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Cubs roster moves: No qualifying offer to Cole Hamels, Colin Rea added to 40-man roster

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Now the free agent signing period truly begins.

Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Lefthander Cole Hamels became a free agent the day after the World Series ended. I had thought the Cubs might make him a qualifying offer ($17.8 million this year), but that is apparently not happening:

This doesn’t preclude the Cubs from negotiating with Hamels on a new contract if they so choose. I certainly wouldn’t mind having him back if the price was right.

The Cubs also announced two other roster moves by press release Monday afternoon:

  • Righthanded pitcher Colin Rea has been added to the 40-man roster, and
  • Righthanded pitcher Allen Webster, who had been on the 60-day injured list, has been outrighted to Triple-A Iowa

Rea had a very good season at Iowa and was named Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Year after posting a 14-4 W-L record with a 3.95 ERA and 1.365 WHIP in 26 starts. He made 26 MLB appearances (25 starts) for the Padres and Marlins in 2015 and 2016 before missing the entire 2017 season recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Rea is 29 and will undoubtedly get a chance to crack the 2020 starting rotation in spring training, depending on what other moves the Cubs make. At worst, he will be the “sixth starter” at Iowa next season.

The flurry of moves over the last couple of days leave the Cubs’ 40-man roster with 32 players. Some of those open spots will be needed for players the team wants to protect from the Rule 5 draft. The deadline for placing players on the 40-man to protect them from the Rule 5 draft is November 20, and the draft will take place December 12 at the Winter Meetings.

Now that the Cubs have a baseline 40-man roster for 2020, within the next day or two I will post a preliminary look at their payroll for next season.