Wednesday afternoon, Chicago Cubs infield prospect Jeimer Candelario was voted into the final spot on the East Division squad for the Arizona Fall League’s Fall Stars Game. This is quite a nice addition to the resume for Candelario, who has been quietly lighting it up in the Cubs’ lower minors as he’s been overshadowed by a few other prospects you may have heard of in 2015.
As Andy has talked about a few times, the Cubs have a bit of a roster crunch along with the challenge of retooling and reloading the squad for another postseason run in 2016. Candelario is caught in that crunch as a Rule 5 draft eligible player, along with other notable prospects such as Dan Vogelbach. It will not be a surprise to see Candelario protected on the 40 man roster, which has some space now that a good portion of the team has declared free agency. There are some other prospects who may have to be left hanging in the balance, or even traded prior to December’s Rule 5 draft. The folks at Obstructed View have a listing of who they believe will be protected, and I generally agree with the list. This is both the blessing and the curse of having too many prospects; you can’t keep them all. And it will be inevitable to see some of them packaged in trades, because this front office isn’t in the business of giving away something for nothing. This also tells us that certain trades have a bit of a deadline due to the Rule 5 draft date of December 10.
The next thing we’re waiting for is a list of all the players and pitchers who will receive a qualifying offer. There are rumors about that players like Matt Wieters will get the QO, and we expect Dexter Fowler to get one as well, but the full list will be available sometime around 5 PM Eastern on Friday, which is the last day for a QO to be submitted. Then we’ll wait another week to see who actually accepts one, though it is highly unlikely that anyone will given the history of the QO. We also have awards to look forward to, as well as the initial trade talks during the GM meetings.