The Rundown: Cubs Protect C.J. Edwards from Rule 5 Draft, 40-Man Roster Sits at 39

Not surprisingly, the Cubs added RHP C.J. Edwards to the 40-man roster on Thursday, protecting him from the Rule 5 draft. The roster currently sits at 39.

The Rule 5 draft is scheduled to take place Dec. 11, and we’ll have to wait and see if any of the Cubs’ prospects get drafted — or if the Cubs decide to take a chance on someone from another team.

Two years ago, they snagged current closer Hector Rondon from the Indians in the Rule 5 draft. So it’s not impossible to find a nice piece in this manner, although it’s not something to get overly hopeful about.

Most of the Cubs’ best prospects are either already on the 40-man (so can’t be taken in the Rule 5 draft) or haven’t been in the minor leagues long enough to be Rule 5 eligible (such as Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber).

Edwards, 23, is arguably the Cubs’ best pitching prospect after coming over in the trade for Matt Garza. He missed a lot of time this year due to a shoulder injury, but pitched well when he had the chance. That included an excellent stint in the recently concluded Arizona Fall League.

It’s not a secret that I’m a big Edwards fan. I’m looking forward to seeing how he handles Triple-A this year, and whether he gets a late-season call-up to the major leagues.

Just imagine him coming out of the bullpen for the Cubs to help with a playoff run. That might be a far-fetched, best-case scenario, but a guy can dream, right?

Zimmermann rumors resurface

Bob Nightengale is reporting that the Nationals would look to move RHP Jordan Zimmermann for a strong return. We heard a similar report from Gordon Wittenmyer last week, although he specifically linked the Cubs to a deal.

That deal was shot down by others in the media, but it seems this story in fact does have legs. As for any Cubs involvement, I’m just not sure it makes sense since Zimmermann becomes a free agent after 2015.

Zimmermann, who is only 28, would certainly be a great addition. But it might be a better idea for the Cubs to try and see if they can sign him as a free agent after next year, as opposed to giving up a bunch of top prospects in a trade.

This Is the End…for 87.7 The Game

In an unfortunate and sad development on Thursday, media reporter Robert Feder announced that Chicago sports radio station 87.7 The Game would be shut down at the end of the year.

The station got its start only nine months ago, with good intentions. It attracted some interesting talent and tried to provide an alternative to the top two sports stations in Chicago, 670 The Score and ESPN 1000.

A number of individuals, including Ben Finfer, Connor McKnight and Adam Hoge, left The Score to get more of an opportunity. It’s sad to see things not work out.

But the worst part about the situation is that Feder’s article began circulating during the “Quigs and Finfer” midday show. And the hosts had no idea they were essentially being fired. They learned about it on Twitter.

You can read some of Finfer’s on-air reactions here. I can’t imagine how I would have reacted in a similar situation.

I really hope they are able to catch on somewhere else. They deserve it. And they did NOT deserve for things to go down this way.

Other notes

* Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Dispatch writes that former Cubs hitting coach and new Cardinals assistant hitting coach Bill Mueller likes the “positive atmosphere” within the St. Louis coaching staff. Mueller said the atmosphere is “what we wanted to create in Chicago.” I’m not sure what to make of this quote. Is he hinting that the atmosphere in the Cubs clubhouse was bad? Is he just bitter about the Cubs trying to reassign assistant hitting coach Mike Brumley? I could just be reading too far into things.

* Jerry Crasnick takes a look at pace-of-play measures used during the Arizona Fall League. He talks to a number of players about the pitch clock and other areas such as mound conferences. He even suggests, likely tongue-in-cheek, that the bullpen cart could make a comeback. I didn’t watch a lot of the AFL games, but the bits that I caught did seem a bit odd with the pitch clock. I don’t think clocks will make their way into MLB games — not yet, anyway. But I wouldn’t mind seeing the length-of-game issue being addressed at some point.

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