MiLB Free Agency Is on the Horizon: Cubs Will Have Some Tough Choices

By Todd Johnson

When it comes to 6 year minor league free agents, the Cubs have several this year. Most of them are currently at AAA Iowa while several are scattered throughout the system. Some will re-sign with the Cubs while others will go see if they can break through someplace else.

Today, I’m gonna break down a few names who I think the Cubs are going to try and re-sign of their 20+ minor league free agents.

Here is the list for each affiliate.

Iowa – Alberto Baldonado, LHP; Corey Black, RHP; Stephen Bruno, INF; Chris Coghlan, OF-INF; Casey Coleman, RHP; Ryan Court, INF; Taylor Davis, C-1B; Trey Martin, OF; Bijan Rademacher, OF; Jose Rosario, RHP; Kyle Ryan, LHP; Ali Solis, C; Corey Black, RHP;

Tennessee – Gioskar Amaya, INF; Jeffrey Baez, OF; Yasiel Balaguert, 1B-OF; Wynton Bernard, OF; Erick Castillo, C; Daury Torrez, RHP; Ryan Webb, RHP; Allen Webster, RHP.

Myrtle Beach – Roberto Caro, OF; Erick Leal, RHP; Jose Paulino, LHP; Chris Pieters, OF

Most Likely to Return

Some of these players could actually be coming back. They could be taking leadership roles on the team and helping, somewhat, to coach younger prospects. Taylor Davis and Stephen Bruno definitely could fill those roles.

As for guys who will actually suit up to play, pitcher Kyle Ryan might be worth another look. He has been up-and-down this year, but I still think there is something there and he is still only 26.

Depending upon how he does the next month in Mesa, Corey Black should continue his rehab from Tommy John surgery with the Cubs. Hopefully, Black still wants to give it a go and there’s something left in his arm.

Erick Leal has had a great year at Myrtle Beach coming off Tommy John surgery. I would love to see how he does at AA Tennessee next year. 

Roberto Caro has had a bit of a breakout year and could find his way back to the Cubs’ system to see if he can get it done at Tennessee. If you can hit .350 at two levels, the odds are pretty good.

Several other familiar names have just been sitting and spinning at AAA and AA for a few years now. Daury Torrez and Bijan Rademacher deserve a shot at the majors in some capacity. Unfortunately, it is likely to come with someone else. Along with Trey Martin, they could stick around for one more year, but the odds are slim they could break through with the Cubs.

There’s always two things to keep in mind. One, what is in the best interest of the player? And two, what is in the best interest of the organization?

When Jaron Madison and the rest of the crew sit down to make those determinations, they will have to keep those two questions in mind. While many of these players might not have a chance at the big league level, they can help fill out a roster. Considering that the Cubs’ system does not have a lot of elite talent, some of the other players are just not ready to go to AA or higher yet. As an organization, you want to put players in positions at which they can succeed. These free agents could be seen as place holders until the younger prospects are ready.

 It’ll be interesting to see what happens as to the direction(s) the Cubs take this winter when all these players listed above become free agents.


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