This is sufficiently surprising that I wonder if Jed misspoke, or reporters mis-heard, but …

According to Paul Sullivan, Carrie Muskat, and Bruce Miles on Twitter, Cubs GM Jed Hoyer said a couple interesting things this afternoon:

(1) He expects the Cubs’ 40-man roster to be under 40 by tonight (it currently stands at 40); and

(2) The Cubs are “very likely” (per Sullivan) to have a couple non-tenders (Muskat used the words “may have a couple non-tendered”).

Well, here’s your line-reading: the Cubs have five arbitration-eligible players: Matt Garza, Jeff Samardzija, James Russell, Luis Valbuena, and Ian Stewart.

The first two are obvious tenders, and you’d think Russell – who won’t make much money, and is a solid arm in the pen – is an obvious one, as well. Valbuena has long been a “probably,” as opposed to a “maybe,” and Stewart is a solid “maybe.”

… so, does this mean that both of Stewart and Valbuena are going to be non-tendered? Stewart, I can understand, for all the reasons we’ve discussed this week. Based on those two facts up there, it sounds like he’s a goner.

Valbuena, on the other hand, is a nice, versatile bench bat who won’t make more than $1 million. Seems like a nice guy to keep, unless there is a fairly significant overhaul coming on the roster.

Obviously we’ll see what happens tonight …

  • ssckelley

    Non tendering both Valbuena and Stewart does not make a lot of sense as that leaves Vitters as the only third baseman. Is there a player out there they can pick up through the Rule 5 draft that they feel is better than both of them?

    • AJB

      Non tendering them doesn’t mean the FO isn’t trying to keep them, they could just want them at a lower price than they would get through arbitration.

  • savant

    Cleveland just non-tendered Hannahan. He would be more palatable than Valbuena.

  • DarthHater

    Am I the only person who finds it depressing that so many of the players non-tendered by other teams are looking like good possible pick-ups for the Cubs?

    • Frank

      No, you’re not

  • DarthHater

    Something to provoke the Theo haters:

    Chicago Cubs rotation: Has Epstein done it again?

    • MichiganGoat

      Yup Brittney Spears Style

    • Alex

      I hope the Theo haters enjoyed it. :-)

  • DarthHater

    The Twatterverse is now linking Bourn to the Cubs…

    • MacPete
    • MaxM1908

      The nine figures number for Bourn is a joke, right? Boras doesn’t actually think he’ll get? He’s 30, had 87 and 99 OPS+ the last two years, and while he had a 6.0 WAR last year, that’s fluctuated significantly in his time in the majors. I just don’t see 100 million production for that. Am I missing something?

      • DarthHater

        I don’t think Boras makes jokes. But I agree with you.

  • DarthHater

    Wouldn’t signing Bourn cost the Cubs a draft pick?

    • DarthHater

      Never mind. Just read Brett’s explanation. Thank you. :-)

  • TonyP

    Damn are they going to wait until 10:59. Come on Thed I need some info…

  • Luke

    Ryan Sweeney has been non-tendered. He might be a good risk for a minor league deal / spring training invite / incentive laden contract. 2012 was the first time his BB% fell below 7.5%, and also the first time his K% rose over 16.1%. A left handed bat with power and some patience coming off the bench or platooning in right might not be a bad pick up.

    • Luke

      Scratch that power part. I was thinking he had a higher SLG than he does. I’d still take him on a minor league deal, though.

  • Kubphan82

    I’d say that IF the cubs nontender Valbuena/Stewart both that it’s because Jed doesn’t trust Sveum to NOT play him all the time, jk…

    That it’s because they have something they know will work for 3B and we’ll have to wait and see.

  • fromthemitten

    Daniel Schlereth was nontendered by the Tigers before he was arbitration elligible… maybe they might be menntioning pre-arbitration elligible players that they don’t feel are worth a roster spot?

    • Brett

      Jinx – earlier in the comments.

  • http://BleacherNation Dean

    Pirates have non-tendered Jeff Karstens. Been pretty solid the last 2-3 years. Worth a look?

  • Mike

    Ok, so the Cubs non-tender Putnam and Chapman, but failed to protect Nick Struck from the rule V draft. Go figure. But, hey, let’s hold onto a mendoza line hitter like Valbuena, but not 3 potentially valuable pitching arms. Got it, way to go, Theo and Jed.

    • TonyP

      Every consider that the stance that maybe the FO doesn’t like Struck and don’t care if he is taken in the rule 5 draft. If they did (like him) don’t you think they would have added him to the roster by the deadline.

      • Mike

        Interesting point. I still think not holding onto Struck will come back to haunt them a little. Still makes no sense to me that they let Chapman and Putnam go…it’s not like either would have made anywhere near big bucks, so why not hold onto them? Hope the Cubs have some better moves in the works from now through the Winter Meetings.

        • AB

          Most analysts havent even mentioned Struck in passing when disussing top players available for the Rule V draft.

          • TonyP

            I don’t think he will be taken…

        • TonyP

          My guess is that there has to be 40 man spots open for the additions forthcoming this winter and dropping a couple of fringy bullpen guys, that can easily be replaced, was the best option at the moment.