It is news in the sense that it is a set of Cubs transactions, but it is not news in the sense that it is a process entirely presumed to occur and entirely within the control of the Cubs.
Because players shy of their arbitration years are subject to having their contracts renewed by their parent club at any price the club sees fit (above the league minimum), if you’re still on the 40-man roster come Spring Training, you’re going to get a contract done for the 2020 season. Either you’ll agree to a deal or you’ll just be renewed at whatever price the team chooses.
Deals done with:
- Right-handed pitchers Adbert Alzolay, Dillon Maples, Trevor Megill, Tyson Miller, Alec Mills, James Norwood, Colin Rea, Manuel Rodríguez, Casey Sadler, Duane Underwood Jr. and Rowan Wick.
- Left-handed pitchers Justin Steele and Brad Wieck.
- Catchers Miguel Amaya and Victor Caratini.
- Infielders Robel García, Nico Hoerner and Zack Short.
- Outfielder Ian Happ.
There are no terms out there, but the Cubs have tended to pay a little more than the minimum to these guys, with modest raises on top of that for big league contributors. Note that the players will earn the big league rate only when they are actually in the big leagues. Otherwise, they earn a minor league salary (which is quite a bit higher than the typical minor league rate when you’re on the 40-man roster).
As for any luxury tax implications, if you’re wondering, yes, these guys do count against the luxury tax when on the big league roster (or 60-day IL), but that’s all been estimated throughout the offseason as part of the calculation.
In other words, like I said: this is news, but it is also not news.