This is one of those days that I used to have circled on the calendar. It's the deadline day for keeping a player out of the Rule 5 Draft in December. In a bit of a personality switch, I'm not worried. You shouldn't be either, and there are plenty of reasons why.
The Rule 5 draft happens at the end of the winter meetings, and is a time where teams try to poach players from other organizations. Usually, these efforts are a waste. Sometimes, like with the Cubs' most recent grab at Hector Rondon, it works. One would imagine that with a system as deep as the Cubs is, I'd be worried. Especially since I seem to worry about everything.
This year, there's no reason to worry.
The Cubs have a very good handle on their prospects. The borderline guys will always have the one-in-20 chance of success elsewhere. It would be nice to keep them. It would be nice to keep the guys in the minor league portions as well. Right?
Last year, the Cubs lost three players, and the one that reached the majors (Justin Bour) went in the minor league portion. Here's the catch. The Cubs knew what they had in Bour. While he likely would have played better than Lars Anderson, I think you're better off being happy for Bour, than being morose over the Cubs losing him. Bour wasn't going anywhere in the Cubs system, assuming Anthony Rizzo stays healthy. Nor would he have saved the season when Rizzo was injured.
Sometimes, pulling the plug on a player involves realizing when a) he won't ever have any viable trade value and b) he is a decent player that deserves a chance elsewhere. As cold and calculating as the front office is now, it does realize that there is goodwill in treating players in a fashion that helps them succeed, even if elsewhere.
The Cubs have a few names teams might be interested in: shortstop Marco Hernandez, infielder Gioskar Amaya, and perhaps a few others might go elsewhere come December. Some may do well in their new system. When players leave the Cubs by Rule 5 draft, it's okay to honestly wish them well. The coaches, scouts, and executives know 'their' talent better than under different regimes. Mistakes might be made, on either side. However, they won't likely be egregious errors either way.
C.J. Edwards will be rostered. Perhaps others as well. People will have ideas after the fact on who the Cubs should draft. They likely won't draft anyone, but no experts had them snagging Rondon. Even fewer had him being this successful. Those of you who take this seriously as I usually do will have ideas.
My idea is that nobody left un-kept will be a major piece in the major leagues ever. If someone gets taken, tip your hat to them in December, root for them, and hunker down for the trade completions with Boston (one player going) and Oakland (cash or a player returning).
As for me, I'm a bit sleepy. I'll find out what happened when I wake up.,