11/30 Cubs face tough decisions

The Cubs have to make decisions today regarding their arbitration eligible players, and GM Jed Hoyer said they will likely non-tender some of them. However, he added that the Cubs hope to be able to keep all of the players and sign them to Minor League contracts. The list includes:

3B Ian Stewart ($2.237 million in 2012)

RHP Matt Garza ($9.5 million in 2012)

RHP Jeff Samardzija ($2.64 million in 2012)

LHP James Russell ($512,500 in 2012)

IF Luis Valbuena ($495,200 in 2012)

Both Stewart and Garza are coming off seasons cut short by injuries.

“We’re still having conversations with a number of players’ agents,” Hoyer said Friday. “It’s very likely we’ll have a couple non-tenders. I think we’ll see ourselves below 40 [on the roster] when we get into tomorrow. It’s also difficult to speculate which players those might be.”

The Cubs are currently at 40 on the roster. The deadline to make a decision regarding whether to tender the arbitration eligible players is 11 p.m. CT.

If a player is non-tendered, he becomes a free agent.

“I think it’s fair to say whenever the list comes out of the guys we do non-tender, that all of the guys we’ll end up non-tendering are guys we hope to get back,” Hoyer said. “We do have some hard decisions to make but we don’t want to lose any of the guys we may cut loose. If we do have to take them off the roster, I hope we can work out deals to keep them.”

— Carrie Muskat 

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