The Cubs acquired utility player Miles Mastrobuoni from the Rays for minor-league pitcher Alfredo Zarraga before Tuesday’s deadline to set reserve lists for the Rule 5 Draft.
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. After the trade, the Cubs’ 40-man roster stood at 34 players.
“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.”
The Rule 5 Draft is scheduled for Dec. 7, during the Winter Meetings in San Diego.
Hoyer said then that the Cubs would be active in “some small trade discussions” leading up to Tuesday’s deadline.
The Cubs cleared roster spots to protect Rule-5 eligible prospects over the past week with a series of moves that brought their 40-man roster down to 33.
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.
On Monday, the Cubs announced they’d granted Heyward his unconditional release, something they’d been open about planning to do since August.
Franmil Reyes, David Bote, Steven Brault, Narciso Crook, Anderson Espinoza, Esteban Quiroz and Jared Young all cleared waivers and were outrighted to Triple-A.