The Chicago Cubs have some decisions to make this offseason when it comes to their 40-man roster.
Some players have already been sent packing, like former top-prospect Josh Vitters and veteran swingman Carlos Villanueva. Others have been signed to new deals like Japanese LHP Tsuyoshi Wada, and with the end of a new season the injured players that were previously on the roster need to be added back. That was the case of veteran outfielders Justin Ruggiano and Ryan Sweeney on Tuesday.
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Ruggiano had a solid season with the Cubs, but his problem what that he was never able to be healthy. He had a number of injuries that only allowed him to play 81 games – a number way below of the 128 games he played with the Miami Marlins in 2013 – and while he posted some good numbers including a .281/337/429 line, his spot could be in jeopardy due to the emergence of Chris Coghlan and the presence of youngsters like Jorge Soler and even Arismendy Alcantara.
Sweeney’s case is even more complicated. After being claimed off waivers in the 2013 season, Sweeney had good moments and at some time he looked like a keeper, someone who could patrol Wrigley Field’s CF for years. However, he also suffered plenty of injuries and played only 147 games combined between the past season and the present one. His numbers weren’t really good either as he hit .251/304/338 in 226 PA in 2014. He has had a history of hamstring issues, which could be a concern for the Cubs moving forward.
The Cubs are expected to make plenty of roster moves during the off-season, and they’re also expected to protect some players ahead of the Rule 5 draft. All things considered, it wouldn’t be surprising to see either Ruggiano or Sweeney – possibly both – off the 40-man roster once everything is said and done.