As reported earlier this week, Friday night was the deadline for the Cubs to fill their 40-man roster before December’s Rule 5 Draft. In moves that were widely expected, the Cubs selected the contracts of Duane Underwood, Victor Caratini, and Jack Leathersich. Additionally, there were two surprises on the day.
First, the Cubs selected OF Jacob Hannemann, which I had not thought we’d see. He is an outstanding defender and baserunner but his bat lags far behind. Next, the Cubs also claimed left-handed pitcher David Rollins.
Out of these five, I only see Leathersich with any shot of making the opening day roster. Caratini, however, might get a sneak peak late in the year.
The Cubs now stand a chance of losing several unprotected prospects in the Rule 5 Draft, including relief pitchers Armando Rivero, Jose Paulino, and Stephen Perakslis; starting pitcher Jordan Pries; outfielders Bijan Rademacher and John Andreoli; and IF Stephen Bruno.
One other surprising move from Friday was the Yankees DFA-I got pitcher Nathan Eovaldi, who will miss all of 2017 after TJS. I would not be surprised to see the Cubs do something to acquire the young starter, considering two starting pitchers’ contracts expire at the end of 2017 (Arrieta and Lackey).
The Cubs brass seems to be retooling the bullpen and building pitching depth, an exercise that will continue off and on throughout the winter.