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Cubs roster moves: Pedro Strop, Eddie Butler reportedly complete 25-man roster

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Here are the final pieces of the roster puzzle.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — There’s been no official announcement from the Cubs on the 25-man Opening Day roster, but we do have this report from earlier Wednesday:

Pedro Strop, who had a minor leg issue and the flu during spring training, made three game appearances in camp and retired nine of the 10 batters he faced. As a veteran who knows what it takes to get ready for the season, I’m sure he’ll be ready, and he’s said he’s healthy and ready to go.

Eddie Butler is likely the final choice for the eight-man bullpen for this reason:

This makes sense. That will give the Cubs two relievers (Mike Montgomery in addition to Butler) who can throw multiple innings in relief, or even put together a spot start if needed. The others mentioned by Sahadev Sharma — Dillon Maples, Anthony Bass, Justin Hancock and Shae Simmons — will be assigned to Triple-A Iowa, as noted, and will be on the so-called “Iowa shuttle” whenever a reliever is needed at the big-league level.

Maples and Simmons are on the 40-man roster; Hancock and Bass are not. This isn’t necessarily a big issue, as there are now three open spots on the 40-man roster, which stands at 37. Thus the Cubs can add almost anyone they need without having to drop anyone from the 40-man.

Here’s the likely Opening Day roster, then. It’ll be officially announced before game time Thursday.

Pitchers (13)

Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Yu Darvish, Jose Quintana, Tyler Chatwood, Brandon Morrow, Steve Cishek, Pedro Strop, Brian Duensing, Carl Edwards Jr., Mike Montgomery, Justin Wilson, Eddie Butler

Catchers (2)

Willson Contreras, Victor Caratini

Infielders (6)

Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, Addison Russell, Kris Bryant, Tommy La Stella, Ben Zobrist

Outfielders (4)

Kyle Schwarber, Ian Happ, Jason Heyward, Albert Almora Jr.

There’s an interesting footnote to the 2018 roster. Of the 25 men who were on the winning World Series roster in 2016, just 14 remain: Lester, Hendricks, Strop, Edwards, Montgomery, Contreras, Rizzo, Baez, Russell, Bryant, Zobrist, Schwarber, Heyward and Almora. (La Stella was with the Cubs in 2016, but was not on the WS roster.)