Had to step away from my laptop and as usual when that happens, the Cubs make some news. They finally came to their tender decisions. As expected, Ian Stewart was non-tendered. The two others were players we hadn't talked about: Jaye Chapman and Zach Putnam.
The reason I didn't talk about them was that they were not on the arbitration list. Those are usually the players that get non-tendered. Oversight on my part not to consider this kind of roster management creativity.
Putnam is the less surprising of the two. As I've said, a rule of thumb is "last in, first out". That's Putnam. He's a nice waiver wire pick, but he's just that. There's good chance the Cubs can re-sign him to a minor league deal with a spring training invite.
Chapman is a bit more surprising in light of his strong performance, but it's not a shocker. That he did well was a pleasant surprise, but I was told by one scout that Chapman is a middle reliever at best. While the Cubs liked what Chapman did, they can't make that decision on such a small sample size of success. If you have to lose a player, middle relievers the type that usually most replaceable. The Cubs would certainly like to try and get him back, but this was obviously not for a salary dump. Chapman makes the minimum. This was about clearing a roster spot, so any deal has to be a minor league deal for this non-tender to have any meaning.
As for Stewart, the Cubs will likely try to bring him back on a smaller deal and perhaps a minor league deal if possible. Stewart may have options, however, in a market weak on 3Bs, so if I were to bet that the Cubs lose any of these guys, I'd bet on Stewart.
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