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Cubs add Christopher Morel, 2 others to 40-man roster

Friday was the deadline to add players to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft.

Christopher Morel
Christopher Morel plays for the South Bend Cubs in 2019
Clinton Cole

The Cubs have added the following players to the 40-man roster as of Friday:

Christopher Morel is 21 years old and from the Dominican Republic. In his first year with a full-season Cubs affiliate, Morel hit .284/.320/.467 (73-for-257) with seven triples, six home runs and nine stolen bases. He’s primarily a third baseman, but did play some shortstop at the lower levels of the system. Since there was no minor-league ball in 2020, it’s hard to tell where he’ll wind up in 2021, but I’d guess Double-A would be a likely destination.

Cory Abbott was the Cubs’ second-round pick in 2017 out of Loyola Marymount. He’s now 25 and spent the last full minor-league season in 2019 at Double-A Tennessee, where he posted a 3.01 ERA and 1.118 WHIP in 26 starts. He had an excellent K rate (10.2 per nine innings) and walk rate (3.2 per nine innings). He’ll be ticked for the Triple-A Iowa rotation.

Keegan Thompson was the Cubs’ third-round pick in 2017 out of Auburn. Also 25, Thompson missed a lot of the 2019 season due to injury, and made just three starts. He also made seven starts in the 2019 Arizona Fall League, posting a 4.62 ERA and 1.026 WHIP in what’s considered a hitters’ league. He also had a very good K rate (9.2 per nine innings) and walk rate (2.1 per nine innings). He should join Abbott in the Iowa rotation.

As noted, the Cubs’ 40-man roster now stands at 37 players. That leaves room for some waiver acquisitions and/or free-agent signings.

As always, we await developments.