The Cubs added infielder Arismendy Alcantara and right-handed pitcher Dallas Beeler to Chicago's 40-man roster, protecting the two players from the upcoming Rule 5 draft. Both players spent 2013 at AA Tennessee.
Alcantara was a mid-season and post season all-star, moving from short to second after Javier Baez arrived in town. The switch-hitting Dominican turned in his best season as a professional, hitting .271/.352/.451 with 15 HR, 69 RBI and 31 stolen bases. The 22-year-old excelled from the left side of the plate, batting .280 with 14 of his homers. He also set a career high for games played in 2013 with 133, after being injured for the past two seasons. Alcantara is currently playing in the Dominican Winter League for Licey where he hitting just .196 in 15 games. Alcantara will start 2013 at second base in Iowa, and if he excels at AAA, could receive a mid-season call-up to Wrigley.
Beeler impressed the Cubs front office enough in the Arizona Fall league to earn a spot on the 40-man. The right-hander made six starts in the AFL, posting a 4-1 record with a 2.49 ERA in 21.2 innings. He also started the championship game for Mesa, allowing one run on two hits in five innings. The 24-year-old was making up for lost innings as the he missed most of 2013 after tearing a tendon in the middle finger of his pitching hand in May. Prior to the injury, Beeler made nine starts for Tennessee (54.2 IP, 43H, 17 B, 35 K) going 4-2 with a 3.13 ERA.
The Cubs 40-man roster now stands at 39 players. Several Cubs prospects will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft including OF Jae-Hoon Ha, who spent time at AA and AAA this season. Don't be surprised if Ha is selected. Others eligible to be drafted include 2B Gioskar Amaya, RHP Frank Batista, RHP Zach Cates, C Wilson Contreras, IF Wes Darvill, RHP Marcus Hatley, SS Marco Hernandez, LHP Eric Jokisch, RHP Matthew Loosen, RHP Ryan Searle, and RHP Nick Struck.
Players selected in the Rule 5 draft must stay on the team's 25-man roster for the duration of the 2014 season. The Cubs have drafted and kept right-handed pitchers Lendy Castillo (Phillies) and Hector Rondon (Indians) the past two years.