The deadline for adding players to a team’s 40-man roster, and thus protecting them from the Rule-5 draft on December 8th, was November 18. The Cubs added the following players to the 40-man roster, also known as the MLB reserve list.
- LHP Jack Leathersich, Triple-A Iowa
- C Victor Caratini, Double-A Tennessee
- OF Jake Hanneman, Double-A Tennessee
- RHP Duane Underwood, Jr., Single-A Myrtle Beach
The addition of these players brings the Cubs 40-man roster to 39 players.
The Cubs have also claimed LHP David Rollins off waivers from the Seattle Mariners. With the pick up of Rollins, the Cubs are at the 40-man limit for their MLB reserve list (40-man roster). Any remaining Cubs’ players that are eligible for the Rule-5 draft – read here for eligibility requirements, basically if a player is 22 years old and not protected, i.e., on the team’s MLB reserve list, they’re eligible – may be selected by another team.
Currently, the Cubs have 51 players in their minor league system that are eligible for the Rule-5 draft (breakdown here at The Cub Reporter). If a player is selected by another team during the Rule-5 draft, that player must stay on that team’s 25-man (active) roster for the entire following season. If the team tries to move the player to a minor league team, that player must first pass through waivers and be offered back to the original team before being moved down to the minor leagues. If the original team passes, the player can be moved to the minors.
The Cubs latest pick up, LHP David Rollins, is a former Rule-5 draft pick by the Seattle Mariners in 2014. He was suspended for 80 games in 2015 for testing positive for PEDs. Over his minor league career, spanning five years from 2011-2016, he’s posted a respectable 3.35 ERA, 8.34 K/9, 2.61 BB/9, .72 HR/9, and 1.16 WHIP.
Rollins’ experience in the major leagues – 31 games over the 2015 and 2106 seasons – have seen him post a 7.60 ERA and his peripherals have like-wise been quite poor. Although, his FIP (FanGraphs) in both 2015 (4.21) and 2016 (6.90) were lower than his ERA, so perhaps there’s a chance of some upside with Rollins if he’s got solid defense behind him. I’m assuming the Cubs front office saw something in this guy that made them want to take a flyer on him but it’s not real clear what that was.