Cubs MLB Roster

Cubs Organizational Depth Chart
40-Man Roster Info

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

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

Last updated 5-21-2024

* bats or throws left
# bats both

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

Miguel Amaya
Yan Gomes

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

* Cody Bellinger
# Ian Happ
Seiya Suzuki
* Mike Tauchman

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

15-DAY IL: 7
Yency Almonte, P
Albert Alzolay, P
Colten Brewer, P
Daniel Palencia, P
* Drew Smyly, P
Keegan Thompson, P
* Jordan Wicks, P

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


Minor League Rosters
Rule 5 Draft 
Minor League Free-Agents

2024 Offseason Update: Bellinger Returns

With the Cubs reportedly agreeing to a 3-year deal with two player opt outs, Jed Hoyer and Carter Hawkins's major moves in the 2024 free agent market have likely come to a close. Bellinger gets some security along with the potential to explore free agency again prior to age 30. The Cubs get a shorter investment and a reunion with one of their top position players from 2023. Bellinger's flexibility to play any outfield spot as well as first base means hardly anyone is really left on the outside looking in--although the likelihood of Pete Crow-Armstrong starting the year in Iowa increases. The Cubs will likely still need Michael Busch, Crow-Armstrong, and Mike Tauchman at various points in the season.

Of the Boras four, well--and then there were three.

The Cubs and their fans can now focus their attention to the exciting young players in MLB camp, continued positional uncertainty at 3B and to a lesser degree 1B, the fifth spot in the rotation, and the inevitable bullpen puzzle. Just over a month remains before the start of the 2024 Regular Season.


next step...will there be a trade before officially signing or is keegan thompson's slot doomed?

the bellinger signing works nicely for the team's needs right now.

if busch/mervis can lock down 1st, belli can stay in CF...if PCA emerges for CF, belli can shift to 1st.

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.

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.

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). 

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

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?

[ ]

In reply to by Childersb3

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.

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

Thanks Phil.
With the exception of the 4.25mil in perf. bonuses, the #'s are similar. Yours are about .948mil more.
Regardless, if Jed is going to add anything more at any point, some salaries have to be moved or they'll have to pay Tax!
A Chicago pro sports team paying taxes for luxurious spending habits.  Never seen that before!!

You have to think Smyly is the guy being dealt. Gives Jed tax clearance (room to add at TDL) and he's a veteran LHSP being paid almost single digit millions for just 1 yr.
I do believe he could help in the bullpen, but I'm sure Smyly wants to start.

I could see them just DFA Leiter and keep Smyly. Haven't heard much about him at all. He did survive the winter to stay on the roster. I'm sure Jed hopes he can regain control of that splitter.
But Alzolay, Neris, Merryweather, Smyly, Cuas, Little, then two of Almonte, Palencia, Keegan, Wesneski or Assad seems solid. You'd also have Ben Brown and Cam Sanders in Iowa. 
Seems like Leiter might be the odd man out to me.

BTW, to your knowledge Phil, is David Bote the highest paid AAA in history? I guess I mean highest paid multi-year AAA player? What a unique situation he's in. He's a multi-millionaire playing in Des Moines. No one blames him for staying in Cubs system. Who would risk giving up that cash? Not hardly anyone.

[ ]

In reply to by Childersb3

Believe Rusney Castillo with Red Sox would rank above Bote.  Similar situation of clearing waivers but with a $10 million per year contract.  Phil will know the details better, but I believe at that time his salary didn't count against the cap while in AAA so he got stuck in AAA purgatory. 

[ ]

In reply to by Sonicwind75

OF Rusney Castillo signed a seven-year $73.5M MLB contract with Red Sox in August 2014 and he spent the last four seasons on outright assignment at AAA Pawtucket. He had several opportunities to opt out but of course he never did (why would he?). His contract expired after the 2020 season and he ended up playing in Japan. 

1B-OF Yasmany Tomas signed a six-year $68.5M MLB contract with the Diamondbacks in December 2014 and he was outrighted to AAA at the end of Spring Training 2018 and then spent the next three seasons making millions while playing at AAA Reno before his contract expired after the 2020 season. Like Castillo, Tomas had the opportunity to opt out a couple of times but (also like Castillo) he did not, and just accepted being stuck in AAA. 

BTW, both Castillo and Tomas were signed out of Cuba back when there was still a belief in some baseball circles that Cuba was a hidden gold mine of MLB-ready talent, but it turned out some of the Cubans were really just 4-A guys (if even that). 

As far as Castillo's and Tomas's salaries counting against their organization's MLB AAV after they were outrighted to AAA, they most certainly did. Every penny, up until their respective contracts (finally!!!) expired. 

The CBT threshold (and a tax on overages) has been in place in its current format (albeit with changes in the specific penalties on overages over the course of time) since 2003.

cubs are dragging their feet on this signing.  i wonder what the scale of the trade they're trying to flesh out is...or if they're scrapping for the best deal on a small move...

it seems like it would be done or announced it was going to be done in short order if it was a sign-and-cut thing.

Rumor is the Cubs are trying to trade Keegan to TB.
Rays had interest in Keegan supposedly when Jed looked at acquiring Glasnow over the winter.
I guess Leiter's job is save. 
Keegan would bring back someone not on the 40man, obviously. 

[ ]

In reply to by Childersb3

One player the Cubs would have very likely wanted back if they had traded Willson Contreras to Tampa Bay at the 2022 Trade Deadline was OF Mason Auer (and I do know for a fact that a deal was in place with the Rays where the Cubs would have received one player back -- I don't know who -- before the Cubs suddenly upped the ask to two players when it was announced a week prior to the TDL that the international draft would not happen and so the draft pick comp system would be retained, at which point the Rays backed away). 

Auer was someone the Cubs drafted as a two-way player (RHP / CF) out of HS in 2019 but did not sign. Auer was then drafted by the Rays as an outfielder (only) out of a Texas JC in 2021, and he had a breakout season in Single-A in 2022, but then struggled at AA in 2023. (Coincidentally, K. Thompson also had a breakout season in 2022 and then struggled in 2023...). 

Auer isn't on the 40, but he will be Rule 5 Draft eligible post-2024. It will be interesting to see if Auer is the return if K. Thompson is traded to TB. 

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

So it's LHRP Bailey Horn going back to the White Sox (from which he came in 2021 for Ryan Tepera). 

Horn looked VERY good on Friday versus the White Sox at Sloan Park. I can see why the Sox would want him back. 

The Cubs get RHSP Matt Thompson (White Sox 2nd round pick in 2019) back in the deal. He struggled last season at AA (too many walks) and is not on the 40. 

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

horn returns to the whitesox...getting a refresh on the ryan tepera trade.  was kinda hoping one of the $$ guys would have been moved, such as almonte.

money is artificially tight, but it is what it is and the team seems be signaling that every million counts up to the limit...therefore it matters.

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

Seems fair
Horn was going to have to beat our Smyly, Little and Leiter to get MLB time this year
He has options of course, but a move had to be made and Jed didn't want to give up Smyly, Leiter, Almonte or Mervis.

Now that Bellinger is clear to join us, here are the next questions:

Phil, do you think Jed/Counsell take Cooper over Wisdom (consistency over power)? 
Or, do they option Canario, deal Mervis, and add Cooper or Peralta?
Or even do both of these moves?
Peralta and Cooper are veteran bench bats with decent. 
Cooper is pretty good vs Lefties
Peralta wasn't that good vs Righties last yr (but his career #'s are good)

I'd like to see Canario get his chance (just like Morel is getting and like Velazquez should've)
But he could get max ABs in Iowa.

[ ]

In reply to by Childersb3

Childersb3: Because Edwards, Peralta, and Cooper are post-2023 Article XX-B MLB free agents who signed 2024 minor league contracts, they have automatic opt outs on Opening Day if not added to the 40 by that time. So they are essentially injury insurance and likely won't make the Cubs Opening Day 26-man roster unless there is an injury. 

So Peralta probably has a chance to make the team only if something bad happens to Busch, Happ, Bellinger, and/or Tauchman during Spring Training, Cooper has a chance probably only if something bad happens to Morel and/or Wisdom, and Edwards has a chance to make the team if something bad happens to Neris, Alzolay, and/or Merryweather. 

Meanwhile they can play in MLB Cactus League Spring Training games and show what they have to offer to the other MLB clubs (or even to NPB and KBO clubs) in case it turns out the Cubs don't need them and they opt-out at the end of Spring Training. 

[ ]

In reply to by Childersb3

Childersb3: Cooper, Peralta, Edwards, D. Smith, and Alfaro are signed to minor league contracts (so their minor league salaries do not count against the Cubs MLB AAV), but if any of them are selected to the MLB 40-man roster the player's MLB salary will count against the Cubs AAV anywhere from $3M - $5M (the estimated MLB salary for each player added) above & beyond their current AAV (which is already pushing the CBT threshold), so adding even just one of them without subtracting equivalent salaries (some combination of Wisdom, Leiter, Almonte, Madrigal, and/or Tauchman) could be the difference between remaining under the CBT threshold and going over it. 

So unless the Cubs can subtract approximately equivalent salaries via a trade or losing a player off waivers (an unconditional release or outright assignment would NOT result in a subtraction from AAV), adding someone like Cooper, Peralta, Edwards, et al, would be very difficult (presuming the Cubs have set a self-imposed AAV limit at the CBT threshold). 

BTW, adding a Cooper, a Peralta, or an Edwards to the MLB roster would not have been a problem prior to signing Bellinger, but now (suddenly) it is. 

Trading Smyly would be the best option because it would make $10M+ in salary and $3M in potential performance bonuses available in AAV space, but if some combination of Wisdom, Madrigal, Leiter, Almonte, and/or Tauchman can be subtracted by either trade, waiver claim, or an outright assignment followed by the player electing free-agency (and forfeiting 100% of his 2024 salary), that might free-up enough AAV space to add one of the veteran guys signed to a minor league contract. 

Another way for the Cubs to pick up $3M in 2024 AAV would be to make sure to use Smyly ONLY as a one-inning RP, so that he can't possibly reach any of his performance bonuses (which are based on IP).

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

I'm surmising Wisdom is probably safe over Cooper.
And I don't believe Peralta, Smith or Cooper have reported, yet. Might be wrong there.
They were probably just for cover if Belli didn't sign (like most assumed).

So, it's all about the 13th bat spot, 5th SP Spot and 6th-8th Bullpen Spots

[ ]

In reply to by Childersb3

I think even that bench spot is more or less locked unless injuries pop up or someone really face plants or wows. Assuming Morel at 3B, the bench is probably Amaya, Madrigal, Tauchman, Mastrobuoni, and Wisdom. One of those 5 would DH.

I agree there’s 4 open spots on the staff, 1 SP 3 RP, but I also think Assad and Smyly have two of those spots locked in one way or another.

[ ]

In reply to by Dolorous Jon Lester

Maybe you're right about Mastro being a lock there.
We're limited in our DH options vs RHSPs.
Until PCA or maybe ONKC force their way up, we don't have a LH bench bat that can really hold down the DH vs RHSP right now.
We just don't have a LH bat that can makes sense there (not yet anyway).
I guess the fix is Tauchman in CF, Belli at 1B and Busch at DH with Happ in LF.
I'm not putting Mastro in for Nico or Dansby against RHSP unless they are dog tired.
That's why I thought adding David Peralta would be interesting.
But adding him now would be tough financially according to AZ Phil.

AZ Phil also said a while back that the roster needs a RH CF option (this was obviously prior to Belli signing)
Canario is starting today in CF.
He's about the only viable RH CF option until Alcantara is ready in maybe 2025.
Reports are that Canario is okay in CF (better than Velazquez) but not good.

A trade could still happen. Probably involving the pitching staff (Smyly).

So this adjustment to the 40 man roster leaves me thinking that  Smyly may be the only LHP in the bullpen and their LHRP depth is mostly Luke Little. I am assuming the will have 3 LHSP including Steele, Imanaga and Wicks, so on those days the first man out of the pen probably would be a righty anyway. They did use Leiter Jr as a reverse 'righty' but I'm not sure how Counsell will be trying to work out his bullpen options without two lefty choices. Could Counsell opt for both Smyly and Little in the pen?

[ ]

In reply to by Childersb3

Hard to be certain there… I think he’s in a battle with a few guys. Alzolay, Neris, Merryweather, Leiter, Almonte likely either locks or near locks unless they’re hurt or absolutely awful. Assad will be there unless he’s a SP, same for Smyly. Them being SP opens another spot but I’m assuming Little is battling for the last spot with Palencia, Cuas, wesneski (another SP candidate), Keegan, CJ, Sanders, R Thompson, Wieck, Roberts, Lovelady.

matt shaw playing 3rd in the 7th.  out of sheer curiosity, it would be nice to see him field and throw to 1st.

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

given how every other person on the field is playing in the 7th, matt shaw probably doesn't want to touch the ball.  the entire team's defense has reverted to T-Ball level of play.  surprised the OF'rs aren't looking for 4-leaf clovers in the grass.

no errors, just bad baseball.

If Canario and PCA don't make the OD roster, look at the Iowa roster here:

C Windham/Veteran

1B Mervis/Bote

2B Strumpf/Cantrelle

SS Vazquez/Cantrelle

3B Murray/Slaughter

LF Davis/DHill

CF PCA/Roederer

RF Canario/Caissie

DH Caissie

I thought their lineup last year was loaded

This is ridiculous

Rotation: Brown, Wicks, Kilian, RThompson, maybe Wesneski and Horton soon

Not bad at all

It’s nice having a farm system where the rosters aren’t loaded with minor league filler.

wicks again but not jameson taillon or imanaga yet?

i hate to tin foil...NONETHELESS...

is wicks being thrown to the wolves to determine whether he's trutsted enough to snag that 5 slot or the cubs -might- need to add another starter?  getting some vibes over here...

forget the error on the shaw throw (from 2nd)...the velocity on the throw (made on the move) was as terrible as it was wide, even for a 2nd baseman.

Recent comments

  • crunch (view)

    luckily the team isn't running low on MLB-ready SP...what's in AAA isn't ready for the big time yet (c.horton) or trash (literally everyone else).

  • TarzanJoeWallis (view)

    Teheran has been in the same neighborhood. I doubt either were ever intended to be more than minor league depth.

  • crunch (view)

    d.straily has give up 4 homers in 2.1ip for iowa.  his ERA is in the 7's and his WHIP is close to 2.

    it's not going well for him.

  • crunch (view)

    this COL/OAK game crazy fun...needed this after yet another poor showing cubs loss.

  • Eric S (view)

    Shutout by the Braves in three of the six game series. Cubs fortunate to get two wins. Cubs offense in need of a collective viagra-voodoo cocktail, stat!

  • crunch (view)

    he gets a 2nd inning...leadoff single on the 1st pitch.

    2ip 4h 1bb 1k, 2r/er

  • crunch (view)

    1ip 2h 1bb 1k, 2r/ of the outs was a popout about as close to the ivy as you can get without being in the ivy.

    not encouraging.  he may or may not get another inning.  he probably shouldn't have gotten that inning in a 1-0 game, but with the way the cubs bats are going it may not even matter.

  • crunch (view)

    it's sad watching hendricks come out the pen...even more sad giving up a single to his 1st batter and walking the 2nd batter.

  • crunch (view)

    man...busch can't even make contact on anything breaking lately, even light breaking fastballs.  he's either frozen or misses badly.

  • crunch (view)

    he could productively use this time to work on his autograph.