Monday was relatively quiet day for the Cubs as the baseball world focused on mega-deals the Dodgers closed over the weekend and the huge trade between the Kansas City Royals and Tampa Bay Rays.
The Cubs have irons in the fire but lost another one of their targets when Jason Grilli re-signed with the Pirates. The deals for Ian Stewart and Nate Schierholtz were not announced and neither was the roster move necessary to add both players to the 40-man roster.
The Boise Hawks are expected to make a big announcement on Tuesday … and it could be a new manager. The Cubs have not yet announced the managers and coaching staffs for the minor league affiliates for next season.
The Cubs were one of three teams that opted out of Major League Baseball’s new five year deal with StubHub. MLB and StubHub renewed their secondary ticket market deal on Monday but the Cubs, Yankees and Angels decided not to renew their contracts.
MLB and StubHub have been partners since 2007 and the original contract expired at the end of last season. Cubs’ tickets will still be available on StubHub but if the Cubs do not have a deal in place with StubHub it will be more difficult for season ticket holders to sell their tickets with the service. It is unclear at this point how this will impact the Cubs secondary ticket market moving forward and according to ESPN Chicago, the Cubs are looking for ways to maximize revenue sold in the secondary market.
The Yankees are expected to sign a contract with TicketMaster due to the fees being less and the service being more fan-friendly.
According to a report from ESPN Chicago, the Cubs are continuing to explore their options and were surprised that they were included in the email to ticket sellers on Monday. Jon Greenberg reported the Cubs have not made a decision on whether or not they will participate in the five-year extension.
The Cubs Convention
The 28th annual Cubs Convention is just around the corner, January 18-20. For the first time, the convention will be held at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers and weekend passes are available on Cubs.com.
Scott Baker, Darwin Barney, Starlin Castro, David DeJesus, Scott Feldman, Matt Garza, Carlos Marmol, Dioner Navarro, Jeff Samardzija and Alfonso Soriano are scheduled to be at this year’s convention along with Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and the Cubs front office. Dale Sveum and his coaching staff and a variety of Cubs’ minor leaguers along with Ernie Banks, Ferguson Jenkins and Billy Williams will also be in attendance.
2013 Big League Payroll
According to a report from the Tribune, the payroll for the Major League team should be about $82 to $85 million next season, nearly a 25 percent drop from last year’s Opening Day payroll.
The Cubs have spent $23.85 million on eight players this off-season … Scott Baker, Scott Feldman, Kyuji Fujikawa, Shawn Camp, Dioner Navarro, Nate Schierholtz, Hector Rondon and Ian Stewart.
The Cubs have not announced the signings of Schierholtz and Stewart and will have to clear a spot on the 40-man roster in order to officially add both players.
The Cubs have four arbitration eligible players that have not agreed yet on a contract for next year and as many as 11 automatic renewals (0-3 men) whose salaries the club can determine. Matt Garza should see a pay increase to around the $10 million range. Jeff Samardzija could see the biggest increase from the $2.64 million he earned last year. Samardzija could be looking at a $5 to $6 million pay day for 2013. James Russell’s salary will likely jump to around $1 million after receiving $512,500 a year ago. Luis Valbuena is in line for a pay increase to around $900,000 from $480,000 last season.
The Cubs are still looking to add pitching, both starting and relieving, a right-handed hitting utility infielder and an outfielder this off-season.
The Cubs average salary dropped last season to its lowest average since 2000. The Cubs slipped from seventh in 2011 down to 23rd in 2012 with a $2.1 million average. The Cubs had quite a bit of dead money on the books from the past regime last year and still owe money to past draft picks and players that will come out of the 2013 budget for the Major League team.
Figures from the AP report are based on Aug. 31 rosters and disabled lists, with 944 players averaging $3,213,479. Major League Baseball has not yet computed its final averages, which usually differ slightly because of methods of calculation.
News, Notes and Rumors
Ian Stewart posted on his twitter account Monday afternoon that he working with Hall of Famer Rod Carew on his hitting.
Jason Grilli re-signed with the Pirates on Monday. The Cubs were one of the teams that were in the mix for the veteran reliever. Grilli reportedly turned down more money from the Blue Jays and inked a two-year, $6.75 million deal with Pittsburgh.
Carlos Marmol is ready to welcome Kyuji Fujikawa to the Cubs according to a report from Bruce Levine.
In the wake of the huge trade on Sunday night between the Rays and Royals, Patrick Mooney took a look at the price the Cubs paid for Matt Garza nearly two years ago.
Matt Garza said he felt great after throwing a baseball for the first time this winter. Garza tweeted that he is looking forward to day two.
Andrew Cashner will likely begin next season on the disabled list after he suffered a lacerated tendon in his right thumb. Casher was injured by a companion when the two were trimming carcass with the intent of preserving the meat. According to the report from MLB.com, Cashner had surgery on the thumb and was told he would need three months of recovery time before he can start a throwing program.
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