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Date: November 20
The Cubs added four players to their 40-man roster on Tuesday according to a tweet from Carrie Muscat, as 2B Logan Watkins, 3B Christian Villanueva, P Trey McNutt and P Robert Whitenack are now safe from the upcoming Rule V Draft.
The team also designated 2012 All-Star Bryan LaHair for assignment, and according to Muscat his next destination could be Japan.
Watkins was the team's Minor League Player of the Year this past season, as he hit .281 BA, 9 HR, 52 RBI, 93 R in Double-A.
Villanueva, who was acquired from the Rangers in the Ryan Dempster trade, hit a combined .279 BA, 14 HR, 68 RBI at High Single-A after entering the season as Baseball America's No. 100 prospect
McNutt, who went 9-8 with a 4.26 ERA in Double-A this past season, is still trying to regain the form that made him a top prospect when he went 10-1 with a 2.48 ERA and 10.2 K/9 over three levels back in 2010.
The team then opted to protect Whitenack (15 GS, 1-6, 5.96 ERA at High Single-A) over 2012 Minor League Pitcher of the Year Nick Struck (14-10, 3.18 ERA at Double-A) and Struck may well be grabbed up by someone in the upcoming Rule V Draft.