Chicago Cubs: A Look at the 25 Man Roster

February 25, 2015; Mesa, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon (70, center) instructs in a team huddle during a spring training workout at Sloan Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
February 25, 2015; Mesa, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon (70, center) instructs in a team huddle during a spring training workout at Sloan Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /
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Every year, as we head into spring training, I like to compose my 25-man roster. I usually compose one right before spring training and then update it as the seemingly never-ending spring rolls on.

With spring training beginning in the middle of next month, and the Chicago Cubs constantly bringing in new players on minor league deals and such, I thought now would be a good time to give a breakdown of what the Cubs 25 man roster will look like come Opening Day.

The truth of the matter is, like previous years, there really isn’t going to be many open spots on this roster. Barring any trades, here is a the list of players (along with their position) who are signed for the 2016 season and will be on the big league roster come April 5th (barring a sudden trade):

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  1. Jon Lester (SP)
  2. Jason Heyward (OF)
  3. John Lackey (SP)
  4. Miguel Montero (C)
  5. Ben Zobrist (OF/IF)
  6. Jason Hammel (SP)
  7. Anthony Rizzo (1B)
  8. Trevor Cahill (SP/RP)
  9. Jorge Soler (OF)
  10. David Ross (C)
  11. Clayton Richard (RP)
  12. Rex Brothers (RP)

The following players are arbitration eligible for 2016 and while they haven’t been signed to a new contract, they will be a member of the big league club barring a trade:

  1. Pedro Strop (RP)
  2. Travis Wood (SP/RP)
  3. Chris Coghlan (OF)
  4. Jake Arrieta (SP)
  5. Hector Rondon (RP)
  6. Adam Warren (RP)
  7. Justin Grimm (RP)

That leaves the 25 man roster currently at 19. However, the following players are pre-arbitration eligible but are assumed to be on the roster based on their 2015 stats and the Cubs future plans for them:

  1. Kris Bryant (IF)
  2. Addison Russell (IF)
  3. Kyle Schwarber (OF/C)
  4. Javier Baez (IF)
  5. Kyle Hendricks (SP)

That now leaves the Cubs 25 man roster at 23. 13 of them are pitchers which likely means the Cubs are maxed out on pitchers and may run with an eight-man bullpen again. That leaves two position spots open.

It’s reasonable to assume that one of those sports could go to infielder Tommy La Stella, leaving only one open spot on the Cubs roster.

A lot could change between now and April 5 and the Cubs have stockpiled a ton of pitching depth but at this point it’s hard to see any of those minor league pitchers making the team.

The final position spot will likely be filled with an already familiar player or one that is brought in via a free agency or a trade. I will have much more on the Cubs roster including a position by position breakdown as well as potential lineups in the coming weeks.