Roster expansion is here, and the Cubs have proceeded to activated a couple of long-injured regulars from the disabled list – Ryan Sweeney and Luis Valbuena were activated today, though I don’t think Valbuena (oblique) is actually available just yet. Since he was on the 15-day DL (which saves you a 25-man spot, but not a 40-man spot), and the rosters expanded to anyone on the full 40-man today, there was no reason not to just go ahead and activate him.
As for Sweeney, he comes off of the 60-day DL, which requires a 40-man spot. To accommodate, the Cubs designated much-travelled, but little-used reliever Eduardo Sanchez. He didn’t get much of a look with the big team, and had some control trouble at AAA, but he’s a 24-year-old with past success in the bigs. I’d think the Cubs would be happy to get him through waivers, with an eye toward bringing him back on a minor league deal next year.
Pitcher Alberto Cabrera also got the call-up today, as expected. The big righty was already on the 40-man roster, having spent time in the bigs last year as a reliever. He was a starter for most of the season at AA this year – to great effect – before pitching a bit in relief at AAA to end the year, as the Cubs sought to control his innings. He might see an inning here or there in relief this month, but he’ll go into 2014 as a starting candidate.