alex burnett twinsThe stash plan works.

About a week ago, the Chicago Cubs claimed 25-year-old reliever Alex Burnett off of waivers from the Orioles. They immediately plugged him into the bullpen, and he pitched a scoreless frame. Sweet.

But then the Cubs optioned Burnett to AAA Iowa, in favor of calling up fellow 25-year-old righty Zach Putnam. No biggy. Burnett had an option year left, and the Cubs probably wanted to get a look at Putnam.

But then the Cubs designated Burnett for assignment, and the Burnett plan became clear. Jed Hoyer recently mentioned that the Cubs had liked Burnett for a while, and had been hoping to have an opportunity to acquire him when the timing was right. Well, the timing was clearly right for the Cubs to pull it off: which is to say, it was obviously always the plan to grab Burnett off of waivers, and then time the subsequent transactions just right so that the Cubs could not only acquire Burnett, but they could then stash him at AAA Iowa without a 25-man OR 40-man roster burden attached to him.

That’s how it played out, and the Cubs essentially acquired an interesting 25-year-old AAA relief prospect scot free.

  • JayPaul

    Doesn’t this string of events make him a minor league free agent at the end of the year? If so it seems he may have to earn that 40 man spot back by then end of this season. Sort of a few month audition for next years bullpen; or maybe just a depth stash for the remainder of the season (seems unlikely with accompanying statements from FO)

  • Dan

    Hmm, nice read, but I still don’t understand how he wasn’t put on the 25 man or 40 man roster and was able to pitch for us. Was he “technically” put on the 25 man roster, pitched the same day, and “technically” removed from the roster for another player in the minors?

    • MichiganGoat

      Yup picked up off waviers, put on 25 man, then DFA, cleared waviers, assigned to Iowa – beautifully played by the FO

      • Dan

        Thanks. I was a little confused. Anyways, he never had to clear waivers after DFA because he had an option left right?

        • hansman1982

          Once you DFA a player they have to be traded, waived or released. The DFA removes them from the 40-man roster so in order to be sent to the minors, he had to be waived.

          • Kevin B

            He has to clear waivers. He did clear waivers.

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