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The roster purge has taken the Chicago Cubs’ 40-man roster down to 33 after today losing (dumping?) Chris Volstad to the Royals, and outrighting outfielder Joe Mather, and pitchers Justin Germano, Blake Parker (who was on the 60-day DL, and thus not technically on the 40-man), and Manny Corpas to AAA Iowa. The latter of the four had the option to refuse the assignment and elect free agency, an option he has apparently taken.

The other three head to Iowa, presumably hoping for a crack to come back to the bigs next year (and, frankly, there aren’t too many better teams out there on which to be a fringe Major Leaguer at AAA). Germano is decent depth as a 8th/9th starter type, but he fell off a cliff late in the year (his FIP was 4.11, for what it’s worth). Parker has decent stuff, but dealt with a stress reaction in his elbow in the second half. Mather … well, he can play many positions at Iowa next year if he’d like. (We’ll always have the Super Joe moment.)

As for Corpas, he proved that he was back from his Tommy John surgery, and had moments of effectiveness. I suppose I’m not surprised he was unwilling to accept a minor league assignment, but I would be surprised if he got a Major League deal next year. So, essentially, by declining to head to Iowa, all he’s really done is given himself more options for minor league deals to start 2013. Nothing wrong with that, and he may ultimately decide his best shot at getting back to the bigs is with the Cubs.

The Cubs have done just about what you’d expect in terms of opening up 40-man spots for the offseason (including Rule 5 Draft maneuvering), but they’ll need to do more. For one thing, three players – Arodys Vizcaino, Matt Garza, and Ian Stewart – are on the 60-day DL, so they don’t currently count against the 33 on the 40-man roster. For another thing, the Cubs will want to be, at a maximum, at 39 going into the Rule 5 Draft (otherwise they can’t make a pick if they’d like to). That would leave just 4/5 spots with which to add guys to protect from the Rule 5 Draft and any new players before early December. I’m thinking that we’ll see a few more names crossed off of the 40-man roster in the next couple weeks, but it may take some trading.

  • nkniacc13

    Let the trades begin aftr this purge

  • EB

    But who is gonna play CF and bat lead off now? Well, I guess we could always bring Super Joe back up

    • The Dude Abides

      Wonder how Sveum took the news on Mather? Maybe he hasn’t heard yet…

      • EB

        Well, at least he still has Valbuena. If they took him away too, he might just resign

      • Chet Masterson

        Just so you know, I laughed aloud at that. Thanks.

  • Kyle

    Good riddance, all.

  • nkniacc13

    Who else do you think needs to be let go?

  • Mick

    I’m assuming the 33 roster spots also includes Shawn Camp who becomes a free agent as soon as the World Series concludes so, really, we’re at 32 spots (w/the 3 players you listed on the DL)

  • nkniacc13

    Wonder if Stauffer or Moseley could be canidates for the Cubs to take a flier on

  • SalukiHawk

    Any chance someone can come up with a list of our minor leaguers which potentially need to be protected for the Rule V draft?

  • Cheryl

    I’m surprised LaHair is still with the cbs. He’d be better off released. He wont have much of any chance to play with the cubs nxt year and he lost his timing completely with the few times he played in the second half.[img]smile[/img]

  • nkniacc13

    wonder if the cubs would take shot at Grady Sizmore

    • chris

      Please no. He’s played 100 games the last two years – the rest he’s been injured.

  • SalukiHawk

    Thanks Brett.
    Ok, the real question is… who realistically is going to need be added to the 40 man so we don’t lose them??

    I’d think the list begins with Kirk, McNutt, Stuck, Villineuva, Watkins and Whitenack??

    Any others to consider??

    • Kyle

      I’m not worried about someone taking Villanueva. Watkins you definitely have to protect. McNutt and Struck probably have to be protected if you want them, and we’re so pitching-thin there’s no reason to let either go for free.

      • Tommy

        I don’t think the Cubs traded for Villanueva only to let him be lost on waivers. He’ll be protected. There are plenty of other players that are older and not picks of the current FO that will be let go well before Villanueva.

        • Kyle

          We’re not talking about waivers.

          Villanueva is not currently on the 40-man roster, so he doesn’t need to pass through waivers to stay of it.

          The risk of leaving him off is that he is taken in the Rule V draft. The team that takes him would have to leave him on their 25-man MLB roster all season or return him to the Cubs.

          It’s very rare that you see a low-minors position player taken in the Rule V draft. It’s a lot harder to stash a bat on your bench than an arm in your bullpen, and with pitchers it’s not that big of a deal to lose some playing time. For a hitter, losing a year of regular at-bats can be very detrimental to their development.

          Out of 12 players taken in last year’s Rule V draft, 8 were pitchers.

          Two (both Cubs) were AAA utility types who don’t really profile as starters long-term and were ready for bench roles in the majors.

          One was a AA outfielder, who was returned to his original team by the end of May.

          The most interesting as a AA infielder, Gustav Nunez, taken by the Pirates. He was a long way from the majors, but it turned out he needed ankle surgery in February and thus the Pirates were able to stash him on the DL for most of the season. This doesn’t give them a get-out-of-jail free card, it just rolls over some of his Rule V status to next eyar. They must keep him on the MLB roster for 90 days next year to keep him.

          A 2b/3b who has never played above A+ just doesn’t fit the profile of who is taken in the Rule V draft. It seems very unlikely than an MLB team is going to risk ruining his development and stashing him on their bench for a full season when he’s nowhere near ready.

          If the Cubs would prefer not to risk him and add it, I understand that, but if they left him off, I wouldn’t exactly be sweating on Rule V day. People get way too geeked up about the Rule V draft. Like anything in baseball, there’s been the very occasional breakout star from it, but for the most part the players involved are pretty meaningless.

  • nkniacc13

    I think you petty much got it right which means that if you say camp is gone and 35 so you add them that wold be 41 so more moves to be made.

  • nkniacc13

    I think everyone of them are posiable draft picks tho d agree Villanueva may be thelongest strech of all them listed to go and stay. I could also see them leaving Struck unproected as well

  • August

    Boy oh Boy. I don’t see any MLB starting pitching in our upper minors. All the talent is relief pitching. I am perplexed by this. How do paid professionals manage such epic failure in talent development? I guess we’ll have to get all our pitching for the next several years from FA. If pitching is the only way to win the big one (it is) I don’t think it matters what pitchers we protect in the minors with the 40 man roster. They aren’t long term assets.

    • Eric

      Don’t count Vizciano out of the starting rotation yet. It will take him a year to work back up from TJS. But I don’t think Theo and Jed traded Maholm for him if they didn’t believe he had a shot at being a good starter. After him I agree we have almost nothing. However I don’t think it will be several years. 3 years from now it’s possible someone like Pierce Johnson or Duane Underwood could be our #1 prospect. Drafts don’t make immediate impact but it doesn’t take “several” years.

      • nkniacc13

        The has said don;t they don expect viz until all star break and will limit innings

  • cubsin

    Prospects to protect: Villanueva, Watkins, McNutt, Ben Wells

    Candidates for trades/demotions: LaHair, Campana, Coleman, Stewart, Brigham

    Additions through trades/free agency: SP1, SP2, OF, RP, backup C, 3B

    Notes: Ben Wells isn’t subject to the Rule 5 draft, but the Cubs are apparently contractually committed to adding him to the roster before Spring Training; Camp might be re-signed as the RP; Stewart may be retained as the 3B.

    • nkniacc13

      I think they got to keep Whitenack because thats kind of n a way an easy keep they can do kinda what the cubs did with castillo

  • cubsin

    I’d also consider Lake and Vitters somewhat likely to be traded.

    Also, the Cubs will probably reserve a roster spot for a Rule 5 pick.

    Finally, that Anthem Blue Cross ad is a PITA; if you accidently scroll over it, it takes up the full screen and is difficult to get rid of.

    • Bill

      I can’t see keeping Villanueva on the 40 man roster. He’s still in A ball, where he didn’t hit for a high avg, little speed, and little power. Huge jump from A ball to starting 3B for a ML team. I just don’t think it’s much of a risk leaving him off since he doesn’t look like a future player in Chi.

      Looks to be too small to hit for the power needed to play 3B. Could play 2B, but the Cubs look like they have better options with better OBP, and speed.

      • Eric

        I dunno, I just don’t see Theo and the boys risk losing Villanueva. They just got him. And he was the prime piece for Dempster. After the Delgado mess, he was the concession prize. I don’t think they view him as lowly as you do.

      • Drew7

        S17 HR at age 20, then 14 at 21 isn’t all that bad. He also sported a .780 OPS while playing in 2 pitcher-friendly leagues this year.

        His bat does profile nicely at 2B, but I’m not sure yet that he wouldn’t be able to hit enough to play 3B.

  • http://Bleachernation Oliver dehart

    With this years record considered, they have
    Others that could be dropped from the 40 man
    Roster. Remember at least 1/2 the team are
    Minor league emergency fill ins.

    Keep purging, stop worrying about losing this level
    Of players. There are players out there to fill the void,
    Or we could sign 5 decent free agents and become
    Competitive. To date, I am not impressed with our
    Trades…or our FA signings….look at what’s happened
    During this past year.

  • ferrets_bueller

    Our 40 man is quite thin, with so many young, unready players committed to being on it.

    We really need to move LaHair and Campana somehow, so they aren’t on it. If it means DFA’ing either or both, so be it. They don’t contribute what we need now, and they don’t be around when we’re good.

  • August

    I agree with you that cleaning house is needed. However, I think Campana can be an everyday leadoff hitter if he could learn to make contact with regularity. He should focus his game on hitting the ball on the ground and beating out the throw, a la 1980′s Cardinals. Lahair is better than what we have to replace him with. His stock only goes up is Soriano is traded as well. Also, I think Volstad would be voted off the island regardless of performance because the coaches see him as obstinant and uncoachable.

    • Drew7

      Campana has 10 XBH’s and 19 walks in 347 PA’s. His flaws extend way beyond his inability to make contact.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Yes. Though it is true that if he could make contact at an extraordinary rate, he’d probably have a huge BA given his speed, which would make him considerably more palatable as a starter.

      • arta

        agree 100%.

    • fortyonenorth

      After Theo’s comments last week (re: Tony) I don’t see the Cubs moving him immediately. Worst case, he could be moved prior to the non-waiver trade deadline and be an asset to a team making a post-season run.

  • TSB

    What’s the rush to trade Campana? It’s not like he is blocking anybody coming up in the organization. A speedster that has the potential to steal 40 or bases or more is a valuble commodity. give him a couple of years to see if he can improve his hitting and OBP to something decent; if not, show him the door. After all, it’s still a couple of years before the Cubs are “scheduled” to be competitive…

    • Diesel

      He has to get on base 40 times first.

  • cubsin

    The rush is to clear a roster spot before the Rule 5 draft. Speed is a wonderful asset, but not as valuable as OBP or superb defensive play. Campana is a one-trick pony.

  • Fastball

    Keep sharpening your knife Theo you still have a lot of cuts to make. We don’t need to protect players who are only good enough for this roster. think he needs to go a lot further than this.

  • nkniacc13

    I think they will. I also think that there will be a couple of trades before mid nov.

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