Promising prospects headline list of Cubs’ non-roster players for 2024 Spring Training
The Cubs have a jam-packed 40-man roster and they’re expanding their 2024 Spring Training group with an additional 19 non-roster players.
These players are not currently on the 40-man roster but will be available in big-league camp when pitchers and catchers report next Wednesday (Feb. 14). The Cubs’ first full-squad workout on Monday, Feb. 19.
A few prospects headline the group of 19 players, led by 2023 1st-round pick Matt Shaw, outfielder Owen Caissie and catcher Pablo Aliendo.
Caissie is the only outfielder on the list and has found his name on many of the national top prospect rankings, including No. 47 on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 list. The left-handed slugger came to the Cubs in the Yu Darvish trade in 2021 and mashed in Double-A last season to the tune of a .289/.399/.519 slash line (.918 OPS) with 22 homers and 84 RBI in 120 games.
Shaw, 22, was the 13th overall pick in last summer’s MLB Draft. Like Caissie, he finds himself ranked among the game’s best prospects (21st on Baseball Prospectus’ list). In his first taste of pro ball, Shaw rocketed up to Double-A and hit .357 with a 1.018 OPS in 38 games total.
Aliendo, 22, has been in the Cubs system the last 6 years and stands as one of the organization’s top young catchers. He posted a .790 OPS with 16 homers in 91 games for Double-A Tennessee last season.
Joining Aliendo in the catching camp are veterans Jorge Alfaro and Joe Hudson as well as Bryce Windham, who was the Cubs’ 32nd-round pick back in 2019.
In addition to Shaw on the infield, the Cubs are also inviting David Bote and Chase Strumpf to big-league camp.
The pitching group is also full of familiar names, including Carl Edwards Jr., Ethan Roberts and Brad Wieck.
Edwards was a big part of the Cubs’ championship-winning bullpen in 2016 and should have a decent shot at making the Opening Day roster. Roberts was a great story during Spring Training in 2022 and made the Opening Day bullpen but underwent Tommy John surgery that summer and did not pitch last season.
Wieck also underwent Tommy John surgery in the summer of 2022 and hasn’t pitched at all in a game since 2021. He has teased his potential over the past few years with the Cubs, including a perfect 0.00 ERA in 15 games (17 innings) in the big-league bullpen in 2021. If the southpaw is finally able to stay healthy, he could be an interesting option for a Cubs team looking for left-handed relief help.
The other pitchers invited to big-league camp include right-handers Cam Sanders, Chris Clarke, Riley Thompson, Colten Brewer and Sam McWilliams. Joining Wieck in the left-handed group is Richard Lovelady, Thomas Pannone and Edwin Escobar.
For any of these 19 players to make the Opening Day roster, the Cubs would have to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.