As discussed this morning, today was the deadline to add players – internally – to the 40-man roster to protect the from the Rule 5 Draft next month, if they were due to be eligible.
In response, today, the Chicago Cubs added catching prospect Willson Contreras, third base prospect Jeimer Candelario, pitching prospect Pierce Johnson, and first base prospect Dan Vogelbach.
If you were ranking the most likely prospects to be added to the 40-man today, those would have been the four at the top of the list, given not only their value and proximity to the big leagues, but also their potential ability to stick on a big league roster all of next season. Incidentally, they were the four I listed as the likely adds this morning.
And that’s the risk now facing the Cubs with respect to the many other Rule 5-eligible prospects that they did not protect. Players like Felix Pena, Corey Black, Bijan Rademacher, Daury Torrez and others will look mighty tempting to other teams out there, but can they stick all next year in the bigs? Even if the could, will there be roster space out there to grab them? Remember: other teams are facing these same decisions today, and there will be many other interesting, exposed prospects. The Cubs, because of their extreme depth, probably have more than many other organizations, but still, you catch my meaning.
The Rule 5 Draft is December 10, so prepare yourself now for the possibility that the Cubs could lose an interesting prospect or two, at least temporarily. Recall, if the prospect doesn’t stick on the 25-man roster with their new team, they’ve got to offer the player back to the Cubs.
The Cubs’ 40-man roster now stands at 37 after today’s earlier addition of Spencer Patton.