Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Cubs make roster moves before non-tender deadline; Tree lighting on Thursday

As the MLB non-tender deadline approached Monday night, the Cubs had many decisions to make.  All in all, the team tendered 2014 contracts to the following arbitration-eligible players, including second baseman Darwin Barney, starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija, outfielder Nate Schierholtz, starting pitcher Travis Wood, relief pitcher Pedro Strop, reliever James Russell and third baseman Luis Valbuena.

Jeff Samardzija
Starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija was one of seven arbitration-eligible players to whom the Cubs tendered contracts to. (Chicago Tribune photo)
MLBTradeRumors.com projects Samardzija to get $4.9 million in 2014, while Schierholtz is projected to get $4.4 million; Wood $3.6 million; Barney $2.1 million; Russell $1.7 million; Valbuena $1.5 million; and Strop $1 million.

In addition, the Cubs signed fan favorite Donnie Murphy to a one-year $825,000 contract plus incentives.

The Cubs also reached an agreement with backup catcher George Kottaras (who was acquired last week from the Kansas City Royals) for a one-year, $1.075 million contract.

Lead story image
George Kottaras will be the Cubs' backup catcher in 2014 (photo from Chicago Sun-Times)
The Cubs non-tendered relievers Daniel Bard and Chang-Yong Lim and also infielder Mat Gamel.  All three are now free agents.

Former Cubs catcher Dioner Navarro agreed to a two-year, $8 million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays.  We wish him the best.

The Cubs' 40-man roster currently stands at 37 players.

Former Cubs pitcher Ted Lilly has retired due to chronic neck pain.  "I am retiring," Lilly wrote.  "I don't want to, but I think it is the realistic decision."  Lilly had the nerve endings on the right side of his neck cauterized by a spine specialist recently, which allowed him to pitch in the Venezuelan Winter League, but the discomfort continued.  Besides the Cubs, Lilly also played for the Dodgers, Yankees, Blue Jays, A's and Expos during his 15-year MLB career.

The Cubs Christmas Tree Lighting will take place this Thursday, December 5th in front of the Wrigley Field marquee.  The Cubs have not yet announced the time of the event.

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