Today’s the day of Matt Garza’s arbitration hearing.

I’m holding out hope that we get word of a last-minute settlement, otherwise, the two sides will hunker down in front of a panel of three arbitrators at some point today – probably late in the morning – and offer their best arguments against each other’s proposed figure for Garza’s 2012 salary ($12.5 million or $7.95 million). Should it come to that, I cannot underemphasize how important that hearing is to the future of the Cubs.

I know it may seem dramatic to say that, but consider the following:

(1) The near $5 million difference could significantly impact the Cubs’ 2012 budget, and could theoretically harm the Cubs’ efforts to sign guys like Yoenis Cespedes or Jorge Soler.

(2) Whatever Garza makes in 2012 will directly impact what he makes in 2013, the Cubs’ final year of control of Garza. If he gets $12.5 million this year, he could be looking at $15 million next year. If he gets $7.95 million, he could wind up closer to $11 million next year, even if he kills it in 2012. That’s a nearly $9 million total difference over the two years. It could be even more.

(3) Whatever Garza makes in 2012 will directly impact any extension discussions. If Garza gets $12.5 million in 2012, his price tag over the next five years or so will rise dramatically. Perhaps so much so that an extension is no longer in the cards at all.

(4) Garza at $7.95 million in 2012 is suddenly, perhaps, one of the most attractive trade candidates in recent memory. The Cubs wouldn’t have to trade him, having picked up new leverage in extension discussions, but man-oh-man would his value increase.

I’m sure there are a number of additional known and unknown consequences that could stem from the result of a hearing, should one happen.

In short: this is very, very important.

  • cjdubbya

    Any word how long it takes for the arbiters to decide?

    • Brett

      Virtually all are decided by, at the latest, the following morning.

  • Kyle

    I would be pretty stunned in the Cubs didn’t win this. The teams win about 2/3rds of the time anyway, iirc, and this time it’s a pretty big overreach by the player.

  • JB88

    I tweeted this to you yesterday, but I really think it behooves the Cubs to take him to arbitration if they can’t settle for close to $9MM. Because of the HUGE discrepancy in numbers and the almost unfathomable claim Garza makes, the Cubs don’t need to really bad mouth Garza. They can point to his 10-10 record, his overall career won-loss record, his poor hitting and poor fielding, and then simply stand on no 10-10 pitcher has ever received $12MM in arbitration.

    This is baseball we are talking about. The ultimate “history” game. Where past and precedent mean something. Garza isn’t going to break the bank when his traditional stats look so average to slightly above average from 2011.

  • baseballet

    I’m optimistic that the Cubs will win the hearing and that it will help them get more when they trade Garza. Garza is our best opportunity to convert a short term asset into long term assets, so I’m confident he will be traded rather than extended.

  • hansman1982

    My thinking is if Garza wins today, he will be a Cubbie for a long time, they will probably extend him and hopefully get his 2012 salary down a little but pay fairly close to market rate for him. If the Cubs win, he is as good as gone by Opening Day, WAAAAY too attractive of a trade chip as it stands right now, which I think is what Garza truly wants.

    • JB88

      Haha … All mooted. CAA Baseball just tweeted that Cubs and Garza agreed to a $9.5 MM deal + incentives to avoid arbitration.

  • JB88

    If Garza wins today, I think you are looking at a minimum of CJ Wilson numbers on an extension. That would be a HUGE fluxuation from what the Cubs might be looking at if they win today.

    I just would be shocked if the Cubs lose this arbitration. Absolutely shocked.

  • scorecardpaul

    I am hoping that the Cubs take this all the way and win. I hope we then trade him so we can get to the imfamous MG BetterNews battle

    • Dave H

      Oooooooooooooooooooo……. Can’t wait for that one!

  • illinicraig

    MLBTRADERUMORS.COM is reporting that the Cubs and Garza have agreed on a 9.5 million dollar contract, thus avoiding the arbitration hearing.

    • ferrets_bueller

      Not bad, but not great either. ¬†At least he’s still in single figures…

    • Cedlandrum

      If true cue the trade rumors again.

  • Cedlandrum

    If Garza wins this I am going to stomp around like a little whiny baby and then suck my thumb. No way should he win this case.

  • Mike S

    What does this do to his trade value?

    • Kyle

      Probably keeps it about the same. That’s right around where he would have been predicted before the offseason.

  • cjdubbya

    Glad to hear they avoided the hearing. You can’t take what’s said in there personally, but I’d think that hearing all that negative stuff would just sit and fester in the back of your mind.

  • http://jjcubs jj


    • Brady


      • TWC

        LOUD NOISES!!!!!!!!

  • Rick Vaughn


    He’s got an entire post up about it, including three updates to it.