It’s always a difficult issue this time of year: how much should the fact that a guy has a huge, guaranteed contract or the fact that a guy is out of options affect final 25-man roster decisions? On the one hand, I understand that, if a guy is making big bucks, you want to get something for that. And I understand that, if a guy is out of options, you don’t want to cut him and risk losing him for nothing.
On the other hand, every game is critical. Is it worth possibly losing a game or two because you kept a marginal player who makes big money (say, Carlos Silva) or who is out of options (say, Jeff Samardzija), rather than a promising young player?
It sounds like the Cubs are wrestling with this very question, and lean toward keeping big contracts and option-less players unless there are compelling reasons to go the other way.
Hendry said if Quade is adamant about keeping a player who has options remaining, he will tend to go with the manager’s choice.
“It’s not a mistake if you send the wrong guy to Iowa,” he said. “The mistake is if you let the wrong guy go, or release him. If it’s close and it’s the last guy on the bench and (there’s) not an astronomical difference in contracts for the last man and the guy has options, you give it a shot one way. And two or three weeks later, you might flop them.”
Pitching coach Mark Riggins also will factor into the process. Silva’s big salary and the fact Samardzija is out of options virtually assures them spots. Andrew Cashner also is considered a lock, probably leaving two openings for Todd Wellemeyer, Braden Looper, James Russell, Casey Coleman, Scott Maine, Jeff Stevens and Berg. Chicago Tribune.
If Silva, Samardzija, and Cashner are locks (I’d dispute that Silva and Samardzija are locks at this point), the pitching staff would look like this:
Dempster, Zambrano, Garza, Wells (I can only assume that the failure to list Wells means the Tribune believes he’s a lock), and Silva in the rotation.
Marmol, Wood, Marshall, Grabow, Cashner, Samardzija, and an open spot. The Trib says, under its projections, there are two open spots, which would be true only if Wells were not a lock to make the team. If that’s the case, then it was a big goof not to list him among the competitors.