I ran into two comments about the Cubs’ roster construction today. First, on Another Cubs Blog, there was a comment about how the roster is mostly the work of Hendry at this point, not so much his predecessors. The second was on the radio, where the Cubs were compared to the White Sox. Specifically, the Cubs, they said, tend not to develop prospects, but rather to trade for veterans or sign free agents, while the White Sox develop prospects in house. That prompted me to take a closer look at how this team had been built, and where the players came from. So I looked at the likely 25-man roster, and then I ended up building a little family tree.
As it turns out, the breakdown is:
- Free Agents: 9 players (36%)
- Acquired by Trade: 9 players (36%)
- Cubs Prospects: 7 players (28%)
“Cubs Prospects” doesn’t account for Fontenot, who came over in the Sosa trade and spent a lot of time as a Cubs farmhand.
In looking this stuff up, I also ran down the trades that brought everyone who was traded here over, and I made a chart (or rather, a couple of charts, since I couldn’t render all this information cleanly in just one). As it happens, the oldest connection belongs to Fontenot. The Cubs got him for Sosa, who they got for George Bell, who signed with the team in 1990. The most-attenuated connection is Gaudin and Rich Harden – the sequence of trades that resulted in their coming to the Cubs started with Justin Speier, Kevin Orie, and Todd Noel, four trades ago.
So, here are the charts. Players whose names are in black are currently on the team, white names are former Cubs. A blue box means the player came to the Cubs as a free agent; red is a Cubs prospect (amateur free agent, undrafted free agent, or drafted); green means the player came over in a trade.