Cubs 2007 Minor League Free-Agents Announced

The list of post-2007 minor league free-agents has been released by MLB, and ten of the 18 Cubs minor leaguers eligible to be free-agents after the 2007 season have filed: Federico Baez, RHP Cory Bailey, RHP Gary Cates, INF Jorge Cortes, OF Ben Howard, RHP John Nelson, INF Mike Nannini, RHP Mike Mahoney, C Ryan O'Malley, LHP John Webb, RHP The eight eligible Cubs minor league FAs who did not file (and this means they almost certainly have signed 2008 minor league contracts with the Cubs) are: Robinson Chirinos, INF Adam Harben, RHP Koyie Hill, C Geoff Jones, LHP Josh Kroeger, OF Carlos Rojas, INF Issmael Salas, INF Les Walrond, LHP All eight of the players who have (apparently) re-signed with the Cubs for 2008 will be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft next month if not added to the Cubs 40-man roster by November 20th. Normally, to get a player eligible to be a minor league FA to "re-up" (sign a minor league contract for the following season), a club needs to offer a salary equal to or greater than what a player would get on a "split contract" if assigned to the 40-man roster (at least $31,125 for players never on a 40-man roster previous, or at least $62,500 for players who have been on a 40-man roster previously in their career), plus (for veteran players) an NRI to Spring Training. So I fully expect to see Adam Harben (who was rehabbing from TJ surgery this past season), Koyie Hill, Geoff Jones, Josh Kroeger, and Les Walrond on the list of non-roster players invited to ST with the Cubs in 2008, while Robinson Chirinos, Carlos Rojas, and Issmael Salas will likely report to minor league camp at Fitch Park on March 1st, albeit with a lot higher salaries than they had in 2007! Ex-Cubs and ex-Cubs minor leaguers who have filed as minor league FAs from other organizations include: Manny Alexander, INF (WAS) Francis Beltran, RHP (BAL) Bobby Brownlie, RHP (CLE) Jon Connolly, LHP (DET) Gookie Dawkins, INF (PHI) Jason Dubois, OF (BAL) Shawn Estes, LHP (SD) Jason Fransz, OF (BAL) Adam Greenberg, OF (KC) Lindsay Gulin, LHP (MIL) Chad Hermansen, OF (NYM) Jose Hernandez, IF (PIT) Nic Jackson, OF (PHI) Mike Kinkade, IF-OF (NYY) Richard Lewis, 2B (KC) Jose Macias, IF-OF (MIL) Pat Mahomes, RHP (TOR) Sandy Martinez, C (FLA) Luis Montanez, OF (BAL) Miguel Negron, OF (NYM) Carlos Perez, LHP (BAL) Jose Reyes, C (NYM) Aaron Sisk, INF (TB) Jerome Williams, RHP (MIN)
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Comments

This off season is going to be a yawner for the Cubs.

Put another way... I think their biggest acquisition will be Cuban.

filed under delusions of grandeur, Sosa says he'll need to be paid $7 million next year or he'll retire.

Is that all?

Ryno:
"This off season is going to be a yawner for the Cubs."

I hope not. This team has some real work to do. Just plugging in players from 2007 to fill in at upgrade needed positions (Murton - RF, Pie - CF, Theriot - SS, etc.) isn't the answer.

Estes and Macias will no doubt be snapped up by the Reds. Isn't NEIFI! also a free agent this year?

SS cant get much better than what's here...there's a whole lotta similar-to-worse to be had.

what the club will do with the OF...*shrug*

mannytrillo:
I hope not. This team has some real work to do.

Oh, I agree. But having work to do and actually doing something productive are two different things, my friend.

They need another big fat solid HR lefty in the lineup. If they can do this I really think they will be ok with Pie in CF.

Unpopular around here, I know, but I'd like Jenkins. Fuckudome has a lot of question marks.

I would guess that Kroger is gone, unless he gets added to the 40 man.

I am still in the Murton camp for RF next year, with Pie maybe pushing Jones over to get some platoon AB's.

With a lack of FA targets for Short, it's hard to guess how the Cubs might improve there. From the limited info available I think that Hendry does not consider short an area of concern, so unless something falls into his lap, like Lee or Aram or Izturis, I would expect Theriot to be batting 2nd come opening day. Maybe the Indians shortstop, or Tejada, but even if the Cubs think Tejada can still play short, they're so high on Theriot that they won't be moving any legitimate prospects in order to land him.

Despite the bashing that Marquis has taken around here, I look at the contract, and then I look at the list of free agent pitchers, and I think that not only could that contract be moved, but something valuable may come back. If he were a free agent this off-season he would likely get a 3-4 year deal at $9 or $10 million a year.

I don't think Jones really has a place on a championship level club, other than a fourth outfielder, so that contract would be pretty hard to move (assuming Hendry tried again to do so). Maybe a team like the Mariners who could use him as Adam Jones insurance, like the Cubs used him this year would be interested, especially faced with losing both their corner outfielders from last year (right?).

All the attractive bats that are supposed to be available are right-handed. Arod, Cabrerra, maybe Manny, Andruw Jones. On the other hand, we had more trouble beating lefties than righties last year, if memory surves, so maybe the rotation with it's 4 lefty batters and Zambrano, Ward coming off the bench will an Pie or Jones in center every day will be enough. Andruw Jones on a one year make-good deal would be interesting to me. I wouldn't be suprised if he winds up taking a late one like Pudge and Weaver had to do when no multi-year contracts materialized.

Oh, I forgot to throw in my Dusty dig. At least we haven't heard Theriot referred to as team MVP yet.

Some good news on those who want Schilling and Wood. Neutral news on Arod:

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/...

crunch:
"SS cant get much better than what’s here…there’s a whole lotta similar-to-worse to be had."

Renteria was available.

Ryno:
"They need another big fat solid HR lefty in the lineup. If they can do this I really think they will be ok with Pie in CF."

I agree. If we got a big LH bat from RF, I would have no problem giving Pie some time to try and prove himself in CF. But if we are going to go with Soto at C, which I think is very likely and prudent, I don't think we should go with a Theriot/Cedeno duo at SS.

Ryno:
"But having work to do and actually doing something productive are two different things, my friend."

Well, Hendry's job is riding on it (or at least better be), so hopefully he can get something productive done or he will be on the corner begging for donuts.

From the Sun Times article:
Meanwhile, the Cubs on Friday picked up pinch-hit specialist Daryle Ward's $1.2 million contract option for 2008, after declining options for Floyd and pitcher Steve Trachsel, making them free agents.

Good news!!!

Also, according to Cubs.com, Adam Harben has been added to the 40-man roster.

Renteria was available.

I think 'was' is the operative word there. I tried to trade for Renteria in my fantasy league just so I could release him. He may not be welcome in the Cubs organization.

I'm not exactly a Hendry fan, but could we at least put in a moratorium on the "donut" jokes for awhile? That's a tired act for many years at this point.

Manny and tired act go perfectly together...

There are lots of tired acts on TCR, I am just keeping up...:)

The Real Neal wrote:

I would guess that Kroger is gone, unless he gets added to the 40 man.
------

I don't see why...any team could have signed him just now as a free agent and not had to guarantee him a spot on the 25-man all season and no team did.

Navin — November 3, 2007 @ 1:28 pm
The Real Neal wrote:

I would guess that Kroger is gone, unless he gets added to the 40 man.
——

I don’t see why…any team could have signed him just now as a free agent and not had to guarantee him a spot on the 25-man all season and no team did.

============================

NAVIN: Players who are eligible to be minor league free-agents can file anytime between the end of the MLB regular season and October 15th, and their orginial club can sign them to a minor league contract for the following year during that time, or add them to their 40-man roster if they want to be sure of retaining the player if they are concerned that they won't be able to convince the player to sign a minor league contract for the following season.

Then the original club gets another week (October 16-21) where it has exclusive negotiating rights to the player, and can continue to try and sign the player to a minor league contract for the next season. The player doesn't become available as an "unrestricted" minor league FA to all other 29 MLB clubs until October 22nd.

Clubs usually do not announce when they re-sign a potential minor league FA to a contract for the following season unless they add the player to their 40-man roster. So K. Hill, Kroeger, Walrond, Chirinos et al may well have signed 2008 minor league contracts with the Cubs sometime prior to October 22nd without any announcement being made to that effect.

Generally, unless a player feels trapped, most minor league free-agents will accept a minor league contract for the following season with his old team as long as it is for a salary equivalent to or more than what they would have received if they had been added to the club's 40-man MLB roster, which would be a salary at least as much as the minimum minor league "split" salary (the new minimum split or players on a 40-man roster for the first time is $31,250, and it's $62,500 for players who have been on a 40-man roster previous). Some players (see Les Walrond) keep coming back, year after year. (Maybe Les just likes Des Moines in the summertime!)

So it's very likely that Kroeger (for example) was never actually available to be signed by another club. If he wanted at least $62,500 plus an NRI to ST in order to re-up with the Cubs for 2008, the Cubs probably were more than willing to give it to him, and they did so sometime prior to October 22nd. It's also quite possible that as a minor league FA with some leverage, that Kroeger got the Cubs to promise that they would grant him his release if he doesn't make the Cubs 25-man roster coming out of ST, or if he is unhappy at any point during the 2008 season at AAA.

And Kroeger would know that even if he signed a 2008 minor league deal with the Cubs, that he still could get selected by another club in the Rule 5 Draft. So it's entirely possible that if the Cubs do not add him to their 40-man roster by November 20th, that another club who would have been interested in signing Kroeger if he had hit the open market will select him in the Rule 5 Draft.

Last year, INF Jason Smith was signed as a minor league FA by the Cubs in early November, a couple of weeks after he was available to all 30 MLB clubs as an unrestricted minor league FA. And yet even he got selected in the Rule 5 Draft (by TOR).

In that case, the Jays may have wanted to sign Smith to a minor league deal, but with 500+ minor league FAs out there, the Cubs may have gotten to him before the Jays could get in touch with him, or maybe the Cubs outbid the Jays. But by selecting Smith in the Rule 5 Draft, the Jays gave Smith no choice but to go to Toronto (and he got a slot on a 40-man roster out of the whole thing, too).

As of right now, in need of a left handed hitting right fielder who can throw well enough to play right,the Cubs are probably a pretty good spot for Kroeger. Now he just has to spend the winter hoping that he does get drafted or that Hendry doesn't make a move to change things up in right field.

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