As expected, the Chicago Cubs set their pitching staff. Coming into the day both Andrew Cashner and Carlos Silva were vying for the last spot in the rotation. For Cashner, if he did not make the rotation he would have been going into the bullpen to be a reliever. If Silva did not make the rotation, he would likely have been going to the bullpen or be released. Silva was also competing with Marcus Mateo for the final spot in the bullpen. Manager Mike Quade and general manager Jim Hendry have made their decision on the pitching staff and to my surprise, it gives the Cubs the best 25 man roster coming out of camp.
Jim Hendry announced to reporters today that Andrew Cashner has made the rotation as the fifth starter, and Marcus Mateo has won the last spot in the bullpen. Meaning to the delight of myself and every other Cubs fan out there, Carlos Silva will not be on the 25 man roster and his time with the Cubs is likely over.
By not making the roster, Carlos Silva has been given three options by Cubs’ general manager Jim Hendry. The first option is for Silva to wait till the end of Spring Training as the Cubs will try to trade Silva before opening day. If the Cubs can not trade Silva, he would then be given the option to go on a waiver assignment to Triple A and be an insurance policy, or he will receive his unconditional release. To correct something that has been previously reported on Cubbies Crib and numerous media outlets, if the Cubs release Silva they would be responsible for the complete $11.5 million that he is owed this season. As it stands now, the Seattle Mariners are absorbing $5.5 million of the remaining salary on Silva’s contract.
I would imagine that the Cubs will exhaust every effort this week to trade Silva. Although it will not be anything significant, I’m sure they would like to get something back for him instead of nothing. It’s hard to imagine a team right now that would be interested in Silva, possibly the Yankees if they feel he is an upgrade over Freddy Garcia. The Cubs are willing to absorb majority of the remaining salary on Silva’s contract, so that may accelerate any possible trade. Although at this point, it seems likely that Silva will be released before the Cubs start the season on friday.
Now on to Andrew Cashner, whose move to the rotation will probably be overlooked over the next couple of days with the Cubs announcing that they will be ridding themselves of Carlos Silva. However, if you have been a regular follower of Cubbies Crib you would know that we have spent most of the off-season with Andrew Cashner on our minds. I have gone back and forth over how successful I think Cashner will be as a starter, and I must say that I am looking forward to seeing him in the starting rotation. Cashner has shown electric stuff in Spring Training, and only has to work on his control of his pitches. If he perfects that, then it could be a good start to Andrew Cashner’s career as a starting pitcher.
Cubs fans should also be excited that Marcus Mateo won the last spot in the bullpen. Mateo may have been the most impressive reliever in camp this year, but I was concerned that the Cubs were going to go with Silva over Mateo because of how much Silva is making. Fortunately, Mateo will be on the team and hopefully he can translate his successful Spring Training into a successful season.
Believe it or not, this is a major step for the Mike Quade era and the rest of the Jim Hendry era. With Silva likely to be gone from the organization in the coming week, Quade’s sense of accountability proves to be valid. No longer will a player receive playing time just because of how much he is making, instead playing time is earned on the field.