Three veteran players, infielder Munenori Kawasaki, outfielder Shane Victorino and pitcher Manny Parra, were released by the Cubs today as the deadline approached to keep them or pay them a $100,000 retention bonus. However, all three players were re-signed to minor league deals that will keep them in the Cubs organization and presumably playing for the Iowa Cubs this summer. Additionally, Javier Baez will start the season on the disabled list with a thumb injury. The DL stint will be backdated, so Baez will not necessarily miss the entire first two weeks of the season.
With these moves, Matt Szczur, Neil Ramirez (both of whom are out of options) and Tommy La Stella all make the Opening Day roster.
Barring any late injuries, the Cubs 25-man roster to start the season is now set. The Cubs will go with 13 pitchers to start the season. This is not optimal, but the flexibility of Ben Zobrist should allow the Cubs to get through the early games without too many problems.
Opening Day is Monday night in Anaheim.