The Chicago Cubs found themselves with a plethora of options to close their 25-man roster this season, but unlike to recent years, the problems the front office had to face this time were good ones.
The solid play of utility guys like Emilio Bonifacio and Luis Valbuena – along with the emergence of Mike Olt who showed he’s fully recovered – created a problem for the organization as they simply didn’t have enough space on the roster to carry all of their infielders.
Luckily for the team, the problem got solved this morning, and now the picture is clearer in terms of which players will be headed north to Chicago for Opening Day next Monday. The Cubs have waived Donnie Murphy and he was immediately claimed by the Texas Rangers. The Rangers will take care of his salary in a move that also opens up a spot on the 40-man roster.
It’s hard to be surprised by the waiving of Murphy, though. The solid play of both Olt and Valbuena at the plate, the addition of Bonifacio in the offseason and the strong performance of Darwin Barney – who has even looked like a competent offensive player this spring – made Murphy unnecessary for the Cubs. Despite having a strong performance last year with Chicago, Murphy is nothing more than a utility player at this point and it’s clear the Cubs prefer to give those at-bats to players who can be part of the future.
With this move, it seems like Olt will actually make the Opening Day roster and Bonifacio could be headed for a bench spot in a super-sub role. These two are great additions for a Cubs squad that could turn a few heads if things click for them sooner rather than later.