The Cubs have announced a pair of 40-man roster moves, with Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic among those to cover things on Twitter. The club selected the contract of veteran infielder Jason Kipnis, ensuring he’ll be on the Opening Day roster when the season gets underway.
To create 40-man roster space, the club made a two-part move with respect to recent Rule 5 pick Trevor Megill. After he cleared waivers — any other team could’ve stepped into the R5 rights by committing a 40-man spot — the Cubs sent cash to the Padres to secure Megill’s permanent rights. He’ll remain in the team’s 60-man player pool.
Kipnis has long seemed likely to crack the Cubbies’ roster and that’s now in the books. The 33-year-old struggled in spring action but offers ample versatility and veteran guile while also carrying a hint of upside. Kipnis has hit at a below-average rate for each of the past three seasons, but was a star-level performer before that. He has long carried heavy platoon splits, so the Cubs may see value in limiting him to deployment against right-handed pitching.
As for Megill, 26, the Cubs obviously saw merit in not only drafting him but pursuing his long-term rights. He did carry 12.7 K/9 against 3.4 BB/9 last year in 50 1/3 Triple-A frames, though he managed only a 4.47 ERA. The club was clearly also concerned with being required to carry Megill on the active roster this year. This way, it can allow him to continue developing and call upon him only if it seems prudent. If he doesn’t earn his way to the majors in 2020, Megill will be eligible again for the Rule 5 draft this winter.