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Cubs Add C.J. Edwards To 40-Man Roster

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The Cubs protected their top pitching prospect from the Rule 5 Draft.

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It didn't come as a surprise, but the Cubs today added top pitching prospect C.J. Edwards to the 40-man roster. This protects him from being selected in the Rule 5 draft and brings the Cubs 40-man up to 39 players.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Cubs?src=hash">#Cubs</a> selected the contract of RHP C.J. Edwards from Double-A Tennessee. Our 40-man roster now stands at 39 players. <a href="http://t.co/1J0vLmkuka">pic.twitter.com/1J0vLmkuka</a></p>&mdash; Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) <a href="https://twitter.com/Cubs/status/535587971417001985">November 21, 2014</a></blockquote>

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No one else was added to the 40-man roster.

The Cubs acquired Edwards from the Rangers in the Matt Garza trade in July of 2013.  Since then, Edwards has established himself as a top 100 prospect in the minors and arguably the Cubs top pitching prospect. This past season pitching for the Double-A Tennessee Smokies, Edwards went 1-2 with a 2.44 ERA over ten starts. He missed about half the season with shoulder soreness, which only added to the doubts that his slender frame can hold up to the demands of being a starting pitcher. But when Edwards is on and healthy, his stuff profiles out to being a number 2 pitcher in a rotation.

Edwards pitched 15 innings over six starts in the Arizona Fall League. He posted a 1.80 ERA.

Another fun fact about Edwards. In 237 innings as a professional, he has only allowed two home runs.

Edwards would have certainly been taken in the Rule 5 draft had he been left unprotected. No one else was added, so the Cubs could lose someone like Frank Batista, who doesn't have anywhere near the upside of Edwards but some team might think they can make a decent right-handed middle reliever out of him. But the Cubs did not deem Batista worth protecting.

The Rule 5 draft will take place on December 11 at the end of the Winter Meetings in San Diego.