The Cubs wrapped up their rostering moves today with a couple guys slipping through waivers, and one of their best starting pitching prospects added to the 40-man roster, which is now at 39:
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) November 21, 2018
Steele, 23, came back from Tommy John surgery this year and impressed – both in results and stuff – at High-A and AA, and then went on to turn some heads in the AFL. He’s likely to head back to AA to open the 2019 season, but he could be on the radar as a depth starting option as soon as mid-2019 if the big league club develops a need and he’s still looking strong. Or, he could become a bullpen option, depending on how the Cubs manage his workload next season and how they want to start introducing him to the big leagues.
Either way, protecting him today from the Rule 5 Draft: good decision.
As for Vasto and Field, we’ve discussed them previously here, and it’s nice that the Cubs get to keep them in the organization.
As the offseason proceeds, the Cubs will need to do more roster shuffling, since they’re going to add more than just one more player (RIGHT?!). But for tonight, the roster is all set for the purposes of the Rule 5 Draft. That means guys like Erick Leal and Trevor Clifton (among many others you can see here) are eligible for selection in that draft next month. Although you never want to see the Cubs lose anyone, the calculated risks here that these guys are not ready to stick on a big league roster elsewhere is a fair one.