Chicago Cubs can avoid August roster crunch by using array of moves

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs face a precarious balancing act in the weeks to come. After loading up on pitching, the front office may have some tough decisions to make.

August can be a difficult month for roster decisions. On September 1, rosters expand, so everyone on the 40-man roster can be on the active major league roster. The July 31 non-waiver trade deadline has come and gone – with the Chicago Cubs stocking up on arms ahead of August.

However, trades can still be made via the waiver process. That means that basically anyone traded after July 31 has to have a large contract that other teams wouldn’t want on their payroll. However, anyone who will be eligible for the a team’s playoff roster must be on the 40-man before Sept. 1.

Right now the following pitchers: Yu Darvish, Brandon Morrow, Brian Duensing, Anthony Bass and Drew Smyly are all on the disabled list. Randy Rosario is the only pitcher with options who is currently on the Major League roster and is a no-brainer to be sent down to minors when any one of the other pitchers is ready to be activated.

Drew Smyly has been recovering from Tommy John surgery. I think the plan all along has been for him to either spend the entire season rehabing or joining the team no early than after Sept. 1.

So that leaves three pitchers without spots on the roster. Those three spots were taken by the three trades the Cubs made in July for Jesse Chavez, Cole Hammels and Brandon Kintzler.