Cubs Likely to Have a Couple of Non-Tenders

The deadline to tender contracts to arbitration eligible players is 10:59pm CST on Friday and the Cubs have five players arbitration eligible for next season: Matt Garza, Jeff Samardzija, James Russell, Luis Valbuena and Ian Stewart. The Cubs were expected to tender contracts to at least four of the five players, with the lone exception possibly being Ian Stewart but there may end up being a couple of players not offered contracts for next season.

Jed Hoyer told reporters on Friday afternoon they are still have conversations with players but they are “very likely to have a couple of non-tenders.” The Cubs hope they can work out possible free-agent deals with any player they non-tender. Jed Hoyer also indicated that the roster figures to be below 40 at the end of Friday. The Cubs are not viewing any players as “untouchable” but they “have several players” they would have a hard time parting with. Jed Hoyer told reporters they “have to address” their outfield and also said that prospects are far enough away that they would not be blocking any of them with veteran players.

Stay Tuned …

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  • Aaron

    I’d take a gamble on the following guys:

    non-tender Stewart and Valbuena. The chances a team will pay Stewart anything reasonable are HIGHLY unlikely. Same for Valbuena. He’s had several opportunities, and has basically proven he’s a low-200′s hitter, low OBP, occasional power, and despite flashy plays, ironically about league average defense. They’d be incredibly stupid to non-tender any of the pitchers.

    As for MLBTR’s non-tender candidates, here is a list of guys I’d go after if they’re non-tendered (or in some cases, already been non-tendered):

    Stubbs (yes he K’s a lot, but Cubs need an OF with pop and speed, and they also just hired Deer, who was very similar to Stubbs, who might be able to change his ways just by fear of having him end up like he did)
    Braden
    Pelfrey
    B. Wilson

    If they manage to land Wilson, (who is rumored to prefer the Dodgers if he’s non-tendered), then they could either let him set-up until he’s fully recovered, then trade or extend him near the deadline if they choose to move on from Marmol. If they get Pelfrey or Braden, then Garza becomes even easier to move, as when healthy, both those guys could be expected to bring additional prospects at the deadline.

    This is the way I’ve ALWAYS advocated for doing things….back when I thought Hendry should’ve signed Melky Cabrera, Franceour, etc., then let them play, and either choose to extend them or trade them at the deadline if they’re doing well. You simply do NOT get much value out of signing veterans like Aaron Miles, etc., because of age/salary, they won’t bring you much at the deadline. But younger players still have projectability left, so you can do it.

    • John_CC

      OK, so clearly I do not understand the non-tender rule (from my question minutes ago, above). If a player is non-tendered any team can offer them a contract?

      How are Garza and Shark non-tender candidates and under contract? What would happen if they were hypothetically non-tendered?

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Garza and Samardzija must be offered contracts or tendered contracts but neither one are non-tender candidates.

        • John_CC

          Thanks Neil. I got confused when I looked at MLBTR list of candidates and Garza and Shark are listed.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            You’re welcome … any time.

      • calicub

        non-tender guys are guys like valbuena and stewart who are due more through arbiration than their numbers indicate or possibly had spent a mojority of the year injured and there is some question to them coming back to original preformance. so teams often non-tender a player which allows any team to then negotiate a cotract with them but would also give their original team the chance to negotiate with them a lower contract, like many people expect the cubs to do with Stewart, more indicitive to that preformance.

        Its basically a medium risk of losing the guy, because as Aaron said above, NT guys are usually guys with histories like Stewart, and a medium reward of a possible savings on payroll. hope that helps

    • calicub

      What do you think about Jeff Karstens?

      edit: Jurrjens too

      • John_CC

        Both worthy of consideration for bullpen roles.

  • Dorasaga

    I know this has little to do with non-tender, but it’s about losing several years (and chanced to sign good players) in order to build a bette rteam: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/2012/11/28/scott-boras-mlb-trade-rumors-free-agents-nationals-tigers/1733723/

    HIGHLIGHT:
    “You need to lose for a couple more years,” [edit: superagent] Boras recalled telling Lerner [edit: Nats owner]. “If I’m you, I wouldn’t go out and spend a lot of money on free agents. I would focus on getting the best draft picks you can get, and getting the No. 1 pick. Strasburg was a freshman at San Diego State at the time, and Harper was (three) years from the draft.”

    “For a GM, and an owner, you can’t be afraid what others think,” Boras says. “That’s the thing I’ll say about Dave and Rizzo. These men have their own clocks. They get it.”

    • SuzyS

      Dorasaga,
      This is something I’ve revisited on the backburner, (in my mind), over the last year.
      Historically, It takes 3/4/5 years of high draft picks to really rebuild an organization. (See Washington/Texas…and years ago before Ted Turner…The Atlanta Braves were perennial doormats before they developed into a high class organization.
      With the changes in mlb over recent years, (cba rules/teams locking up their young talent etc.), it’s more challenging to rebuild an organization from the ground up.

      My feeling is that the Cubs will take longer to rebuild then any of us would like to admit. Without stating it…the Cubs probably want at least 2 more years of non-competition before we truly begin to turn the corner.

      I really wish I were wrong…I hope I’m wrong…but that’s the reality I feel we’re dealing with.

      In the meantime, I plan to become a Kane County Cougar fan…for better $$$ entertainment value.

      • Dorasaga

        Haha. And I’m sure the Cougar will reward you, in a more economical way as well.

        Now seriously, (as if the wavering economic progress is not enough) who am I to argue, against one of baseball’s smartest evaluator, The Boras? I simply can’t stand this kind of team, rebuilding one more, albeit 3/4 more years as you foresee. But you might be right. The system changed. Rebuild is slower than the last 20 years.

        • SuzyS

          I really hope this isn’t the case…But it might be.
          As far as Kane County goes…a chance to possibly see Almora/Solar/and some of the other prospects being touted as our future is irresistible.

  • Vivid_Reality

    Manny Parra could be an interesting option as a lefty out of the bullpen.

  • Ray Ray

    Interest in Michael Bourn???? How dumb would that signing be.

    • BosephHeyden

      Eh, it would be another “buy low, sell high” scenario: sign Michael Bourne, play him to see what he still has; best case scenario, you trade him to a contender for a mid-level prospect if he lives up to the hype, and worst case scenario, if he doesn’t have it anymore, you tag those DFA letters onto him and let him call it a career.

      This season, so long as they’re only for a year, there’s no dumb signings. They just need to get it out of their system this year and contend next.

      • Ray Ray

        How would Bourn be buy low? He is a 30 year old cf who relies on his legs. He will be 33 by the time the Cubs contend. He is probably going to get 12 mil plus per year.

  • Ray Ray

    I would definitely claim Pelfrey. Add him to the Baker/Feldman mix.

  • JohnnyVee

    Boras + Michael Bourn + seeking 9 Digits means more like 120 Million

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    The non-tenders are being announced around the league … feel free to discuss here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Raymond-Robert-Koenig/1295439291 Raymond Robert Koenig

    MLBTR also has a non-tender tracker.

  • John_CC

    My depth of knowledge on the tender/non-tendered rules is shallow.

    If a player is “non-tendered” (really tough and chewy?) that means they go to arbitration?

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Yes, if a player is non-tendered he becomes a free agent that any team can sign

    If a club has no interest in keeping a particular player, the club may choose to non-tender him, or to not offer him a contract. A player generally becomes a candidate to be non-tendered when he is arbitration-eligible and his club determines he is not worth the salary he might command in arbitration. A player who is non-tendered becomes a free agent and may sign with any of the 30 Major League clubs, including his former team, at any price.