To Tender or Not to Tender... That is the Question

12/2 UPDATE

The Cubs have signed RHSP Colin Rea, LHRP Kyle Ryan, and RHRP Dan Winkler to 2021 MLB contracts (terms TBD) and tendered 2021 MLB contracts to all other unsigned players on their MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) except OF Albert Almora, OF-1B Jose Martinez, OF Kyle Schwarber, and RHRP Ryan Tepera.

So Almora, J. Martinez, Schwarber, and Tepera are now unrestricted free-agents, free to sign an MLB or minor league contract with any club (including the Cubs) without any salary restrictions.   

The Cubs MLB Reserve List now stands at 34 (six slots are open). 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 

Now that the Cubs have filed their minor league reserve lists with MLB, the next order of business is deciding whether or not to tender 2021 contracts to the 31 unsigned players on the MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) on December 2nd.  

Six players are signed: 

David Bote, INF (signed through 2024 with club options for 2025 & 2026) 
Yu Darvish, RHSP (signed through 2023) 
Kyle Hendricks, RHSP (signed through 2023 with vesting option for 2024) 
Jason Heyward, OF (signed through 2023)
Craig Kimbrel, RHRP (signed through 2021 with auto-vesting or else club option for 2022)  
Anthony Rizzo, 1B (signed through 2021)  

The Cubs' decision to tender or not to tender a 2021 MLB contract to the 31 unsigned players will depend on several factors: 

GROUP ONE:  
ARBITRATION ELIGIBLE WITH ARTICLE XIX-A STATUS (cannot be optioned or sent outright to the minors without player's consent): 
Javier Baez, INF
Kris Bryant, 3B-1B-OF   
Kyle Schwarber, OF 
Ryan Tepera, RHRP 
Dan Winkler, RHRP 
COMMENT: Tendering a contract to a player in this group will depend on what salary the Cubs project the player will get if the player files for salary arbitration and the matter goes to a hearing, and (because while a contract awarded by an arbitration panel is not guaranteed, a club cannot release as player in Spring Training for purely financial reasons) whether or not and to what extent the Cubs project the player to be on the MLB Active List roster coming out of Spring Training. (Players in this group cannot be optioned to the minors without their consent).
Among the players in this group, Tepera and Winkler and possibly Schwarber are the most-likely candidates to be non-tendered (especially Tepera).
If the Cubs are willing to sign a player in this group to a 2021 MLB contract but only if the contract includes a modest base salary plus incentive bonus, it is important for the Cubs to sign the player prior to the contract tender date, because performance bonuses cannot be part of a contract awarded by an arbitration panel.
I suspect the Cubs will tender Baez and Bryant no matter what and go to arbitration with them if necessary (all the while trying to trade Bryant), but to remain with the Cubs, Tepera, Winkler, and Schwarber would probably have to sign a contract prior to the tender date which includes a modest base salary plus performance bonuses based on plate appearances (Schwarber) or games or IP (Tepera and Winkler).
A player's base salary cannot be cut more than 20% from his previous season's salary, and I suspect the Cubs will offer Schwarber something like a $5M base with another $5M in performance bonuses (Schwarber made $7M in 2020, so a $5M base salary in 2021 would be more than a 20% cut). Whether Schwarber would sign such a deal is unknown, which is why he could just get non-tendered.   
Winkler could get a $750K base salary offer (same as last season) plus another $250K in performance bonuses (he made $1M in 2020 -- a $750K base salary plus he earned another $250K in performance bonuses based on appearances), but he might not want to sign another deal like that again, and if he doesn't sign one he could be non-tendered, too. 
Tepera might be offered just a minor league contract only, since he does not project to be on the Cubs MLB Opening Day Active List roster. 

GROUP TWO
ARBITRATION ELIGIBLE WITH ARTICLE XX-D STATUS (can elect free-agency if sent outright to the minors) 
Albert Almora, OF 
Victor Caratini, C-1B 
Willson Contreras, C 
Ian Happ, OF 
Jose Martinez, OF-1B 
Colin Rea, RHSP 
Kyle Ryan, LHRP 
COMMENT: As is the case with the players in GROUP ONE (see above), a player in GROUP TWO who is tendered a contract on 12/2 and then files for salary arbitration in January would not receive a minor league split salary or performance bonus if the contract is awarded by an arbitration panel.
Caratini, Contreras, and Happ are part of the Cubs MLB core and will certainly be tendered, but for players projected as potential "Des Moiners - Chicago shuttle" type guys (Almora, J. Martinez, Rea, and K. Ryan), the Cubs would need to sign the player to an MLB contract but with a minor league split salary (and possibly performance bonuses based on PA for position players or games or GS for pitchers) in advance of the 12/2 deadline.
If the projected "shuttle" player (Almora or J. Martinez) or pitcher (Rea or K. Ryan) declines to sign such a contract (one with a minor league split salary) in advance of the deadline on 12/2, then he would probably be non-tendered. 
Of the four projected "shuttle" players, I would say Rea would be the one most likely to sign an MLB contract with a minor league split salary and pass on the chance to be a free-agent.
So I expect Almora, J. Martinez, and Ryan to be non-tendered and become free-agents,    

GROUP THREE 
PRE-ARBITRATION BUT HAS ARTICLE XX-D STATUS (has been outrighted previously in his career): 
Rowan Wick, RHRP    
COMMENT: Similar to the players in GROUP TWO (see above) except these players are not arbitration-eligible so there is no reason to non-tender the player unless the club expects the player's slot on the 40 will be needed for another player during the off-season (definitely not the case with Wick). 

GROUP FOUR
PRE-ARBITRATION BUT OUT OF MINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS (cannot be optioned to the minois in 2021) : 
Adbert Alzolay, RHSP (see NOTE beloow) 
Dillon Maples, RHRP 
Alec Mills, RHSP 
Duane Underwood Jr, RHRP 
Ildemaro Vargas, INF 
NOTE: It is not yet clear whether 2020 will be considerd a "qualified season" toward the five qualified seasons required before a player is no longer eligible to receive a 4th minor league option, but if 2020 was not a "qualified season" then Alzolay gets a 4th minor league option in 2021. Otherwise, he will be out of options in 2021 (still TBD). 
COMMENT: Players on the 40 who are out of minor league options are tricky, because if the player is tendered a 2021 MLB contract and has a good Spring Training but there isn't room for him on the Opening Day Active List roster, he will likely get claimed off waivers if the Cubs try and send him to the minors.
Alzolay (if he does not qualify for a 4th minor league option) and Mills are virtual locks to make the Opening Day roster anyway, but not so much Maples, Underwood, and Vargas.
So if the player agrees, it would be preferable for the Cubs to non-tender Maples, Underwood, and Vargas on 12/2 and then re-sign them to minor league contracts after the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft (so they aren't exposed to waivers when they are removed from the 40 and so they can't get selected in the Rule 5 Draft and so they can be sent to AAA Iowa out of Spring Training without having to be placed onto waivers if they don't make the MLB Opening Day Active List roster).
To get the player to agree to this arrangement normally requires offering the player more money than what he would have received if he had remained on the 40 plus a bit more.
But if the player does not agree to the offer (a non-tender and then sign a minor league contract after the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft), the Cubs would probably just keep the player on the 40 and take their chances next Spring Training (as they did with Duane Underwood Jr and Alec Mills in 2020).

GROUP FIVE 
PRE-ARBITRATION DRAFT-EXCLUDED PLAYER (cannot be outrighted to trhe minors until 20 days prior to MLB OPening Day) 
Cory Abbott, RHSP 
Brailyn Marquez, LHSP 
Christopher Morel  INF 
Keegan Thompson, RHSP 
COMMENT: Every now & then a player is added to the 40 after the Draft-Excluded Status deadline (nornally 8/15, but it was 8/31 in 2020), and then the club decides it doesn't want to keep the player on the 40 during the entire off-season because the club believes it will need the player's slot on the 40 at some point in the interim.  
So because these players cannot be outrighhted to the minors until twenty days prior to MLB Opening Day, a club might find it necessary to non-tender the player on 12/2 and then (hopefully) re-sign him to a minor league contract after the conclusion of the MLB Rule 5 Draft. 
However, none of the Cubs Draft-Excluded players in this group would appear to be likely non-tender candidates, expecially since the Cubs have three slots open on the 40 right now with more slots likely to be cleared on 12/2  

GROUP SIX
PRE-ARBITRATION MLB RULE 55 PLAYER (would have been declared a minor league 6YFA after World Series if player had not been on MLB 40-man roster at that time): 
Jason Adam, RHRP
Adebert Alzolay, RHSP 
Dillon Maples, RHRP (also out of minor league ooptions - see GROUP FOUR above)  
Alec Mills, RHJSP_ (also out of minor league options - see GROUP FOUR above) 
Justin Steele, LHSP  
Duane Underwood Jr, RHRP (also out of minor league options - see GROUP FOUR above) 
Ildenaro Vargas, INF (also out of minor league options - see GROUP FOUR above) 
COMMENT: Once tendered an MLB contract, these players cannot be outrighted to the minors until they sign. Because the players (or at least cerrtainly their agents) know this, players in this group normally do not sign until they physically report to Spring Training. That way the player can't be outrighted during the off-season. (A club cannot unilaterally renew the contract of a pre-arbitration player until March 1st).  
So if a club expects it might need the player's slot on the MLB 40-man roster prior to the start of Spring Training, the club could choose to non-tender the player on 12/2 and then (hopefully) re-sign the player to a minor league contract (for more money than he would have received if he had remained on the 40) after the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft (although again, the player does not have to accept the offer).
However, it is unlikely that the Cubs are expecting that they will need any additional roster slots beyond the ones they have open now plus the additional slots that will likely open up on 12/2. 
If any players in this group are non-tendered on 12/2, it would most-likely he Maples, Underwood, and/or Vargas, because they are out of minor league options (see GROUP FOUR above). 

GROUP SEVEN
THE OTHERS
Miguel Amaya, C 
Nico Hoerner, INF
Tyson Miller, RHSP 
James Norwood, RHRP (ended the season on MLB 60-day IL - current injury/rehab status unknown)
Manuel Rodriguez, RHRP (ended the season on MLB 60-day IL but pitched in AZIL games at AZ Instructs)
Max Schrock, INF 
Brad Wieck, LHRP (ended the season on MLB 60-day IL but was throwing "live" BP at AZ Instructs) 
COMMENT: There are no off-season restrictions on outrighting the players in this group, unless the player is injured, in which case the only way he could be removed from the 40 and retained by the Cubs would be via non-tender because an injured player cannot be placed on Outright Assignment Waivers.
The Cubs could choose to non-tender one or more of them if the player is injured and/or if the Cubs believe they will need the player's 40-man roster slot in the next few months and don't want to risk losing he player off waivers. 
So if any one of this group is non-tendered on 12/2, it would probably only be because there is an arrangemernt in place for him to sign a minor league deal (for more money than he would make if he remains on the 40) after the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft. 

Comments

we want kyle schwarber to not be mark trumbo so badly...

either way, the NL having or not having the DH needs to be figured out pretty quickly for a lot of off-season sanity.

If a player doesn't have a split salary in his contract, how much is he making when in the minors (or how is that salary determined)?

jdrnym: A player who is signed to a contract that does not include a minor league split salary is paid his full MLB salary while optioned or after being outrighted to a minor league club.

So if a player goes to arbitration and is awarded (let's say) a $2.5M salary by the arb panel, the contract will not include a minor league split salary or performance bonuses, and if the player is sent to the minors he is paid the full $2.5M while in the minors.

That's why the Cubs would want to sign arbitration-eligible players with "usable" minor league options available (that is, where the player does not have the right to decline an optional assignment) like Almora, J. Martinez, Rea, and Ryan (players who if they remain with the Cubs could end up spending part or even all of the 2021 season optioned to AAA) prior to the contract tender deadline, so there is no possibility that the player might end up filing for salary arbitration and then be awarded a contract that does not include a minor league split salary. 

So the Cubs are probably busy negotiating with these four players as we speak, with a non-tender a possible outcome if the player declines to sign a contact with a minor league split salary prior to the MLB contract tender deadline.   

Keep in mind that clubs do - NOT - offer salary arbitration to players. Never. Rather, a player who is tendered a contract (and only the player) can file for salary arbitration (with the MLBPA) if the player does not sign the tendered contract by the Tuesday that immediately precedes the Friday that falls during the seven-day period January 10-16. Then the MLBPA delivers the list of players who have filed for salary arbitration to the MLB Labor Relations Department (MLB LRD) on that Tuesday, and then the MLB LRD forwards the list of players to each club, and then the player and the club exchange figures on that Friday and then the MLBPA (representing the player) and the MLB LRD (representing the club) schedule an arbitration hearing date (to be held sometime in February). 

The club and the player can continue to negotiate back & forth right up until the start of the hearing, but once it gets to the arbitration panel and after evidence has been presented from both sides, the panel must choose either the player's salary request or the club's salary offer (the panel cannot just "split the difference"), and once that determination is made, the player is awarded a one-year non-guaranteed contract with no minor league split salary and no performance bonuses.  

Because a contract awarded by an arbitration panel is not guaranteed, the club could release the player during Spring Training up until MLB Opening Day and the club would be responsible for only a percentage of the salary as temination pay (30 days pay if the player is released more than 15 days prior to MLB Opening Day, or 45 days pay if the players is released 15 or fewer days prior to MLB Opening Day). A player receives 100% of his salary if he is released after the start of the MLB regular season.

But a player who receives a contract by way of an arbitration panel receives 100% of his salary (even if he is released prior to Opening Day) if he is injured and not in condition to play, and a player who receives a contract by way of an arbitration panel who is released prior to Oening Day purely for financial reasons receives 100% of his salary as termination pay (although the player's termination pay would be offset by the pro-rated MLB minimum salary if the player subsequently signs an MLB contract with another club after being released). Sometimes a club will try and fudge around this by not playing the player much in Spring Training games and/or by telling the media he is being beaten out for a roster spot by another player, but if that player is released he (or his agent and/or the MLBPA) will almost certainly file a grievance, and once the matter goes to a grievance hearing anything can happen. (The MLBPA is VERY sensitive about clubs possibly messing around with salary arbitration). 

So clubs naturally are averse to going to an arbitration hearing with a player because you never know what an arbitration panel might do and how much it is going to cost the club, which is why a club would want to know by the contract tender deadline (12/2) whether or not certain players (marginal players with "usable" minor league options available, like Almora, J. Martinez, Rea, and Ryan) are willing to sign prior to the tender deadlne and avoid the possibility of salary arbitration. 

Tendering a contract to a marginal Article XIX-A arbitration-eligible player who has the right to decline an optional assignment (like Ryan Tepera and Dan Winkler) is even more of a problem for the club as the contract tender deadline approaches, because a minor league split salary is irrelevant if the player can decline a minor league assignment. For players like this, the Cubs need to determine prior to tendering the player a 2021 MLB contract whether the player is projected as being part of the MLB Active List roster for the entire season. That's why Ryan Tepera (in particular) is a very good non-tender candidate, although the Cubs might be incliined to offer him a minor leaguie contract (with an NRI to Spring Training) after he is non-tendered. They just don't want to be stuck with him on the MLB 40-man roster. 

At the point when the team makes the initial contract tender, do they have to offer a specific salary, and if so is that the same number the team takes into arbitration? Or does the specific number the teams files at for arbitration happen at a later date?

The decision on the amount comes later.

BRADSBEARD: What happens on 12/2 is each club submits what's called a "Central Tender Letter" to the MLB LRD listing which unsigned players on the club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) are being tendered a contract and which unsigned players are not being tendered a contract. 

The CTL is sufficient as far as providing proof of contract tender.  

For players being tendered contracts, the CTL must list the club's MLB salary offer, a minor league split salary offer (if the club so chooses), and performance bonuses (if any) the club is offering to the player.

The MLB salary being offered must be at least equal to the MLB  minimum salary ($563,500 in 2019) and equal to at least 80% of what the player was actually paid in salary the previous season (or 70% of what the player was actually paid in salary the previous season if the player was awarded a contract from an arbitration panel the previous season, and only equal to the MLB minimum salary if the player was awarded a contract by an arb panel the previous season where the player received at least a 50% raise), and the minor league split salary must be at least equal to the minor league split salary minimum ($46,000 in 2019 for players on an MLB Reserve List for the first time and $91,800 for all other players on the 40) and equal to at least 50% of what the player was actually paid in salary the previous season. (Because of the truncated MLB season in 2020, a player's 2020 salary as it relates to the salary requirements of a 2021 contract tender is what the player's salary would have been if the MLB regular season had been the originally-scheduled 162 games and 186 days).   

So then the player either agrees or does not agree to the terms of the contract being offered. If the player agrees with the terms offered by the club, the player can sign the contract and the matter is settled and concluded. For players who do not agree to sign, the player and the club can negotiate back & forth, and terms can be changed/altered from what was listed by the club in the CTL.  

If negotiations are not fruitful and the player is ultimately not satisfied with the terms being offered by the club and if the player is eligible for salary arbitration, the player can file for arbitration on the Tuesday prior to the Friday that falls during the week of January 10-16. 

Once the club is notified that the player has filed for salary arbitration, the player and the club submit their figures to the MLB LRD (club) and MLBPA (player) on the Friday that falls during the seven-day period January 10-16. The club's arbitration salary offer could be quite different from what the club offered the player in the CTL, or it could be the same.

These two salary figures (the club's salary offer and the player's salary request) are the numbers that are submitted to the arbitration panel, so each side must consider their figure very carefully before submitting it. (No minor league split salary and no performance bonuses can be included).   

Even if a player files for salary arbitration the player and the club can continue to negotiate back & forth right up until the start of the arbitration hearing, and the two sides can agree to split the difference (something the arb panel cannot do) or negotitate stuff like a minor league split salary and/or performance bonuses or some other perk. (Some MLB clubs have a policy not to negotiate with a player once the player has filed for salary arbitration). But once the hearing starts there can be no further negotiation, and the arbitration panel will award the player a non-guaranteed contract with either the salary requested by the player or the salary offered by the club, and with no minor league split salary or performance bonuses.

For players who are not yet eligible for salary arbitration (pre-arbitration players), the club can unilaterally dictate the player's salary (the MLB salary, minor league split salary, and any potential performance bonuses that were offered by the club on 12/2) and renew the player's contract over the course of a seven-day period beginning on March 1st.

So unsigned players on the 40 who are not yet eligible for salary arbitration must accept the club's offer or just not play. The club will negotiate with these players up to a point and most clubs want to reward a player for a good season the previous year (but again, only up to a certain point), but ultimately the club decides what the pre-arb player will be paid. (For most clubs, the assistant GM negotiates contracts with pre-arb players since relatively small amounts of salary are involved, keeping the GM away from any bad blood or lingering bad feelings that might result from the negotiations).  

That's why a player reaching salary arbitration is such a big deal, and why players love it and why clubs hate it. 

Great info. Thanks! 

it's not exactly looking good when the cubs brass is complaining about "losing 100m in revenue" when a huge chunk of that seems to include Hotel Zachary.  it looks like the entire "entertainment complex" is the cubs as far as the Ricketts are concerned...and the team might have to suffer a bit because they couldn't fully realize profits last year.  they've publically stated that the big incoming tax credits from the city they're going to realize for stadium work won't help the cubs payroll.

wrigley field was designated a national historic landmark last week, too.  that's even more tax breaks/credits, btw.

it's tough times when you're only worth 5 billion dollars.

Maybe Trump can give them a loan.

The Cubs have been at the forefront of tone-deaf owners in terms of financial hardship during the pandemic. "The game isn't as profitable as most people think"

theo walked away from a big payday for an executive in his last season as a cub without having another job scoped out...and according to him he's not even looking one.

something tells me this isn't going to be a fun off-season for cubs fans.

the state of the cubs household aside, i wouldn't exactly be shocked to see theo with the mets, though he's supposedly not on their radar at the moment.

He clearly did not want to be remembered for selling off the core and then walking away from the team a year later. Can't blame him.

we all knew trades were coming...getting rid of 1-2 of the core, but at this point i wonder how much (if any) of that free'd up loot is going back into the team.

What's that, crunch? Kris Bryant for Robinson Canoe? Bold call!

hah!  also uggg...i wonder what $20m-ish of k.bryant after a down season and uncertainty of april-june for "normal" baseball is worth to a team.  we will probably find out in a month or 2, though.

If a player signs one of those deals that allows a split salary or incentives to be included, does that get treated like an arbitration salary in that it's only partially guaranteed until Opening Day?

jdrnym: The MLB contracts that are tendered on 12/2 via Central Tender Letter are are non-guaranteed contacts.

And a player signed to a non-guaranteed contract who is released prior to MLB Opening Day receives 30 days salary (paid at the minor league rate for players with split contracts) if the player is released more than 15 days prior to Opening Day, or 45 days salary (paid at the MLB rate for players signed to split contracts) if the player is released 15 or fewer days prior to Opening Day as termination pay. 

That's why only a pre-arbitration player will sign the contract he is tendered on 12/2 (or else the player will be renewed by the club on 3/1), because he has no leverage other than just refusing to play.  

For an arbitration-eligible player, however, the guaranteed / non-giaranteed contract issue can be used as a negotiation point between the player and the club.

For example, let's say an arbitration-eligible player with a usable 2021 minor league option available like Colin Rea is told by the Cubs that he is going to be non-tendered on 12/2 if he doesn't agree to accept a minor league split salary in his contract. In return for agreeing to sign prior to the deadline on 12/2 (thereby forfeiting the possibility of salary arbitration) and accepting a minor league split salary, the Cubs might offer Rea a fully guaranteed contract with the MLB salary he might have hoped to make if he had been tendered a contract on 12/2, all the while understanding his role on the Cubs in 2021 would probably be riding the "Chicago - Des Moines Shuttle" and being paid at the MLB rate only when he is recalled from the minors. 

Conversely, other arbitration-eligible players with a usable 2021 minor league option available (like Albert Almora, Jose Martinez, and Kyle Ryan) might be willing to be non-tendered and then bet on themselves to get a guaranteed MLB contract (maybe even a multi-year contract) without a minor league split salary elsewhere via free-agency. 

every other contender is full of rumor news for who they'll sign...and the hot cubs rumor is kris bryant won't be traded before the wednesday arb offer deadline.  wee.

I just discovered this site: https://www.prospectslive.com/lists/2020/11/16/chi... (Sorry if you all know about it already!). 52 Cubs prospects listed with scouting reports! Really enjoying this one! :)

Thanks for the info.

No offense intended, but did anybody at this site actually see these guys play? 

Chase Strumpf has only "40" power?!! Andy Weber even has more power than Strumpf? Seriously? Strumpf actually has plus-power. In fact, HR power is his #1 attribute. His power tool is probably at least "60" (maybe "65").   

Both Ronnier Quintero and Aramis Ademan are "45" run? Really? Ademan has average speed ("50"), and Quintero is Miguel Montero 2.0. His run tool is probably "30" (on a good day). Quintero's plus raw tools are arm and power.  

Reivaj Garcia has a "50" arm and "55" run, but only "45" hit? It's actually the other way around. Garcia has (at best) average speed (maybe "50") and a slightly below-average arm for a middle-infielder (probably "45"), but his hit tool is above-average (like probably "55"). 

Matt Mervis has only "50" (average) power? He actually has more like "60" - "65" power. He is a classic DH. 

Others are off, too (in various ways), but I am not going to go down the entire list.  

I don't understand how and from where they could be getting information like this. Did they just make this stuff up? 

there is no way the 2-3 guys that created most of those cubs reports have seen much more than youtube video footage as far as "live" scouting.

they seem very dedicated and eager, but there are some questionable things in their scouting reports.

Phil, you used to put out a Top 10 or 20 Prospect list around the end of the AFL. Sometimes you would update mid year if trades or draft warranted. This is not false praise...your lists were more impactful than BA, MLB, BP to me, let alone the Cubs fan board lists. Today, the only thing I give any credence to are your evaluations and Fan Graphs Top 40. If the evaluator has only watched video then, hell, I can watch video.

Phil, I am sure you could put together a more realistic list.

I'd REALLY enjoy reading Phil's list with scouting reports!!! I'd definitely trust his ratings more than most!

Here is what the ProspectsLive.com website says about seeing the players: "Our evaluation team has spent countless hours filling these boards with highly in-depth scouting reports from live looks and film study."

Either way, in my opinion, it's good to read other people's evaluations, even when they vary from our own. It gets us thinking about how confident we are in our valuations and how much we're willing to modify them based on other people's reports!

cubs sign michael hermosillo to a minor league contract

boring corner OF'r that can play CF if needed...organizational depth

https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/h/hermo...

Michael Hermosillo is the son of former Cubs minor league hitting coach Mike Carter.

Hermosillo was a Baseball America Angels Top 20 prospect as recently as 2019 (Top 10 in 2018). 

Saw him play in H.S., could wack the ball back then.

schwarber non-tendered...almora, too...and jose martinez (yawn).

bryant to be tendered a contract, but expected to be traded.

From a sentimental perspective at least, non-tendering Schwarber blows. Several thumbs down.

it's not surprising, but i also don't see the downside of giving him the $8m-ish he'd be owed.

if you can hit 30+ homers that's usually money you can easily go get.

i seriously wonder about this offseason and the amount of investment the cubs are going to make in the team.  i mean, it's fine if they go cheap yet somehow field a great team via off-season trades or other forms of black magic...i just don't trust how this off-season is unfolding so far.

TIME OUT: As I mentioned in the post, the Cubs cannot cut Schwarber's base salary more than 20% without first non-tendering him, so if he is agreeable the Cubs could sign him for a relatively low base 2021 salary (something like $5M) combined with performance bonuses based upon actual PA (not pro-rated PA) maybe totaling $5M (which would cover the Cubs if the 2021 season is truncated), and then maybe an additional year or two (2022-23) for something like $10M per year plus performance bonuses (again, based on PA). Schwarber could get a player opt-out as well post-2021. 

Keep in mind that as things stand right now the Cubs projected 2021 MLB payroll is almost $50M under the 2021 CBT threshold (which will be $210M), so they don't have to worry about contract AAV if they can sign a player to a multi-year deal with a low 2021 base salary and then substantially higher salaries post-2021 (when they should be able to generate their normal attendance-based revenues --.presuming CoViD-19 is no longer a problem by that time).     

i am rooting for the cubs to retain schwarber.

even though he's average on the best of days in LF (except his above average arm), i would like to see him and his work ethic remain in the cubs system...the homers from the left side of the plate are nice, too.

CRUNCH: I got the impression that Ross had seen enough of Schwarber in LF, so implementing the universal DH may be necessary before Schwarber returns to the Cubs in 2021. I think the Cubs would be fine with Schwarber as their main DH going forward. 

BTW, I strongly suspect that the universal DH will be included in the next CBA, but whether there will be a DH in the National League in 2021 is still TBA (which is really stupid, since clubs need to know right now for sure one way or the other whether or not there will be a DH in the N. L. in 2021). 

I would be happy to see the Cubs no longer spend DH time on Victor Caratini. Provided there's a Kyle Schwarber or better alternative, of course.

cubs pick up robert stock off waivers from the rsox...31 year old righty.

throws hard (high 90s), has a slider (low 80s) , and a changeup (low 80s).  control and command isn't his best friend.

The Cubs have signed RHSP Colin Rea, LHRP Kyle Ryan, and RHRP Dan Winkler to 2021 MLB contracts (terms TBD) and tendered 2021 MLB contracts to all other unsigned players on their MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) except OF Albert Almora, OF-1B Jose Martinez, OF Kyle Schwarber, and RHRP Ryan Tepera.

So Almora, J. Martinez, Schwarber, and Tepera are now unrestricted free-agents, free to sign an MLB or minor league contract with any club (including the Cubs) without any salary restrictions.   

The Cubs MLB Reserve List now stands at 34 (six slots are open). 

really appreciate the years and years of your updates

I'm a little surprised Ildemaro Vargas was tendered, given that he's out of options. He has value and isn't expensive as he is pre-arb this year, but still a bit surprised. Have to think he's got an inside track to an Opening Day spot at this point

DJL: I don't think Ildemaro Vargas being out of minor league options is much of a concern to the Cubs because as things stand right now he projects as the team's primary utility infielder in 2021. He can play all four INF positions (1B, 2B, 3B, and SS, plus corner OF, too), and he is switch hitter with some pop, especially from the right side (remember the 9th inning HR he hit off Josh Hader in September?). 

If it was a matter of wanting to use Vargas just as a AAA depth/shuttle guy, then him being out of options would matter more. But I believe he will likely be the Cubs primary utility infielder next season (I figure Kris Bryant will probably play LF if he isn't traded, David Bote will probably play 3B, and Nico Hoerner or a Hoerner/Schrock platoon will man 2B).

And if Vargas doesn't win the utility infielder job, then the Cubs can try to get him through waivers (and Vargas does - NOT - have Article XX-D rights so he does not have the right to elect free-agency if he is outrighted).   

This makes a whole lot of sense. Thanks Phil!

(And that HR off Hader was unforgettable)

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  • Dolorous Jon Lester 4 hours 6 min ago (view)

    Lame. He was intriguing 

     

  • crunch 6 hours 15 min ago (view)

    cubs release matt dermody...he's heading to japan.

     

  • Cubster 12 hours 40 min ago (view)

    The Jared Porter story gets worse and does involve the Cubs...

    "The Jared Porter situation is equally a Cubs and a Mets problem. The Mets need a new GM. The Cubs need to reevaluate themselves as an organization.

     

  • Cubster 15 hours 29 min ago (view)

    and they are including amusement tax, healthcare costs (Doc Adams doesn't come cheap!), social security and political donations to the City and the Governor of Nebraska. 

     

  • bradsbeard 15 hours 54 min ago (view)

    It all depends what you count as "payroll." If you include the $11M in Lester and Descalso's buyouts plus the $3M sent in the Darvish trade you get to somewhere like $145M. If you include the $15M in estimated share of player benefits, you get to $160M. I think that last year, including player benefits, they were slated to be up around $205M for MLB payroll before the pandemic. 

     

  • crunch 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    not sure, but i think it's around 130-135m right now even with bryant/baez/contreras still on board...including the 3m to set darvish free and other random $$ expenses on the roster.

    tack on another 3-4m for happ when that gets settled....plus other odds/ends that have a chance to make the roster (s.miller, a.morgan, j.holder, etc) and other pre-arbitration guys...

    cubs still need someone to back up contreras (if he sticks around, which i wouldn't be surprised to see him stick around)...not sure if taylor gushue is gonna be that guy and m.amaya is too young.

     

  • George Altman 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    Seriously, what's the 2021 payroll number? Currently at approximately $165M and after they trade Bryant, Baez, & Contreras  - $130M. Is that it, $135-140M.

     

  • crunch 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    Q to the angels...supposedly 1/8m

     

  • crunch 1 day 11 hours ago (view)

    pete ricketts (the governor of Nebraska ricketts) is a key part of an anti-gambling Nebraska group called "Gambling With The Good Life" that actively lobbied their open legislature...including a speech by pete...to keep gambling illegal in Nebraska.

    he last spoke for the group to the state government in-session 3 months ago.

    ...it's also worth mentioning all of this is separate from the Draft Kings/Wrigley Field deal that flew under the radar toward the end of the season that will put a sportsbook directly in wrigley field, itself.

     

  • Charlie 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    Of all the things, why does this most make me want to punch

     

  • Cubster 1 day 17 hours ago (view)

    I thought the Cubs had lost a rising star in Porter, seems the just got lucky with him leaving the organization. 

     

  • crunch 2 days 1 hour ago (view)

    jared porter...damn dude...mets gm, ex cubs director of scouting...

     

  • crunch 2 days 4 hours ago (view)

    cubs freeing up that chatwood + lester loot sure did help...wait...sigh.

     

  • Cubster 2 days 5 hours ago (view)

    Plus Chatwood signing w Bluejays is done.

     

  • crunch 2 days 6 hours ago (view)

    ...and done.  1 year deal with a mutual option.

     

  • Cubster 2 days 7 hours ago (view)

    Dolorous in discussions with the Washington Schwarbs.