Blake DeWitt faces Wednesday deadline

2/18/2012 - MLB Blake DeWitt Chicago Cubs + more

MESA, Ariz. -- Infielder Blake DeWitt has until Wednesday, the day before position players report, to decide whether he will accept his outright assignment off the 40-man roster and remain in the Cubs organization or become a free agent.

DeWitt was not claimed off waivers by any other team after he was designated for assignment earlier this month. That move was done to clear space on the 40-man roster after the Cubs claimed infielder Adrian Cardenas off waivers from the Oakland A's.

DeWitt is expected to return to the Cubs, since becoming a free agent will likely cost him a huge chunk of money. If DeWitt returns he still gets the one-year, $1.1 million deal he agreed to in January in an effort to avoid arbitration. He isn't expected to get that much for a one-year deal on the open market.

He might not have a spot on the 40-man roster upon returning, but DeWitt will get a chance to earn a spot on the 25-man roster in big league camp.

"We are certainly hopeful that he will remain with us," general manager Jed Hoyer said. "Our thoughts haven't changed about Blake. We were able to acquire Cardenas and our hope was to have both guys in the organization. If Blake comes back he has every possible chance to compete for a job in camp and have very much the same role as last year."

Doug Padilla covers the Cubs for ESPNChicago.com.