Cubs tender offers to seven, Dec. 1-2 Recap

Not much action for Cubs prospects the past two days on the field but they're making news off the field. The Cubs' front office tendered contract offers to seven arbitration eligible players, signed two, and cut ties with three others as their 40-man roster now stands at 37.

Arbitration Eligible Updates

The Cubs signed catcher George Kottaras to a one-year $1.075 million contract. Kottaras was traded to the Cubs for cash considerations from the Royals on Nov. 26. They also agreed to terms with IF Donnie Murphy on a one-year $825,000 deal.

The Cubs tendered contracts to P Jeff Samardzija, 2B Darwin Barney, LHP Travis Wood, LHP James Russell, OF Nate Schierholtz, IF Luis Valbuena, and RHP Pedro Strop.

RHP Daniel Bard and 1B Mat Gamel were not tendered contracts and are no longer on the 40-man roster, both becoming free agents. The Cubs could still sign both players to minor league deals as they acquired both players on waivers this fall. Chicago also cut ties with RHP Chang-Yong Lim, not tendering him a contract for 2014. Cubs 40-man roster now stands at 37.

McDonnell resigned, Bowden headed to Japan

The Cubs have signed Darnell McDonald to a minor league contract and invited as a non-roster invitee to spring training. McDonald was one of 13 outfielders who played for Chicago last year, appearing in 25 games. The 35-year-old hit .302/.351/.434 in 57 plate appearances. He spent most of the season at AAA Iowa batting .236/.307/.346 with 4 HR and 26 RBI in 92 games. McDonald has spent seven seasons in the big leagues with six different teams, after being a first-round pick of the Orioles back in 1997.

Michael Bowden, who pitched in 34 games for the Cubs in 2013, tweeted Monday night he will play 2014 for the Seibu Lions in Japan's Pacific League. The right-handed relief pitcher started 2013 in the Cubs bullpen but was sent to AAA Iowa in early June, returning to Wrigley Field on July 12. He was 1-3 with a 4.30 ERA in 37.2 IP with 23 K and 15 BB. He pitched two seasosn for the Cubs after being acquired from the Boston Red Sox with Hunter Cervenka for Marlon Byrd in April of 2012.

Encarnacion named Short-Season All Star

Outfielder Kevin Encarnacion, who won the Northwest League batting title with a .355 average, was named to the Topps/MiLB Short-Season All-Start team. He hit eight homers with 30 RBI and had a 12-game hitting streak in August, including a 5-5 game against Salem-Keizer where he was a triple shy of a cycle. Encarnacion was promoted to Kane County in late June and after starting 8-20 was just 5-40 over his next 11 games and was sent back to Boise at the end of July. The 22-year-old will get another shot at the Midwest League to open 2014.

Here's a look at the Caribbean Winter League action:

Venezuelan Winter League

Dec. 2—No Cubs prospects saw action.

Dec. 1—Yeiper Castillo, pitching for the third time in four days, earned the win in Zulia's 18-4 win over Margarita. Castillo (3-1 4.85 ERA) worked a scoreless sixth allowing a walk with a strikeout.

Luis Valbuena was 2-4 with a RBI in Lara's 11-4 loss to Aragua. Valbuena (.270) also walked.

Dominican Winter League

Dec. 2—Alberto Cabrera got tagged with a blown save as the right-hander allowed three hits and a run in the 7th inning of Lara's 5-3 loss to Aguilas. Cabrera (0-0 7.36) has surrendered runs in three of his four appearances.

Marcos Mateo earned his 8th save striking out the side in the ninth in Estrellas' 7-5 win over Escogido. Junior Lake (.344) went 0-4 with four strikeouts for Estrellas.

Dec. 1—Julio Borbon was used a pinch runner in the ninth in Licey's 1-0 loss to Escogido.

Mexican Pacific Winter League

Dec. 2—No games scheduled.

Dec. 1—No Cubs prospects saw action.

Puerto Rican Winter League

Dec. 2—SS Edwin Maysonet was 1-4 with a walk in Santurce's 7-3 win over Carolina.

Dec. 1—No Cubs prospects saw action.

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