Cubs make flurry of roster moves as 40-man deadline looms

Cubs make flurry of roster moves as 40-man deadline looms originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Cubs' 40-man roster stands at 36 after they made a flurry of moves on Thursday.

— Kyle Hendricks, Codi Heuer, Jason Heyward, Rafael Ortega and Ethan Roberts have been activated off the 60-day injured list.

— David Bote, Steven Brault, Narciso Crook, Anderson Espinoza and Franmil Reyes cleared waivers and were outrighted to Triple-A Iowa.

— Alec Mills and Brad Wieck were activated off the 60-day IL, cleared waivers and were outrighted to Iowa.

The Cubs are expected to release Heyward in the coming days before the final season of his eight-year contract.

Teams have until Tuesday to add non-40-man players to the 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft.

The 2023 Rule 5 Draft is scheduled for Dec. 7 at the Winter Meetings. Players not on their team's 40-man roster are eligible to be selected by another organization under this criteria:

-If they signed at 18 years old or younger and are not added to the 40-man within five seasons

-If they signed at 19 or older and are not added within four seasons

Top prospects Brennen Davis and Kevin Alcántara are among those the Cubs will have to protect. Others who fall under the listed criteria are outfielder Yohendrick Pinango, second baseman Chase Strumpf, and pitchers Luis Devers, Ryan Jensen and Kohl Franklin, according to MLB.com.

The Cubs named Devers their minor league pitcher of the year last month.

They added Nelson Velazquez and Ethan Roberts to the 40-man last November ahead of the Rule 5 Draft.

Note: Pitching prospect Alexander Vizcaino, whom the Cubs acquired from the Yankees the 2021 Anthony Rizzo trade, is still on the restricted list.

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