.

I've not heard a single thing about what CHC is actually looking for.  we know what they should be looking for, but i've heard nothing about them even shopping around.

gomes, madrigal, and morel in tonight's lineup.  stroman still listed as starter.

bellinger in there, too, but he's previously confirmed safe.

AZ PHIL:  I was looking at future payroll for San Diego b/c I use my time wisely. 

 

I saw a couple players (ie, Wacha, Nick Martinez) have dual club/player contract options at the end of their contracts.  Not a Mutual Option; a Club/Player option.  I wasn't familiar with this.   Am I correct in reading the C/P Contract Option as basically a Mutual Option w/ Buyout that spreads the buyout $$$ over a number of years? 

MLB clubs are beginning to select players to their MLB 40-man rosters who would otherwise have been declared minor league 6YFA on Monday (so far all three are outfielders): 

MILWAUKEE: 
Chris Roller, OF 

CLEVELAND: 
Johnathan Rodriguez, OF 

OAKLAND
Lazaro Armenteros, OF 

Cubs minor leaguers eligible to be declared free-agents who could be added to the MLB 40-man roster prior to the 5 PM deadline on Monday are SS Luis Vazquez (very likely) and OF Yonathan Perlaza (not as likely as Vazquez but still better than a 50/50 bet). 

Vazquez just turned 24, and he is (and has been for some time) a Gold Glove caliber defender in the minors, but he took major strides offensively in 2024, hitting a combined 272/362/437 with 20 HR and 24 doubles between AA and AAA, with a Seiya Suzuki-type walk-rate (10%) and K-rate (23%), and with a 275/369/440 triple-slash line vs RHP and a 261/343/504 line vs LHP.  

Perlaza spent the entire 2024 season at AAA. He is a 24-year old (25 next week) switch-hitting defensively-challenged LF (projects as a DH in MLB) with speed (13 SB), power (40 doubles and 23 HR at AAA in 2024 after hitting 36 doubles and 23 HR at AA in 2023), pop from both sides of the plate (268/386/515 LH and 331/399/589 RH), and an Ian Happ/Mike Tauchman-like walk-rate (14%) and a Seiya Suzuki-like K-rate (22%), while displaying consistent hard contact and high-end exit velocity from both sides of the plate. 

[ ]

In reply to by Childersb3

Makes it MUCH more likely that the Cubs will exercise the 2024 Hendricks club option. 

This also frees up $21M in 2024 payroll but (even better) $23.67M in 2024 AAV, so all of a sudden the Cubs are $50M under the 2024 CBT threshold. 

One thing Stroman will have going for him once he hits the open market is that he won't have a QO attached (he received one earlier in his career, so he can't get another one). 

[ ]

In reply to by George Altman

GEORGE A: Thanks to the Stroman opt-out there are several possibilities going forward. 

The first thing I would expect the Cubs to do is exercise the 2024 club option on Hendricks, but that could be followed by re-signing Hendricks to a two-year deal with a slightly lower 2024 AAV. I just don't know if the difference between the one-year $16M AAV and (let's say) two years $12M AAV is especially significant, and I am not even sure if the Cubs want a two-year commitment and/or if Hendricks would want to do that unless he has performance bonuses in the contract that could increase the $12M to $16M in both years. 

But even if the Hendricks option is exercised, the Cubs will still be about $50M under the 2024 CBT threshold (if Ricketts absolutely refuses to go over it, which may or may not be true). 

Also, the Cubs now have no excuse not to re-sign Cody Bellinger. Although Team Bellinger might not make their decision until February, the Cubs need to be patient and not spend the $$$ it will take to sign Bellinger on another player or players until Bellinger is ready to sign, either with the Cubs or another club.   

A couple or three things I failed to mention in an earlier comment: 

1. When an arbitration-eligible player is non-tendered, he has to be replaced (on paper) by a player making the MLB minimum salary. So for example, if an arb-eligible player projected to make $2M is non-tendered, he is technically replaced on the 26-man roster by a player making the MLB minimum (about $750K). So the actual savings in AAV is $1.25M, not $2M.  

2. Clubs have to set-aside about $5M in payroll ($5M AAV) each year to cover salaries for players called up from the minors to replace players who are on the MLB 10-day, 15-day, or 60-day IL. The difference between an average minimum MLB salary (about $775K) and an average minor league split salary (about $125K) is about $650K. At any one time during the season there are usually anywhere from five to eight players on the IL, so reasonable worst-case is eight per day, which means eight times $650K, or $5M (although it could be less, maybe $3M or $4M). 

3. Contending clubs worried about the CBT threshold usually set-aside about $5M - $10M in payroll for players acquired at the MLB trade deadline. Since there is about a third of the season left at the trade deadline, a $15M player will cost $5M in payroll (and AAV), or if a club acquires (let's say) two veteran relievers making $7.5M each, that's $2.5M per pitcher or $5M in additional AAV.  

And of course all of this matters only if Ricketts is steadfastly holding the 2024 payroll at the $237M AAV CBT threshold (as was clearly the case in 2023, when the Cubs AAV ended up about $1M under the 2023 $233M CBT threshold). 

BTW, while a CBT violation isn't necessarily significant as far as the 20% tax charged on the $$$ spent in payroll over the threshold (especially if the club was under the CBT threshold the previous season and the overage is less than 20%). What is probably more of a deterrent is the loss of $1M in ISP space, a lower round comp draft pick if a player with a QO signs elsewhere, and more draft capital lost if the club signs a free-agent with a QO.   

[ ]

In reply to by Dolorous Jon Lester

DJL: I don't think the Rays being willing to trade Tyler Glasnow has anything to do with their opinion of him. Its' just that they don't want to pay him $25M in 2024. And they don't always win every trade, either. Like when they traded Blake Snell to the Padres for four prospects who never developed and now Snell will probably be the 2023 N. L. Cy Young Award winner. So was trading Snell a mistake? I don't think so. The Rays have to operate the way they do (by trading expensive veterans for prospects).     

Of course injuries to pitchers can happen at any time, but I would be more concerned about the cost in prospect capital it would take to acquire a one-year rental (even with a potential draft pick comp in 2025 if Glasnow isn't signed to an extension) than whether Glasnow would be a TOR SP for the Cubs in 2024. Who the Rays would want back would be the potential deal-breaker for me. But if the Cubs can just get into the post-season in 2024 (even as a Wild Card, even as the #6 seed), a Glasnow - Steele 1-2 punch could carry them to the World Series. 

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

Exactly, Phil. This would be the primary reason to trade for Glasnow plus his AAV is $15.1M.

There's no $$ reason now NOT to sign Bellinger as well. Should be plenty of AAV left to add a Candelario and better bullpen help before going over 20% threshold.

 

That's assuming Ricketts really wants to bring multiple Championships to Cubs fans.

[ ]

In reply to by George Altman

One other thing about Tyler Glasnow is that he is not a Boras client. He is represented by Wasserman, which is the same agency that represents Kyle Hendricks. And Hendricks had no issue with signing a contact extension with the Cubs back in the day. 

So if the Cubs do acquire Glasnow, they would probably have a decent chance of signing him to a contract extension before he hits free-agency. 

That would not be the case if the Cubs were to acquire (let's say) Juan Soto or Pete Alonzo. Both are Boras clients, so (like Cody Bellinger) they would be strictly one-year rentals, except (unlike Bellinger) they would no doubt cost significant prospect capital for just a year of service (not to mention the hefty 2024 salary both players would command). There would be a 2025 draft pick comp, but that's it. 

So if the Cubs don't re-sign Cody Bellinger, I don't see them trading for Soto or Alonzo. And if they do not re-sign Bellinger or add a TOR SP, the Cubs might have to take a step back in 2024 (as they were planning to do in 2023 before they unexpectedly became contenders in July), play the youngsters, live with failure and growing pains, move veterans at the Trade Deadline, and then reset for 2025.   

I also think it is likely that the Cubs will re-sign Jeimer Candelario independent of whatever else happens during the off-season. A switch-hitting doubles machine who can play 3B-1B-DH would be valuable in a 2024 Cubs lineup no matter who else is there, plus if the Cubs aren't contenders, he can be moved at the Trade Deadline. 

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

I’d like Jeimer to come back.

I think Glasnow is a talented pitcher, I just can’t help but see the trade where he went to TB (ill-fated Archer trade) and a potential parallel.

Last season was his MLB career high in innings with 120.1. It’s the only time in his career he’s thrown more than 100, his previous high was 88 in 2021.

[ ]

In reply to by Dolorous Jon Lester

The Cubs don't have to marry Glasnow. He should be fully recovered from TJS. At $15.1 cap hit on 2024 AAV, how is he NOT a better 'risk' than Hendricks' $16m option?

 

As long as the return doesn't include Horton, PCA, Alcantara, Ballesteros or Caissie, who cares. Prospects are currency to put you in the Playoffs. Hopefully, the Cubs have gotten better at internal scouting.

wonder if stroman is looking 3-5yr/20-22m a year or similar.  i imagine it's a years thing more than the 21m he was to be paid for 2024.  i also wonder if the cubs were pitched the years and turned it down.  stroman turns 33 in may.

So RHRP Eduarniel Nunez is the only Cubs minor league player eligible to be a 6YFA post-2023 who signed a 2024 minor league successor contract. (He also likely received an NRI to MLB Spring Training). However, even though he signed a successor contract, E. Nunez will be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft next month, and given that he was at AA and his FB tops out at 100 MPH, he fits the profile of a Rule 5 Draft pick.  

Meanwhile, RHRP Yovanny Cruz, LHSP Stephen Gonsalves, RHRP Carlos Guzman, RHRP Ben Hecht, C-INF P. J. Higgins, LHRP Brailyn Marquez, RHSP Nick Neidert, OF Yonathan Perlaza, and RHRP Samuel Reyes were automatically declared a minor league 6YFA and are now free to sign with any club, including the Cubs. (LHRP Brendon Little was eligible to be a minor league 6YFA as well, but he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for cash considerations Monday afternoon and the Blue Jays added him to their MLB 40-man roster prior to the 5 PM deadline).  

Thus, of the players who were eligible to be minor league 6YFA post-2023, only SS Luis Vazquez (selected to the MLB 40-man roster) and Eduarniel Nunez (signed 2024 minor league successor contract) remain in the Cubs organization. 

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

Anybody feel free to correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that Hecht & B. Little effectively "closes the book" on the 2017 Draft.  

 

27 players signed;  16 total players that either played in MLB, made 40-man roster, or were traded.  Still  "in-play" for the Cubs:

   - Hughes

   - K Thompson

   - Vazquez

 

7 trades from that draft class.  Returns included: 

   - Jesse Chavez

   - Castellanos  (partial)

   - Phelps

   - Cuas

   - Cole Hamels  (partial)

   - 2 deals for cash

IMO, that is quite a bit of major league value considering what the team needed & received from the likes of Chavez, Castellanos, Hamels, & Cuas.

 

Of the dearly departed, N Velazquez & Lange look like they have the potential to have the greatest MLB impact. Also perhaps triples-machine Jared Young.

[ ]

In reply to by First.Pitch.120

FP120: I know you were only referencing 2017 Cubs draft picks, but (FWIW) there are six players signed as IFA in 2017 who are still playing in the Cubs organization: 

Luis Devers, RHSP (Hi-A in 2023) 
Manuel Espinoza, RHSP (AA in 2023) 
Reivaj Garcia, INF (Lo-A in 2023) 
Eduarniel Nunez, RHRP (AA in 2023 - Top 30 prospect - signed 2024 successor contract) 
Fabian Pertuz, INF (AA in 2023) 
Luis Verdugo, INF (began 2023 season at AA, then was demoted to Hi-A)  

E. Nunez was eligible to be a minor league 6YFA post-2023 because he actually played in 2017 after signing, but Devers, R. Garcia, Pertuz, and Verdugo won't be 6YFA until post-2024 because they were "Signed for Future Service" and did not make their pro game debuts until the 2018 season. 

M. Espinoza's situation was really weird, because although he signed as a 16-year old with the Cubs out of Mexico in July 2017, his contract was held up and was not approved by MLB until Spring Training 2019 because MLB was investigating the Cubs relationship with Mexican League teams and player agents. 

17-year old Texas-born Mexican RHP Florencio Serrano Jr (who was considered the #1 pitching prospect in Mexico at the time) signed with the Cubs ($1.2M bonus) the same day as Espinoza in July 2017. Like Espinoza's contract, Serrano's contract was also held up, but (unlike Espinoza's contract) it was eventually voided by MLB because it was determined that Serrano attended HS in the USA in the 2016-17 school year prior to moving to Mexico, and that therefore he shouldn't have been eligible to sign as an IFA in 2017, and should instead have been eligible for selection in the 2018 MLB Rule 4 draft (First-Year Player Draft) after his HS class had graduated. He eventually signed as a 19-year old NDFA ($850K signing bonus) with the Texas Rangers in March 2019, and in fact he is still pitching in their system, and is first-time Rule 5 Draft eligible post-2023.  

With the nine minor leaguers leaving via free-agency, one added to the 40, and one traded, and with twelve more minor leaguers -- OF Brayan Altuve, LHP Jose Aquino, RHP Derek Casey, RHP (ex-OF) Raino Coran, LHP Scott Kobos, RHP Michael McAvene, RHP Anthony Mendez, RHP Gleiber Morales, C Malcom Quinterro, RHP Tomy Sanchez,, C Jake Washer, and RHP Jarod Wright -- having been released over the past couple of days, the Cubs off season 175-man minor league Domestic Reserve List (DRL) now stands at 156 players. So 19 slots are open for minor league free-agents, any player who might get outrighted off the MLB 40-man roster during the off-season, and players selected in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft. 


Another one of the nine Cubs post-2023 Rule 9 minor league 6YFA has signed, as RHP Carlos Guzman (acquired from the Tigers for Zack McKinstry at the end of Spring Training) signed a 2024 minor league contract with the Mets. 

 

So RHRP Yovanny Cruz (SD), C-INF P. J. Higgins (CIN), and now Carlos Guzman (NYM) have already signed 2024 minor league contracts with new MLB organizations, and OF Yonathan Perlaza is headed for Korea (Hanhwa Eagles).

I hope that Perlaza goes on to have a successful career.  On most Cubs teams prior to the current administration, he would have been one of their more highly ranked prospects.  As far as the others are concerned, one or more may well go on to be much better than expected, but unfortunately there is no way to tell which one at the present time.  You can't keep everyone.

Recent comments

  • TarzanJoeWallis (view)

    Baseball used to be called the “thinking man’s game”. One tool I’m realizing PCA isn’t given enough credit for is his mind. He’s cocky but at the same time very humble. He seems to fully realize he’s overmatched by big league pitching. Hence, the bunting. I’m convinced that’s of his own doing, not his coaching, because the team, and indeed the whole of baseball, doesn’t think that way any more.

    So what does the constant threat of the bunt do?

    1. Maximizes the use of his greatest offensive tool at this point, his speed.
    2. Provides his greatest chance of adding offensive value while simultaneously seeing more MLB pitching.
    3. Pulls in the corner infielders and may cause the second baseman to cheat toward first, thereby increasing the chances that a batted ball when he does swing away goes through the infield.
    4. May alter the pitcher’s motion knowing that at any time during the at bat there is a strong chance he may be forced to field his position.

      This is an aspect of baseball that unfortunately seems to have been lost. Compare this to the predictable approach of Christopher Morel, who a pitcher knows is capable of hitting the occasional mistake a long way but also knows that all he has to do at least at this point in Morel’s career is throw high gas and he will most likely get a strike out.
  • TarzanJoeWallis (view)

    Sorry, that’s what happens when you obtain a rental for a playoff run. Oddly, most teams wouldn’t be willing to give up arguably the best offensive player available at the deadline for nothing. They’re going to want the best players they can get in return. And there will be competition and plenty of solid offers for that player that have to be bettered. That’s baseball.

    Just last week there was talk of obtaining Elias Diaz from the Rockies for a ton of potential major league talent. The chances would be 50-50 at best that we could extend him and this team had and still has less chance at a playoff run than last year’s team when the Candelario trade was made.

    We can’t on the one hand urge the team to use their prospect depth to make judicious trades to improve the team’s chances and then turn around and piss and moan every time one of the traded prospects happens to have a great game. We’re a better fan base than that!

  • azbobbop (view)

    Center fielder always has the right of way 

  • Finwe Noldaran (view)

    Well, maybe I just said that to myself to try and justify the deal............

  • Bill (view)

    Not that I heard of.  He was traded for Candelario because we felt a couple of months of Candelario was more valuable than a future 6 years of herz would be.

  • Finwe Noldaran (view)

    I hear that, I just feel like I remember reading when we traded him that he was going to be Rule 5 eligible, and we needed a roster spot, et cetera, et cetera.......

  • Finwe Noldaran (view)

    Just realized I haven't been B. Davis or Alcantara or Aliendo at all recently?

  • TarzanJoeWallis (view)

    Quite possible. Another one of the promising arms a bit below the untouchable higher tier. Once again, a “Not happy to see him go but a deal had to be done” situation.

  • Finwe Noldaran (view)

    Aha, so the Nationals may have requested him? 

  • TarzanJoeWallis (view)

    Traded him and Kevin Made for the Jeimer Candelario rental last year.