Wednesday, the Cubs revealed the 21 non-roster players they’ve invited to spring training. The group includes 12 pitchers, four infielders, two outfielders and three catchers. Newcomers highlighted in bold:
Right-handed pitchers: Jason Adam, Oscar De La Cruz, Dakota Mekkes, Brandon Morrow, Caleb Simpson, Brock Stewart and Ben Taylor
Left-handed pitchers: Rex Brothers, Danny Hultzen, Tyler Olson, CD Pelham and Wyatt Short
Infielders: Carlos Asuaje, Trent Giambrone, Corban Joseph and Hernan Perez
Outfielders: Noel Cuevas and Ian Miller
Catchers: P.J. Higgins, Johnny Pereda and Josh Phegley.
The group is highlighted by Morrow, the oft-injured former closer who hasn’t pitched in a big-league game since July 2018. If he’s healthy (and obviously pitching well), the 35-year-old will likely claim a role in the Cubs Opening Day bullpen, though not in a high-leverage spot — at least early in the season. The Cubs could have him start the year in the minors too.
Morrow, who signed a two-year, $21 million deal with the Cubs ahead of 2018, will make $1 million if he cracks the big-league roster.
Adam sported a 2.91 ERA in 23 games with the Blue Jays last season. Olson has posted ERAs above 4 the past two seasons, but the lefty allowed no earned runs in 30 games (20 innings) with the Indians in 2017.
Brothers sported a 1.74 ERA in 2013 (72 appearances) and 2015 (17 appearances) with the Rockies. The Cubs acquired him in November 2015 but cut him in 2016 spring training. He didn’t pitch in the majors last season and appeared in just one game in 2018.
The Cubs have loaded up on relievers this offseason in the event their bullpen struggles or experiences a number of injuries. The non-roster guys may not crack the Opening Day roster but could make it to the big leagues at some point in 2020.
Asuaje, Joseph, Perez, Cuevas, Miller and Phegley will likely spend a majority of their time in the Cubs farm system this season, if they aren’t cut in camp.
The Cubs full roster entering camp:
Page two just for you pic.twitter.com/fIDv4tR7aZ— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) February 5, 2020