Out Of Options Players: NL Central

The following 40-man roster players have less than five years service time and are out of minor league options.  That means they must clear waivers before being sent to the minors, so the team would be at risk of losing them in attempting to do so.  I've included players on multiyear deals.  This list was compiled through MLBTR's sources.  Today, we'll take a look at the NL Central.

Brewers: Juan FranciscoJeff Bianchi

Francisco is competing with Mark Reynolds and Lyle Overbay for the Brewers' first base job.  It's hard to imagine a scenario where all three make the team, wrote Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel last week.  Reynolds and Overbay signed minor league deals, but it seems likely at least one of them will make the team.  When Reynolds signed in January, it was said the Brewers told him he'll almost certainly make the team, so Overbay might have to beat out Francisco, who has the advantage of already being on the 40-man roster.

Back in February, Curt Hogg of Disciples of Uecker dissected the Brewers' reserve infielder situation, explaining that while they may need to carry seven infielders, Bianchi still seems needed as the only one capable of backing up Jean Segura at shortstop.

Cardinals: None

CubsGeorge KottarasWesley WrightJustin RuggianoJames McDonaldPedro StropWelington CastilloJeff SamardzijaLuis ValbuenaTravis WoodDonnie MurphyAlberto Cabrera

McDonald is competing with Chris Rusin for the Cubs' fifth starter job, at least until Jake Arrieta's shoulder is deemed ready.  Meanwhile, Cabrera is battling for the final bullpen spot with about a half-dozen others.

PiratesChris StewartJeanmar GomezMark MelanconTravis SniderJose TabataBryan MorrisAndy OliverStolmy PimentelPedro AlvarezVin Mazzaro

The Bucs' seven primary relievers last year were Jason Grilli, Melancon, Justin WilsonTony Watson, Gomez, Mazzaro, and Morris, and indeed, that was their bullpen for the NLDS.  It would be difficult for Oliver to break into that group, but surely the Pirates don't want to lose the hard-throwing Pimentel.  Tim Williams of Pirates Prospects thinks they'll find a place for him.  Some kind of trade makes sense to clear the logjam, barring injury.

RedsAlfredo Simon

Simon is in good standing as a member of the Reds' pen.


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