Time for the Cubs to Show a Little Tender-ness

Thursday is the deadline for Major League teams to tender contracts for the 2011 season to arbitration eligible players. The Chicago Cubs have six players eligible for arbitration next year: Carlos Marmol, Geovany Soto, Tom Gorzelanny, Sean Marshall, Koyie Hill and Jeff Baker.

It has been a given that the Cubs would tender contracts to at least four of the six players with both Hill and Baker’s future with the club in question.

According to a report from Bruce Miles, the Cubs will tender contracts to all six players including Jeff Baker and Koyie Hill.

As the Winter Meetings approach, it appears the Cubs will have four catchers on their 40-man roster … the Cubs big league roster currently stands at 39 players.

Here’s the rest of the update as the waiting game continues on the Cubs off-season …

To Tender or Not to Tender
According to Bruce Miles, Jim Hendry will try to “work out deals soon” for Koyie Hill, Tom Gorzelanny and Jeff Baker to avoid arbitration. It might take a little longer on Sean Marshall, Geovany Soto and Carlos Marmol.

Marmol recently said he and the Cubs are working on a long-term extension and he would like to stay with the Cubs on a long-term basis. Bruce Miles reported Hendry and Marmol’s agent spoke at the GM Meetings “but talks did not appear to be far down the line.”

Four catchers? Count ’em four catchers on the Cubs roster … Geovany Soto, Koyie Hill, Welington Castillo and Robinson Chirinos.

The Cubs had no choice but to add Robinson Chirinos to their Major League roster but having four catchers on their 40-man roster appears to be another example of poor roster management by the Cubs’ front office.

One would think Koyie Hill could have been released and possibly re-sign with the organization on a minor league deal that included an invite to Spring Training. Instead, the Cubs are not only risking losing Marquez Smith in the Rule 5 Draft, they also have only one free space on their roster, one that includes a lot of dead weight.

Carlos Marmol ($2.125 million in 2010), Koyie Hill ($700,000 in 2010), Sean Marshall ($950,000 in 2010), Tom Gorzelanny ($800,000), Geovany Soto ($575,000 in 2010, 2011 is Soto’s first year of arbitration eligibility) and Jeff Baker ($975,000 in 2010) all figure to get nice raises with Marmol, Marshall and Soto receiving substantial increases from what they earned just a year ago.

According to Bruce Miles, “if either Baker or Hill had shown any signs of wanting what the Cubs felt was out of line, they’d be non-tender candidates.” Miles explained, “Hendry feels he can reach reasonable deals with both.”

For a team with a limited budget, the Cubs appear willing to overpay veterans for the same production they could get from players in their system … for half the money.

Miscellaneous Notes
Jim Hendry’s wish list as the Winter Meetings approach includes a left-handed hitting first baseman, a starting pitcher and a reliever. According to the Daily Herald, Hendry will explore both the trade and free-agent markets.

The Rangers “have some interest in inviting Mark Prior to Spring Training” and reportedly Prior has received offers from other Major League teams.

According to Troy Renck, Lance Berkman appears to be close to signing with the Colorado Rockies.

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Well, there’s the update … and I’m sticking to it.

Quote of the Day

"When you play, play hard; when you work, don’t play at all." – Theodore Roosevelt