Quantcast

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 …

  • cjdubbya

    Maybe this means that they’ve signed Josh Hamilton to a two year deal to upgrade the offense in the outfield and they’ve also traded the newly-inked David Wright for Valbuena and Stewart.

    • DarthHater

      Woohoo!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      There’s really no other explanation.

    • DarthHater

      I don’t do the Twitter, but if I did, I would totally twat that!

  • Kyle

    Yeah, that has to mean Valbuena and Stewart. One or both could probably be had for less than their guaranteed arbitration figure.

    Unless they don’t like Russell for some reason?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      The Russell thing has me turning it all over in my head. But he’s got trade value – no reason to non-tender. PLENTY of teams would take him at his projected arb salary.

      • Smitty

        Russell was our one of our best relievers, is cost-controlled, and fairly young. If they don’t tender him I will be shocked. It would make no sense.

        • USS

          I totally agree!

  • DarthHater

    . . . unless there is a fairly significant overhaul coming on the roster.

    Oh, please, please, please . . .

  • Luke D

    Valbuena’s not really a bench bat, more like a bench glove.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Just an expression – in that context, “bat” = positional player. Very few “bench bats” are “good bats.”

  • Patrick W.

    If you’re working on a multiplayer trade that essentially sends two less players currently on your 40man than received players that will go on your 40man, you’ll have to non-tender two players. If one of the received players is a third baseman, Stewart and Valbuena are obvious non-tenders with a goal to get one of them back.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That seems unlikely, but that’s quite right.

      • Patrick W.

        I try to state the obvious as much as possible. Makes me look engaged.

        • Carne Harris

          lool

  • DarthHater
    • terencem

      I got a chuckle out of this.

    • https://www.facebook.com/AnotherSpaceSong Bret Epic

      Good stuff.

  • https://www.facebook.com/AnotherSpaceSong Bret Epic

    Jeff Karstens was non tendered by the Pirates. Might not be a bad end of the rotation fringe type of pick up.

    • MightyBear

      I thought the same thing. Or even bullpen help.

  • Matt

    Maybe they have a deal set up with Keppinger but it won’t be finalized until they non tender one or both of Valbuena/Stewart

  • http://bleachernation.com lou brock lives

    Keep you eyes on Gyorko 3B in S.D. with Headley figuring to sign a big deal the Pads are looking for a SP & Garza could be their man. McLeod signed Gyorko & this kid can hit a ton.

  • cheryl

    What abot the Nationals’ Anthony Rendon? Any nterest in hi? In termsof the two non-tenderd could it also mean there’s a chance they’ll get the Japanese close?

    • DocPeterWimsey

      The Nats will move Zimmerman to 1st in the near future (he’s had shoulder problems for a while) to make room for Rendon. The question is whether Zimmerman can hold down 3rd long enough: Rendon’s been slowed by injuries, too.

  • http://bleachernation.com lou brock lives

    Fujikawa – sounds like a motor cycle company name.

  • Don

    Blockbuster trade on the way. Need the roster spot for Castellanos. By by Valbuena/Stewart.

    • Stinky Pete

      Tease…

    • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

      Im not sure who the Tigers would take for Castellanos. They didn’t want to give him up for Geo Gonzalez back when that was a possibility. Outside of Garza who isn’t ready to be traded yet, the Cubs don’t make much sense as a trade partner with Detroit. I would love to see a future infield of Rizzo, Baez, Castro, and Castellanos but that is highly unlikely.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        The other issue is that the Tigers have very near-future plans for Castellanos. Miggy is not really blocking Castellanos at 3rd: Miggy is stop-gap until Castellanos is ready. Miggy goes to DH (or 1st with Prince going to DH.) VMart then becomes expendable. I wouldn’t be surprised if they trade VMart after Napoli signs: a team that wants a decent OPS DH who can also catch some (and play some first) will give up a useful part (say, middle inning reliever) for him.

        • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

          Very good points Doc. I have a feeling all 3 party’s would be thrilled with their new spots. Miggy moves to 1st, Fat ole Prince takes DH, and Castellanos can get his shot that he deserves at 3rd. Tigers are definitely in a win-win situation.

  • DarthHater

    Cubs Den is now running an ongoing thread for non-tender day:

    http://www.chicagonow.com/cubs-den/2012/11/happy-non-tender-day/

  • Justin

    Sounds like something is brewing

  • Boogens

    It doesn’t mean that anything is brewing necessarily. It could be as simple they couldn’t reach a deal with Stewart, don’t see Valbuena as a flight risk and clearing some roster space for rule 5 picks.

  • Mike S

    Brainstorming:
    Wouldn’t it make more sense to do the non-tender deadline before the Rule-5 Draft deadline, that way you could save more players on the 40-man roster?

    • Kyle

      They don’t want teams saving more players. The whole point is to keep teams from hoarding guys who could be on the MLB roster for other teams. Though that’s been perverted a bit by teams who just try to hide a prospect for a year.

  • http://Bill Bill

    Daniel Schlereth non-tendered. Should problems.. low risk.. high reward.

  • USS

    We already know who is not tendered.

  • Cubsfanforlife

    I’d be all IN on Karstens and Parra, provided they sign for the right price. I would add Parra to the pen. I think we would be attractive to him because who else is going to give him any chance at starting? If we trade a few rotation pieces in July like last year, he can get an opportunity to start down the stretch. He would be as good of a choice as Justin Germano or anyone of that ilk. I know Parra struggles with control, but maybe he figures it out in the pen, and becomes a solid bullpen guy.

    Karstens numbers are solid, nothing not to like about him

  • http://www.opportunity.org Seamhead

    Non-tendering both Stewart and Valbuena would seemingly put the club at a huge disadvantage in either FA or trade negotiations.

    Vitters obviously isn’t ready, so the Cubs would have no one as a viable option for 3B.

    Negotiating from a position of extreme weakness is generally a bad idea.

    • USS

      I believe Stewart will be tendered. Why? because the FO does not have any better options. (What if Stewart surgery does fix things and we trade him and he explodes into his potential?)

      • Cubsfanforlife

        I think it would a HUGE mistake to non-tender Stewart even if they keep Valbuena. We have a team whose payroll is going to be well shy of 100 million right? Stewart is going to get 2.5 mil in arb. that’s not a lot of money. I don’t understand why we would pass on a guy who could provide quality play and potentially build up his trade value.

        I guess my point is there doesn’t seem to be any downside in tendering Stewart a contract, other than the money it will cost which as I mentioned is minimal. Think about it this way, if Feldman and Baker are good value at 6 mil for a year, why couldn’t Stewart be a good value at 2.5mil for one year?

        • USS

          You hit the nail on the head. Some fans don’t get it but what you said lays it out.

        • Kyle

          The downside is wasting a money and roster spot on a terrible player.

          • Tim

            How do you define a wasted roster spot? You have to consider who else the Cubs could run out there on a daily basis at third base. I know some people on here are clamoring for Keppinger, and while that would be OK, imagine if Stewart realizes his potential. He has had a wrist injury that has clearly hampered him the last two years. Isn’t it worth a 2.5 mil/1 year deal to find out if a 27 year old former top prospect could break out?

            Worst case scenario he falls flat on his face. Then the Cubs would have lost the 2.5 mil, and the roster spot. More importantly, who do you think we would have used that roster spot on? I don’t hate Valbuena, but where the Cubs currently are in their rebuilding process, it makes WAY more sense to take a chance on a guy(Stewart) who could blow up, then a guy(Valbuena) who is going to play good defense and in his best days is a nice bench player.

            Just to be clear, I will define Stewart’s blowing up as a .260/.350/.465 line with 27 homers and 84 rbi’s. Imagine what his trade value would be if he puts that up? Or maybe he can stick around for a few years before Villenueva comes up. Who knows? It just seems like it would be worth the 2.5 mil.

          • MightyBear

            How come you don’t have a link to your blog in your name anymore?

            • DarthHater

              Theo threatened to beat him up unless he took down the blog.

              • MichiganGoat

                Nice

                • DarthHater

                  Or maybe it was Theo’s big sister. It’s hard to tell them apart sometimes.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Can’t disagree – seems like that’s the reason, among others, to tender Valbuena if you’re going to non-tender Stewart. What’s the risk?

      • Beer Baron

        They must view the roster spot as more valuable than the player. To be fair he’s a light hitting, good glove fielder. Nice, but not that rare where they couldn’t find someone close to that if they had to. But I think if one or both are non-tendered they would be hoping to re-sign them to minor league deals.

  • dan

    could it mean Garza trade happening?

  • cheryl

    If the cubs need a closer than Fujikawa may be the one player that would fill that bill. If there’s a big trade on the horizon it could involve Jackson and some of the other players drafted by Hendry, perhaps even Vogelbach, although I’d sure like to see how good he is. Luke probably has an idea about other minor leaguers that could be involved in a trade. The cubs basic needs are third base, obviously pitching and a CF who might be available for two or three years.

    • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

      I actually think Fujikawa is perfect for the Cubs. The Japanese league has less games meaning less innings on his arm, so the age issue(32) is not an issue. He will get better every year he’s in the states because naturally he will become more accustomed to his surroundings. By the time he’s at his peak it should coincide with us competing. The Cubs could sign him to a 4-5 year deal and by the last two to three years of his contract they should be competing for a title every year.(If Theds plan comes to fruition.)

  • DarthHater

    From the Twitter:

    speculation suggests 3rd baseman Ian Stewart and Luis Valbuena are Non tendered

    Who is this Speculation guy? Is he reliable?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      What are you doing in our Twitterverse?

    • DarthHater

      I lied before about not being a twat. ;-)

      • MichiganGoat

        So you’re a lying twat

        • DarthHater

          Pretty much, yea. :-P

        • DarthHater

          Actually, a lot of people on this site could have told you that, Goat. ;-)

    • MaxM1908

      The “speculation” probably refers to conversations on this blog.

      • DarthHater

        Yea, sometimes I think the internet should be renamed the incestunet.

  • cheryl

    Somehow it would seem Marmol would be involved in whatever’s happening. I can’t see them continuing with Vitters. Would there be anyone else on the 40 man roster that could be non-tendered besides Vitter and Valbuena? What about a package of DeJesus, Marmol and Barney for Stanton?

    • cRAaZYHORSE

      Dejesus Marlins want no part .. Marmol overpriced- Barny they have prospects that can play cheaper and hit better.

    • Myles

      DeJesus, Marmol, and Barney for Stanton would be probably the most lopsided-trade in the history of professional sports.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    It just occurred to me: is it considered a “non-tender” in Hoyer’s words when an under three-years player is let go? I’ve always called that “non-renewed,” but maybe that could be another player today … ?

    • MaxM1908

      Who would be the non-renewed candidates as far as the 40 man is concerned?

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Well, it would be the same kinds of guys we were thinking about as derostering candidates a couple weeks ago – Clevenger? Sappelt? Campana?

        Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think any of those guys will be dumped (or should be, necessarily), but I’m just wondering.

        • Kyle

          It would be very odd timing to DFA them (which is the only way they’d disappear, even if we intended to non-renew, the renewal deadline isn’t until the spring iirc) and call it a non-tender, when it’s non-tender deadline night and he was asked about non-tenders.

          Sherlock Holmes adage about what’s left being the truth applies here. Valbuena and Stewart are getting non-tendered with one or both being offered smaller contracts than their arbitration minimums.

        • TonyP

          this makes the most sense to me!

  • DarthHater

    Ryan Sweeney non-tendered. Should the Cubs be interested? Possible left-handed bat in CF?

    • Justin

      I wouldn’t see why they wouldn’t be. They have been wanting him for some time now and now that he is a FA, might as well jump on it.

    • Kyle

      We could definitely do worse for backup outfielders. His numbers aren’t good at all when you consider that he’s been getting favorable platoon treatment, but I feel like there’s a floor of “not horrifically awful” there, which isn’t true for all of our options.

      • Noah

        Yeah, if he was cheap I’d be fine with Sweeney as the back up left handed hitting outfielder. He isn’t a complete offensive black hole, and can play all three positions.

  • Fastball

    I don’t think Valbuena has as much value as folks would like to think. He really isn’t that good. He was dfa’d last year by the Tribe and we picked him up off the scrap pile. There are better players in Major League Baseball than these two guys. Life goes on. I bet they have somebody else in mind for 3b and have a deal worked out already.

    • Justin

      Not sure who you are looking at, but he was claimed by Toronto and he is raking this winter so far. Who else you going to stick in there? He is a decent bench player that can play 3/4 infield positions.

  • Fastball

    I don’t think he is all that great. He isn’t a consistent hitter and his fielding is just adequate. So we could probably go find about 20 Valbuena’s running around looking for a job tonight. He just doesn’t impress me. Jed probably has both of those two resigned to minor league contracts by midnight. I look at this way. I tell those two .. look you can take it or leave it but your still employed if you sign tonight. Maybe you aren’t employed it you wait. What other organization are they going have a chance of cracking a ML roster with. Maybe the Astros.

  • cheryl

    Jargens non-tendered, Is he a possibilit for relief ptching?

    • MichiganGoat

      I hope not he has been terrible and I see no upside in that move

      • DarthHater

        Also, it’s really hard to say “Jair Jurrjens” five times very fast.

      • MightyBear

        See I see no downside and he’s all of 27. He was terrible last year but the year before he was solid. Solid ERA, 3.0 WAR and walks were 2.6 per 9.

        • MichiganGoat

          I think (don’t have the numbers in front of me) he only had that one good season the rest were quite mediocre.

          • DarthHater

            No, he was good in 2008 and very good in 2009 and 2011.

            • DarthHater

              Which still does not outweigh his horrific 2012, unless there is some independent reason to believe he has relocated his mojo.

            • MichiganGoat

              Thanks I stand corrected, but if he had value wouldn’t somebody have traded for him. I’m always hesitant when a player that was once good and young is not wanted by a team. Everyone must know how bad his injury/troubles are and only want him if he is super cheap.

              • DarthHater

                I think I read that he had a big loss of velocity in 2012.

                • cheryl

                  Any clue why? Injury? Change in approach or coach?

                  • DarthHater

                    I think it was injury, but I’d have to get on the google to confirm and I’m too lazy to do that right now. :-)

                  • MichiganGoat

                    I know he was on the DL frequently but not sure the specifics of the injury.

                    • cheryl

                      Did some checking. He’s had a variety of injries. It doesn’t seem like their all the same area,but didn’t look closely. One was groin, another hamstring, etc.

              • MightyBear

                If they traded for him, he would be arb eligible. Even with the crap year he would be eligible for a raise. He made 5.5 mil last year. That’s why he was non tendered. I believe they said he lost velocity last year and movement but it may have been from too much work and arm strain. Cubs could certainly let him sit around and build back arm strength while they’re executing the “plan”. Cubs need pitching. Pitching, pitching and more pitching. If you have to stockpile it in Theo’s garage, they need pitching.

        • King Jeff

          I seem to remember Jurjjens as a guy with terrible advanced numbers and high luck numbers when he is pitching well. I’m not sure he’s much of an upgrade, I’d like to see the rest of the non-tenders tonight. If Pelfrey gets dfa’d by the Mets(just rumors), I’d like to see the Cubs get it on him.

          • MichiganGoat

            Maybe that’s why I didn’t think highly of him

  • cubsin

    The Cubs still have several others who might be removed from the roster, including Campana, Clevenger, Putnam, Vitters and

Bleacher Nation Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Bleacher Nation is a private media site, and it is not affiliated in any way with Major League Baseball or the Chicago Cubs. Neither MLB nor the Chicago Cubs have endorsed, supported, directed, or participated in the creation of the content at this site, or in the creation of the site itself. It's just a media site that happens to cover the Chicago Cubs.

Bleacher Nation is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Google+