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Maholm Means 5th Starter in Hawaiian

The Cubs have signed Paul Maholm to a one year deal for $4.25M with a $500K buyout on a 2013 option worth $6.25M. Pretty cheap for a guy that for his career has been about league average with a career 96 ERA+ (94, 87, 114, 94, 79, 105 counting up from 2006). His walks are a little high for a contact pitcher (3.0 BB/9) and he doesn't strike out too many (5.4 K/9) but keeps the ball in the park (0.8 HR/9 helped surely by PNC's large left field). His good years coincide with his better BABIP seasons. In 2008, he had a .290 BABIP and his best season with 206 IP, a 3.71 ERA (114 ERA+). In 2011, he had a .288 BABIP, that led to a 3.66 ERA (105 ERA+). In his bad years, the BABIP is more in the .320 area, although in all cases he's been in the reasonable BABIP ranges. A good defense will go a long way to help him having a solid season, along with a stiff breeze in my from Lake Michigan.

He did have a shoulder injury that ended his season on August 17th last year, which is presumambly all healed up. It was his only trip to the disabled list in his career.

Overall, nothing more than some pitching depth at a decent price that as a southpaw could have some trade value in July.

In other Cubs news, Kaplan reported that the Tigers and Cubs are "down the road' on trade talks for Matt Garza. It seems the Cubs would have to get Jacob Turner in that deal and at least one other good prospect for it to make sense. Kaplan is also saying that Kerry Wood may depart the Cubs afterall. Kaplan tries to shift the blame on Jedstein for not wanting to pay the going rate for 8th inning set-up men. But the Cubs in 2012 are not really a team that needs to pay a set-up man $4M or so, so it's understandable to not give in to sentimentality. I understand Kerry owes Jedstein nothing and the same goes for Jedstein, but Kerry is the one that proclaimed it's the Cubs or retirement, not it's the Cubs at market value or I'll play for another team. To me, considering his injury history, he shouldn't get more than $2.5M with incentives for games finished and if he can get more from someone else, god speed.

Comments

I like it... very reasonable price for basically a league average pitcher. As for Kerry Wood... I rarely think that relief pitchers are ever worth their "market value." So if that is what Wood wants, let me go. I like the guy, but good teams shouldn't make decisions because a guy is fan favorite. They should make decisions based on how the player fits into their plan (and budget) for their team. Wood left once, and the world didn't end. He can leave again.

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In reply to by big_lowitzki

I don't know what kind of money Kerry Wood is looking for, but I think he means more to this team and the organization than just being a set-up man. It's possible that he wants too much money, but if you'll recall, when he left last time (along with DeRosa), the team was like a rudderless ship with no clubhouse leaders. True, the world didn't end, but the team was negatively impacted. It seems to me that having someone like Wood around would be especially important considering the relatively young age of the pitching staff. I don't want to make this issue bigger than it is, but treating Wood like just another set-up man is underestimating his importance and influence.

Maybe CUBSTER can investigate what kind of shoulder injury Maholm sustained last year. Obviously he'll have to take a physical, but it would be interesting to find out what caused him to go down. It is a pretty low risk deal, imo. And, what the hell - it just adds to the #5 starter collection. We still have no one producing RBI's as of today. Is HoyStein going to give a one-year to Lyle Overbay ( or, did someone "grab him" heh)? Going hard after Cespedes? Only three days to Cubs Convention...

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In reply to by big_lowitzki

Obviously he'll have to take a physical, but it would be interesting to find out what caused him to go down. Looks like Maholm had shoulder trouble as early as 2006. A quick check turned up this: Pirates | Maholm's turn skipped Thursday Wed, 20 Sep 2006 Dejan Kovacevic, of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, reports Pittsburgh Pirates SP Paul Maholm (shoulder) will miss his turn in the rotation Thursday, Sept. 21. Maholm has been experiencing some tenderness in the rotator cuff of his left shoulder. Thanks Navigator

I was just checking the minor league stats. A+-AAA of our new 25 year-old OFer. His minor league stats are pretty sparkling. Did anyone catch him play much in-person?

from the last thread... ----- twitters from Jordan Bernfield at the Hoyer + Maholm phone conference because of Maholm signing... http://twitter.com/jordanbernfield (in reverse chronologic order) Maholm: "With Albert and Prince probably heading out, that's real good for a pitcher." (in NL Central) Maholm says there were talks with other teams, didn't go really far. Feeling out process, but says this was where he wanted 2 play. Maholm: "I had known for a few days, yesterday I passed the physical, kinda tough not to be able to say anything." on Twitter breaking. Also mentioned Sveum and Bosio as factors for signing here. Maholm: "Being in the NL, traveling through the city, seeing the passion of the fans...seemed like it would be a good fit." Hoyer: "We both understand the history of the organization and which players mean the most to the fan base and Kerry is one of them." Hoyer: Going to prepare Samardzija as a starter in spring training. Hoyer: "We've added control and youth to the pitching staff over the course of the winter." Says it's good for the future and present. Hoyer: "Talent was the overriding factor not the knowledge of the division." (Maholm) Hoyer: "We continue to want Kerry back in Chicago, we've offered him a substantial raise and we hope it gets done." Hoyer: "This is deal is not a precursor to anything." In reference to Garza rumors. Hoyer: "I think we're very comfortable with the names we have. A huge priority is building depth. You can never have enough pitching." Hoyer: It's important to have a mix, you don't want to have a homogenous pitching staff...in general, LHP more efficient than RHP." Hoyer: Says the physical looked good and they're confident he'll be ready to go next year. Tried to pitch thru shoulder soreness LY. "He really wanted to be a Cub and wanted to pitch in Wrigley Field, which really means a lot to us." "We're excited to bring Paul on board. Paul's been a quality left hander in this division for the last 6 years."

I think we all want Kerry Wood back, but if it wasn't Kerry Wood, would anyone support signing a set-up man for $4m with his injury and performance record that was a good dude? Just cause another team may be willing to ovepay, doesn't mean the Cubs should.

Maholm gets some incentives as well Maholm can earn max of $550K in incentives each year with #Cubs: $50K at 150 IP and then $100K at 160, 170, 180, 190, and 200 IP.

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In reply to by navigator

Long term assets are referring to youth, control, and actually also insinuates minor league depth if you ask me. These ML short term contracts are just place holders ... Maholm and DeJesus in particular are expendable role players ... Good guys to have but mostly serviceable major leaguers - not part of the big plan ... Could be gutsy vets, under new contracts by the time the cubs are refueled and ready to compete. But not essential. Just filling the roster. With regard to Garza, Theo and Co. have absolutely no interest in keeping him and never have. He's our biggest bargaining chip and his prime is now, and ours is 2014-15. Bad match, great player. Theo said that cause he had to say it - smart bargaining, actually the only way to bargain. Can't look desperate, but actually now is the time. Sell very high, we can't compete even with him. And he WILL help a contender (I sincerely think he'll put a contender over the top). But at what price? Hopefully a great haul for the cubs but it's a tightrope walk for sure. But the plan was to gut and build future assets. They are definitely not wavering on that plan. Not even close.

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In reply to by navigator

When he talks about years of control, he's referring to farm players before they are eligible for arbitration/free agency, not expensive free-agents. I don't see short contracts as a contradiction of his expressed plans, I was just making an observation. Perhaps he's looking for some 1-year fill-ins until more money rolls off the books? The way things are shaping up, the 2013 Cubs are going to be vastly different than the 2012 Cubs. *shrug*

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In reply to by navigator

This is a bit out of context. He certainly wants the OPTION of retaining or moving the potential "long term asset" if it gains greater long-term value, or, when the team is poised to win it all, gather a short-term one that will have an impact. He was referring to the Sean Marshall deal specifically, when trading a guy (based on the new CBA) at the end of a deal can bring back something of value where the team has control for a significantly longer period.

jonmorosi Jon Morosi Koyie Hill, popular #Cubs backup catcher from ’07-’11, has signed a minor-league deal with the rival #STLCards, source says.

peter gammons claiming DET is much less interested than the cubs on trading garza...says turner-for-garza is very unlikely and DET is more than willing to open with turner as the #5 starter and "seeing what happens."

Comcast Sportsnet Live, Pat Mooney said Maholm's shoulder problem was a "pulled muscle" and he has been working with Dr. Andrews rehab staff. Apparently he's fine and will be starting bullpen sessions next week...and will be ready for spring training.
"It was a pulled muscle. It wasn't anything huge," Maholm said. "It was more or less the timing of when it happened was the reason why I missed the end of the season. I just wanted to make sure that it was healthy and that I didn't do anything further to my shoulder." "I went to Dr. [James] Andrews' [physical therapy] guys once a week for seven weeks and worked with them and did some exercises and rested. I've been working out and feel good. I've been long tossing and should be starting bullpens next week, probably."
http://www.csnchicago.com/pages/v11_cubstalk_landing?blockID=628660

CSN Mooney article on KWood's status with Hoyer quotes
“We come in with somewhat of a fresh set of eyes,” Hoyer said. “That doesn’t diminish what people have done long before we’re here. We both understand the history of the organization and we understand which players mean a lot to the fans. Kerry is one of them, so that is something we’re aware of. Fresh eyes are one thing, but that doesn’t mean you sort of ignore the rich past that the Cubs have.”
http://www.csnchicago.com/blog/cubs-talk/post/Hoyer-Cubs-have-offered-W…

Okay, I will duck now ... For the bashing I am about to take ... BUT hypothetically how bizarre would it be (and I say it is possible, especially if we cannot dump Garza), but with the weakened NL Central, what if we are in the race at the trade deadline - is it even possible that Thedsteinoyer find themselves in the odd spot of possibly being buyers? What a quandary that would be if Jeeohoypsteiner has the choice of trading prospects for vets, or standing pat with a chance to win. Could happen, just saying.

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In reply to by superjimmer

Given that they'd probably want to add both a #2 starting pitcher and a slugger to try to be real contenders, even if everything broke right for the Cubs and there were many career years on the roster, I doubt much would happen at the trade deadline. The biggest result would probably be that it might prevent them from selling on Marmol, Soto, and/or Byrd. But I fully expect them to keep gutting and to be a below .500 team in 2012.

From Levine's chat today: Bruce Levine (1:22 PM) Haven't heard a word about the compensation talks but we continue to ask. No one seems to care very much at this point. It seems like business as usual for all three teams.

BruceMiles2112 Bruce Miles Theo says more has happened in the media than in reality with Garza. #Cubs

claimed by NL Central team...waiting on that name to leak.

Theo: "I think very highly of Matt Garza. I think he's a top of the rotation type guy, and I'm looking forward to him being on the mound for us this season. But we're just being transparent about the fact that hey, we're in this for the long haul, and sometimes it makes sense to weigh your options to see if you can put yourself in a better position for the long haul.

Theo: "I think it's important to be open with the fans about what you're doing, why you're doing it, what the plan is. I think if you do that, and you're true to your word, and you're not trying to hide the ball, I think they'll get in on the ground floor and come along for the ride. I just urge everyone to stay on board. When we do win, it's going to mean a lot more to everyone whose been on the ground floor and been through the ups and downs, got to know these young players, see them come through the minor league system, watch them take their lumps a little bit at the big leagues and ultimately triumph. It means so much more if you're along for the journey. The journey's really what it's all about." some Cubs fans are near the end of their journey, try to speed things up a bit if you can :)

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In reply to by Rob G.

On the verge of "assembling a good collection of young players" in 2003? Quite the contrary. Lofton 36 Sosa 34 Alou 36 Aram 25 A. Gonzalez 30 Grudze 33 Karros 35 Bako 31 Borowski 32 Aram was the only starter under 30, but I doubt he could play third base for Epstein-Hoyer today as a 25-year-old. Left field, maybe. Wood was young, but he only pitched 70 innings one more time in his career. Prior was finished two years later at 25. It was an old, brittle team.

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In reply to by GDex

the point being is they had a good young core they thought they were building, whether they were technically prospects or not is unimportant. I personally wouldn't have included Nic Jackson. But Patterson, Hill, Choi, Z, Cruz, Guzman, and Prior was the start of it(Wood was sort of part o that) and even flipping Hill and Choi into Ramirez and Lee didn't jeopardize that much. K-Pat completely fizzled though as did Cruz to an extent and then the injuries to Guzman, Prior and Wood and Sosa's boombox and so forth.

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In reply to by Dr. aaron b

Jackson had a good season in A+ in 2000. Then he started getting injured and went downhill. He was not a legit prospect in 2003. Hill's 2B job went to Grudzielanek in 2003 and he was traded for Aram, who represented him in the "good collection of young players." That collection involved only two position players, CPat and Aramis. (Patterson was injured midway through the season and was replaced by Lofton.) That's not much in the way of a youth movement, although I will grant that Wood, Prior, Cruz and Z are a good young pitching nucleus. I'm looking forward to a new type of Cub team with lefty sluggers, lefty starting pitchers and home-grown position players. A player like Beltran is a step backward, the sort of move that I'm glad Epstein-Hoyer have no plans to make.

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In reply to by crunch

I know you don't, but they consider their new third baseman a lefty slugger, at least potentially. And you forget LaHair. You're right, Wood is a lefty starting pitcher, but so is Maholm. It's highly unusual for the Cubs to have more than one lefty starter. Lilly and Rich Hill overlapped for one season, but then that ended. This is Epstein and Hoyer's first season. At least they're trying. Not everything will work, but in the past the Cubs have not even tried to have the right approach (like having a 3B who was a solid defender).

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In reply to by VirginiaPhil

i'll give you lahair before ian stewart...that's how much i believe in the guy. i'm a little sick of taking shit for it (you're not giving me shit) and i'm ready for him to show what he has. if we're all lucky everyone will be giving me hell about it in july/aug/sept. i liked the maholm deal, btw. a 1-year deal without an option for a 2nd i wouldn't have liked as much. hell, i like all the trades so far...all...even the stewart one cuz i don't mind what was given up. that said, it takes more than that for the future because there isn't in-house solutions...and i think too many people are counting on all these 2012 gambles being 2013 parts...and those that are willing to wait til 2014+ aren't even in my realm even if they exist.

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In reply to by crunch

I think one of the problems is that the JedStein is sort of almost gambling on ALL their buy lows to go high. I'm sure they are smarter than that and they know it won't happen, and I do happen to like the idea of stocking up on all kinds of average starting pitchers rather than making a splash on one guy who might blow his arm out in week 3. But the thing is, it doesn't need to all pan out perfectly. Try LaHair, who really looks like a good hitter to me, and you've got Rizzo chomping at his feet. Try Ian Stewart, and maybe if LaHair or Rizzo pan out you can get away with a decent fielding third baseman who might pop out 20-30 and be okay when he's not blasting home runs. I could go on, but my point is that they seem to be collecting what, on paper, look like a bunch of average ballplayers. Maybe at best. But their hands were tied behind their asses by Hendry, and minor arguments about letting go of guys like LaMahieu aside, it's kind of hard for me to disagree with their approach. That said, I have not committed to buying my annual spring training trip yet, and I honestly don't think I will. If they do well, maybe I'll plan a nice trip to my favorite city instead in the summer.

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In reply to by superjimmer

Why couldn't they have? You could have in theory gotten: Fielder Kubel Kuroda Headley And kept payroll right where it was last year. Then instead of going into 2012 staring down 100+ losses. We could be going into 2012 with a 85-ish win team and a chance to make the season watchable. No reason to have to lose 100 games in this market to "retool" or "rebuild". Boston wouldn't do it. NY wouldn't do it. Anaheim wouldn't do it.

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In reply to by Dr. aaron b

a 85-ish win team and a chance to make the season watchable. Sigh... I don't think that you don't get it. Those of us who are willing to be more patient aren't really interested in an 85 win team, as an 85 win team a) probably doesn't make the playoffs and b) even if they do probably won't be very good in the playoffs. I don't want 2012 to be "watchable." I want the Cubs to win a World Series. And this franchise needs a helluva' lot of work in order to get there. And in turn I am willing to wait out a couple of bad years in order to get this team into position to be successfully on a consistent basis.

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In reply to by big_lowitzki

I have to say, also, that the Cubs will remain "watchable" for me even as they rebuild. The thing that made 2011 so unwatchable wasn't all the losses--it was that the team was going in a negative direction. I'm fine if don't post a significantly better record in 2012 than they did in 2011--as long as they are moving toward being a much better overall team. It'll definitely be interesting for me to see what Castro, Stewart, T. Wood, Volstad, Jackson, and Rizzo do on the field in 2012, to see how they improve. I'll also be interested to see if guys like LaHair, DeJesus, Maholm, Corpas, and Sonnanstine build their value at all. I'm also somewhat of a minor league stat watcher, though, so watching the growth of the whole franchise is interesting to me. If your only reason to watch is to see a winning team--and I'll admit that is a good enough reason to watch--then 2012 probably won't be much more fun than 2011 was. Maybe those fans can follow the Yankees for a year or two and then rejoin us when the Cubs are (ideally) entering the prime of the dynasty we're all hoping for.

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In reply to by Dr. aaron b

Really? That team would have very little chance of winning 85 games. It would be just as likely to win 70. This is what the Cubs have been doing for years, trying the quick fix, but it only works if everyone stays healthy and guys have career years. I mean, seriously, the team had 71 wins last year, and you go to 85 by: Replacing Fukudome with Kubel? They are basically the same player. His WAR was 3.4 in 2009, but 0.5 and 1.3 the last two years. He has absolutely no speed at all (10 career SB), and hits .270. We've had a ton of .270 hitting outfielders with 20-HR pop and no other skills. Kuroda?? Why would we want a pitcher with a career record under .500 with an ERA already in the mid 3.00s entering his age 37 season? Best case scenario he goes 10-12 or something out of the 5th spot, worst case he regresses even more or gets injured and we end up with a lot of Casey Coleman. Headley? Presuming of course the Cubs could get him, just because you want him, his best season, last year, he had an OPS of .773, less than either Stewarts 2009 or 2010 seasons. Sure Headly could improve and hit .300, or he could regress and hit .260 like he did the 3 years prior. And he has no power. And definitely a downgrade from Ramirez. So basically we upgrade from Pena to Fielder. Great. What if Fielder struggles in a new environment for a month or so, or if he gets injured like Nomar did? Even if he has another great year, you are depending on Dempster and Garza having good years, Zambrano regaining his sanity, Wells staying healthy and being a good starter, Kuroda staying healthy and being a serviceable starter, a career year from Headley, no regression from Barney or Castro, Soriano staying healthy or you get a month or two of Baker/Campana in left, Soto having one of his good years, Kubel having a good year like he did a few years ago, Marmol not imploding in the pen, a few middle-relievers to step up, and everyone to stay healthy since the minors or bench have no depth, AND even if all of this works out, the team is an 85-win team, which might still miss the playoffs. You keep pointing out that the Red Sox and Angels never rebuild. Yes, they did. They just don't have to anymore because they have young, home-grown stars coming up consistently. When you have that, you can spend on a few key free agents each year, like you want to do now, to be competitive every season. But we don't have shit right now. So to get that point we have to rebuild the system.

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In reply to by WISCGRAD

Probably should take into consideration Headley's splits? Career Home: .229/.319/.336 Career Away: .303/.364/.441 So is it a stretch to think that he'd improve his numbers not having to play 81 games a season in Petco Park? We just didn't have to give up much to get Stewart is all. Is it a stretch to think that Fielder would have a typical season at age 27? You can what if to death, but the fact remains this team stinks in 2012.

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In reply to by jacos

I take an annual train trip up and do a 3 game series usually in July. I also spend time watching and following the team obviously. It's much more fun to do when they win. I'm not trashing Theo or Hoyer. I'm glad both guys are here. I just know that we going to need to spend at the MLB level at some point. It seems easier to get a few pieces now than having to shop for everything in one offseason. I also worry that the payroll budget overall is going to stay closer to 100 as opposed to north of 130.

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In reply to by Dr. aaron b

"You could have in theory gotten . . . Kubel" I think it's useful to try to figure out what makes Epstein and Hoyer tick, rather than what they should be doing. I don't think I'm smarter than they are, I'm just trying to follow along. (I didn't think I was smarter than Hendry, and how many people around here can say that?) Kubel may not fit in with the new "Cub way." Here's why I say that:
Kubel is considered a below-average defender and has never posted a positive Ultimate Zone Rating in any of his seven major-league seasons. He appeared in 58 games in the outfield in 2011 and 37 as a designated hitter.
It's not always about money. I look for other explanations, and then I don't have to posit Ricketts in the shadows pulling strings.

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In reply to by VirginiaPhil

Maybe DeJesus fits better than Kubel would have? I'd be fine if they think he was better. I figured a combination package of what we spent on Rizzo and Stewart could have gotten Headley. He really seems like a good long term option at 3rd base. His defensive metrics and on base skills are Excellent. Plus I'm sure his power would improve with a move out of Petco. Kuroda has always been a pitcher I've liked. He's been durable and would slot nicely into the 3 slot on any NL staff. Fielder kind of speaks for himself. I thought a rotation Garza Z Dempster Kuroda Travis Wood/Randy Wells/Trey McNutt Should have been MILES ahead of how last years staff performed. DeJesus Castro Headley Fielder Soto Soriano Byrd Barney Seems like a decent little NL lineup. Nobody there would be blocking anyone of note in the NL system. We could have worked on rebuilding the minor league system while being relatively decent at the MLB level.

Az Phil predicted Bianchi was the most likely to go about a week ago... I guess this might have been the fate of Marwin Gonzalez or Ryan Flaherty if they had been kept on the 40 man...and it would have felt like Casey McGehee revisited if Flaherty went to the Brewers. I don't feel quite so invested in Bianchi.

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In reply to by Cubster

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 1:43pm — CubsterNew Re: Maholm Means 5th Starter in Hawaiian Az Phil predicted Bianchi was the most likely to go about a week ago... I guess this might have been the fate of Marwin Gonzalez or Ryan Flaherty if they had been kept on the 40 man...and it would have felt like Casey McGehee revisited if Flaherty went to the Brewers. I don't feel quite so invested in Bianchi. ============================= CUBSTER: A minor league player eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft who is added to a 40-man roster after August 15th is called a "Draft-Excluded Player," and if a Draft-Excluded Player is not outrighted prior to the Rule 5 Draft, the player cannot be outrighted until 20 days prior to MLB Opening Day. So Gonzalez and Flaherty could not have met the same fate as Bianchi until 20 days prior to Opening Day. They could have been traded, but could not be placed on Outright Waivers for the purpose of being outrighted to the minors if not claimed. Jeff Beliveau, Steve Clevenger, Junior Lake, Bryan LaHair, Matt Szczur, and Josh Vitters are the Draft-Excluded Players presently on the Cubs 40-man roster, so unless somebody gets traded, Marcos Mateo (who is out of minor league options) is probably the next-most-likely player on the 40-man roster to get outrighted.

Heyman continues his fallacy that The Riot is a good hitter: JonHeymanCBS Jon Heyman #reds and #rays are in on ryan theriot, a versatile infielder with a excellent bat. #astros also have some interest

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In reply to by Rob G.

Remind me again why we should give a shit whether the Ricketts save a few million dollars or not? They've already got payroll down by 20-odd million from last year, and it's going much lower next year. Plus, Team Theo may yet trade or dump guys like Soriano, Byrd, Dempster, Marmol and of course, Garza--saving millions more in payroll. The fans want Woody here, so pay him and be done with it. 3, 2.5, 4, who the hell cares, especially if it's a 1-year deal?

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In reply to by Jim Hickmans Bat

myself, i hope if they feel the need to spend money they'll spend it on something the cubs need if they're paying a premium price for it. a 7/8th inning guy at a top price for a 7/8th inning guy shouldn't be much of a priority for this team, imo...even if it's "only" 3m. i could live with 2/5m...hell, i could live with 2/6 more than 1/3. unless there's some future plans to add a #2 starter, keep garza, and add another quality bat it's "meh" 2012 spending.

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In reply to by Rob G.

I think Wood falls under the category of entertainment dollars. I think every real resource possible is going towards rebuilding as fast as possible. Wood is a potential draw, throw a bone to impatient Cubs fans, and maybe win an extra game or two while giving a quick nod to Cubs of yore. It makes sense to overpay him. The team is a little better in the short term ... This year is a lottery as to whether the Cubs strike lightening in a bottle and stay near .500 until the AS Break, before winning maybe 77 games - or crash and burn and draw 1.7 million fans. Wood and a couple others are there to try and make the team somewhat entertaining while the real work is done. I think theo and Ricketts know they gotta put as many professionals on the field as possible and cash is cheap and wood is not really blocking anyone from developmental or eval innings. Plus if they move Marmol he's a fun closer for the interim.

I realize this is obvious to most folks, but recent comments by some at TCR about the Cubs failure to advance to a consistently-competitive level, and/or questioning Team Theo's need to tear the whole thing down and start over again, the blame can be laid at one single source: the utter and abject failure of this organization to successfully draft 1st round talent in the June amateur draft. Pick any top ballclub today and ALL of them have achieved several 1st round winners that have provided long-term value to the organization. Why do the Cubs consistently suck so bad at this task? Since Kerry Wood is in the news of late, lets start there: 1995 - Kerry Wood (#4 overall) 1996 - Todd Noel (#17 overall) 1997 - Jon Garland (#10 overall) 1998 - Corey Patterson (#3 overall) 1999 - Ben Christensen (#26 overall) 2000 - Lou Montanez (#3 overall) 2001 - Mark Prior (#2 overall) 2002 - Bobby Brownlie (#21 overall) 2002 - Luke Hagerty, Chadd Blasko, Matt Clanton (supplementals) 2003 - Ryan Harvey (#6 overall) 2004 - none 2005 - Mark Pawelek (#20 overall) 2006 - Tyler Colvin (#13 overall) 2007 - Josh Vitters (#3 overall) 2007 - Josh Donaldson (supplemental) Seriously? Only two of those players have a career WAR over 20, and one of them accumulated all his time with other teams (Garland)--the other is Wood. Just pathetic. And these aren't late-round maybes for the most part either. There are a whopping SEVEN top-10 overall picks in that list. Other than the Pirates, name me any other team that has been this bad at making top-10 picks. Guh.

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In reply to by Jim Hickmans Bat

there's nothing in drafting anyone that keeps them from using a major amount of freed up loot next year, even if they keep garza. there could be a case made for buying-in on some talent this offseason, even. i think almost everyone is resigned to an experimental 2012 at this point...barring weirdness. i know some of us are only willing to put up with that for 1 season at most from a team with this much money, in this kind of market, with this much national appeal beyond local boundaries. they've stockpiled a chunk of 3-5 starters...neat, needed them...a competing duo for 1st base that should serve both 2012 and 2013 even if 1 guy fails (and hopefully both won't)...a new "average/boring/adequate" corner OF who can play CF in a pinch that's around 2-3 years... they can have 2012, imo...but they can't have 2013. that's just me, though. some people are willing to give them 2014+ from stuff i've read. they've torn down a lot and built with a chunk of mlb-ready-now/soon guys. i like this approach, but i don't want to see it repeated more than once in back-to-back seasons. this isn't SD.

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In reply to by crunch

No, no, no! They can't have 12, 13, or 14. I don't pay 4 men to do what ONE guy does well in Cinn., St. Louis, and Jankees almost every stinking year with mostly less payroll! I may not HAVE 3 freaking years left. Oh, no...my Granpappy gone, my Dad gone and I have been close gone for 3 years already. THE STOOPIDITY BETTER STOP NOW! NOT 1 MORE Lou Brock trade. No mas musica y quitters walking out on teammates! If they losers they g-o-n-e gone. I have seen college of coaches, I seen lights, LIGHTS in my stadium, and worse of all I seen the Miracle Mets!!...NO motto but win it all THIS YEAR. I want that eatamiss catuli sign to be fullfilled and taken down. Damn, this team been on my bucket list way too many years already. If there is ONE thing this team needs to change, it's that ZERO seasons are throwaways. Here we go, Tommy boy!!! (Just ask an Astros fan how the felt about 11's 'throwaway' season. Ask them will tolerate 2nd one then maybe a third...heck, we got guns inTexas, you might get bucked in the rear...) Three throwaway seasons...oh hell no...

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In reply to by artskoe

I keep hearing throw away 2012, which is good enough shorthand. I don't think they could be worse than last year, but I won't argue with the terminology. If they are as bad as last year I can't seem them passing up a bunch of draft picks by signing a whole bunch of type A (not sure if that term is still relevant w/new CBA) guys. This is what makes me happy to keep Garza. Slot him in as your ace for 2-5 years while the farm produces other pitchers. As for next offseason, they'll seem to need a #1/2 type depending on how you view Garza. With the positional guys who knows right now.

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In reply to by Rob G.

Juan's career numbers suggest his days as a prospect, if there were indeed any such days, are long over. In 7(!) minor-league seasons he's compiled a solid 245/325/364 slash line, throwing out only 28% of basestealers. There doesn't seem to be any room for him at AA or AAA, unless a Soto trade is in the offing. Player/coach?

Recent comments

  • Arizona Phil (view)

    Draft-Excluded players (Arias, Hodge, Horn, Little, and Vazquez) cannot be sent to the minors (optioned or outrighted) until March 8th.

  • Dolorous Jon Lester (view)

    Small correction, Strumpf isn’t on 40 man.

    I think one of the RHRP goes. Almonte, Keegan, Kilian seem most likely to me.

  • Childersb3 (view)

    Jed wins. "Smart money" move.

    Cubs 2023 back together. Imanaga for Stro. Busch for Candelario.

    40man roster move needed.

    Mervis seems likely to go. 

    Mervis, Strumpf, Vazquez, Kilian, Mastro, Almonte, Hodge could all be trade candidates off the 40man. Not saying they'd go all in one deal. Just a list.

    Wicks and Triantos still most likely "prospects" to be dealt.

    Jed can still improve the roster before the season starts.

    If they aren't going young, I'd like them to go for a lot of wins.

  • Cubster (view)

    MLBTR finally weighs in.

    Ultimately, Chicago was rewarded for its patience, as the club will retain Bellinger’s services for at least the 2024 campaign on a relatively low-cost deal similar to the three-year, $105MM deal fellow Boras Corporation client Carlos Correa signed with the Twins two offseasons ago.

    https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2024/02/cubs-to-re-sign-cody-bellinger.h…

  • Cubster (view)

    BR Article on Boras at the start of the offseason. MLBTR projections looking a "bit" off so far.

    Also, MLBTR still doesn't have anything up on this as of 6:20 cst.

    https://bleacherreport.com/articles/10110295-scott-boras-is-the-biggest…

     

    This is Cody Bellinger, Blake Snell, Jordan Montgomery, Matt Chapman and J.D. Martinez, for the record. And for reference, these are the contracts that MLBTR projected at the outset:

    • Cody Bellinger: 12 years, $264 million
    • Blake Snell: 7 years, $200 million
    • Jordan Montgomery: 6 years, $150 million
    • Matt Chapman: 6 years, $150 million
    • J.D. Martinez: 2 years, $40 million

     


     


     

  • Cubster (view)

    the LA Times article is full of sour grapes phrases using words like Pedestrian, wild fluctuations, extremely poor seasons and market dwindled.  Sure, the story fits but it is a very glass-half-full take.

    https://www.latimes.com/sports/story/2024-02-24/cody-bellinger-agrees-d…

  • Cubster (view)

    The contract would pay Bellinger $30 million in both 2024 and 2025, while paying a salary of $20 million in 2026 if he were to not opt out of the deal, according to Passan.

    Yahoo article.

    https://sports.yahoo.com/report-cubs-cody-bellinger-agree-075803557.htm…

  • Cubster (view)

    Woo! 

    It's on ESPN now.

    https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/39596106/cody-bellinger-cubs-agree-…

  • George Altman (view)

    Cody Bellinger  - 3/$80 with opt outs each year. Now, LFG!!

    Per Jeff Passan