Results tagged ‘ Chad Fox ’

12/1 Arbitration update

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

By not offering arbitration, the Cubs will not receive any compensation in the Draft if another team signs Gregg or Harden. The Elias Sports Bureau classified Gregg as a Type A free agent, which means if Chicago had offered him arbitration and another club signed him, the Cubs would’ve received two Draft picks as compensation.

Gregg, 31, lost his job as the Cubs’ closer in mid August to Carlos Marmol.

Harden, who turned 28 Monday, was classified as a Type B free agent, and the Cubs would’ve picked up a supplemental Draft pick if the right-hander was offered arbitration, declined, and then signed with another team.

He made 26 starts, his second-highest total since he made 31 in 2004 with Oakland. Harden did make 25 starts combined in 2008 with the Cubs and Athletics.

The Cubs’ rotation now includes Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Randy Wells and Ted Lilly, who had arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder in early November. The fifth starter can come from a pool that includes Jeff Samardzija, Tom Gorzelanny, and Sean Marshall among others in the system.

If offered arbitration, and the players accepted, the Cubs would’ve been obligated for at least a one-year contract and the players would’ve been in line for a raise. Gregg made $4.2 million in 2009, Harden $7 million and Johnson $3 million.

New Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts has said the payroll will only go up “slightly” in 2010, and the Cubs have to factor in raises to arbitration eligible players such as Marmol, Marshall, Ryan Theriot, Mike Fontenot, and Jeff Baker. Those players are affected by the non-tender deadline of Dec. 12, which is when teams must decide whether to tender a contract. Those players have less than six years of service time and they are under team control for 2010.

Johnson and Fox were free agents, and neither was included on the Type A or B lists. Fox appeared in two games before being sidelined because of inflammation in his right elbow. Johnson, who turns 33 on Dec. 8, was limited to 65 games because of injuries.

The Cubs are in the market for a center fielder and could still re-sign Johnson but if they did offer arbitration, they ran the risk of him getting a significant raise.

— Carrie Muskat

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

11/23 Reed Johnson update

Reed Johnson has had an eventful offseason already. The outfielder and his wife, Taryn, welcomed son Tyce into the world on Oct. 26.

Johnson is one of five Cubs players who filed for free agency, joining John Grabow, Kevin Gregg, Rich Harden, and Chad Fox. The team narrowed the list last Friday when it signed Grabow to a two-year deal. The Cubs had an exclusive 15-day window in which to negotiate with Johnson end on Friday, and he said he hasn’t heard much from the team about returning.

“There’s other things they’re trying to take care of,” Johnson said Monday. “My agent said usually teams let that 15-day period go past.”

Johnson would like to come back, and the Cubs are looking for a center fielder and leadoff man.

“We’ll see,” he said.

— Carrie Muskat

11/2 Free agent discussions

Outfielder Reed Johnson and pitchers John Grabow, Rich Harden, Kevin Gregg, and Chad Fox are eligible to file for free agency as soon as the World Series ends. A player must file within 15 days after the World Series is over. The Cubs will retain exclusive negotiating rights during that 15-day period.

The Cubs began discussions with Grabow’s agent before the regular season ended. The team was expected to try and re-sign the left-handed reliever, acquired July 30 along with Tom Gorzelanny from the Pittsburgh Pirates.

“I want to come back,” Grabow said in early October. “[Cubs general manager Jim Hendry] knows that. It’s just a matter of getting it done.”

There were reports Monday that the two sides were discussing a two-year deal in the $6.5 million to $7.5 million range. Grabow, who turns 31 on Wednesday, appeared in a career-high 75 games this past season for the Pirates and Cubs combined. 

As long as we’re discussing who should play center field for the Cubs, who would you keep in this group?

— Carrie Muskat

5/6 Samardzija to Iowa

The Cubs have called up right-hander Chad Fox and optioned Jeff Samardzija to Triple-A Iowa. Samardzija has a 8.10 ERA in five relief outings since he was called up April 23 from the Minor League team. On Tuesday, Lou Piniella said the young right-hander needed to develop his other pitches. He’ll get a chance with Iowa. Fox, 38, had a 1.59 ERA in 11 relief appearances at Iowa. His career has been interrupted often by elbow problems.

— Carrie Muskat

Relief work

There are five relievers batting for two spots with five games to go, and the Cubs may not make the final roster decisions until this weekend in New York. The list includes Angel Guzman, David Patton, Chad Fox, Chad Gaudin and Jeff Samardzija — all right-handers. Guzman is out of options. Patton is a Rule 5 pick who has complicated matters because he’s pitched so well, and has one of the best curveballs this spring. The Cubs were not expected to put either on waivers, which means they will either keep them or trade them.

Samardzija has options and could go to Triple-A Iowa. Fox, whose career has been interrupted by elbow problems, also could go to the Minors as insurance. What do to with Gaudin? He hasn’t looked sharp — he has a 10.54 ERA this spring and has given up 20 hits and walked nine in 13 2/3 innings. And he’s owed $2 million.

— Carrie Muskat