Cubs begin offseason with a handful of roster moves
The first order of business for the Cubs offseason is in the books.
As expected, the team declined its option for Jon Lester. The Cubs also outrighted left-handed reliever Rex Brothers to Triple-A Iowa and claimed infielder Max Schrock off waivers from the Cardinals.
Lester’s option was for $25 million, with $10 million of that representing a buyout.
The veteran southpaw will turn 37 in January and could still re-sign with the team on a lesser deal. If this is the end of Lester’s Cubs tenure, he will go down as the most impactful free agent signing in franchise history, helping to instill a winning culture and bringing the World Series trophy back to the North Side of Chicago for the first time in 108 years.
As a way to pay back fans for their support over the last six years, Lester offered to buy a round of Miller Lite at four Chicago bars over the Halloween weekend.
Schrock is a 26-year-old infielder who made his MLB debut for the Cardinals in 2020, playing 11 games and hitting .176 with a .529 OPS over 17 at-bats.
Over the course of his minor-league career, Schrock hit .300 with a .354 on-base percentage, 24 homers and 50 steals in 480 games while playing mostly second base and third base. He also saw some time at shortstop and in left field.
Schrock is a left-handed-hitter who has a track record of making a lot of contact in the minor leagues, which fits the mold the Cubs front office is looking for to help add a new dimension to the lineup.
Brothers will turn 33 in December and spent most of the 2020 season at the alternate site in South Bend. He made 3 appearances in the big leagues, sporting an 8.10 ERA and striking out 8 batters in 3.1 innings.
With Lester, that brings the Cubs’ list of free agents to 9. Jason Kipnis, Tyler Chatwood, Andrew Chafin, Jeremy Jeffress, Billy Hamilton, Cameron Maybin, Josh Phegley and José Quintana all hit the open market the day after the World Series ended.
The team’s 40-man roster currently stands at 31 players entering the offseason.