Carl Edwards Jr. Reportedly Opts Out of Minors Deal

Friday brought the unsurprising news that first baseman Dominic Smith had opted out of his minor league deal with the Cubs, but now comes word of something a little less expected. According to The Bigs, reliever Carl Edwards Jr. has likewise opted out of his deal. This is a bit of a surprise because he’s pitched well this spring and seemed like a very good possibility to make the roster.

For added context, the header image on The Bigs’ X account is them speaking with Edwards in the Cubs dugout.

The Cubs already have several players under contract who are out of options, however, so Edwards would have left them with even less flexibility. There’s also the fact that Garrett Cooper will reportedly break camp with the Cubs, presumably by using the roster spot cleared by Caleb Kilian‘s placement on the 60-day IL. Adding Edwards would have required the Cubs to make more space via DFA or injury designation, something they didn’t see as being worthwhile.

That runs contrary to what Craig Counsell indicated recently when discussing Edwards’ status with the team, as Patrick Mooney pointed out in a piece about the pitching staff.

“CJ maybe just had to prove he was healthy,” Counsell said. “I think he’s done that quickly. He’s healthy. No issues with his health.”

The righty has until Sunday to opt out per his contract, so maybe the report is a bit premature. Or perhaps things changed in terms of how Counsell and the front office view the staff. Either way, best of luck to The Stringbean Slinger in whatever his next step will be.

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