SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- We are getting closer to seeing the Cubs' Opening Day roster take final shape. Here are transactions from Tuesday morning:
#Cubs release Munenori Kawasaki, Manny Parra and Shane Victorino but say they are trying to re-sign all three players.— Patrick Mooney (@CSNMooney) March 29, 2016
There was an outside chance that Kawasaki was going to make the 25-man roster, but with Tommy La Stella now apparently healthy, it'll likely be TLS as an infield backup. Since the Cubs say they're trying to re-sign the three players, they'd probably all go to Triple-A Iowa to start the season and be available as injury replacements.
Kawasaki and Parra both had good springs. Victorino didn't, as he was injured early in camp and barely played (two hits in 10 at-bats in four games). He had been offered (and accepted) a chance to continue to rehab in extended spring training, but had not yet decided whether to take an assignment to Iowa.
If the Cubs decide to keep Neil Ramirez (and thus eight relievers), that leaves four bench slots. One goes to David Ross, one to whoever's not starting between Kyle Schwarber and Jorge Soler, one to La Stella, and one to Javier Baez -- unless Baez is deemed not healthy enough to start the season, in which case Matt Szczur could be on the Opening Day roster. Szczur and Ramirez are out of options, so decisions have to be made on both of them.
These moves leave 32 players in camp.