Cubs MLB Roster

Cubs Organizational Depth Chart
40-Man Roster Info

62 players are at MLB Spring Training 

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

Last updated 2-27-2024
 
* bats or throws left
# bats both

PITCHERS: 21
Yency Almonte
Adbert Alzolay 
Michael Arias
Javier Assad
Ben Brown
Jose Cuas
Kyle Hendricks
Porter Hodge
* 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: 4 
David Bote 
Matt Shaw 
* Dominic Smith
Chase Strumpf 

OUTFIELDERS: 8
Kevin Alcantara
* Cody Bellinger 
Alexander Canario
* Pete Crow-Armstrong
Brennen Davis
# Ian Happ
Seiya Suzuki
* Mike Tauchman 

NRI OUTFIELDERS: 2 
* Owen Caissie  
* David Peralta
 



Minor League Rosters
Rule 5 Draft 
Minor League Free-Agents

2023 MLB Rule 5 Draft Preview

12/6 UPDATE

PLAYERS SELECTED BY CUBS IN MAJOR LEAGUE PHASE OF 2023 RULE 5 DRAFT:
NONE 

CUBS MINOR LEAGUERS SELECTED IN MAJOR LEAGUE PHASE OF 2023 RULE 5 DRAFT
NONE

PLAYERS SELECTED BY CUBS IN AAA PHASE OF 2023 RULE 5 DRAFT (1): 
Hayden Cantrelle, INF (selected by AAA Iowa from San Francisco Giants AA Richmond roster)

CUBS MINOR LEAGUERS SELECTED IN AAA PHASE OF 2023 RULE 5 DRAFT (4):
1. Andy Weber, INF (selected by Arizona Diamondbacks AAA Reno affiliate from AA Tennessee roster)
2. Levi Jordan, INF (selected by Cincinnati Reds AAA Louisville affiliate from AA Tennessee roster)
3. Adam Laskey, LHP (selected by Miami Marlins AAA Jacksonville affiliate from Hi-A South Bend roster)
4. Sheldon Reed, RHP (selected by Minnesota Twins AAA St. Paul affiliate from Hi-A South Bend roster) 


 




12/2 UPDATE: 

The Cubs have signed LHRP Edwin Escobar and RHRP Ethan Roberts to 2024 minor league contracts. 

Escobar spent the last seven seasons pitching in Japan (NPB) and Roberts (July 2022 TJS) was non-tendered by the Cubs last month. 

Both Escobar and Roberts will be eligible for selection in the MLB Rule 5 Draft on Wednesday. 

 




11/14 UPDATE: 

The Cubs have selected the contracts of LHP Bailey Horn, RHP Porter Hodge, and RHP Michael Arias to the MLB Reserve List (40-man roster). 

There are now 40 players on the Cubs MLB 40-man roster (the roster is full). 

 




ORIGINAL POST 11/7

The MLB Rule 5 Draft is normally held at the MLB Winter Meetings in December. 
NOTE: The 2023 MLB Rule 5 Draft will take place on December 6th.  

The Rule 5 Draft is a mechanism that allows MLB clubs to select (draft) players off minor league reserve lists.

There is a "Major League Phase" where an MLB club can select Rule 5 Draft-eligible players off the reserve lists of minor league clubs (any minor league classification) for $100,000 ("Major League Phase" Rule 5 Draft price increased from $50,000 to $100,000 beginning with the December 2016 draft), and a "AAA Phase" where a club's AAA minor league affiliate can select Rule 5 Draft-eligible players off the reserve lists of minor league clubs of a lower classification (below AAA) for $24,000 (Rule 5 "AAA Phase" draft price increased from $12,000 to $24,000 beginning with the December 2016 draft).
NOTE: Effective December 2016, the "AA Phase" (where a club's AA minor league affiliate could select Rule 5 Draft-eligible players off the reserve lists of minor league clubs of a classification below AA for $4,000) was eliminated.

There is no limit on the number of rounds in each phase (there could be one, there could be three, there could be five or more). As long as at least one club is still selecting players, the phase will continue, but as soon as all 30 teams have a full reserve list (so that clubs can no longer make selections) or have passed, the phase is over.

There is no limit on the number of Rule 5 Draft-eligible players any one organization can lose in a Rule 5 Draft.

Rule 5 Draft order is based upon the inverse order of winning percentages from the previous season. If the winning percentages of two or more clubs are the same, the club with the lowest winning percentage from the previous season picks first. If two or more clubs are still tied, league standings from two years back (or three years back, four years back, etc) are used to break the tie.
 

 




RULE 5 DRAFT ELIGIBILITY

1. A minor league player who was 18 or younger on the June 5th immediately prior to signing his first contract is eligible for selection starting with the 5th Rule 5 Draft following his first qualified season, and a minor league player who was 19 years or older on the June 5th immediately prior to signing his first contract becomes eligible for selection starting with the 4th Rule 5 Draft following his first qualified season.

2. If a player signs his first contract after the conclusion of the season of the MLB or minor league club to which he is first assigned (even if he signs prior to the Rule 5 Draft), the next season is considered to be the player's "first qualified season" for Rule 5 eligibility purposes. (Depending on the minor league, the conclusion of a minor league club's season could be as early as the first week of August, or as late as the second week of September).

3. A player eligible to be an MLB Rule 9 minor league free-agent who signs a minor league successor contract prior to being declared a free-agent and a free-agent with prior MLB and/or minor league service who signs a minor league contract prior to the Rule 5 Draft is eligible for selection if the player was 18 or younger on the June 5th immediately prior to signing his first contract and it is at least the 5th Rule 5 Draft since he signed his first contract, or the player was 19 years or older on the June 5th immediately prior to signing his first contract and it is at least the 4th Rule 5 Draft since he signed his first contract.

4. Any player on a minor league reserve list who has either been released or had his contract voided and then re-signs with the same MLB organization within one year is eligible for selection.

5. Any player on a minor league reserve list who has been outrighted to the minors previously in his career is eligible for selection.

6. A player on the Voluntary Retired List, Disqualified List, or Ineligible List is not eligible for selection.

7. An MLB club can designate any player on a minor league reserve list "eligible for selection" in a Rule 5 Draft even if the player would not normally be eligible, but once a player is designated "eligible for selection," he remains eligible for selection in all subsequent Rule 5 drafts.
NOTE: A club might do this if the club is planning to release the player during the off-season. 

8. A minor league player-manager who would be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft if he was only a player can be selected, but if he is selected, the player-manager can reject the selection and retire. He has 30 days to decide. If he rejects the selection and opts to retire as a player, the player-manager is ineligible to be reinstated as a player for a minimum of one year.  

At present (12/2), 65 Cubs minor leaguers are eligible for selection in the 2023 Rule 5 draft. A maximum of 38 players can be placed on the AAA reserve list on the roster filing deadline (second Tuesday prior to Thanksgiving, which is 11/14 in 2023) and be eligible for selection in the Major League Phase only, and in practice most clubs leave three or more slots open on their AAA reserve list when rosters are filed for free-agents who sign a minor league contract and players who are sent outright to AAA prior the Rule 5 Draft, and to provide AAA roster slots for players who might be selected in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft.

NOTE: If not added to the MLB 40-man roster, the players underlined and in bold green below will likely be placed on the 38-man AAA Iowa reserve list 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 12-3-2023):
Pablo Aliendo, C 
Ezequiel Alvarez, INF-OF 
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 
Edwin Escobar, LHP  
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
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
Fraiman Marte, RHP (second contract player signed for 2024) 
Scott McKeon, INF 
Ismael Mena, OF  
Juan Mora, INF
Cristian More, OF 
Rafael Morel, INF-OF 
Joe Nahas, RHP     
Jordan Nwogu, OF 
Eduarniel Nunez, RHP (signed 2024 minor league successor contract)
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 
Francis Reynoso, RHP (ex-1B - second contract player signed for 2024)
Ethan Roberts, OF
Samuel Rodriguez, LHP  
Cole Roederer, OF
Cam Sanders, RHP
Tyler Schlaffer, RHP
Jake Slaughter, INF
Dalton Stambaugh, LHP (second contract player signed for 2024)
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.

 



 

RULE 5 DRAFT RESTRICTIONS:

1. A minor league player eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft cannot be added to an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster), traded to another organization, or transferred from one minor league roster to another within the same organization, beginning with the filing of MLB minor league reserve lists with the MLB Commissioner on November 15th and extending through the completion of the Rule 5 Draft.

2. A Rule 5 Draft-eligible player cannot be sent outright to the minors beginning at 5 PM (Eastern) on the third day prior to the Rule 5 Draft through the conclusion of the draft.

3. A club must have as many slots open on its MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) prior to the start of the Rule 5 Draft as the number of players it selects in the Major League Phase, and an MLB club's AAA affiliate must have as many slots open on its reserve list prior to the start of the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft as the number of players the affiliate selects in the AAA Phase. 

4. A club can select a player off the roster of one of its own minor league affiliates, but if the player is selected in the Major League Phase, the club is bound by the same Rule 5 roster restrictions as if it had selected the player off the reserve list of another club's minor league affiliate.
NOTE: This actually happened at least once a number of years ago, after a club (Atlanta Braves) inadvertently left one of its top prospects off its MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) when minor league reserve lists were submitted to the MLB Commissioner on November 20th.

5. A player eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft cannot be "covered up" from selection, either by agreement between two clubs or by effect (such as by concocting a phony injury and placing the player on an Injured List in an attempt to decrease a player's value when the player is not really injured). Also, a player selected in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft cannot be "hidden" on an Injured List to help the drafting club fulfill Rule 5 roster obligations (such as by leaving the player on the Injured List after he is healthy enough to play). If the MLB Commissioner believes a club "covered up" a player to avoid losing the player in the Rule Draft or "hid" a selected player on an Injured List, the offending club or clubs are subject to a penalty (TBD by the MLB Commissioner).

 




MLB RULE 5 SELECTED PLAYER

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

PLAYERS SELECTED BY CUBS IN MAJOR LEAGUE PHASE OF 2023 RULE 5 DRAFT
TBD

CUBS MINOR LEAGUERS SELECTED IN MAJOR LEAGUE PHASE OF 2023 RULE 5 DRAFT: 
TBD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PLAYERS SELECTED BY CUBS IN AAA PHASE OF 2023 RULE 5 DRAFT:
TBD  

CUBS MINOR LEAGUERS SELECTED IN AAA PHASE OF 2023 RULE 5 DRAFT:
TBD 

 




CUBS RULE 5 DRAFTS PAST 

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

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

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


 




RECENT RULE 5 DRAFTS 


While the Pittsburgh Pirates selection of future Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente from the Brooklyn Dodgers (https://www.thecubreporter.com/and-first-pick-1954-rule-5-draft-pirates…) is understandably considered to be the most significant Rule 5 Draft pick in MLB history, there have been a few (about 35) noteworthy Rule 5 Draft picks over the past ten years: 

2013: The Colorado Rockies selected RHRP Tommy Kahnle from the New York Yankees (4th overall pick) 

2013: The Miami Marlins selected 1B Justin Bour from the Chicago Cubs in the AAA Phase of the draft; 

2014: The Colorado Rockies selected OF Mark Canha from the Miami Marlins (2nd overall pick) and then traded him to the Oakland A's in a pre-arranged deal immediately after the conclusion of the draft;  

2015: The Toronto Blue Jays selected RHRP Joe Biagini from the San Francisco Giants (10th overall pick) 

2015: The St. Louis Cardinals selected LHRP Matthew Bowman from the New York Mets (11th overall pick); 

2015: The Los Angeles Angels selected 1B Ji-Man Choi from the Baltimore Orioles (16th and final overall pick)
NOTE: The Orioles had signed Choi as a minor league 6YFA (ex-SEA) prior to the draft; 

2015: The Tampa Bay Rays selected LHRP Adam Kolarek from the Baltimore Orioles in the AAA Phase of the draft; 

2015: The St. Louis Cardinals selected RHRP John Brebbia from the Arizona Diamondbacks in the AAA Phase of the draft; 

2016: The Minnesota Twins selected RHRP Miguel Diaz from the Milwaukee Brewers (1st overall pick) and then traded him to the San Diego Padres in a pre-arranged deal immediately after the conclusion of the draft;  

2016: The Milwaukee Brewers selected LHSP Caleb Smith from the New York Yankees (7th overall pick) and then traded him to the Chicago Cubs in a pre-arranged deal immediately after the conclusion of the draft
NOTE: The Yankees reclaimed Smith at the end of Spring Training 2017;  

2016: The Chicago White Sox selected RHRP Dylan Covey from the Oakland A's (9th overall pick); 

2016: The Baltimore Orioles selected OF Anthony Santander from the Cleveland Indians (18th and final overall pick);

2017: The Cincinnati Reds selected RHSP Brad Keller from the Arizona Diamondbacks (5th overall pick) and then traded him to the Kansas City Royals in a pre-arranged deal immediately after the conclusion of the draft;

2017: The Baltimore Orioles selected LHSP Nestor Cortes from the New York Yankees (9th overall pick) 
NOTE: The Yankees reclaimed Cortes in mid-April 2018; 

2017 The Miami Marlins selected RHSP Elieser Hernandez from the Houston Astros (10th overall pick);  

2017: The Seattle Mariners selected 1B Mike Ford from the New York Yankees (11th overall pick) 
NOTE: The Yankees reclaimed Ford at the end of Spring Training 2018; 

2017: The Chicago White Sox selected C-1B Yermin Mercedes from the Baltimore Orioles in the AAA Phase of the draft; 

2018: The Chicago White Sox selected RHRP Jordan Romano from the Toronto Blue Jays (3rd overall pick) and then traded him in a pre-arranged deal to the Texas Rangers immediately after the conclusion of the draft. 
NOTE: The Blue Jays reclaimed Romano at the end of Spring Training 2019.  

2018: The Cincinnati Reds selected 1B-OF Connor Joe from the Los Angeles Dodgers (6th overall pick)
NOTE: Joe was claimed off waivers by the San Francisco Giants (who assumed his Rule 5 roster restriction) at the end of Spring Training 2019, and then he was re-claimed by the Dodgers in mid-April. 

2018: The Seattle Mariners selected RHRP Brandon Brennan from the Colorado Rockies (13th overall pick)
NOTE: The Rockies had signed Brennan as a minor league 6YFA (ex-CHW) prior to the draft;  

2018: The Oakland A's selected LHRP Sam Moll from the Toronto Blue Jays in the AAA Phase of the draft;  

2018: The Tampa Bay Rays selected RHRP Ryan Thompson from the Houston Astros in the AAA Phase of the draft;  

2019: The New York Mets selected RHSP Adam Oller from the San Francisco Giants in the AAA Phase of the draft; 

2020: The Pittsburgh Pirates selected RHRP Jose Soriano from the Los Angeles Angels (1st overall pick)
NOTE: Soriano spent the 2021 season on the Pirates MLB 60-day IL while he was rehabbing from 2020 TJS, and the Angels re-claimed him in November 2021;   

2020: The Detroit Tigers selected OF Akil Baddoo from the Minnesota Twins (3rd overall pick)

2020: The Boston Red Sox selected RHRP Garrett Whitlock from the New York Yankees (4th overall pick) 

2020: The Cleveland Indians selected RHRP Trevor Stephan from the New York Yankees (15th overall pick)

2020: The Baltimore Orioles selected RHSP Tyler Wells from the Minnesota Twins (16th overall pick); 

2020: The Arizona Diamondbacks selected LHSP Tyler Gilbert from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the AAA Phase of the draft;  

- BECAUSE THE CBA HAD EXPIRED, THE MAJOR PHASE OF THE RULE 5 DRAFT WAS CANCELED IN 2021 - 

2021: The Miami Marlins selected LHRP Robert Garcia from the Kansas City Royals in the AAA Phase of the draft; 

2022: The Oakland A's selected 1B Ryan Noda from the Los Angeles Dodgers (2nd overall pick); 

2022: The Pittsburgh Pirates selected LHRP Jose Hernandez from the Los Angeles Dodgers (3rd overall pick) 

2022: The Cincinnati Reds selected C-OF Blake Sabol from the Pittsburgh Pirates (4th overall pick) and then traded him in a pre-arranged deal to the San Francisco Giants immediately after the conclusion of the draft; 

2022: The Detroit Tigers selected RHRP Mason Englert from the Texsas Rangers (5th overall pick);  

2022: The Colorado Rockies selected RHRP Kevin Kelly from the Cleveland Guardians (6th overall pick) and then traded him to the Tampa Bay Rays in a pre-arranged deal immediately after the conclusion of the draft. 

2022: The Milwaukee Brewers selected RHRP Gus Varland from the Los Angeles Dodgers (10th overall pick)
NOTE: The Dodgers re-claimed Varland on May 22nd.   

I think it would probably be fair to say that (at least as of right now) the Top 10 best Rule 5 Draft picks over the past ten years (not including those who were reclaimed, like Mike Ford, Nestor Cortes, Jordan Romano, and Connor Joe) would be (in alphabetical order) Justin Bour (selected in AAA Phase), John Brebbia (selected in AAA Phase), Mark Canha, Elieser Hernandez, Tommy Kahnle, Brad Keller, Anthony Santander, Trevor Stephan, Tyler Wells, and Garrett Whitlock, with the Orioles (Santander and T. Wells) and the Marlins (Bour and E. Hernandez) netting two, and the Cardinals (Brebbia), A's (Canha), Rockies (Kahnle), Royals (B. Keller), Guardians (Stephan), and Red Sox (Whitlock) one each.   

Comments

Fabulous article Phil. It looks to me like Arias and Aliendo are the most logical adds to the 40. Is Gallardo healthy? He was hurt last season and disappeared.

[ ]

In reply to by azbobbop

azbobbop: I would say among the Cubs 2023 Rule 5 Draft eligibles, catcher Pablo Aliendo would be the most-likely addition to the 40. While he might not be quite MLB-ready yet, Aliendo is (not counting Miguel Amaya, who is already in MLB) one of only two legit MLB catching prospects in the system (Moises Ballesteros is the other one), and because he is ready for AAA right now and projects as an MLB catcher by 2025, he could get poached by a rebuilding team in the Rule 5 Draft. 

And Aliendo might be the only Cubs Rule 5 Draft-eligible who will get added to the 40. 

RHP Michael Arias is the best prospect on the list (he is one of the Cubs Top 5 pitching prospects), but he is also a converted shortstop who has only been pitching for three years and has yet to pitch above Hi-A, and so he probably won't be MLB-ready anytime soon (maybe 2025, but more-likely 2026). 

LHRP Bailey Horn is a third possibility to get added to the 40. I had thought early in the season that when the Cubs brought up a lefty reliever from the minors that it would be Horn, but they brought up Luke Little instead, so now I am not so sure that Horn will get added. Also, LHRP Brad Wieck is finally healthy (he was throwing to hitters at Instructs although he did not pitch in any AZIL games) and so (if he can stay healthy) he could possibly make the Cubs MLB Opening Day roster as an NRI. 

Bailey Horn and Brendon Little are very similar pitchers (MLB-ready AAA LHRP), and the Blue Jays thought enough of B. Little to purchase his contract from the Cubs and add him to their MLB 40-man roster prior to the 5 PM deadline on Monday rather than wait for him to become a minor league 6YFA and take a chance that he might sign elsewhere. So if he is not added to the 40, Horn would be a good candidate to get selected in the Rule 5 Draft. The reason that might not matter to the Cubs is that a LHRP like Horn is probably replaceable in the organization (Luke Little, Brad Wieck, Riley Martin, and Adam Laskey are other MLB-ready or near MLB-ready lefty relievers).

And as I previously mentioned, RHRP Eduarniel Nunez (the one free-agent eligible who signed a 2024 minor league successor contract) is another good candidate to get drafted. RHRP Porter Hodge (now that he has been moved to the bullpen) and RHRP Kohl Franklin are also possibilities to get drafted, but (as with Eduarniel Nunez) I don't think the Cubs will add either of them to the MLB 40-man roster, because if selected in the Rule 5 Draft they are the type of pitchers (a "live" arm with plus raw stuff but with below-average command) you can usually reclaim at the end of Spring Training.

That said, all it takes is one club to like a player for that player to get drafted, so it's hard to predict the Rule 5 Draft. It's not like the First-Year Player Draft where the consensus top ten picks are fairly obvious. For example, I did not foresee Chris Clarke getting taken in the Rule 5 Draft last year, but the Mariners liked him so they selected him (although the Cubs were able to re-claim him at the end of Spring Training, which is not unusual for Rule 5 Draft picks). 

One thing I do know is that generally speaking, it is better to lose a player in the Rule 5 Draft for $100K with the chance that you might be able to eventually re-claim the player for $50,000 and outright him back to the minors (as happened with Chris Clarke last year and with Michael Rucker in 2019), than it is to add the player to the 40-man roster and then find out a year later that you need the roster slot for another player, and then end up losing the player off Outright Assignment Waivers for $50,000 with no right to reclaim & outright (as happened with Ryan Jensen).

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

It will be interesting to see if the Boston Red Sox select any Cubs minor league pitchers in the Major League Phase or AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft, what with new Red Sox PBO Craig Breslow having previously been the Cubs Director of Pitching. 

Nobody knows the Cubs minor league pitchers better than Breslow.  

It's also possible that Breslow will take one or more of the Cubs minor league pitching coordinators with him to Boston (although I don't think he will be able to take the Pitch Lab with him!). 

well, so much for the yanks probably not being in the c.bellinger chase...

“Now I need a center fielder, I need a left fielder, preferably left-handed,” Cashman said.

[ ]

In reply to by George Altman

he plays an above average 2nd, but the team decided to give 25m/yr to d.swanson and move the existing SS over to 2nd.

he has a lot more value if either one of the middle-IF'rs get injured...and d.ross isn't there to give those ABs to madrigal/masterboney.  at this point it's most likely safe to say they don't like what he has at 3rd.

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

You realize Ross did play Morel at 2B while Nico was hurt last year, right?


I think if the Cubs don’t bring in someone else this winter to play 1B, there’s nothing wrong with Morel at 1B with the ability to play 2B to give Nico days off (or Swanson with Nico shifting to SS), or cover for 2B in the event of an injury. Keeping him on the right side exclusively (and maybe out of the OF) might be the best thing for him rather than trying to play him on other sides of the field. 

[ ]

In reply to by bradsbeard

yeah, morel got a majority of those starts at 2nd between madrigal/masterboney, too...i just find having both those guys around annoying and felt morel should have gotten 1-2 more weeks rather than laying it on those guys.  it's more of a minor personal annoyance than a managing flaw.  i really hate having both those guys on the roster...one or the other, fine.

i hope morel can show he can play 1st.  it's going to be a very short sample of a month-ish.  he's not even playing in the dominican yet.  mervis may be around eventually, but some insurance going into 2024 would be nice.  even if morel isn't good enough for everyday work there, having another position he can slot into that the manager trusts would be nice.

btw, morel is supposedly joining aguilas next week according to local reports.

Not Cub news but… Chi sports talk is razzed that homegrown Jason Benetti is leaving the WSox TV booth for the Tigers. Len Kasper will stay on as their radio voice (but not move back to TV). Something about wanting to limit JB’s broadcasting commitments wrt non Chisox sports.

kinda wondering what any of you have in mind for a "realistic" wish list from the cubs this offseason. 

i'm not in the camp that has ohtani landing with the cubs, but at the same time it wouldn't shock me (especially with the stroman money freed up) since we're so early in the FA process and dominoes fall oddly once things start to get moving.

i'm thinking bellinger in CF with an eventual move to 1st on a 5+ year deal.  i got matt chapman at 3rd.  jordan hicks or hector neris joining the pen...

i have no idea who the starter candidate(s) joining steele-hendricks-tailon-wicks/smyly will be, but i imagine it will be someone at least good for a gamble, if not someone signed that firmly slots into the top-4 with wicks/smyly + others fighting for the 5th spot in spring.

also, i'm low-key not a fan of hendricks getting his option picked up even though the numbers point to it being a no-brainer.  the junk-stuff depending so much on the defense along with the amount of deep fly-outs he got last year brings me pause.  that said, i am rooting for him so hard because he's going into his 11th season as a cub and these days that is extremely rare territory.  i want him to earn more seasons with the cubs if he can perform...

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

CRUNCH: I would say the first priority would be 25-year old NPB RHSP Yoshinobu Yamamoto. It isn't often that a club has a chance to sign a young TOR. Presuming he is posted sometime within the next few days, Yamamoto's 45-day posting window should expire by the first week of January, so the Cubs will know where they stand by that time.

If the Cubs can't sign Yamamoto, then 30-yeat old FA RHSP Aaron Nola would be my first fall-back option, presuming he hasn't signed by the time the Yamamoto matter has been resolved. Nola would cost a draft pick but no prospects. 

 

If neither Yamamoto nor Nola can be signed, only then would I consider making what will need to be a substantial prospect offer to the Rays for Tyler Glasnow (who would be a one-year rental). Because the SP market looks to be a "seller's market," the prospect cost to acquire Glasnow for what might be just one year could be prohibitive. However, the Cubs will likely get a comp draft pick if Glasnow leaves after the 2024 season, and as a Wasserman client, he would probably be open to a contract extension beyond 2024, presuming there is mutual interest. 

 

If the Cubs can't acquire a TOR SP during the off-season (by TOR I mean a SP good enough to start game #1 or game #2 in a post-season series), then they should pass and wait until the Trade Deadline to acquire a TOR if they are in contention and if they need a TOR SP.

 

As far as position players are concerned, signing Shohei Ohtani means you are adding a DH only in 2024 (albeit the best DH in MLB), so if would probably be necessary to pay him a hefty base salary to be just a DH ($40M AAV) with substantial bonuses related to GS and IP if he can pitch in 2025 and beyond. 

 

If the Cubs were to somehow sign Ohtani, then Cody Bellinger would probably be off the table. Otherwise, Cody Bellinger should be the #1-B FA target. 

 

The big problem with signing free-agents is the timing required to make everything fit into place. That's why Yamamoto needs to be the primary TOR SP target before the Cubs move on to other options. And it's why the Cubs need to know where they stand in the Ohtani sweepstakes before making a firm off to Bellinger. Fortunately, Boras likes to wait out the off-season, so it's entirely possible that Bellinger will sign after Ohtani, maybe even not until Spring Training.

 

If the Cubs can't sign Ohtani or Bellinger, acquiring a Boras "one-year rental" client like Juan Soto or Pete Alonzo in a trade would probably require more prospect capital than the Cubs would be willing to surrender, although it is possible that the Cubs would trade for one of them if the price comes down and the Cubs haven't already committed the 2024 AAV in salary to a TOR SP and either Ohtani or Bellinger, and that might not be known until late in the off- season. 

 

The bullpen needs to be addressed. The best way to build a bullpen is to cast a wide net, sign several FA MLB-ready relievers coming off injuries or a subpar 2024 season to minor league contracts, invite a half-dozen or so arms with promise from within the organization to MLB Camp, keep an open mind, and see what develops in Spring Training. While bullpen fungibility is desirable / preferable so that relief pitchers can be easily moved back & forth to the minors during the course of the season, signing a couple of veteran RP with closer experience to guaranteed MLB contracts is OK.

 

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

Phil, given your scenario:

Let's say Ricketts is willing to go up 1 level to max of $257M AAV. 

Jed adds Yamamoto (8/$240), Bellinger (7/$175), Candelario (3/$40), LH/UTIL ($3-4M), and 2-3 RP types you mention.

I calculate a 2024 AAV number around $250M.

Sp) Yamamoto, Steele, Taillon, Hendricks, & Smyly/Assad/Brown/Wicks. 

Rp) 2-3 FAs, 2 of the 5th starters as MIRPs, Alzolay, Merryweather, Leiter or Ltitle.

C) Gomes, Amaya

IF) Morel, Hoerner, Swanson, Candelario (1b to 3b), Vazquez

OF) Happ, Bellinger, Suzuki, Canario, Tauchman.

On paper, that's a team that could compete for a playoff spot. Where they are at the trade deadline would determine if Jed needs Tom to go over $257M.

Your thoughts? 

[ ]

In reply to by George Altman

George A 

 

Absolutely agree. 

 

BTW, I forgot to mention Jeimer Candelario in my previous comment, but the Cubs should target him independent of whatever else happens. A switch-hitting 3B-1B-DH "doubles machine" is a perfect fit in the #6 or #7 slot in the order. 

 

Also, Kyle Hendricks does not attain "10 / 5" rights until June 26th, so if they do sign or acquire a TOR SP, a couple of veteran MLB bullpen arms, Candelario, and Bellinger, and Jed's payroll budget gets too tight, the Cubs (if necessary) should be able to trade Hendricks to one of the clubs that misses out on a SP in free-agency without having to eat any salary. Meanwhile, he is a decent fall-back veteran rotation option for 2024 if they come up empty in their pursuit of a TOR SP. 

[ ]

In reply to by First.Pitch.120

amaya's arm didn't used to be that bad, and it's not just the extra large pizza bases that's foiling him.

it would be nice to see him show up in a better shape to throw, or at least strike enough fear that people don't feel comfortable running.

as cubs fans we're used to having prospects flame out and amaya's injuries put him on the prospect back burner, but he's a low-key nice talent that probably would have been up 1-2 years earlier if injury didn't get in it's way.  unless the injuries have hobbled him permanently, he's a special talent that's not showing up in the overall prospect rankings.

[ ]

In reply to by First.Pitch.120

Miguel Amaya underwent TJS after the conclusion of the 2021 season and didn't catch at all in 2022, so I don't think it's all that significant that he had some throwing issues in 2023 once he returned to catching. 

 

He was a DH (only) at AA in 2022 while rehabbing from the TJS and played just a handful of games at AAA in 2023 prior getting called up to MLB, so the TJS recovery combined with limited AAA experience didn't exactly set him up for success in MLB in 2023. 

 

Unfortunately Amaya used up his 4th minor league option year in 2023 prior to getting recalled to Chicago, so he is now out of minor league options and is essentially locked on the MLB roster. 

 

The Cubs probably should have left Amaya at AAA for the entire 2023 season to get reps both at the plate and behind the plate, but even with his limited AAA experience the Cubs clearly felt that Amaya was a better MLB back-up catcher than Tucker Barnhart. 

 

As recently as 2021 (prior to the elbow injury) Amaya was rated by Baseball America as one of the Cubs Top 5 prospects, and he played in the All-Star Futures Game twice, so he was no slouch as a prospect. To give up on Amaya now would not be prudent. 

 

Obviously Amaya needs to show that he is 100% in 2024, but I can't see the Cubs selling low on Amaya and replacing him with an MLB journeyman back-up catcher in 2024. Amaya will be the Cubs back-up catcher in 2024.

 

As to whether Amaya is the Cubs long-term #1 catcher (after Gomes), that is TBD.

 

Among the Cubs minor league catchers, I rate Pablo Aliendo as one of the Cubs Top 20 prospects right now and he will likely be selected to the MLB 40-man roster next week, but he has yet to play above AA.

 

Moises Ballesteros is the other Cubs catching prospect of note (I rate him as one of the Cubs Top 5 prospects post-2023), but his bat is ahead of his glove and he just got moved up to AA in September, so he is probably at least a couple of years away. 

 

So with both Aliendo and Ballesteros being legit MLB prospects but not ready for MLB, the Cubs will very likely sign a veteran catcher with some MLB experience to be at Iowa in 2023. They might even eventually re-sign P. J. Higgins after he has a chance to shop himself around the free-agent marketplace. 

 

There is one other Cubs minor league catcher who could come into play in 2024. Bryce Windham is an athletic and versatile player (besides catcher, he can also play 1B-2B-3B) with a full year of AAA experience under his belt, and he will be back at AAA again in 2024, so he could get called up to MLB during the season. However, at the plate he is a "singles hitter" with zero power, and he does not project to be a front-line catcher in MLB.

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

Thanks, Phil.  I didn't mean to sound so down on Amaya. Clearly an MLB talent  & a good point that another off-season of rest/conditioning should allow the arm to come back even more.  

 

I was more wondering to myself if he was more (or differently) valuable as a trade piece if his development/recovery timeline wasn't going to match up with what was needed on the Cubs MLB team.  Lots of clubs need C this offseason & I bet they still see the value in MA as a player.  

 

Specifically, I am still intrigued by the trade match-up with BAL that you proposed a few weeks back (I think it was you).  BAL is long on INF talent at MLB/AAA & the INF at Camden Yards is pretty full.  I bet they would love a young C to pair with Rutschman & they don't have anyone MLB-proximate in their system. No way in hell they want AR catching over 2/3 of their games again.   Mayo's power & arm would look great at 3B.   

in extremely unsurprising news, james triantos named AFL "offensive player of the year"

next stop AA.

jakob marsee (SD, OF) named MVP.  he outperformed triantos, though both did extremely great.

Supposedly Boras has already rejected offers for Belli from TOR and NYY that were 6 yrs for over 22.7mil aav. 

"The Cubs consider free agent first baseman Rhys Hoskins to be a “good fit for their roster,” per Patrick Mooney and Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic."

cubs looking through the bruised produce bin for bargains again.

[ ]

In reply to by Bill

If Jed only signs Hoskins, and one of those LH bats, then all Cubs fans will be able to Iive with it, but we'll all be disappointed.

That means Jed only added a RH bat on a prove it deal and a manager.

Jed really thinks Ross was that bad down the stretch. That he lost all those games. Not the guys holding the bats and the ball.

I hope not. I hope Jed knows he needs headliners. All Star power hitters.

 

[ ]

In reply to by Childersb3

Jed apparently does think Ross was partially responsible, but he's also said that the worn-out bullpen played a big part in the collapse, and that he takes responsibility for that aspect. 

It would be nice if there were an All Star power hitter available by trade, but it's hard to find that kind of deal. I don't see J. Soto, V. Guerrero, or other rumored players as realistic targets for the Cubs. 

[ ]

In reply to by bluemarlins

cuas was a cub for 2 months and appeared in half the games played over that period.

the deadline pickup to aid an already "meh" pen was "meh" himself and he got worked like a sure-thing ringer.

i was a bit shocked they got candel and kinda quit there with a need in the pen at least as big as the production hole at 3rd base.  cuas is an okay pickup, but that was a 2024+ trade as much as it was an attempt to help the 2023 cubs.

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

The Cubs were at .500 and 5 games out of a playoff spot going into deadline day. There was a major debate about whether they should sell or if not whether they should buy at all. They bought, but they weren’t going to shift major pieces necessary to fortify all of their weaknesses. People need to remember that context. The team played out of their shoes for a month and a half to get to 10 or 12 games above .500, but obviously it was not a likely scenario that they would have been in that position when making decisions on deadline day. 

[ ]

In reply to by Bill

BILL: The MLB Trade Deadline was August 1st. 

The Cubs were 53-53 and 5.0 GB the Reds and 3.5 GB three teams in the Wild Card at the time of the deadline (6 PM Eastern). 

The Cubs beat Cincinnati 20-9 that night, and went 23-11 for five weeks after the TDL, right up until the fateful Arizona series that began on 9/7, from which point the Cubs (minus closer Adbert Alzolay for most of the final 3-1/2 weeks) went 7-15 the rest of the way. 

If Justin Steele finishes 4th or 5th in 2023 Cy Young Award voting (to be announced later this week), he will get a $1M bonus from the MLB Pre-Arbitration Bonus Pool Program.

And if he does finish 4th or 5th in the voting and gets the bonus (the top three have already been announced), it does - NOT - count against the Cubs 2023 CBT AAV (unlike the $1M bonus Cody Bellinger received for wining 2023 Comeback Player of the Year, which did count against the Cubs 2023 CBT AAV).

Although you will probably never see him wearing it, Craig Counsell's jersey number with the Cubs will be 30 (his number in Milwaukee, and the number he wore as a player when he was with the Marlins, the Dodgers, and the Brewers). 

Baseball America is reporting the Luis Vasquez has been added to the 40 man roster along with the three pitchers.

One aspect of the Role 5 Draft that is often ignored is the AAA Phase, where Rule 5 Draft-eligible players not on the AAA reserve list can be selected for a club's AAA affiliate for $24,000 with no right to reclaim (and after Spring Training, the selected player can be assigned to any affiliate in the organization, not just AAA).  

Normally players available in this group are what scouts call "non-prospects" (or "NP" for short), but there are also usually guys available in the AAA Phase who are coming back from significant injuries / surgeries (like Nick Burdi, selected by the Cubs in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft last year). So I suspect injured Cubs minor league pitchers or pitchers rehabbing from significant surgeries like Ben Leeper, Burl Carraway, Jack Patterson, Dalton Stambaugh, Saul Gonzalez, and Sam Thoresen will be available in the AAA Phase.   

But some organizations (like the Cubs) are deep enough where it just isn't possible to assign all of the pitchers and position players an organization would like to protect to the 38-man AAA reserve list, and so (in the case of the Cubs) there will certainly (must be) be some noteworthy pitchers and position players besides the usual suspects and injured pitchers who will be available in the AAA Phase. 

In the case of the Cubs this year, it is likely that OF Darius Hill, INF Andy Weber, C Ethan Hearn, RHP Max Bain, RHP Joe Nahas, OF Ismael Mena, and INF Juan Mora will be available for selection in the AAA Phase. These guys are not injured and they are not non-prospects. 

Last year the Cubs lost both LHRP Bryan King (September 2022 TJS) and LHP Luis Angel Rodriguez to the Houston Astros in the AAA Phase. King spent the 2023 season rehabbing at the Astros Spring Training facility in Florida and won't pitch again until 2024, but Rodriguez had a really fine year in single-A (and it's not like the Cubs system is loaded with quality LHP!). So selections made in the AAA Phase (like Burdi and Rodriguez) are not necessarily insignificant. 
(BTW, some of you may remember that I had Luis Angel Rodriguez listed among the players likely assigned to the Cubs AAA reserve list prior to last year's Rule 5 Draft, so needless to say I was floored when he was selected in the AAA Phase!).  

https://www.thecubreporter.com/2022-mlb-rule-5-draft-preview

One Cubs minor league player who definitely will be available for selection in the AAA Phase this year (and he was also available for selection in the AAA Phase last year) is INF David Bote. The Cubs DESPERATELY want somebody (anybody!) to take Bote's contract ($3M AAV and a $5.5M salary in 2024 plus a $1M buy-out for 2025) off their hands, even if it's just for the $24,000 AAA Phase draft price. But I suspect nobody will bite. 

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

So very many teams need somebody to play 2B & the FA market is so very weak,  I would have to think that Bote will be traded before the R5. 

 

MLBTR is projecting Urshela, Rosario, & Merrifield to all get $9-10m per year for ~2 years;  1 yr of Tim Anderson for ~$12m (!). 

 

 One (1) year of Bote for $5.5m + $1m total might seem like a steal to some teams, especially since he probably has the best power profile of the FA group above.

 

Plus, I could see some enterprising smaller market GM seeing the '25/'26 options as a potential plus.   If Bote does come back to the best (or near-best) version of himself, then the remaining 2 yrs / ~$14.5m might look really nice.  If the GM isn't convinced then they walk at the end of either season.

 

Even a trade for India is going to run you ~$3.7m next year & ~$17m  or more over 3 arb years, plus whatever you have to give CIN in trade.   (Disclaimer... Arb #s were a total guess - $3.7 / $5.5 / $7.8 )

 

 

[ ]

In reply to by First.Pitch.120

FP120: David Bote cannot be traded prior to the Rule 5 Draft. Once the minor league reserve lists were filed yesterday, Rule 5 Draft-eligible minor league players are "frozen," and cannot be selected to an MLB reserve list (40-man roster), traded, or moved onto or off the organization's AAA reserve list until after the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft.

So Bote could have been traded up until 6 PM (Eastern) yesterday (11/14), but not now, and not until after the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft. 

My guess is (just like last year) Bote won't be selected in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft next month, and if he is traded after that, it will be as a "salary / AAV offset" that is part of a larger trade involving other players. 

BTW, I had thought the Washington Nationals might have wanted David Bote back as part of the return for Jeimer Camdelario at the Trade Deadline, but obviously not. 

The Cubs have signed LHRP Edwin Escobar and RHRP Ethan Roberts to 2024 minor league contracts. 

Escobar spent the last several seasons pitching in Japan (NPB) and Roberts was non-tendered by the Cubs last month. 

Both Escobar and Roberts will be eligible for selection in the MLB Rule 5 Draft on Wednesday. 

[ ]

In reply to by Craig A.

CRAIG: Yes. 

Another example would be David Bote. If a club selects Bote in the Rule 5 Draft (and he will almost certainly be available in the AAA Phase for $24,000), the drafting club assumes Bote's contract and would owe him $5.5M in 2024 plus the 2025 and/or 2026 $7M annual club options or $1M buy-out. 

yanks got hurt in the major league portion of the R5 (3 of 10 picks) and the mets are getting picked over in the minor league portion.

As you can see from my list of Rule 5 Draft-eligible players projected to be on the AAA Iowa roster (see below) and thus available for selection in the MLB Phase of the draft (only), I had Weber and Jordan available in the AAA Phase (both were going to be minor league 6YFA post-2024), but I thought that Laskey and Reed would be on the AAA reserve list and therefore would not be available for selection in the AAA Phase. Laskey was outstanding in the AFL, and Reed finished strong at South Bend. (25 K in his final 17.1  IP) 

[ ]

In reply to by Finwe Noldaran

FINWE N: Time will tell.

Certainly the Cubs are not exactly flush with lefty relievers in the system. so Adam Laskey was not redundant. 

As far as Sheldon Reed is concerned, he pitched very well the last month of the season at South Bend and I thought that would have earned him a spot on the Iowa reserve list. 

I presume the Cubs had good reasons for not assigning Laskey and Reed to the AAA reserve list (thus making them available for selection in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft), but without knowing who was on the AAA reserve list instead of Laskey and Reed, I can't offer an informed opinion. 

BTW, the same thing happened last year when I had LHP Luis Angel Rodriguez on the AAA Iowa roster but the Cubs left him off and then he was selected by the Houston Astros in the AAA Phase. I couldn't figure that one out, either. 

i got 0 complaints about anyone who was lost, but adding hayden cantrelle to the AAA mix makes things interesting for j.slaughter, c.strumpf, luis vazquez, and d.bote.

bj murray might make it a bit more crowded, too.  it depends on what they want to do with him...and many would slot him in at 3rd in AAA full-time.

I would say that right now B. J. Murray is a legit Top 15 Cubs prospect as a third-baseman. Hopefully he won't be blocked by Matt Chapman. That's why I would prefer the Cubs re-sign Jeimer Candelario over signing somebody like Chapman or Rhys Hoskins, because Candelario is a switch-hitting 3B-1B-DH who is a decent MLB player, but he won't block anybody if a 3B or 1B prospect emerges from the pipeline MLB-ready. Also, the Cubs lineup is too RH already without adding Chapman and/or Hoskins. 

[ ]

In reply to by Finwe Noldaran

FINWE N: I believe Jeimer Candelario offers more roster flexibility in 2024 and beyond than players like Matt Chapman and/or Rhys Hoskins would, not to mention costing a lot less $$$$ (and signing Chapman would also cost the Cubs a draft pick because Toronto extended a Qualifying Offer to Chapman).  

Also, I can't help but see visions of Trey Mancini whenever I think about the Cubs signing Rhys Hoskins. 

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

with candelario off the board to the reds, it looks like it's chapman or trade...or another year of gambling cheap on someone like gio urshela or a meh-D donovan solano.

of course there's also this guy with a rocket arm named morel that could have played a bit more 3rd in 2023 seeing if that could be his thing, but whatever i guess.  i know accuracy isn't a strength with those throws from 3rd, but still, for his cost and a supporting middle-IF that's one of the best in MLB (if not #1) it's not the worst use of a very cheap talent.

The Reds signing Jeimer Candelario should allow them to package two or three of their infielders in a deal for Tyler Glasnow. 

Recent comments

  • crunch (view)

    as far as i can tell this isn't injury/rest related, and they've been throwing for weeks.

    we're at the point in spring games where throwing 20-40 pitches for multi-inning guys is the norm, and that's not much different than airing out a few dozen on the mound in a non-game training situation.

    i wonder if these specific guys are getting additional instruction without working things out vs live batters and they don't want to do that and tax the arms doing both at once.  no idea...not heard anything about these guys or what they're doing in ARZ recently.

  • Arizona Phil (view)

    Eight days into the Cactus League schedule, six Cubs pitchers who are officially at MLB Spring Training have yet to throw in a Cactus League game: 

    Yency Almonte 
    Michael Arias 
    Shota Imanaga 
    Ethan Roberts (NRI - TJS rehab)
    Jameson Taillon 
    Keegan Thompson 

    Meanwhile, 13 pitchers assigned to Cubs Minor League Camp have pitched in MLB Cactus League games, including Blake Weiman twice and Hunter Bigge three times!  
     

  • crunch (view)

    player of the game: the sun

  • Arizona Phil (view)

    Here are the pitcher reports from Friday's White Sox - Cubs game at Sloan Park: 

    JUSTIN STEELE
    FB: 90-92 
    CT: 88-89  
    SL: 81-84 
    CH: 78-81  
    CV: 75-76 
    COMMENT: Threw two no run / no hit innings to start the game (a L-1 comeback that almost took Steele's head off on the first pitch of the game, then a BB on a 3-2 pitch, a 5-4 FC that should have been an inning-ending DP but wasn't as the result of a Matt Shaw grip / bobble at 3B -- lucky to get one out on the play, and an F-9 to end the inning)... then a K-looking, an F-9, and a 6-3 GO in an easy 1-2-3 10-pitch second inning... allowed two runs on two hits in the third inning (a three-pitch K-swinging on a SL, then an infield topper that Steele couldn't pick up and was scored a hit but should have been an E-1 -- and should have been the second out but wasn't, then a hard-hit double, an F-8 SF to plate the first run and advance the other runner from second to third, then a WP on a bouncing 55-foot SL that scored the second run, and finally an F-7 FO to end the inning and the outing)... Steele threw 47 pitches over the course of his three innings of work (32 strikes - four swing & miss, two on SL and two on CT - plus an incredible 11 foul balls!)... threw a lot more different types of pitches than his usual FB / SL combo... a very nice "clean" outing, except for the E-1 topper that was inexplicably scored as a hit...    

    JAVIER ASSAD
    FB: 91-94 
    CT: 87-89 
    CH: 86
    SL: 79-80
    CV: 74-76
    COMMENT: Threw two innings (37 pitches - 22 strikes - three swing & miss - three foul balls)... allowed a broken bat infield single to lead-off hitter in the top of the 4th, then a P-3 DP (fantastic over the shoulder catch by Busch while running out into RF foul territory followed by a perfect throw back to 1st base to double the runner off base), and a 3-U GO (our man Busch again!)... second inning began with an HBP (PCA was hit by a pitch in the previous half-inning), then PCA took a bad route (might have briefly lost the ball in the sun) chasing a fly ball in CF that fell for a double on the warning track, putting runners at 2nd & 3rd... then a lazy routine fly ball was lost in the sun by PCA in CF for a gift-double, then after an RBI 6-3 GO for the first out of the inning (should have been the third out!), PCA lost still ANOTHER FLY BALL IN THE SUN in short right-center to further extend the inning, then a walk on a 3-2 pitch, an F-7 FO for what was essentially the fifth out of the inning, then a hard-hit RBI single through the box and into CF (PCA missed the cut-off man with the throw home), and finally a 1-3 come-backer on Assad's 26th pitch of the inning for what should have been the sixth out of the inning... so while he technically threw just two innings and allowed four "earned" runs on five "hits" (including three  "doubles"), Assad got what were essentially nine outs, and should have allowed no runs on two hits (both singles -- one of which was a broken bat infield hit), one walk, and one HBP...        

    JULIAN MERRYWEATHER
    FB: 96-98
    SL: 84-87
    CH: 79
    COMMENT: 1-2-3 inning (K-swinging on a 1-2 SL, F-7, F-8)... 16 pitches (12 strikes - three swinging, two on FB and one on SL - five foul balls)... Matt Mervis lost a pop fly foul ball in the sun prior to the K-swinging...     

    JOSE CUAS
    FB: 91-94
    SL: 81-84 
    COMMENT: Inning started with a gift-triple (Cole Roederer lost can o' corn fly ball in the sun before it bounced off warning track in the RF corner)... Cuas then induced a P-3 for the first out and got a K-swinging for the second out, before hitting a batter with a 2-2 SL to put runners at the corners... then he a got 5-3 GO to end the inning... a cool head 22-pitch "no sweat" masterful extrication act to strand the runner at 3rd after the lead-off "sun triple"... two swing & miss -- one on FB and one on SL -- and five foul balls among his 14 strikes (Cuas gets a LOT of foul balls on "emergency hacks" when he pitches)... 

    COLTEN BREWER
    FB: 93-95
    CH: 89 
    SL: 84-85 
    CV: 79 
    COMMENT: Threw a shutout 8th inning... 10 pitches (seven strikes - one swing & miss on FB)... surrendered two soft-contact singles sandwiched around an F-8, and induced an inning-ending 6-4-3 DP... 

    RILEY THOMPSON
    FB: 95-96
    CH: 89 
    SL: 83-85 
    COMMENT: Tossed a 1-2-3 (3-1 GO, K-swinging on three pitches, F-8) 12-pitch 9th (10 strikes - one swing & miss on SL - four foul balls)... good FB velo in combo with the slider, and he threw strikes... eight of his twelve pitches were SL (he loves those sliders!)... 

  • crunch (view)

    not yet...dunno what his plan is with the team.

    he's not getting any younger.  dude turns 29 in a bit over a week.  they still want him on the roster and 40-man for some reason.

    i like what he throws, but at some point you have to show what's coming out of your arm is MLB-quality.

  • Dolorous Jon Lester (view)

    Has Keegan pitched yet? If not I wonder if they’re even entertaining him as a SP as an option. Genuinely no idea on either of those thoughts

  • crunch (view)

    so...unless keegan thompson comes running into the ring to hit jordan wicks with a steel chair, it's looking like wicks vs himself.

    or they could sign jordan montgomery or something like that.

  • Dolorous Jon Lester (view)

    Wesneski was also pretty unimpressive

  • crunch (view)

    it's only a couple outings, but assad and smyly are firmly removing themselves from the 5-slot battle rather quickly.

  • crunch (view)

    coooool.  weekend game so a lot of people can get their eyes on him.

    my stupid job starts before stupid 7am (eastern) so i'm home to catch most of these early starts, but many friends only catch the last innings of "who the hell is that?" players.