Try a Little Non-Tenderness

12/2 UPDATE #2: Mark Gonzales at the Chicago Tribune is reporting that the Cubs have signed arbitration-eligible LHP Clayton Richard to a 2016 contract ($2M salary), and have non-tendered RHRP Ryan Cook and LHRP Jack Leathersich. The Cubs claimed both Cook and Leathersich off waivers last month, Cook from the Boston Red Sox and Leathersich from the New York Mets.

The other twenty unsigned players on the Cubs MLB 40-man roster were apparently tendered 2016 contracts, and six of the twenty (RHSP Jake Arrieta, OF-IF Chris Coghlan, RHRP Justin Grimm, RHRP Hector Rondon, RHRP Pedro Strop, and LHP Travis Wood) will be eligible for salary arbitration if the player is not satisfied with the club's salary offer.  

Cook was eligible for salary arbitration for the second time and was projected to get about $1.5M for 2016 (he was paid $1.4M in 2015), and the Cubs may not have wanted to pay him that much if he is expected to spend most of the year as "bullpen injury insurance" at AAA Iowa. So the Cubs could possibly re-sign Cook to a major league contract with a minimal base salary (perhaps $750K) plus a performance bonus based on days spent on the MLB 25-man roster in 2016 (something they could not do if he was tendered), or they could sign him to a 2016 minor league contract with an NRI to Spring Training. Whether Cook would agree to such an arrangement remains to be seen, but the Cubs might not have non-tendered Cook if they didn't already have a 2016 deal in place. 

Leathetsich is not yet eligible for salary arbitration, but he could not be outrighted to the minors during the off-season (after 11/20) because he is injured (July TJS), so non-tendering him and then re-signing him to a 2016 minor league contract is the only way the Cubs can remove Leathersich from their MLB 40-man roster but still keep him under club control. Of course the Cubs could have simply waited until the start of Spring Training and then placed Leathersich on the 60-day DL (thus removing him from the 40-man roster), so it would appear that the Cubs believe they will need his roster slot on the 40 before then. It remains to be seen if Leathersich will sign a minor league contract with the Cubs, but (as with Cook) the Cubs probably would not have non-tendered him if they did not already have a pre-arranged minor league deal in place. 

So the Cubs MLB Reserve List (AKA "40-man roster") now stands at 36, with four slots left open for free-agents who might be signed over the next few days and weeks, off-season waiver claims, or perhaps even a Rule 5 Draft pick.  

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

12/2 UPDATE #1: Jon Heyman at CBS Sports reports that the Cubs have signed LHRP Rex Brothers to a 2016 contract ($1.42M salary). Brothers was paid $1.4M in 2015, and would have been arbitration-eligible for the second time post-2015. He was acquired by the Cubs from the Colorado Rockies for minor league LHSP Wander Cabrera last month.  


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Tomorrow (Wednesday December 2nd) is the deadline for MLB clubs to tender 2016 major league contracts to unsigned players on the club's MLB Reserve List (AKA "40-man roster").
If an unsigned player is not tendered a contract on December 2nd (or December 1st if December 2nd falls on a Saturday, or November 30th if December 2nd falls on a Sunday), the player is said to be "Non-Tendered," he is immediately removed from his club's MLB 40-man roster, and he becomes an unrestricted free-agent, free to sign a major league or minor league contract with any club, including the club that non-tendered the player. A "Non-Tendered" player receives no termination pay, and the player's former club receives no compensation if the player subsequently signs with another club.

Each unsigned player on an MLB 40-man roster who is tendered a contract must be offered at least the MLB minimum salary ($507,500 in 2016) and (with a couple of exceptions) at least 80% of the player's previous season's salary, and at least 70% of the player's salary from two seasons back.

Some players have a "minor league split" salary in their contract which they are paid if they are sent to the minors. In most cases, a player's minor league "split" salary must be at least 60% of the player's salary from the previous season. The one exception is if a free-agent signs a major league contract with a minor league "split" salary, the "60% rule" does not apply

The minor league "split" minimum salary in 2016 is $41,400 for players with no MLB Service Time who are on an MLB 40-man roster for the first time (like Andury Acevedo, Jeimer Candelario, Willson Contreras, Pierce Johnson, and Dan Vogelbach), with $82,700 the minimum minor league "split" salary for all other players.

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 UNSIGNED SALARY ARBITRATION ELIGIBLE PLAYERS (last updated 11-25-2015):
Jake Arrieta, RHP
Rex Brothers, LHP
Chris Coghlan, OF 
Ryan Cook, RHP
Justin Grimm, RHP (“Super Two”)
Clayton Richard, LHP
Hector Rondon, RHP
Pedro Strop, RHP 
Travis Wood, LHP

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;

NOTE: Clubs do NOT offer salary arbitration to arbitration-eligible players. It's up to the player to file for salary arbitration, if the club and the player cannot agree on a contract by the mid-January filing date.

Once salary arbitration has been requested, the player submits his desired salary to the MLBPA, 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 a hearing with a three-person arbitration panel. 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).

NOTE: The Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) is very sensitive about salary arbitration, so if a player is victorious at an arbitration hearing and is awarded a contract by an arbitration panel and then is subsequently released by his club prior to or during Spring Training, the MLBPA will almost always file a grievance on behalf of the player, claiming the player was released for economic reasons only (which is not permitted), and asking that the released player receive 100% of his salary as termination pay. In that situation, a club would have to show (by submitting official Spring Training game stats) that the released player was out-performed in Spring Training games by another player (or players) competing for that roster spot.

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 will negotiate with the player up to a point, but if the player has not signed a contract for the current season by March 1st, the club has the right to unilaterally dictate the player's salary and renew the player's contract from the previous season (albeit for an amount not less than the MLB minimum salary, and not less than 80% of the player's salary from the previous season 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.  

CUBS UNSIGNED AUTO-RENEWAL (PRE-ARBITRATION) PLAYERS (last updated 11-20-2015): 
Arismendy Alcantara, INF 
Javy Baez, INF
Dallas Beeler, RHP
Kris Bryant, INF
Jeimer Candelario, INF
Willson Contreras, C
Carl Edwards Jr, RHP
Kyle Hendricks, RHP
Pierce Johnson, RHP
Eric Jokisch, LHP
Tommy LaStella, INF
Jack Leathersich, LHP
Yoervis Medina, RHP 
Spencer Patton, RHP
Neil Ramirez, RHP
Zac Rosscup, LHP
Addison Russell, INF
Kyle Schwarber, C
Matt Szczur, OF
Christian Villanueva, INF
Dan Vogelbach, 1B

While a club could sign a player prior to the contract tender deadline, in practice clubs usually wait until the contract tender deadline to offer contracts to its unsigned players.

The most common reason for a club to consider non-tendering a player is when the player is eligible for salary arbitration. If the club tenders a contract to an arbitration-eligible player, the club takes the chance that the player will later file for salary arbitration, and that the club could lose in an aribtration hearing. And one thing clubs love is cost certainty, and you just never know (in advance) how an arbitration panel might rule. 

The club might choose to non-tender an arbitration-eligible player with the idea that they can instead sign the player for less money than the player is expected to receive via the arbitration process, but for this to work, the club and the player have to agree (in advance) to a contract prior to the player being non-tendered, because otherwise the player could just say "no" to the offer and force the club to either take the chance that the player might subsequently file for salary arbitration if he is tendered, or that the player will sign elsewhere if he is non-tendered, with the club getting nothing in rerurn for losing the player. 

For example, Travis Wood made $5.685M in 2015, and is projected to make about $6.5M in 2016 (his last year of salary arbitration eligibility). But the Cubs may not feel that Wood is worth $6.5M to perform the function he serves on this particular Cub team (a versatile "rubber-armed" reliever who can be used in long relief, middle relief, as a set-up man, or even as a closer in a pinch). That role might be worth $4M (plus some additional potential performance bonuses based on appearances, GF, and/or GS), but it might not be worth $6.5M. For the Cubs to non-tender him and then sign him to such a contract, Wood would have to agree to the deal (in advance), and he might not be inclined to do that. Maybe if the Cubs offer a two or three-year deal (3/$12M with performance bonuses)? Perhaps.     

Sometimes the club wants to remove a player from its MLB 40-man roster without having to expose the player to Outright Assignment Waivers (which are irrevocable). This can be done one time (and one time only) during the year, and that's on December 2nd, and it's done by non-tendering the player, and then re-signing him to a pre-arranged minor league contract (sometimes for even more money than he would have gotten if he had remained on the 40-man roster) plus an NRI to Spring Training. The Cubs might like to do that with players who will be out of minor league options in 2016, like RHRP Yoervis Medina, 3B Christian Villanueva, and/or OF Matt Szczur.  

But for that plan to work, the player must agree (in advance) to the offer, and if the player signs a minor league contract after being non-tendered, the player becomes eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft. And if the club and the player conspire to wait to sign the pre-arranged minor league contract until after the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft, that could be construed as "covering up" the player from selection (which is not permitted), and the Commissiner could take disciplinary action against the club (like voiding the contract and prohibiting the club from re-signing the player).   

Also, sometimes a club wants to retain a player on its MLB 40-man roster, but wants to cut the player's salary more than the allowable 20%. The only way that can be done is by non-tendering the player, and then re-signing the player (who is now technically a free-agent) to a contract with a salary below what the club could have offered if the player had been tendered. 

For example, the Cubs might want to retain recently acquired RHRP Ryan Cook (claimed off waivers from the Boston Red Sox last month), but they don't want to pay him as much as he could possibly get in arbitration. (Cook made $1.4M in 2015, and even if he is cut the maximum 20%, he still would get $1.12M in 2016). So to retain Cook at a more-reasonable price, the Cubs might want to sign him to a contract with maybe a $750K base salary, plus another $750K in performance bonuses (potentially equaling $1.5M). But to do that, the Cubs would have to first non-tender Cook, and then re-sign him to a 2016 major league contract with a lower base salary (plus performance bonuses) than he would have received if he had been tendered. 

In each of these cases, a club opts to non-tender a player that it actually does not wish to lose, with the idea that the player will re-sign after being non-tendered. But in each case, the player (and his agent) must be agreeable to the plan, so that if the player is non-tendered, he does not take the opportunity to shop himself in the open market, with the possibility that the player could sign elsewhere, with the club losing the player and getting nothing back in return.  

Comments

Price to Bosox 7/217 According to Rosenthal and boston globe Sorry for the hijack, Phil. ~edit~ op out after year 3, no money deferred

Not really a shock. Now there is little to stop the winter meetings from being really interesting.

Greinke soon according Rosenthal Giants or Dodgers and higher amount than Price

Guess who was runner-up in the Price is Right? https://twitter.com/BNightengale/status/67181...

wow, so STL is ready to throw 30m down on a pitcher? yow...that changes the offseason outlook a bit.

You believe they were in the bidding, I have an ice rink on Clark to sell you

runner-up seems to be as strong as in the bidding as it gets aside from winning the bid. STL has money to spend, but how much they were willing to spend was up in the air...and now they threw around a 30m-ish offer to a top FA pitcher.

Where did you get 30ish number?

St Louis offered $30MM less than Toronto...so around $185MM or $26MM per year. When those type of numbers and details are released, it is rarely just pulled out of thin air. Sounds pretty legit that they put up a bit of a fight.

So much for our 12-way tie on the predictions: http://bit.ly/1NWlEek

YES! A 2-way tie for first! I am willing to split the pot right now.

greenkey, cueto...or...umm...a trade with ATL? *shrug* i haven't heard the cubs linked to greenkey, but there were 100000 articles about whether the cubs would be snagging zimmerman or price. the more pieces that fall, the more it seems like soler is going to be playing in ATL next year.

Jorge Soler:
2016: $3M
2017: $3M
2018: $4M (or salary arbitration 2018-20)
2019: $4M (or salary arbitration 2019-20)
2020: $4M (or salary arbitration 2020)

TO:
 
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

CLEVELAND

1. Carlos Carrasco
2016: $4.5M
2017: $6.5M
2018: $8M
2019: $9M (club option with $662,500 buy-out)
2020: $9.5M (club option with $662,500 buy-out)

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

- OR -  

ATLANTA

2. Julio Teheran:
2016: $3.3M
2017: $6.3M
2018: $8M
2019: $11M
2020: $12M (club option with $1M buy-out)

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

- OR -

WHITE SOX

3a. Jose Quintana:
2016: $3.8M
2017: $6M
2018: $8.35M
2019: $10.5M (club option with $1M buy-out)
2020: $10.5M (club option with $1M buy-out)

AND

3b. Adam Eaton:
2016: $2.75M
2017: $4M
2018: $6M
2019: $8.4M
2020: $9.5M (club option with $1.5M buy-out)
2021: $10.5M (club option with $1.5M buy-out)

===================================

Tyson Ross (SD) is only under club control through 2017, and Shelby Miller (ATL) is only under club control through 2018. 

Edit: Not advocating for Miller, just pointing out it has more legs than some of these other guys. There's this: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/shelby-miller-...... (link is external) And this: Jerry Crasnick ‏@jcrasnick 6h6 hours ago #Braves are smitten with Jorge Soler, person said. Julio Teheran likely wouldn't get it done. Could Miller spark interest from #Cubs?

Oh God, no Adam Eaton he's dummber than a bag of wet hair. keep him awsy

Dumber than Ronny Cedeno?

Close second to Ronny

That is pretty fucking dumb.

I realize they need to get pitching, but I'd hate to see Soler go. He was channeling Manny in the playoffs -- laying off the low & away stuff and crushing the ball. If he can keep that plate discipline, he could be an absolute beast. Also, his perfect throw may have saved the Cardinals series. Plus, he wears #68. Dunno - maybe Shark/Lackey?

*shrug* who knows where it'll end up. they have a decent amount of excess/blocked infielders as well as c.coghlan if they want to make him expendable...so there's value to get something done while keeping soler, even. it's a bit more muddy now that cueto is the only "hell yeah" FA pitcher left out there.

Yes great bat, but very shaky in the field during the playoffs. That won't go unnoticed by this Cubs front office.

Shaky in regular season too Injury prone , doesn't hit in cold weather /I dunno

His arm, IMO, makes up for any problems with route running. I read in an ESPN article on gold gloves that he's at the top in terms of preventing runners from advancing an extra base. So even if he takes a bad route most runners aren't going to test him because of his arm. And route running is something he can get better at while players don't get stronger arms. That said the injury risk is my concern. I think if he stays healthy he'll be a star and the cold weather dislike will go away with time.

Great to hear about the article. It improves his trade value.

the more pieces that fall, the more it seems like soler is going to be playing in ATL next year. --- Not a fan of ex-cardinals. It was tough enough watching Jim Edmonds. Hope they don't go after Shelby GT Miller https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2834/9335133719...

it seems greenkey is supposedly not going to be a cub so it leaves cueto or trade...or scrap heap. rather than 1000000 articles linking the cubs to zimm/price, that leaves 10000000 articles about heyward to be written (and therefore soler-trade speculation).

I fear the Shark will return.

I would hope not.

"I fear the Shark will return." We're gonna need a bigger boat.

I was never a believer in Shark as an ace with an ace salary but as our 3rd or 4th pitcher I would be good with it, There are actual concrete changes in his pitch selection and mechanics last year that Bosio could probably fix and get him back to his Cubs form which would be a great 3rd or 4th arm. That said he is supposedly telling teams he has a 5 year, 100 million deal on the table and that seems quite high if true.

Whoever is offering him that contract is quite high too.

I'm good with him as a #3 who may only produce at #4 levels but who has good enough stuff to look like a #1/#2 on a given day. Don't know if 5/$100 million is the new #3 starter salary? I don't understand any free agency math.

Zimmerman got 5 years/110 million (22 million per year) Price got 7 years/217 million (31 million per year) and Cueto turned down a 6 year/120 million deal. I'd say 20 million a year is too much for a 3rd starter but without trades I doubt you're spending less than that for anyone good. Lackey might be decent on a 3 year contract.

I'm sure I could come to like Lackey, but he seems like a real asshole when he's on the mound. Not just competitive -- an asshole.

"The Seattle Mariners have agreed to trade slugger Mark Trumbo to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for catcher Steve Clevenger, a source confirmed to ESPN's Jim Bowden." yeah, that steve clevenger.

So how did the Orioles GM stay cool and collected during that conversation. I imagine he was biting his knuckles quite a bit until the phones hung up.

Mike Leake looks like a solid alternative for the rotation. 5/$75?

On talent, I prefer Samardzija. Leake wasn't eligible for a qualifying offer, though, so if the Cubs don't splurge on other free agents as well, that might make Leake more appealing.

I read today that Jeff is going to get $100 million. That seems like a lot to me. Leake doesn't look as impressive doing it but his ERA, WHIP, and Record is better than Jeff's and he is a few years younger. And apparently cheaper. Not to mention the supplemental pick.

im still hoping for something happening on the trade market that's at least a 2-3 type rather than a 3-4/4-5 type. theoretically they have the excess talent to get it done with multiple combinations. they'd need to find someone willing to give up a pitcher for hitter(s), though. i would hold out hope for cueto, but he put in some really sketchy ball down the stretch. i dunno how to feel about him.

Yes, exactly. The Cubs have enough 3-4-5's to make the playoffs, they just finished proving that. They also don't have a guy capable of pitching game 3 of a playoff series after Lester and Arrieta, they just finished proving that as well. I hope "who is going to pitch game 3?" is the predominant question TheJedi are pondering. Is that pitcher on the roster (Hammel)? or in the organization but will be ready Oct 2016 (nobody likely) or a high-priced TOR FA (all gone except Cueto), or a trade for somebody on the cusp (suspects named in earlier comments plus ???).

Dunno about having enough 3-4-5s...as of today, who's the 5th starter? Travis? Clayton Richard? Dallas Beeler? Yikes. And (knock on wood)...what if there is an injury for an extended period? Who would step in? As Theo said -- they need pitching depth. They got none.

richard/beeler/jokisch are the "emergency" starters as of now...maybe wood if they extend his workload, but it doesn't seem like it's going that way. i imagine they'll pick up some AAAA/reclaimation minor league contract options to provide some competition to these cringe-worthy options. they might not even trust hammels (especially with his seemingly predictable late-season collapses) and start him in the pen as a long man with emergency starter upside...pick up some other starter option. aside from saying they're looking to upgrade their pitching, the cubs haven't said a lot about their plans.

mark mcgwire new SD bench coach...because roids.

WSux non-tender Tyler Flowers, Gordon Beckham (who signs with Braves) and recent ex-Cub, Jacob Turner Jeff Passan/Yahoo says Dinner Navaro will sign with WSux.

What if Theo pulls a Billy Beane and tells Atlanta; You want Soler? I want Miller and Teheran. It wouldn't be a straight 1-2 (The Cubs would have to add some pieces) but it sure would get Atlanta thinking and while I love Soler, I couldn't discount 2 proven rotation pieces with team control.

I have faith in Theo and Jed, but why are Beeler and Medina still taking up roster spaces?

beeler/jokish are seriously the only MLB-ready minor league pitchers they have until they up with other options...they're pretty much there out of necessity rather than talent. luckily, p.johnson shouldn't be too far behind them developmentally, but he's still got a little to prove...especially since he's yet to throw more than 120 innings since he was drafted. the MLB-ready pitching is thin as hell right now.

"Lefty relievers Rex Brothers and Clayton Richard both agreed to terms, while reliever Ryan Cook was not tendered a contract, making him a free agent. Reliever Jack Leathersich was also non-tendered, though he wasn’t arbitration-eligible. [ ] Brothers signed for one year at $1.42 million while Richard will make $2 million in 2016 after being designated for assignment twice by the Cubs last season." http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/i...

Anyone have opinions on whether Cliff Lee would be a worthwhile comeback gamble for the Cubs? Possible high-reward, veteran presence, short-ish contract at a high price with bonuses? Very unsure what kind of competition there would be for his services.

the problem with dudes like this on an expected post-season team is the question of whether he's capable of 200-ish regular season innings and 30+ post season innings. you'd pretty much have to guarantee him a roster spot and there's little guarantee he'll be rotation-capable down the stretch, much less going into the post-season. that said, getting the post-season is the real grind and he may be able to put in a good amount of innings to make that happen even if his "good work" comes in the first 4-5 months of the season. also...do the cubs have the money to lay down on this kind of gamble? they never offered on price or zimm, and they don't seem to be in on greekey. with his base + expected loot gained from incentives (however that mixes up), him getting $10m+ on a comeback contract isn't out of the question. the cubs might need more security in investment when it comes to throwing around their loot this coming season. i wouldn't complain, though i'd be watching him closely come august/september.

THESE ARE NOT ROSY-GLASSED OPINIONS I WAS LOOKING FOR. Ok, I mostly agree. Would be more interested if the deal could be heavy on "incentives" (misnomer in sports contracts). Was also thinking he might have a delayed start to the season and then, even though it would be silly to expect anywhere near 200 innings from him, many of his innings might come in the second half. All said, I doubt the Cubs are the highest bidder for his services.

unless he's the "key" pitching addition i'm all about giving him a chance. cubs seem to be looking an impact starter at minimum, and a lot of people seem to be thinking they're looking for a couple guys even if the 2nd guy isn't as great at the key addition.

Here's maybe the question: Cliff Lee on a one-year gamble or Jeff Samardzija on a 5-year deal?

i keep hoping the whole samardziajjiaza thing passes quickly...without the cubs getting into it.

Just sign him and tell him to take it easy for the first several months of the season. Go play some golf, maybe do what other sports stars do like get into a few inappropriate relationships, then go on a rehab assignment in, say, August, with Iowa, pitch a few starts with the big club in September, and be ready for October. They could initially put him on a 60 day calling it old age or something.

Wei-Yin Chen looks like a good candidate for the Cubs. I would like to see two lefties in the rotation and he is at least a solid starter.

"A source tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that Jeff Samardzija and Mike Leake represent "Plan B" for the Giants if they lose out on Zack Greinke." cueto seems be invisible early into the FA period. also, SF's "Plan B" sucks.

Kenta Maeda will be posted per the Carp.

I thought that was some sort of bizarre typo. Turns out it's a legit baseball news item.

"Bruce Levine of 670 The Score hears $18 million is "the going (average annual value)" for a contract for free agent Jeff Samardzija." okay, then. good for him.

Agreed Crunch. If he can get a contract for $18 mill a year...good for him. The Cubs? If they offer, and I'd rather they didn't.....4 years/$15 mill per. I'd rather see Kazmir, or Leake...or almost anyone else. Levine must get a cut if he signs with the Cubs....

there's a bigass slew of "middle rotation" type guys out there without throwing $18+ million at this dude for 5+ years just because his arm is "young" from lack of extensive pitching use in his youth and he throws 94+mph.

What has he really accomplished since the Cubs overpaid him to be their promising ex football player turned baseball player? He's outstanding at marketing himself, but as a pitcher, his accomplishments seem to be that he has stayed healthy. Sometimes he has great stuff, but he hasn't harnessed it into big year/big money contract territory.

Thrower not a pitcher

So long as he is not a belly-itcher.

that probably depends on whether he has a dog in the house. He's obviously in the dog house among Cubs fans.

"Cubs claim LHP Edgar Olmos off waivers from Mariners" http://www.baseball-reference.com/register/pl... reliever/spot-starter...fastball/change...occasional slider...good stuff, boring results.

Edward Olmos' son? https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=https://...(cropped).JPG/220px-Edward_James_Olmos_2009_Inaugural_Ceremony_(cropped).JPG&imgrefurl=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_James_Ol...

The Edgar Olmos waiver claim appears to be the type of claim where the Cubs will place Olmos back onto waivers and try to outright him themselves, figuring that the 27 teams who have waiver claim priority in front of the Cubs weren't interested in him enough to claim him off waivers, and the Pirates and Cardinals (the only two clubs behind the Cubs in waiver claim priority) probably wouldn't' be interested either. 

And Olmos is out of minor league options (making him even less atttractive to other clubs), and so the Cubs are going to have to put him on waivers eventually, and now is as good a time as any. 

The Cubs will have to either sign Olmos to a 2016 major league contract or else he would need to agree (in advance) to a 2016 minor league contract before he can be outrighted, however, because he is a Rule 55 player (he would have been declared a minor league 6YFA if he had been outrighted to the minors prior to 5PM Eastern on the 5th day after the last game of the World Series, but since he wasn't outrighted before the deadline, he muist sign a major league contract or agree in advance to sign a minor league contract before he can be outrighted). 

BTW, Olmos cannot elect to be a free-agent once he is outrighted, because he has not accrued enough MLB Service Time and he has not been outrighted previously in his career.   

From Jesse Rogers via MLBTR: "Javier Baez will play at least some center field during winter ball, Miles tweets. Given the Cubs’ crowded infield, the ability to play center might provide Baez with a path to more playing time in the big leagues. (To this point, Baez has never played the outfield, either in the Majors or the minors.) Epstein says a platoon in center could be an option, as Rogers notes." I feel like Starlin showed very well at second base late in the season, and I strongly prefer him there to at SS. However, he's clearly not and never will be the infield defender that Baez is. My gut says the team is better defensively with Baez at 2B and Castro in CF opposed to Castro at 2B and Baez in CF. I understand why the Cubs will do it this way - Baez is younger, more athletic, more likely to adjust better, and less likely to get veteran tude about shifting spots again, and Baez is less likely to hit enough to stick around. That said, I don't think it's as clear-cut as saying Baez should be the center fielder if Castro is playing second.

It wouldn't surprise me at all to see Baez become one of the best center fielders in baseball in a matter of months. I'd like to formally thank the Cubs for listening to me. I suggested right here on TCR that they give him a shot at CF. Clearly, they listened. I have some other great ideas if they'd like to hear them.

O&B -- great idea on the scoreboards.

O/B please do something connecting the Bowl seats with the Bleachers so I can get me some Hot Doug's sausages.

If Javy plays CF, who bats leadoff? Schwarber?

it's hard to say who leads off in the scenario without a guy who's got obvious speed. maddon's been a "speed leads" guy with a regular streak of it for many season. it would probably default to something more ob%-considerate given the lack of an obvious above average speed guy to slot, though...dunno.

Based upon "The Book" lineup method and 2016 Steamer projections, the ideal Cubs lineup for 2016 (as of now) based upon our position assumptions would be: Schwarber LF/C Bryant 3B Baez CF Rizzo 1B Soler RF LaStella/Castro 2B Montero/Coghlan C/LF Russell SS Arrieta x162 Edit: To clarify, 3-6-7 are basically interchangeable without significant effect to the outcome.

Two problems - If I remember right Schwarber's numbers were highly skewed based on righty/lefty, although I expect that to change. Kid knows what he's doing up there. The other is that Baez isn't ready for the three spot yet. But Maddon loves lineup construction in the way some people love video games so I'm sure he'll figure it all out.

My guess is that they are grooming Javy to be Maddon's new Zobrist. He can play 2B, SS, and 3B well already. And if he can play CF then he could handle LF or RF as well. If it works, he'll play nearly every day somewhere and in CF against lefties in particular, which could help them really load up the lineup with righties. 

Rosenthal says Lackey to Cubs, 2 years, $32-34 million.

Man it will be hard to root for that puke! I guess I will find a way though.

Why does everyone here hate him? I've never noticed the antics on the mound people talk about but that doesn't mean much. Now, Carlos Martinez, there's a guy I don't like.

I learned to root for Dennis Rodman. You can learn to root for Lackey.

I'm still rooting for Dennis Rodman.

this happened a few years ago... very late night at LAX, terminal nearly empty, late flight coming in, waiting for a connection, Chili's is pretty much the only thing left open, we're on our way there... while on the way to the Chili's here comes d.rodman walking with melissa rivers (who is crazy short). he drops her off at the american airlines VIP club. it was very LA as hell. anyway, we're sitting in Chili's and we're the only people in the place besides a couple + a loner at the bar...and here comes rodman walking in with melissa rivers's purse and thin scarves flying all over the place from his neck and spilling out of rivers's purse. he walks up the bar, straight up takes some girl's drink, and says "hey. how ya doing?" to the guy who's with the girl who's drink he just took. luckily, and he's probably used to it, the couple were all about d.rodman interjecting himself into their lives more than complaining about losing a drink. shortly after a few handshakes and pleasantries, the manager of Chili's appears from a back room and very sternly informs rodman he's not allowed in the Chili's at LAX. i only wish i was there for the incident that got rodman banned from the LAX Chili's rather than this incident... anyway, rodman huffs, puffs, turns around, and walks off out of the Chili's and into the concourse with his scarves flowing...and drink still in hand. this drink was a rather tall strawberry daiquiri with straws and umbrellas, btw. it was an epic moment in people watching. go cubs.

crunch, I love your posts, but this one takes the cake. This one could be a country song, or even an aria for a postmodern opera: Recitative: Oh, Mister Roood-mann....You must not be in the Chili's at Laaaaa.ayyyyy. eks. (melisma) Rodman: Ah-ahhhh!! Oh-ohhhh! (atonal) I am so offend--ed! Do you not know of my great skills at rebounnnndd-ing? Ohhhh! I will leave now... Chorus: With his rather tall strawberry daiquiri-- Reply from chorus: With his rather tall strawberry daiquiri-- Chorus with Rodman: With his rather tall strawberry daiquiri with straws and umbrelll--aaaass, by the way. Hey, I love the opera. It's incredible how many real-life situations are ripe fruit for opera. Cubs 2015, The Opera.

+1

I hear it as a re-do/update of Bohemian Rhapsody. But that's just me.

hahaha. True...true...

I like the Lackey pick-up - hopefully he keeps hitting the fountain of youth this off-season. Fried chicken and beer are on me!

Looking forward to seeing Lackey's moves at the victory disco dance parties. I assume that was the main reason he signed with the Cubs.

He'll be in the corner discussing hunting with Lester.

At least we're not committing to anyone that would interfere with extending/resigning Arrieta. 

on one hand they just gave 2yr/16-17m a year to a 37 year old...on the other hand his stuff hasn't declined...yet. stl gets the cubs draft pick...hopefully that won't sting or become a part of cardinals lore.

CRUNCH: I know what you're trying to say, but just for clarification, the Cardinals do NOT get the Cubs 2016 1st round draft pick. 

Rather, the Cubs lose their 1st round pick (it just disappears), and the Cardinals get a compensation pick between the 1st & 2nd round (somewhere in the bottom of the 30's overall). 

When Dexter Fowler signs with another club, the Cubs will get a compensation pick between the 1st & 2nd rounds (in the 30's overall), just ahead of the Cardinals comp pick. 

yeah, a pick rather than the pick...i made that clear as mud. i just hope the cards don't get anything to hold over the cubs fan's head for years to come for a purely fan-selfish reason.

Two questions. If the Cubs add Heyward (for instance) and Fowler goes elsewhere, which is the Cubs first pick? 1st Round Compensatory? Or Second Round? Also, should I be surprised that Medina or Szczur wasn't non-tendered?

TIM: If the Cubs sign another Qualified Player (like Heyward for example), the Cubs would lose the compensation pick they will get when Fowler signs with another club (presuming Fowler signs a 2016 major league contract with another MLB club prior to next June's First-Year Player draft). 

Here is how draft pick forfeiture works: 

An MLB club that signs an Article XX-B Qualified Player forfeits its 1st round selection in the MLB First Year Player Draft (Rule 4 Draft), unless the club selects in the Top 10 of the 1st Round, in which case the club would forfeit its next-highest pick. NOTE: In determining whether a club would forfeit its 1st round draft pick, the ten "protected" picks at the top of the 1st round would NOT include any compensation draft pick received by a club for failing to sign a 1st round draft pick from a previous draft.

The next highest draft pick (or draft picks) will be forfeited if the club signs more than one Qualified Player (one draft pick forfeited for each Qualified Player signed). Draft picks subject to forfeiture include the club's own Rule 4 picks, compensatory draft picks awarded to the club after losing an Article XX-B Qualified Player, and draft picks that were awarded as the result of the Competitive Balance Lottery or as the result of the Rule 4 SBP Forfeited Draft Pick lottery (including any lottery draft pick originally awarded to another club and then subsequently acquired in a trade). The only draft picks NOT subject to forfeiture for signing an Article XX-B Qualified Player are compensatory draft picks awarded to a club for failing to sign a pick from a previous Rule 4 Draft.  

A Rule 4 Draft pick forfeited as the result of a club signing a Qualified Player is not transferred to any other club (it just disappears).

Thanks. I thought so, but wasn't totally sure.

TIM: Regarding the tendering of contracts to Szczur and/or Medina (who are both out of minor league options), if the Cubs wanted to remove Szczur and/or Medina from the MLB 40-man roster without having to expose the player to Outright Assignment Waivers (which are irrevocacle). the Cubs could have non-tendered the player and then re-sgned the player to a pre-arranged minor league deal (circumventing waivers), but only PRESUMING THE PLAYER WAS AGREEABLE TO THE PLAN. 

The problem is that a non-tendered player would probably have to be signed to a minor league contract prior to the Rule 5 Draft and thus would be be eligible for selection, because otherwise the club could be charged with "covering up" the player from selection (which is not permitted) by virtue of non-tendering the player and then stringing-out the signing process to make it official only after the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft. 

A club could try and get away with that, but I would think there would be an investigation by the MLB Commissioner if a player was non-tendered, and then signed to a pre-arranged minor league contract after the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft (to insure that the player wouldn't get selected). 

The reason the Cubs can probably get away with non-tendering Jack Leathersich and Ryan Cook and then safely re-signing them to minor league contracts prior to the Rule 5 Draft (whch I expect will happen as long ad the player is agreeable to the plan) is because both players got through waivers without being selected all the way to the Cubs 28th waiver claim priority slot, so the Cubs should feel fairly confident that neither Leathersich nor Cook have much of a market and probably wouldn't get selected in the Rule 5 Draft (for a $50,000 draft price with roster restrictions) since they weren't claimed off waivers when any of the other clubs could have had either pitcher for the $20,000 waiver price and no roster restrictions. 

Another problem with signing a non-tendered player to a minor league contract or outrighting a player prior to the Rule 5 Draft is that the player would take up a slot on the AAA Iowa 38-man roster, and I don't know how many slots on the Iowa reserve list were left open when the Cubs submitted their MLB and minor league affiliates reserve lists to the MLB Commissioner's office on 11/20 

I mentioned at the time that I thought the Cubs probably left five or six slots open for minor league free-agents who might be signed and get placed on the Iowa reserve list and for players who might get outrighted to Iowa between 11/20 and the Rule 5 Draft, as well as for players the Cubs might want to select for Iowa in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft, but the Cubs have already added free-agents Drew Rucinski and Luis Parra to the Iowa reserve list (Jeffry Antigua was assigned to the AA Tennessee reserve list) and Leathersich and Cook could be two more going on the Iowa reserve list prior to the Rule 5 Draft, and so all of a sudden the Iowa 38-man reserve list could be almost full. 

Remember, once MLB and minor league reserve lists are submitted on 11/20, minor league players eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft cannot be traded, released, or transferred from one minor league affiliate's reserve list to another until after the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft, and a club can only select as many players in the Rule 5 Draft as slots available PRIOR TO THE START OF THE DRAFT. So (for example), if Iowa goes into the Rule 5 Draft with a full 38-man roster, it CANNOT select any players in the AAA Phase of the draft even if one or more of Iowa's players are selected in the Major League Phase (dropping Iowa's roster below 38). 

So the Cubs have to navigate around all of that if they are planning to re-sign Leathersich and Cook to minor league contracts prior to the Rule 5 Draft. And if they wait until after the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft to re-sign Leathersich and/or Cook and it turns out there was a pre-arranged deal in place, the MLB Commissioner could void the contract(s) with the Cubs not permitted to sign either player but with the Cubs on the hook for whatever salary the player was supposed to receive in 2016.

Limited AAA roster space pre-Rule 5 Draft is why the Cubs will probably wait to try and outright Edgar Olmos until after the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft.  

Why you're the best.

Az Phil, is there a reason the off-season minor league reserve lists aren't available to the public?

Not Phil, but (insert player here) probably doesn't want to know he is only on the Double-A list, while someone else is on the Triple-A list. It's probably need-to-know, and even the players don't need to know.

On the other hand -- taking Lackey away from STL is a good thing. If he beats them in the playoffs the next 2 years, the draft pick thin may not be as big a deal.

Cubs Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta becomes the Cubs #3 pitcher today. Congratulations.

?

? If the season started today they would go with Arrieta, Lester, Lackey, Hammel, Hendricks in that order. Maybe flip the last two.

And if they add a sixth.....?

!

If Arrieta continues pitching like he did in '15, yeah, no kidding. But based on track record and regression, I think it ought to go Lester, Lackey, Arrieta, (Pitcher acquired in trade), Hammel/Hendricks.

barry fucking bonds is the new marlins hitting coach. lol. what a fucking dumpster fire.

Rosenthal on twitter... Sources: Greinke in agreement with Backs, pending physical

LA + SF denied? wow. between LA, SF, and STL i bet cueto has gotten a lot more interesting in the past couple hours.

Wow...Rosenthal having a solid Hot Stove so far.

Crazy! I think the DBacks were underrated last year and very well could be contenders.

Maybe not so much underrated as much as underperforming some. They seemed like a pretty good club when they played the Cubs. I'd have to pick them over the Giants next year, with the Dodgers and D backs fighting for first. With today's rosters.

Ken throwing more heat than Trevor this offseason Ta da boom.

"Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the agreement between Zack Greinke and the Diamondbacks is for six-years and $206 million." average of 34.3m a year...day-yam. some of the loot is deferred.

And he hasn't had his requisite Tommy John surgery yet. Throw in at least one lost year for that.

That's over $1.00 per minute for 6 years. 24/7.

Shark to Giants 5/90 Stupid

assumed bullet dodged... whether he makes that an even shake or a good deal, it's a gamble i'm glad the cubs didn't make at his going price. 18m a year...damn.

His whole career has been aimed at the completion of this contract. Congrats, Shark. Now go get that elbow surgery.

The FA game update: http://bit.ly/1NWlEek

Greinke really screwed us.

Payroll question: how much more, and for how much longer, do the Cubs owe EJax his $$$? I assume that's a driver in the need to be "creative" financially (?)

One more year at $11 million I believe. (Signed for 4/52 but got a signing bonus of $8 million.)

"ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports the Cubs are "actively exploring a trade" for a top closer." bruh...let's not start throwing 7-12m a year at 50-70 inning guys who come into games with a lead already intact. hope they're targeting a "still cheap" or locked up cheap type...or some salary relief to offset the pickup (wussup castro). i mean, they're a neat luxury, but when the $$ is supposedly limited i'd like to see as little of that pool of loot go to a closer as possible.

I am fine with Rondon as closer for next year. Given the other needs, seems a strange move.

Let's just say "ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports" and "what is actually happening" might not be too highly correlated. Hot Stove and all.

he's no ken rosenthal.

HELL no! Rosenthal is like Daniel Murphy - Pre-Royals series.

Cubs getting Shields? Twiterverse a buzz that it will happen this week at meetings

Source is Jim Bowden. He couldn't predict noon at 11:45.

Haha!! LMAO!

love it

...and Robbie Gould officially makes the rest of the Bears season irrelevant. I don't like the word "choke", but it applies here. Brutal.

Ugh. So true. The entire team took a big dump on the field today. But, you got a chance with what is a "chip-shot" today and you blow it. And, another one earlier in the game.

For perspective on what a sad franchise the Bears are -- over the past 10 seasons (2006-2015), the Cubs have made the playoffs more times than the Bears, despite active trying to lose for several of those years. The NFL is weird -- in the NFC, other than Carolina and Arizona, everybody is the same -- it pretty much comes down to who makes filed goal and who doesn't.

Seattle starting to right the ship

Winter meetings thread?

Punch and pie?

TJ--long time, no see.

Recent comments

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • Hagsag 42 min 24 sec ago (view)

    The Cubs have no starting pitching right now with Carl in a funk.

     

  • Eric S 7 hours 32 min ago (view)

     Cubs were Nootbaar'ed to the tune of 12-4 in Game 2

     

  • Cubster 8 hours 33 min ago (view)

    With a Doubleheader loss, the Cubs are back on track for a better draft choice. Right now at 67 wins they pick #7, just ahead of KC and Minnesota who have 68-69 wins. 

     

  • crunch 10 hours 2 min ago (view)

    the shit sandwich that is zach davies is a 6 foot party sub.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 10 hours 5 min ago (view)

    I am celebrating the day he signs with another team this offseason. I didn't know I could hate him more than I did when he was in Milwaukee but here we are!

     

  • crunch 10 hours 25 min ago (view)

    wisdom can hit some bombs when he does connect..wow.

    also davies still sucks.

     

  • tim815 11 hours 13 sec ago (view)

    McAvene is struggling against hitters in Instructs. He's not ready for the AZ Fall League. I'd expect to see Juan Gamez otr Aneuris Rosario first. Vazquez, I agree with, entirely.

     

  • bradsbeard 12 hours 51 min ago (view)

    On the position player side, Amaya if he's healthy. Chase Strumpf makes a lot of sense (missed some time early and late, missed all of last year). Nelson Velazquez maybe as a Rule 5 guy if they're on the fence. Cam Balego and Andy Weber are two other candidates if healthy. Luis Vazquez could also use more upper level PAs and would make sense.

    Lots of potential pitchers. Ideally Marquez but not sure they'll let him pitch this year. McAvene is probably another one. Would be awesome if Kohl Franklin could participate. 

     

  • First.Pitch.120 14 hours 8 min ago (view)

    Thanks!

     

  • Arizona Phil 18 hours 41 min ago (view)

    Cubs select contract of RHRP Jason Adam from AAA Iowa and he will be the "29th man" in today's DH with STL. Also,.C Robinson Chirinos to 10-day IL with oblique strain, and OF Greg Deichmann has been recalled from Iowa.  

     

  • Arizona Phil 19 hours 51 min ago (view)

    FP120: The Cubs have been working on pick-off plays, baserunning including rundown ("pickle") drills, amd bunt defense in pre-game and Camp Day instructional work, so it's kind of a "Point of Emphasis." Apparently it's still a work-in-progress for a lot of the guys.And it's not just pick-off plays, either. At least two or three guys have been picked-off in the first three games and there have been a couple of other baserunning gaffes as well. But that's what instructs is for, right?

     

  • First.Pitch.120 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    So what's the deal with 5 pick off attempt errors in 3 games?

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    Because the Cubs play only the Angels, A's, and Rockies in Instructs this year, I would not be surprised if the Cubs make a trade or two with one or more of those clubs, most especially the Angels, who might be interested in acquiring Kyle Hendricks (since they certainly can't do a rebuild with Trout, Ohtani, and Rendon on the roster). 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    The pitching-starved Angels established an MLB (and probably Ripley's Believe It or Not) record by selecting - ONLY - pitchers in the 2021 draft. That's twenty pitchers. No position players. They signed 19 of the twenty, and five of them pitched in today's game (2021 15th round pick Glenn Albanese Jr started the game, followed by 18th round pick Nick Mondak, 7th round pick Ryan Costeiu, 8th round pick Nick Jones, and 16th round pick Nick Dufault). 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    Cubs 2020 4rh round draft pick 6'8 220+ LHSP Luke Little threw mainly a 93-97 FB with an occasional CV and CH mixed-in but pitched mostly from behind in the count, issuing two walks, hitting a batter, and throwing a WP (and surrendering a towering three-run HR) in 2.1 IP of work, LHP Angel Rodriguez was able to throw strikes with a 90-91 MPH FB, CH, and CV mix, but was pounded to the tune of five singles, a double, and a triple in just 2.2 IP, Cubs 2021 14th round draft pick RHRP Frankie Scalzo featured a 93-95 MPH FB but sometimes hung his SL and was hit hard and allowed a HR and five sing

     

  • crunch 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    chris clarke could use the work.

    brennen davis...bryce ball and casey opitz, maybe.  *shrug*

    i'd like to see ethan roberts in the mix.