With a ton of open roster spots right now (before other offseason transactions and Rule 5 roster protecting happens), the Cubs have a whole lot of flexibility to play the waiver wire.
So, play it they shall:
Our 40-man roster now stands at 33 players. pic.twitter.com/0WmQWfEdrF
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) November 3, 2017
Rosario, 23, was a notable prospect for the Twins in recent years, albeit never a top one. He pitched to so-so results as a starting pitcher until 2016, when he was converted into a reliever full-time at AA. In 2017 there, he posted 4.08 ERA and a 3.81 FIP over 57.1 innings with an 18.4% K rate and a 9.4% BB rate.
The numbers were not compelling, but the Twins still gave him a look-see at the big league level in mid-2017. Still, they clearly ultimately decided it was worth trying to de-roster him and sneak him through waivers.
We’ll see if the Cubs look to keep Rosario on the 40-man roster all offseason, or if they, too, will try to get him through waivers and outright him to the minors. From a scouting perspective, Rosario sits in the mid-90s with his fastball, showed good stuff last year according to Eric Longenhagen, and also throws a cutter and changeup.
Without a ton of upper-level lefty relief depth in the organization, and with Mike Montgomery, Justin Wilson, and Rob Zastryzny the only other lefty relief options on the 40-man roster, the Cubs have little to lose by claiming a guy like Rosario, and maybe something to gain.