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Outside the Cubs Boxcar plays chicken, part five

Clicking through the tumblers, trying to unlock the secrets within

Chickens On Display At The 2016 Poultry Show
Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images

Before we commence today’s exercise, our roster has been affected by the real world and needs to be adjusted first. Hector Rondon and Taylor Davis have been non-tendered, Matt Carasiti has been released to allow him to play in Japan, and Dario Alvarez has been signed to a major league contract.

With those changes, the roster (with our additions) looks like this:

  1. Arismendy Alcantara
  2. Albert Almora Jr.
  3. Dario Alvarez
  4. Alexi Amarista
  5. Jake Arrieta
  6. Javier Baez
  7. Kris Bryant
  8. Eddie Butler
  9. Trevor Cahill
  10. Victor Caratini
  11. Alex Cobb
  12. Willson Contreras
  13. Wade Davis
  14. Carl Edwards Jr.
  15. Luke Farrell
  16. Justin Grimm
  17. Deolis Guerra
  18. Jacob Hannemann
  19. Ian Happ
  20. Kyle Hendricks
  21. Jason Heyward
  22. Tommy La Stella
  23. Jon Lester
  24. Dillon Maples
  25. Cory Mazzoni
  26. Alec Mills
  27. Mike Montgomery
  28. Jose Quintana
  29. Anthony Rizzo
  30. Randy Rosario
  31. Addison Russell
  32. Kyle Schwarber
  33. Pedro Strop
  34. Jen-Ho Tseng
  35. Duane Underwood Jr.
  36. Justin Wilson
  37. Mark Zagunis
  38. Rob Zastryzny
  39. Ben Zobrist

The bullpen still doesn’t look good. There’s a bit of inexperience at catcher. Definitely still a work in progress.

Here’s the relief corps, as of now:

  1. Dario Alvarez (L)
  2. Trevor Cahill
  3. Wade Davis
  4. Carl Edwards Jr.
  5. Justin Grimm
  6. Dillon Maples
  7. Mike Montgomery (L)
  8. Pedro Strop
  9. Duane Underwood Jr.
  10. Justin Wilson (L)
  11. Rob Zastryzny (L)

With this quintet presumably in Triple-A:

  1. Eddie Butler
  2. Alec Mills
  3. Cory Mazzoni
  4. Jen-Ho Tseng
  5. Randy Rosario (L)

With work to do, let’s take a look at the Free Agent Tracker. And then google the BBRef page for each possible add (which is what I do).

I don’t see any need for what Austin Jackson brings, and I suspect Jon Jay is going elsewhere. Ian Krol interests me, but not so much that I’d pick him up right now. Rafael Lopez also might be worth bringing to camp, but the Cubs have seen him catch a cup of coffee before. Lance Lynn? I’d say no. Francisco Liriano walks a LOT of batters. This isn’t helping at all.

Let’s move on to the M’s. I’d put Leonys Martin on the back burner for a little while. He has some use, but not so much that I’d use a spot on him right now. Nick Martinez is a maybe, but he walks a few people and that ain’t good.

Jake McGee? Hmm. Big hmm. Assuming that Zastryzny, Rosario, and Dario Alvarez are fighting for a spot, he might be worth bringing aboard. He is gonna want 5-6 million per annum, though. That’s kind of rich for my taste. Mike Minor is such a question mark. Yeah, he’ll probably come back, but he wasn’t setting the world on fire before, and who knows how long it’ll take? Stash him for a couple million, sure, but that’s no going to fly in early December.

Brandon Morrow has been damn good for three years, but he’s getting way up there in years and will be wanting the same kind of money that McGee wants. I’d rather have the lefty if I have to have one of them.

Eeeny. Meeny. McGee, Minor, Morrow.

Let’s look at that bullpen again, putting the pitchers in their presumed spots:

Long relief/utility

  1. Trevor Cahill
  2. Mike Montgomery (L)

Middle relief:

  1. Justin Grimm
  2. Rob Zastryzny (L)
  3. Dillon Maples
  4. Dario Alvarez (L)
  5. Duane Underwood Jr


  1. Pedro Strop
  2. Justin Wilson (L)
  3. Carl Edwards Jr


  1. Wade Davis

Grimm was just offered a contract, so he’s likely to stay unless he really stinks things up. Underwood and Maples are on the bubble. Wilson might be, too.

To be honest, I want McGee AND Morrow, and I want them in middle relief. There’s nobody there that I trust. But I’m gonna wait until the possibilities have been exhausted before I make any decision there. Roster spots are precious. I kinda want Krol, too.

Thanks for reading.