Austin Romine is Off to Free Agency As the Cubs Start Unpacking the 40-Man Roster

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Austin Romine is Off to Free Agency As the Cubs Start Unpacking the 40-Man Roster

Chicago Cubs

I mentioned recently that I expected the Cubs to do at least a little internal roster-keeping this week, perhaps dipping back under 40 on the 40-man roster so they could stand ready to make waiver claims this month (there’s not a TON of it during the playoffs, but it does happen). It’s gonna be a minute before the Cubs get back under 40, though.

Thanks to the COVID outbreak, the Cubs were up to whopping 45 players on their 40-man roster when the season ended (though don’t hold me to that precisely, because it was a crazy flurry). So they at least have to get that back down to 40 before they could proceed on anything else. Four of the guys who were (presumably) on the COVID IL now show up as on the 60-day IL (so they do not count against the 40-man roster), and 40-man moves will be required when they clear protocols and are activated.

As for player number 41, catcher Austin Romine, he’s headed out the door.

Per the Cubs transaction log, Romine today elected free agency, which means he was being outrighted off the 40-man roster. Since he was a free agent after the World Series anyway, there wasn’t much point for him to not elect free agency. For all intents and purposes, the Cubs simply released Romine a few weeks early. Romine was among those players placed on the (presumed) COVID IL last week. It’s possible that he cleared protocols, forcing the Cubs to make a 40-man move, and so they decided to let him get a jumpstart on his free agent process.

The other Cubs currently on the COVID IL (again, this is presumptive, since they weren’t *officially* announced as being placed on the COVID IL): David Bote, Nick Martini, Tommy Nance, and Patrick Wisdom.

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.