The Cubs didn’t figure to choose anyone in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft this year, instead likely opting to keep their three open 40-man roster spots available for trades or free-agent signings.
And so, they didn’t. Nor did the Cubs lose anyone in the Major League phase of the draft, which was held Wednesday afternoon in Nashville as the final event of this year’s Winter Meetings.
The Cubs did make a selection in the Triple-A phase of the draft, choosing infielder Hayden Cantrelle off the Giants’ Double-A roster. Cantrelle was the fifth-round pick of the Brewers in 2020 out of Louisiana-Lafayette (in that year’s abbreviated five-round draft). In April 2022 Milwaukee traded him to the Marlins for Alex Jackson, and the following month Miami sent him to the Giants for Luke Williams.
In 99 games for Double-A Richmond in 2023, Cantrelle batted .215/.390/.306 with 11 doubles, four home runs and 14 stolen bases. Looks like he might be a good-field, light-hitting middle infield type, though that OBP stands out. He has a lifetime .386 OBP in three minor league seasons and had a .405 OBP in college. He’s 25 years old and could wind up as an infielder at Iowa in 2024.
Here’s some video of Cantrelle from his college days:
The Cubs lost four players in the Triple-A phase of the Draft.
First was Andy Weber, who’s been in the organization since he was drafted in the fifth round in 2018 from the University of Virginia. You’ve probably seen him play in some Spring Training games for the Cubs in the last couple of years. Weber played the last two years at Double-A Tennessee and at 26, was not likely to get much more of a chance in Chicago. He was selected by the Diamondbacks.
Levi Jordan, a 29th-round pick of the Cubs in 2018 from the University of Washington, split 2023 between Tennessee and Iowa, overall batting .219/.351/.308 in 67 games and 289 plate appearances. At 28, he’s probably close to the end of the road. He was selected by the Reds.
Sheldon Reed, a 25-year-old righthander, was on the South Bend roster in 2023, posting a 3.38 ERA in 40 relief appearances. He was selected by the Twins.
Lastly, Adam Laskey, a 19th-round pick of the Cubs in 2019 out of Duke, posted a 3.14 ERA for South Bend in 2023 and also made nine relief appearances in the Arizona Fall League with a 1.00 ERA. He was selected by the Marlins.