Although it is not yet official, the Cubs have reportedly signed veteran RHRP Junichi Tazawa to a minor league contract. Because he was a post-2018 Article XX-B MLB free-agent, the 32-year old Tazawa will get a $100,000 retention bonus if he is not released at least five days prior to 2019 MLB Opening Day and added to an MLB 40-man roster by Opening Day, and he gets an automatic opt-out if he is not added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster by June 1st.
Archive - Jan 2019 - story
2019 Cubs Winter Instructs is well underway on the backfields at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa.
Instructs actually began on January 7th, but the first ten days were spent on Cubs Way orientation & player conditioning and then rain on Tuesday postponed full-scale field activities for another couple of days.
All seven of the Cubs who were eligible for salary arbitration signed 2019 contracts today:
Kris Bryant - $12.9M
Kyle Hendricks - $7.405M
Javier Baez - $5.2M
Addison Russell - $3.4M plus $600K roster bonus (see NOTE below)
Kyle Schwarber - $3.39M
Mike Montgomery - $2.44M
Carl Edwards - $1.5M ("Super Two")
NOTE: Addison Russell will forfeit salary (about $18,280 per day) for however many days of the 2019 MLB regular season he spends on the Cubs MLB Restricted List while serving the remaining 29 games of his 40-game MLB-MLBPA JDV suspension. If there are no rain-outs, Russell will be eligible to be reinstated to the Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) and MLB Active List (25-man roster) on Thursday May 2nd (which is an off-day) and his first game back would be Friday May 3rd vs STL at Wrigley Field, meaning he would forfeit at least 35 days' pay (or about $640K). Prior to being reinstated, Russell can spend up to twelve days (unpaid - BUT - he will receive MLB meal money and other benefits) on a minor league conditioning assignment (probably at AAA Iowa beginning on 4/20), and he will be able to participate in Spring Training (but cannot play in MLB Cactus League games) and Extended Spring Training (without pay) prior to starting his minor league conditioning assignment. The $600K roster bonus will effectively allow Russell to make back most of the salary he will forfeit while suspended, and it is based upon days spent on the Cubs MLB Reserve List or 60-day DL ($100K if at least 30 days, another $100K if at least 60 days, another $100K if at least 90 days, another $100K if at least 120 days, and the remaining $200K if at least 150 days). Since the 2019 MLB regular season is 186 days in length and there is no way the Cubs can play their first 29 scheduled games in fewer than 35 days, Russell will have to be reinstated from the Restricted List as soon as he is eligible to be reinstated in order to earn the final $200K and get the entire $600K.
1/8 ORIGINAL POST:
The MLB salary arbitration process begins today, with the MLBPA delivering requests for salary arbitration to the MLB Labor Relations Department, and then the MLB LRD forwards the requests received from the MLBPA to the individual clubs. The MLBPA (representing the players requesting salary arbitration) and the MLB LRD (representing the clubs who have received the requests) will exchange salary figures on Friday, and then the MLBPA and the MLB LRD will schedule arbitratiion hearings to be held during the first three weeks of February.