Cubs Tender Contracts to Six of Seven Arbitration Eligible Players … Koyie Hill Lone Non-Tender

According to multiple reports, the Cubs tendered contracts to six of the seven arbitration eligible players prior to Monday’s deadline. Matt Garza, Blake DeWitt, Jeff Baker, Geovany Soto, Ian Stewart and Randy Wells were tendered contracts for 2012.

Koyie Hill was the lone non-tender and with the roster move, the Cubs 40-man roster stands at 36 players.

Matt Garza figures to receive the biggest jump in salary from last season. Garza was paid $5.95 million and put up very good numbers in his first season with the Cubs.

Geovany Soto ($3 million) should receive a nice bump as well. After receiving $2.2875 million last year, Ian Stewart is expected to be paid around the same next season.

Randy Wells made $475,000 last season and should see a nice raise in his first year of arbitration eligibility.

The Cubs also tendered contracts to Jeff Baker ($1.175 million in 2011) and Blake DeWitt ($460,000 in 2011), who is also arbitration eligible for the first time.

The Cubs did not announce coming to terms with any of their arbitration eligible players.

With Koyie Hill out of the picture, for now, Welington Castillo and Steve Clevenger could compete for a backup job on the Cubs’ big league roster.

Rumors have suggested the Cubs could add a veteran catcher, like Jason Varitek, to backup Geovany Soto … or the Cubs’ new regime could trade Geovany Soto and have a vet, like Varitek, mentor either Welington Castillo or Steve Clevenger.

Stay Tuned …

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  • Breeden

    Pop some champagne!

  • Ripsnorter1

    Koyie could still sign a MiL contract with an invite to ST.

    • Chadaudio

      That’s what I was thinking… I won’t trust that Hill is gone until he signs with a different team.  That being said, I don’t mind having him in AAA.  He’s a good 4th catcher.

  • Tony_Hall

    No real shocking news here.  Hill was the only one that was obvious and has been obvious to everyone except our former GM. 

    All the others have some trade value, so even if they are not in the future plans of the Cubs, could be traded.

  • JW

    I’m bummed — I really wanted Koyie back and his sub-par defensive skills that JH raved about. :,(

  • Meoli

    The long nightmare is now over.

  • cubtex

    Besides Joe Saunders…..Micah Owings was non-tendered by the Diamondbacks. That surprised me. He was 8-0 pitching out of relief with decent numbers…….and we know the guy can hit!

    • John_CC

      I think I mentioned Saunders during my a stream of consciousness post earlier today re: E Jackson. Saunders is the definition of innings eater, #4 – 5 SP.  I’d take him for $5.5M in a second…over Jackson for $12M. Same 200 innings, better WHIP, very close ERA, less than 1/2 the money.

      • Chadaudio

        I’m guessing with the lack of pitching on the market, he’ll probably go for a bit more then $5.5, but I’d still take him over Jackson (because of the cost/benefit)… Plus, Saunders is a lefty.

  • Vivid_Reality

    Luke Scott got non-tendered by the O’s today. He would be a great one year filler for only around 5 mil. Could play 1B, LF, or RF if needed.

    • Chadaudio

      He’s a terrible defensive player though…  Not really what the new regime is looking for (we have enough DH’s)

  • Bothevolfan

    Can somebody please get Casey McGehee out of the Central?

  • Aaron

    ecstatic that Koyie Hill was non-tendered. He was the epitome of a losing tradition and exasperating personnel moves conducted by the previous front office.

    I cannot understand DeWitt being included though…he is a light-hitting, poor defender, that brings hardly anything to the table…at least Baker mashes lefties and plays a passable defense.

    I would’ve, however, preferred that the Cubs non-tender him, and sign Keppinger, who was non-tendered. I guess they could always option DeWitt to AAA, and sign Keppinger, who is actually a better hitter than either of them, and plays better defense…AND also mashes lefties to the tune of .324/.371/.481, while his splits against righties are .263/.316/.350

    Baker, just FYI is .309/.360/.526 against lefties and .239/.292/.364 against righties…Keppinger also can play SS, in addition to 1B, 2B, 3B, and corner OF.

    Here’s hoping Epstein and Hoyer find a trade partner for Baker, then sign Keppinger.


    • Chadaudio

      Yes, I have always felt that Keppinger has always been underrated.  He’s not an everyday player, but he is a great platoon.  Plus, (if I remember from his Reds/Astros days) he had decent numbers as a pinch hitter too.
      DeWitt has a minor league option, and could be a trade chip (I guess).  I think we only kept him because we needed minor league infield depth.

  • John_CC

    Finally, the love affair with Koyie is finished!

    Now I have an honest question, because apparently I do not understand how arbitration salaries are decided.  I thought it was based on performance and comparative players in the league. So why would Randy Wells get a raise after having a worse season last year than the one before?  Soto, why should he see a raise?  It must also take into consideration years obviously…is this an “inflation” excuse? Cost of living?  I just don’t see how Soto “earned” a raise. Wells doesn’t make much, but even there, what did he do to advance himself?

    • Tony_Hall

      Wells is coming off of the league minimum type of contract.  Even a 1st arbitration case, for a SP will make more than league minimum.  But the key to understanding it, is it is arbitrary.

      Here is some good information on how it works. Check out the 3 posts at the top of the article that explains the system, hitters and pitchers.

      • Dorasaga

        Nice find. I clicked the first link among the “3 posts,” and this came out:

        “By incorporating arbitration earnings from the last five years, the
        model is able to predict salaries using a range of related players.”

        Sample size matters. What also matters, I believe, is that those judges (real judicial judges who volunteered to act as arbitrators) don’t change that much year-in, year-out. We can have some consistency there.

      • John_CC

        Thanks for the links, Tony.  Now I understand that I will never really understand it!  You made it clear though, it is ARBITRARY. 

        With the panels using IP, W, and ERA for pitchers it certainly seems skewed. Last year Wells IP went way down, yes he was injured but decreasing for the second year in row, his ERA went up, and so not surprisingly his Ws bottomed out.  I am curious to see what he gets offered. 

  • John_CC

    Rich Hill and Ryan Theriot, non-tendered! Anyone?

    • Chadaudio

      I actually would be curious to see how much they go for in the open market.  Rich Hill did decent out of the pen for the Sox (before he got hurt).  I’m guessing some team will give Theriot decent money to bat leadoff again…  Unless he came super cheap, I’m not that interested.

      • John_CC

        That was joke, Chadaudio.

        • Chadaudio

          I figured it was… but I couldn’t help but take a chance to state the obvious and feel smart… for a minute :)