Cubs MLB Roster

Cubs Organizational Depth Chart
40-Man Roster Info

60 players are at MLB Spring Training 

40 players are on the MLB RESERVE LIST (roster is full) 
20 players are MLB Spring Training NON-ROSTER INVITEES (NRI) 

Last updated 2-23-2024
 
* bats or throws left
# bats both

PITCHERS: 22
Yency Almonte
Adbert Alzolay 
Michael Arias
Javier Assad
Ben Brown
Jose Cuas
Kyle Hendricks
Porter Hodge
* Bailey Horn
* Shota Imanaga
Caleb Kilian
Mark Leiter Jr
* Luke Little
Julian Merryweather
Hector Neris 
Daniel Palencia
* Drew Smyly
* Justin Steele
Jameson Taillon
Keegan Thompson
Hayden Wesneski 
* Jordan Wicks

NRI PITCHERS: 11 
Colten Brewer 
Chris Clarke 
Carl Edwards Jr 
* Edwin Escobar 
* Richard Lovelady 
Sam McWilliams 
* Thomas Pannone 
Ethan Roberts 
Cam Sanders 
Riley Thompson 
* Brad Wieck 

CATCHERS: 2
Miguel Amaya
Yan Gomes

NRI CATCHERS: 5  
Jorge Alfaro 
Pablo Aliendo
Joe Hudson 
Haydn McGeary
* Bryce Windham

INFIELDERS: 9
* Michael Busch 
Nico Hoerner
Nick Madrigal
* Miles Mastrobuoni
* Matt Mervis
Christopher Morel
Dansby Swanson
Luis Vazquez
Patrick Wisdom

NRI INFIELDERS: 3 
David Bote 
Matt Shaw 
Chase Strumpf 

OUTFIELDERS: 7
Kevin Alcantara
Alexander Canario
* Pete Crow-Armstrong
Brennen Davis
# Ian Happ
Seiya Suzuki
* Mike Tauchman 

NRI OUTFIELDERS: 1 
* Owen Caissie  
 



Minor League Rosters
Rule 5 Draft 
Minor League Free-Agents

Cubs @ Nationals: Series Thread (Games 28-31)

The Cubs suffered a three-game sweep in Miami to end the month of April, lowering their 2023 record to 14-13. Cody Bellinger continued his recent showing of power by hitting his 7th homerun of the season. Patrick Wisdom homered in the series as well to push his 2023 total to 10. Nico Hoerner has stretched his on-base streak 25 games, having reached base safely in every game except for his 0-4 with no walks on April Fools Day. The Cubs have had a strong showing in offense, starting pitching, and defense. The Pirates, meanwhile, are the surprising frontrunners in the NL Central with a 20-9 record to start the season. The favored Cardinals start May pulling up the rear with a 10-19 record. The 10-17 Nationals will greet the Cubs for their first appearance in D.C. this year. They are down one Juan Soto compared to last season and have presented their fans little cause for excitement this year. The Cubs will have to get past their best young pitcher, however. See below for the matchups such as they stand.


Game 28, Monday, May 1, 6:05 pm central

CHC: LHP Drew Smyly (2-1, 3.21 ERA)

WSH: TBD Mackenzie Gore (3-1, 3.00 ERA)

Remember when Drew Smyly almost pitched a perfect game? That was awesome. You probably don't remember his poor first start, which has been his only poor start of 2023.  While he's likely benefited from good BABIP fortune, his command of the strike zone has been promising thus far.

The Padres selected Gore third overall in the 2017 draft. Command has been an issue for him at times, but his mid to high 90s fastball and solid curve and slider have allowed him to work around some wildness thus far. His last start was his best of the season as he struck out ten while walking only two in six innings pitched.


Game 29, Tuesday, May 2, 6:05 pm central

CHC: RHP Hayden Wesneski (2-1, 5.24 ERA)

WSH: RHP Trevor Williams (1-1, 4.10 ERA)

Wesneski pitched to his potential only once in April, striking out seven Athletics in seven innings to record a win. He battled through for a second win against the Padres, holding them to a solo homerun while striking out only three batters in five innings. His slider remains a nasty pitch, but lack of fastball command has prevent him from setting it up consistently. Unsurprisingly, lefties have been an issue for him. They've slashed .308/.386/.590 against him this year.

Williams was with the Cubs to start the 2021 season and spent all of 2022 with the New York Mets. He hasn't regained the success he had with the Pirates from 2017 to 2018, but he continues to be a reasonable fifth starter type who can reliably find the zone.


Game 30, Wednesday, May 3, 6:05 pm central

CHC: RHP Marcus Stroman (2-2, 2.29 ERA)

WSH: TBD

Stroman had a great April, making five starts of six innings or more with no more than two earned runs allowed. On April 23 he allowed five earned runs and three homers while going five innings against the Dodgers. He bounced back against the Marlins and showed willingness to be aggressive with his fastball.


Game 31, Thursday, May 4, 12:05 pm central

CHC: TBD

WSH: LHP Patrick Corbin (1-4, 5.74 ERA)

Caleb Killian took the call for the Cubs last time through the rotation. He suffered a five-run first inning in which he looked absolutely terrible. He bounced back a bit in the next few innings but never appeared to know where his pitches would end up. Javier Assad threw 72 pitches for the Iowa Cubs on April 30. Adrian Sampson hasn't appeared since April 8 and is listed as day-to-day.

Patrick Corbin looked dominant at times in the years before the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. Since 2021, his strikeout rate has dipped well below a batter per inning and his ERA has climbed into the 5s and even 6s. Opponents have continued to hit him hard thus far in 2023.

Comments

swanson 2nd HR...power is beginning to wake up (hopefully).  i mean, i'm only expecting 20-ish out of the dude, but he was on a hell of a power-outage to start the season.

mark "no one wants me" leiter jr out here striking out the side with his fancy 1.54 ERA...

k.thompson out here tearing up his era/whip...vs WAS of all teams.  he hasn't looked good his last 3 times out.  even when effective, it wasn't dazzling.

at this point i wouldn't mind sending him down and stretching him out when hendricks comes back.  i know a lot of people are fans of him being a long man, but i'm not one of them.

Either Ross is told who to play, and to prioritize veterans over everyone else, irrespective of their abilities and production; or, he's the worst manager in baseball (in my unprofessional opinion)............

aww...no amaya tonight, either.  also, the team leader in HR and RBI (wisdom) is hitting 8th.  i guess when hosmer + mancini are the possible runners in front of you then it might take a HR to get things done.

first pitch of jake irvin's MLB career is a fastball in the upper part of hoerner's back.  welcome to the bigs.

If Suzuki ends up batting .250ish with 15 home runs this year, at what point is that considered replacement level, and will we start platooning him, or plan to replace him?

True, I was more thinking of like if that's his ceiling by the end of this year, heading into 2024 would he need to show something more to continue his undisputed hold on his position, or would we decide we need more from right field at that point, as we have all the outfield prospects coming up/potentially better options?

[ ]

In reply to by Finwe Noldaran

That makes sense to me, Finwe. Suzuki getting pushed out of a regular role by 2024 still seems unlikely to me. He's already shown he can be a better than league average MLB hitter and he's not enough of a defensive liability to have to be much better than that to be a regular. Alexander Canario and Brennen Davis are the OF prospects closest to being ready and in competition for a corner OF spot, and both have a fair amount to prove. Hosmer and Mancini are the players who should be checking for Nelson Velasquez in their rearview this year. I would think Suzuki's role is safe until at least 2025.

Suzuki is under contract through 2026 and has already missed significant time due to injury. One plausible scenario as early as 2024 would be the Cubs cycling a 4th outfielder through the OF spots and DH role while also giving the regular outfielders DH time. In that situation, I would anticipate Suzuki getting 90-120 starts in the outfield and another 20 or so starts at DH while likely getting days off and IL time as well. Davis and Velasquez seem like the most likely guys to fill this 4th outfielder plus role.

[ ]

In reply to by Charlie

only thing bothering me about suzuki is how he put on 15-20lbs of muscle over the winter and his power has regressed.  small sample size and blah blah blah, but he's not getting a lot of elevation on his stuff.  bulk not translating into power kinda handicapped gabe kapler's career.

[ ]

In reply to by Charlie

You hit the nail on the head there Charlie, Canario/Davis/Velazquez/Perlaza/Morel could be that 4th outfielder, if they prayerfully sustain a break out and a you can see a switch flip consistently which forces the front offices hand; and by 2025, with PCA God-willing in CF, and Alcantara knocking at the door of being in the outfield mix, Suzuki (who I like, don't get me wrong) may have to do a little more than I've seen so far. Competition is good, iron sharpens iron; but the front office can't get too caught up in contracts, the best players should play; the Morel/Mervis/Velazquez discussion along those lines is a topic for another thread.......

it is crazy how STL keeps finding ways to lose games.  i know it's still early, but wow.  they just blew another one in the top 9th...up by 1 to down by 2.

amaya debut...hitting 9th.  taillon starting.  j.estrada optioned.

taillon and assad will probably piggyback, dunno if taillon will even go 5ip.

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

crunch, you have a long and well deserved history as a (correctly) advocate for high OBP for leadoff men. You also are correct that Hoerner will not be a good leadoff man as long as he doesn't walk.  At the present moment, though, I agree with Ross batting him first, with his contact and speed. I know this feeds into the old, discarded "speed leads" narrative, but given the current roster, I'm okay for a while with Nico as leadoff. 

[ ]

In reply to by fullykräusened

the lack of hands-down obvious options keeps me from being pissed about hoerner leading off.  the only 2 other guys the team has that fit the profile are swanson and happ...neither ideal or obvious lead-off guys.

i just don't know how long the contact will carry hoerner in the leadoff slot or how long his leash will be....it's not been a great couple weeks for him.

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

CRUNCH: Eventually PCA will be the Cubs lead-off hitter, although he might initially hit 9th until he gets comfortable. 

Here is how PCA compares to Corbin Carroll's minor league numbers.  

Corbin Carroll (minor leagues): 
142 GAMES - 657 PA 
310/426/588 
32 2B, 17 3B, 28 HR, 52 SB (7 CS), 102/155 BB/K 

PCA (minor leagues): 
124 GAMES - 581 PA 
315/346/548
26 2B, 12 3B, 19 HR, 43 SB (16 CS), 45/122 BB/K  
 
Obviously there are two very big differences, those being walks (and therefore OBP) and SB %. Otherwise PCA has been a slightly better hitter with a lower K-rate (so he is more of a contact hitter than Carroll), but that's offset by Carroll having a higher SLG. 

So offensively PCA is somewhat like another Nico Hoerner (in that his AVG heavily influences his OBP), but with more SLG (especially HR power). And he is a likely future Gold Glove CF. 

Jeff Passan  via a tweet is reporting that Mervis is getting called up and will be available vs Marlins tomorrow. No speculation on concurrent roster move. I’d wait on additional confirmation.

”The Chicago Cubs are calling up top first base prospect Matt Mervis, sources tell ESPN. He's expected to join the team tomorrow as it returns home to start a series against Miami. Mervis, 25, was hitting .286/.402/.560 with six HR in 24 games at Triple-A Iowa. Big power prospect.”

As to why the Cubs are recalling Adrian Sampson (April knee surgery) and placing him on the MLB 15-day IL, there are three reasonable explanations: 

1. The knee injury occurred sometime prior to his being optioned to AAA Iowa at the end of Spring Training, so therefore his optional assignment must be voided and he must be recalled and placed on an MLB IL. 

2. The Cubs want to get a head-start toward eventually transferring Sampson to the MLB 60-day IL sometime in the near future (like perhaps when Codi Heuer is reinstated from the 60-day IL at the end of May?), and recalling Sampson now and placing him on the MLB 15-day IL will give the Cubs a running start toward the minimum 60 days Sampson would have to spend on the 60-day IL when and if his 40-man roster slot is needed and he is transferred from the 15-day IL to the 60-day IL.  

Sampson does - NOT - have a split contract (he makes $1.9M whether he is on optional assignment to the minors or on an MLB IL), so recalling Sampson and placing him on an MLB IL has no affect whatsoever on the Cubs payroll or CBT AAV. 

3. Adrian Sampson was (just barely) eligible for salary arbitration as a"Super Two" post-2022 (he had accrued 2+130 MLB Service Time through the 2023 season), but he can't be a "Super Two" twice. So in order for Sampson to be eligible for salary arbitration post-2023, he will have to accrue at least 42 days of MLB Service Time in 2023, and with the knee surgery it was conceivable that he might miss considerable time and remain on the AAA Iowa IL for several months such that he could miss getting the 42 days of MLB Service Time he will need in 2023 in order for him to qualify for salary arbitration. So by calling him up and then placing Sampson on the MLB 15-day IL, the Cubs are virtually guaranteeing that he will be eligible for salary arbitration post-2023.

BTW, several sites (including Cot's, Fangraphs, Baseball Reference, and Baseball Cube) have Sampson's MLB Service Time through 2022 listed incorrectly as 2+117. That is wrong. It is absolutely, positively 2+130. That's why he was eligible for salary arbitration as a "Super Two" post-2022. (The post-2022 "Super Two" cut-off was 2+128, so Sampson just barely made it!). 

Recent comments

  • Arizona Phil (view)

    Childersb3: I can see right away that Cots did not set-aside the $4.25M in potential performance bonuses for Smyly, Gomes, and Imanaga. 

    While Cots doesn't count potential performance bonuses when determining available AAV, clubs do, because if they don't they could find themselves over the CBT threshold at the end of the year. The only time you might not count 100% of a player's potential performance bonus is if two bonuses would cancel each other out (like if two pitchers have a bonus based on Games Finished and the combined total of GF exceeds the number of games In the season so that there is no way both pitchers could max out their bonuses).

    So I subtract potential performance bonuses from available AAV (just like clubs do), even though the bonuses might not be reached. 

    Otherwise, I have $1.67M for the Pre-arb pool, an estimated $17M set-aside for Player Benefit Costs, "dead money" at $13.25M, the estimate collective aggregate minor league "split" salaries for players on the 40 who are on optional assignment to minors at $2M, pre-arb players on 26-man roster collectively at $6M, and season-long off & on aggregate salaries for players replacing players who are on MLB IL estimated at $5M.

    I'd have to look and see if there is a difference in AAV for contracted MLB players' salaries on my list, but if I remember correctly I have it at somewhere around $187M, because when I added the dead money I remember the total was just slightly over $200M.

  • Childersb3 (view)

    AZ Phil, the Cots Baseball Contracts 2024-28 Cubs Spreadsheet shows the following tax numbers for 2024:
    Contract salaries - 186.372mil
    Buyout dead salaries - 13.250mil
    Pre-Arb Players - 5.215mil
    0-3 yr Bonus Pool - 1.67mil
    Injured List - 5.215mil
    40man Players in MiLB - 2.25mil
    Estimated Player Benefits - 17mil

    Cots has the total CBT amount for the Cubs in 2024 at 230.969mil.
    CBT Threshold is 237mil, so 6mil is space.

    Where is Cot's estimations wrong to allow for this 6mil in space?

  • Arizona Phil (view)

    With the $26.67M AAV hit on Bellinger, the Cubs are almost exactly at the CBT threshold if you add the $5M needed to be set aside to pay salaries for players called up from the minors during the course of the season to replace players on the IL and $4.25M in potential performance bonuses (Smyly, Gomes, and Imanaga). 

    It's almost as if the Cubs went to their (self-imposed) absolute max in 2024 payroll AAV space by signing Bellinger to this contract, because going any higher on the Bellinger AAV would mean taking a risk that the team could potentially go over the CBT threshold.   

    So if the Cubs self-imposed 2024 payroll AAV limit is the CBT threshold ($237M AAV), the Cubs are right there right now, with no payroll AAV space available for additional free agent signings and/or players acquired in trades and/or roster additions at the Trade Deadline. That is, unless the Cubs trade Hendricks ($14.5M AAV) and/or Smyly ($10.25M AAV plus an additional $3M in potential performance bonuses). It would also help if the Cubs could somehow jettison Bote's contract ($3M AAV hit). 

    The Cubs could also pick up as much as $10M in AAV space by trading Almonte, Madrigal, Leiter, Wisdom, Merryweather, and Tauchman (or outrighting them and then hoping they elect free-agency and forfeit their contract and salary). 

  • Childersb3 (view)

    Tax issues? Roster Crunch? Securing bullpen (always an issue, no matter how good it is)? Cooper might be better than Wisdom vs LHers (less pop but better hitter). 

    It might be a small deal. Nothing significant.

  • Bill (view)

    What makes you think that a trade is on it's way?  Other than a minor "free up a 40 man slot" trade.

     

  • Childersb3 (view)

    Cubs sign Garrett Cooper to minor league deal and ST invite.

    Supposed platoon competition for Wisdom.

    Peralta and Cooper are interesting vet guys. 

    Especially if a trade occurs here soon.

    Seems like things are headed that way.

  • crunch (view)

    appreciate these when you get the chance.  thanks.  good stuff, as always.

  • Arizona Phil (view)

    Here are the pitcher reports from Sunday's Padres - Cubs game at Sloan Park if anyone is interested: 

    JAVIER ASSAD
    FB: 91-94
    CT: 87-90
    SL: 79-81
    COMMENT: Allowed three runs (two ER), surrendered three hits (two doubles and a single), and walked two in 1.1 IP (39 pitches - 24 strikes)... recorded no strikeouts... four swing & miss (two on FB and two on CT)... too much hard contact... really labored (slogged) in his second inning of work especially and was relieved after a one-out two-run bases-loaded single... 

    BLAKE WHITNEY:
    FB: 91-93 
    SL: 83-85
    COMMENT: Relieved Assad with one out in top of the second and runners on 1st & 2nd and retired both of the batters he faced (L-7 and K-looking) on eight pitches... two swing & miss (both on SL)... has a mediocre FB so he relies heavily on the SL...  
     
    DANIEL PALENCIA
    FB: 95-97 - T-99 
    CH: 89
    COMMENT: 1-2-3 nine-pitch inning (L-5, 4-3, 4-1) although he was behind on the count against every hitter he faced and threw only four strikes... threw eight FB (no swing & miss)... was helped by a spectacular diving catch by Christopher Morel at 3rd base on a frozen rope headed toward LF to retire the inning's lead-off hitter...  

    EDWIN ESCOBAR
    FB: 93-94 
    SL: 83-86 
    CH: 81 
    COMMENT: Surrendered a screaming line-drive HR pulled over LF fence to lead-off batter (RH-hitting Jose Azocar) on his third pitch of the inning (94 MPH FB), then retired the next two hitters (a 5-3 GO and a seven-pitch K-swinging on SL), then walked two and was relieved after throwing 24 pitches (only 11 strikes - two swing & miss)... FB has decent velo but it is very straight & hittable... the two batters that he walked were both LH-hitters... he obviously struggles to throw strikes and so he would probably have difficulty pitching out of an MLB pen...    

    JOSE ROMERO
    FB: 93-94 
    CH: 81 
    COMMENT: Came into game with two outs and runners on 1st and 2nd and immediately threw a WP, and then retired the one batter he faced on a 6-3 GO on his fifth pitch after starting the AB by throwing three consecutive balls... no swing & miss... 

    CAM SANDERS
    FB: 97-98
    SL/CT: 88 
    CH: 83
    CV: 80 
    COMMENT: Mixed high-octane FB with three different secondaries... worked fast and retired the side 1-2-3 on nine pitches (K-swinging, 6-3, K-looking)... threw eight strikes and only one ball... If he can throw strikes while maintaining velo like he did today he could be a high-leverage MLB RP...

    CHRIS CLARKE
    FB: 91-93 
    SL: 82-84 
    CH: 81 
    COMMENT: Nibbled his way through the inning... needed 27 pitches (18 strikes) to retire the side... five foul balls and only one swing & miss... allowed two runs (both unearned thanks to a Moises Ballesteros boot at 1st base to start the inning) on three hits (all singles)... no walks & no strikeouts... he is a "pitch-to-contact" type and he fits the profile of a pitcher with the ceiling of a AAA 5th starter... can't see him being of any use working out of the pen... 

    FRANKIE SCALZO JR
    FB: 95-96 
    SL/CT: 89 
    CH: 83
    CV: 78-81 
    COMMENT: Threw a shutout inning although he did allow a hard-hit two-out double... needed 21 pitches (13 strikes - only one swing & miss and six foul balls) to retire the side... has the pitch repertoire of a multi-inning "bulk" guy... 

    RILEY MARTIN
    FB: 93-94
    SL: 81-84 
    COMMENT: Threw a shutout inning (13 pitches - only seven strikes - no swing & miss).. allowed a hard-hit two-out double... alternated FB/SL...  

    CAYNE UECKERT
    FB: 94-97 
    SL: 83-85 
    COMMENT: Worked one inning and allowed a run on back-to-back two-out doubles (one smoked into the CF-RF gap and the other looped into short RF)... threw 12 pitches (11 strikes - two swing & miss)...
     

  • crunch (view)

    busch and suzuki start monday.  busch had minor shoulder soreness early in camp.  no idea why suzuki was held back until game 3, maybe nothing.

  • Bill (view)

    PCA is almost certain to go to Iowa, so Tauchman has likely made the team.  They may be able to get something in trade for madrigal or Mastrobone, but not much.