Chicago Cubs News: Franmil Reyes and Alec Mills become free agents

Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs
Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages
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The Chicago Cubs underwent their first roster crunch of the offseason on Thursday when the deadlined passed for the team to reinstate players on the 60-Day IL to their 40-man roster. Prior to the deadline, the Cubs' 40-man roster stood at 43 so there was a flurry of moves that needed to be made by the team in order to adhere to the deadline.

In true Cubs' fashion, the team waited until right up to the deadline in order to make the roster moves official.

Of the players that were outrighted to the Iowa Cubs, all but David Bote elected for free agency. Bote is set to earn a base salary of $4MM in 2023 under the five-year, $15MM extension that he signed previously with the team, and given the struggles and injuries that has endured over the past two seasons, it made sense for him to accept the assignment to the Iowa Cubs. Bote is under team control for two more seasons so, barring a trade, he will still be a part of the organization but without a spot on the 40-man roster.

The Franmil Reyes experiment proved to be a failure for the Cubs after they took a chance on the power-hitter after he was designated for assignment by the Cleveland Guardians in August. The same issues that ended his tenure with the Guardians were the reason why the Cubs likely were going to non-tender the 27-year-old designated hitter this offseason.

The Chicago Cubs will be without veteran pitcher Alec Mills and designated hitter Franmil Reyes moving forward.

Reyes had a slash line of .234/.301/.389/.689 with the Cubs in 193 plate appearances during the final two months of the Major League Baseball regular season. Reyes had 5 home runs for the Cubs in that span and proved that he was not capable of being the power hitter that the Cubs desperately need in their lineup. With first base prospect Matt Mervis nearing the Major Leagues and the Cubs placing a high priority on signing free agent first baseman Jose Abreu, Reyes was bound to be the odd man out considering his lack of positional flexibility.

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Alec Mills' time with the Cubs has also come to an end. Mills has spent the past five seasons with the Cubs and proved to be a valuable swing piece between the starting rotation and bullpen when healthy. The 2022 season was plagued with injuries for Mills as he only made 7 appearances for the team and struggled with a 9.68 ERA. Given the Cubs having a preference to resign veteran Drew Smyly and their overall need for starting pitching, Mills was likely going to be out of a roster spot this offseason regardless.

The Cubs' 40-man roster now stands at 36 as the team has position to now to add a free agent or two with the offseason truly beginning.