The Chicago Cubs announced a boatload of roster moves today:
- The addition of righty Conor Mullee was officially announced in conjunction with his activation from the 60-day disabled list. We already knew about the Mullee addition (you may have missed it because it happened while Game Seven of the World Series was being played – true story), but you may not have known that teams must activate players from the 60-day disabled list (and thus add back to the 40-man roster) once the offseason begins. There is no stashing those guys over the offseason, which is why the 40-man roster can feel more crunched than during the season, and why you generally see more waiver activity in the offseason. For more on Mullee, specifically, see Michael’s earlier write-up.
- In addition to adding Mullee to the 40-man roster by way of activating him from the 60-day DL, the Cubs also activated lefty Zac Rosscup (who missed the season with shoulder issues), third baseman Christian Villanueva (who missed the season after breaking his leg in Spring Training), and righty Aaron Brooks (the return in the Chris Coghlan trade, who missed most of the season with a hip issue). Each will remain in the organization for now, though Villanueva, known best for his decent power and solid glove at third base, is out of minor league options, and would thus have to make the team’s 25-man roster out of Spring Training, or be subjected to waivers at that time.
- The Cubs added pitching prospect Jose Rosario to the 40-man roster today, which will stave off his impending minor league free agency and his eligibility for the Rule 5 Draft. The power righty exploded up through the minors this year after moving to the bullpen in his return year from Tommy John surgery. He can crank it up there, and the 26-year-old is expected to compete for a job in the Cubs’ bullpen as soon as 2017.
- The Cubs outrighted three players off of the 40-man roster: righty Andury Acevedo (who missed most of the year with a torn ACL), righty Dallas Beeler (who missed most of the year with shoulder issues; you may remember him from a couple big league starts in 2014, and then three last year), and catcher Tim Federowicz (who was an up-and-down minor league signing for the Cubs this year). Each may wind up sticking in the organization on a new minor league deal, or could head off for a minor league opportunity elsewhere.
At the end of the maneuvering, the Cubs’ 40-man roster stands at 34. Through the course of the offseason, that will change frequently and dramatically as new players are signed, trades are executed, and prospects are protected from the Rule 5 Draft.