Chicago Cubs nontender 3 relievers — including Codi Heuer — and agree to a 2024 contract with Patrick Wisdom to avoid arbitration

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The Chicago Cubs did not offer contracts to a trio of relievers for next season.

The Cubs nontendered right-handers Codi Heuer and Ethan Roberts and left-hander Brandon Hughes before Friday’s deadline, making them free agents. Roberts and Hughes were not yet arbitration-eligible.

Major injuries derailed each of the pitchers.

Roberts, 26, did not pitch this season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in July 2022. He showed flashes of nasty stuff in nine appearances, his first big-league outings after making the 2022 team out of spring training.

Hughes required a surgical debridement of his left knee on June 28, causing him to miss the rest of the season. The 27-year-old lefty dealt with knee problems in the lead-up to surgery, limiting him to 13 2/3 innings. The Cubs had been expecting Hughes to key a key piece of their 2023 bullpen after a stellar rookie season that saw him post a 3.12 ERA with eight saves in 57 2/3 innings (57 games).

Heuer was on the verge of joining the Cubs bullpen after undergoing Tommy John surgery in March 2022 when he fractured his right elbow throwing a pitch during one of his final rehab outings with Triple-A Iowa in June. The procedure required screws and wires to put the lower end of his humerus in place, and the funny-bone nerve had to be moved to fix the fracture.

Heuer, 27, was estimated to be sidelined for 12 months between the four-month recovery for the fracture and a potential six-month rehab process with the most optimistic return targeting spring training.

Heuer was acquired with Nick Madrigal from the White Sox ahead of the 2021 trade deadline for closer Craig Kimbrel. In 25 games after joining the Cubs in 2021, Heuer recorded a 3.14 ERA, but he hasn’t pitch in a game since then.

The Cubs could try to re-sign any of the three to a minor-league deal.

In addition to tendering contracts their six arbitration-eligible players — Madrigal, right-handers Adbert Alzolay, Mark Leiter Jr. and Julian Merryweather, left-hander Justin Steele and outfielder Mike Tauchman — the Cubs agreed to terms on a 2024 contract with infielder Patrick Wisdom to avoid arbitration. Wisdom can play both corner infield spots and gives them a power bat that slugs lefties for bench depth if they don’t acquire upgrades at third base or first base in the offseason.


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