There’s still a month left of the season… but for the Chicago Cubs it’s never too early to look at the off-season since they’ve been out of contention for a while now. With a struggling club like the Cubs, you would expect a lot of player movement in the off-season. Not so much trades as the Cubs don’t have tradable pieces anymore (besides minor ones), but free agent signings and DFA’s. Today I’ll take a look at what players will not be next year or whom may not be back next year in a part 1 of 3 series.
RP Michael Bowden: Bowden may be back next year, but will have to fight for a spot in spring training. If Bowden is still in the Cubs organization next year, he’ll start the season for the Iowa Cubs bullpen. I do expect him to be DFA this off-season to clear him from the 40-man roster. He was DFA earlier this season to make room for Shawn Camp on the 25-man roster, but was outrighted to Triple-A and eventually added to the Cubs again.
Closer Kevin Gregg: I think the Cubs would try to re-sign Gregg, but he’ll end of signing with a team that has a better chance to make the playoffs. Maybe not as closer, but as set-up or just another arm in the bullpen. Pedro Strop could be the Cubs closer next year.
RP Hector Rondon: Rondon is a young arm who has great stuff, but hasn’t looked good this season. The only reason Rondon is still on the Cubs roster is because he was a Rule V pick and the Cubs don’t want to lose him. I expect him to start the season with the Iowa Cubs as a relief pitcher or the Cubs could see him as a starter as well.
RP James Russell: Russell started the season pitching great, but hasn’t pitched well as of late. The Cubs tried to trade him at the deadline and I expect them to trade him in the off-season.
RP Matt Gurrier: He’s a free agent and he’ll likely leave. He’ll becoming off arm surgery and the Cubs won’t want to take the chance on him. Plus, the Cubs could have just taken him to get rid of Carlos Marmol.
C Dioner Navarro: The Cubs have already said they would like to re-sign Navarro, but as a back-up to Welington Castillo like this year. Navarro has had a great season and I think he can win a starting job for a team or will sign with a contender.
3B Donnie Murghy: The Cubs would most certain try to re-sign him, but the Cubs are still keen on Luis Valbuena as their starting 3B and I think he will look elsewhere for a better opportunity.
3B Cody Ransom: Ransom will not be back. He has been horrible lately and there’s just no room for him. Their are a lot more options better than him.
OF Cole Gillespie: We haven’t seen him play much and that right there just tells you he won’t be back. The Cubs OF situation is full and he isn’t in the Cubs plan.
OF Darnell McDonald: Just like Gillespie, McDonald won’t be back unless he signs another minor-league deal and starts the season in Triple-A. I don’t even see that move taking place.
OF Thomas Neal: Neal only played one game for the Cubs and dislocated his shoulder (ending his season). Neal won’t be back as he didn’t prove himself and again, no OF space on the roster.
In the next few days, I’ll have part 2 of whom will be back next season.