Injuries & Moves: Cubs add David Peralta as NRI, Dominic Smith on Minors deal (source)

February 20th, 2024

With Cubs camp back in session in Mesa, Ariz., this page will be continually updated with injury updates and roster moves throughout Spring Training.

LATEST NEWS

Feb. 19: David Peralta agrees to non-roster invite with Cubs (source)
The Cubs are adding a veteran presence to the clubhouse, agreeing to a non-roster deal with outfielder David Peralta, a source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand on Monday. The club has not confirmed the move.

The 36-year-old Peralta is a former Gold Glove winner and Silver Slugger with the D-backs, where he spent the first nine years of his career. He was a steady presence in the lineup for Arizona, with a .283/.340/.463 line and 112 OPS+. He was traded to the Rays at the 2022 Trade Deadline and then signed with the Dodgers as a free agent for the 2023 season. Peralta is likely to be battling for an outfield/DH spot on the roster.

Feb. 19: agrees to Minor League deal (source)
The Cubs are bringing in free agent first baseman Dominic Smith on a Minor League deal, a source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand. The club has not confirmed the deal, which can max out at $3.5 million with incentives, according to a report from Robert Murray at FanSided. Smith had hamate bone surgery in early January, but should be ready by the end of Spring Training.

Smith, 28, is a .248/.313/.407 hitter with 58 homers in seven seasons. He spent last season with the Nationals, slashing .254/.326/.366 with 12 homers and 46 RBIs, after playing his first six years with the Mets, who drafted him 11th overall in 2013.

Feb. 9: Cubs invite 19 non-roster players to Major League Spring Training, including OF Owen Caissie and SS Matt Shaw
Caissie (No. 47 on Pipeline’s Top 100 prospect list) and Shaw (No. 54) highlight Chicago’s list of non-roster invitees, which bring the Cubs’ camp total to 59 at the moment. Here is a breakdown of the non-roster invitees:

• Pitchers: RHPs Colten Brewer, Chris Clarke, Carl Edwards Jr., Sam McWilliams, Ethan Roberts, Cam Sanders and Riley Thompson; LHPs Edwin Escobar, Richard Lovelady, Thomas Pannone and Brad Wieck.

• Catchers: Jorge Alfaro, Pablo Aliendo, Joe Hudson and Bryce Windham.

• Infielders: David Bote, Shaw and Chase Strumpf.

• Outfielders: Caissie.

Feb. 6: Cubs sign RHP Carl Edwards Jr., LHP Richard Lovelady and RHP Sam McWilliams to Minor League contracts with invites to MLB Spring Training
Chicago added a trio of arms via Minor League deals, including Edwards -- a member of the 2016 World Series-champion Cubs team.

Edwards rejoins the North Siders after logging a 3.07 ERA in 89 games over the past two seasons with the Nationals, compiling 80 strikeouts against 42 walks in 93 2/3 innings. The righty had a 3.69 ERA in 32 games in ‘23. Edwards pitched for the Cubs from 2015-19 and has a 3.54 ERA in 295 career MLB games in nine years.

Lovelady, 28, has pitched in parts of four seasons with the Royals and A’s, holding lefty batters to a .232 average and .663 OPS in his career. In ‘23, the left-hander had a 4.63 ERA with 24 strikeouts and 10 walks in 23 1/3 innings for Oakland. McWilliams, 28, has spent eight years in the Minors with six organizations. The righty posted a 3.55 ERA with 29 strikeouts in 25 1/3 innings for Monterrey in the Mexican Winter League this offseason.

Feb. 1: Cubs sign RHP Hector Neris to one-year contract with team option for 2025; designate RHP for assignment
The Cubs added one of baseball’s most durable late-inning arms in the 34-year-old Neris, who joins the fold on a one-year, $9 million deal. The veteran reliever has a $9 million team option for 2025 that can turn into a player option with either 60 appearances or 45 games finished this year, as long as he avoids a season-ending stint on the injured list. With incentives, Neris’ deal has a max value of $23.25 million, per sources.

Neris has worked in at least 70 games in each of the past three seasons and leads the Majors in games pitched (307) dating back to 2019. Last year with the Astros, the righty turned in a 1.71 ERA in 71 games, ending with 77 strikeouts and 31 walks in 68 1/3 innings.

Rucker, 29, logged a 4.96 ERA in 96 appearances for the Cubs over the past three seasons. The righty had a 4.91 ERA with 40 strikeouts and 19 walks in 40 1/3 innings in 35 games for Chicago last season.

Jan. 11: Cubs acquire INF and RHP from the Dodgers in exchange for LHP and OF Zyhir Hope
The North Siders targeted two needs with one headline-grabbing trade with the Dodgers. The Cubs landed left-handed power in Busch (ranked No. 44 on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 prospects list) and Major League relief help in Almonte. To clear a spot on the 40-man roster, catcher Brian Serven was designated for assignment.

Busch, 26, slashed .323/.431/.618 with 27 homers, 26 doubles and 90 RBIs in 98 games for Triple-A Oklahoma City in 2023, posting an 18.8% strikeout rate and 13.9% walk rate. He played mostly third base last year, but also has experience at first and second base, along with the outfield. Busch was a first-round pick (No. 31 overall) by the Dodgers in the 2019 Draft.

Almonte, 29, avoided arbitration with the Dodgers with a $1.9 million deal for 2024 back in November. The righty features a sweeper and sits around 95-96 mph with his fastballs (sinker and four-seamer), per Statcast. After posting a 1.02 ERA in 33 games for L.A. in ‘22, Almonte had a 5.06 ERA with 49 strikeouts in 48 innings (49 games) in ‘23. More >>

Jan. 11: Cubs avoid arbitration with six players
Chicago reached one-year agreements to avoid arbitration with righty Adbert Alzolay ($2.11 million), righty Mark Leiter Jr. ($1.5 million), infielder Nick Madrigal ($1.81 million), reliever Julian Merryweather ($1.175 million), lefty Justin Steele ($4 million) and outfielder Mike Tauchman ($1.95 million). The Cubs previously avoided arbitration with infielder Patrick Wisdom ($2.725 million). More >>

INJURY UPDATES