To no one's surprise, this happened Friday afternoon:
#Cubs to make qualifying offer to Dexter Fowler, $15'8 million— Bruce Miles (@BruceMiles2112) November 6, 2015
If you are not familiar with the qualifying-offer system, the dollar amount is arrived at by the average of the top 125 salaries in baseball in the preceding season, so for 2016 that's $15.8 million. No one expects Fowler to accept this offer, as he's likely to get several multiyear offers on the open market. He also might receive a multiyear offer from the Cubs.
The qualifying offer is made so that if Fowler does leave the Cubs for another team, the Cubs receive draft-pick compensation in the 2016 amateur draft, a pick that would follow all the regular first-round choices in next June's draft.
The Cubs also made another roster move. The team's 40-man roster was cleared of quite a number of players through free-agency declarations and outright assignments to the minor leagues after the World Series ended. Through Thursday, there were just 29 players on the 40-man.
Now there are 30:
#Cubs claim RHP Ryan Cook off waivers— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) November 6, 2015
Ryan Cook is a 28-year-old reliever who had two very good years in 2012 and 2013 with the Oakland Athletics. Toward the end of the 2014 season he had some injury issues, and pitched most of 2015 in Triple-A. He was traded to the Red Sox at the July 31, 2015 deadline for a player to be named later. He's under team control through 2018, and if he can recover his 2012-13 level of performance, it's certainly a worthwhile thing to have him in camp next spring. There's still plenty of room on the 40-man roster to protect Rule 5-eligible players.