While Kris Bryant was busy winning the Arizona Fall League MVP, and Jorge Soler and Albert Almora helped the Mesa Solar Sox reach the league championship game, Dallas Beeler chipped in as well. Beeler started said title game, and pitched well. Though he was tagged with the loss, he might represent a pen arm as soon as this upcoming season. The deadline for being added so that a player is exempted from the Rule 5 Draft is tomorrow, Wednesday, November 20, so now is the time to ask if he should be exempted.
If left unprotected, I figure there is a 70 percent chance (purely a hunch) that someone offers $50,000 to add him to their 40-man. Arizona did the same with Starling Peralta last season, and one horrible outing doomed his chance of hanging around. Upon returning to Cubs camp, Peralta was, simply put, not effective. He has a chance still, but is lining up behind an improved roster of pitching prospects this time around.
If Beeler is selected, he will not be optionable until he clears waivers, and then, he would be offered back to the Cubs at half price. At that point, a minor trade may happen as well. Getting added to the 40-man is a financial windfall to the player, make or miss. While the 'wasted season' of sitting in a major league pen exists, Beeler, or any other prospect, would take that chance. And the big league per diem.
The question boils down to this: Is Dallas Beeler better than "that guy" the team might sign between now and spring training to a major-league contract? Though I've seen him pitch on my computer as much as most, I have no solid answer. I would probably leave Beeler unprotected,
As per AZ Phil's list, Arismendy Alcantara will be protected. Loosen and Jae-Hoon Ha are coin flips. Juan Carlos Paniagua is in limbo until the league decides if he is draft-eligible. The team is fine for spots now, but there will be viable options rather soon.