Justin Grimm

Feel the Chill

3/18 UPDATE:

The Kansas City Royals have signed recently-released RHRP Justin Grimm to a major league contract ($1.25M base salary with another $300K in potential performance bonuses).

But because Grimm was signed to a non-guaranteed contract and was released by the Cubs prior to MLB Opening Day, there is no salary offset for the Cubs. The $530K termination pay Grimm got from the Cubs is - NOT - offset by the $1.25M Grimm gets from the Royals. They are considered two unrelated deals, so Grimm ultimately could make upwards of $2M+ in 2018 (close to the $2.2M he was scheduled to make if he had not been released) if he reaches all of the performance bonuses (the $530K termination pay he got from the Cubs + the $1.25M base salary he gets from the Royals + the $300K in potential performance bonuses).

If Grimm had been released by the Cubs after MLB Opening Day, he would have received the entire $2.2M salary he got from the arbitration panel as termination pay, and then the Royals could have signed him for just the MLB minimum salary ($555K) and the Cubs would have been on the hook for the remaining $1.645M.

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3/15 UPDATE:

The Cubs have released veteran RHRP .

Because he was released 15 or fewer days prior to MLB Opening Day, Grimm will get 45 days salary as termination pay (which is about $530K of the $2.2M 2018 salary that he was awarded by an arbitration panel last month). Note that the Cubs would have saved themselves about $180K if they had released Grimm prior to yesterday (Wednesday), because players with non-guaranteed contracts receive only 30 days salary as termination pay if released more than 15 days prior to MLB Opening Day.

So the Cubs MLB Reserve List now stands at 39 (one slot is open), and 39 players are assigned to the Cubs Spring Training Active List (including ten NRI).

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3/11 ORIGINAL POST:

A player on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) signed to a non-guaranteed contract who is released more than 15 days prior to Opening Day receives 30 days salary as termination pay (paid at the "minor league rate" if the player is signed to a "split contract"), and a player on an MLB Reserve List signed to a non-guaranteed contract who is released 15 or fewer days prior to Opening Day receives 45 days salary as termination pay (all players paid at the "Major League rate"). A player on an MLB Reserve List signed to a non-guaranteed contract who is released during the MLB regular season receives 100% of his salary as termination pay (paid at the "minor league rate" for players on Optional Assignment to the minors). An unsigned player on an MLB Reserve List released during the off-season receives no termination pay.

So this coming Tuesday (3/13) is the last day a club can release a player on its MLB 40-man roster who is signed to a non-guaranteed contract and pay the player only 30 days salary (which is about 1/6 of the player's salary) as termination pay - AND - at the "minor league rate" if the player is signed to a split contract (meaning the player's salary varies depending on whether the player is on the club's MLB 25-man roster or is on Optional Assignment to the minors). 

Cubs Receive Grimm News from Arbitration Panel

The with RHRP , with the arbitration panel siding with the Cubs and awarding Grimm a 2018 contract with a $2.2M salary (the salary submitted by the Cubs). Grimm had requested $2.475M -- a difference of only $275K -- and it may seem curious why the two sides didn't just settle (perhaps at the mid-point) and avoid arbitration.   

Here's a possible reason why the Cubs wanted to go to arbitration with Grimm (besides a 50/50 chance to save $275K): 

Grimm Day for Cubs at Riverview Park

Nick Jones (ex-LHP) belted a two-run home run and Jordan Johnson and four relievers combined to toss a four-hitter, helping the Giants defeat the Cubs 4-1 on Field #6, and Bryant Flete doubled, singled, and scored a run, and five Cub relievers combined to hurl five innings of perfect baseball, as the Cubs and Giants played to a 2-2 tie on Field #5, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split squad doubleheader action this morning at Mesa CubTown at Riverview Park.

The game on Field #5 was called after seven innings with the score tied, and the game on Field #6 was called after 7-1/2 innings.   

Kevonte Mitchell tripled, singled, stole a base, and scored the lone Cub run on Field #6.

18-year old 6'6 RHP Austyn Willis (Cubs 2014 18th round draft pick - Barstow HS - Barstow, CA) got the start on Field #6 and threw three innings of one-hit shutout ball with four strikeouts, retiring Travis Ishikawa (on the Giants MLB 15-day DL with a lower back strain) three times (4-3 GO, K-swinging, and F-8 fly out). Willis has started three Cactus League EXST games, allowing one run on four hits (including a solo HR) and a walk with nine strikeouts in seven innings of work. He will very likely be in the Eugene starting rotation when the Northwest League season commences next month.  

RHRP Justin Grimm (on the Cubs MLB 15-day DL with a forearm strain retroactive to April 2nd) worked the top of the 4th inning on Field #6 and was dominating, striking out the side on 12 pitches. He looks to be in mid-season form. 

The Giants are unusual because they have two ex-LHP at Extended Spring Training being converted to position players (usually it's the other way around). Besides 6'6 first-baseman Nick Jones (who belted a tape measure two-run HR over the RF fence that provided the winning margin for the Giants on Field #6 this morning), outfielder Steven Neff drilled three hits (a single, a double, and a triple) in a game against the Cubs earlier this week in Scottsdale. 

Here is the abridged box score from today's games (Cubs players only): 

Rockies Belt Malave Offerings Around Salt River Fields & Beeler to I-Cubs

Cesar Galvez drilled a two-run double and singled, Luis Castro belted a solo home run and singled, Wesley Jones ripped two RBI singles, and Max George hammered an RBI triple, walked twice, and scored a run, as the Rockies cruised to a 9-3 victory over the Cubs in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Dust Storm Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ.  

Frandy de la Rosa doubled twice and scored two runs for the Cubs. 

RHP (ex-C) Mark Malave made his second Cactus League Extended Spring Training game appearance and his first start, allowing five runs (four earned) on six hits (four singles, a double, and a home run) and a walk (and a WP) in just 1.1 IP.

Malave is one of three former position players being converted to pitcher by the Cubs at Extended Spring Training, with RHP (ex-OF) Jae-Hoon Ha and LHP (ex-OF) Ariel Ovando being the other two.

Ha has yet to pitch in a Cactus League EXST game, but he did throw in an intrasquad game a couple of days ago and allowed a run on three hits (all singles) with no walks or strikeouts in one inning of work, and Ovando (selected by the Cubs from the Houston Astros in the AAA Phase of the December 2014 Rule 5 Draft) has yet to throw in a game. 

In EXST Cubs roster news, RHP Dallas Beeler (on Cubs MLB 15-day DL with right shoulder inflammation) has completed his Extended Spring Training work and has been assigned to the AAA Iowa Cubs on an Article XIX-C Minor League Rehab Assignment. He did not pitch in any Cactus League MLB Spring Training games last month, and just recently began throwing in Cactus League Extended Spring Training games.

Beeler threw poorly in his first EXST game on 4/15, but his fastball velocity upticked to 94 MPH and touched 95 in his second EXST start last Monday as he got his pitch count up to near 70.

DALLAS BEELER - 2015 EXTENDED SPRING TRAINING GAMES:
1. WED 4/15: 3.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R (4 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 1 PO, 1/4 GO/FO, 61 pitches (39 strikes)
2. MON 4/20: 4.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 6/5 GO/FO, 69 pitches (43 strikes)
TOTAL: 7.1 IP, 12 H, 6 R (6 ER), 2 BB, 5 K, 1 HR, 1 PO, 7/9 GO/FO, 63% strikes, 7.36 ERA, 2.45 WHIP

Beeler will likely be optioned to Iowa when his rehab assignment is completed (which could be up to 30 days from now), but keeping him on the DL and sending him to Iowa on a Minor League Rehab Assignment rather than reinstating him from the DL now and optioning him to Iowa immediately will give the Cubs the option to transfer Beeler to the 60-day DL if a 40-man roster slot is needed sometime over the next 30 days.

Meanwhile, RHP Justin Grimm (on Cubs MLB 15-day DL with right forearm inflammation since April 2nd) threw two bullpen sessions this week, and so he will probably begin pitching in Extended Spring Training games early next week.

I saw RHP Neil Ramirez (on Cubs MLB 15-day DL with right shoulder inflammation since 4/16) playing catch on the Agility Field on Thursday, but he has not started throwing bullpens yet, so he is a few days behind Grimm. 

Because getting "stretched-out" and building up pitch counts isn't that important for relief pitchers, Grimm and Ramirez will not need a whole lot of rehab games to get back into MLB game shape. The main thing to be concerned about with Grimm and Ramirez are medical setbacks during the course of the rehab that could send the pitcher back to "square-one" (or worse).  

And here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):

Bard Passes D'backs to "B" game Victory

The Diamondbacks parlayed four walks and three run-scoring singles into a five-run 9th inning, rallying to defeat the Cubs 5-1 in Cactus League "B" game action this morning at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ.

Kyle Hendricks got the start for the Cubs and was masterful, tossing five innings of one-hit shutout ball (55 pitches - 37 strikes, 7/5 GO/FO), allowing no walks, while striking out three (all three swinging). 

Zac Rosscup then worked a 1-2-3 eight-pitch top of the 6th (two strikeouts looking and a 4-3 GO), and Justin Grimm worked a 1-2-3 top of the 7th (a lead-off F-7, and two strikeouts swinging).

Meanwhile the Cubs were unable to do anything against D-backs LHP Vidal Nuno, who threw four innings of one-hit shutout ball (no walks & eight strikeouts). Then Arizona closer Addison Reed worked a scoreless bottom of the 5th, allowing a lead-off walk before retiring the side in order. 

The Cubs finally plated a run in the bottom of the 7th off Randall Delgado, as Mike Baxter drew a lead-off walk, was advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, and scored on a Jonathan Herrera one-out RBI single.  

Neil Ramirez allowed a lead-off single in the top of the 8th but then struck out the side, and the Cubs entered the top of the 9th holding a slender 1-0 lead. 

But Daniel Bard could not find home plate, throwing seven consecutve balls to start the inning before finally recording a strike. He eventually would walk all four men he faced on 23 pitches (only seven strikes). AAA Iowa RHRP Tony Zych relieved Barth with no outs and the bases loaded and the score tied 1-1, and he surrendered RBI singles to minor leaguers Rudy Flores, Zach Borenstein, and Alex Glenn, as the D'backs broke the game open.  

If there was any lingering doubt that Daniel Bard's "Steve Blass Disease" is in remission or has been cured, today's outing should put that to rest. His pitches to left-handed hitters were consistently high & outside, and his pitches to right-handed hitters were all over the place  

Here is the abridged box score from today's "B" game (Cubs players only):