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Tonight the Chicago Cubs offered contracts to Jeff Baker, Blake DeWitt, Matt Garza, Geovany Soto, Ian Stewart, and Randy Wells.

That’s all of the team’s arbitration eligibles except noted nice guy, good teammate, bad baseball player, Koyie Hill, who was non-tendered and is now a free agent. The Cubs could theoretically bring him back on a minor league deal or a Major League deal worth less than the $1 million or so he was set to make in arbitration.

As discussed earlier, the decision to tender Baker, Garza, Soto, Stewart, and Wells was an easy one. DeWitt was a closer call, but, as I guessed, he has sufficient value that it’s worth tendering him a contract, and sorting out what to do with him, roster-wise, later.

As for Hill … there were reports earlier tonight that the Cubs were thinking about the unthinkable: tendering Hill a contract. I cannot appropriately describe what my reaction would have been without attaching an unreasonable amount of rage to the decision to retain a relatively unimportant piece, when compared, incrementally, to the player who might have replaced him. Having Hill as the primary back-up catcher versus, for example, some other vet or a rookie like Welington Castillo or Steve Clevenger, might have cost the Cubs one win in 2012. Or zero. It isn’t a huge decision, in terms of the on-field impact that we would actually see.

But good Lord would it have been the wrong decision. My trust in Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer, already almost implicit, ticked up just a hair further.

The only plausible justification for tendering a contract to Koyie Hill would have been that the Cubs are planning to continue shopping Soto, and felt they needed a veteran who knows the pitching staff around to help the next starting catcher along. That could wind up the same justification if the Cubs bring Hill back on a lesser deal.

It’s possible that the decision went to the wire because the Cubs were asking Hill to accept today a contract for the Major League minimum, and Hill was mulling it over.

However it played out, Koyie Hill is now a free agent, and a Chicago-area trash can is up one naked picture of a Chicago Cubs front office member.

As for the rest, the Cubs will work on coming to terms on an agreement for 2012 (and beyond, potentially). If the two sides cannot agree on a salary, they’ll go to arbitration next year.

  • EtotheR

    For Koyie to retain a roster slot…that picture of Hendry must have included the entire cast of Caligula.

  • Cubbie Blues

    I just figured that Hill was talking to them about a job in the bullpen.

  • CubSouth

    Any word on Morales getting tendered or not?

    • jr5

      I think they said last week they were going to tender him, but I could be wrong.

  • Miller

    Joe Saunders a good option for pitching depth for the Cubs…

    • MoneyBoy

      nodding in agreement

  • MightyBear

    What’s the projected salaries of the six arbitration guys? Anyone? Beuller? Beuller?

    • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

      Check out MLB Trade Rumors – they apparently have a guy who created a formula for calulating it that is pretty accurate

  • MightyBear

    I think Micah Owings could be our first baseman.

  • MoneyBoy

    Mighty … Baker made $1.175 last year … maybe $1.5

    DeWitt … $460k … can’t imagine … bad as he was, he was versatile – in the field that is … maybe $750-800

    Soto – $3mm … tough call here … he’s tradeable and “old” (will be 31 going on 32 when he’s a FA) … maybe $4-4.5mm??   Ramon Hernandez (35) was signed by the Rockies – 2 yrs, $6.5mm … so catchers, esp defensive catchers, have a long “shelf life”  (see Hank White)

    Garza … here’s the toughie for the Cubs … if you think he’s worth it in the long view … you tender him, then sign him long term and eat up at least a year of FA (14)   I say at least $10mm for 12 … prob closer to $12

    Wells … another tough one … the Cubs need him as one of their “9 starters” … but he was so off and on … maybe $1.25-$1.5.

    • paul

      i love the “hank white” hey I actually though he had a good role for us back then, and was actualy sad to see him go, mainly just enjoyed his inclusion in your post. most people on this board can’t even remember him

      • MoneyBoy

        Amazing – per SB Nation’s AZ Snake Pit – he’s been re-signed by the D’Backs

        Even more amazing – one year with a mutual option for 2013 … “Mama … let your babies grow up to be catchers !!!!!

      • R.I.P. Santo

        I loved Blanco

        • Hawkeye

          Who didn’t love Hank White?   Greatest Cubs backup catcher of all time.   Folk lore stories have him measuring up with the greatness of Dick Tidrow and Chuck Norris.

          http://hankwhitefanclub.wordpress.com/

  • MightyBear

    Thanks Money, you certainly live up to your name. So about 15-20 mil and 91 for the other idiots under contract a la hendry and payroll probably at 106-111 for 2012. Last year was aprox 135-138. Leeway this year 30-35 mil plus. Is that about right?

  • MightyBear

    Here’s another money question. If the cubs posted 60 mil for Darvish, would that count towards payroll and push them over the luxury tax limit of 175mil or is it considered non roster money like front office and scouting? If anybody knows.

    • MoneyBoy

      Hardly the final word on this … but no, I do not believe it does

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      I don’t think the posting money for a Japanese player like Darvish counts against anything. I know for sure it is excepted from the draft and international free agent budget (which doesn’t kick in until summer anyway). I’ve never heard that it counts against the luxury tax, but to be honest I’m not completely sure. I would be surprised if it does.

  • MoneyBoy

    Mich … As I have it … the roster, as currently constituted … stands at $81.725mm for 12 — before the arb hearings and new guys.   If you sorta, kinda take mid-range on the numbers I used … yeah, you’re in the range — I think.

    ::shrug::   I still think there’s a BIG, unknown deal out there that will shock us all

    • MightyBear

      Thanks Money. It certainly seems like they have some money to spend. Just unsure of how they are going to. But they may use it elsewhere. However, I think they have plenty of money elsewhere so I don’t know. The anticipation is killing me.

  • MightyBear

    All angels arbitration eligible will be tendered contracts including morales. Just saw it on the los angeles website.

  • CubFan Paul

    the Tigers look to have given up on lefty 2B will rhymes ..offensively for a Cheap option he’s better than barney (if he steals 15-25 bases)

    • CubFan Paul

      i also have a Man Crush on ryan Spilborghs as a 4th/5th OF

      • Lou

        Yes Spilborghs totally agree.

  • chris margetis

    I’d much rather have Gorzelanny back than Saunders. Any word on Malholm??

    • Lou

      I’d prefer Saunders and think the Cubs should go after him.

      • chris margetis

        Everyone prefers Saunders to Gorz because he’s never been a Cub. Let me tell you something, the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t. Bring on Gorz, we’ll expect him to be the eh lefty he is. Or, fuck it, sign them both!

  • MoneyBoy

    :::snicker:::   Red Sawx non-tendered Rich Hill !!!!!

    Orioles non-tender Luke Scott …. Brett???

    Brenly will be thrilled to know the Astros re-upped on Humberto Quintero !!!

    Nothing as of now on Maholm

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      The Luke Scott non-tender caught me by surprise.

      He could pull $6-$8 million as a free agent. I could see the Cubs being interested if Fielder falls through. He’d be a safer bet than LaHair.

      • Lou

        My thoughts exactly. If he could rebound, he might very well hit 20-25 HRs.

      • ottoCub

        Luke Scott strikes me as very similar player to LaHair (the difference is that Scott is 5 years deeper into his career). Scott didn’t come up to the majors until he was 27 and he’s 33 now. He’s primarily an outfielder — only played 41 MLB games at 1B. He’s a career .264 hitter with an .843 OPS. The OBP is nice (.349) and the 2/1 strikeout to walk ratio isn’t terrible for a guy who hits 20-25 hrs. Less risky than LaHair at 1B, but much more expensive (probably around 6 million). It’s also worth comparing these numbers to Peña, who would cost a bit more, but play much better defense.

        • ottoCub

          Comparing Peña and Scott…. They are the same age, and their career SLG%, OPS, and OPS+ numbers are similar. Peña has a lower average (.239), puts fewer balls in play (more strikeouts and walks), hits more home-runs, and drive in more runs. He also has a LOT more experience at first base so is much better defensive option. If the Cubs want to keep Peña, they’ll probably need to offer more money than Scott, and a longer contract though.

    • Kansas Cubs Fan

      Isn’t Humberto Quintero the guy that laid on Starlin in 2010 on third base and wouldn’t let him up to run the bases?

  • SirCub

    I would wish him success elsewhere, but it would take a bunch of quarters, eye lashes, shooting stars, and Disney foundations to make that wish come true. Despite the ribbing, Koyie Hill is a good team mate, and it is hard not to like him after everything that he has been through. I wish him happiness, if not professional success.

  • Cerambam

    what about morales

     

  • die hard

    The front office could be light years ahead of this board by setting on the following opening day lineup after a few more tweaks

    DeJesus-RF
    Castro-SS
    Soriano/LaHair-1B
    Stewart/Fontenot-3B
    Baker/Dewitt-LF
    Byrd/Campana-CF
    Soto/Castillo-C
    Barney/Theriot-2B
    Garza

    • Caleb

      You forgot Koyie Hill catching and Quade back at the helm.

    • Aaron

      Pretty significant lack of power in that proposed lineup with Rami and Pena gone, huh? Looking at that, I would argue hard for signing Fielder this season, since he’s a powerful bat from the left side and there is a significant lack of power coming available in the next couple years in FA.

  • Mike F

    apparently Morales was offered a contract and won’t be non-tendered. He will be given a chance I assume to DH and bat 4th behind Pujols.

    On another note, Pujols wife said this weekend, another team actually offered him more than the Angels 254 M and that team wasn’t the cardinals, she wouldn’t reveal what team it was though.

    • Cardfan

      It was the Marlins – ~$275M, but a chunk of that was deferred. Risky with the all the side drama going on in SoFlo. Angels offer was $254, $0 deferred, and the potential to make $280 w/ incentives (congratulations Lozano, mission accomplished regardless of what you leave in the wake!).

      I’ll first state that I am glad the Cardinals did not saddle themselves with an unwieldy contract, but it is just plain sad/laughable to see how it has been handled by Pujols and his wife. It would appear that they were played by Lozano from the beginning. They talked about how the Angels owner came across so genuine (do you think Lozano might have given him a primer on the hot buttons?), talking about “family” and “partnership”. I have nothing against the Angels or their ownership. In fact, I have heard many good things. But to hear Pujols wife all but say that it was an insult for the Cardinals to start with 5 years and $130M is laughable. To add on top that it was so “stressful” to deal with free agency was the icing. Which one of you would be stressed with four offers of $200M+ laying on the table in front of you and a worst-case scenario of 5/$130M the year before.

      Welcome AP and family to soul-less, shallow, self-absorbed California. The weather is awesome, though.

      • Joe Cartwright

        Wow, sounds like st.Louis.

  • Mike F

    Posting money doesn’t count against the cap. But here’s the thing. The ML club if indeed it wins the bid and agrees to a contract has to transfer the total fee within 5 days of the close of an agreement with the player to the Japanese Club if I’m correct. Darvish is a big name, young and accomplished. The Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers and Cubs all apparently have interest, so even in a depressed market, it’s highly unlikely the Cubs would get him for less 50 M in cash with the other teams and the Japanese team has no obligation to do anything if they feel the wining bid is light. So unlike other players, you’d be paying real cash, even though it doesn’t count against the cap, say a minimum of 50 m and then guaranteeing 5 or 6 years which would. Sounds to me like if someone gets him they might get him for as little as 110 or much as 130. I’d rather have Garza and Edwin Jackson for 5 years. Maybe I’m cheap, but it just sounds like too much for Darvish with the players involved.

  • OHBearCub

    The Diamonbacks non tendered Micah Owings and Joe Saunders. pitching depth that’s better than the trash we have as pitching depth now. get busy Jed Foyer. theriot was non tendered with the cards. send him a bus ticket to houston .

  • OHBearCub

    The Rays non tendered JP Howell and Sonnastine. 2 more good snuff pitchers that add depth

  • Levo

    Either way….it was still an good laugh that Pujols isn’t in St Louis. Then, on Sunday Braun is accused to be busted for steriods. That’s one of those….funny cause it’s not your team moments (especially being a rival team).

  • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

    And the discussion board is back, so nice to read quality debate, insight, and comments this morning. Keep up the good work and ignore the negative, aggressive trolls that lurk.

    • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

      Yes, everyone please continue to ignore MG.  He is nothing but a bleating troll…

  • die hard

    Talked to Dick Tidrow and heard that Keppinger was non-tendered in favor of Fontenot by Giants. So, proposed lineup tweaked to read:

    DeJesus-RF
    Castro-SS
    Soriano/LaHair-1B
    Stewart/Keppinger-3B
    Baker/Dewitt-LF
    Byrd/Campana-CF
    Soto/Castillo-C
    Barney/Theriot-2B
    Garza

    • deej

      Where to start…

      - Soriano to first?!? crazyness….
      - Theriot on the Northside ever again?!? Never…
      - I love him… But does anyone EVER see Campana playing more than once a week…?

      I will say.. congrats on finally ending your “Soto for 3rd base” campaign.

  • die hard

    Interesting factoid…Soriano has played 800 approx games in infield and 800 approx games in outfield…His fielding percentage is higher as infielder…just saying that this move to 1B is worth looking into as low cost 1B fix given stuck with his salary anyway….

    • Dave

      Soriano’s bad hamstrings wont jive with the amount of stretching a decent first baseman has to do.  At least in left field he can pretty much just stand there most of the time.

      • die hard

        If hes platooned with LaHair, would be acknowledgement finally that hes no longer everyday player and that original contract was bad idea….but to continue to magnify mistake by planting him in LF is insane…Cubs are stuck and its best to move on and make best of bad situation…wouldnt you agree that if hes willing to try it and to get no more than 200 AB (against lefties only) then its worth a try…the combined production of him and LaHair would exceed Pena…if by All-Star break not working whats worse that could happen but move him back to LF?

  • ottoCub

    Here’s the list of 23 players who were non-tendered (from http://www.mlbdepthcharts.com)

    • ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS: RHP Micah Owings, LHP Joe Saunders
    • ATLANTA BRAVES: RHP Peter Moylan
    • BALTIMORE ORIOLES: 1B/OF Luke Scott, LHP Jo-Jo Reyes
    • BOSTON RED SOX: LHP Rich Hill
    • CHICAGO CUBS: C Koyie Hill
    • COLORADO ROCKIES: OF Cole Garner, OF Ryan Spilborghs
    • DETROIT TIGERS: 2B Will Rhymes
    • KANSAS CITY ROYALS: LHP Aaron Laffey
    • LOS ANGELES DODGERS: LHP Hong-Chih Kuo
    • MINNESOTA TWINS: LHP Jose Mijares
    • NEW YORK METS: C Ronny Paulino, 1B/OF Mike Baxter
    • SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS: C Eli Whiteside, IF Jeff Keppinger
    • SEATTLE MARINERS: C/OF Chris Gimenez, RHP Dan Cortes
    • ST. LOUIS CARDINALS: SS Ryan Theriot
    • TAMPA BAY RAYS: RHP Andy Sonnanstine
    • TEXAS RANGERS: RHP Fabio Castillo
    • WASHINGTON NATIONALS: LHP Doug Slaten

    • TWC

      I can honestly say I am very, very sorry that Theriot wasn’t tendered a contract by the Cardinals.

      Because I’d like to see him lose another arbitration case.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        …and star in another hilarious error-filled video in Cardinal red.

        • ferrets_bueller

          That video…might be my favorite thing in the world. Mild hyperbole.

          • Cardfan

            today is a good day…a very good day

  • NL_Cubs

    Ryan “The Klank” Theriot.  Love to see him end up in Houston for say, oh, about $800K or so? He’s so sour grapes.

    • EQ76

      He’ll probably go to Baltimore like every other Cubs castoff!

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