Cubs MLB Roster

Cubs Organizational Depth Chart
40-Man Roster Info

60 players are at MLB Spring Training 

40 players are on the MLB RESERVE LIST (roster is full) 
20 players are MLB Spring Training NON-ROSTER INVITEES (NRI) 

Last updated 2-23-2024
 
* bats or throws left
# bats both

PITCHERS: 22
Yency Almonte
Adbert Alzolay 
Michael Arias
Javier Assad
Ben Brown
Jose Cuas
Kyle Hendricks
Porter Hodge
* Bailey Horn
* Shota Imanaga
Caleb Kilian
Mark Leiter Jr
* Luke Little
Julian Merryweather
Hector Neris 
Daniel Palencia
* Drew Smyly
* Justin Steele
Jameson Taillon
Keegan Thompson
Hayden Wesneski 
* Jordan Wicks

NRI PITCHERS: 11 
Colten Brewer 
Chris Clarke 
Carl Edwards Jr 
* Edwin Escobar 
* Richard Lovelady 
Sam McWilliams 
* Thomas Pannone 
Ethan Roberts 
Cam Sanders 
Riley Thompson 
* Brad Wieck 

CATCHERS: 2
Miguel Amaya
Yan Gomes

NRI CATCHERS: 5  
Jorge Alfaro 
Pablo Aliendo
Joe Hudson 
Haydn McGeary
* Bryce Windham

INFIELDERS: 9
* Michael Busch 
Nico Hoerner
Nick Madrigal
* Miles Mastrobuoni
* Matt Mervis
Christopher Morel
Dansby Swanson
Luis Vazquez
Patrick Wisdom

NRI INFIELDERS: 3 
David Bote 
Matt Shaw 
Chase Strumpf 

OUTFIELDERS: 7
Kevin Alcantara
Alexander Canario
* Pete Crow-Armstrong
Brennen Davis
# Ian Happ
Seiya Suzuki
* Mike Tauchman 

NRI OUTFIELDERS: 1 
* Owen Caissie  
 



Minor League Rosters
Rule 5 Draft 
Minor League Free-Agents

Bruce Levine

More Jed than You Can Shake a Bat At

ESPN Chicago radio's weekly Saturday Baseball gabfest, "Talking Baseball", found Jed Hoyer hitting the airwaves one more time. Questions covered Scott Baker's status, Scott Feldman's rotation status, Wrigley renovations, Hot Prospects (Soler and Baez), Cub interest in Michael Bourn, trading a certain reliever (Carlos Marmol) and what's life with Theo really like. Finally, Jed's comments as he faces off  vs. Theo in the bunting contest. All that, plus a few post interview caller questions that hosts Bruce Levine and Fred Hubner try to field. Official Scorer: Bruce Levine need a catcher's knuckleball mitt.

A really full transcript after the jump.

Theo Sez

Saturday's weekly "Talking Baseball" show on ESPN 1000 radio, hosted by Bruce Levine and Fred Hubner wrapped up with a Q&A session with Theo Epstein. Bruce Levine asked Theo up front if he wanted to talk about playing electric guitar or baseball, ...and baseball it was. A summary was posted in the CCO but as it turns out I had a recording of the program and was able to get together several complete quotes from Theo on multiple topics, including:

• Dale Sveum's camp, the bunting contest and the 9am meeting  with a daily player "roast." (I doubt the roast would have gone over well in the Milton Bradley era)

• Lineup construction (after Hubner wanted Theo's opinion of Soriano leading off):

"Lineups are overblown to begin with. As long as you adhere to some basic lineup construction principles, it's really hard to screw up a lineup and also hard to get too great of an advantage out of it."

• On acquiring starting pitching depth:

"Frankly, going forward looking at the next several years, we don't have a lot of starting pitching coming up in the upper levels of the farm system and we didn't have a lot of starting pitching under control on the big league team."

• Samardjiza's opportunity to start:

"A quality starter is more valuable even than a quality closer, which is significantly more valuable than a setup guy or a middle man"

• Talent acquisition and the new scouting and player development manuals

• Matt Garza and any contract negotiations

• Hitting, Ted Williams and the number one foundational principle of hitting

• Theo's best organizational surprise upon coming to the Cubs, the Dominican Academy

the full quotes, after the jump...

When the Baseball World Slows to a Halt

Who do you turn to?

BRUCE LEVINE

It's been really slow in the Cub universe of news. The baseball winter meetings were a horror show as far as this Cub fan could tell.

I'm incredibly news starved when you consider that I took running notes on BL's "Talking Baseball" show on ESPN-1000 radio. This week, his 2 hour baseball gab session with sidekick Jonathan Hood covered three main Cub topics: CF, 2B and the bullpen.

So here's an IV dose of baseball, Bruce Levine "Talking Baseball" style. What follows are my notes and occasional commentary from the Saturday post-Christmas program. After the jump...

A Random Walk before Cubs Pitchers and Catchers Report

Some interesting storylines developing this weekend.

Alex Rodriguez, Donald Fehr and Bud Selig are going to have some splainin' to do with Sports Illustrated breaking a blockbuster HERE regarding ARod testing positive for two anabolic steroids in 2003 while with Texas. In fact, it's not just ARod but 104 players in total are on this list, which led to MLB adopting a random testing program for steroids in 2004. More than 5% of players tested were showing positive results in what was hoped to be proof that steroid use was nothing more than a rare situation. When the games biggest stars get pantsed as cheaters, in this case as defined by ARod turning his talents into $25-30 million/year contracts, the steroid era stain just keeps on spreading. Kind of like that pink spot in "The Cat in the Hat Comes Back".

When approached by an SI reporter on Thursday at a gym in Miami, Rodriguez declined to discuss his 2003 test results. "You'll have to talk to the union," said Rodriguez, the Yankees' third baseman since his trade to New York in February 2004. When asked if there was an explanation for his positive test, he said, "I'm not saying anything."

Primobolan, which is also known by the chemical name methenolone, is an injected or orally administered drug that is more expensive than most steroids.  According to a search of FDA records, Primobolan is not an approved prescription drug in the United States, nor was it in 2003.

Rodriguez finished the 2003 season by winning his third straight league home run title (with 47) and the first of his three MVP awards.

Because more than 5% of big leaguers had tested positive in 2003, baseball instituted a mandatory random-testing program, with penalties, in '04.

Truth or Consequences? This is the Katie Couric Interview with ARod after the Mitchell Report was released last year where he flat out denies using PED's. Here are three blunt questions he was asked in that interview:

Q: For the record, have you ever done steroids, Human Growth Hormone or any other PED's?
Q: Have you ever been tempted to use any of those things?
Q: Who do you think has the real HR record, Hank Aaron or Barry Bonds?

Bruce Levine was on vacation (at the Dunes in Vegas) for his regular ESPN radio "Talkin' Baseball" show. Jonathan Hood substituted and Len Kasper was interviewed. Len did say they will have 9 Cub games on TV this spring starting with two from Las Vegas begining March 4th. ESPN-1000's website now has downloadable archives to Levine's weekly show for those who need a "BRUUCE" fix.

The Waddle and Silvy show, daytimes (locally in Chicago) on ESPN-1000 radio has a similar site that has archives. Their show from Feb 4th has an interview with Steve Stone who typically is critical of the Cubs (this time for trading DeRosa and not signing Blanco).

In a separate interview (same show) they talk to Todd Hollandsworth who will now be doing the pre/post game duties for the Cubs on Comcast Sports Network. Hollandsworth should be a nice addition, replacing Dan Plesac who has moved on to the new MLB network. Hollandsworth had been a weekly feature on David Kaplan's WGN radio Sports Central show, which essentially turned into a test run for him getting the CSN job. Color me a big fan of Plesac's work and the new MLB network which just added Bob Costas to their talent pool this week.

Rock on Len. Roll on Bruce.

Fleita Afoot

The weekly radio baseball gabfest known as "Talking Baseball" (ESPN AM 1000, Chicago) hosted by Bruce Levine (and frequently Chet Coppock, in the role of sidekick) is a nice source of Cub information. Of course you have to wade through lengthy questions that often take minutes to unfold. Interviews with management are usually cloaked in generalizations, clichés and unrequited hope.

This saturday's show featured an interview with Cubs Vice President of Player Personnel, Oneri Fleita, as well as some discussion on the management's thinking behind the recent Mark DeRosa for prospects trade.

Fleita was not going to short change us on clichés like  "You've got to play the games" and  "Everybody starts in first place." Still it was good to hear about prospects in the news like Josh Vitters and the 3 newest pitching prospects acquired from Cleveland.

Bruce Levine updated and opined about the state of the Cubs roster changes including keeping the roster flexible as well as the progress on acquiring a sense of left handedness with attitude (feisty Milton Bradley, scrappy Aaron Miles and the even scrappier Mike Fontenot).

He also has an opinion about Jake da Ace, aka he-who-must-not-be-named.

The incredibly wordy play by play after the jump...

The Best of TCR: The Hendry Chronicles

Everthing Arizona Phil writes in the comment section is worthy of a Best of TCR article. But this Best of TCR writeup is to show that I can find a post when news is particularly thin (beyond those gimme's from our TCR guru in the desert). Thanksgiving weekend is usually a desert of baseball news unto itself. Thus to brighten our tumbleweed desolate weekend, my long time friend, The E-Man steps up with a summary of Bruce Levine's ESPN AM-1000 saturday morning "Talking Baseball" weekly radio show. Enjoy (except for the part where he says that my season tickets will be more expensive). Take it away E-Man:

Just heard Hendry on WMVP this AM with Bruce Levine.

Jimbo came on the show...

- no slam dunk with Marmol as closer. He is not "set to close", but it is Lou's decision. They (Marmol/Gregg) may share duties. One may close more in the beginning of the year than the other.

Recent comments

  • Arizona Phil (view)

    Childersb3: I can see right away that Cots did not set-aside the $4.25M in potential performance bonuses for Smyly, Gomes, and Imanaga. 

    While Cots doesn't count potential performance bonuses when determining available AAV, clubs do, because if they don't they could find themselves over the CBT threshold at the end of the year. The only time you might not count 100% of a player's potential performance bonus is if two bonuses would cancel each other out (like if two pitchers have a bonus based on Games Finished and the combined total of GF exceeds the number of games In the season so that there is no way both pitchers could max out their bonuses).

    So I subtract potential performance bonuses from available AAV (just like clubs do), even though the bonuses might not be reached. 

    Otherwise, I have $1.67M for the Pre-arb pool, an estimated $17M set-aside for Player Benefit Costs, "dead money" at $13.25M, the estimate collective aggregate minor league "split" salaries for players on the 40 who are on optional assignment to minors at $2M, pre-arb players on 26-man roster collectively at $6M, and season-long off & on aggregate salaries for players replacing players who are on MLB IL estimated at $5M.

    I'd have to look and see if there is a difference in AAV for contracted MLB players' salaries on my list, but if I remember correctly I have it at somewhere around $187M, because when I added the dead money I remember the total was just slightly over $200M.

  • Childersb3 (view)

    AZ Phil, the Cots Baseball Contracts 2024-28 Cubs Spreadsheet shows the following tax numbers for 2024:
    Contract salaries - 186.372mil
    Buyout dead salaries - 13.250mil
    Pre-Arb Players - 5.215mil
    0-3 yr Bonus Pool - 1.67mil
    Injured List - 5.215mil
    40man Players in MiLB - 2.25mil
    Estimated Player Benefits - 17mil

    Cots has the total CBT amount for the Cubs in 2024 at 230.969mil.
    CBT Threshold is 237mil, so 6mil is space.

    Where is Cot's estimations wrong to allow for this 6mil in space?

  • Arizona Phil (view)

    With the $26.67M AAV hit on Bellinger, the Cubs are almost exactly at the CBT threshold if you add the $5M needed to be set aside to pay salaries for players called up from the minors during the course of the season to replace players on the IL and $4.25M in potential performance bonuses (Smyly, Gomes, and Imanaga). 

    It's almost as if the Cubs went to their (self-imposed) absolute max in 2024 payroll AAV space by signing Bellinger to this contract, because going any higher on the Bellinger AAV would mean taking a risk that the team could potentially go over the CBT threshold.   

    So if the Cubs self-imposed 2024 payroll AAV limit is the CBT threshold ($237M AAV), the Cubs are right there right now, with no payroll AAV space available for additional free agent signings and/or players acquired in trades and/or roster additions at the Trade Deadline. That is, unless the Cubs trade Hendricks ($14.5M AAV) and/or Smyly ($10.25M AAV plus an additional $3M in potential performance bonuses). It would also help if the Cubs could somehow jettison Bote's contract ($3M AAV hit). 

    The Cubs could also pick up as much as $10M in AAV space by trading Almonte, Madrigal, Leiter, Wisdom, Merryweather, and Tauchman (or outrighting them and then hoping they elect free-agency and forfeit their contract and salary). 

  • Childersb3 (view)

    Tax issues? Roster Crunch? Securing bullpen (always an issue, no matter how good it is)? Cooper might be better than Wisdom vs LHers (less pop but better hitter). 

    It might be a small deal. Nothing significant.

  • Bill (view)

    What makes you think that a trade is on it's way?  Other than a minor "free up a 40 man slot" trade.

     

  • Childersb3 (view)

    Cubs sign Garrett Cooper to minor league deal and ST invite.

    Supposed platoon competition for Wisdom.

    Peralta and Cooper are interesting vet guys. 

    Especially if a trade occurs here soon.

    Seems like things are headed that way.

  • crunch (view)

    appreciate these when you get the chance.  thanks.  good stuff, as always.

  • Arizona Phil (view)

    Here are the pitcher reports from Sunday's Padres - Cubs game at Sloan Park if anyone is interested: 

    JAVIER ASSAD
    FB: 91-94
    CT: 87-90
    SL: 79-81
    COMMENT: Allowed three runs (two ER), surrendered three hits (two doubles and a single), and walked two in 1.1 IP (39 pitches - 24 strikes)... recorded no strikeouts... four swing & miss (two on FB and two on CT)... too much hard contact... really labored (slogged) in his second inning of work especially and was relieved after a one-out two-run bases-loaded single... 

    BLAKE WHITNEY:
    FB: 91-93 
    SL: 83-85
    COMMENT: Relieved Assad with one out in top of the second and runners on 1st & 2nd and retired both of the batters he faced (L-7 and K-looking) on eight pitches... two swing & miss (both on SL)... has a mediocre FB so he relies heavily on the SL...  
     
    DANIEL PALENCIA
    FB: 95-97 - T-99 
    CH: 89
    COMMENT: 1-2-3 nine-pitch inning (L-5, 4-3, 4-1) although he was behind on the count against every hitter he faced and threw only four strikes... threw eight FB (no swing & miss)... was helped by a spectacular diving catch by Christopher Morel at 3rd base on a frozen rope headed toward LF to retire the inning's lead-off hitter...  

    EDWIN ESCOBAR
    FB: 93-94 
    SL: 83-86 
    CH: 81 
    COMMENT: Surrendered a screaming line-drive HR pulled over LF fence to lead-off batter (RH-hitting Jose Azocar) on his third pitch of the inning (94 MPH FB), then retired the next two hitters (a 5-3 GO and a seven-pitch K-swinging on SL), then walked two and was relieved after throwing 24 pitches (only 11 strikes - two swing & miss)... FB has decent velo but it is very straight & hittable... the two batters that he walked were both LH-hitters... he obviously struggles to throw strikes and so he would probably have difficulty pitching out of an MLB pen...    

    JOSE ROMERO
    FB: 93-94 
    CH: 81 
    COMMENT: Came into game with two outs and runners on 1st and 2nd and immediately threw a WP, and then retired the one batter he faced on a 6-3 GO on his fifth pitch after starting the AB by throwing three consecutive balls... no swing & miss... 

    CAM SANDERS
    FB: 97-98
    SL/CT: 88 
    CH: 83
    CV: 80 
    COMMENT: Mixed high-octane FB with three different secondaries... worked fast and retired the side 1-2-3 on nine pitches (K-swinging, 6-3, K-looking)... threw eight strikes and only one ball... If he can throw strikes while maintaining velo like he did today he could be a high-leverage MLB RP...

    CHRIS CLARKE
    FB: 91-93 
    SL: 82-84 
    CH: 81 
    COMMENT: Nibbled his way through the inning... needed 27 pitches (18 strikes) to retire the side... five foul balls and only one swing & miss... allowed two runs (both unearned thanks to a Moises Ballesteros boot at 1st base to start the inning) on three hits (all singles)... no walks & no strikeouts... he is a "pitch-to-contact" type and he fits the profile of a pitcher with the ceiling of a AAA 5th starter... can't see him being of any use working out of the pen... 

    FRANKIE SCALZO JR
    FB: 95-96 
    SL/CT: 89 
    CH: 83
    CV: 78-81 
    COMMENT: Threw a shutout inning although he did allow a hard-hit two-out double... needed 21 pitches (13 strikes - only one swing & miss and six foul balls) to retire the side... has the pitch repertoire of a multi-inning "bulk" guy... 

    RILEY MARTIN
    FB: 93-94
    SL: 81-84 
    COMMENT: Threw a shutout inning (13 pitches - only seven strikes - no swing & miss).. allowed a hard-hit two-out double... alternated FB/SL...  

    CAYNE UECKERT
    FB: 94-97 
    SL: 83-85 
    COMMENT: Worked one inning and allowed a run on back-to-back two-out doubles (one smoked into the CF-RF gap and the other looped into short RF)... threw 12 pitches (11 strikes - two swing & miss)...
     

  • crunch (view)

    busch and suzuki start monday.  busch had minor shoulder soreness early in camp.  no idea why suzuki was held back until game 3, maybe nothing.

  • Bill (view)

    PCA is almost certain to go to Iowa, so Tauchman has likely made the team.  They may be able to get something in trade for madrigal or Mastrobone, but not much.