Looking Ahead

For those of you who might be interested in looking ahead a little bit, he are projections for the Cubs 2009 payroll, potential Cubs free-agents, Cubs players eligible for salary arbitration, 2009 minor league option status for Cubs players presently on the 40-man roster, potential post-2008 Cubs minor league free-agents, and Cubs minor league players who will be eligible for the December 2008 Rule 5 Draft.   

Remember, these are projections based on the way things stand right now, and are very much subject to change.  

 

ELIGIBLE TO BE FREE-AGENT AFTER 2008 SEASON:
Henry Blanco (mutual option with buy-out for 2009)
Ryan Dempster
Scott Eyre (has limited "no trade")  
Bob Howry
Jon Lieber (has automatic "no trade" through June 15th)
Daryle Ward
Kerry Wood (has 10/5 "no trade" rights)

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SIGNED FOR 2009:
Henry Blanco - $3M club option or $300K buy-out
Mark DeRosa - $5.5M
Kosuke Fukudome - $11.5M
Derrek Lee - $13M
Ted Lilly - $12M
Jason Marquis - $9.875M
Aramis Ramirez - $15.65M
Jeff Samardzija - $1.3M (no minor league split)
Alfonso Soriano - $16M
Carlos Zambrano - $17.75M

TOTAL GUARANTEED SO FAR - $102.875M (includes expected $300K buy-out for Blanco)

NOTE: Most signing bonuses are paid up-front when a player signs a contract (which is why it's called a SIGNING BONUS), so I did not include signing bonuses in projected 2009 payroll unless the bonus is known to be spread-out over the length of contract.
What confuses some people is that per the CBA, signing bonuses (even when they are paid in a lump sum when the contract is signed) are automatically averaged over the length of a player's contract when computing club payroll for the purpose of determining whether a club must pay a luxury tax and for revenue sharing purposes.

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PROJECTED ELIGIBLE FOR SALARY-ARBITRATION POST-2008:

NOTE: Projection based on player spending the rest of the 2008 season in MLB

Ronny Cedeno
Neal Cotts
Rich Hill (projected 2+149 MLB Service Time post-2008 – almost certainly will qualify for salary arbitration as a “Super Two”)
Reed Johnson
Sean Marshall (projected 2+132 MLB Service Time post-2008 – possibly could qualify for salary arbitration as a “Super Two”)
Matt Murton
Michael Wuertz

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AUTO-RENEWAL (PRE-ARBITRATION) PLAYERS FOR 2009:

NOTE: 2009 MLB minimum salary will be $400K with $65K minimum minor league split salary

Jose Ascanio
Mike Fontenot
Jake Fox
Sam Fuld
Sean Gallagher
Angel Guzman
Adam Harben
Kevin Hart
Rich Hill
(likely to be eligible for salary arbitration as “Super Two”)
Carlos Marmol
Sean Marshall
(could be eligible for salary arbitration as “Super Two”)
Juan Mateo
Eric Patterson
Billy Petrick
Felix Pie
Carmen Pignatiello
Geovany Soto
Ryan Theriot

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PLAYERS SIGNED BEYOND 2009:

Derrek Lee ($13M in 2010, then FA – has full “no trade”)

Ted Lilly ($12M in 2010, then FA - has full "no trade")

Aramis Ramirez ($15.75M in 2010, $14.6M 2011 player option, and $16M 2012 mutual option with $2M buy-out – has full “no trade”)

Kosuke Fukudome ($13M in 2010 and $13.5M in 2011, then FA - has full :"no trade")

Jeff Samardzija (thru 2011 + mutual options for 2012 & 2013 – has full “no trade” through 2011):
2010: $2.5M (no minor league split)
2011: $2.8M (no minor league split)
2012: $3M (mutual option - player can opt out only if he is eligible for salary arbitration)
2013: $3.5M (mutual option - player can opt out only if he is eligible for salary-arbitration)
NOTE: Samardzija still must accrue six years of MLB Service Time before he can be a Free-Agent

Carlos Zambrano ($17.875 in 2010 and 2011, and $18M in 2012, plus $19.25M 2013 vesting-player option – has full “no trade”)

Alfonso Soriano ($18M 2010 through 2014, then FA – has full “no trade”)

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PROJECTED SPRING TRAINING 2009 MINOR LEAGUE OPTION STATUS FOR PLAYERS WITH LESS THAN FIVE YEARS MLB SERVICE TIME:

* To be optioned to minors, player must first clear Optional Assignment Waivers 

NO MINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS LEFT:
Ronny Cedeno 
Neal Cotts
Angel Guzman
Geovany Soto

ONE MINOR LEAGUE OPTION LEFT:
Jose Ascanio (see NOTE)
* Mike Fontenot
Jake Fox
Sean Gallagher 
Adam Harben
* Rich Hill
Carlos Marmol
Juan Mateo
* Matt Murton
Felix Pie
Eric Patterson
* Michael Wuertz
NOTE: Jose Ascanio will have used three minor league options through the 2008 season, but because he will have spent only four “full seasons” on an active minor league or major league roster through the 2008 season, he will be eligible for a 4th minor league option in 2009. 

ONE OR TWO MINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS LEFT (TBD):
Sean Marshall (see NOTE)
NOTE: Sean Marshall has spent ten days on optional assignment to the minors so far in 2008. If he spends at least another ten days on optional assignment to the minors sometime later in the 2008 season, he will have one minor league option left as of Spring Training 2009. If he spends less than ten more days on optional assignment to the minors in 2008, he will have two minor league options left as of Spring Training 2009.

TWO MINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS LEFT
Sam Fuld
Billy Petrick (see NOTE)
Carmen Pignatiello
Jeff Samardzija (see NOTE)
NOTE: Billy Petrick will have used two minor league options through the 2008 season, but because he will have spent only three “full seasons” on an active minor league or major league roster through the 2008 season, he will be eligible for a 4th minor league option as long as it is used prior to completing five full seasons.
Jeff Samardzija will have used two minor league options through the 2008 season, but because he will have spent only two “full seasons” on an active minor league or major league roster through the 2008 season, he will be eligible for a 4th minor league option as long as it is used prior to completing five full seasons.

THREE MINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS LEFT:
Kevin Hart

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ELIGIBLE TO BE MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT POST-2008:

Andres Blanco, SS
Mike Burns, RHP 
Andy Cavazos, RHP
Robinson Chirinos, INF
Rafael Cova, RHP  
Matt Craig, 1B
Doug Deeds, OF-1B
Danny Fatheree, C (serving as a coach with Boise-Mesa)
Luis Figueroa, INF
Chad Fox, RHP
Dumas Garcia, RHP
Jesse Garcia, INF
Koyie Hill, C
Randy Keisler, LHP
Micah Hoffpauir, 1B
Geoffrey Jones, LHP
Josh Kroeger, OF
Leonel Perez, C
Issmael Salas, IF-OF
Cesar Salazar, OF
Bobby Scales, IF-OF
Andres Torres, OF
Les Walrond, LHP
Tanner Watson, RHP
Randy Wells, RHP
NOTE: A player eligible to be a Minor League free-agent cannot be granted free-agency if he is added to a 40-man roster by the end of the World Series. 

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ELIGIBLE FOR 2008 RULE 5 DRAFT 

James Adduci, OF
Alberto Alburquerque, RHP
Mitch Atkins, RHP
Matt Avery, RHP
Justin Berg, RHP
Todd Blackford, RHP
Edward Campusano, LHP
Russ Canzler, 1B
Yusuf Carter, OF 
Corey Coles, OF
Jeff Culpepper, OF
Rafael Dolis, RHP 
Darin Downs, LHP
Jesse Estrada, RHP 
Ryan Harvey, OF 
Jim Henderson, RHP
Mark Holliman, RHP
Grant Johnson, RHP
Marcos Mateo, RHP
J. R. Mathes, LHP
Casey McGehee, 3B-C
Mario Mercedes, C
Jonathan Mota, INF
Jake Muyco, RHP  
Mike Phelps, RHP 
Jose Pina, RHP
Mark Reed, C
Kyle Reynolds, 3B 
Tony Richie, C
Chris Robinson, C
Jayson Ruhlman, LHP
Chris Shaver, LHP
Joe Simokaitis, SS
Alvaro Sosa, C
Nate Spears, 2B
Donald Veal, LHP
NOTE: A player eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft is designated “Draft Excluded” if added to a 40-man roster by November 20th. Also, any minor league free-agent who signs a minor league contract prior to the Rule 5 Draft is eligible for selection. 

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Comments

8 players tying up $103 million of payroll...should make for a boring offseason. :)

Lets hope the new owner has deep pockets and a willingness (sp?) to spend.

The core team looks to be intact next year, so that's a good thing.

Of...
Henry Blanco, Ryan Dempster, Scott Eyre, Bob Howry, Jon Lieber, Daryle Ward, Kerry Wood

Who do you re-sign, who do you let go? I really think Ward is an important part of the bench. You'd have trouble finding another guy that can come in off the bench and hit like that. Palmero maybe? T. Clark? Still, I wouldn't trade Ward for either of those guys.

Also, one of the starters should stay unless the Cubs intend to go after a FA starter or *gulp* convert Woody to a starter. If he seems healthy enough, I'd try to get Demp for a few years taking care to not give him a NT clause.

To be honest, I'd probably try to just resign most of these guys. That's an easy thing to say the way the Cubs have been playing the last few weeks. :)

Lets see...

Blanco can easily be replaced
Dempter can be replaced by Marshall or Gallagher
Eyre can be replaced by Tiggy or Marshall
Howry can be replaced by someone younger and cheaper
Lieber can be replaved by someone younger and cheaper
Ward would probably be the most difficult to replace
Wood, if he stays healthy, should be able to get very good money somewhere, and I wouldn't be opposed if it were the Cubs.

Of that list, I would say that only Ward and Wood would be really important to re-sign.

Howry can be replaced by someone younger and cheaper

"Story of my life."
-Johann's Mom.

I think the most-likely changes in 2009 will be:

1. Micah Hoffpauir will replace Daryle Ward as the back-up 1B & LHPH.

2. Sean Gallagher or Jeff Samardzija will replace Dempster in the starting rotation, with the loser replacing Marquis in 2010, or earlier if Marquis gets traded (the Cubs aren't going to pay the Shark $6.6M 2009-11 to pitch in AAA).

3. Jose Ascanio will replace Bob Howry as the 7th inning man in the bullpen.

4. Randy Wells will replace Jon Lieber as the rubber-armed spot starter/long reliever.

5. Sean Marshall, Carmen Pignatiello, and Edward Campusano (and Neal Cotts if he doesn't get traded or non-tendered) will battle for the lone lefty slot in the pen.

FA most likely to return: Kerry Wood

Arbitration-eligible most-likely to get a 12/12 non-tender: Neal Cotts

Players most-likely to get traded:

1. Matt Murton (probably sooner rather than later)
2. Jason Marquis
3. Eric Patterson

Objectives in trades would be a back-up catcher to replace Blanco (preferably a left-handed hitter) and a proven MLB lefty reliever who can get left-handed hitters out.

Top Ten minor leaguers most-likely to be added to 40-man roster:

1. Micah Hoffpauir, 1B-LHPH
2. Randy Wells, RHRP
3. Kyle Reynolds, 3B
4. Mark Holliman, RHSP
5. Donald Veal, LHSP-LHRP
6. J. R. Mathes, LHSP
7. Edward Campusano, LHRP
8. Mitch Atkins, RHSP
9. Justin Berg, RHSP-RHRP
10. Dumas Garcia, RHRP

Most likely to get outrighted off 40-man roster:

1. Juan Mateo
2. Adam Harben
3. Billy Petrick

Phil why did you include EPat on the likley to be traded list?

First we have to find him.

Phil, thanks for all the great work.

You don't feel Sean Marshall has a future with the Cubs as a starting pitcher? Is it because he's a lefty? Or his injury history? Or do you just feel he's not good enough?

And what's up with Mateo? His minor league numbers suggest he's still injured somehow.

I pick Samardzija. He's more like Dempster and about as expensive. Just totally lost his control last night and walked 6 before being pulled after three innings.

Submitted by Rob Richardson on Fri, 04/25/2008 - 12:33pm.

Phil why did you include EPat on the likley to be traded list?

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ROB: I believe Eric Patterson would have decent trade value because of his potential as an MLB lead-off hitter, but I just don't see him as an every-day MLB second-baseman and I can't see him playing CF for the Cubs, either.

If Felix Pie fails in CF, then I think Tyler Colvin will be the next candidate. If Pie works out long-term in CF, then I believe Colvin will be moved to 1B (the position he played in HS).

AZ Phil: Great summary as always.

You had Mateo and Petrick as highly likely to get bumped from the 40-man. How are they doing? I see Mateo has been shelled at Iowa in brief duty this year, is he not a prospect? He did a nice job under the circumstances in '06.

Who are Kyle Reynolds and Dumas Garcia?

Also Wells, you said:
4. Randy Wells will replace Jon Lieber as the rubber-armed spot starter/long reliever.

That's a strong statement on Randy's potential.

Thoughts?

Just read that Rich Hill's start is going to be skipped again.

Sounds like a great way to build his confidence...

98 years of that kind of bullshit really worked for us.

Maybe Lou knows what he's doing.

I love the juxtaposition how it was trying to build confidence of young players in the past that led to 100 years of futility. Maybe now that Lou is here...

no you don't

Submitted by Q-Ball on Fri, 04/25/2008 - 1:39pm.

AZ Phil: Great summary as always.

You had Mateo and Petrick as highly likely to get bumped from the 40-man. How are they doing? I see Mateo has been shelled at Iowa in brief duty this year, is he not a prospect? He did a nice job under the circumstances in '06.

Who are Kyle Reynolds and Dumas Garcia?

Also Wells, you said: 4. Randy Wells will replace Jon Lieber as the rubber-armed spot starter/long reliever. That's a strong statement on Randy's potential. Thoughts?

 ===================================

Q-BALL: I said Juan Mateo, Adam Harben and Billy Petrick (in that order) were most-likely to get outrighted, meaning should 40-man roster slots be needed, they are the ones I believe will get dropped.

Mateo had shoulder problems last year, was ineffective in Big League Camp and at Minor League Camp last month, was lousy at Iowa, got demoted to AA, and hasn't been able to get anybody out there, either. He also isn't exactly the hardest worker in the Cubs organization.

Harben had TJ surgery in November 2006 and apparently still hasn't finished his rehab. He can't throw strikes, and during the course of Spring Training he got demoted from the Cubs to Iowa, from Iowa to Tennessee, and finally from Tennessee to Daytona (all prior to Opening Day). He is presently in the starting rotation at Daytona, where he is walking the world.

There is still hope for Billy Petrick, but his shoulder apparently never completely rebounded after he had surgery a few years ago, and he continues to have problems with keeping his shoulder strong enough for the rigors of game action. When he's 100% he can be a very good right-handed reliever, but he is presently at Extended Spring Training trying to get his shoulder in shape to pitch at Tennessee or Iowa.

Kyle Reynolds is the son of ex-MLB shortstop Craig Reynolds, and he has been progressing steadily through the Cubs system. He hit 21 HR last year in only 109 games, most of the homers coming after the All-Star Break, and is presently the clean-up hitter at AA Tennessee. He's a left-handed hitter, and basically is Scott Moore Redux.

Like Moore, Reynolds is far more likely to get traded than to ever be the Cubs 3B, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't be added to the 40-man roster. He has an outside chance to morph into a back-up 3B-1B-LHPH for the Cubs, and if anything happens to Ramirez in 2009 or 2010, Reynolds is the 3B closest to being ready for MLB.

The Cubs found 24-year old Colombian RHP Dumas Garcia pitching for the South Georgia Peanuts in the South Coast League (Independent) last Summer, where he was the best pitcher in the SCL (BTW, the league folded on April 1st). He pitched in the Mariners organization (VSL Mariners) as a teenager a few years ago, but got released in 2004.

Anyway, the Cubs signed Garcia in August and invited him to the AZ Instructional League, where he displayed a funky-ass delivery and a real nasty breaking ball and a plus-change to go along with a 93 MPH fastball, except he had difficulty throwing  strikes. One opposing scout who saw him at Fitch liked him a lot and thought he had the potential to pitch in the big leagues, although he quite obviously needed to work on his command and control which was VERY spotty at that time. But he had a very impressive Minor League Camp and is now the co-closer at Daytona (he probably could have made the Tennessee bullpen, but there wasn't room), and it looks like he could maybe move up the ladder quickly.

Remember, I listed Garcia 10th (ahead of Jesse Estrada, who I almost put there), which means he's not exactly a lock to get added to the 40. But I felt that because he can be a minor league free-agent after the season if he's not added to the Cubs 40-man roster, that the Cubs might not want to risk losing him just yet should there be an extra slot available on the 40 after the season.

As for Randy Wells, he had a very good ST with the Blue Jays after they selected him in the Rule 5 Draft, and the Cubs got him back only because he got caught in a roster numbers crunch in Toronto. But he is the type of "rubber-armed" pitcher who can throw just about every day and pitch two or three innings if needed (he's another converted catcher, BTW).

The Cubs are likely to add Wells to the 40 by the end of the World Series (although he quite possibly could get called up in September for the stretch drive) just to keep him from becoming a minor league FA, but I think he has a very good chance to make the Cubs bullpen next season as the "long-man." If not, he'd be nice to have at Iowa as insurance in '09.

Submitted by Romero on Fri, 04/25/2008 - 1:40pm.

Phil, thanks for all the great work.

You don't feel Sean Marshall has a future with the Cubs as a starting pitcher? Is it because he's a lefty? Or his injury history? Or do you just feel he's not good enough?

And what's up with Mateo? His minor league numbers suggest he's still injured somehow.

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ROMERO: If he doesn't grab the lefty reliever slot next year, I don't think Sean Marshall has much of a future with the Cubs, mainly because Lou Piniella doesn't seem to want three lefties in his starting rotation.

So along with Murton, Marquis, and Patterson, Marshall is probably another good candidate to get traded.

I don't know what's up with Juan Mateo, but it looks like he has zero future witn the Cubs. I believe it's only a matter of time before he gets outrighted off the 40-man roster, and if that happens, he could opt to be a FA because he's been outrighted previously in his career (when the Cardinals returned him to Iowa after selecting him in the Rule 5 Draft).

Well, he got shellacked last night pitching for AA Tennessee. 7 runs in 2.2 innings.

AA ball. Looks like his career is in reverse.

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