Cubs add four to their 40-man roster

Cubs add four to their 40-man roster

CHICAGO -- The Cubs selected the contracts of left-handed pitcher Jeff Beliveau, infielders Junior Lake and Josh Vitters and outfielder Matt Szczur, and added them to the 40-man roster on Friday.

In addition, the Cubs outrighted outfielder Lou Montanez and right-handed pitchers Esmailin Caridad and Kyle Smit off the 40-man roster.

Friday was the deadline for teams to set the 40-man rosters in anticipation of the Rule 5 Draft, which will be conducted at the Winter Meetings on Dec. 8.

With the changes, the Cubs' 40-man roster is now at 34 players.

Beliveau, 24, was named the Cubs' 2011 Minor League Pitcher of the Year after going 6-2 with five saves and a 1.57 ERA in 53 relief appearances between Class A Daytona and Double-A Tennessee. The lefty combined to strike out 89 and walked 19 over 74 1/3 innings. He also pitched for Team USA and briefly in the Arizona Fall League. In four Minor League seasons, Beliveau is 17-9 with 10 saves and a 2.69 ERA.

Lake, 21, hit .279 with 21 doubles, six triples, 12 home runs, 38 stolen bases, 80 runs scored and 51 RBIs in 116 games between Daytona and Tennessee.

The shortstop was named a 2011 Arizona Fall League Rising Star, batting .296 with eight doubles, three triples, five home runs and 18 stolen bases in 28 games. He is a career .267 hitter in 476 Minor League games over five seasons.

Szczur, 22, batted .293 with 22 doubles, three triples, 10 homers, 46 RBIs, 75 runs and 24 stolen bases in 109 games for Class A Peoria and Daytona this past season. A fifth-round Draft pick out of Villanova in 2010, he participated in the 2011 All-Star Futures Game and was a midseason Midwest League All-Star.

Vitters, 22, batted .283 with 28 doubles, two triples, 14 home runs and 81 RBIs in 129 games with Tennessee, his first full season at Double-A. He followed that with a strong season in the Arizona Fall League, batting .360 with six doubles, four home runs and 17 RBIs in 24 games.

The Cubs' first-round pick in 2007, Vitters is a career .277 hitter with 95 doubles, 47 home runs and 229 RBIs in 419 games covering five seasons.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter@CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.