Free agency is not just a major league thing, since minor leaguers can also shop their services after six years as a pro. The Cubs had almost 20 players scheduled to become MiLB free agents today, which they could avoid by placing said players on the 40-man roster.
Colin Rea looked to be a certainty for that designation and was in fact the only potential free agent to be rostered by the 5pm ET deadline. He had a good year at Triple-A Iowa, earning Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Year with a 3.95 ERA that ranked second in the league. Yes, you read that right, it was a wild season for the PCL.
Rea was able to pile up 148 innings after missing the better part of two summers due to injuries and still has two options left. That flexibility certainly aided the Cubs’ decision to keep him in the organization.
Not selecting Jhonny Pereda was a surprise, even though he only hit .241 this year at Double-A. But he won a Gold Glove and threw out close to 50% of attempted base-stealers, and we all know catchers are not easy to come by. His plate approach was solid as he walked over 12% of the time and Pereda should be highly sought after for his defensive skillset.
Unfortunately for Oscar De La Cruz, Taylor Davis, and Trevor Clifton, their Cubs days may be at an end. I would not be surprised to see the Cubs try and re-sign De La Cruz and some of the others, should the two sides agree. Davis is one of those guys teams love to have around because he just screams ”future coach” when his playing days are done.
Here is the full list of players who are free to sign wherever.
Pereda, Davis, Clifton, De La Cruz, Dixon Machado, Phillip Evans, Johnny Field, Alex Wilson, Luis Lugo, Erick Leal, Charcer Burks, Roberto Caro, Erick Castillo, Manuel Rondon, Corey Black, Enrique de los Rios, Gioskar Amaya.
The next big day is November 20, when the Cubs have to decide which of the 72 eligible prospects to place on the 40-man roster to avoid having them selected in the Rule 5 Draft. Those choices could get really interesting, so stick around for our previews and coverage of all the possibilities.