Cubs/Garza Avoid Arbitration

On the day of the arbitration hearing, the Cubs and pitcher Matt Garza agreed to a 1-year, 9.5 million deal with performing bonuses. Right before the 2 sides were going to go to a meditation hearing, they announce the deal. Matt Garza’s agent(s) reported the deal over Twitter. Garza will earn an addition 150,000 based on innings pitched: 50,000 for 210 innings and 100,000 for 220 innings.

Before both sides reported a deal, the Cubs were at 7.95 million and Garza’s side was at 12.50 million. So … as you can see, both sides were way off and a compromise came as a surprise. However, both sides reaching a deal was good and major affects won’t take place.

This was Matt Garza 2nd arbitration year, so his final arbitration will be next year.

Now since the deal is settle, we could expect the trade talks to pick up. Another starting pitcher went off the market, the Nationals signed Edwin Jackson. The Nats had no interest in Garza, so this could be good if the Cubs still want to deal Garza (which I think they do). There’s only one pitcher out there that could take the team out of the Garza sweepstakes and that’s Roy Oswalt. Teams most notable are the Toronto Blue Jays and the Detroit Tigers.

Other Notes:

The Cubs have signed 18-year old Cuban lefty Gerardo Concepcion to a major league deal worth 7 million. The deal could be pushed up to 8 million with incentives. Concepcion will be in Spring Training and will have to be added to the 40-man roster. In that case, the Cubs will have to make a move to the 40-man roster to add Concepcion. Since, the 40-man roster is full right now. We could hear the move any time now.

Ben Badler says scouts do not see how Concepcion received 7 million. So … scouts think the Cubs may have overpaid. It does make sense because as many as 10 teams had interest in Concepcion. Also, the Cubs haven’t spend in free agency and a lot of their money goes to the draft and International players. Kevin Goldstein says Concepcion is projected as a back-end starter (3-5). Let’s hope Concepcion can prove him wrong and see what he can do.

Video of Gerardo Concepcion

The Cubs have also signed left-handed pitcher Ryan Rowland-Smith to a minor league contract. Smith is 29 years old and has played most of his career with the Mariners. Once to have potential and be a #3 starter. He has last played for, not in the MLB, but for the Australian baseball league.

We don’t know is he received an invite to spring training, since the Cubs named their non-roster invitees last week. But I think he’ll be there and show what he can and cannot do.

Could their be another Cuban on the way to the North Side … Yoenis Cespedes? He’s close to coming to the Unites States and hope to sign soon after that. His agent says he expects Cespedes to sign before camp opens up. It seems the Cubs overpaid for Concepcion, so don’t be surprise if they go all out for Cespedes. Cespedes news could heat up soon, when he enters the United States.

Side Note: Bruce Levine states the Cubs have added RHP Esmalin Caridad to the list of non-roster invitees.

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