Cubs add 3 players to 40-man, protect them from Rule 5 Draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The Cubs added three minor league players to their 40-man roster on Friday in right handed pitchers Cory Abbott and Keegan Thompson, and infielder Christopher Morel.
Adding the three to the 40-man protects them from next month's Rule 5 Draft. Friday at 5 p.m. was the deadline to add Rule-5 eligible players.
Abbott, Thompson and Morel each were part of the Cubs' 60-man player pool this past season, training at the club's South Bend alternate site. Abbott, a 2017 second-round pick, was the Cubs' 2019 Minor League Pitcher of the Year, spending the entire season at Double-A Tennessee. He's the Cubs' No. 12 overall prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.
Thompson also spent 2019 with Tennessee but missed most of the season with an injury. Morel spent 2019 with Single-A South Bend. Thompson (No. 26) and Morel (No. 11) are also ranked among the Cubs' top prospects.
Rule 5 Draft-eligible players are those who were signed or drafted at 18 years old or younger and not added to a club's 40-man roster within five seasons, as well as those signed or drafted at 19 or younger and not added within four seasons.
The Cubs' 40-man roster stands at 37.