Cubs Roster Moves

Cubs Give a Wink and a Nod to a Righty Reliever

The Cubs have signed RHRP Dan Winkler to a 2020 MLB contract. The deal reportedly includes a $750K MLB salary and $750K more in potential performance bonuses with a $200K minor league split salary. 

Winkler features a 90 MPH cutter (his bread & butter pitch), a low 80's slider and a low-90's FB, and an occasional CH, all thrown from a low 3/4 arm slot, somewhat like Steve Cishek. So think of Winkler as Cishek's probable bargain-bin replacement in the pen.   

Cubs Could Try a Little Non-Tenderness

12/2 UPDATE:

The Cubs have tendered 2020 contracts to all unsigned players on their MLB 40-man roster except LHRP Danny Hultzen and INF Addison Russell, and RHP Jharel Cotton has agreed to a $640K 2020 non-guaranteed contract to avoid being non-tendered (see ORIGINAL POST below for the reasons).  

So Hultzen and Russell have been removed from the Cubs MLB 40-man roster and both are now unrestricted free-agents, free to sign a major league or minor league contract with any club, including the Cubs.
NOTE: The Cubs MLB Reserve List now stands at 36 (four slots are open).

It's likely that the Cubs have tentatively agreed (in advance) to sign Hultzen to a minor league contract after the Rule 5 Draft (with an NRI to Spring Training and for more money than he would have received if he had remained on the 40 -- as happened with Allen Webster a year ago) - AS LONG AS - Hultzen does not receive an MLB contract offer (which would include a slot on an MLB 40-man roster) for even more money from another club in the interim (which is exactly what happened after the Cubs non-tendered Ronald Torreyes a year ago), or a substantial salary offer from an NPB (Japanese) club (as happened after the Cubs non-tendered Justin Hancock last year).   

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11/26 ORIGINAL POST:

The Taking of Pelham Easy As 1-2-3

The Cubs have claimed LHRP Christian Devont'a (C. D.) Pelham off waivers from the Texas Rangers.

The 24 year old 6'6 235 lefty was a 33rd round draft pick of the Texas Rangers out of Spartanburg Methodist JC ($40,000 bonus) in 2015 (he was also selected in the 25th round of the 2014 draft by the Milwaukee Brewers but did not sign).

Pelham features a mid-90's (T-98) CT FB and a power slider, but has had control issues throughout his career (kind of like another big lefty reliever the Cubs acquired a few months ago, Brad Wieck), especially in 2019 (40 BB in 32.1 IP split between AA and AAA). 

Pelham was rated one of the Rangers Top 15 prospects by Baseball America post-2018 and he pitched in the Futures Game in July of that year. 

Cubs Release Tazawa... But He Could Be Back

3/26 UPDATE 

The Cubs have indeed re-signed RHP Junichi Tazawa to a new (different) 2019 minor league contract. 

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3/23 ORIGINAL POST 

The Cubs released NRI RHRP Junichi Tazawa today, but that might not be the end of the Tazawa-Cubs connection.

Because Tazawa was a post-2018 Article XX-B MLB free-agent who signed a minor league contract more than ten days prior to MLB Opening Day (he was signed on January 26th), the CBA mandates that if the Cubs did not release Tazawa by today (five days prior to MLB Opening Day), the Cubs would have had to either add him to their MLB 40-man roster (and 25-man roster) by MLB Opening Day or else pay him a $100K retention bonus with a June 1st opt-out. 

So it's possible that the Cubs will re-sign Tazawa to a new (different) minor league contract without the automatic Article XX-B retention bonus and/or the June 1st opt-out (the Cubs actually did exactly this in 2016 with Shane Victorino, Manny Parra, and Munenori Kawasaki).

Chicago - Des Moines Shuttle Not Always a Smooth Ride

Although it is not yet official, the Cubs have reportedly signed veteran RHRP Junichi Tazawa to a minor league contract. Because he was a post-2018 Article XX-B MLB free-agent, the 32-year old Tazawa will get a $100,000 retention bonus if he is not released at least five days prior to 2019 MLB Opening Day and added to an MLB 40-man roster by Opening Day, and he gets an automatic opt-out if he is not added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster by June 1st.

Cubs Pull a Reinheimer off the Waiver Wire

The Cubs have claimed 26-year old infielder off waivers from the New York Mets, sent INF and OF outright to AAA Iowa (both were declared minor league free-agents at 5 PM Eastern), and reinstated RHSP Yu Darvish, RHRP Justin Hancock, RHRP Brandon Morrow,  and OF Mark Zagunis from the 60-day DL.

So the Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) now stands at 39 (one slot is open).  

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