Who is the Odd Man Out? 40 Man Roster Bind


Today Kerry Wood’s return to the Cubs will be official in about three hours from the time this post goes up. As mentioned in Jordan’s last post regarding Wood yesterday, all three of us here at Cubbies Crib like the deal and welcome him back.

The signing of Wood, however, would bump the Cubs roster to one over the limit on their 40 man roster. That means there will need to be another roster move made very shortly, if not announced as a side note in the Wood press conference today. The Cubs 40 man roster, including Wood as the 41st man, can be reviewed on the Cubs website.

We can first start by reviewing the trade rumors that swirled out of the Winter Meetings earlier this month. The current 40 man roster includes four catchers. Four! Two of course are needed on the active 25 man roster through the course of the regular season. In 2010, that duo was of course Geo Soto and Koyie Hill. We also got to see a glimpse of what Welington Castillo can do with his call up in August last season. Along with Castillo, Robinson Chirinos is the other top catching prospect in the Cubs system at the moment. Both names have appeared in rumored deal for Chris Davis (and possibly even reliever Darren O’Day) of the Rangers, and as part a package offer in an attempt to deal for Rays starter Matt Garza. A trade for Garza would only help the Cubs meet the 40 man limit assuming one of the young Cub pitching prospects on the 40 man roster not named Chris Archer were also part of the package.

The other option based on the catching depth would be to deal or cut Koyie Hill. He has been the perfect backup compliment to Geo Soto, but assuming one of the kid catchers mentioned above is not dealt, it would not be a surprise to see the Cubs move the defensive minded Hill and let one of the rookies ease their way into the Majors as Soto’s backup.

If the catching position is not where the Cubs front office wants to trim their roster, they can also look to the logjam found in the outfield. Many will be quick to offer Fukudome as the name to subtract from the roster. But it has been hard enough looking to deal him because of the money owed alone, and I would imagine it would be even harder to deal him without receiving back a similar bad contract player who would still occupy a roster spot. That leaves cult favorite Sam Fuld as the odd man out on the OF depth chart. Fuld did flash great leather during his cups of coffee with the Cubs during the playoff years. But with Tyler Colvin already here, and the names Brett Jackson and Brandon Guyer mentioned by Luke as knocking on the door to the Majors, Fuld may continue to find himself stuck as reserve OF that the Cubs would cut due to the roster limit.

We will soon find out who the unlucky player is, but in the mean time, who is your odd man out?