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 …