love me tenderToday’s tender decisions went as expected for the Chicago Cubs, with the team offering contracts to the vast majority of their arbitration-eligible players, according to multiple reports. Reliever Daniel Bard and first baseman Mat Gamel were non-tendered after being waiver pickups earlier this year, and are each now free agents. The Cubs may try to bring each back on a minor league deal, particularly Bard.

The Cubs also non-tendered reliever Chang-Yong Lim, who was not arbitration-eligible, but who had a unique, non-guaranteed contract for 2014 (he was the Korean reliever recovering from 2012 Tommy John surgery, and who pitched only a bit for the Cubs last year, mostly in the minors). By non-tendering him, I believe the Cubs are no longer on the hook for whatever salary he was entitled to next year, and he’s off the 40-man.¬†After the non-tenders, the Cubs’ 40-man roster stands at 37.

As for the other nine arbitration-eligible players РJeff Samardzija, Nate Schierholtz, Travis Wood, James Russell, Luis Valbuena, Pedro Strop, Donnie Murphy, Darwin Barney, and George Kottaras Рthey were all offered contracts. The Cubs even already came to terms on deals with George Kottaras and Donnie Murphy ($825,000, plus incentives), avoiding arbitration. You can expect the Cubs to avoid arbitration, eventually, with the other seven players, as well.

  • Kyle

    Huh. MLB roster rules never stop surprising me.

    That’s more than I’d pay for Donnie Murphy, but I’m not going to complain or anything because it’s basically indistinguishable from just picking up a random minor leaguer and giving him the league minimum.

    • J.F.Edwards

      I think Murphy believes he can win the majority of the 2B job and some 3b time.

      And whether he can or not, the Cubs FO has to want that kind of middle-age guy (a Murphy-kind-of-guy) grinding it out against young players for starting time.

      That sounds and looks like part of “The Plan” as far as I can tell.

      I happen to think it’s a good one, at least if you want to beat StL/TB/BOS or the Yanks in realtime (postseason) baseball with young talent.

      But it ain’t quick. And frankly, it is hard to watch and freakin’ sucks right now :(

  • @cubsfa22

    I think Hanson and Hudson would be 2 goo d buy low pickups especially if we trade shark

  • NickPunto20

    Barney is not worth $2 million, I’m sorry, but no. Having a good glove is not an excuse for batting .208 and having an atrocious .569 ops.

    I’d rather have Valbuena at 2nd and someone else at third, maybe vitters or murphy or olt to start the year.

    • Kyle

      They don’t expect him to have a .569 OPS next year.

      • J.F.Edwards

        Agreed. But this is where Murphy’s $825k start to look like a steal.

        Do you want Barney and his gold glove at 2b, or Murphy and his bat for 40% of the cost?

    • Tony_S

      Mmmmm, I disagree. What the hell’s league minimum anymore, anyway? 500k? You get the gold glove D, the clubhouse presence, he’s been on the team (heaven forbid, consistency), and he seems like he’d have the personality to accept being a bench/D type (which is what he should be anyway) when the team gets good.

      I think that’s worth $2m. Now, you can get into his WAR and how much a win costs now and everything else, that’s just my gut/fan take on it, and his current value to this team.

      • TOOT

        Really. Is Barney worth 2 mil on a that quit clearly needs offense?

        • Tony_S

          If you don’t pay Barney that $2m this year, are you going to put it toward a 2B who exceeds your internal projections for Barney enough to offset the loss in D? (No, so yes, he’s worth it).

          Furthermore, the “quit[e] clearly” part of your question would lead me to want upgrades in production somewhere more impactful than 2B, ie, a repeat of Barney’s weak bat from last year at 2B is not even remotely close to the biggest, or final, thing standing in this team’s way of greatness, or even relevance. So, for the reasons I already stated above, yes, I think he’s worth $2m.

          • TOOT

            My point was simply that 2 mil for Barney’s defense makes no sense. Use the money for something else. Bring up somebody from AAA and let him play, I don’t care who it is. this 2014 is going nowhere anyway. How can you say Barney is “wrth” 2 mil. I just don’t see it.

            • J.F.Edwards

              Murphy’s offense at 40% of Barney’s cost sure looks fine. Or Valbuena, at 75% of Barney’s cost with a better bat? Why is Darwin on this team?

              Origin of the $pecie$ says Barney makes no sense…especially with Valbuena/Murphy in the short-term and Baez/Alcantara/Castroe on the horizon depending on how the positions play out.

              Show me a financial incentive for keeping Barney in WAR and I’ll pay attention.

              • Crazyhorse

                The time to trade Barney is yesterday. The Cubs should give Arismendy Alcantara and or Logan Watkins the chance to play 2b.
                Its good to see both players on the 40 man roster and I feel pretty confidant that one of those players will be on the 25 man roster when the 2014 season starts.

    • jt

      Barney hit about lg avg vs LHP. That plus his defense makes him worthy of being a $2M platoon/(double switch) bench guy.

  • @cubsfa22

    Johnson for week fair trade I think

  • AdamAE24

    Daniel Hudson is a Free Agent.

    Sign me up.

  • http://bleachernation ferris

    Barney to oak. For anderson…they just yraded a second badrman to balt. For johnson

    • http://bleachernation ferris

      Thats traded and baseman….my bad

    • Jason P

      Oakland could probably do a little better than Barney. We’re talking about a guy who the Cubs seriously considered non-tendering rather than paying him the meager sum of 1.5-2 million dollars. I’d offer Jackson or Vitters and Neil Ramirez or a package similar to that for Anderson.

  • Jason P

    I wonder if the Cubs will try to bring back Lim on a minor league deal. Seems like kind of a waste to sign him, wait out his recovery and rehab — which included total domination of all levels of the farm system — and then cut him after 6 bad but not horrific appearances in garbage time September.

    They needed the 40-man space, I’m sure, but now that he’s off Id much rather have him as AAA depth than another Hinasori Takahashi or Kameron Loe.

    • willis

      It’s kinda funny, so many (including me) had an issue with his signing in the first place. And now here we are, barely knew you, Lim. He didn’t show enough for my liking, but if they brought him back on a minor league deal to see what he has over a healthy season, that’s cool.

      • Jason P

        Yeah, the velocity just wasn’t there. Lim supposedly was a guy who, fairly recently, could crank it up to 94-95 from the side-arm slot, which alone would make him a worthwhile bullpen arm if he had any semblance of decent command/control. In his 6 appearances this year, he was barely at 90.

        Since he was coming off his second TJ surgery, It’s possible he just wasn’t fully recovered, and I’m sure the cold weather didn’t help.

        If Darnell McDonalds worth a minor league contract, so is Lim. As long as he doesn’t go back to Korea or retire.

  • http://bleachernation ferris

    Feldman 2yr 20mm…..
    Infante 2yr 14mm…..
    Franklin guitetez 2yr 12mm…

    Good reasonably priced players

  • Steve

    Giving a 1.075 million dollar contact to a 6-year veteran catcher with a .214 lifetime BA like George Kottaras is just another indication how ridiculous baseball salaries have gotten. Would have been much better for the 2014 Cubs to keep Dioneer Navarro if he would have accepted the Cubs salary offer. Another 90-loss season is on the horizon.

    • hansman

      The Cubs, if they continue not making moves (which I highly doubt) will lose 90 games but not because they have Kottaras over Navarro.

      Unless you wanted to pay more than the Blue Jays did, the Cubs were never a first choice landing spot for Navarro.

      Even with a .214 BA, Kottaras has been able to post a league average OPS over his career.

      So much ignorance on what matters in terms of player performance crammed into one comment.

      • Scotti

        Hans, I agree with you down the line re. your reply except the “ignorance” bit is the type of comment that has been keeping me from the site for the last month or so. Just so unnecessary–it neither educates the truly ignorant nor does it help the site with hits (keeping Brett prosperous and the site in existence).

  • YourResidentJag

    Cubs could pick up Hefner just non-tendered by Mets.

  • ramy16

    J.P. Arencibia is well as Chris Coghlan from the Marlins..I am on board with these guys

  • http://BN Sacko

    I think making a big deal out of Kottaras walk rate is over rated. Pitchers can figure out to just throw strikes..he can’t hit obviously.

    • TOOT

      Not only that, it remains to be seen how many plate appearances Kottaras actually see’s. Sveum is no longer steering the ship. I really don’t understand this move. If I’m not mistaken, Kottarass will be making more than Castillo. If I’m Castillo, i’m pissed.

      • Tony_S

        If I’m Castillo, I know my job is not threatened by the signing and I don’t give a shit. I’ve probably also been informed, officially or un-, that I’m definitely considered part of the future, and the sky is really the limit if I put in the effort learning the staff, improving game calling, etc. If I’m Castillo, I figure I’m maybe a half season or less from my own version of a Rizzo/Castro -type extension, if it suits me.

        In short, if I’m Welly Castillo, I really don’t give two tugs of a dead dog’s d**k about Kottaras.

        Hopefully, if I’m Castillo, my only thought is, “Hey, this guy’s been around a little longer than me, maybe he has something valuable I can learn.”

        • TOOT

          I’ll buy that. Cubs don’t have any other options at this point until the kid comes up from minors.

    • Scotti

      Sacko, he has 800 + PA’s over multiple seasons. It doesn’t take that long for the league to “figure someone out.”

      That said, a good number of his BB came as a #8 hitter and a good number of his PA came in the NL (i.e. he was taking walks ahead of the pitcher). Nothing wrong with that. It’s silly to try to force something when you’re being pitched around.

      THAT said, his career numbers batting 7th and 9th (i.e. with protection) are both north of .800 OPS. Regardless, he’s the backup catcher.

      • http://BN Sacko

        Ok so are you saying the pitchers know he obviously can’t hit?

  • Tony_S

    Question/begging request for Brett: Any chance you’re already running down today’s non-tenders, in order of likelihood the Cubs sign them, say, for a piece tomorrow?

    Juuuuuuust wonderin’ (and hopeful)… :)

    (Of course if you weren’t already, and now I’ve planted a seed, and then half of them get re-signed by their teams before you get he piece done, I would feel like a total dick…)

  • Brains

    the cubs showing this week has moved brains from indignant and snarky to depressed and listless.

    • Brett

      Because if they don’t make moves in November (“don’t care how, I want it NOW!”), they have failed?

      • Brains

        don’t worry, i’m just a loyal reader these days

    • Eric

      What moves would you have made exactly?

    • DarthHater


      • Tony_S


  • Eric

    I like the idea of picking up Anderson from Oakland but I’m leery of what they’re asking price will be.

    • Brett

      After the Fister trade, the asking price should be Koyie Hill.

      • Eric

        heh, I agree but seriously, Billy Beane may be even more craftier than Epstein. I would approach any discussions with him very cautiously. I suspect he uses voodoo of some sort.

      • Norm

        I really don’t think the Fister trade is going to affect the trade values of all these other pitchers, Samardzija included.
        I mean, obviously the Garza trade didn’t affect the value of Fister, right?
        The RA Dickey trade didn’t have any bearing on the Fister trade.
        The James Shields trade….nothing.

        I don’t think the Tigers are dumb. I have to assume they shopped Fister around and just liked Robbie Ray more than they liked any other prospect being named.

        Of course, if you were on that believed a Giolito type would be moved for Samardzija, that’s your own fault. AJ Cole was a possibility, I think, and he’s ranked in the 60’s. If Robbie Ray is a #100-#125 type, in reality, there isn’t all that much difference in value between a #60 and a #120. Might sound like a lot, but its not.
        Detroit must have just liked him. And I don’t think it will affect the trade value of other pitchers.

      • MichiganGoat

        Meh throwing in a Fuld and Campana should be the enough icing to make that happen, if they are really pushing throw in a Hayden Simpson (I think that’s his name – the best first round pick EVER).

    • Eric

      While I’m daydreaming, if we picked up Anderson and he and Arrieta finally got their act together…wow. I know people think Arrieta may be a 3-4 guy but his stuff, when on, is nasty. Easily TOR stuff when he has it under control.

      • MichiganGoat

        Yeah that is a good dream and right now dreams are good. After the Fister trade getting Anderson should be quite affordable and worth the risk.

      • CubFan Paul

        Arrieta will be an extension candidate next year if he & Bosio can pull it together.

        • MichiganGoat

          I really hope he pulls it together and we look back at the Feldman signing and trade as one of the best moves this FO has made. His stuff is wicked lets just hope he can learn how to control it and not become Marmol.

    • ssckelley

      I do not see the Cubs getting involved with Anderson if the price is to high. Another small market team that is looking to compete would be willing to put together a better package than the Cubs. IMO the only way the Cubs get involved is if they feel he is healthy and can be extended to a longer term deal. Otherwise Anderson is just another Samardzija except he is coming off injuries and is owed a minimum of $9.5 million. You bring him in hoping he can prove he is healthy so you can flip him at the trade deadline for other prospects.

      I think Junior Lake with another top 40 prospect would be the max I would go. The A’s might be interested as Chris Young is gone and Coco Crisp is in his final year. The A’s also may have some interest in Darwin Barney, not as a centerpiece but in a package deal. Sogard is nothing special and the A’s have a good enough lineup to hide a light hitting, gold glove, second baseman.

  • Bob Johnson

    Epstein Crafty? I totally disagree!

    • ssckelley

      No doubt, they should have gotten WAY more for 2 months of Garza and Feldman. I am still mad they traded away Campana for 2 low level pitching prospects, the team needs all that belly fire. Also the past couple of drafts are a joke.

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