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 Roster Moves
The Cubs have claimed 26-year old infielder Jack Reinheimer off waivers from the New York Mets, sent INF Mike Freeman and OF Terrance Gore 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).
The Cubs have claimed 26-year old LHRP Jerry Vasto off waivers from the Kansas City Royals. Vasto was acquired by KC from COL for C Drew Butera in a trade on 8/31.
The deadline for "non-waiver" (unrestricted) trades is 4 PM (Eastern) on July 31st, or 4 PM (Eastern) on Friday July 30th if July 31st falls on a Saturday. or 4 PM (Eastern) on Monday August 1st if July 31st falls on a Sunday.
The Cubs will be playing a doubleheader this coming Saturday at Cincinnati and Cubs #1 pitching prospect Adbert Alzolay is expected to be added to the Cubs MLB Active List as the "26th Man" and make his MLB debut by getting a start in one of the games.
Here is the "26th Man" rule:
The Cubs have signed 28-year old RHSP Allen Webster to a minor league contract and he has been assigned to AAA Iowa. Whether he will receive an NRI to Spring Training at this late date is TBD.
Webster was the 2008 18th round draft pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers out of Dalton L. McMichael HS in Mayodan, NC, and was at one time rated by Baseball America as one of the Dodgers Top Ten prospects (2009-12) and one of the Top 100 Prospects in baseball 2013-14. He also was rated as having one of the best change-ups and one of the best sliders in the minors at that time. But he was unable to establish himself in MLB 2013-15 after being traded to the Boston Red Sox in the Adrian Gonzalez deal in 2012 and then with the Arizona Diamondbacks after being traded to the D'backs as part of a trade for Wade Miley in December 2014, and he was released post-2015 to pursue an opportunity to continue his career in South Korea.
Webster pitched for the Samsung Lions in the KBO in 2016, before returning to the U. S. and signing a minor league contract with the Texas Rangers a year ago last November. He spent the 2017 season at AAA Round Rock, where he struggled to a 6.79 ERA - 1.66 WHIP - .329 OppBA with 14 HR allowed and 20/44 BB/K in 58.1 IP (12 G - 11 GS).
Webster is out of minor league options should he be added to the Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) at some point in 2018, but he does not have Article XX-D status and so he would not have the right to elect free-agency if he is added to the 40 and then subsequently is outrighted back to the minors.
Meanwhile he will be competing for a spot on the Iowa Cubs pitching staff, probably in a RP/SP "swingman" role.