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Cubs Rule 5 deadline assessments: Which players will be added to the 40-man roster?

Miguel Amaya is a no-brainer. But who else?

Miguel Amaya
Photo by Buck Davidson/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The Rule 5 deadline is approaching. If players aren't added to the roster by Wednesday, November 20, they could be eligible to be poached. Which players ought to be added, and which others may be selected, whether they ought to be added or not?

The Cubs have plenty of space to add talent. The 40-man roster is currently at 32, so they can easily add four players and still have space for a few off-season additions. However, adding a player in November is a bit more of a commitment than swinging by a beverage dispensary for an after-work drink. The player is committed to the spot through mid-March, at least. Here is a look at “the lists” from The Cub Reporter.

Miguel Amaya is the given. The "catcher in waiting" swirling the Willson Contreras rumors, Amaya looks to arrive in 2021 or so. He isn't ready now, but readiness is a bit anachronistic in Rule 5 chatter. Adding viable talent is the goal. With 26 roster spots, quality can be hidden, as needed.

Tyson Miller is 80/20 to be added. Miller's trip to Des Moines wasn't as hoped, but he was over three years younger than the hitters he was facing. If the Cubs are to develop their own pitching, some will misfire, initially, at any level. The key is to keep adding quality every cycle.

Then, it gets tougher. Jhonny Pereda is a catching whiz, defensively. The bat isn't bad, either. He's likely worth an addition, and I'll put his chances at 55/45. Pereda has a sunshiny personality, and the extra roster spot adds to the likelihood of catching prospects surviving the entire season on the 40-man roster.

Arizona Phil at The Cub Reporter has PJ Higgins as a more likely add than Miller. Miller’s numbers were ugly in Iowa, and Higgins is a nice balance of offense, defense, and versatility.I would lean toward three players being added, with Amaya being one. Adding an extra player isn’t necessarily a wise idea. After all, it’s both a four-year projection as much as a one-year wager on five or six different developmental events. All I’m certain of is, I’ll be cheering for anyone selected to do well, because people are more important to me than laundry.

Beyond those for, you can make a case for infielders Zack Short and Trent Giambrone, and relievers Dakota Mekkes and Jordan Minch. None are certainties, either way. On either side of the equation, the Rule 5 draft is about pro scouting, not readiness or familiarity. If someone is willing to bite on (insert player name here) and he has a few really nice seasons, the Cubs look a fool. On the other hand, if Caleb Smith would have developed a bit better/sooner, the Cubs could have had a cost-controlled starter at a minimal rate.

I’m dialing back a bit on the Rule 5 motivation this cycle. A number of people on Twitter do a great job, including Luke Siler, an Orioles fan with opinions that vary from many experts. I’ll possibly toss together a logical scenario for a Cubs selection closer to the end of the Winter Meetings. Remember that it’s about “the future” and not “the present”, either way. If the future (24 to 36 months from now) is of no concern to you, don’t sweat it.

The only high-end concern is getting Amaya on the list. The others are 10 to 30 percent shots to Amaya’s near certainty. I’ll go on record with three of the four. Which ones? I have no idea. Getting the pipeline respected is sometimes cued on getting these choices wrong, so teams believe the system is churning well. I’m happy that, with the Rule 5 draft, a few players will get paid better than $1,200 a month for three months a season.


In addition to Miguel Amaya, how many players will the Cubs add to the 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 draft?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    (5 votes)
  • 7%
    (23 votes)
  • 34%
    (111 votes)
  • 56%
    3 or more
    (182 votes)
  • 1%
    Amaya won’t be added
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    Something else (leave in comments)
    (0 votes)
325 votes total Vote Now