Cubs Release Gaudin, Option Samardzija...Set Roster with Guzman and Patton

Neil FinnellCorrespondent IApril 5, 2009

MESA, AZ - FEBRUARY 23:  David Patton of the Chicago Cubs poses during photo day at the Fitch Park Spring Training complex on February 23, 2009 in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

According to a report from the Sun-Times, the Cubs optioned Jeff Samardzija to Triple-A Iowa and released Chad Gaudin.

Optioning Samardzija and releasing Gaudin opened the final two spots in the pen for Angel Guzman and David Patton. Releasing Gaudin figures to cost the Cubs $1.6 million.

Updated, 4:07pm C.T., The Cubs 25-Man Opening Day Roster is Set

The Cubs acquired Chad Gaudin in the trade with Oakland last July that brought Rich Harden to Chicago. The Cubs sent Eric Patterson, Matt Murton, Sean Gallagher and Josh Donaldson to Oakland for Harden and Gaudin.

Matt Murton was traded to the Rockies from the A's in the offseason and Sean Gallagher will begin the season in Oakland's bullpen.

The release of Gaudin at the possible cost of $2 million was rather surprising. If another team picks up Gaudin at league minimum the move, with no return, would end up costing the Cubs $1.6 million.

Jeff Samardzija still has options left and can be recalled if the Cubs think he is a better option than the arms they have in the pen.

Angel Guzman has a tremendous upside and David Patton is an unknown commodity. Both have a big opportunity, with little risk to the Cubs.

Will update if more information becomes available