After almost a month of nothing, the Cubs, in a flurry of activity, added seven players in 36 hours. Two were free agent pickups, one was added in a trade, and four prospects were added to the 40 man roster to keep the Cubs from losing them in the Rule 5 draft in December.
The first player added was reliever Andrury Acevedo from the Yankees organization. The converted reliever throws in the upper 90s yet lacks control. Last year, Acevedo went from high A all the way to AAA.
Former Mets lefty reliever Jack Leathersich, who underwent Tommy John surgery in July, was also added on Thursday. Leathersich is known for missing a lot of bats. On the other hand, he is also known for being used in a 57 pitch relief outing that burnt out his elbow.
Late Friday afternoon, the Cubs sent SS Frandy Delarosa to the Rangers for RP Spencer Patton, 27.
The trend seems to be this; Go find relief pitchers who can throw 95+ this winter to build up some depth in the bullpen.
The Cubs then had until 7 p.m. on Friday to protect certain players eligible for the Rule 5 Draft. The Cubs did not shock anyone by selecting four players to add to the 40 man roster.
#Cubs today selected the contracts of INF Jeimer Candelario, C Willson Contreras, RHP Pierce Johnson & INF Dan Vogelbach.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) November 21, 2015
For Johnson and Contreras, their selection is likely a validation of their solid efforts. For Jeimer, there is still a lot of hope that he is quickly rounding into form. For Vogelbach, all hope is not lost after he had a blistering spring in 2015 only to be hampered by injuries the rest of the summer.
Their selection also means several other things. One, they Cubs are not willing to let them go for nothing. Two, the prospect still has value – whether that is as a Cub or in a trade is still up for grabs. And three, there is still room for growth and development before the Cubs make a final decision on their future in the organization.
Some of the top players the Cubs left unprotected on Friday include:
Starting Pitcher Felix Pena, Relievers PJ Francescon, Michael Jensen, Corey Black, and Steve Perakslis
Outfielder Bijan Rademacher and Infielder Stephen Bruno
In the coming years, it is going to be hard for the Cubs to protect all of their top prospects. They only have so many roster spots and a wealth of talent getting ready to flood into the upper levels of the minors the next two years.
Next year, Duane Underwood will lead a crop of eligible pitchers who currently have won back to back championships at Kane County and Tennessee.
The Cubs’ roster now stands at 37.
Likely, the Cubs will add 2 SP and 1 CF in the coming month. My favorite player for the Cubs to go get would be SP Shelby Miller of the Braves. Only 25, Miller is still cost controlled and the Cubs have a few position player prospects to dangle in front of the Braves.
Stay tuned! The off season is just getting started.