contractOn Monday, teams made their tender decisions on arbitration-eligible players. Thanks to 43 non-tenders, there are suddenly 43 new free agents on the market. Although none are top tier options – because obviously – several are interesting complementary pieces that will get a lot of attention. Among them …

  • Andrew Bailey was a big-time reliever in Oakland who came to Boston shortly after Theo Epstein left for Chicago. In Boston, he struggled and was injured, but flashed good stuff when healthy in 2013. Still, he’s had shoulder surgery that will keep him out until mid-season 2014, and, unless he’s taking a low-dollar, one-year-plus-cheap-option type deal, I’m not sure he’s a good fit for the Cubs. Another team might be in a position to offer him more money because they can use him in the nearer term.
  • In tandem with Bailey, the Red Sox non-tendered outfielder Ryan Kalish, about whom folks like to point out the obvious front office connection. Kalish plays all over the outfield, and does a little with the bat, but, on a Major League deal, I don’t see the spot for him on the Cubs (unless another move is coming, or the outfield rotation is going to be weak). Presently, the Cubs have Nate Schierholtz, Ryan Sweeney, Junior Lake and Brian Bogusevic in the outfield, and, unless they’re planning on going with a rotation of five non-starters (four of whom are lefties), how could they round it out with Kalish? The Cubs need to add a starter in the outfield. But, hey, maybe they still like the potential of Kalish, 25, as a long-term starter. I guess we’ll see.
  • Wesley Wright is a quality left-handed reliever who was simply going to make a touch too much money in arbitration for the Rays’ tastes, so he was cut loose. But he’s a 28-year-old lefty who’s posted a 3.48 ERA and a 3.03 K/BB over the last two years. For his career, he falls more in the lefty specialist role, with lefties hitting just .231/.313/.342 off of him. If the Cubs are looking to add another lefty to the bullpen from the outside (or maybe want to have the flexibility to deal James Russell), they could do a lot worse than Wright for a million or two.
  • Ronald Belisario is another interesting reliever. He’s put up a 3.24 ERA for the Dodgers over the last two years, though his K rate dropped quite a bit last year. He turns 31 next year, and could be one of the best minor league signings available out there (if that’s all he can get).
  • The Mets let infielder Justin Turner go, and he’s going to be a very solid bench guy for some team next year. He can play anywhere in the infield, and managed a 100 OPS+ last year (an average bat that can play all over is a great asset to have on the bench).
  • Daniel Hudson got a lot of attention when he was non-tendered, being a 27-year-old righty with great past success. The problem with Hudson (besides the second Tommy John surgery that will keep him out well into 2014)? The Diamondbacks plan to bring him back.
  • And Sam Fuld! Sam Fuld!
  • Those are just a handful of the non-tenders. You can see the rest of them and think about the possibilities here.
  • C. Steadman

    Tommy Hanson on a prove-it contract? I wouldnt mind that one bit as a 4th/5th starter

    • Noah_I

      I don’t think Hanson is a prove it contract guy. Feldman was a prove it contract. Prove it means you have the stuff to be, say, a mid-rotation starter, but haven’t shown it yet. Hanson is a see if he can regain his velocity move. That’s hoping for health, not really a prove it deal in my book.

  • Rynomite

    Axford has large degrees of hate around here due to who he has played for, but on the right deal he could make for a nice backup plan at closer if Pedro or someone else in house doesn’t pan out. Seems to have a floor of a reasonably reliable 7th inning guy…but he also has some baggage from off the field troubles.

    • North Side Irish

      I like the Axford idea too, but mostly as 7th or 8th inning guy. He’s still got a big arm and pitched better after being removed from the closer role in Milwaukee. And he pitched really well for the Cardinals in September…because of course he did.

  • Melrosepad

    Ryan Webb and David Adams are two I wouldn’t mind taking a look at. Webb has shown to be a decent reliever and Adams has a good track record in the minors and can handle the corner infield and 2nd.

  • Rizzovoir Dog

    Put me down for Wright and Hanson.

  • Big Daddy

    I like Wright and Hanson. What about Getz?

    • On The Farm

      Are you just saying that so Nikki Getz will come to the games a la Kim DeJesus?

      • Big Daddy

        Haven’t seen Nikki Getz. Now, I’ll have to check that out.

  • Oswego Chris

    Hansons’ velocity has dropped like a rock

    • When the Music’s Over

      I read somewhere one time that some GM or Exec or Agent or some other front office / baseball related party said Hanson’s should looked like burger meat in an MRI.

    • C. Steadman

      only 2-3 mph since coming into the league(per fangraphs)…he relies on his slider and curve anyways

  • Jon

    mmmm, dumpster diving….

  • Rob

    Hi, I’ve read BleacherNation for awhile, but I’m now a first time commenter. Brett, or anyone else who’d like to share there thoughts, do you see the Cubs possibly pursuing Nelson Cruz? I thought he’d be a great fit, and can play Left/Right field and would add some much needed pop to our lineup, and offer protection for Rizzo.

    • woody

      I don’t think they want to taint the club or the future prospects by bringing in a PED user.

  • YourResidentJag

    Hefner of the Mets would be a good back end of the rotation pick up.

  • MightyBear

    I said earlier in the week that I thought Daniel Hudson would be someone to pursue. He fits the plan and was a good pitcher before he got hurt. I know the DBacks want him back but a change of scenery and Bosio might do him some good. It’s not like the Cubs haven’t paid a pitcher to rehab before.

  • Blackhawks1963

    Hanson seems to be severely damaged goods. I don’t want to waste any time with that. Who he was in the past is irrelevant. We have enough reclamation projects and uncertainties without wasting time on another.

  • Dale Jr

    Ass man where r u at wats the lastest on Jeff a
    ,an other deals

  • crazyhorse

    …….waiting at the pier and a tug boat arrives. Wonder if the Cubs will splurge on any of these 43 non tenders looking good J.Turner.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Just a heads up: Jonathan Mayo @JonathanMayoB3 (MLB draft expert at will be answering your draft question at 1:30pm ET today.

    Jonathan Mayo ‏@JonathanMayoB3 39m
    Reminder: I’ll be answering #mlbdraft quiestions from the @mlbpipeline account at 1:30 p.m. ET

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Cubs get new night game rules that go past 11pm! Via: Danny Ecker,

  • Funn Dave

    Wright sounds like he’d be a great addition. Not only talented, but also fills a need.

  • toby

    Would the Red Sox think about a deal with the Cubs where the Red Sox get Nate Schierholtz and James Russell for Alan Webster and one or two prospects in the 15-20 range?

    • toby

      just something to add to my post in that if Cubs could pull off that trade then that would open up a spot for Kalish if the Cubs wanted to go down that road and then sign Wright which would replace Russell while adding Webster to the rotation.

  • James

    I wonder if the Yankees might be a surprise team in the Jeff Samardzija derby. The Yankees havn’t been mentioned but they are looking for two starting pitchers right now. I can see the Yankees tradeing Gary Sanchez and Mason Williams for a pitcher. With the Yankees signing of McCann and Ellsbury it will push there two top prospects back.

    • C. Steadman

      i think if the Cubs trade Samardzija, they need a future TOR arm in return..thats why Blue Jays and Diamondbacks are good trade partners…they have plenty of pitching prospects

    • Professor Snarks

      James, one thing you need to remember is the quality of the prospects, not their rankings in the teams system. Sanchez and Williams had bad years. Sanchez would probably be No. 7 or 8 for the Cubs, and Williams wouldn’t make the top 10. We should be able to do better.

    • Blackhawks1963

      Yankees are very interesting to contemplate. Assume that the Cubs get Tanaka and the Yankees don’t….that leaves NY still in major need of a starting pitcher.

      Would the Cubs do Samardzija for Gary Sanchez and other considerations?!? Maybe add a third team into the mix?!?

    • Gcheezpuff

      Yanks don’t have the arms to get Shark, but how about Edwin Jackson?

      • YourResidentJag

        That would be a good place to trade him.

  • jmc

    besides dumpster diving don’t you think the cubs have to have some shiny new toy before the convention?

    • Professor Snarks

      For what purpose? To make the franchise better? Sure. To appease the fan base? No.

      One thing to remember about the last few days is a lot of ‘new toys’ changed teams, but none of them would have moved the needle much for the Cubs in 2014/2015. You could probably pick 4 or 5 of the guys who switched teams, put them on the Cubs, and still not sniff .500 in 2014.

      Theo has gone this far, he’s not changing “The Plan” just yet.

  • Steve

    Now that numerous non-tendered players have been added to the FA list, I’ll bet some resourceful GM could sign an entire roster of those players and possibly win more games than the Cubs or White Sox will win in 2014.

    • terencemann

      An entire team of non-tendered players would win about 45-50 games.

  • terencemann

    Come home, Sam Fuld!

    • ssckelley

      Yes, go home……back to New Hampshire.

    • jmc

      damn voice recognition. Not sincerely since early 1950’s

  • macpete22

    Yankees now very iffy on Tanaka…yes, yes, yes!

  • jmc

    I am not suggesting that they change the plan. But I do think they have to appease the fan base and point to something new rather than their losing record.

    • Professor Snarks

      I personally don’t think they will, or need to, just yet. I just do’t see them trading prospects to acquire guys that may give us a few extra wins. Would they trade a package of prospects for a guy who’ll be around awhile? Maybe. Someone like Stanton would make sense depending on cost. I think all their eggs are in the prospect basket right now. They are hoping guys like Baez, Bryant, and maybe Olt come on board this year to provide excitement. I could see a marketing campaign revolving around the young guys. Something like:

      “The Young Cubs are coming, and they’re coming fast”

      And if that fails, we could always go with:

      “Our coaches speak Spanish”.

    • sans

      I don’t believe such a deal would be pursued to placate a fanbase. Instead, it’s a deal that makes perfect sense for the current “plan” due to Tanaka’s age.

  • jmc

    I mean for us it’s entertainment.for the Cubs it’s a business they need something to sell

  • Atl Cubbie

    I feel the Cubs should go after Brett Gardner. He is 30 and excellent at stealing bases. With the signing of Ellsbury I think the Cubs can get him cheap and the Yankees have just said they like to trade him. Good leadoff hitter. Sweeney LF, Gardner CF and Schierholtz RF, doesnt look to bad next year.

    • ssckelley

      The Yankees did tender him a contract and I doubt they would trade him. I think Sweeney will be fine in center with Bogs and Lake platooning in left.

  • James

    Professor Snark your right that we would need more then Sanchez and Mason for Samardzija. I just threw out those two names as a starting point. A top young rated catcher in the minors and an possible five tool outfielder would be a nice start. The Cubs would also need two pitching prospect back. I don’t think the Yankees have enough to make it happen. There would have to be a third team involed.

  • jmc

    professor snarks that’s great. Coaches speak’ve been going to Wrigley sincerely 50s haven’t been in last couple years I watched fewer games in 2013 than I have my lifetime.sooner or later they’re going to have to put up or shut up

    • Professor Snarks

      My first game was in 1957. Haven’t been since 2002. Didn’t watch but 5 games after the All-Star break last year. So I am not disagreeing with you that the team has a marketing problem. I actually take solace in the fact that I find the current state of the organization very similar to 1959/1960. Significant offensive help coming up through the minors and with no pitching on the horizon. (Is it too much to ask for Baez and Bryant to follow Williams and Santo into the HOF?) Of course it took 9 years for that team to really contend for a World Series. So much for Solace.

      • DarthHater

        But did you go sincerely? 😉

  • johnny chess Aka 2much2say

    Whatever happened to this guy – Kyuji Fujikawa

    • Brett

      Tommy John surgery in June. Hopefully back mid-season.

    • DarthHater


  • Randy

    Right up the Cubs alley. Cheap Cheap Cheap

  • You got bats, we got Wood. Travis Wood.

    I’d like to see Willy Mayes Hayes get a ST invite, he would solve our problems at the leadoff spot and has some pretty decent OBP numbers….