Cubs Engaged in Trade Talks as 40-Man Deadline Nears

The deadline for teams to add prospects to their 40-man rosters in order to protect them from December’s Rule 5 Draft is 5pm CT Tuesday, so we should see a flurry of activity. The Cubs cleared six spots last week by outrighting several veterans to Triple-A Iowa, then they made more room by officially releasing Jason Heyward on Monday. They aren’t likely to select seven prospects, so the “crunch” being discussed is more about determining who will be protected.

Other teams are in tighter spots and may need to trade players to pare down their rosters by the deadline, so the Cubs figure to be actively pursuing deals. Maddie Lee of the Sun-Time tweeted that they are engaged in trade talks and an earlier report had them communicating with the Rays — one of the teams looking to free up space — about available pitchers.

We’re probably looking at moves that skew more procedural than blockbuster as fringe-type players are traded either for roster spots or to recoup value rather than seeing them lost in the Rule 5. It’s entirely possible, however, that teams will get to talking and things will grow in scope.

The Cubs are notorious for making last-minute decisions on these things, but we’ll do our best to track their moves as they happen.

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