The Cubs are among the teams releasing minor league players this week, though I think we know at this point it’s going to be all teams in baseball.
Although teams do cut players at the end of Spring Training as a matter of course – there are only so many spots available, and some guys are given a chance to move on to another organization (or a chance to decide it’s the end of the road) – what’s been reported the last two days seems like much more extreme cuts. The thinking is that, with no minor league season likely and with minor league affiliates shrinking to 120 (from 160) next year, a lot fewer players will have a spot next year. So they are being cut now.
To that end, NBCS Chicago reports that the Cubs have cut 30 minors leaguers, which is roughly the range you’d expect them to cut in a normal year. The Cubs released 39 minor leaguers from March to May last year, according to Baseball America.
Keep in mind, the Cubs did release 22 players back in early April, and they were also of the “normal post-Spring Training releases.” So it’s not clear if the Cubs bumped things up to a total of 52 this year, or if the 30 being reported by NBCSC includes the 22 who were already released. Right now, the only additional names we know of are Brock Stewart and Carlos Asuaje, each of whom was signed to a minor league deal this offseason, and may ultimately have been let go around this time in any case.
When additional names come out, we’ll let you know. Hopefully the players who wish to continue pursuing their career will find opportunities to do so.
One silver lining to this ugliness is that the Cubs have decided to continue paying the minor league stipend to their players through June, at least, and that will include the players who were released, per The Athletic.