Well, the Chicago Cubs stole a bit of my thunder today. After reaching an agreement with Geovany Soto, the Cubs also settled with five of their other six arbitration-eligible players. So much for a long series analyzing the appropriateness of each side’s offer.

Third baseman Ian Stewart, in his second year of arbitration, gets $2.237 million in 2012 after making $2.29 million last year.

Pitcher Randy Wells, in his first year of arbitration, gets $2.705 million. Fellow first-time arbitration-eligible pitcher Chris Volstad gets slightly less than Wells, as I guessed he would, at $2.655 million (which is still a fair bit higher than I think is reasonable). The amounts are on the high side, but that seems to be a bit of a trend this year.

Infielders Jeff Baker and Blake DeWitt get $1.375 and $1.1 million, respectively (Baker is in his third and final  year of arbitration, DeWitt is in his first year). DeWitt’s figure strikes me as high, but not incredibly high.

As for the Cubs’ only remaining arbitration-eligible player, pitcher Matt Garza, the two sides could not reach a settlement, and exchanged proposed figures for the 2012 season. Garza, in his third of four arbitration years, requested $10.225 million, and the Cubs offered $7.95 million. Arbitration hearings aren’t until February, so there will be plenty of time to work out a deal short of a fight. Gordon Edes has said that the Red Sox never took a player to arbitration under Theo Epstein.

Garza’s request seems awfully high, despite his excellent 2011 season, given his $5.95 million salary in 2011. Most expected Garza to get around $8.5 million in 2011, so the Cubs’ offer is pretty reasonable, as far as these things go. We’ll discuss the Garza arbitration case in more detail soon.

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