Cubs Roster Strategy

Culling the Cubs 2-0-2-3

If they so desire, the Cubs could add as many as 13 minor league Rule 5 Draft-eligible players to the MLB 40-man roster post-2022 (or perhaps even one or two of them during the month of September).  

So strictly as a thought-experiment, here is what the Cubs MLB 40-man roster - COULD - look like on November 18th, when off-season reserve lists must be filed with the MLB Commissioner in preparation for the 2022 Rule 5 Draft. 

Cubs 2021 Rule 5 Draft Roster Prep

3/11 UPDATE

As was expected, 1B Tyler Durna (2018 15th round - UCSD) has been placed on the Voluntary Retired List (official papers have been filed).

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3/10 UPDATE:


Since the first of the year, the Cubs have officially signed LHRP Matt Dermody, RHRP Kyle Johnson, RHRP Kevin McCarthy, LHRP Eric Stout, and RHP Eric Yardley, and C-1B John Hicks to 2022 minor league contracts. 

To Tender or Not to Tender... That is the Question

12/2 UPDATE

The Cubs have signed RHSP Colin Rea, LHRP Kyle Ryan, and RHRP Dan Winkler to 2021 MLB contracts (terms TBD) and tendered 2021 MLB contracts to all other unsigned players on their MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) except OF Albert Almora, OF-1B Jose Martinez, OF Kyle Schwarber, and RHRP Ryan Tepera.

So Almora, J. Martinez, Schwarber, and Tepera are now unrestricted free-agents, free to sign an MLB or minor league contract with any club (including the Cubs) without any salary restrictions.   

The Cubs MLB Reserve List now stands at 34 (six slots are open). 

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Navigating the Off-Season Roster

5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day after the final game of the World Series (which was Sunday 11/1 this season) is an important deadline for several reasons. 

You already know about certain unsigned minor leaguers being declared second-contract or 6YFA on that date/time, but it is also the deadline for outrighting certain players. 

This is why you saw so many players get outrighted by MLB clubs prior to that date/time. 

Cubs May Try a Little Non-Tenderness

12/13 UPDATE

The Cubs have acquired 26-year old 6'4 220 LHRP Conor Lillis-White from the Los Angeles Angels as the PTBNL in last month's Tommy LaStella trade. Lillis-White was "frozen" on the AAA Salt Lake reserve list (he is from Canada, so he can probably handle the cold OK) until the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft, so the Cubs and Angels had to wait until the draft was over (and hope that he wasn't selected by another MLB club) before they could complete the deal. 

The Angels 2015 32nd round draft pick out of the University of British Columbia in Canada, Lillis-White had a good 2018 season split between the AA Arkansas and AAA Salt Lake bullpens, putting up a 3.50 ERA, a 1.31 WHIP, and 32/98 BB/K in 46 games (72 IP). Besides racking up a ton of strikeouts, CLW also is a ground ball pitcher who doesn't surrender many HR. 

Lillis-White projects to be in the AAA Iowa bullpen on 2019 Opening Day, and he could possibly get an NRI to Spring Training with the MLB club.  

Cubs Preparing for The Big Freeze

11/26 UPDATE

The White Sox have claimed LHP Ian Clarkin off waivers from the Cubs.

The Cubs claimed Clarkin off waivers from the Sox last Tuesday, and obviously the Cubs thought they could get him through waivers if they put him on waivers again right after claiming him.

The Sox apparently believed they could get Clarkin through waivers last week, but regretted losing him after he was claimed. So now they get him back.  

So the Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) now stands at 38 (two slots are open). 

The Bourjos Conundrum

3/24 UPDATE:

The Cubs released OF Peter Bourjos prior to the 12 PM (Eastern) deadline on Saturday.

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3/22 ORIGINAL POST:  

An Article XX-B MLB free-agent who signs a minor league contract at least ten days prior to MLB Opening Day and then is either not released by 12 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day prior to MLB Opening Day or added to an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) or MLB 60-day Disabled List by 12 PM (Eastern) on MLB Opening Day will automatically receive a $100,000 retention bonus, and the player can unilaterally opt-out of the minor league contract on June 1st if he has not been added to an MLB Active List (25-man roster) or an MLB Disabled List by that date.

CUBS ARTICLE XX-B MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS SPRING TRAINING 2018:
Peter Bourjos,OF

So, the Cubs need to decide by mid-day Saturday what they want to do with Peter Bourjos. 

Here are their choices:

The Brave New World of the 10-Day DL

Back when I first became a baseball fan in 1960, a player placed on the MLB Disabled List was required to remain on the DL for a minimum of 30 days, there was no "backdating" of a DL assignment, no more than two players could be on the 30-day DL at any one time (any additional players would have to be placed on the 60-day "emergency" DL or transferred from the 30-day DL to the 60-day DL), and there was no such thing as a minor league rehabilitation assignment for players on the DL (position players on the DL would get back into playing shape by taking BP and fielding practice and pitchers got

Non-Tender Surrender

12/2 UPDATE #2: The Cubs have non-tendered LHP Gerardo Concepcion, RHP Conor Mullee, LHP Zac Rosscup, and 3B Christian Villanueva. Read my original post below to find out why the Cubs did this. The Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) now stands at 35 (five slots are open). As I mentioned in the original post below, the Cubs can re-sign any or all four of the non-tendered guys to minor league contracts with an NRI to Spring Training (if the player is willing - TBD).  

12/2 UPDATE #1
: The Cubs signed free-agent LHP Brian Duensing (ex-BAL) to a one-year contract ($2M). As an Article XX-B free-agent, Duensing will receive an automatic "no trade" right through June 15th. He can waive this right, but if he does, he can be traded for cash and/or player contracts with a maximum aggregate value of $50,000. The Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) now stands at 39 (one slot is open).

11/29 UPDATE: The Cubs signed free-agent OF Jon Jay (ex-SD) to a one-year contract ($8M). As an Article XX-B free-agent, Jay will receive an automatic "no trade" right through June 15th. He can waive this right, but if he does, he can be traded for cash and/or player contracts with a maximum aggregate value of $50,000. The Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) now stands at 38 (two slots are open).

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11/22 ORIGINAL POST: The Cubs decided last Friday to add four minor leaguers who were eligible for selection in next month's MLB Rule 5 Draft (C-1B Victor Caratini, OF Jacob Hannemann, LHP Jack Leathersich, and RHP Duane Underwood Jr) to their MLB Reserve List (40-man roster), thus preventing them from being drafted.

The next order of business for the Cubs will be to decide whether to tender or not tender a 2017 major league contract to the 30 unsigned players on the club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster).

Cubs MLB Roster

Cubs Organizational Depth Chart
40-Man Roster Info

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36 players are on the MLB RESERVE LIST (four slots are open)  

Last updated 12-2-2022
 
* bats or throws left
# bats both

PITCHERS: 20
Adbert Alzolay
Javier Assad 
Ben Brown
Jeremiah Estrada
Kyle Hendricks
Codi Heuer 
* Brandon Hughes
Ryan Jensen
Caleb Kilian 
Mark Leiter Jr
Ethan Roberts 
Manuel Rodriguez
Michael Rucker
Adrian Sampson
* Justin Steele 
Marcus Stroman
Keegan Thompson
Erich Uelmen 
Hayden Wesneski
Rowan Wick

CATCHERS: 3 
Miguel Amaya
Yan Gomes
P. J. Higgins 

INFIELDERS: 7
Nico Hoerner
Nick Madrigal
* Miles Mastrobuoni
* Zach McKinstry
Christopher Morel
* Alfonso Rivas
Patrick Wisdom

OUTFIELDERS: 6
Kevin Alcantara 
Alexander Canario
Brennen Davis
# Ian Happ
Seiya Suzuki 
Nelson Velazquez

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Minor League Rosters
Rule 5 Draft 
Minor League Free-Agents