contractThis isn’t major news, but it makes me happy today.

Jon Heyman reports that the Chicago Cubs and new outfielder Dexter Fowler have agreed to a one-year, $9.5 million contract for 2015, avoiding arbitration. That’s a little under the mid-point of what Fowler had requested of the Astros ($10.8 million) and what the Astros had offered ($8.5 million) before Monday’s trade.

No, the Cubs getting Fowler for below the midpoint is not what makes me happy. Instead, it’s the fact that the Cubs clearly made it a priority to get his case settled immediately after acquiring him. The last thing you’d want to see after picking up a new player in trade – a guy who could make a really significant difference on the team this year – is then having to proceed with an arbitration fight when it wasn’t even your team who came up with the numbers in the first place.

Good to see that the Cubs and Fowler are working well together already.

Pedro Strop, then, is the only Cubs arbitration case outstanding. Strop reportedly requested $3 million in his secondĀ of four arbitration years (he was a Super Two), and the Cubs countered at $2 million. Arbitration hearings proceed in February, so there’s still plenty of time to settle.






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