Chicago Cubs: 40-man roster trimmed to start offseason


With Monday being the first official day of the Major League Baseball offseason, a lot was  happening around baseball and the Chicago Cubs quietly cleared up some roster space.

To begin, the Cubs have eight players with expiring contracts, so while they officially became free agents on Monday, the Cubs do have until Nov. 6 (5 days after the World Series) to re-sign any of their free agents before they can officially sign with other ballclubs.

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The Cubs’ eight free agents are: RHPs Fernando Rodney, Tommy Hunter, Jason Motte, Trevor Cahill and Dan Haren, along with outfielders Dexter Fowler, Chris Denorfia and Austin Jackson.

It is already known that Haren will retire so he won’t be back. While none of these players are expected to be re-signed before Friday, it would not be surprising to see Cahill back in a Cubs uniform sometime this offseason.

He was valuable down the stretch for the Cubs and, at just 27 years old, the team may want to keep him in the mix. That being said, he will likely draw some interest from other clubs this winter, which may offer him more innings than the Cubs.

On the outfield side of things, Fowler will receive the $15.8 million qualifying offer, but he is unlikely to accept that as he will seek a multi-year deal. Hunter and Jackson were unsuccessful with the Cubs so they won’t be back, in my opinion.

Motte had his share of ups-and-downs but was plagued by an injury yet again, and the Cubs will likely replace Denorfia with a cheaper and potentially younger option. Fernando Rodney helped the Cubs down the stretch, but at 38, likely won’t continue that level of success much longer.

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So with those eight players becoming free agents, the Cubs 40-man roster now stands at 32. However, a few more moves were made. Outfield speedster Quintin Berry, infielder Jonathan Herrera and catcher Taylor Teagarden were all outrighted off the 40-man roster.

Berry and Herrera elected free agency so they won’t be back unless the Cubs re-sign them to a minor-league deal later in the offseason. Teagarden was optioned to Triple-A Iowa, so he remains with the club.

That leaves the 40-man roster at 29 after a few busy days early by the Chicago Cubs’ front office. There are still some guys on that 40-man who likely won’t be there all offseason so more moves will continue to be made.