After trading Emilio Bonifacio and James Russell today, and after acquiring Felix Doubront yesterday, the Chicago Cubs have some roster decisions to make.
On Doubront, first, who was a tricky one. He wants to start, which was the source of his rift (and maybe the source of his poor performance) with the Red Sox. But the Cubs don’t have a rotation spot for him right now. Moreover, according to reports, he’s out of options, and cannot simply be sent to AAA Iowa to stretch out. So, how will the Cubs deal with this?
Either by luck or artifice, Jed Hoyer told the media that Doubront will go on the disabled list with a calf injury, and then will stretch out as a starter (presumably as he rehabs in the minors). If you’re worried about any shenanigans, keep in mind: Doubront kind of brought this on himself because he wants to start. That’ll buy the Cubs some time to make necessary rotation decisions.
As for Bonifacio’s spot, positionally, I understand why folks immediately leapt to Javier Baez possibly finally getting his call-up. But Hoyer said that it isn’t going to work like that, which is fine with me – these are separate issues. Baez will come up when his development dictates it, not when there happens to be a positional trade. So, you’d expect that Bonifacio would be replaced on the 25-man roster by Mike Olt or Logan Watkins, depending on what the Cubs want to do with Olt’s playing time.
As for Russell’s spot, you’d expect a pretty simple reliever move, either Zac Rosscup coming up or Kyuji Fujikawa being activated from the 60-DL. I’d probably bet on the latter. It becomes tricky next week when Neil Ramirez is eligible to come off the DL, but it’s possible someone else will be ready to “rest” by then.