Tuesday, Baseball America posted a list of all 30 teams’ six-year minor league free agents.
Here are the players from the Cubs organization free to make a deal with anyone:
RHP Jose Almonte
SS Abiatal Avelino
RHP Joe Biagini
RHP Dakota Chalmers
OF Yovanny Cuevas
OF Johneshwy Fargas
RHP Juan Gamez
C Taylor Gushue
RHP Michael Hauschild
C P.J. Higgins
LHP Alex Katz
LHP Ryan Kellogg
3B Tyler Ladendorf
LHP Ryan Lawlor
LHP Luis Lugo
RHP Dillon Maples
RHP Jackson McClelland
OF Ian Miller
C Raymond Pena
RHP Marcus Walden
RHP Joseph Wieland
Many of those names will be familiar to you. Some of them (Biagini, Fargas, Gushue, Higgins, Ladendorf, Maples and Miller) actually played in the major leagues for the Cubs.
There could be a couple of these guys who the Cubs will sign back in the offseason. I could see them bringing back Avelino, for example, and maybe Higgins or Gushue just to have an extra catcher around spring camp. But for the most part, these players will be gone from the Cubs organization. I’ve been a big Dillon Maples fan, as you know, but at this point I think it’s time for the team to mov on from him.
Looking down the list from other teams, there’s a large number of players who were big-league Cubs at one time, including Arismendy Alcántara, Jake Buchanan, Carl Edwards Jr., Robel Garcia, Terrance Gore, Justin Grimm, Brandon Morrow, Zac Rosscup, Brian Schlitter, Adam Warren, Tony Wolters and Rob Zastryzny. I’m sure you’ll agree that the Cubs don’t need reunions with any of those guys.
There is one intriguing name on the list, a righthanded pitcher who is just 27 years old and who was once a Top 100 MLB prospect and his team’s No. 1 prospect. That’s Jon Duplantier, who was the Diamondbacks’ third-round pick out of Rice University in 2016. Duplantier got to the big leagues in 2019, did reasonably well, then got hurt. One of the injuries that kept him out:
The 2020 season was a lost season of sorts for Duplantier, who cut his right index finger while shaving during Spring Training, forcing him to miss some time and then he developed forearm issues after the shutdown that kept him from pitching at the team’s alternate training site during the summer.
Jon Duplantier had suffered a season-ending LAT strain. He was on the 40-man roster and the Diamondbacks chose to release him instead of keep him on the 60-day IL where players get paid while rehabbing.
The D-backs did re-sign Duplantier after that, to a minor-league deal, but as noted, the lat injury ended his season.
None of these injuries seem career-ending, and Duplantier was, as noted, considered a top prospect as recently as 2019.
I’d like to see the Cubs sign Duplantier to a minor league deal with a spring training invitation. If he’s no good, he can be released. But there’s a non-zero chance he might recover what he had before the injuries and be a quality MLB pitcher.
What say you?
This poll is closed
... the Cubs should sign him to a minor league deal with a NRI as noted in the article
... too injured, not interested, pass
Something else (leave in comments)