Chicago Cubs News: Alfonso Rivas DFA, Pitching depth, and more

Chicago Cubs v Miami Marlins
Chicago Cubs v Miami Marlins / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

The Chicago Cubs may have tipped their hand regarding their plans for the first base position in 2023 as the team designated first baseman Alfonso Rivas for assignment on Friday night after claiming left-handed reliever Anthony Kay off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays.

Rivas, a glove-first first baseman, failed to seize the opportunity at first base with the Cubs last season after Frank Schwindel struggled considerably before being waived by the team in September. Rivas slashed .235/.322/.307 with the Cubs last season in 287 plate appearances but his wOBA of .285, wRC+ of 83, and .072 ISO speak to the overall struggles that he had last season.

While there is a chance that Rivas returns to the organization once he clears waivers, the move leaves the Cubs with only Patrick Wisdom and PJ Higgins on the active roster in regard to candidates to play first base. Matt Mervis is likely to be a factor as there is a strong possibility that he will make his Major League debut next season. FanGraphs released their ZiPS projections for the Cubs 2023 season earlier this week and Mervis projects a slash line of .253/.311/.448 with a .325 wOBA and 21 home runs.

It stands to reason that the Cubs would like to add another bat to their lineup, and ideally, a veteran first baseman that can serve as a platoon partner with Mervis as he eases into the Major League lifestyle. Given the Cubs' decision to DFA Rivas, perhaps that is a sign of momentum in their negotiations with veteran Trey Mancini.

Chicago Cubs add Nick Neidert on a minor-league deal

The Chicago Cubs added former Miami Marlins top-10 prospect, right-handed pitcher Nick Neidert on a minor-league deal on Friday night that includes opt-out provisions.

Neidert made one start with the Marlins at the Major League level last season and allowed 2 runs in 5 innings pitched. With the Marlins' triple-A affiliate last season, Neidert posted a 1.96 ERA in 14 appearances.

Chicago Cubs Pete Crow-Armstrong receives praise

Pete Crow-Armstrong has seemingly taken over as the Chicago Cubs' top prospect heading into 2023 and prospects Live had this summary of Crow-Armstrong during their write-up of the team's top 30 prospects.

"SUMMARY After playing just a handful of games in 2021, Crow-Armstrong looked every bit of the five-tool player that made him a first round pick in 2020. A true double-plus defender in center field gives the Harvard-Westlake product an easy path to the big leagues, but it’s the bat that could push Crow-Armstrong into all-star potential. There's a real chance to see him patrolling the friendly confines within the next two years. "

Ian Smith, Prospects Live