Cubs Tender Contracts to Garza, Samardzija, Russell and Valbuena … Non-Tender Stewart and Remove Chapman and Putnam from 40-man Roster

The Cubs tendered contracts to four of their five arbitration eligible players prior to Friday’s deadline. Matt Garza, Jeff Samardzija, James Russell and Luis Valbuena were tendered contracts and the Cubs decided not to tender a contract to Ian Stewart. Stewart is now a free agent.

The Cubs did not renew the contracts of right handed pitchers Jaye Chapman and Zach Putnam and both players were removed from the 40-man roster. The Cubs would like to re-sign Chapman, Putnam and Stewart to minor league contracts.

With Friday’s roster moves, the Cubs’ 40-man roster stands at 37 players.

The Cubs were expected to tender contracts to Matt Garza, Jeff Samardzija, James Russell and Luis Valbuena. All four players will receive pay increases from last season with Samardzija in line to receive the biggest jump in pay.

Matt Garza made $9.5 million last season and while he will receive a raise it will not be as much if he would have been able to pitch all season. James Russell should make around $1 million in his first year of arbitration eligibility ($512,500 last season) and Luis Valbuena should receive around $900,000 after being paid $480,000 last season.

Jeff Samardzija should receive the largest pay increase of the four arbitration eligible players on the Cubs’ roster. After the Cubs declined his $3 million club option for 2012, Samardzija made $2.64 million last season and should be paid around $5 million for next season … that is if Samardzija does not sign an extension. There have been reports that Samardzija and the Cubs could work out a long-term extension.

The Cubs decided to non-tender Ian Stewart and made him a free agent. The Cubs would like to re-sign Stewart to a minor league contract.

The Cubs claimed Zach Putnam off waivers from the Rockies on November 2. Putnam was expected to compete for a spot in the Cubs’ pen this spring and still could if the Cubs are able to re-sign him.

In a surprising move, the Cubs decided to not renew Jaye Chapman’s contract for next season. Jaye Chapman, along with Arodys Vizcaino, was acquired from the Braves on July 30 for Reed Johnson and Paul Maholm. Chapman pitched rather well out of the pen after making his big league debut on September 4.

The Cubs also announced Friday night that Casey Coleman cleared waivers and was assigned to Triple-A Iowa.

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  • daverj

    The Chapman decision surprises me, but not a big deal either way. I wouldn’t mind seeing Mark Reynolds (non-tendered by Baltimore) in Wrigley for some entertaining bombs while the team rebuilds. He could be like Kingman in ’79 without the off the field distractions.

    • Aaron

      I’m fine with that for the power potential and fact that they’re committed to having Vitters in AAA all year. They could do a lot worse. And if Rowson and Deer were hired to start turning careers around and develop talent, then what better way to prove it.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Jaye Chapman was 3-8 with a 4.02 ERA, 1.431 WHIP in the minors in 2012. He’s not a big risk to lose, and with a career 1.4 WHIP in the minors, not much of a ML prospect at age 25 (26 in May, 2013).

    Sorry to see him non-tendered, but he’ll be back like Casey Coleman. And Valbuena….he should have been non-tendered. I do not see what the Cubs like about this guy: no BA, no power, no speed, just an average glove. But hey, this is what Team Theo wants at 3B. It’s a mystery to me.

    • Neil

      Agreed, not a big risk to lose but for a pitching starved organization a player that would make league minimum not having his contract renewed caught me be surprise. I did not see that one coming.

      He pitched better than his minor league numbers. Kept the ball down and only one bad outing. Granted it was September but still.

      Also, I really do not think they view Valbuena as a starter but a utility infielder.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Chisox waive Phil Humber. Astros nab him.

  • Cubs4ever

    Might as well sign Mark Reynolds for 3B. Like DaverJ said,at least he will hit some bombs and add a little entertainment on a lost year!

  • cc002600

    crazy question:
    If the Josh Hamilton would take a 3 year deal, would you do it if you were the cubs ?

    I never really thought of him as a fit for the cubs before, but then I’m thinking why not ? He wouldn’t be blocking anyone and the cubs have loads of dough to spend. Almora is not coming up before 2015 and BJax really looked awful. Why not ?

    one more interesting tidbit. I am season tix holder and the cubs held their relocation events this week for existing season tix holders. I was in the last group, and it was shocking to see how many seats were still available in the upper deck box areas, which are excellent seats, but they are expensive, and yet nobody seemed to want them. That doesn’t mean the new season ticket holders won’t snap them up in January, but I thought it was interesting that nobody wanted to move to those seats as existing tix holders. But the reason is simple, when cubs are bad, you can’t re-sell them, they are too expensive.

    • Cubs4ever

      I don’t think the Chicago nightlife and day games would be a good fit for Hamilton and his battle for sobriety.

      • Aaron

        I agree. He had that quote a year ago or so about day games and his eyes or something…no way that works along with the night life

    • calicub

      it could entertaing to see hamilton come to Chicago. I think Dale is hardnosed and could help keep him on track. If he remained focused, and producing it would be great, but with that said, i don’t think 3 years would do it. Thats rumored to be Texas’s offer and imo 4 years would certainly be blocking guys,. heck, I hope to God three years would be too.. I

    • daverj

      Didn’t he turn down a 3 year deal from Texas? Can’t see him taking a 3 year deal from the Cubs as there will be other 3 year offers out there … unless the Cubs really load up the dollars per year and get into the $35+ million per year range.

  • J Daniel

    With the roster at 37 I would assume that there will be a few signings/deals this week. Obviously a 3b, sp, and of should be in the mix? Not sure that there are resources to pull of any major deals.

  • Ray Ray

    Rangers non tendered Jacob Brigham whom the Cubs just traded back to them for Loux. Hmmmm.