Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

chicago cubs logoWith last week’s introduction of free agency (which kicks in fully after today, when free agents can start signing with new teams), the Cubs’ cleared three spots from the 40-man roster: Kevin Gregg, Scott Baker, and Dioner Navarro. Matt Guerrier was on the 60-day DL, and thus already didn’t count against the 40-man, but you can count him as “off” now, too. That brings the 40-man down to 34. Plenty of room to work with this offseason, right?

Well, today, the Cubs will have to activate Arodys Vizcaino, Kyuji Fujikawa, and Mat Gamel (if they decide to keep him) from the 60-day DL, bringing the 40-man back to 37. The Cubs will need considerably more room than that to maneuver this Winter, both with roster additions via free agency and trade, as well as in preparation for the Rule 5 Draft. 

The 40-man roster currently looks like this:


Jake Arrieta


Daniel Bard

Alberto Cabrera

Kyuji Fujikawa

Justin Grimm

Edwin Jackson

Chang-Yong Lim

Blake Parker

Brooks Raley

Neil Ramirez

Hector Rondon

Zac Rosscup

Chris Rusin

James Russell

Jeff Samardzija

Pedro Strop

Carlos Villanueva

Arodys Vizcaino

Travis Wood


Welington Castillo


Darwin Barney

Starlin Castro

Mat Gamel

Donnie Murphy

Mike Olt

Anthony Rizzo

Luis Valbuena

Christian Villanueva

Josh Vitters

Logan Watkins


Brian Bogusevic

Brett Jackson

Junior Lake

Nate Schierholtz

Jorge Soler

Ryan Sweeney

Matt Szczur

I’ve italicized the players for which there is no reasonable probability that they’ll be removed from the 40-man roster just to make room for others. The rest remain theoretical possibilities – as you can see, I took a pretty broad approach.

Of the gents who are unitalicized, I think Cabrera, Lim, Ramirez, Rondon, Rusin, Barney, and Villanueva are extremely likely to remain on the 40-man (unless an opportune trade should present itself). For the others, I can see reasonable arguments for derostering or a dumping trade.

You’ve got to believe the Cubs would like at least six spots to work with this offseason, meaning that another three guys – minimum – will have to go in the coming days. Care to do some roster shuffling?

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