Crystal Ballin' & Spit Ballin' the Cubs 40-man Roster
A look ahead at the Cubs 40-man roster over the next six months:
The Cubs presently have 40-players on their MLB Reserve List ("40-man roster") plus another four players on their MLB 60-day Disabled List (players on 60-day DL do not count against 40-man roster). Players on the 60-day DL must be reinstated to the 40-man roster no later than the 5th day following the conclusion of the 2013 World Series,
At present the Cubs have eight players (nine if the Cubs buy-out the final season of David DeJesus' contract) who will be be Article XX-B free-agents after the 2013 season.
Per Article XX-B of the CBA, any player on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) who has accrued at least six years of MLB Service Time and who is not signed for the following season automatically becomes a free-agent the day after the conclusion of the World Series. The player's former club retains exclusive negotiating rights with the player for the first five days after the conclusion of the World Series, after-which the player is free to sign a Major League contract (or minor league contract) with any club, including with the player's former club.
CUBS ARTICLE XX-B MLB FREE-AGENTS POST-2013 (last updated 5-6-2013):
Scott Baker, RHP
Shawn Camp, RHP
David DeJesus, OF (club option)
Matt Garza, RHP
Kevin Gregg, RHP
Scott Feldman, RHP
Carlos Marmol, RHP
Dioner Navarro, C
Ryan Sweeney, OF
An Article XX-B MLB free-agent who signs a Major League contract after the conclusion of the exclusive negotiation period that extends through the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series receives automatic "no trade" rights that extend through June 15th of the following season, even if the player re-signs with his former club. An Article XX-B MLB Free-Agent who receives "no trade" rights this way can waive the right, but if he does, his club can trade the player only for player contracts and/or cash with a maximum aggregate value of $50,000. Note that a player who signs a Major League contract after becoming a free-agent by any other means (Outright Release, Non-Tendered, or Article XX-D or MLB Rule 55 minor league free-agent) does NOT receive automatic "no trade" rights through June 15th.
If an Article XX-B MLB free-agent signs a minor league contract at least 10 days prior to MLB Opening Day, and then is either not released by 12 PM (EDT) on the 5th day prior to MLB Opening Day or added to an MLB Active List (25-man roster) or MLB Disabled List by MLB Opening Day, the player automatically receives a $100,000 retention bonus, and the player can unilaterally opt-out of the minor league contract on June 1st if he has not been added to an MLB Active List (25-man roster) or an MLB Disabled List by that date.
A club receives one compensatory draft pick between the 1st and 2nd rounds in the next First-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft) if an Article XX-B MLB free-agent subject to compensation signs a Major League contract with another MLB club. The MLB club that signs the player forfeits its 1st round selection in the Rule 4 Draft, unless it selects in the Top 10 of the 1st Round, in which case it will forfeit its next-highest pick. Additional draft picks will be forfeited in subsequent rounds if the club signs more than one Article XX-B MLB free-agent who is subject to compensation.
For a club to be eligible to receive compensation, an Article XX-B MLB free-agent must have spent the entire immediately-preceding MLB regular season on that club's MLB Active List (25-man roster) and/or on one or more of the club's inactive lists (7-day, 15-day, and/or 60-day Disabled List, Military List, Bereavement List, et al), the club must offer the player a guaranteed contract for the following season with a salary at least equal to the average salary of the 125 highest-paid MLB players from the previous season (expected to be about $13.5M in 2012), and the contract (known as a "Qualifying Offer") must be tendered no later than the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series.
If a club extends a "Qualifying Offer" to an Article XX-B MLB Free-Agent subject to compensation, the player has seven days to decide whether to accept or decline the offer. If the player accepts the offer, he is considered "signed" and must be immediately added back to his club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster). If he declines the offer, the player is free to sign with any MLB club, including his former club. MLB clubs are not permitted to extend a Qualifying Offer to an Article XX-B MLB free-agent if the player has agreed in advance to decline the offer so that the club will obtain a draft pick once the player signs with another club.
If an Article XX-B MLB Free-Agent subject to compensation signs a minor league contract with a new club, or if the free-agent signs a Major League contract with a new club after the MLB Rule 4 Draft, the player's new club does not forfeit a Rule 4 Draft pick, and the player's former club does not receive draft pick compensation. However, MLB clubs are not permitted to sign an Article XX-B MLB Free-Agent who is subject to compensation to a minor league contract just to avoid losing a draft pick.
COMMENT: The Cubs will probably actively shop all nine of these players prior to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, and probably even until the August 31 deadline for post-season eligibility. That doesn't mean all of them will get traded, though. (Shawn Camp was having a really nice year as a middle-reliever last season and was going to be a free-agent after the season but he didn't get traded). BTW, if the Cubs do not get what they consider to be satisfactory offers for Matt Garza and/or Scott Feldman, they could retain both of them and extend Qualifying Offers to both pitchers after the World Series and (worse case) pick up a draft pick. It's not like they HAVE to trade either of them.
There are presently nine Cubs players who are signed beyond this season. Last year Paul Maholm was signed beyond the 2013 seasn, but he was traded anyway, so being signed beyond 2013 does not make a player less-likely to be traded. In fact, it might make the player even more attactive than a player eligible to be a free-agent after the season, because the player's new club would retain control over the player beyond just this season.
CUBS SIGNED TO MAJOR LEAGUE CONTRACTS BEYOND 2013:
+ Has "No Trade" rights
+ Alfonso Soriano,OF ($18M in 2014, then FA post-2014)
Edwin Jackson, RHP ($11M salary each season 2014-16, then FA post-2016 - NOTE: 100% of signing bonus was paid up front)
David DeJesus, OF ($6.5M club option for 2014 and FA post-2014, or $1.5M post-2013 buy-out and FA post-2013)
Starlin Castro, SS($5M in 2014, $6M in 2015, $7M in 2016, $9M in 2017, $10M in 2018, $11M in 2019, and $16M club option for 2020, with $2M additional in both 2019 and 2020 if Top 5 MVP twice 2013-19)
Carlos Villanueva, RHP (5M in 2014, then FA)
Kyuji Fujikawa, RHP ($4M salary in 2014 plus $2M in performance bonuses based upon GF, and $5.5M vesting option plus $500K in performance bonuses in 2015, or $5.5M club option for 2015 or $500K buy-out post-2014)
Scott Hairston, OF ($2.5M salary in 2014 plus $1.25M in performance bonuses, then FA post-2014)
Jorge Soler, OF ($2M each in 2014-15, $3M in each in 2016-17, and $4M each in 2018-20, and player option to opt out if eligible for salary arbitration)
Anthony Rizzo, 1B ($1.75M salary and $1.25M second-installment of signing bonus in 2014, $5M each in 2015-16, $7M each in 2017-18, $11M in 2019, and $14.5M each in 2020-21 with $2M club option buy-out for each season 2020-21, and 2019-21 salaries increase by $1M per season if one MVP or two Top 5 MVP 2013-19, and player may void 2021 club option with Top 2 finish in MVP 2013-19 or if traded)
OTHER (OUTRIGHTED PLAYERS): LHP Gerardo Concepcion $500K each in 2014-15 and $1M in 2016 (all remaining salary to be paid at time of termination if released)
COMMENT: The Cubs will probably continue to try and trade Soriano (although he has a 100% "no trade" right in his contract), and as he gets closer to free-agency, it probably will be easier to do it. Carlos Villanueva and Scott Hairston will also likely be shopped by the Cubs, even though they are signed through the 2014 season. Edwin Jackson might be available, too, although he is signed for three more seasons and is only 29 years old.
An unsigned player under club control who has accrued at least three but less than six years of MLB Service Time is automatically eligible for salary arbitration. Also, any unsigned player with at least two years but less than three years of MLB Service Time who accrued at least 86 days of MLB Service Time the previous season can qualify for salary arbitration as a so-called "Super Two" if the player is among the top 22% in MLB Service Time of players in that group.
CUBS ELIGIBLE FOR SALARY-ARBITRATION POST-2013 (last updated 6-11-2013):
Darwin Barney, INF - FA post-2016
Julio Borbon, OF (will very likely qualify as a "Super Two") - FA post-2017
Cody Ransom, INF - FA post-2014
Henry Rodriguez, RHP - FA post-2016
James Russell, LHP - FA post-2015
Jeff Samardzija, RHP - FA post-2015
Nate Schierholtz, OF - FA post-2014
Luis Valbuena, INF - FA post-2016
Travis Wood, LHP - FA post-2016
If a club and a player eligible for salary arbitration cannot agree on a contract, the player can request the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) to file for salary arbitration. The MLBPA is responsible for delivering all requests for salary arbitration to the MLB Labor Relations Department (MLB LRD) on the Tuesday immediately prior to the third Friday in January. Once salary arbitration has been requested, the player submits his desired salary to the MLBPA and the club submits its salary offer to the MLB LRD, and the MLBPA and MLB LRD exchange the two figures on the third Friday in January. The MLBPA and MLB LRD then schedule hearings with a three-person arbitration panel, and the hearings are held on various dates during the first three weeks of February.
The club's offer must be at least the MLB minimum salary and, in most cases, must be at least 80% of the player's previous year's salary and at least 70% of the player's salary from two seasons back. However, if the player received a raise in excess of 50% by a salary arbitration panel the previous season, a 20% maximum salary reduction from the previous season and a 30% maximum salary reduction from two seasons back does not apply, and the club only has to offer at least the MLB minimum salary.
After arbitration has been requested, the player and the club can continue to negotiate back & forth, and the player can withdraw from the process any time up until the hearing. And in fact this frequently happens, as the player and the club will often agree to just "split the difference" (something the panel cannot do). If the matter does go to a hearing, the arbitration panel must choose either the club's offer or the player's figure.
Win or lose, the player is awarded a standard one-year MLB contract with no "minor league split" salary or incentive/performance bonuses. Also, the contract is not guaranteed, so if the player is released during Spring Training, the club would only owe the player 30 days or 45 days salary as termination pay, depending on when the player is released. (A player on an MLB 40-man roster receives 100% of what remains of his salary if he is released during the regular season).
COMMENT: Players eligible for salary arbitration are the guys who usually get non-tendered on December 2nd. Clubs will often try and sign the player to a club-friendly contract (sometimes even a minor league contract) after being non-tendered, and that could be the case for Borbon and H. Rodriguez. Because of his age (he's 37), Ransom will probably be dropped from the roster even before contracts are tendered (or he could even be traded), although even if he is dropped from the 40 the Cubs might try and re-sign him to a 2014 minor league contract with an NRI to Spring Training.
Samardzija, T. Wood, Barney, and Russell won't be non-tendered and they might even get multi-year contract extension offers during the off-season. Schierholtz and Valbuena won't be non-tendered either, but they also probably won't get multi-year extensions. So while both of them have done nice jobs for the Cubs and likely have a spot waiting for them on the Cubs 2014 25-man roster, Schierholtz and/or Valbuena could get traded if the Cubs get a decent offer.
An unsigned player under club control who does not yet qualify for salary arbitration ultimately has to either accept the club's offer or just not play.
A club (usually the Assistant GM) will negotiate with the player up to a point, but if the club and the player cannot agree on a deal by the first week of March, the club has the right to unilaterally dictate the player's salary and/or renew the player's contract (albeit for an amount not less than the MLB minimum salary, and not less than 80% of the player's previous season's salary and not less than 70% of the player's salary from two season's back). These players are the ones who have a "minor league split" salary in their contract, which the player is paid if he is sent to the minors. The "minor league split" salary must be at least 60% of the player's salary from the previous season.
CUBS PLAYERS PRE-ARBITRATION/AUTO-RENEWAL POST-2013
Alberto Cabrera, RHP
Welington Castillo, C
Steve Clevenger, C-IF
Rafael Dolis, RHP
Brett Jackson, OF
Junior Lake, IF-OF
Trey McNutt, RHP
Blake Parker, RHP
Zach Putnam, RHP
Brooks Raley, LHP
Hector Rondon, RHP
Chris Rusin, LHP
Dave Sappelt, OF
Matt Szczur, OF
Christian Villanueva, 3B
Josh Vitters, 3B-1B
Arodys Vizcaino, RHP
Logan Watkins, 2B
NOTE: 2014 MLB minimum salary is $500K for players on 25-man roster or MLB DL, and minor split minimum for players on Optional Assignment to minors is $80K (or $40K for players on 40-man roster for first time)
COMMENT: Sappelt and Putnam are the two players on this list who are likely to get outrighted after the season. Everybody else will probably get another year to show what they can do, although the Cubs would probably like to move Vitters, but without giving him away.
Players on a 40-man roster who have accrued at least five years of MLB Service Time cannot be optioned to the minors without their permission.
PLAYERS ON 40-MAN ROSTER WITH LESS THAN FIVE YEARS OF MLB SERVICE TIME THRU 2013 WHO WILL BE OUT OF MINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS IN 2014:
Also, although they will not be out of minor league options in 2014, Optional Assignment Waivers would have to be secured before Darwin Barney Starlin Castroi, and/or James Russell can be optioned to the minors in 2014.
COMMENT: Alberto Cabrera and Rafael Dolis will be out of options in 2014, so the Cubs will want to get a good reading on both pitchers (especially Cabrera) through the rest of this season and at Spring Training 2014. The Cubs will not be able to option either pitcher to Iowa in 2014, so they will go into the 2014 season not much different than a Rule 5 pick. If Dolis' forearm injury is serious enough to require surgery, he would probably get outrighted or non-tendered post-2013.
CUBS MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENTS POSt-2013
LAST UPDATED: 6-14-2013
ARTICLE XX-D CUBS MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENTS POST-2013:
Michael Bowden, RHP
Brent Lillibridge, IF-OF
Ian Stewart, 3B
Hisanori Takahashi, LHP
NOTE: Article XX-D players can elect free-agency beginning on day after conclusion of MLB regular season through October 15th, unless player is added back to an MLB 40-man roster prior to conclusion of MLB regular season
MLB RULE 55 CUBS MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENTS POST-2013:
NOTE: A minor league player eligible to be a free-agent per MLB Rule 55 is automatically declared a free-agent at 5 PM on the 5th day followeing the conclusion of the World Series, unless the player is added to an MLB 40-man roster prior to the deadline
SIX-YEAR MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT:
Jeffry Antigua, LHP
Brian Bogusevic, OF
J. C. Boscan, C
Kyler Burke, LHP
Alex Burnett, RHP
Yeiper Castillo, RHP
Jaye Chapman, RHP
Johermyn Chavez, OF
Dayan Diaz, RHP
Eduardo Figueroa, RHP
Marcus Hatley, RHP
Marcos Mateo, RHP
Edwin Maysonet, INF
Darnell McDonald, OF
Jose Morales, C-IF
Guillermo Moscoso, RHP
Jonathon Mota, INF
Donnie Murphy, INF
Brad Nelson, 1B
Eduardo Sanchez, RHP
Larry Suarez, RHP
Tim Torres, IF-OF
Casey Weathers, RHP
Ty Wright, OF
SECOND-CONTRACT MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT
Michael de la Cruz, RHP (previously released by TEX)
Carlos Figueroa, INF (previously released by CHC)
Humberto Garcia, INF (previously released by CHW)
Nate Maldonado, C (previously released by CHC)
Yomar Pacheco, RHP (previously released by PIT)
Brohiglyn Rivero, RHP (previously released by TB)
Orbandy Rodriguez, RHP (previously released by AZ)
Roberto Vahlis, C (previously released by TOR)
COMMENT: Some of the older players presently at Iowa who are eligible to be minor league free-agents post-2013 will be called-up to Chicago in July and August to fill roster slots after players are traded, but most of the ones who do get called up will likely get outrighted or released after the season. Among the less-advanced minor leaguers eligible to be free-agents, only LHP (ex-OF) Kyler Burke would appear to have long-term value. I would expect Burke to be added to the 40-man roster prior to the deadline (5 PM on the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series), although the Cubs might want him to pitch in the AFL first. The Cubs might want to re-sign some of their minor league free-agents to 2014 minor league contracts, but even if the Cubs invite him to return, it would be entirely up to the player whether to return to the Cubs organization in 2014. The only way to guarantee that a minor league FA will remain under club control is to add the player to the MLB 40-man roster prior to the deadline (5 PM ET on the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series).
MLB RULE 5 DRAFT:
NOTE: A minor league player eligible for selection in the MLB Rule 5 Draft is not eligible for selection if he is added to an MLB 40-man roster by November 20th.
CUBS ELIGIBLE FOR MLB RULE 5 DRAFT POST-2013 (last updated 6-16-2013):
Arismendy Alcantara, INF
Gioskar Amaya, INF
Frank Batista, RHP
Xavier Batista, OF
Dallas Beeler, RHP
Justin Bour, 1B
Sergio Burruel, C
Esmailin Caridad, RHP
Marcelo Carreno, RHP
Lendy Castillo, RHP
Javier Castro, RHP
Zach Cates, RHP
Hunter Cervenka, LHP
Pin-Chieh Chen, OF
Casey Coleman, RHP
Gerardo Concepcion, LHP
Willson Contreras, C
Wes Darvill, INF
Antonio Encarnacion, RHP
Luis Flores, C
Anthony Giansanti, OF
Enyel Gonzalez, RHP
Carlos Gutierrez, RHP
Jae-Hoon Ha, OF
Marco Hernandez, INF
Eric Jokisch, LHP
Austin Kirk, LHP
Luis Liria, RHP
Matt Loosen, RHP
Jeff Lorick, LHP
Eric Martinez, RHP
A. J. Morris, RHP
Chad Noble, C
Juan Carlos Paniagua, RHP (see NOTE)
Loiger Padron, RHP
Amaury Paulino, RHP
Felix Pena, RHP
Starling Peralta, RHP
Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP
Kevin Rhoderick, RHP
Greg Rohan, INF
Jose Rosario, RHP
Zac Rosscup, LHP
Victor Salazar, RHP
Brian Schlitter, RHP
Ryan Searle, RHP
Elliot Soto, INF,
Nick Struck, RHP
Luis Villalba, LHP
Yao-Lin Wang, RHP
Oliver Zapata, OF
NOTE: Juan Carlos Paniagua signed his first contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks as "Juan Callado" on 5-8-2009 and pitched for the DSL Diamondbacks in the Dominican Summer League in 2009-10, but the contract was "pending" for almost two years and was never officially approved by MLB. The contract was eventually rejected by MLB due to "fraudulent paperwork" and Paniagua (Callado) was suspended for one year and then was declared a free-agent. He signed with the New York Yankees in March 2011 but then was suspended again and that contract was rejected, too, because his birth certificate could not be verified. Paniagua was cleared by MLB in 2012 and he signed with the Cubs on 7-9-2012. Therefore, Paniagua could be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft for the first time in December 2013, since 2009 was his "first season" on the field, and he was 18 on the June 5th immediately preceding the signing of his first contract, or he might not be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft for the first time until December 2015 if 2012 is considered Paniagua's "first season" for Rule 5 eligibility purposes. (MLB must make ruling prior to November 20th).
COMMENT: SS Arismendy Alcantara is a virtual lock to be added to the 40-man roster by the 11/20 deadline (he has emerged as a Cubs Top 10 Prospect), and OF Jae-Hoon Ha and LHRP Zac Rosscup are two others on the list who will probably get added (although both might have to first prove themselves in the AFL). I don't think there are any others who will get added to the 40 this time around.