Pitchers and catchers report to Fitch Park in 25 days …
It has been a busy beginning of the week for the Chicago Cubs following the long weekend at the Hilton Chicago.
After agreeing to trade Tom Gorzelanny and his $2.1 million salary to the Washington Nationals for Michael Burgess, A.J. Morris and Graham Hicks on Monday, the Cubs announced they avoided arbitration with Matt Garza and Sean Marshall on Tuesday. The Cubs also received a commitment from Matt Szczur and exchanged arbitration figures with Carlos Marmol.
The Cubs are reportedly working on a multi-year deal with Carlos Marmol and Bruce Levine thinks it will be at least two years, which would buy out the last two years of his arbitration eligibility. Marmol submitted a $5.65 million figure for this season and the Cubs submitted $4.1 million … a nice raise from the $2.125 million the Cubs paid Marmol last season.
Is Jeff Samardzija ticketed for the bullpen? And Ryan Theriot addressed comments from his former teammates. Here is the update … Avoiding Arbitration and Carlos Marmol
The Cubs have avoided arbitration with six of the seven players that were eligible for salary arbitration this winter.
Jeff Baker ($1.175 million), Koyie Hill ($850,000) and Geovany Soto ($3 million) agreed to their new deals prior to Tuesday.
Matt Garza avoided arbitration on Tuesday with his new club. Garza will earn $5.95 million in his first year on the North Side. Garza is under the Cubs control for two more seasons and will become a free agent following the 2013 season (two more seasons of arbitration eligibility).
The Cubs signed Sean Marshall to a two-year contract on Tuesday and bought out the last two years of arbitration eligibility. The Cubs will pay Marshall $1.6 million in 2011 and $3.7 million in 2012.
Carlos Marmol filed for arbitration on Tuesday and submitted a $5.65 million figure. The Cubs countered with $4.1 million. The Cubs are reportedly working on a multi-year contract … and according to several reports, neither side anticipates an arbitration hearing.
The Cubs also avoided arbitration with Tom Gorzelanny … and inked the soon-to-be Washington National to a $2.1 million deal for 2011. The trade that hit the wire on Monday is expected to become official on Wednesday.
Chattin’ with Bruce Levine
Mr. Talkin’ Baseball held his weekly chat on ESPN Chicago. Here are the highlights …
- Levine could see the Cubs signing a veteran that may have fallen through the free-agent process. Levine thinks Orlando Cabrera would be a nice addition … the Cubs “could use a veteran backup at shortstop, second base and third base. Cabrera could fill that role nicely.”
- If Carlos Zambrano cannot pitch the way he did at the end of last season, Levine thinks the Cubs will have a difficult time competing in an improved NL Central.
- Andrew Cashner was ticketed for a spot in the Cubs rotation before they traded Tom Gorzelanny to the Nationals.
- Levine: “According to pitching coach Mark Riggins, Jeff Samardzija is ticketed for the bullpen. That leaves Casey Coleman, James Russell, Carlos Silva and Randy Wells along with Cashner fighting for four and five.”
- It appears if Jim Hendry makes any more trades this winter “it will have to be dollar for dollar.”
- Fernando Perez and Reed Johnson will compete for the fifth outfielder spot this spring.
- The candidates to call games with Pat Hughes this season remain Gary Matthews, Sr., Doug Glanville, Dave Otto and Keith Moreland. Levine thinks Otto is the favorite. The Cubs interviewed one of the candidates during the Cubs Convention (on a side note: Otto, Moreland and Glanville attended the convention).
- Levine signed off by saying, “Cubs fans, there’s still a chance you’ll get an extra guy or two along the way.”
Ryan Theriot on WGN Sports Night
Ryan Theriot joined Dave Kaplan and Brian Noonan on Monday night to discuss comments made by his former teammates at the Cubs Convention.
Theriot said he talked to Koyie Hill on Sunday night and again Monday about the comments Hill made over the weekend. A majority of Theriot’s former teammates, and Mike Quade, took exception to Theriot’s comment about finally being on the right side of the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry.
During the convention, Quade said he takes what Theriot says with a “large grain of salt”. Geovany Soto voiced his displeasure and Hill insinuated that Theriot might have to brush himself off a couple of times, or until the Cubs felt he got the message.
Theriot explained the situation that led to his comments back in December. Theriot was asked about being on the right side of the rivalry. He said of course he is now because he is playing in St. Louis.
Theriot told Kaplan that Chicago is a wonderful place to play and he did not want to leave the Cubs. It was not his choice. Theriot said he wanted to win a World Championship with the Cubs. He realizes it is a business and the decision to leave was not his … it was out of his hands.
Theriot is extremely excited about playing in the rivalry again. He explained when he was with the Cubs; he was on the right side of the rivalry. Now he’s in St. Louis so he’s on the right side of the rivalry.
Theriot said the Cubs and the fans embraced him and gave him his shot. He feels he played hard everyday for five years. Theriot hoped and prayed he could play for the Cubs for his entire career … but it did not work out that way.
Theriot cherished his time in Chicago and is looking forward to playing at Wrigley again.
Kaplan asked Theriot about Tony LaRussa. Theriot said he’s talked with LaRussa once or twice a week since being traded to the Cardinals. He also spent time picking his brain during the Cardinals’ fan fest over the weekend.
Theriot admitted he’s been very fortunate to play for great managers … Lou Piniella, Joe Torre, Tony LaRussa and even Dusty Baker (Theriot gave Baker the compliment but said “even” before his name).
Ryan Theriot’s comments sounded sincere. And it was clear after listening to him that he never wanted to play for another team.
The Gorzelanny Trade
FanGraphs liked the deal the Cubs made for Tom Gorzelanny. Jim Hendry “flipped Gorzelanny for a handsome profit” after 18 months and a quality season in a Cubs’ uniform.
The prospects the Cubs received for Gorzelanny were better than the ones the Cubs gave up for Gorzelanny and John Grabow … Kevin Hart, Jose Ascanio and Josh Harrison. Click here for the full article.
And on a final note … According to Baseball America, the Cubs signed Luis Montanez to a minor league contract on Tuesday. Montanez was the Cubs first round pick in the 200 draft … third overall pick. Luis Montanez’s Page on Baseball-Reference.
Well, there is the update … and I’m sticking to it.