I know it’s really not breaking news, but great news. However, breaking news for Cub fans sounds about right. Today was the deadline to tender contracts to arbitration eligible players. The Cubs had 7 players who are eligible. 6 of them receive contracts – U Jeff Baker, SP Matt Garza, 3B Ian Stewart, P Randy Wells, C Geovany Soto and U Blake DeWitt.
All but one was not tender a contract and that’s back-up catcher Koyie Hill. Yeah, Cub fans, you can now cheer with joy. Hill was said to be a popular player in the clubhouse, but he just wasn’t a good baseball player. He struck out way too often and his defense was said to be his strength, but completely decreased last season. Hill manly still had a job because Jim Hendry was good with him and kept him with a job. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are doing good by getting rid of Jim Hendry projects/mistakes. Right now, Koyie Hill is a free agent; however, the Cubs can still re-sign him to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. I actually can see that happening if no team bites for Hill’s services. As of right now, it looks like either Wellington Castillo or Steve Clevenger will be the back-up catcher for the 2012 season. However, there has been talk that the Cubs could sign ex Red Sox Jason Varitek to be the back-up catcher to Geovany Soto. He knows Epstein and Hoyer pretty well. But that’s still to be seen.
Baker, Garza, Wells, Soto and Stewart was obvious getting contract. One name not there is Blake DeWitt. Over the past week or so, there was reports that Blake DeWitt could be non-tender. But the Cubs decided to tender him a contract.
The Cubs have until next year to work out deals with these players or the Cubs and the player will go to arbitration. Ryan Theriot went to one and later was traded. So.. if you want to stay a Cub, figure out a contract!