The Cubs Wednesday cleared some space on the 40-man roster:
Cubs outright OF a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/mlb/players/70549/ryan-kalish">Ryan Kalish and INFs Chris Valaika and Josh Vitters to Iowa; RHP James McDonald elected free agency— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) October 29, 2014
None of these moves should surprise you; I doubt that either Kalish or Valaika has much opportunity to make the 2015 Cubs Opening Day roster, though both could get non-roster invitations to spring training. James McDonald's signing was clearly a mistake, as he was injured during spring training 2014 and never returned to pitch at all, not even on a rehab assignment.
The outrighting of Josh Vitters is likely the end of Vitters' chance to make it in the big leagues with the Cubs. Seven years after he was drafted No. 1 by the Cubs in 2007 (the third overall pick), his major-league record reads .121/.193/.202 with two home runs in 109 plate appearances, all in 2012. He, too, could get a NRI to spring training, but I suspect the more likely outcome is him winding up with another team that might give him a shot, much as what happened with Brett Jackson.
McDonald was on the 60-day DL and so did not count against the 40-man roster limit. With the three players outrighted, the Cubs' 40-man roster now stands at 37. Justin Ruggiano and Ryan Sweeney also ended 2014 on the 60-day DL, so decisions will have to be made on both of them soon.