11/29 Looking ahead …

The Cubs were not expected to offer arbitration to Kevin Gregg, Rich Harden, Reed Johnson and Chad Fox by Tuesday’s deadline.

A brief explanation (and I’ll try to keep it simple): Teams that offer their free agents salary arbitration get Draft picks in return if the player signs elsewhere, and the number of picks is based on the player’s rating. To get compensation, a team must offer arbitration to its Type A or B free agent and have that player either reject arbitration or sign before the deadline to reject the said arbitration.

The Elias Sports Bureau determines the designations based on statistical study. Gregg is a Type A free agent, Harden is Type B. Johnson and Fox are non-compensatory. So, if the Cubs did offer arbitration to Gregg and another team signed him, the Cubs could get two Draft picks. One would be a first-round pick from the signing team (if the team’s pick is below the first 15 picks in the Draft) and a supplemental pick. The supplemental pick is a player taken between the first and second rounds.

If the signing team has a pick in the first 15 slots, the team that loses the free agent will get the signing team’s second-round selection and the sandwich pick.A Type B free agent like Harden would be worth one Draft pick to the Cubs if he signs with another team. That pick is a supplemental pick.

Teams that do not offer salary arbitration to free agents who sign elsewhere get nothing in return.

Last year, the Cubs declined to offer arbitration to Kerry Wood, who then signed with the Cleveland Indians.

The upside for a team that does offer arbitration is the additional Draft pick or two. But if the Cubs did offer arbitration to Gregg or Harden, they also would be on the hook for at least a one-year contract at market value, which would likely be an increase from what the player earned the previous season if an offer is accepted. Gregg earned $4.2 million this year, Harden $7 million.

Gregg lost the closer’s job in mid August to Carlos Marmol and the Cubs feel they have enough starting pitching to make up for Harden’s expected exit. GM Jim Hendry has other positions to fill (center field, for example) and a budget.

If the players were offered arbitration, they would have until 10:59 p.m. CT on Dec. 7 to accept and can still negotiate with their former teams, even if they decline the offer. If the player accepts arbitration, the two sides can negotiate a deal but will go before an arbitrator if no agreement is reached.

We’ll get official word on Tuesday.

— Carrie Muskat


Letter to Jim Hendry, Lou Pinella, and Tom Ricketts, I have been on chicago cubs online,The Cub Reporter and several other sites where fans chat and a common theme is that fans would like to see Brad Snyder resigned and given an opputunity to play for the big league club. The club can easily make room on the 40 man roster by non-tendering Neal Cotts, Mike Fontenot, or releasing Aaron Miles. A power hitting Leftie outfielder, he has the potential to be everything Gm jim hendry and Manager Lou Pinella wanted when kosuke fukodome, and Milton bradley were signed. The difference being he is younger, faster, cheaper and his minor league splits show that he can hit both righties and lefties. He has good speed and a plus arm and can play all three outfield spots with rightfield being his strongest position. He is doing his part to show he is ready by mashing the copetition in the mexican league. I feel he atleast deserves a 40 man roster spot with a chance to make the team as a 4th or fifth outfielder. Especially if Soriano or Fukodome get injured he would be a good insurance policy that has the power and potential to pick up where they left off. I have many other cub fans in agreement with me please get the deal done. Many fans feel that because we have player locked up in long-term contracts, that no matter how they are performing on the field, they are guaranteed playing time. Most fans agree the player who is performing better should get the most playing time and it should be a competition for the starting job. Look at Gary matthews jr. for instance although he is making a ton of money he is not playing because he hasn’t produced. Has fukodome earned his salary I think not. I think he is a decent all-around player but not worth the salary he is making. Same thing goes for Soriano if he’s not producing in offense and his defensive blunders continue to damage the teams chances he should ride the bench and younger players should be given the oppurtunity to perform regardless of contract $$$$. Afterall this is a business and fans want results, or younger guys given a chance to post results. I don’t think as fans that go to games and spend our hard earned money to watch our beloved cubbies that this is too much to ask. Please respect the wishes of your fans. Hi carrie and joeydafish hope you had a great thanksgiving.

Just FYI, Snyder didn’t get much of a look in spring because he was injured. Maybe this is the year. And happy post-turkey to you, too, wrigleyguy.

Wrigleyguy1980, what you stated makes perfect sense…therefore it probably won’t happen, right? If the Ricketts and us Cubs fans must be resigned to yet another year of “Hendry’s Humiliation” Hendry can at least make it much more acceptable if he not only admits he has made some terrible decisions but like wrigleyguy1980 has mentioned…bench the mistakes instead of trotting them out there AGAIN and think us fans as a bunch of fools that can be coerced into believing that THIS YEAR will be the year we’ll see the GREAT PRODUCTION from these inferior players. It’s an insult to all of us to keep seeing these players botch flyballs, swing at pitches in the dirt, twist 180 degress in the batter’s box, not hustle down to first on ground balls (exception to Fukodome), not hustle after balls that do AND WILL get by them (Soriano). Right Jim, 2010 will finally be the year we see a new, athletic, agile, defensive Soriano in left field AND a more disciplined hitter…FIVE YEARS AFTER HIS PRIME AND FIVE MORE YEARS TO GO ON HIS GERIATRIC CONTRACT. Thanks for that one. And the “focus” of Hendry’s duty is “moving” Bradley before spring, DUH. Hendry should be working for the government buying $5,000.00 hammers. Hey, I’m going to spend $2,200.00 for a seven year old, rusted stapler for the office this afternoon assuming of course that it will only work as good as new (or better) for the next eight years and see if I don’t get fired…I’ll keep ya posted.

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