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Cubs reverse roster priorities: Who would you let go first?

A thought exercise about how the Cubs might shuffle the last 40-man roster spots.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

On occasion, the Cubs make roster moves. For instance, on Monday, Anthony Rizzo was activated, and Efren Navarro was optioned to Iowa. On my Twitter feed, someone was hunchifying that if Sunday’s game had been played, Alec Mills would have served as bullpen depth for the game. Which wasn’t played. The Reverse Roster Priorities series will be a bit of a game, with some reasonably easy to follow rules.

This is more of an educational concept than a venting one.

Yeah, the Jason Heyward contract looks awfully ugly right now. However, Heyward would not be one of the players likely to get Designated For Assignment. Due to league rules, negotiated in Collective Bargaining Agreements, he can’t be sent to Iowa like Victor Caratini could be.

If Heyward were run through waivers in April through July, he’d be released. And another team would sign a really good right fielder at league minimum. With the Cubs paying most of the balance.

As such, DFAing veterans isn’t usually advisable. Though outliers exist.


With Reverse Roster Priorities, I want you to consider who you would DFA, and why.

As the Cubs 40-man roster is currently at 39, it’s only important to list 10 names. The slot for Spot 40 can be left blank.


This exercise serves two purposes. It gets you a chance to post who (and why) you would purge first. Also, it gives you a chance to see who the front office goes with when it happens, so it ends up as a learning moment.

I want to learn, and hope you do, as well.

To play, run the 40 spot to the 31, with a name for each, of who you would “thwack.” And, possibly, why them over anyone else.

Here’s mine, his time.


39. Cory Mazzoni, RHP. The Cubs/Dodgers volleyball game might not be over yet.

38. Efren Navarro, 1B. I doubt he thinks anyone else gives him much of a better chance to play. He probably won’t leave if not poached.

37. Randy Rosario, LHP. Has been middling in Triple-A Iowa.

36. Shae Simmons, RHP. Below here is unlikely for awhile.

35. Luke Farrell, RHP. MLB reliever, likely, if he advances that far.

34. Alec Mills, RHP. Possible emergency starting pitcher.

33. Rob Zastryzny, LHP. Down around these parts, the player is reasonably safe.

32. Dillon Maples, RHP. 31-33 are usually safe. Until after October.

31. Oscar De La Cruz, RHP. As noted, it won’t get here.

Feel free to write your 31-40, with most likely (in this instance) at 39.

And look for the game to continue as the 40 man shuffles. Either way.