The Monday before Thanksgiving is typically busy for everyone, not just MLB. We have to get ready for the big cooking job on Wednesday and Thursday, pack up for the trip to meet up with a gathering of loved ones, and all kinds of other activities to prepare for a great feast of plenty, for those of us who are fortunate enough to do so. For others, we give back by volunteering at food pantries and soup kitchens so the less fortunate can also celebrate and survive until they get back on their feet again. I certainly hope for the best for everyone on this day of reflection of thanks.
For MLB (here’s a list of important dates), Monday marks the deadline to set 40-man rosters in advance of the Rule 5 Draft, which occurs on the last day of the Winter Meetings. There will likely be other decisions to clear space on the roster for new signings and acquisitions prior to spring training and Opening Day, for the Cubs and everyone else. Take this, for example:
As teams maneuver today to add players to their 40-man rosters, one name jumps out: the Phillies designated Mark Appel for assignment. The Astros famously selected Appel first overall in 2013, one spot ahead of Kris Bryant. Traded to the Phillies in… https://t.co/2wGC0fNGco
— David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield) November 20, 2017
Boy, did the Cubs ever get lucky! We like Kris Bryant very much.
As for the roster and Rule 5, protecting some of the near-MLB ready prospects is key to the Cubs’ future, as well as the futures of all the other teams. Arizona Phil has a really great understanding of MLB transactional rules and set up a list of every Cubs player who is eligible in the Rule 5 Draft, but there are only a few that the Cubs can and should protect (see this list):
Chicago Cubs (7)
1. Oscar De La Cruz, RHP
3. Adbert Alzolay, RHP
9. Trevor Clifton, RHP
16. Chesny Young, 2B/SS/OF
22. Charcer Burks, OF
26. Erling Moreno, RHP
29. Jose Paulino, LHP
Non-Top 30 prospects added:
Matt Carasiti, RHP
Here are the new 40-man roster guys:
Additionally, OF Jacob Hannemann has cleared waivers and been assigned to @IowaCubs.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) November 21, 2017
I believe that puts the roster at 36, so there’s room for additional claims and what not.
The Cubs predictably waited until close to the 7 PM Central Time deadline to announce their roster moves, while another deadline was extended that is more relevant to a Cubs (and literally everyone else) target, Shohei Ohtani…
— #MLBPA (@MLB_PLAYERS) November 20, 2017
We will find out tomorrow what loopholes or new quirks the posting agreement will entail, but it makes sense for the Cubs to go after Ohtani just like every other team since he doesn’t seem to care about money at this time. But you can bet teams are wheeling and dealing to try to offer him as much as they can per the international signing restrictions.
The Hall of Fame voting season is on, and it should be a big class if the voters get their stuff together:
And finally, speaking of spring training:
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) November 20, 2017
Just gotta get through winter, folks. We got this.