Wasting little time in getting their offseason started, the Chicago Cubs announced early Wednesday that they have outrighted six players off of their 40-man roster. Outfielders Darnell McDonald and Thomas Neal, catcher J.C. Boscan, and right-handers Trey McNutt, Rafael Dolis, and Zach Putnam were all among the day’s roster casualties.
McDonald, Boscan, and McNutt all cleared waivers first. Neal, Dolis, and Putnam had to be activated from the team’s 60-day DL before they could be outrighted. Chicago’s 40-man roster now stands at 37 players.
None of the six players saw any significant time with the Cubs this past season. McDonald’s 57 plate appearances lead the way on the offensive side of things. He’d hit .302/.351/.434 during his brief stint with the club (25 games) but largely struggled at Triple-A for most the year (.236/.307/.346 in 294 PA). He, Neal, and Boscan are essentially organizational filler at this point in their respective careers so it’s tough to predict whether they’ll be back with the Cubs or if another team will offer an opportunity that will appeal to them.
On the mound the team also saw minimal results from the group. Dolis and Putnam combined to throw just 8.1 IP in the Major Leagues this season. Injuries limited them both (Dolis with a forearm issue, Putnam due to bone spurs in his elbow).
McNutt’s the big name of the group, as he was once considered among the team’s top pitching prospects but his development has seemingly stalled out once he reached Double-A. He’s now spent parts of the past four seasons at the level, combining to post a 4.52 ERA and 1.536 WHIP in 237.0 IP at the level (87 G, 42 GS). McNutt was converted into a reliever this past season, but he failed to take a step forward their as well.
None of the six are expected back with the Cubs, though McNutt is the most likely to return of the group.