So Many Cubs Roster Moves: Frazier DFA'd, Stroman to IL, Trio Returns from Injury, More (UPDATE)

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So Many Cubs Roster Moves: Frazier DFA’d, Stroman to IL, Trio Returns from Injury, More (UPDATE)

Chicago Cubs

Good lord. Where to even start? Michael wrote up something separately on Marcus Stroman’s shoulder. He’s headed to the IL with what has been dubbed “inflammation,” so we’ll see what’s up with that.

Otherwise, you have a ton of guys returning tonight and a ton of other guys heading out the door.

Per multiple reports, it shakes out this way:

Stroman to the IL

Clint Frazier DFA’d

Wade Miley returns from IL

Jonathan Villar returns from IL

Yan Gomes returns from IL

Chris Martin returns from bereavement/restricted

Michael Rucker optioned to Iowa

Alfonso Rivas optioned to Iowa

So, four in the door, four out the door. Martin required his 40-man spot back, so the Cubs got it by way of the very, very surprising Frazier DFA. We’ll have to see if there was more to the story there, but I would note comments he made to the Sun-Times that I was otherwise writing up for a post today before this move came:

“I’ve been feeling really good at the plate,” Frazier said. “I’m really hoping I can get some more at-bats here soon because I want to play …. I didn’t play super-consistently a lot in New York. And it’s kind of trending that way here, where I’m having to be ready in the high-leverage situations in the eighth inning, pinch-hitting off guys who are throwing 1,000 miles per hour.”

To me, those are pretty reasonable comments on why he SHOULD be getting more time, as we’ve discussed. But I wonder if the Cubs felt it pointed in the other direction: if you want more time, you won’t be able to get it on our big league team right now. (Which, again, I don’t understand in relation to the continued retention and playing time for Jason Heyward.)

The Cubs could have optioned Frazier to Iowa, by the way, but that wouldn’t have opened up a 40-man spot. And there’s no guarantee he would have accepted the option at this point in his career, which would’ve led to the Cubs releasing him anyway. So now the Cubs have a week to trade, waive, or release Frazier. I’m kinda in mini-shock. I’m not saying I ever thought Frazier would be a star, but I did think the Cubs would give him an actual look, given his age, his past success, and his theoretical team control after this year. The chances he could become A Guy for 2023 were very slim, but they were inarguably higher than the chances, for example, that Jason Heyward is important for 2023.

Maybe there’s more to the story. Instead, they didn’t give him meaningful time, and then punted him. So weird. And, depending on the context behind the scenes, frustrating.

UPDATE: So either there is more context that the Cubs don’t want to share publicly, or this is the entirety of the explanation and it is simply baffling:

Elsewhere, Miley returns to start tonight, as expected, and Gomes comes back after a lengthy absence with no rehab assignment. Villar returns pretty close to his minimum stay, and P.J. Higgins gets to stay on the big league roster. I like that.

Rucker and Rivas to Iowa for now seemed like a slam dunk, and hopefully each gets in their work and comes back when the time is right.

Note, by the way, in the flurry of returns, Seiya Suzuki is not among them. Sigh.

More coming on this flurry of moves when I have a moment to digest and think about how it relates to the guys who remain on the roster.


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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.