As expected, the Cubs did not select anyone in the major-league phase of the Rule 5 draft, held Thursday morning as the final event of baseball's Winter Meetings in Nashville.
Perhaps not quite as expected, the Cubs didn't lose anyone in the major-league phase, which is potentially good news. Corey Black had been one of those expected to possibly be chosen. Black has talent, but had a poor year in the minor leagues in 2015 and didn't do well in the Arizona Fall League, either. Hopefully, he can harness that talent and still become a productive major-league pitcher.
They lost four players: infielder/outfielder Pin-Chieh Chen to the Reds, left-handed pitcher (converted from outfield last year) Ariel Ovando to the Angels, right-handed pitcher Julian Aybar to the Yankees and left-handed pitcher Michael Heesch to the Cardinals.
I'll leave it to those of you who know the minor leagues better than I do to analyze these picks. The minor-league selections don't have to be offered back to their old teams, and in many cases are selected to fill out organizational slots that need to be filled. O'Neill is mildly intriguing; though he is 27, he has never played in the big leagues despite a career .412 OBP in the minors. He was a 31st-round pick out of USC in 2010.
Have at it, and you can also use this thread as a catch-all rumor thread for today.