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Another early look at the Cubs’ projected Opening Day roster

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There will be several new faces.

Major League Baseball

The Cubs have made a flurry of signings since the middle of last week, so I thought it would be useful to take another look at the players who will be on their Opening Day roster.

One thing we do know, at least as of now, is that rosters won’t be 28 players, as they were in 2020:

Subject to change, of course.

Here are the 26 men I think will be on the roster when the Cubs open the 2021 season April 1 at Wrigley Field against the Pirates. That date, of course, is also subject to change.

It’s not yet been stated whether the roster will be limited to 13 pitchers. That was supposed to be the limit had the 26-man roster gone into effect at the start of the 2020 season, as planned. For purposes of this article I’m going to assume that’s the case.

Pitchers (13)

Kyle Hendricks
Zach Davies
Alec Mills
Trevor Williams
Adbert Alzolay
Craig Kimbrel
Rowan Wick
Brad Wieck
Dan Winkler
Kyle Ryan
Jonathan Holder
Jason Adam
Andrew Chafin

There are a few other candidates for the rotation, including the Millers, Shelby and Tyson.

Other bullpen possibilities include Robert Stock, Duane Underwood Jr., James Norwood and Dillon Maples.

A curiosity: If Stock and Wick both make the bullpen, the Cubs will have two relief pitchers who were originally drafted as catchers by the Cardinals. Both caught for a couple of years in the St. Louis system before being converted to pitching.

Catchers (2)

Willson Contreras
Austin Romine

Infielders (6)

Anthony Rizzo
David Bote
Javier Baez
Kris Bryant
Ildemaro Vargas
Nico Hoerner

It’s possible Nico starts the year in Triple-A and the Cubs keep someone else, either a non-roster guy such as Patrick Wisdom, or perhaps Max Schrock.

Outfielders (5)

Joc Pederson
Ian Happ
Jason Heyward
Phillip Ervin
Nick Martini

Martini is a non-roster invitee to spring training. Ervin, Happ, Heyward and Pederson (whose signing has not yet been officially announced) are the only outfielders on the 40-man roster, so someone not on that roster (which will be full after the announcement of the signings of Pederson, Chafin and Williams) will have to be added.

That’s how I see it as of February 4. As always, we await developments.