As anticipated, Tuesday proved to be very active for the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs officially received word from catcher Willson Contreras that he will be declining the $19.65MM qualifying offer that was extended to him by the team and he now officially becomes a free agent. The Cubs also connected with the Tampa Bay Rays on a trade that saw the team acquire utility infielder Miles Mastrobuoni for a class-A pitching prospect.
The Cubs also officially announced that they have added four minor league prospects to their 40-man roster, thus, protecting them from the Rule 5 draft.
Davis was an easy selection to the 40-man roster as he entered the 2022 season as the Cubs' top prospect and there was an expectation that his Major League debut could occur within the season. Davis struggled at the beginning of the season with the Iowa Cubs before missing a large portion of the season due to back injury.
The injury limited Davis to only 214 plate appearances in the Cubs minor league system and his slash line of .180/.299/.298/.597 highlighted the struggles he had offensively when healthy. The Cubs were hopeful that a stint with the Arizona Fall League in October would help get Davis back on track and ready for the 2023 season but the prospect's fall season was cut short as the Cubs shut down his baseball activity due to concerns over his back.
The Chicago Cubs have protected four prospects from the 2022 Rule 5 Draft.
Counting on Davis to be ready for Spring Training remains a question mark. Given the struggles that Davis had offensively last season, it seems likely that he will see an extended look with the Iowa Cubs to begin the 2023 season. If Davis can get healthy and return to an offensive form that saw him jump to the top of the Cubs prospect rankings prior to 2022, then there is a chance that he could see some time at the Major League level by the end of the 2023 season.
The next deadline for Cubs is on Friday as the team must decide whether or not to tender contracts to players that are under team control but not signed for the 2023 season. After Tuesday's trade for Mastrobuoni, utility infielder Zach McKinstry has emerged as a likely candidate to be non-tendered by the Cubs on Friday.