Given GM Jed Hoyer’s comments earlier today, this shouldn’t come as a surprise: today the Cubs tendered contracts to pitchers Matt Garza, Jeff Samardzija and James Russell, while non-tendering infielder Ian Stewart.
A mild surprise, though, in that Luis Valbuena does get tendered (which I’d expected all along until Jed’s comments threw me for a loop).
Also getting non-tendered are non-arbitration-eligible pitchers Zach Putnam and Jaye Chapman. The latter was the second piece in the Arodys Vizcaino trade with the Braves, and the former was a post-season waiver pick-up by the Cubs. Their non-tenders are really more in the “non-renewal” vein, as I mentioned in the comments to the post about Jed’s statement about non-tendered multiple people. Because the move is being called a non-tender, I’m assuming it means they’ve been let go completely (as opposed to DFA’d and waived – I suspect each had the right to reject an outright assignment to the minors, so the Cubs were going to have to grant them free agency even if they cleared waivers).
Stewart, Putnam and Chapman become free agents immediately, and the Cubs will presumably try to re-sign Stewart on a deal for less than he would have received in arbitration (he was set to get around $2.5 million). The Cubs will also presumably try to re-sign Putnam and Chapman, though they’d obviously be looking to get them on minor league deals.
The four tendered a contract remain under the Cubs’ control for 2013, and will need to work out an agreement with the Cubs or head to arbitration early next year.
With the decisions, the Cubs’ 40-man roster stands at 37. I’ll have more on the three non-tenders soon – I’m sure the Cubs will share some thoughts on why they were willing to let Chapman and Putnam go, and additional thoughts on where things stand with trying to re-sign Stewart.