Cubs 40-Man Roster Moves … Vitters, Lake, Beliveau and Szczur Added to Big League Roster

Jed Hoyer made his first round of roster additions and cuts as the GM of the Chicago Cubs on Friday. Hoyer outrighted Esmailin Caridad, Kyle Smit and Luis Montanez off the big league roster and added four of the systems top prospects to the 40-man roster … Junior Lake, Josh Vitters, Matt Szczur and Jeff Beliveau.

With the roster additions and subtractions, the Cubs 40-man roster currently stands at 34 players.

Friday was the deadline for clubs to set their rosters at the Major League and minor league levels (Reserve List) to protect players from the Rule 5 Draft (December 8).

The Cubs top prospect, Brett Jackson, does not have to be added to the 40-man roster this off-season to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft. Jackson is expected to compete for a spot on the Cubs 2012 Opening Day roster in the spring.

By not adding Jackson, the Cubs saved a valuable roster spot.

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  • Jay from sandwich

    Neil, and or  Tom U who else is up for the rule five draft in the cubs system besides the four prospects that where added today to the 40 man?

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Jay, I will post a list later tonight.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Outside of maybe Jay Jackson, there is no one on the list that there is a risk of losing.

      • Jay from sandwich

        Thanks for the update

  • diehardcubfan

    Refreshing to see some intelligent decisions being made.  It is just time to cut the career minor league rs and move on.

  • http://twitter.com/Sportontap Scott Rathbun

    I am shocked that Koyie Hill is still on the 40 man roster.

    • Tom U

      I believe that Hill, Johnson, and Baker were on one year contracts, which will be expiring.

  • JW

    Per thecubreporter.com

    CUBS ELIGIBLE FOR DECEMBER 2011 RULE 5 DRAFTAbner Abreu, OF Jim Adduci, OF Jeffry Antigua, LHPAdrian Aviles, LHP (ex-OF) Dan Berlind, RHP Smaily Borges, OFMichael Brenly, CJustin Bristow, RHPMichael Burgess, OF Kyler Burke, LHP (ex-OF)David Cales, RHP Matt Camp, IF-OF (RESTRICTED LIST)Hung-Wen Chen, RHPManolin DeLeon, RHPCarlos Figueroa, INF Eduardo Figueroa, RHP Ryan Flaherty, IF-OF Luis Flores, C (RESTRICTED LIST)Marwin Gonzalez, IF-OFMiguel Gonzalez, C Yohan Gonzalez, RHPGian Guzman, IF-RHP (player coach)Marcus Hatley, RHP Jay Jackson, RHP
    Blake Lalli, 1B-CJordan Latham, RHPDavid Macias, IF-OFOswaldo Martinez, RHPJonathon Mota, INFCraig Muschko, RHPJon Nagel, RHP Jake Opitz, INF Blake Parker, RHPNelson Perez, OFRamon Reyes, RHP Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP Rebel Ridling, 1B Carlos Romero, C Nate Samson, INFBrian Schlitter, RHP Ryan Searle, RHP Marquez Smith, 3BMatt Spencer, LHP (ex-OF)Larry Suarez, RHPJose Tineo, RHP Ty Wright, OF

    Not sure who if any is that big of a surprise to be left off. It is all about talent evaluation and I’m not sure any of these players could really contribute for a full season.

    • Aaron

      Not protecting Antigua, Rhee, and Flaherty is a huge mistake in my estimation, especially Flaherty, but I have to defer to the new regime, as they know their stuff.

      Plus, it’s not like every team under the sun is going to be pilfering the Cubs for their players during the Rule 5. There are plenty of other teams with better player that need protection. Typically it’s the pitchers that seem to stick with teams the whole year. That is why the Cubs will likely lose Rhee and Jackson, and possibly even Antigua. But I wouldn’t be shocked if teams took chances on Ridling, Flaherty, or even the lesser known Wright. All 3 of them would likely stick on a big league team all year given their versatility (Ridling-corner OF and 1B; Flaherty-all IF positions, plus corner OF; Wright-all 3 OF positions). If Marwin Gonzalez was on fire again during the winter leagues like he was last year, I’d say he’d be in line to be selected, but it doesn’t appear to be the case, or they would’ve surely protected him.

      • JW

        I agree on Gonzalez, but I think no way would Flaherty or Ridling stick on a roster. While Flaherty has positional versatility, he struggled mightily at Triple A and is old. Ridling had a decent year, but for a right handed power hitting 1B/corner OF I don’t think he produces quite enough yet, but who knows, maybe he bulked up this winter.  Also I doubt Jay Jackson would either, he has serious control issues. There are some teams that could take a chance on Rhee or Antigua (albeit both finished at Daytona), but there is no way either are ready to contribute significantly at the major level, maybe Antigua as a middle reliever or a team desperate for a 5th/6th starter destined to go nowhere. Rhee struggled the 1st half of the year and wasn’t nearly as impressive his 1st year in pro ball. I probably would have additionally protected Antigua, but that is it.  

      • Tom U

        Marwin Gonzalez currently batting .346 with a .398 OBP, 8 RBI, 3 SB in 19 games.

        • Aaron

          I should’ve talked about his power numbers, not the avg, OBP…as you might recall, he hit something like 8 hr last winter.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Aaron, I do not think any team will pick Ryan Flaherty. His track record has proven that when he repeats a level he has success … but he struggles the first time around. That makes me question his ability to make adjustments quickly. That would make it hard for a team to take a chance on him for an entire season … or at least until they can put him on the DL.

        • Aaron

          agreed

        • Ripsnorter1

          At least these moves tell you what Theo thinks of our MiL prospects. I was a little surprised at Flaherty since he is the only MiL prospect at 3B that has any pop in his bat (19 taters in 2011). But then again, he only hit .237 in AAA Iowa in 2011.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Thank you for posting.

    • Jay from sandwich

      Thanks for the list

    • daverj

      The only guy I can see being taken is Jay Jackson.  Non-pitchers are rarely taken and none of the non-pitchers here stands out as a guy that would make a 2012 major league 25 man roster.

  • Tom U

    Carlos Zambrano starting for Caribes de Anzoategui  in the VWL tonight

    • Dorasaga

      Marmol should be playing for Dominicana as well. He needs to work his way back to become “premium” again.

      • John_CC

        Sveum’s comments today, regarding both of these guys, were enlightening – both about his approach in general and about the future of Marmol and Z. In both cases I am excited about the outcome. Neither of these guys are untouchable, rather they both have to “re-earn” their roles and the respect they once had.

        We shall see.

        What is different is I honestly believe that both of these former “untouchables” are dispensable to the new management if they do not follow the new protocol. 

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Venezuela: Carlos Zambrano took a shot that hit him in the face ..blood can be seen …he came out looking ok in the 5th.. has been taken to a local hospital as precaution…should get some stitches in face

    • paulcatanese

      Wow, I saw that, dont want to see anyone get hurt, even Z. Hope it turns out well.

      • Tom U

        What was that old headline concerning Dizzy Dean ,,,

        X-rays of Dean’s head find nothing

    • Ripsnorter1

      He got lit up in his first outing, albeit without a liner to the face, giving up 2 runs in 2.2 IP and 4H. 

      He’s pretty rusty. 

  • Dorasaga

    By the way, folks who still want Soto traded as soon as possible, are you sure? I’m afraid he’s not comparably high valued now. Ryan Doumit just signed an one year for 3 million deal with the Twins *(probably to bat part-time DH).

    Doumit’s career on a lousy Pirates lineup and a neutral ballpark:
    .271, .334, .442; 266 RBI and 67 HR in 2175 PA

    Soto, on a much stronger Cubs lineup plus Wrigley effect (much nicer hitter’s ballpark) the past five seasons:
    .258, .348, .455; 250 RBI and 71 HR in 1900 PA

    The market is saddling catchers like never seen before. I’m not just comparing Soto to that guy who was an All-Star, Dioner Navarro, but in general.

    There’ll always be takers. But the reality seems that the Cubs must take a devalue (or a regain of true value) and admit Geo will not be a great chip of trade here. Bad time for a trade now, methinks.

    • daverj

      Agreed.  Soto won’t bring much in return now.  Better to hold him.

    • Tony_Hall

      The catching Free Agent market is extremely thin.  

      Supply and Demand.  

      The Supply is low, so it will make people look for upside in what could be had in a trade.  

      • Dorasaga

        They always say that, but what happened to Navarro and now Doumit simply doesn’t show any big figure, say 10M+, or a long-term commitment (like a 3-year+ contract). I know through a fantasy conversation I expressed to you my observation that more young catchers are holding firm and well as established Major Leaguer.

        The supply is more plenty, methinks. But things can change as we are closer to the postseason.

        • Tony_Hall

          I agree there are a lot of good young catchers out there, but teams that have a good young, or even 2, won’t want to give them up.  Guys like Soto are who teams are more willing to trade, a guy, whose pay is going up, and production is inconsistent.  

  • Ripsnorter1

    Tom, Neil, Aaron:

    Why was Matt Szczur added to the roster when Baseball reference has him down for only playing in 2010 and 2011? 

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Because of Jim Hendry …

      When the Cubs drafted Szczur they gave him a $100,000 signing bonus. When Hendry convinced him to not play football, they gave him an additional $1.4 million. By having him sign a new contract by rule (technicality) he had to be added to the 40-man roster this winter … or he would have been exposed in the Rule 5 Draft.

      • Tony_Hall

        How long before the bumbling mistakes JH made, will they stop affecting decisions?

        • Dorasaga

          When we see the Cubs in a World Series.
          ;-)

  • Tony_Hall

    Just an update on the turnover on the 40 man roster so far.

    Position players (4)
    Aramis Ramirez
    Reed Johnson
    Carlos Pena
    Luis Montanez

    Pitchers (6)
    John Grabow
    Rodrigo Lopez
    Ramon Ortiz
    Kerry Wood (likely to resign)
    Esmailin Caridad
    Kyle Smit

    So 10 so far, technically 9, as Woody is most likely coming back.  So far no tough calls, or surprises, but there is a lot more to come.