You knew Jeff Samardzija would be the last one, right?
Today, according to Jon Heyman, the Chicago Cubs and Darwin Barney avoided arbitration on a one-year, $2.3 million contract for 2014. That was the midpoint between the Cubs’ offer ($1.8 million) and Barney’s ask ($2.8 million), and, as I analyzed earlier in the week, Barney should probably feel pretty good about that salary.
This is Barney’s first year in arbitration, and the healthy salary sets him up for a raise in 2015, even if he is eventually displaced at second base. In that way, Barney may have done well today, but clouded up his future: if he projects to make too much in arbitration in 2015, the Cubs will non-tender him after this season.
In any case, it’s always preferable to settle these things, and everyone can resume hoping that Barney improves dramatically with the bat this year (some positive regression is definitely expected), and continues doing the Gold Glove thing at second base. If he does that, at least the Cubs will have some options as they proceed with the future configuration of the infield.
And now the Cubs will return to trying to work out a deal with Jeff Samardzija before his hearing on Monday.