[Final Decision: Hector Rondon (arbitration-eligible) and Taylor Davis (pre-arb) were non-tendered by the Cubs tonight, with each of the other six arbitration-eligible Cubs receiving a tender (Kris Bryant, Justin Grimm, Kyle Hendricks, Tommy La Stella, Addison Russell, and Justin Wilson). The other pre-arbitration players on the 40-man roster were also given a contract, with the exception of Matt Carasiti, who was released so that he can head to Japan, as discussed earlier today. The 40-man roster stands at 34 after the moves. Original post follows.]
Today is the deadline for tendering contracts to players under team control but not already under contract for 2018, and you can read about the details from this morning here.
In this post, I’ll share the rolling updates as they come in before the deadline hits at 7pm CT.
The first update is not altogether shocking, though it was something of an on-the-fence decision:
Cubs righty reliever Hector Rondon will not be tendered a contract for 2018 making him a free agent, according to a source. https://t.co/ASKsdqLmID
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) December 1, 2017
Rondon, 29, battled injuries and ineffectiveness in 2016 and 2017 after being so freaking dominant for the Cubs in 2014 and 2015. He was projected to make over $6 million in arbitration, though, and with such a robust free agent class ahead of the Cubs, I can see why they decided to earmark that money elsewhere.
It’s still possible that the two sides could re-up on a new deal, but, for now, Rondon will become a free agent.
UPDATE: Non-Cubs news here, but we mentioned lefty Drew Smyly, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, as a possible Cubs target if he were non-tendered, annnnnnnnd he was non-tendered by the Mariners. Could be a very interesting target as a one-year-plus-option type, allowing him to rehab on your dime in the first half, and then perhaps slide into the bullpen or rotation as needed in the second half.
UPDATE 2: Chris Cotillo reports that the other on-the-fence tender decision is going the other way:
Cubs will tender Justin Grimm a contract, per source.
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) December 2, 2017
Unlike Rondon, Grimm is projected to make a much more modest $2.4 million in 2018. He was very down in 2017, but the stuff – when he’s right – is as good as anyone available to the Cubs. I can understand the modestly-priced roll of the dice, especially when you consider that he could be let go in Spring Training for 30 or 45 days termination pay (depending on when he’s released).
UPDATE 3: A little more confirmation that Grimm (and the other five no-brainer-tender Cubs) will be tendered:
source confirms Cubs won't tender contact to reliever Hector Rondon. Likely to tender contracts to remaining six arbitration eligible players. deadline is 7 p.m.
— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) December 2, 2017