Preparing for the 2012 Apocalypse
According to the Mayan calendar, the Cubs will win the World Series in 2012, causing an apocalypse about six weeks later.
So since it's getting late, here's a look ahead at what the Cubs roster might look like in about six months, and what the player payroll obligations will be going into the historic 2012 season.
This does not address potential free-agents the Cubs might pursue or players the Cubs might target in a trade, although it should give you some idea of how much the Cubs might have available to spend for free-agents.
PROJECTED DECEMBER 2011 CHICAGO CUBS 40-MAN ROSTER
NOTE: "OUT OF MINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS IN 2012" applies only to players who will have less than five years of MLB Service Time accrued through the 2011 season, because players with five or more years of MLB Service Time can refuse an assignment to the minors even if they have minor league options left.
39 players (one slot will probably be left open)
* bats or throws left
# bats both
* JEFF BELIVEAU (will likely be added to 40-man roster by 11/20 deadline)
* John Gaub
ANGEL GUZMAN (will likely be added to 40-man roster in September)
JAY JACKSON (will likely be added to 40-man roster by 11/20 deadline)
* Scott Maine
* Sean Marshall
* James Russell
OUT OF MINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS IN 2012: Guzman, Mateo, and Samardzija
ARBITRATION ELIGIBLE POST-2011: Garza, Guzman, and Wells
* STEVE CLEVENGER (will likely be added to 40-man roster by 11/20 deadline)
# Koyie Hill
OUT OF MINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS IN 2012: Soto
ARBITRATION ELIGIBLE POST-2011: Hill and Soto
* Blake DeWitt
* RYAN FLAHERTY (will likely be added to 40-man roster by 11/20 deadline)
# MARWIN GONZALEZ (will likely be added to 40-man roster by 11/20 deadline)
* BRYAN LAHAIR (will likely be added to 40-man roster in September)
D. J. LeMahieu
JOSH VITTERS (will likely be added to 40-man roster by 11/20 deadline)
OUT OF MINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS IN 2012: Lahair (only matters if he is on 40-man roster, otherwise he is a minor league FA)
ARBITRATION ELIGIBLE POST-2011: Baker and DeWitt
* Tony Campana
* Tyler Colvin
MATT SZCZUR (will likely be added to 40-man roster by 11/20 deadline)
ARBITRATION ELIGIBLE POST-2011: Montanez could qualify as a “Super Two” (still TBD)
LIKELY TO GET OUTRIGHTED:
Justin Berg, P (would be out of minor league options in 2012)
Esmailin Caridad, P
# Fernando Perez, OF (would be out of minor league options in 2012)
Brian Schlitter, P (after he is reinstateed from 60-day DL post-2011)
ELIGIBLE TO BE MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT IF OUTRIGHTED: Berg and F. Perez can be minor league free-agents post-2011 if outrighted to minors, but Caridad and Schlitter cannot be minor league FA until post-2014
NOTE: It’s possible that one or more of the veteran minor leaguers presently at Iowa (like Bryan Lahair, Scott Moore, Augie Ojeda, and/or Bobby Scales) could get a September "courtesy" call-up, but if that happens, all except Lahair would likely get outrighted back to the minors after the season (and then each can be a minor league FA), with Lahair probably kept on the 40-man roster at least until a first-baseman is signed or acquired via trade during the off-season.
ARTICLE XX-B MLB FREE-AGENT POST-2011:
* Doug Davis, P
Ryan Dempster, RHP (player option)
* John Grabow, P
Reed Johnson, OF
Rodrigo Lopez, P
* Carlos Pena, 1B
Aramis Ramirez, 3B (mutual option with club option $2M buy-out)
Kerry Wood, P
* Kosuke Fukudome, OF
SIGNED BEYOND 2011:
NOTE: Salaries do not include signing bonuses not actually paid in 2012
+ Has NO TRADE rights in 2012
+ Alfonso Soriano ($18M 2012 through 2014)
+ Carlos Zambrano ($18M in 2012 and a $19.25M vesting-player option in 2013)
+ Aramis Ramirez ($16M mutual option or $2M club buy-out in 2012)
+ Ryan Dempster ($15.5M player option in 2012)
Carlos Silva (RELEASED - $2M 2012 buy-out still to be paid)
Carlos Marmol ($7M in 2012 and $9.8M in 2013)
Marlon Byrd ($6.5M in 2012)
Carlos Pena (FA post-2011 - $5M deferred from 2011 salary to be paid pre-2012)
Sean Marshall ($3.1M in 2012)
+ Jeff Samardzija ($3M club option in 2012 and $3.5 mutual option in 2013)
SUB-TOTAL: $94M (or $77M if Ramirez and Samardzija club options are declined)
NOTE: If Samardzija’s 2012 club option is declined, he would lose his “no trade” rights and would revert back to being an “auto-renewal” player for 2012 (thereby being subject to a unilateral club option 20% pay-cut from his 2011 $3M salary), and if he is cut the max 20%, he would receive a non-guaranteed $2.4M contract for 2012 (and Cubs would owe him $600K severance if he is released prior to 2012 Opening Day). Samardzija will not be eligible for salary arbitration until after the 2012 season.
PROJECTED ELIGIBLE FOR SALARY ARBITRATION POST-2011:
Jeff Baker ($2M?)
Blake DeWitt ($1.25M?)
Kosuke Fukudome (see NOTE)
Matt Garza ($9M?)
ANGEL GUZMAN ($1M? - but only if he is added to 40-man roster prior to becoming a minor league FA)
Koyie Hill ($1M?)
Luis Montanez ($750K? - but only if he qualifies for Salary Arbitration as a “Super Two”)
Geovany Soto ($5M?)
Randy Wells ($3M?)
NOTE: Kosuke Fukudome is technically eligible for salary arbitration post-2011, but he has the right to demand his Outright Release if he has not signed a contract-extension by 11-15-2011
ESTIMATED SUB-TOTAL: $23M (presuming Fukudome is released)
AUTO-RENEWAL (PRE-ARBITRATION) POST-2011:
JEFF BELIVEAU (presuming he is added to 40-man roster)
STEVE CLEVENGER (presuming he is added to 40-man roster)
MARWIN GONZALEZ (presuming he is added to 40-man roster)
RYAN FLAHERTY (presuming he is added to 40-man roster)
BRYAN LAHAIR (presuming he is added to 40-man roster)
D. J. LeMahieu
Luis Montanez - unless eligible for Salary Arbitration as a “Super Two” (see above)
Jeff Samardzija ($2.4M - but only if 2012 club option is declined)
MATT SZCZUR (presuming he is added to 40-man roster)
JOSH VITTERS (presuming he is added to 40-man roster)
ESTIMATED SUB-TOTAL: $8M (includes $2.4M salary for Samardzija, average $450K 2011 salary for 10 auto-renewal players on MLB 25-man roster, and average $75K minor league “split“ salary for the 15 players who would be on optional assignment to minors)
ESTIMATED PROJECTED TOTAL 2012 PAYROLL: $108M (presuming Ramirez club option is declined, Fukudome is released, Samardzija's option is declined and he becomes an "auto-renewal" player, and none of the MLB free-agents are offered salary arbitration)
NOTE: The Cubs could net about $4M in 2012 payroll savings by non-tendering Samardzija, K. Hill, DeWitt, and Montanez, and not adding Guzman to the 40-man roster, and then replacing them on the 25-man roster with five auto-renewal players making an average of $450K, but that still only gets the 2012 payroll down to about $104M.
2012 CUBS MLB PAYROLL BUDGET: $???M (it appears that the 2011 Cubs MLB payroll budget is around $130M)
NOTE: The Cubs 2010 (last year's) payroll budget was apparently originally somewhere around $140M, but the team actually only ended up spending about $132M of it after Dempster‘s contract was re-structured (back-loaded) and Lilly, Theriot, D. Lee, and Fontenot were traded. The Cubs right now are on target to spend about $128M in player payroll in 2011, but it could be reduced if some of the veteran players (like Pena, Grabow, Wood, et al) are traded later in the season.
ELIGIBLE TO BE ARTICLE XX-D MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT POST-2011:
Brad Snyder, OF
NOTE: An minor league player eligible to be an Article XX-D free-agent is not eligible to be a free-agent if the player is added back to an MLB 40-man roster prior to the conclusion of the MLB regular season. A player eligible to be an Article XX-D minor league free-agent can file for free-agency beginning on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season up through October 15th. The player’s former club does not receive any compensation if the player signs with a new club.
ELIGIBLE TO BE RULE 55 MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT POST-2011:
NOTE: A minor league player eligible to be a Rule 55 free-agent is not eligible to be a FA if the player is added to his club’s 40-man roster by the 4th day following the conclusion of the World Series.
SIX-YEAR MINOR LEAGUE FA:
James Adduci, OF
Justin Berg, RHP (but only if outrighted to minors)
Marco Carrillo, RHP
Robert Coello, RHP
ANGEL GUZMAN, RHP (likely to be added to 40-man roster in September)
Dylan Johnston, RHP
BRYAN LAHAIR, 1B (likely to be added to 40-man roster in September)
Mario Mercedes, C
Scott Moore, INF
Jonathan Mota, INF
Augie Ojeda, INF
Ramon Ortiz, RHP
Fernando Perez, OF (but only if outrighted to minors)
Chris Robinson, C
Bobby Scales, INF
Alvaro Sosa, RHP
Jeff Stevens, RHP
John Urick, 1B (player-coach)
PREVIOUSLY RELEASED - WILL BE MINOR LEAGUE FA UNLESS SIGNED BEYOND 2011:
Adrian Aviles, LHP (previously released by LAD)
Austin Bibens-Dirkx, RHP (previously released by SEA)
Carlos Figueroa, INF (previously released by COL)
ELIGIBLE FOR SELECTION IN DECEMBER 2011 RULE 5 DRAFT:
Jeffry Antigua, LHP
Adrian Aviles, LHP (unless MLB Rule 55 minor league FA - see above)
JEFF BELIVEAU, LHP (likely to be added to 40-man roster post-2011)
Austin Bibens-Dirkx, RHP (unless MLB Rule 55 minor league FA - see above)
Smaily Borges, OF
Michael Brenly, C
Justin Bristow, RHP
Michael Burgess, OF
Kyler Burke, LHP (ex-OF)
David Cales, RHP
Matt Camp, IF-OF
Hung-Wen Chen, RHP
STEVE CLEVENGER, C-1B (likely to be added to 40-man roster post-2011)
Manolin DeLeon, RHP
Carlos Figueroa, INF (unless MLB Rule 55 minor league FA - see above)
Eduardo Figueroa, RHP
RYAN FLAHERTY, IF-OF (likely to be added to 40-man roster post-2011)
Luis Flores, C
MARWIN GONZALEZ, IF-OF (likely to be added to 40-man roster post-2011)
Miguel Gonzalez, C
Yohan Gonzalez, RHP
Jose Guevara, C
Gian Guzman, INF-RHP (player-coach)
Marcus Hatley, RHP
JAY JACKSON, RHP (likely to be added to 40-man roster post-2011)
Junior Lake, INF
Blake Lalli, C-1B
Jordan Latham, RHP
David Macias, IF-OF
Oswaldo Martinez, RHP
Craig Muschko, RHP
Jon Nagel, RHP
Jake Opitz, INF
Blake Parker, RHP
Nelson Perez, OF
Ramon Reyes, RHP
Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP
Rebel Ridling, 1B
Carlos Romero, C
Nate Samson, INF
Ryan Searle, RHP
Marquez Smith, 3B
Matt Spencer, 1B-OF
Larry Suarez, RHP
MATT SZCZUR, OF (likely to be added to 40-man roster post-2011)
Jose Tineo, RHP
Jose Valdez, OF
JOSH VITTERS, 3B-1B (likely to be added to 40-man roster post-2011)
Ty Wright, OF
NOTE: A player on this list is not eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft if he is added to an MLB 40-man roster by 11/20. Any free-agent signed to a minor league contract prior to the Rule 5 Draft is eligible for selection.
we might have seen another inning of lester out there if he didn't throw 30 pitches last inning because of a base throwing issue...on a day where he's very tuned in.
i've accepted what's happening with lester, but turning a double play into 0 outs is noteworthy even if some people don't want to be reminded of it.
A lot of batters simply can't bunt is one problem.
I'm pretty sure there is not a single person ignoring it at this point In all of baseball and it's a thing everyone is talking about.
That said he also managed to get out of a bases loaded, zero outs situation with no runs given up and that is something very few pitchers could do and it wasn't just because of a few balls called strikes. So....Let's not just talk about Lester when there are throwing issues because there has been a lot more good than bad just this game let alone this year.
there's nothing anyone can do about anything going on out there. i don't even post every one he fumbles into. i also post about HRs and other crap. it's happening, good or bad things are happening.
this is an interesting thing to me. just because it's a negative thing doesn't make it "woah."
we had 1000000000 posts about leadoff men and 2nd batters during the dusty years when everyone knew speed leads and contact-with-low-Ks hits 2nd. we all knew what's up. some people talked about it.
Have I mentioned how much I love TLS?
Guess I should have waited to post that.
Ignore it? You talk about it all the time. I'm sure the rest of the board notices, but just doesn't feel the need to harp on it. It is not like we can do anything about it anyway.
that's an interesting leap.
so, we ignore the thing that keeps happening and if one chooses to not ignore it then one obviously wants to replace him with dan harren.
it's fair game. the guy, on multiple occasions, puts the team in 4+ out innings because a guy who throws a ball for a living can't throw to a base. it's not like this happened once or twice or three times or four times or...
There goes Ross' ASG prospects...
unique curiosity is a good description...
he has a lot of 4-5 out innings. this is at least the 2nd time he's turned a double play ball into 0 outs just this year that i've noticed and he's got a slew of "4-out" innings under his belt, too.
and 1.83 ERA
Cubs should trade him, get a worse pitcher that loses games instead but can make a throw to 1b.
Agreed, but like with Garza, I am surprised that more managers don't try an exploit a clear weakness.
not sure either, but in most cases I imagine someone else can field it. And if you bunt it directly at him, he would have enough time to underhand toss it or just run it over?
Today's bunt, he really, really didn't want to field it. Not sure if he lost it in his glove after that or just wasn't going to make the throw. It's not ideal obviously, yet still hasn't had any real impact on the team.
well, how long do keep pretending that a bunt hit well back to the pitcher that would be a double play for many pitchers isn't a "thing"? it's a story. it's not like it's a physical defect people are picking on.
no one gave chuck knoblauch a pass when he lost the ability to throw a ball to 1st.
it's a unique curiosity for a guy who throws a ball on a professional level for a living.
CB Bucknor behind the plate...he is and will continue to always be awful.
Not sure why teams don't bunt more often against him.
To be fair he also had a strike 3 called a ball.
Tomorrow's Sun-Times Headline after Lester's 1 ER, 10 K effort. "150M Lester Fails to Field Sac Bunt."