Cubs have decisions to make at upcoming tender deadline
This year’s MLB tender deadline for pre-arb and arbitration-eligible players will be Tuesday, November 30, right before the current CBA expires. Come Tuesday, the Chicago Cubs have some decisions to make on players on the current 40-man roster, which as of Sunday morning sits at 38 guys. Obviously, things can change if they do make any more moves, but as of now, this is where it sits.
Most of the players on the current roster will require contracts being tendered to them. Only Jason Heyward, Wade Miley, Kyle Hendricks and David Bote are under contract on the roster. Ian Happ and Willson Contreras are arbitration-eligible. It is worth noting that newly acquired outfielder Harold Ramirez falls in the Super Two qualification for arbitration eligibility.
How the Chicago Cubs roster looks right now
Happ and Contreras should be tender locks as the arbitration-eligible guys. Time will tell if we see Contreras get an extension. Even if the Cubs plan on trading him they have to tender him a deal first. Happ looked like a non-tender option mid-season in 2021 but his surge in the second half should at least earn him a tender and maybe they ride one more year with him or see if they can get any value for him in a potential trade.
There is a handful of players on the roster who are out of MiLB options, (per thecubsreporter.com) this includes: Adbert Alzolay, Alec Mills, Brad Wieck, Sergio Alcantara, Michael Hermosillo, Rafael Ortega and Ramirez. All but Ramirez are pre-arb. Some could potentially be brought back in minor league deals if non-tendered. Mills, Alzolay and Ortega will all probably just be tendered, but the others could go that route. Should believe they will also want to at least keep Wieck for pitching depth.
The rest of the roster, being pre-arb guys who have had MLB experience and/or are notable prospects, have few doubts. Frank Schwindel, Patrick Wisdom, Justin Steele, Nick Madrigal, Nico Hoerner, Rowan Wick, Justin Steele, Codi Heuer, Keegan Thompson, Scott Effross and Ramirez (along with Alzolay, Mills and Ortega) should project to be on the Opening Day roster. Prospects Miguel Amaya (injured), Brailyn Marquez, Alfonso Rivas, Nelson Velazquez, Greg Deichmann, Cory Abbott, Alexander Canario, Alexander Vizcaino, Christopher Morel and Ethan Roberts (who was moved to the roster to be protected from Rule 5 draft) should be part of the organization.
Some of the “tweeners” on who to keep going forward include Jason Adam, Manny Rodriquez, Trevor Megill, Tommy Nance and Michael Rucker. Throw Alcantara and Hermosillo into this mix. Rodriguez should get another shot in spring and Alcantara might stick around for the time being for organization depth. Hermosillo would be nice to keep with potential, but with a crowded outfield and no options left, it might depend on how they want to approach him with tendering a contract or non-tendering and eventually bringing him back on a minor league deal.
In the end, the upcoming tender deadline decisions for the Cubs are not going to be overly stressful. Potential non-tender candidates will likely be on-the-fence MLB/depth guys that will either be re-signed to an MiLB deal or replaced. There will probably be no Kyle Schwarber-like non-tender news this year.