Cubs Non-Tender Rafael Ortega, Close Chapter on Brailyn Márquez

The Cubs announced several moves Friday night, including 2023 contract agreements with right-handed pitchers Adrian Sampson and Rowan Wick. Both of those pitchers have avoided salary arbitration, but terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Four arbitration-eligible players were tendered 2023 contracts: outfielder Ian Happ, right-handed pitcher
Codi Heuer, and infielders Nico Hoerner and Nick Madrigal. A total of 31 players from the Cubs’ 40-man roster were tendered 2023 contracts, with 27 players not yet eligible for arbitration joining the four listed.

The Cubs also non-tendered three players, only one of whom was on the big-league team. Rafael Ortega was eligible for arbitration and was only projected to get around $1.5 million, but the team is looking to upgrade what had been a very weak center field unit. The organization also opted not to tender contracts to left-handed pitcher Brailyn Márquez and right-handed pitcher Alexander Vizcaíno, the latter of whom spent 2022 on the restricted list after failing to report to spring training.

Márquez has been tremendously disappointing since looking like an ace in the making just two years ago. Various issues with injuries, physical fitness, and maturity have sidetracked his career and it looks as though his appearance in the final game of the 2020 season will be his only one in a Cubs uniform. I have to imagine there’s more to this than just an injury, because that’s a ton of potential to just walk away from on a minor-league contract.

Just proves yet again that TINSTAAPP.

The Cubs’ 40-man roster now stands at 37 players and they figure to clear up some more spots by trying to sneak a new acquisition or two through waivers.

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