On a day full of decisions around the baseball world as the tender deadline has arrived, the Chicago Cubs have reportedly made decisions on four players as the offseason heats up.
The Cubs announced Friday that they have non-tendered pitchers Codi Heuer, Brandon Hughes and Ethan Roberts, while offering corner infielder Patrick Wisdom a new contract.
Though Friday marks the deadline for tender or non-tender decisions, it doesn't necessarily mean the end of the road between teams and players who have been non-tendered, as teams often look to seek out minor league deals with non-tendered players who are arbitration-eligible.
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Heuer, 27, was initially acquired by the Cubs alongside infielder Nick Madrigal in a trade that sent relievers Craig Kimbrel and Ryan Tepera to the Chicago White Sox.
After initially posting strong results in 2021 with the Cubs, compiling a 3.14 ERA and two saves over 25 appearances, injury setbacks have been the story since.
Heuer has not played at the MLB level since 2021, missing two full seasons for Tommy John surgery and surgery to repair an elbow fracture, respectively.
As for Roberts, the 26-year-old righty and 2018 Cubs' draft pick missed all of the 2023 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Roberts had limited big league experience in 2022, surrendering seven earned runs and six walks in just 7.2 innings of work across eight games.
Hughes, who will be 28 at the start of next month, has been non-tendered after an injury-riddled season of his own.
After posting strong numbers as a staple of the Cubs' bullpen in 2022 with a 3.12 ERA and 1.092 WHIP in 57 games, Hughes battled leg injuries throughout 2023 and was limited to just 17 games.
Hughes compiled a 7.24 ERA with an 0-3 record in his limited action in 2023 before undergoing a debridement surgery on his left knee that ended his season.
Hughes, Heuer and Roberts all provided organizational depth at an area where it is certainly needed, though the trio's recent injury struggles likely led the Cubs front office to shy away from dishing out arbitration-level salaries for the three relievers.
While the three relievers are now free agents, the Cubs could look to re-up with any of the pitchers on a minor league deal as they look to catch on with any of the 30 MLB clubs.
Though the Cubs confirmed that Wisdom agreed to a new contract, the terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The Cubs also confirmed that they have tendered 2024 contracts to the following arbitration-eligible players:
- Adbert Alzolay
- Mark Leiter Jr.
- Nick Madrigal
- Julian Merryweather
- Justin Steele
- Mike Tauchman
The terms of the deals offered to the players were not disclosed.