The Cubs and lefty Sean Marshall avoided salary arbitration today, agreeing on a one-year, $950,000 contract. Marshall had been seeking $1.175 while the Cubs were offering $800,000. Cubs also made it official and announced they’ve signed veteran first baseman-third baseman Chad Tracy to a minor-league contract and invited him to spring training as a nonroster man.
The Marshall signing leaves two arbitration-eligible players left unsigned: closer Carlos Marmol and shortstop Ryan Theriot. Marmol wants $2.5 million, while the Cubs are offering $1.75 million. Theriot is looking for $3.4 million, and the Cubs are offering $2.6 million. It appears to me Marmol has the better chance of settling than does Theriot, who could be headed for a hearing.
Tracy, 29, is a career .280 hitter with 78 home runs, 318 RBI, a .339 on-base percentage and a .453 slugging percentage in 704 major league games. In all or part of six seasons with Arizona (2004-09), Tracy has appeared defensively at third base (340 games), first base (246 games) and the outfield (52 games).
A left-handed batter, Tracy has a career .297 batting average vs. right-handed pitching with an .840 OPS (.358 on-base percentage, .482 slugging percentage). He’ll come to camp to compete with Micah Hoffpauir and nonroster man Bryan LaHair.
Your position players look like this right now:
Xavier Nady (assuming he passes his physical and signs)
If the Cubs carry 12 pitchers, you’ve got one spot for Sam Fuld, Tracy, LaHair and Hoffpauir.
Of course, injuries and good/poor performances in spring training will determine things further. The Cubs will have a bunch of youngsters in camp.