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.
Maybe Theo will sign Shark just so he can call Billy Beane and say: "Let's see...Russell? Check. McKinney? Check. Hammel? Check. Ninja? Check. Any other deals?"
To be fair to Emery and Trestman the foreshadowing of last year started happening well before them with the failure or mismanaging of multiple draft classes forcing the team to overspend in a free agency market that is even worse than baseball. Kyle Long seems like a good pick but they traded away another good one in Olson because of Martz's stupidity and inability to change his offense to fit the team talent.
HAGSAG: I think Domonic Brown does fit the criteria of a reclamation project, but unless he is willing to accept a minor league contract with an NRI to Spring Training, I don't think the Cubs would be interested given where the Cubs are right now. A couple of years ago? Yes. But probably not now.
Brown would be better-off going to a club that is rebuilding and re-establish his value there, like Chris Coghlan did with the Cubs. And if he can re-establish his value, he could get traded to a contender at the trade deadline and take it from there.
"they just fade away"
(Except in the cases of no-fade lefties like Moyer, Orosco and Rich Hill.)
Amazing to me how quickly it fell apart under Trestman. Year 1, they were a Chris Conte brain fart away from making the playoffs. Year 2 -- coach, staff and GM all fired.
I am sure Jonathon Mota will be signed next.
AZ Phil, what is your thoughts on Domonic Brown as a reclamation project?
He also played LF in deference to Curtis Granderson.
Meh... other moves to make...hope to see a move or two soon.
I haven't seen much Bears football this year - difficult to watch the games out here, but the game I saw the week before I was watching in shock as I saw them actually make tackles. And Cutler has looked really good, too.
I guess people can quibble about play calling, but the team I saw is way more than 50% better coached (my only very minor disagreement with your comment).
Under Trestman, the team didn't do anything right. This team played like a well coached team when I saw them play the Rams.
"What is sometimes overlooked about Vogelbach because of his "bad body" and because he has struggled so much defensively is that he is a hard worker, has a great attitude, loves to play the game, and is very well-liked by his teammates, and while that may not seem important, teams do actually value stuff like that. "
As well they should. Replace a word here and there and you are describing any worker someone would hire.
Hak-Ju Lee signs a minor league contract with SF Giants.
Some closure on the 6 degrees of Separation for Matt Garza/Chris Archer
-0.3 WAR in 7.1ip last year...
-3 WAR projected over the course of a season.
the cubs just added an all-star reliever's worth of work by losing b.schlitter.
Rockies sign Brian Schlitter to a minor league contract. Good luck in Coors Field. Enough said.
i'll take him over frandy since it's unlikely he'll progress as a SS (and 2nd isn't looking much better).
i hope patton's delivery deception skills play well in the bigs over time. cubs need pitching options that are MLB-ready and dude fits the bill for a MLB/AAA mix...both needed.
I'm not saying he's great, but can we agree on the word "decent"? Became a pro at 23, called up at 26; nothing wrong with that trajectory, he hasn't been knocking around. Even in the majors his SO9 is 9.7. In the minors it's 12.2, so he's always missed bats, and without being a wild man: his walks are low. He cost the Cubs an unheralded A-ball middle infielder and a roster spot.