Chicago Cubs: 5 Possible Roster Moves to Make Room for Anthony Rizzo
Well, it appears the wait is nearing a close.
Several reports and rumors have been circulating throughout the Chicagoland area that Anthony Rizzo will soon be joining the Chicago Cubs. Whether it is true or not, there are several factors that are supporting the claim.
One, his Super Two status is up, meaning he won't be a free agent until after the 2018 season. If he was called up a week or two ago, he would have been eligible for free agency after the 2017 season.
Second, Bryan LaHair saw time in the outfield, which suggests the team is looking at potential lineups that would involve Rizzo.
The guy has been monitored very closely all year, and hopefully his upcoming call up will be his last. The Cubs will need to figure out who will be the 26th man when they do call up Rizzo.
So let's explore five possible options that could precede Anthony Rizzo's call up.
Cubs Option Adrian Cardenas to Triple-A Iowa
In 33 at-bats, Adrian Cardenas has just five hits and no home runs. He has not exactly performed up to par, and it is possible the Cubs will take a chance and send him through waivers to make room for a more potent bat.
At 24, he still has time to improve, but the Cubs may decide he is the best option to move to make room for Rizzo.
Cubs Designate Joe Mather for Assignment
After getting off to a good start and becoming a go to guy on the bench, Mather has cooled down quite a bit, hitting just .235 in June with 10 strikeouts to 0 walks.
These are the best statistics of his career, so he could likely latch on with another club if the Cubs do let him go. Letting him go and moving LaHair to the outfield would give either Alfonso Soriano or David DeJesus more opportunities off the bench.
Cubs Trade Alfonso Soriano (or Place on DL)
Soriano has rebounded after a slow start, but the one thing that will hold up a trade is the amount of money changing hands. The Cubs and Orioles made a similar trade before when they dumped Sammy Sosa on the Orioles. You would think the Orioles would know better, but at least they are still in the playoff hunt.
Another possibility is the Cubs placing Alfonso Soriano on the disabled list. After a week on the bench as the designated hitter, presumably resting his knees, it is possible the Cubs will rest him as much as they can until the All-Star Break so he is fresh for the second half of the season.
While a stint on the DL may hurt his value, it has proven to have little impact on interest in Ryan Dempster, who will most definitely be traded.
Placing Soriano on the DL buys the Cubs time with Rizzo on the big league squad, but a subsequent move would be necessary when he is healthy again.
Cubs Designate Jairo Asencio for Assignment
I know what most of you are thinking.
The Cubs picked this guy up off waivers and he owns a 2.25 ERA in 8 games with the team. Not bad.
In 25 games this season with Chicago and Cleveland, he is 1-1 with a 5.08 ERA and 24-13 K-BB. He is improving, but at 29, and not having a successful year in the majors, his window may be closing.
Sending him down would leave the Cubs with 11 pitchers, which would have to be rectified because teams typically go with 12 or 13 pitchers at any given time.
Cubs Place Casey Coleman on DL
Casey Coleman was hit hard with a broken bat earlier this week, and while he seems okay, it is possible the Cubs will play it safe and put him on the disabled list.
The move would allow the Cubs to call up Anthony Rizzo, but it would only be temporary as that would leave the Cubs with too few pitchers. Still, if Rizzo is here to stay several of the previous options could be moved to keep a healthy amount of pitchers with the parent club.