Cubs Contracts

The Cubs MLB Reserve List (AKA "40-man roster") is presently full. Of the 40 players on the Cubs MLB Reserve List, eight (Starlin Castro, Kyuji Fujikawa, Edwin Jackson, Chang-Yong Lim, Anthony Rizzo, Jorge Soler, Ryan Sweeney, and Carlos Villanueva) are signed for 2014, and 32 (see list below) are under club control but are unsigned. The Cubs must decide by Monday (December 2nd) whether or not to tender a contract to each of the 32 unsigned players.

The little LSU engine that could was defeated by the almighty Cubs Inc. today in their arbitration case. Theriot will take home a cool $2.6M instead of $3.4M in his final year as the Cubs shortstop and probably with the Cubs.

"I've known Ryan since his LSU days," Hendry said. "He's a good kid. He'll be an important part of the club this year.
It's a matter of what side of the fence, business wise, you happen to
be on right now. We'll get through it. Ryan Theriot's going to be
playing on Opening Day here, and we need him to play well."

And Lou:

``Everything I've heard, he's a can't-miss kid. But this year,
Ryan will be our shortstop,'' Piniella said. ``Remember, Castro is
young, and there's nothing wrong with putting a good foundation under
him at AAA.''

(H/t to Wrigleyville 23 for the find and formatting)

We'll see if that extra $800K is enough for the Cubs to bring in a reliever. There was some rumors by Bruce Levine if the Cubs won the case they might be able to afford Chan Ho Park, who is still looking for $3-4M.

The Cubs will avoid an arbitration hearing with Carlos Marmol, as the two sides agreed on a deal for $2.125M...exactly the midpoint of their two submitted figures of $1.75M and $2.5M.

- Kevin Millar was on XM Radio this morning excited about signing with the Cubs. Apparently he lives in the Mesa area and wanted to go to camp with a team nearby so he could spend time with his 2 kids and a third on the way in June. He says he knows that if he as any chance to make the team, he'll have to re-learn third base and try to play some outfield. That should be fun to watch.

In the same radio interview, the hosts referenced an interview with Reed Johnson yesterday where Reed talked about the confines of the clubhouse at Wrigley. Reed seemed to suggest that the lack of space made it difficult on the team last year to escape some of the drama with Milton Bradley and so forth.

There was a brief discussion in the comments earlier this week about general manager Jim Hendry's liberal use of the no-trade clause. Reader WISCGRAD did the legwork to see if indeed Hendry hands them out like a lollipop after leaving the doctor's office or if it's line with other ballclubs.


No-trade clauses in player contracts are controversial. On the one hand, they are often necessary to attract or keep high-value free agents. On the other hand, towards the end of player’s career a team may wish to trade a player whose skills have declined, but are unable to do so. No-trade clauses can range from full – where the player must approve any trade during the length of the contract – to limited – where the player has no-trade rights for a specified period of time or to specific teams. Making the issue more complicated, the current collective bargaining agreement between the Major League Baseball Players Association and Major League Baseball automatically grants a player full no-trade rights if he has 10 or more years of major league service time and has been with his current team for 5 or more years. The following table lists all players with no-trade rights for the entire 2009 season. This excludes those players who recently signed as free agents and cannot be traded until June. The information was taken from Cot’s Baseball Contracts, and each player was coded for the type of no-trade that applies to the 2009 season only. As one can see, with only a few exceptions, these are the cream of the crop of major league players (ed note - it's important to remember that the details of no-trade provisions or even their existence are not always made public and the information on Cot's Baseball Contracts should not be considered 100% reliable, but more as a good guide).

Jon Heyman at SI claims to have seen Milton Bradley's contract, and says the clause that would automatically kick-in the third year is that he needs to spend fewer than 75 days on the disabled list in 2009 to guarantee the full amount.

When it was first reported, Wittenmyer said it was a multilayered set of clauses, so I'm guessing the wording and legalese is a little more complicated than just spending less than those 75 days, maybe there's something about it not being due to a specific injury.

We finally get word on the specifics of Milton Bradley's contract from the Sun-Times:

The contract pays $5 million in base salary in 2009 and $9 million in
2010 -- with a $4 million signing bonus split over the two seasons --
with $12 million due in 2011. But a multilayered set of clauses turns
the final year into a team option (with a $2 million buyout) if
Bradley's health becomes a serious problem this season.

So $7M for 2009, $11M for 2010 and $12M in 2011 with a $2M buyout team option in 2011 if the mysterious clauses kick-in.


And looks like I missed the top 10 prospects from Scout.com, they posted them before Christmas...silly me.

  1. Josh Vitters
  2. Jeff Samardzija
  3. Andrew Cashner
  4. Welington Castillo
  5. Jay Jackson
  6. Ryan Flaherty
  7. Mitch Atkins
  8. Tyler Colvin
  9. Kevin Hart
  10. Micah Hoffpauir
  11. Esmailin Caridad
  12. Brandn Guyer
  13. Marcos Mateo
  14. Jovan Rosa
  15. James Russell
  16. Dan McDaniel
  17. Chris Carpenter
  18. Aaron Shafer
  19. Ryan Acosta
  20. Matt Cerda

 

It's not often that I take something from the comments and put it on the front page, but I found myself agreeing so strongly with the following "tirade" that got buried in amongst yesterday's Bears talk (guys, you should know better, follow real football - you know, the one in which they use their feet) that I thought I'd give it a little attention...
433--
I just don't get why Hendry has started agreeing to the player option to become a FA mid-contract. All that does is give the player leverage to renegotiate the deal at that point -- if the player CAN become a free agent, he essentially IS a free agent for negotiating purposes. If the player is unable to use the FA opt-out as leverage (because it's unlikely that he would be able to get a better deal elsewhere), that will just mean that he is being paid above market by the Cubs at the time. The thing I dislike most about that option is that it's self-defeating. Here's how. We have to assume that Hendry offers the option as a way to secure a salary that's slightly less attractive to the player in some way (amount, years, structure, etc.) than the player might accept without the option. (If that's not true, then the option wouldn't be offered in the first place.) But if the player agrees to a salary that isn't the absolute best he can get, it just makes it that much more likely that the player will be at a below-market salary when the option kicks in, and consequently able to use the option as renegotiating leverage. So even if the option "works", it backfires. I know that each deal is a unique negotiation and it's likely that Hendry gets something in return for this concession (i.e. it may be the final throw-in in order to get the player comfortable with the dollars offered). But this term really has the potential to blow up in Hendry's face.
It is indeed a trend amongst Hendry's deals of late, and it's one I also don't like. I'm also really not a fan of the more traditional player option at the end of a contract, which can be used to similar ends, and which is the only reason Glendon Rusch has himself a shiny new two-year deal right now. Not that it's a terrible deal in this market - as you probably know, I'm a bit of a Glendon Rusch fan. Still.
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