As expected, the Cubs opted not to tender a 2010 Major League contract to LHP Neal Cotts, making Cotts a free-agenct. Cotts would have been eligible for salary arbitration if he had been tendered a contract, and could not have had his $1.1M 2009 salary cut by more than 20%. So Non-tendering Cotts will save the Cubs about $1M in 2010 payroll, and reduces the Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) to 37 players.
I would expect the following to happen over the next few weeks:
With Carlos Zambrano expected to be reactivated from the 15-day DL tomorrow, the Cubs will need to make an acompanying roster move.
Here are the three most-likely moves:
Like the Cub hitters who failed to come through in the clutch, the Cub bullpen left its fingerprints all over Thursday's loss to the Cardinals.
From the Cubs.com game story:
The bullpen...is not in sync. Aaron Heilman, who came on in relief
of starter Sean Marshall, served up Greene's homer on his third pitch.
Rookie David Patton (0-1) took the loss, giving up Yadier Molina's
tie-breaking RBI single in the seventh. Albert Pujols was intentionally
walked, but the other two Cardinals who were walked both scored.
"All we can do is preach," Piniella said. "That's all we can do is say what's good for the individual."
Heilman says there's only one thing they can do.
"Pitch better," Heilman said. "There's no other way to get
around it. There's no real magic formula that you can say, 'Do this,
this and this' and everything's going to click. Sometimes it takes
days, sometimes it takes weeks, sometimes it takes longer to figure
out. We have to keep going out there, be aggressive and keep pitching,
and things will fall into place."
Game by game, here is how the Cub bullpen has fared so far in 2009.
Sean Marshall threw four shutout innings as the Cubs jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, but the bullpen could not keep the Rangers down, as Texas rallied to defeat the Cubs 7-2 at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in Mesa today, before a crowd of 11,082 under cloudy skies with temperatures in the mid-60's.