Over the last several weeks, the Cubs have signed a few players to minor-league contracts. Very few of these players have any real chance to make the 25-man Opening Day roster. That's good; it means the Cubs' 25-man roster is much improved and they don't need everyone else's table scraps to fill it out.
Most of these players, if they stick in the organization, will wind up at Triple-A Iowa for depth or injury replacement.
Here's a list of all the minor-league signings since the season ended and a brief profile of each player. These are in chronological order of the date they signed.
Jeffry Antigua, lefthanded pitcher, signed November 12: Antigua's name should sound familiar, as he's been in the Cubs organization since 2007, when he was signed out of the Dominican Republic. He became a minor-league free agent after 2015, and the Cubs re-signed him. He's split the last two years between Tennessee and Iowa, where he both started and relieved.
Drew Rucinski, righthanded pitcher, signed November 16: Rucinski turns 27 in 10 days and made seven appearances for the Angels over the last two seasons, with one start. He's mostly been a starter in the minor leagues and could wind up in the Iowa rotation.
Luis Parra, lefthanded pitcher, signed November 23: Another six-year minor-league free agent, Parra has spent his entire career in the Rangers organization, never pitching above Double-A. Command appears to be his problem: a career 4.3/nine innings walk ratio.
Jean Machi, righthanded pitcher, signed December 11: Machi was an effective reliever for the Giants in 2013 and 2014 and pitched in the World Series for them in 2014. Last year he was pretty bad and wound up on waivers, claimed by the Red Sox. Machi will turn 34 before spring training and spent 11 years in the minor leagues before making his debut with the Giants.
Brandon Gomes, righthanded pitcher, signed December 13: Gomes pitched in Joe Maddon's bullpen for four years (2011-14) in Tampa Bay, likely the reason he's here. He's had a couple of decent seasons but overall his record is mediocre. Another candidate for the Iowa bullpen.
Jack Leathersich, lefthanded pitcher, signed December 15: Leathersich was claimed on waivers from the Mets in November, then designated for assignment, let go and re-signed. He had Tommy John surgery late last season and is not expected to pitch in 2016. He's just 25, so the Cubs are stashing him away hoping he can return in 2017.
Juan Perez, outfielder, signed December 15: The only non-pitcher in this bunch, Perez played parts of the last three years for the Giants and also appeared in the 2014 World Series. He can play all three outfield positions.
All seven of these players could get invitations to major-league spring training, along with other minor leaguers who have come up through the Cubs organization. Typically, teams invite about 20-25 non-roster players to camp. The Cubs had 64 players in camp in 2014 and 59 in 2015; I'd guess 60 is approximately the number of players who will be in camp when it opens in February. There could be other minor-league signings or major-league deals before then, of course.