Cubs Roster Construction

Cubs Post-2019 Off-Season Roster Prep

With twelve Cubs (RHP Tony Barnette, OF Nicholas Castellanos, LHP Xavier Cedeno, RHP Steve Cishek, LHP Cole Hamels, LHP Derek Holland, RHP Brandon Kintzler, C Jonathan Lucroy, RHP Brandon Morrow, RHP David Phelps, RHP Pedro Strop, and INF-OF Ben Zobrist) having been declared MLB Article XX-B free-agents, another (RHP Kendall Graveman) declared a second-contract MLB free-agent, and 15 Cubs minor leaguers (INF Gioskar Amaya, 1B-OF Yasiel Balaguert, RHP Trevor Clifton, C-1B Taylor Davis, RHP Enrique de los Rios, INF Phillip Evans, OF Johnny Field, RHP Chih-Wei Hu, RHP Erick Leal, INF Dixon Machado, OF Chris Pieters, C Will Remillard, LHP Manuel Rondon, RHP Allen Webster, and RHP Alex Wilson) declared Rule 55 minor league 6YFA over the past ten days or so, the Cubs next order of business is sorting out their minor league reserve lists and deciding whether to add any Rule 5 Draft-eligible players to their MLB 40-man roster.

Cubs 2018 Off-Season Roster Prep

11/20 UPDATE:

LHRP (declared an MLB Rule 55 Minor League 6YFA on 11/3) has signed a 2019 minor league contract with the Cubs and was assigned to AAA Iowa, and so he will be one of 74 Cubs minor leaguers who are (at present) eligible for selection in the 2018 Rule 5 Draft on December 13th. The Cubs signed Baldonado as a minor league free-agent last off-season after he completed his seventh minor league season with the New York Mets. The Mets originally signed Baldonado as a 17-year old J-2 IFA out of Panama in 2010, and while he has racked-up some impressive K-totals numbers in his minor league career, he also struggles to throw strikes. Still, the 6'4 250 hefty-lefty can be over-powering at times, and the Cubs no doubt hope he will discover consistent command one of these days (he's still only 25). Baldonado is the 4th Cubs post-2018 minor league free-agent to re-sign with the Cubs.  

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11/13 UPDATE


RHP  (declared an MLB Rule 55 Minor League 6YFA on 11/3) has signed a 2019 minor league contract with the Cubs and was assigned to AAA Iowa, and so he will now be one of 72 Cubs minor leaguers who are (at present) eligible for selection in the 2018 Rule 5 Draft on December 13th (see list of Cubs minor leaguers eligible for selection in 2018 Rule 5 Draft below). Born in New York City but signed by the Cubs as a 17-year old "J-2" IFA out of the Dominican Republic in 2008, Rosario is the uncle of ex-Cubs (now DET) 3B Jeimer Candelario. Now 28, Rosario missed the 2018 season with a right arm injury, and so he will be able to continue his rehab at the Cubs UAPC in Mesa in 2019. Rosario has spent his entire pro career with the Cubs, and in fact he has (somewhat amazingly) been a member of the Cubs organization for 11 seasons (2008-2018). He was considered enough of a prospect that he was added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster after the 2016 World Series to keep him from walking away as a minor league 6YFA at that time, and he was on the 40 as recently as September 2017, before being released on 9/1 and then signing a 2018 minor league contract with the Cubs two weeks later.   

OF  (declared an MLB Rule 55 Minor League 6YFA on 11/3) has signed a 2019 minor league contract with the Cubs and was assigned to AAA Iowa, and so he will now be one of 73 Cubs minor leaguers who are (at present) eligible for selection in the 2018 Rule 5 Draft on December 13th (see list of Cubs minor leaguers eligible for selection in 2018 Rule 5 Draft below). The 28-year old Bernard (ex-DET) was signed as a minor league 6YFA last off-season and hit 242/293/349 in 98 games between AAA Iowa and AA Tennessee in 2018, and was competing with Iowa CF Jacob Hannemann for the Cubs September "5th-OF/PR" gig before the Cubs acquired Terrance Gore from KC in August. While Gore may very well be - THE - fastest player in the upper levels of affiliated ball, Bernard is one of the fastest, and he will compete for the Iowa 4th OF job in Spring Training with the possibility that he could get a September call-up (presuming Terrance Gore does not re-sign with the Cubs). 

 

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11/6 UPDATE


RHP  (declared an MLB Rule 55 Minor League 6YFA last Friday) has signed a 2019 minor league contract with the Cubs and was assigned to AAA Iowa, and so he will now be one of 71 Cubs minor leaguers who are (at present) eligible for selection in the 2018 Rule 5 Draft on December 13th (see list of Cubs minor leaguers eligible for selection in 2018 Rule 5 Draft below). The 27-year old Black was originally drafted and signed by the New York Yankees in 2012 (4th round pick - Faulkner U.) and was traded to the Cubs in July 2013 in exchange for OF Alfonso Soriano. He is rehabbing from August 2018 right elbow surgery that followed February 2017 TJS, so now he will be able to continue his off-season rehab uninterrupted at the Cubs UAPC in Mesa.   

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11/3 ORIGINAL POST

Now that six Cubs major leaguers (RHP , LHP , LHP , INF , C , and LHP ) and , the Cubs will need to focus on their MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) as it pertains to signing free-agents and acquiring players via trade or waiver claim, and protecting players from possible selection in the MLB Rule 5 Draft. 

Cubs Facing Deadline to Set Rosters for Rule 5 Draft

11/20 UPDATE (TOLD YA SO): The Cubs have selected the contracts of RHP Adbert Alzolay and INF David Bote from AA Tennessee and RHP Oscar de la Cruz from Hi-A Myrtle Beach, and OF Jacob Hannemann has been sent outright to AAA Iowa. 

If it becomes an issue down the line, de la Cruz will be eligible for a 4th minor league option in 2021, so he will not need to be rushed.   

Hannemann will not be eligible to be a minor league 6YFA until post-2019, so he will remain under club control for at least two more seasons (longer if he were to be added back to the MLB 40-man roster at some point). While Hannemann is eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft, the fact that he wasn't claimed off waivers (for $50,000, with no roster restrictions) would mean he is very unlikely to be selected in the 2017 Rule 5 Draft (for $100,000, and with roster restrictions).  

The Cubs MLB Reserve List now stands at 36 (four slots are open). 

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11/20 ORIGINAL POST

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