Cubs MLB Roster

Cubs Organizational Depth Chart
40-Man Roster Info

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

28 players are on the MLB ACTIVE LIST, plus seven are on OPTIONAL ASSIGNMENT to minors, two are on the 10-DAY IL, and three are on the 15-DAY IL

Last updated 9-22-20239
* bats or throws left
# bats both

Javier Assad
Jose Cuas
Kyle Hendricks
Mark Leiter Jr
* Luke Little
Julian Merryweather
Daniel Palencia
* Drew Smyly
* Justin Steele
Marcus Stroman
Jameson Taillon
Keegan Thompson
Hayden Wesneski
* Jordan Wicks

Miguel Amaya
Yan Gomes

Nico Hoerner
* Miles Mastrobuoni
Christopher Morel
Dansby Swanson
Patrick Wisdom
* Jared Young

* Cody Bellinger
Alexander Canario
* Pete Crow-Armstrong
# Ian Happ
Seiya Suzuki
* Mike Tauchman

Keven Alcantara, OF 
Ben Brown, P  
Brennen Davis, OF 
Jeremiah Estrada, P
Caleb Kilian, P 
* Matt Mervis, 1B 
Michael Rucker, P

10-DAY IL: 2
Jeimer Candelario, 1B
Nick Madrigal, INF

15-DAY IL: 3
Adbert Alzolay, P
Brad Boxberger, P 
Michael Fulmer, P 

60-DAY IL: 4
Nick Burdi, P
Codi Heuer, P
* Brandon Hughes, P
Ethan Roberts, P

Minor League Rosters

Rule 5 Draft 
Minor League Free-Agents

Cubs Receive Grimm News from Arbitration Panel

The Cubs have reportedly won their arbitration case with RHRP Justin Grimm, with the arbitration panel siding with the Cubs and awarding Grimm a 2018 contract with a $2.2M salary (the salary submitted by the Cubs). Grimm had requested $2.475M -- a difference of only $275K -- and it may seem curious why the two sides didn't just settle (perhaps at the mid-point) and avoid arbitration.   

Here's a possible reason why the Cubs wanted to go to arbitration with Grimm (besides a 50/50 chance to save $275K): 

Contracts awarded by an arbitration panel - even if the player loses - are automatically non-guaranteed contracts. So in Grimm's case. it's a non-guaranteed "straight" $2.2M contract (no minor league "split salary" and no performance bonus). What this means is that because the contract is not guaranteed, the Cubs could release Grimm during Spring Training and not have to pay him his full salary (which they would have to pay him if the contract was guaranteed). If he were to be released no more than 15 days prior to MLB Opening Day the Cubs would owe Grimm 45 days pay (about $500K), and the Cubs would owe him 30 days pay (about $350K) if he is released more than 15 days prior to MLB Opening Day. (He would receive his full salary if he is released after the start of the MLB regular season). 

And this may be the reason why the Cubs went to arbitration with Grimm, even though the difference between the two numbers ($275K) is relatively insignificant when your payroll is $150M+. And it could be why the two parties did not just "split the difference" and agree to settle at the mid-point between the two numbers.  

When a club and a player eligible for salary arbitration agree to a contract in advance to "avoid arbitration," it often involves the club guaranteeing the contract in exchange for the player dropping the arbitration request. In fact, it is very possible that Grimm was willing to split the difference and settle at the mid-point for $2,337,500 (or maybe even for $2.2M) if the Cubs agreed to guarantee the contract, but the Cubs probably did not want the contract to be guaranteed because they wanted to have both the roster AND payroll flexibility to release Grimm prior to MLB Opening Day without having to pay him his full salary if it turns out he doesn't fit on their Opening Day 25-man roster. (Also, the potential for lingering animosity that sometimes results from an arbitration hearing probably doesn't matter much in Grimm's case, because he doesn't project to have a long-term future with the Cubs anyway). 

Now, the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) is very sensitive about salary arbitration, so if a player is awarded a contract by an arbitration panel and then is subsequently released by his club prior to or during Spring Training, the MLBPA will almost always file a grievance on behalf of the player, claiming the player was released for economic reasons only (which is not permitted), and asking that the released player receive 100% of his salary as termination pay. In that situation, a club would have to show (by submitting official Spring Training game stats) that the released player was out-performed in Spring Training games by another player (or players) competing for that roster spot.

So if there is a spot for Grimm on the Opening Day 25-man roster, the Cubs have him under contract for a reasonable salary, and if it turns out there is (legitimately) not a spot for him on the Opening Day 25 (like if the Cubs prefer to keep Eddie Butler instead of Grimm - they are both out of minor league options, but Butler is making near MLB minimum salary and so he might be a more-attractive waiver claim than Grimm), they could release Grimm and pay him just a fraction of his salary - AS LONG AS - Butler (or the pitcher who replaces Grimm on the 25-man roster) had a better Cactus League performance than Grimm.  

Or the Cubs could even stash Grimm at AAA Iowa, and that's no matter how Grimm performs in Cactus League games.

Here's how: 

Grimm is not yet an Article XIX-A player (he has not accrued at least five years of MLB Service Time), but he is only 19 days shy of five years and so he will become an Article XIX-A player on April 16th if he is on the Cubs MLB 25-man roster (or MLB DL) on that date. This matters because once a player reaches five years of MLB Service Time and gets Article XIX-A rights, he cannot be sent to the minors by optional or outright assignment without his consent. This is different than being an Article XX-D player and having the right to elect free-agency if outrighted, which Grimm has right now. (Players acquire Article XX-D rights when they have accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time and/or have been outrighted previously in their career, or have "Super Two" arbitration-eligibility status). 

If Grimm is outrighted to the minors prior to becoming an Article XIX-A player (that is, prior to reaching 5+000 MLB Service Time on April 16th) he does not have to give his consent before he can be sent to the minors, and although he would have the right to elect free-agency instead of accepting the outright assignment, he gets no termination pay if he elects free-agency, meaning the Cubs would owe him nothing (which actually is even better financially than releasing him prior to MLB Opening Day!). The Cubs would also owe him nothing if he is claimed off waivers (and if that's the case, they would receive the $50,000 waiver price as well). 

If he is not claimed off waivers and is outrighted to the minors, Grimm would have the right to elect free-agency immediately or defer free-agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season (presuming he isn't added back to an MLB 40-man roster in the meantime), but he would be able to deduce from not being claimed off waivers that none of the other 29 MLB clubs wanted him on their MLB 25-man roster (at least not if he's making $2.2M), so it would be unlikely that he would get a better contract from another club if he were to elect to be a free-agent immediately. And so it is very possible that if he is not claimed off waivers, that Grimm would actually accept the outright assigment to the minors (deferring free-agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season), and the Cubs could keep him in their bullpen "inventory" at Iowa until there is an actual need for him in Chicago - AND - not risk losing Eddie Butler off waivers (if that becomes a concern). Of course Grimm would be making $2.2M to pitch in AAA, but the Cubs might consider that to be a reasonable price to pay to have an MLB-ready insurance policy on the back-burner at Iowa available to be called-up at a moment's notice. 


Thanks PHIL. With a mid-5’s ERA in 2017, and career 4.70 now, plus his morphing into “Home Run Grimm”, I am guessing he is only a disaster insurance policy. He had some good performances down the stretch in 2015 and in the “clincher” game against the Cardinals, but that ship has sailed imho.

[ ]

In reply to by The E-Man

I'm not seeing your doom scenario is inevitable, though. A similar percentage of my Twitter timeline is calling Grimm's career dead, as were saying the same thing last year about Brian Duensing before he threw a pitch for the Cubs. If Grimm figures it out, under a new pitching coach, he's worth every penny. If not, he gets a DFA sooner than later. All things considered, the Cubs are "paying to see the flop" in a Texas Hold 'Em hand.

Recent comments

  • Arizona Phil 09/23/2023 - 09:02 pm (view)

    The deadline for trading players on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) and players who were outrighted to the minors after signing a 2023 MLB contract was August 1st, but trades involving players on a minor league reserve list are prohibited beginning at 12 PM (Eastern) on the 7th day prior to the originally-scheduled conclusion of the 2023 MLB regular season (Sunday 9/24) through the last day of the MLB regular season (including a day on which a regular season game is played after the originally-scheduled conclusion of the MLB regular season).   

  • Arizona Phil 09/23/2023 - 09:58 pm (view)


    As you know, the abbreviation "DFA" stands for "Designated for Assignment." 

    There are three types of assignments: 

    1. Trade Assignment (when a player is traded from one MLB club to another)
    2. Outright Assignment (when a player is sent to the club's minor league Domestic Reserve List after Outright Assignment Waivers have been secured).
    3. Optional Assignment (when a player is optioned to the minors, subject to being recalled at a later time). 

    So when a player is Designated for Assignment, the player can either be traded, outrighted to the minors, or optioned to the minors. 

    Normally a player is not Designated for Assignment and then optioned to the minors, because the club could just option the player to the minors immediately without a DFA.

    Back in the day It was not that unusual for a player to be Designated for Assignment so that Optional Assignment Waivers could be secured (Optional Assignment Waivers were required before certain players could be optioned to the minors, and just like the old Trade Assignment Waivers, Optional Assignment Waivers were revocable if a player was claimed). Optional Assignment Waivers were eliminated in 2016 and Trade Assignment Waivers were eliminated in 2021, so all revocable waivers have been eliminated. What's left are Outright Assignment Waivers and Outright Release Waivers, and both are irrevocable once requested.  

    With the new five option limit whereby a player can (with a couple of exceptions) be optioned to the minors no more than five times in a given season before Outright Assignment Waivers must be secured (and it - IS - Outright Assignment Waivers that must be secured, even though it is for the purpose of an Optional Assignment), it now might be necessary for a club to DFA a player to clear a spot on the MLB 26-man roster (MLB 28-man roster in September) for another player and to allow for the two days (actually 47 hours) required to run a player through waivers. After the two day Waiver Claiming Period concludes (and presuming the player isn't claimed), the player can be returned to the MLB 40-man roster and optioned to the minors (even after being Designated for Assignment). But for that to happen, the player can - NOT - be replaced on the MLB 40-man roster by another player after being Designated for Assignment.  

    However, in the case of Jordan Luplow, he had - NOT - been optioned to the minors five times in the 2023 season prior to be optioned to AAA St. Paul on 9/18, so the Twins did not need to DFA Luplow in order to secure Outright Assignment Waivers so that he could be optioned to the minors a sixth time. But because he was Designated for Assignment and not replaced on the 40 by another player after the DFA, the Twins could option him to the minors (and return him to the 40) even after he was Designated for Assignment, because an Optional Assignment is one of the three types of assignments.

    So Luplow was Designated for Assignment even though he didn't need to be, and then the Twins returned him to their MLB 40-man roster and optioned him to the minors a couple of days later (which they can do, since Luplow wasn't replaced on the 40 by another player after he was Designated for Assignment). What the Twins did (DFA Luplow and then option him to the minors a couple of days later) was within the rules. It's just very odd and doesn't make a lot of sense. 

    So I will offer the most logical reason I can think of to explain why the Twins did this:  

    The Twins DFA'd Luplow because they intended to reinstate Chris Paddack from the 60-day IL, but then Carlos Correa suddenly needed to go on the 10-day IL and so they decided they wanted to keep Luplow on the 40-man roster (and on Optional Assignment to AAA) and didn't want to risk losing him off waivers or by him electing free-agency after being outrighted. Luplow has Article XX-D rights (he has been outrighted to the minors previously in his career), so he would had the right to elect free-agency after he was outrighted. There was also the possibility that he would have been claimed of waivers, and obviously the Twins felt they might need his RH bat after losing Correa and with Royce Lewis having left a game with a hamstring injury that led to an IL assignment. 

    Also, if Luplow was outrighted instead of being optioned, he would no longer be automatically eligible to play in the post-season (except as a possible injury replacement).

    Not only did Carlos Correa go on the IL, Royce Lewis went on the IL, too, two days after Correa went on the IL and two days after Luplow was optioned to AAA, so the Twins did in fact end up needing Luplow after all, and recalled him just a couple of days after he was optioned to replace Lewis on the MLB 28-man roster. 

    So that all I've got. That is the only thing that makes sense. The Twins DFA'd Luplow because they had intended to replace him on the 40 with another player (probably Paddack) and hoped that they would be able to run him through waivers and that he wouldn't get claimed and that he would accept an Outright Assignment, but then they suddenly changed their minds because of the injury to Correa and the possibility that Lewis might also have to go on the IL (which did, in fact, happen the next day).

    So the Twins were able to return Luplow to the 40 because he hadn't been replaced on the 40 by another player after he was Designated for Assignment, then they optioned him to St. Paul, and then they recalled him after Royce Lewis was placed on the 10-day IL (the minimum 10-day optional assignment being waived because Luplow replaced a player (Royce Lewis) who was placed on an MLB IL. 

  • crunch 09/23/2023 - 09:00 pm (view)

    CIN out here blowing a 9-0 lead they built through 3 innings.  9-9 tie in the 7th.

  • crunch 09/23/2023 - 09:05 pm (view)

    boxburger 10d IL, k.thompson back up.  it's his right forearm (again).

  • crunch 09/23/2023 - 09:12 pm (view)

    merryweather got out of it, but he loaded the bases with 1 out.  of course ross got cuas up in the pen...thankfully he didn't need to come in.

    looks like cuas gets the 9th.

  • crunch 09/23/2023 - 09:46 pm (view)

    4ip 2h 0bb 6k, 49 pitches.  no idea why they're giving the pen the last 2 innings when he's out there dealing like this and only threw 49 pitches.  he was supposed to pitch tomorrow and he's fresh.

  • crunch 09/23/2023 - 09:52 pm (view)

    ...and assad is now a pen arm, evidently...odd move given recent success.  i guess wicks starts tomorrow?

  • crunch 09/22/2023 - 09:16 pm (view)

    ARZ, MIA, and CIN all lose.  nice.

  • crunch 09/22/2023 - 09:54 pm (view)

    stroman is now the saturday starter...okay, then.

  • jdrnym 09/22/2023 - 09:52 pm (view)


    Jordan Luplow was DFA'd by the Twins on Monday and was ultimately optioned and then recalled today. I didn't think that was possible since optional waivers were eliminated years ago. How did that work for the Twins?