Cubs Name Cashner Fifth Starter … Silva not on Opening Day Roster

According to multiple reports Saturday morning, the Cubs have named Andrew Cashner the fifth starter in the rotation. The Cubs also told Marcos Mateo he will break camp with the big league club … with Cashner in the rotation and Mateo in the pen, the Cubs 12-man pitching staff is set for Opening Day.

The Cubs told Carlos Silva they’ll try to trade him. If Jim Hendry cannot find a team interested in Silva, they would like for him to consider pitching in the Minor Leagues so he can be insurance for the team.

Carlos Silva did not make the Cubs Opening Day roster. According to reports from Bruce Levine and Paul Sullivan Saturday morning, the Cubs are on the hook for all of Carlos Silva’s salary for 2011, $11.5 million … the Mariners are responsible for the $2 million buyout for 2012.

Casey Coleman was informed he will not be on the Cubs Opening Day roster and was optioned to Triple-A Iowa to continue working as a starter. Jeff Stevens was also optioned to Triple-A Iowa.

From the Tribune:

“I told Carlos Silva there was not a spot for him unless there’s an injury between now and Opening Day,” general manager Jim Hendry said. “We will explore trade opportunities with other clubs.”

There reportedly has been no big interest in Silva, who makes $11.5 million, If the Cubs can’t find a taker for Silva, he has been informed he can start the season at Triple-A Iowa in an effort to pitch his way back onto the Cubs.

Silva, a nine year veteran, has the right to refuse the assignment. The Cubs would then release him and be responsible for the entire $11.5 million salary. Seattle, which traded Silva to the Cubs for Milton Bradley, would be responsible for the $2 million buyout on Silva’s 2012 option. The Cubs used the $6 million surplus they received from Seattle in the trade to sign Marlon Byrd last year.

Updated 12:57pm CDT – From Bruce Levine, ESPNChicago.com

If Silva decides to take his release, the Cubs are obligated to pay $11.5 million for his 2011 contract. In recent weeks, teams have scouted Silva during his spring training starts, but there has been little-to-no interest in acquiring him via trade from other clubs. Silva had a 1-2 record and a 10.90 ERA in five spring appearances.

Will update when more information becomes available …

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  • Tony_Hall

    Congratulations to JH!! This might have been the first time, he’s made this decison, to walk away from a player owed big bucks.

    • Tony_Hall

      Also – I was wrong, I thought all along that Silva would be the 5th starter.

  • Tony_Hall

    It is being reported that the Cubs owe the entire $11.5M Silva is owed for 2011 (and his buyout for 2012). ***Just noticed Neil stated the Mariners are on the hook for his buyout…interesting.

    Not sure if this is just a technicality, or not, but the Cubs pay his salary, that makes them, the team, that will pay him. The money from the Marineres, however it was paid, is really irrelevant, how they put it on the books.

    • paulcatanese

      Tony,how long before Silva can apply for unemployment?

      • Dorasaga

        LOL, Paul, and I concur your earlier comment on Looper’s retirement. I’m sure you’ve “Been there, done that.”

  • Tony_Hall

    So bottom line the rotation is pretty good.

    1) Dempster
    2) Zambrano
    3) Garza
    4) Wells
    5) Cashner

    It has 3 homegrown pitchers, 1 rehab project, and 1 that we traded the farm to get.

    If we didn’t trade for Garza, would Silva be the guy still in the rotation or would Coleman be the guy. I say Coleman, and if that is true, then that makes me not like the Garza deal a little more, but IF the Garza deal helped move out Silva, I may start to like the deal.

  • Craig Y

    Great decision by JH. Best move he has made in a long time!

  • cubtex

    Good to hear they have made a decision based on merit…..not money! Mateo deserved a roster spot as well! He had a very good winter league in the Domenican league.
    The one pitching decision that I don’t agree on is Russell. He was tried as a starter and didn’t pitch well so then it is like….OK, we will move you back to the pen and you made the team. That doesn’t make any sense to me!
    At least in Cashner’s case…they envision him as a starter and they will keep him there to develop.

    • Tony_Hall

      Russell, Grabow, Samardzija are all questionable.

      Russell, if they wanted him to be a starter, should have went to Iowa. I am fine with him, as I think he does a good enough job to be in the bullpen.

      Grabow – Without a DL stint, they needed to keep him on the roster.

      Samardzija – I hope he can be effective out of the pen, I just don’t think he will.

      Other than that, the pitching staff looks good.

      • cubtex

        Samardzija still has upside with his stuff and age. Grabow, if healthy will have a much better year this year. As I said the Russell move to me is totally baffling. I would have liked them to keep Maine over Russell and let Russell start the year in AAA as a starter.

        • Tony_Hall

          I agree Samaradzija has upside, but he should be doing it in Iowa. Another mismanaged contract, is forcing him to on the 25 man roster.

          Grabow – I think will still be bad. Maine would be better.

          Russell – I just don’t think he will convert to a starter, but if they wanted to him to do it, then I agree he should be in Iowa.

  • Tony_Hall

    A little ad for one of the best features of this great site.

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    http://twitter.com/TheCCO

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    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Thanks Tony!

  • Cheryl

    This is one time that J.H. deserves kudos for his decision. We can think of a lot of different ways that we would have approached it. But he surprised and did the right thing. Mateo deserved the pen job. Russell and Jeff I could do without but the bottom line is a fairly good pitching group. Coleman will be called up at the first opportunity. So even though I would have liked to see him on the club this is good news.

  • Tony_Hall

    Opening Day Lineup (facing Maholm – a lefty)

    What I think Q will do

    1. Baker 2B
    2. Castro SS
    3. Byrd CF
    4. ARam 3B
    5. Pena 1B
    6. Soriano LF
    7. Colvin Rf
    8. Soto C
    9. Dempster P

    Game 2 (RH starter)

    1. Fukduome RF
    2. Castro SS
    3. Byrd CF
    4. ARam 3B
    5. Pena 1B
    6. Soriano LF
    7. Soto C
    8. Barney 2B
    9. Zambrano P

    I think we will see many different lineups, with 4 guys in the OF,likely to get starts, and an unknown 2B rotation.

    • Last_ginger

      Barney and Baker rotation at 2b and Dewitt to spell ARam at 3rd

      • Tony_Hall

        I’m not sure what your point is on this post.

        I already listed Barney and Baker in the 2 lineups.

        What is the “unknown 2B rotation” is how will he use both of them. Baker hits lefties better, but Barney is a RH hitter, that should face lefties. The other part is will Dewitt get some starts at 2B as part of the rotation, or just be a fill-in.

        • Last_ginger

          ah i misunderstood. I believe Dewitt will be a fill in at 2b instead of part of the rotation

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Tony, Pirates named Kevin Correia their Opening Day starter.

      • Tony_Hall

        That’s interesting, as my fantasy baseball league’s site, shows him as their 4th starter.

        That will make for some decisions for Q.

        Does Barney get the Opening Day nod over Baker? He should

        Does Colvin or Fukudome start in RF? I say Colvin

        • Tony_Hall

          Not surprising that any fanstasy baseball site, would not have updated Pirates info, they are pretty irrelevant in fantasy baseball.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Tony, I am hearing Kosuke will start and hit leadoff on Opening Day.

          • Tony_Hall

            That’s kind of what I figured, but as you know, I don’t see a future for Fukudome with this team, so I would give more playing time to Colvin.

            Of course until Jackson takes over CF, we don’t have a leadoff guy, unless they trust Barney in that spot.

  • Cheryl

    Any word about Hill, Ramirez or Castillo?

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Nothing official but I am hearing/reading Koyie Hill. After what happened this morning, who knows at this point.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Carrie Muskat:

    Carlos Silva says “No chance” that he’ll report to Minor Leagues. Also took shot at pitching coach Mark Riggins. More later

    • JedMosley

      Wow, no class… Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

    • cubtex

      Somehow that doesn’t surprise me!

    • paulcatanese

      Neil,bad exit by Silva. I eat crow on this one. But again I would like to get fired and get what 11mil severance pay.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Paul Sullivan:

    Silva “No chance” am I going to Iowa. If not traded, he’ll take the release. Rips Mark Riggins on way out door. Bad ending

    • Tony_Hall

      Good riddance!

      I am sure his issues are his new pitching coaches fault.

      Nothing to do with the extra 100+ pounds he carries versus the other pitchers.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Paul Sullivan/Tribune:

    Silva says Riggins was “not straight” w/ him about plans. “He had to learn he’s in the big leagues now.”

    Silva says he’s still ready to pitch Monday for Cubs. Doubtful they will let him after his exit interview w/ media.

  • cubtex

    Any chance Aaron might actually say something positive after this???? Nah….What am I thinking??? :)

  • jw

    Really like the fact they are keeping Mateo and that Cashner gets the fifth spot. I don’t think Smardjiza is ever going to work out and this just delays the invitable alsoI am wondering how strong long relief will be but it is definitely the right move. Encouraging.

  • Tony_Hall

    This is just another example of how JH doesn’t

    SELL HIGH

    and

    BUY LOW

    He should have moved Silva last year, the first chance he had in May/June. He never even considered it, because, he thought he had a gem.

    This team would benefit so much from a perspective that if a player is not in your future plans, that you want to always be looking to move that part, when they are going well (SELL HIGH). especially if you have a suitable replacement in house.

  • roseyc

    It wasn’t JH decision I think Quade made this decision and bravo for that decision. I think that this was the right decision for Cashner long term sucess.

    • cubtex

      I know some people actually think that some managers have complete control of the roster but that is just fantasy. ALL managers have to clear roster decisions with their respective GM.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil
    • Tony_Hall

      Sounds like they tried to get him to buy into the idea of doing a “rehab” type assignment, and he just didn’t get it, no team wanted to trade for him.

      I will be surprised if any team will pick him up, even at league minimum.

      • paulcatanese

        Tony,guess I eat crow on this one,miracle upon miracle I never thought this would happen with Silva.But I will say if this was the decision they knew it sooner than later. And while I totaly agree with it,it also shows that their decison making is still confused. Should have been done last fall.

  • Joel

    Im digging the way this season is starting out… Grienke and Marcum already as injury concerns, wainwright is done, carp is always an injury concern, cueto is hurt, arroyo hasa mono…

    Cubs have arguably the most solid 1-5 especially with Wells’ expected bounceback from the soph slump…

    Cubs have arguably the best back end of the rotation with an allstar closer, allstar set up man, and one of the best LH setup men in the game

    Cubs have a solid mixture of veteran leadership (Pena, Byrd,…) and young home-grown talent (Colvin, Castro, Barney,…)

    Pena will hit .260 with 30+ HRs in his contract season hoping for one last big multi-yr deal before retirement and same with ARAM… Soto has already shown that he is one of the best hitting catchers in baseball and looks healthy again, Colvin/Castro should continue to grow and springboard off of solid rookie years and STs…

    I know most people are skeptical and rightfully so, but i do think this team has solid potential and will be better than expected

  • The Maven

    With the book hopefully closed on the Bradley/Silva era, lets look at who the real losers were:

    Casey Coleman – Coleman has done everything to deserve being on the Cubs’ roster, except being a player acquired from another organization. Silva’s lack of professionalism gave a GM with a wandering eye all the reason he needed to pull a blockbuster deal, depleting the farm system and setting another prospect back.

    Micah Hoffpauir – In 2008, Hoffpauir hit .362 with 25 HR’s and 100 RBI at Iowa. Called up the majors, he hit .342 in 33 games. After Bradley was acquired in 2009, Hoffpauir put up comparable big league numbers to Bradley, yet was jerked in and out of the line up. In 2010, the Cubs then signed Marlon Byrd, sealing Hoffpauir’s fate. Hoffpauir has since signed to play in Japan.

    Sam Fuld – As part of a 2 for 1 deal, Fuld would have been the spare outfielder/defensive replacement for Hoffpauir. His ability to play center would have allowed Fukudome to occasionally play right, his preferred position. Now after not being able to crack the outfield line-up on a fifth place team, he looks to open on the roster of a perennial contender.

    Lastly, the biggest losers have been Cubs fans, who have watched the lackluster play of these two turkeys for the past two years.

    • Jon

      Just an all around bad post man… Stop bein one of those guys fuld and hoffpauir ate and never wil be anything in the majors with any team lol otherwise hoff woulda been picked up… Lemme guess ur still waitin for Jake fox to hit 30 HRs so u can yell at henry hahahaha get over it, career minor leaguers are just that