While you were all busy whining about how much Tuesday sucks, the Cubs were out busy agreeing to terms with all their arbitration-eligible players, with one notable exception.
The Cubs avoided arbitration with six other players. That list includes Geovany Soto, who signed for $4.3 million. Tuesday was the day when teams and players exchanged arbitration figures. The players on the list have between three to six years of big league service time.
RHP Matt Garza: Asked for $10.225 million; Cubs offered $7.95 million
Here are the new deals:
IF Jeff Baker: $1.375 million
IF Blake DeWitt: $1.1 million
C Geovany Soto: $4.3 million
3B Ian Stewart: $2.237 million
RHP Chris Volstad: $2.655 million
RHP Randy Wells: $2.705 million
Yes, it’s Matt Garza who hasn’t yet signed. Does anyone see this as a precursor to a multi-year deal? Does anyone else see this as a precursor to a trade? If yes on either account, please clearly state your reasons for believing so in the comments. I’ll make sure to steal whatever it is you say in an updated version of these headlines, so please make it sound intelligent.
In our continuing coverage of Cespedes Saga 2012, Jason McLeod chimes in. I don’t know whether or not he’s gay, but if he were, I’d think he has a crush on Yoenis.
“It’s funny, because we have a guy on the Cubs now that compares to him when he was younger,” McLeod said. “He reminds me somewhat of Marlon Byrd. Cespedes is a better runner than Marlon was when he was younger, but he’s a stocky, strong right-handed hitter who can play center field.
“He has power and he can throw. He’s built like an NFL running back. He’s really put together well. He has a chance to play center field in the major leagues, to hit and to hit for power.”
So, Jason, this big hunk of a running back-turned-center fielder, is he ready to step into the middle of the Cubs’ order?
“I think in an ideal world, he would have minor league exposure first,” McLeod said. “I think if he he signs before spring training, it would depend on how he looks in major league camp.
“Ideally, you would like him to get 100 at-bats, if not more (in the minors), but hopefully he’ll let the team know if he’s ready by the way he plays.”
And what of the younger, more mysterious Jorge Soler?
“He’s a younger version of Cespedes,” McLeod said. “He’s a 19-year-old with a bigger body. A guy who probably will be more of a corner outfielder. It’s more of a limited history with Soler as not as many people have seen him play. We did see him play a few games in November.”
Does that not seem like the more likely interest for the Cubs? Go with the younger guy? Granted, Cespedes still has 3 years before his prime, but I’d imagine the Cubs being more interested in a cheaper, younger Cespedes at this point. And that’s what Soler seems to be.