Cubs MLB Roster
Cubs Organizational Depth Chart
40-Man Roster Info
37 players are on the MLB RESERVE LIST (three slots are open)
Last updated 11-17-2023
* bats or throws left
# bats both
* Bailey Horn
Mark Leiter Jr
* Luke Little
* Drew Smyly
* Justin Steele
* Jordan Wicks
* Miles Mastrobuoni
* Matt Mervis
* Pete Crow-Armstrong
# Ian Happ
* Mike Tauchman
Free Matt Murton
I've been informed that indeed, the Cubs brass do read this website and have promoted Matt Murton. No word on who is getting sent down. Kidding about the Cubs brass reading this website, but our pal Steve Holley at Inside the Ivy is the one giving me the news and he's with the team currently in New Orleans. We can only assume it's Eric Patterson being sent down.
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I blame Jason Schmidt’s 3/44
Craig A. (view)
Was all that stuff with the Blue Jays just to squeeze an extra $10 million/yr out of the Dodgers? It's more than enough to cover his California income taxes!
unless he pitches into his late-30 that is gonna sting. a 70m DH...ow.
it's great to take care of 2 roster spots in 1 player, and i'm sure the team will cut into the pay with the amount of merch/etc he can sell just by being attached to the team....but yeah, i'm not mad the cubs didn't go that extreme.
WebAdmin (view)Shohei Ohtani to join Dodgers according to ESPN. 10 years for $700 m
I'm getting the feeling that Todd Walker might be a Shaw comp. A valuable hit first player but limited albeit not awful on defense. Hopefully, he has more upside. Not a bad floor if Steve Garvey is his ceiling.
Wrigley Rat (view)
AZ Phil - If that's the level of return, I would want NO part of that trade to Cleveland for Clase and Bieber. I have some faith that the Cubs have a strong plan for which prospects they will keep (even if they dangle them in trade talks) and which they will move, because they have plenty of solid prospects they can trade but they shouldn't be trading any of the ones they hope will be future core players. Some guys are redundant, so I hope they choose the right players to keep and the right players to move. It's always important for a team to know its own minor league players better than scouts from other teams (obviously), but I don't think that's always been the case for the Cubs and many other clubs.
Cubster - I watched an interview with Carter Hawkins a couple days ago where he said that although Morel hasn't gotten into any Dominican games at 1B, the Cubs did send coaches down with Morel to work on first base skills during practice. So he is developing those skills, whether the Cubs end up using him there or not will probably be dependent on a lot of factors including how those coaches think he looks at the position while training.
He could still play SS at Double-A, but Vazquez, Hoerner, and Swanson are much better defensively, arm strength or not. I'd be good leaving Shaw at SS with McGeary and Ballesteros around, but by the first of June (?), 1B might make sense in DM.
i have no reason to see a problem, it just seems like it's his most obvious reason to give pause on him at 1st.
the cubs situation dictates 2nd/SS isn't an option. his arm dictates 3rd isn't an option. 1st or CF seems to be his best path and he's only played CF in summer ball back in highschool/college...and of course PCA is a better + closer to the bigs CF.
it's a lot safer to say he's made for 1st than it is he's made for 3rd. even as a SS his arm is weak, and it's not like his glove is so great he needs to stay in the middle-IF.
Arizona Phil (view)
CRUNCH: Steve Garvey (one of Shaw's comps as a hitter) was a 5'10 right-handed throwing first-baseman with a rag arm. Jeff Bagwell (another Shaw comp) was a 6'0 right-handed throwing first-baseman with a rag arm. Carlos Santana (who played 1B for Counsell in Milwaukee last season and is an above-average defensive first-baseman) is 5'11. It's not like Shaw is 5'7 or 5'8. I don't really see the problem.
Arizona Phil (view)
CUBSTER: It's not that Matt Shaw can't play SS (or 2B). Shaw was a SS his last two years in college at Maryland and apparently was OK defensively. It's just that there are certain throws a big league SS has to make (the backhand / flat-foot throw from deep in the 5.5 hole and the leap & change direction throw after fielding a ball up the middle after ranging to his left) that you might not see every game. So while he might appear to be passable at SS, over time the below-average arm at SS will catch up with the player and cost the team runs.
Shaw is a good fielder so he could play SS (like Ryan Theriot did) and you would just live with the below-average arm strength that would rear its ugly head every now & again, because he is a plus-plus hitter. But the Cubs have Dansby Swanson locked-in at SS through 2029, so Shaw won't be playing there even if he were to improve his arm strength and remake his throwing mechanics.
As far as second-base is concerned, that would seem to be Shaw's best position, because the position requires a plus-glove but not a plus-arm. Nico Hoerner is presently the Cubs' 2B and is signed through 2026 (although he does NOT have "no trade" rights, so he could be traded at any time). So Shaw could move to 2B in 2027 after Hoerner's contract expires (presuming Hoerner does not sign another extension in the meantime), or the Cubs could preemptively trade Hoerner at some point prior to the conclusion of the 2026 season and install Shaw at 2B before 2027.
The thing is, the Cubs have three other prospects who also project as second-basemen, including Top 10 prospect James Triantos, Top 10 prospect Jefferson Rojas, and Top 30 prospect Pedro Ramirez. So while Shaw could very well eventually be the Cubs second-baseman, there are other legit candidates who could eventually take-over the position after Hoerner departs. But for second-base to open up before 2027, Hoerner has to be traded.
As far as third-base is concerned, the Cubs already have a Top 15 prospect (B. J. Murray) who plays 3B and plays it well, and he should be considered the Cubs third-baseman of the future (possibly as soon as sometime during the 2024 season). Also, I don't think that Christopher Morel has the "touch" required to play 3B (he is an athletic and rangy player who plays like the proverbial "Bull in a China Shop" or like a point guard who plays too fast and turns the ball over too much), while Shaw simply does not appear to have the arm strength required to play 3B. It is true that Nick Madrigal has made himself into an above-average defensive-third baseman, but I would not be too quick to generalize and say that because Madrigal did it, that anybody can do it. Also, 3B requires different perception, reaction, and tracking skills than does SS and 2B (which is why a lot of catchers can often play 3B fairly well), so not all middle infielders can play 3B well-enough to be an MLB-regular at the position.
The one position that is wide-open on the Chicago Cubs going forward is 1st base. Matt Shaw is a plus-fielder with a below-average arm but with a plus-plus bat, so he could be a fit at 1st base. Sort of like Padres first-baseman Jake Cronenworth, but Shaw has a higher ceiling as a hitter. If the Cubs were to move Shaw to 1st base in Spring Training 2024 and presuming he is able to play the position without difficulty, he could be in Chicago by the end of the 2024 season. I understand why the Cubs might think about Christopher Morel as a possible first-baseman because they want to get his power into the lineup any way they can, but Morel's two best attributes are HR power and raw arm strength. He is a rangy infielder (not needed at 1st base) with a plus-arm (also not needed at 1st base), but he also doesn't have the "flyhawk" skills needed to play CF. Morel's best position would be LF, but Ian Happ is firmly ensconced there (with a full "no trade") through 2026, which makes Morel a prime trade chip to be used to acquire pitching (or maybe a catcher).
As far as Matt Chapman is concerned, I would hope the Cubs don't sign him. It's not just losing the draft pick (Chapman got a QO from the Jays) or that he blocks B. J. Murray long-term, because that wouldn't matter if Chapman is still the hitter he was earlier in his career. But after a red-hot April last year he fell off the table at the plate the last five months. Granted he is a Gold Glove-quality defender at 3B, but you're essentially getting Patrick Wisdom offensively, and so he is not worth the financial investment (money & years) and losing a draft pick on top of it if you sign him.
If the Cubs don't sign Ohtani, Yakamoto, or Bellinger (and I am becoming increasingly pessimistic that they can), I would hope that they will sign position player free agents only to one year deals (with maybe a second year option) that can be easily moved at the Trade Deadline, and then get ready to unleash the youth (PCA, Shaw, Caissie, Ballesteros, Murray, et al) in 2025 (or perhaps even over the last two months of the 2024 season, if the Cubs are not in contention).
As for possible free agents the Cubs might target, Brandon Belt and Carlos Santana (who played for Craig Counsell in Milwaukee last season) would provide some LH power at 1B & DH (Santana is an above-average defensive first-baseman, and Belt still hits RHP very well).
I can see the Cubs maybe acquiring a pitcher like Tyler Glasnow in a trade and then signing him to an extension (Glasnow has the same agency representation as Kyle Hendricks, so an extension should be possible), which would not be the case with Corbin Burnes or Dylan Cease (both are Boras clients).
I think in part because of the Carter Hawkins connection with Cleveland, even more-likely than a trade for Glasnow might be a trade for SP Shane Bieber (a post-2024 FA but as a Rosenhaus client he should be open to signing an extension) and closer Emmanuel Clase (signed through 2026 with club options both in 2027 and 2028). The Guardians need power hitters and the Cubs have Christopher Morel, although Morel would not be anywhere near enough to get both Bieber and Clase (or to get Glasnow if the trade is with the Rays). If the trade is with Cleveland for Bieber and Clase, the Cubs would probably have to give up some combination of Christopher Morel, Owen Caissie, Moises Ballestereos, Kevin Alcantara, Jefferson Rojas, and/or James Triantos (probably three from that group), one Top 10 pitching prospect like Ben Brown or Jackson Ferris, and an MLB-ready reliever with closer potential like Daniel Palencia or Luke Little.