According to multiple reports, the Cubs have finalized their expected 25-man roster today thusly:

  • Javier Baez will start the season on the DL with a “left thumb contusion”
  • Neil Ramirez will make the team in the bullpen
  • Tommy La Stella will make the team as an infield backup
  • Matt Szczur will make the team as an outfield backup

Assuming the Cubs are able to get Munenori Kawasaki to sign a new deal, they’ll be able to keep him in the organization as depth, too, which could mean the Cubs were able to keep everyone, even though it was looking like at least two of these guys were going to have to go at some point. And sure enough, as I’m typing, the Cubs were indeed able to keep all of Kawasaki, Shane Victorino, and Manny Parra on minor league deals (Mooney). That’s excellent news.

Because Baez is expected to be ready to join the big league team again soon enough, this current set up will last only so long. The Cubs have bought themselves some time on guys like Ramirez and Szczur, each of whom are out of options. But decisions, eventually, could still have to be made.



Hopefully Baez is indeed ready to return quickly, though he’ll need some time in extended Spring Training to get back up to game speed. Without he or Kawasaki on the roster, the Cubs must have felt comfortable enough with Ben Zobrist as the backup at shortstop for now. Of course, with Kawasaki still in the organization, he’s just a phone call away if a need develops for more than a few innings and Baez isn’t ready yet.

So, then, here’s your expected Opening Day roster:

Starting Pitchers

Jake Arrieta

Jon Lester

John Lackey

Jason Hammel

Kyle Hendricks

Bullpen

Hector Rondon

Pedro Strop

Justin Grimm

Travis Wood

Trevor Cahill

Adam Warren

Clayton Richard

Neil Ramirez

Catchers

Miguel Montero

David Ross

Infielders

Anthony Rizzo

Ben Zobrist

Tommy La Stella

Addison Russell

Kris Bryant

Outfielders

Kyle Schwarber

Jorge Soler

Matt Szczur

Dexter Fowler

Jason Heyward




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