Cubs make Roster Move

While most of the focus is on the playoff roster, the Cubs quietly made a move that effects their 40 man roster, claiming Brad Snyder off waivers from the Indians and DFA'ing Adam Harben. Snyder is a 26 year old left-hand hitting OF who spent the season at Buffalo, the AAA affiliate of the Indians. While playing left and center, he hit .246 with 13 HR's and 7 stolen bases, but he also struck out 123 times in 411 AB's. He was the 18th overall pick in the 2003 draft and at the time was ranked as the 3rd best 5 tool talent in the draft. In 2006, he was the Indians 3rd best prospect according to Baseball America (ahead of guys like Fausto Carmona and Ryan Garko). In '07, he dropped to 8th. And while he was no longer in the Indians top ten this past year, he was still considered the best athlete in the organization and the best outfielder, both defensively and based on arm strength.
So why would the Cubs make this move? Looking at their 40 man roster, as well as their OF prospects, it's easy to see why. In terms of OF's, the 40 man consists of Soriano, Edmonds, Pie, Johnson, Fukudome, and Sam Fuld. Tyler Colvin is the only real prospect in the Cubs system that is an OF and worthy of a spot on the 40 man roster. If Johnson and Edmonds are gone after this year, the Cubs only have 4 OF's. Granted, who knows what will happen in terms of FA's and trades, but adding Snyder gives the Cubs some more depth.
Conversly, the fact that Adam Harben was DFA'd isn't a major surprise. Harben was acquired by the Cubs in the trade for Phil Nevin in late 2006. He underwent Tommy John surgery later that fall and was out all of last year. The Cubs added him to the 40 man roster last November to protect him, but a 3-6 record with a 5.37 ERA didn't really need to be protected. If he goes unclaimed in the next ten days, he will be outrighted (if the Cubs so choose) to the minors and be off the 40 man roster.

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