The Chicago Cubs today announced 25 non-roster invitees for their 2021 Spring Training.
These are the guys who’ll join those on the 40-man roster in participating in big league Spring Training at the outset:
⇒ Righties Joe Biagini, James Bourque, Juan Gámez, Jake Jewell, Trevor Megill, Shelby Miller, Tommy Nance, and Michael Rucker.
⇒ Lefties Rex Brothers, Brendon Little, Adam Morgan, DJ Snelten, and Jerry Vasto.
⇒ Infielders Abiatal Avelino, Matt Duffy, Trent Giambrone, Alfonso Rivas, and Patrick Wisdom.
⇒ Outfielders Michael Hermosillo, Nick Martini, Ian Miller, and Rafael Ortega.
⇒ Catchers Taylor Gushue, P.J. Higgins, and José Lobatón.
Basically, that’s everyone we’ve seen reported as minor league signings, as well as a very limited number of internal guys. Any of the pitchers there has a legit shot at winning a bullpen job, because that’s how the Cubs are constructing that group. Fun to see former first round pick Brendon Little included – Bryan was recently talking up the work Little did during the shut down. The talent has always been there, and the development was always expected to take a little longer. That’d be a crazy story if he showed up to Spring Training and just won himself a job.
Meanwhile, each of the non-catcher positional guys is fighting for perhaps the final bench spot. Rivas is more of a prospect, having barely played above High-A, but the bat is considered quite advanced. The three catchers are depth behind the two presumed guys making the roster (Willson Contreras and Austin Romine).
There could be other additions in advance of the official start of Spring Training next week, and indeed, we expect the Cubs to at least add one more starting pitcher.
Teams are limited to 75 participants in big league Spring Training this year because of the pandemic, though the Cubs are still 10 names shy of that figure when you add these 25 to the 40-man roster. Doesn’t look like the limitation is going to be an issue, even if the Cubs add some more from here.