Today, the Chicago Cubs made the moves a lot of us would have predicted in advance, and yet it still feels pretty darn notable that they did all of the things they did.
As we’ve discussed, infielder Addison Russell was non-tendered, and becomes a free agent. He becomes a reclamation project for another organization, and he’s likely to get a big league deal somewhere else.
We also noted that the Cubs might try to sign Jharel Cotton to a deal before having to tender a contract to the arbitration-eligible righty, and sure enough they did so earlier today.
From there, the only questions were about Albert Almora – whom reports already had the Cubs retaining – and fringe roster guys like Danny Hultzen and Duane Underwood, with Bryan speculating that Underwood would be tendered but Hultzen might be non-tendered. Sure enough, that’s what happened.
Everyone else on the roster who wasn’t already under contract – i.e. arbitration-eligible and pre-arbitration – has been tendered by the Cubs today, as expected. The arbitration-eligible players are Almora, Javy Baez, Kris Bryant, Willson Contreras, Kyle Ryan, and Kyle Schwarber. If they don’t agree to a deal earlier, the Cubs and those players will exchange salary requests for the 2020 season in mid-January.
As for the Hultzen non-tender: don’t assume that means he’s gone from the organization. As a borderline guy, he may have a pre-arranged deal with the Cubs whereby, if he doesn’t find a big league deal elsewhere over the next week or so, he might sign a minor league deal with the Cubs for a little more than the typical minor league rate. That would certainly be nice, because, while he still has a ways to come against righties, he clearly has big league pitches. And, obviously, we love his story.
Hultzen has opted last 2 seasons to ramp up really slowly in Arizona, cognizant of the shoulder injuries that troubled his past. Entirely possible the move today was made together with Hultzen and his representatives, designed to give him best chance at succeeding in this org.
— Cubs Prospects – Bryan Smith (@cubprospects) December 3, 2019