According to multiple reports, the Chicago Cubs today avoided arbitration with lefty Travis Wood, signing a one-year, $3.9 million agreement. Wood had requested $4.25 million and the Cubs offered $3.5 million, meaning that they settled just above the midpoint.
Wood, who turns 27 next month, was eligible for arbitration for the first time, and is coming off a productive year in the Cubs’ rotation. I know, “productive” probably sounds like an insult for a guy who was near the league leaders in quality starts and put up a 3.11 ERA over 200 innings pitched. And he was an All-Star!
I won’t say outstanding only because some of his peripherals (6.5 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, 6.9 HR/FB%, 14.2% IFFB) suggest he may have underperformed that 3.11 ERA slightly. His FIP was just 3.89, and his xFIP was 4.50. Still, Wood was a valuable pitcher, posting a 2.8 WAR for near the league minimum.
The $3.9 million salary is just about what you’d expect for someone like Wood in his first year of arbitration. With another successful year, he’ll get another healthy bump. If the Cubs want some cost control and certainty, some kind of medium-term extension (three years or so) should probably be explored.
The Cubs’ remaining arbitration cases (with requested/offered amounts): Jeff Samardzija ($6.2M/$4.4M), Darwin Barney ($2.8M/$1.8M, and Justin Ruggiano ($2.45M/$1.6M).