Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

chicago cubs logo featureThe offseason will begin in earnest when the World Series concludes (free agency kicks off just five days after the last day of the World Series), so it’s important to re-set the composition of the Chicago Cubs’ 40-man roster, since this is group from which everything hereafter will flow.

The Cubs’ 40-man roster currently stands at 40, plus Jacob Turner on the 60-day DL. He will have to be reinstated at the end of the season if the Cubs choose to retain his services. As you know, the Cubs will need spots on the 40-man roster in the offseason to make outside additions (big league contracts), and to add eligible prospects to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft in early December (more on that as the deadline to add such players approaches in November).

In an ideal world, you’d be in a position to head into the offseason with 10 or more open spots on the 40-man roster to maximize flexibility. Depending on how the Cubs proceed with certain arbitration-eligible and under-control players, they should be fine in that regard.

The current 41 players fall into the following three categories:

Free Agents (8)

  • Trevor Cahill
  • Chris Denorfia
  • Dexter Fowler
  • Dan Haren
  • Tommy Hunter
  • Austin Jackson
  • Jason Motte
  • Fernando Rodney

Arbitration Eligible (10)

  • Jake Arrieta
  • Chris Coghlan
  • Justin Grimm
  • Jonathan Herrera
  • Clayton Richard
  • Hector Rondon
  • Pedro Strop
  • Taylor Teagarden
  • Jacob Turner
  • Travis Wood

(You can read my early thoughts on the Cubs’ arbitration-eligible players, including the projected salaries and non-tender decisions.)

Under Contract/Team Control (23)

  • Arismendy Alcantara
  • Javier Baez
  • Dallas Beeler
  • Quintin Berry
  • Kris Bryant
  • Starlin Castro
  • Carl Edwards, Jr.
  • Jason Hammel
  • Kyle Hendricks
  • Eric Jokisch
  • Tommy La Stella
  • Jon Lester
  • Yoervis Medina
  • Miguel Montero
  • Neil Ramirez
  • Anthony Rizzo
  • David Ross
  • Zac Rosscup
  • Addison Russell
  • Kyle Schwarber
  • Jorge Soler
  • Matt Szczur
  • Christian Villanueva

As soon as the free agents officially declare for free agency, the Cubs’ roster will down to 33 players. From there, it’s easy to see at least two non-tenders among the arbitration-eligible group (Herrera and Teagarden), as well as a few guys under control being taken off the 40-man roster.

Thus, the Cubs should have sufficient flexibility heading into offseason, though they are expected to add a significant number of prospects to the 40-man roster before the Rule 5 Draft if there aren’t trades before then.

We’ll have much more on the roster in the coming weeks, but this is your starting point.

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