Chicago Cubs Clear Room; Add To The 40 Man Roster


Tuesday was the deadline for Major League Baseball teams to set their 40 man roster in anticipation of the Rule V draft. Meaning, today was the last day that the Cubs would be able to add prospects to the 40 man roster that may have been vulnerable to being drafted in the Rule V draft. The Cubs entered Tuesday with 39 players on their 40 man roster, meaning there was only one opening that the team had.

August 27, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs first baseman Bryan LaHair (6) hits a double against the Milwaukee Brewers during the sixth inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-US PRESSWIRE

One of the common practices is designating fringe players for assignment in order to create more room on the 40 man roster. The expectation was that the Cubs were going to make some type of roster move to clear room on the 40 man roster. During the weekend, Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago teased on his radio show that the Cubs were in talks to move some of their young players in a potential trade. That type of trade would have cleared room on the Cubs’ 40 man roster. After Levine’s speculated trade rumor made its rounds around the Internet on Monday, Levine was quick to discredit the rumor that he created by tweeting on Monday that the Cubs are currently not in discussions to trade any of their young players.

While the Cubs did not trade any of their young players on Tuesday, the Cubs did make a trade. The Cubs traded reliever Jacob Brigham–whom they acquired in a trade that sent catcher Geovany Soto to the Texas Rangers–back to the Rangers for starting pitching prospect Barret Loux and a player to be named later. Loux does not count against the Cubs’ 40 man roster. Loux was the sixth overall selection in the first round of the 2o1o first year player draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Loux started 25 games for the Rangers’ double A affiliate in 2012, posting a record of 14 and 1 to go along with an ERA of 3.47. Loux failed to sign with the Diamondbacks because of a shoulder injury, and that is why the Rangers’ were able to sign the pitcher. Loux, who won the Double-A Texas League Pitcher of the Year award this season, appears to be a promising pitching prospect for the Cubs.

That was not the only move that the Cubs made on Tuesday. First Baseman/outfielder Bryan LaHair was also designated for assignment in order to allow the veteran to seek an opportunity in Japan. LaHair had a story book start to the 2o12 season with the Cubs as his first half performance was enough to earn him a spot on the National League All-Star game. However, the emergence of Anthony Rizzo as well as the promotion of top prospect Brett Jackson were the reasons why LaHair was barely seen during the second half of the 2012 season. Meanwhile, reliever Carlos Guterrez cleared waivers and was assigned to the Minor Leagues.

The Cubs used their 4 openings on the 40 man roster to protect prospects Trey McNutt, Logan Watkins, Christian Villanueva, and Robert Whitenack from the Rule V draft.