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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