Chicago Cubs Roster Continues to take Shape


The deadline to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players passed earlier this week and the Chicago Cubs had nine guys that they had to make decisions on.

Before the deadline even rolled around, the Cubs agreed to a one-year, $1.42 million deal for recently acquired lefty Rex Brothers. Brothers, who does have minor league options left, will compete for a bullpen job in Spring Training.

It wouldn’t be a surprised if he makes the team out of spring since he has a major league contract.

The Cubs also tendered a contract and agreed to terms with lefty Clayton Richard. Richard will make $2 million next season. While this is not entirely surprising, it was not a foregone conclusion since the Cubs did designate him for assignment twice last season.

He pitched well down the stretch for the Cubs last season and he hopes to build on that success in 2016.

The Cubs have also tendered contracts to RHPs Jake Arrieta, Justin Grimm, Hector Rondon, Pedro Strop, LHP Travis Wood and OF Chris Coghlan. All will be back in 2016 unless they get traded. The only real somewhat surprise in that group is Travis Wood.

While he was effective out of the bullpen last season, it’s possible the Cubs could have found a pitcher similar to him for less than the $6-7 million he will make in 2016.

The Cubs still have to negotiate contracts with the remaining six players they tendered contracts too.

The Cubs decided to non-tender both RHP Ryan Cook and LHP Jack Leathersich. Cook will become a free agent. Leathersich, on the other hand, was not arbitration eligible, so the Cubs could still resign him to a minor league deal, without having him on the 40 man roster.

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Both of these guys were recent waiver claims and fell victim to the Cubs recent surge of pitching depth. That dropped the 40 man roster from 38 to 36, until today, when the Cubs made two moves.

First, the claimed LHP Edgar Olmos off waivers from the Mariners. The 25-year-old lefty broke out in Triple-A last year following a shoulder issue but did not have much success in the six big leagues games he pitched last year.

The biggest move was signing RHP John Lackey to a two-year deal. I won’t go into the specifics of that since there is a separate article on that, but once his signing is official, the 40-man roster will be back to 38