Cubs acquire Miles Mastrobuoni from Rays, make 40-man roster decisions at deadline
The Cubs also selected the contracts of four prospects to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft.
With the deadline to set reserve lists for the Rule 5 Draft approaching Tuesday evening, the Cubs completed their first trade of the offseason and added four prospects to their 40-man roster.
The Cubs acquired utility player Miles Mastrobuoni from the Rays for minor-league pitcher Alfredo Zarraga. The deal gave the Cubs another young, versatile defender. Mastrobuoni, 27, debuted in September and recorded three hits in 16 at-bats. But he hit .300 in Triple-A before his call-up.
The Cubs also selected the contracts of outfielders Kevin Alcántara and Brennen Davis, and pitchers Ben Brown and Ryan Jensen, protecting them from the Rule 5 Draft.
“It feels really condensed, honestly,” president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said of Tuesday’s deadline, at GM meetings last week. “This is a shorter time frame. We have many deadlines, and that’ll help us make decisions. Yes, it was very different in the last few years in the sense of, we have a lot of hard decisions to make. But that’s a good thing.”
Notably, the Cubs left outfielder Yohendrick Piñago, infielder Chase Strumpf, and pitchers Luis Devers and Kohl Franklin unprotected. All four rank among the Cubs’ Top 30 prospects, according to MLB Pipeline.
The Rule 5 Draft is scheduled for Dec. 7, during the Winter Meetings in San Diego. After the Cubs’ moves Tuesday, they had two spots open on their 40-man roster.
The Cubs cleared roster spots to protect Rule-5 eligible prospects with a series of moves over the past week.
They activated pitchers Kyle Hendricks (strained right shoulder), Codi Heuer (Tommy John surgery) and Ethan Roberts (Tommy John surgery), and outfielders Jason Heyward (right knee inflammation) and Rafael Ortega (broken left ring finger) off the 60-day injured list.
Franmil Reyes, David Bote, Steven Brault, Narciso Crook, Anderson Espinoza, Esteban Quiroz and Jared Young all cleared waivers and were outrighted to Triple-A.
On Monday, the Cubs announced they’d granted Heyward his unconditional release, something they’d been open about planning to do since August.