Do the Cubs keep a solid defender like Darwin Barney at second base or look for another option?

That's one of the decisions the Cubs face Monday in advance of the 10:59 p.m. CT deadline for Major League teams to tender contracts to their arbitration-eligible players. The Cubs have eight other players on that list: infielders Luis Valbuena and Donnie Murphy, outfielder Nate Schierholtz, and pitchers Pedro Strop, Travis Wood, Daniel Bard, James Russell and Jeff Samardzija.

Strop, Wood, Russell, Valbuena, Samardzija and Schierholtz all appear to have secure spots on the 2014 Cubs along with Barney. The question surrounding the second baseman is his offense, which has declined considerably. Barney put together a slash line of .208/.266/.303 in 141 games this season. Compare that to his 2011 numbers: .276/.313/.353.

Despite that, the Cubs will likely tender Barney, who MLBTradeRumors.com projects will get $2.1 million next season. The team doesn't have many in-house options at second base other than Valbuena, who is expected to get $1.5 million after batting .218 in 108 games with 12 home runs and 15 doubles. Valbuena has been playing second base in Venezuela this winter.

Bard has struggled this winter in Puerto Rico, but the Cubs are expected to tender him as well. When the Cubs claimed Bard off waivers, president of baseball operations Theo Epstein told him the Cubs were committed to the right-hander for the long haul. Once a terrific setup pitcher, Bard struggled after the Red Sox tried to convert him to a starter. He battled a strained abdominal muscle this season and appeared in two games for Boston.