Jed Hoyer admits the Cubs have some ‘really tough’ 40-man decisions on the roster

We talk about the upcoming 40-man roster crisis a lot in the summary – the Cubs have more prospects they want to protect from the Base 5 draft than they’ll be able to protect – and there will be time at the end of the season to really dive into it. But while we know a lot may change between now and October, some comments from Cubs President Jed Hoyer are worth sharing today.

It’s not just us geeks who see a challenge coming this season for the Cubs. It is also the front office.

Describing the 40-person roster’s decisions prior to draft Rule 5, Hoyer said this year is “much more complex.”

“It’s a good problem,” Heyer told the Tribune. “When you don’t have strong 40-man list decisions or no hard decisions, that’s a problem. We have a lot of really hard people now or guys that I think they deserve.”

Even if it’s not about the Cubs’ unusual depth, this year will likely still be a challenge to the simple fact of losing the 2020 minor league season. Eliminating an entire year of game events for players drafted in 2018-2019 or signed as Free International Agents shortly before that means you have an increased number of qualified leads (1) who are (1) really good, and (2) relatively inexperienced. Jumping into a 40-man list is a very long request in some cases, even for the odds you might like.

This likely means that some good odds are that no matter what happens, the sharks will be swimming in draft base 5 in December.

Note that this is a challenge both ways, though: If the Cubs are having this problem, there are many other organizations as well. This means that more “good” prospects will be unprotected than ever before (which means that specific Cubs rosters are unlikely to be crafted), and it also means that other organizations will face 40-man rosters crowded with younger players, making It’s pointless for them to include this kind of prospect in the league’s big 26-player roster after enlisting.

In other words, it is possible to see more “Holy crap they left that guy unprotected?!” This year’s resolutions are usual. Not just with the Cubs, but about baseball.

You can see the full range of Junior League players who qualify for Base 5 Draft Here at The Cub Reporter. a Not very comprehensive list Of some high-quality prospects from Cubs who qualify for Base 5 this year — some easy, some definitely not (and that doesn’t include guys already set to the 40-man, like Hayden Wesneski, Javier Asd, and Jeremiah Estrada):

C Pablo Allendo
Kevin Alcantara
RHP Michael Arias
1B Price Ball
RHB Ben Brown
RHP Chris Clark
RHB Danes Korea
RHP Yovani Cruz
Or in Berne Davis
RHB Lewis Devers
RHB Cole Franklin
RHP Richard Gallardo
Darius Hill
LHP Brian Hudson
RHP Ryan Jensen
LHP Brendon Little
From / 1b Nelson Maldonado
RHB Michael McVean
INF Juan More
For Ezekiel Bagan
Jonathan Berlaza
John Penango
RHP Jake Rendell
Cole Roderer
RHP Cam Sanders
INF Jake Slaughter
INF chase storage
RHP Riley Thompson
RHP Cayne Ueckert
INF Luis Vazquez
INF Luis Verdugo
INF Andy Weber
UTL Jared Young

In a very quick eyeball, I count up to a dozen (!) predictions on that list that I think are good enough that I really want to keep them, and are also good enough that it’s possible that some team will try to hunt them down, even knowing that It can be hard to hide it. I don’t see how the Cubs could *actually* protect an additional 12 possibilities, so there should be some risk and/or some trade-offs before the November rosters deadline.