Non-Tender Deadline Looms for Chicago Cubs
Arbitration-Eligible Players Await Contract Decisions
Major League Baseball is abuzz with anticipation as the non-tender deadline approaches tonight at 6 pm CST. Teams, including the Chicago Cubs, have until this deadline to offer arbitration-eligible players on their 40-man roster a contract for the 2024 season. Failure to do so will result in the player becoming an immediate free agent.
As the deadline looms, let’s take a closer look at the arbitration-eligible players for the Cubs, courtesy of MLB Trade Rumors:
“Codi Heuer (4.000): $785K
Nick Madrigal (3.163): $1.9MM
Mike Tauchman (3.143): $2MM
Julian Merryweather (3.109): $1.3MM
Patrick Wisdom (3.058): $2.6MM
Adbert Alzolay (3.050): $2.5MM
Mark Leiter Jr. (3.031): $1.6MM
Justin Steele (2.143): $4.1MM”
– MLB Trade Rumors
Fortunately for the Cubs, Justin Steele, Julian Merryweather, and Adbert Alzolay are not in jeopardy of being non-tendered. Mark Leiter Jr. is likely safe as well, although not as certain as the others.
All eyes will be on Patrick Wisdom, whose struggles with strikeouts last season resulted in limited playing time during the second half of the year.
Meanwhile, the decisions regarding Mike Tauchman and Nick Madrigal will be closely contested. Tauchman’s OPS+ dipped below 100 in the final two months of the season, while Madrigal’s injury-prone nature raises concerns, considering their projected salaries for the 2024 season.
Jesse Rogers of ESPN has provided valuable insights into the Cubs’ plans moving forward. The team’s pursuit of Shohei Ohtani and the potential return of Cody Bellinger in 2024 are among the most significant developments.
Rogers also suggests that the Cubs may consider using Christopher Morel as a centerpiece in a potential trade for first baseman Pete Alonso, should Alonso become available from the New York Mets this off-season. However, trading Morel for a generational talent like Juan Soto could be justifiable, whereas a straight-up trade for Alonso might be an overpay on the Cubs’ part.
In an interesting side note, Chicago Cubs manager Craig Counsell has a basketball connection. He was once the commissioner of a 3-on-3 basketball league that featured Cubs’ radio voice, Pat Hughes. Counsell’s basketball skills are not to be underestimated.