Cubs Tender Contracts to Seven Players and Non-Tender Bard, Gamel and Lim

The Cubs tendered contracts to seven of the 11 arbitration eligible players prior to Monday’s deadline, and avoided arbitration with both George Kottaras and Donnie Murphy.

The Cubs did not offer contracts to RHP Daniel Bard, IF/OF Mat Gamel and RHP Chang-Yong Lim. With Monday’s roster moves, the 40-man roster currently stands at 37 players.

As expected, the Cubs tendered contracts for the 2014 season to RHP Jeff Samardzija, RHP Pedro Strop, LHP James Russell, LHP Travis Wood, 2B Darwin Barney, IF Luis Valbuena and OF Nate Schierholtz. The Cubs should avoid the arbitration process with all seven players.

Jeff Samardzija should be looking at a $5-$6 million salary for 2014, if a contract extension is not worked out, after he earned $2.64 million last year plus the $125,000 bonus he received for pitching 200 innings. Nate Schierholtz received $2.75 million last season ($2.25 million base, $500,000 bonus) and is looking at just under a $5 million salary for 2014. Travis Wood made just over the league minimum last year ($527,000) and is looking at a $3.2-$4 million payday for 2014. James Russell should receive between $1.6 and $1.95 million for next season after being paid $1.075 million last year.

The other three arbitration eligible players should also receive nice pay increases for 2014. Pedro Strop could double his 2013 salary of $503,000 to between $1 and $1.2 million for 2014. Darwin Barney is looking at a 2014 salary of between $1.8 million and $2.2 million in his first year of arbitration and Luis Valbuena should receive a bump in pay from the $930,000 he received last year to around $1.5 million for 2014.

The Cubs avoided arbitration with George Kottaras and Donnie Murphy on Monday. Kottaras agreed to a one-year, $1.075 million contract that includes an incentives package. Murphy inked a one-year, $825,000 contract for next season that also includes an incentives package that could bring the total value of the contract to $1.175 million.

The Cubs did not tender contracts to RHP Daniel Bard, IF/OF Mat Gamel and RHP Chang-Yong Lim.

Multiple reports suggested the Cubs would re-sign Daniel Bard to a minor league contract to keep him in the organization and try to get him back on track. The Cubs could not work out a deal with Bard and he elected free agency on Monday night.

Chang-Yong Lim made his way through the Cubs’ system last year after he recovered from his second Tommy John Surgery. Lim struggled with throwing strikes after making his Cubs’ debut on September 7. Lim appeared in six games and was charged with three runs on six hits in five innings. But he walked eight batters, one intentional, with a hit by pitch and five strikeouts (5.40 ERA, 2.60 WHIP).

The Cubs claimed Mat Gamel off waivers from the Brewers on Oct. 3. Gamel reported to the Cubs’ facility in Mesa to work out for the organization after spending a majority of the last two seasons on the 60-day DL. Gamel was once a top prospect in the Brewers organization.

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