Maybe it just took new management to see the light or maybe someone finally asked "why are we paying this guy $850K when we have minor leaguers who can produce better results at half the price?".
Whatever the case, the Cubs finally non-tendered Koyie Hill last night after five seasons with the team. During those 5 seasons, Hill hit .208/.270/.295 and the fact that he averaged over 200 AB's the last 3 seasons is the most mind-boggling thing of all.
Sometimes managers stick with their veterans a little too long and block a youngster from getting an opportunity. This was the case in 2010, when Geovany Soto got hurt and Mike Quade kept putting Hill in the lineup instead of giving Welington Castillo a chance.
Now, Castillo will get that chance and I, for one, am interested to see what he can do. Castillo has hit a combined .270/.332/.507 in 471 AB's the last two years at AAA Iowa, including 28 homeruns. His plate discipline leaves a little to be desired, but his defense (37% CS in his minor league career) and his pop should be enough to make people forget about Hill.
As for the other arbitration eligible players (Jeff Baker, Blake DeWitt, Matt Garza, Geovany Soto, Ian Stewart and Randy Wells), all were tendered contracts and will most likely receive raises headed into 2012.