1/19/10 Cubs sign five arb-eligible

The Cubs Tuesday signed five of their arbitration-eligible players: Jeff Baker, Mike Fontenot, Koyie Hill, Angel Guzman and Tom Gorzelanny. The three other arb eligible players are Ryan Theriot, Carlos Marmol and Sean Marshall. Tuesday was the deadline for players and teams to exchange figures. The Cubs have not gone to an arbitration hearing since 1993.

Baker signed for $975,000; Fontenot signed for $1 million; Hill $700,000; Guzman $825,000; and Gorzelanny $800,000.

The Cubs and Theriot, Marmol and Marshall can all continue to negotiate before the hearings, which are scheduled for Feb. 1-21.

— Carrie Muskat


That’s over 2.5 million for Baker, Hill and Fontenot…a little steep for what can be considered non-impact or borderline major league talent which could have been acheived with some less expensive but less experienced players from the farm system. I’m just sayin’…… Would any of us Cubs fans lose any sleep if any of those players were replaced with some minor leaguers and the money going to better areas when needed at the trade deadline??? What’s the news on Brad Snyder? Did Hendry sign him?

Joey, I hear what you’re saying about those three, though I was very pleased with Baker last year so I think he’s worth the money. However, saving a good chunk of that for a dependable reliever and another guy in the rotation would have been nice. On a positive note, I was very surprised to see they were able to sign Guzman for such a small contract, I think he has a lot of potential and could be the right handed setup man that the Cubs are looking for. I realize that he’s been very injury prone, but he wouldn’t be the first pitcher to snap out of it.

@ Joeydafish Hill is a defensive stud. you have to remember at catcher you need solid defense if you have solid defense and a catcher that calls the game well, you have a pretty good catcher, Offensive contribution out of your backup catcher is just an added bonus. He threw out over 40% of of would be base stealers last year if I remember correctly, Hill is a good asset to have.

That is a very good point wrigleyguy. Hill also had a knack for getting key hits in tough situations. He may not be a good enough hitter to be a starting catcher, but hopefully Soto will return to the form he showed in his rookie year. Fontenot had a tough year last year, but he showed promise the year before. I also think he is a worthwhile risk. So that completes the trifecta, soon enough we’ll find out how it all works out in 2010.

I agree about Guzman, that’s why I didn’t mention him as being in my “trifecta” of borderline major league talent. I also agree that Hill is a very good defensive catcher and I do like him, yet still a back up catcher and while important to have one like him on a team’s bench he is not one I would pay almost three quarters of a million dollars in salary while the starting staff will probably have to be upgraded by the trade deadline. And if I recall correctly Henry Blanco was not only a very good defensive catcher to have on our bench with the same if not better chance of getting his “occassional” key hits (like Hill) but also significant with Soto’s progress. But Hendry deemed Blanco too expensive?? I think he signed with SanDiego for 750,000?? And look at what happened to Soto in 2009. So, for another 50,000 Hendry could have had Blanco, a defensive catcher, decent bat AND a mentor (so to speak) for Soto. Again, not knocking Hill, Fontenot or Baker…just knocking (again) how poorly Hendry decides NOT to spend payroll (Henry Blanco, Mark DeRosa) as well as how poorly he decides TO spend payroll (Bradley, Fukodome, Miles, Soriano, Gregg)….well I’m sure you all get where I’m going.

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