Since it is the one off day of ST....
I've been taking a look at some of the various projections and musings about how the Cubs will fill out the ML roster.
Beyond the debates about where Shark should pitch and how the line-up should be built, one nuance has jumped out to me.
That is... the rather high number of 40-man roster and options based decisions the Cubs will have to make. This makes me think Theo and Jed have some transactions, most likely trades, in the works. For instance...
A number of the NRI players who are not currently on the Cubs 40-man roster seem to have a good shot to break camp with the major league team.
The Trib listed Blake DeWitt as a 'sure thing' for a back-up role and utility guy Joe Mather has made a really strong push for the final bench spot. Trever Miller could be the 2nd lefty in the pen. And even Rodrigo Lopez has pitched himself into consideration (though I think he's still a bit longer shot at this point). And there are other NRI guys who have at least given various reasons for raised eyebrows... Jay Jackson, Manny Corpas, and some other kid named Jackson.
If any or all of those first three do indeed make the major league roster (not to mention the others), someone else will have to lose their 40 man spot (AZPhil has one spot open as of yesterday). But taking a look at that roster, there weren't as many obvious drop candidates as there were this time last year.
Adrian Cardenas, Andy Sonnanstine, Frankie de la Cruz, and Lendy Castillo would all seem to be on the fringe of the roster, but all four were acquired by the current front office. Does that give them an edge to stay? Do some of the fringe guys from the previous regime, like Campana, Mateo, and Coleman, need to keep their bags packed?
Or does some form of relief come from moving some the glut of guys who can't go to the minors according to AZPhil and I'm not including obvious keepers like Shark, Soto, Garza, et al.)?
Mateo and Baker are out of options. Randy Wells, Andy Sonnanstine, Ian Stewart, and Chris Volstad would have to clear optional assignment waivers (you would think Sonnanstine would be the only one with a chance to clear). de la Cruz and LaHair each can refuse an outright assignment to the minors and become a FA. And Rule 5 pick Lendy Castillo also needs to be on the ML roster, have his rights acquired by trade, or be offered back to his original club.
So... how does the club make all this work? It sure seems to me that a couple of players will be on the move out of the organization soon in order to clear space on the 25 man roster and even just to increase some of the roster flexibility. By my count, the Cubs have a total of 19 (!!!) guys on the 40 man roster who can't be sent to the minors without consent. Maybe it isn't, but that seems like a lot to me.
So what are your thoughts on how this all plays out?