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Tracking Cubs Arbitration Figures and Deals: Wilson, Hendricks, La Stella, Bryant, and Russell Avoid Arb (UPDATES)

Chicago Cubs News, Chicago Cubs Transactions

With the arbitration salary exchange deadline today, we’re going to see some players avoiding arbitration on one-year deals for the 2018 season around baseball today, and that’ll include the Cubs. Then, late this afternoon, if deals aren’t reached, the teams and arbitration-eligible players will exchange salary figures.


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We’ll keep a running log here on those transactions here today.

Cubs reliever Justin Wilson has agreed to a deal for next year:

Wilson, 30, came to the Cubs in a Trade Deadline deal, together with Alex Avila, for Jeimer Candelario and Isaac Paredes. He proceeded to completely lose his command, and was wholly ineffective down the stretch for the Cubs when they needed his lefty arm the most. It was very unfortunate timing, but he came with an extra year of control, and the Cubs are optimistic he can get off to a better start this year, and will be the Wilson everyone knows and fears.

MLBTR had projected Wilson for a $4.3 million salary in this, his final year of arbitration. So it’s basically spot on.


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UPDATE: And Kyle Hendricks has come to a deal, too, in his first year of arbitration:

Hendricks, 28, was actually projected for $4.9 million by MLBTR, so this is – on a relative basis – significantly under that figure. I wonder what the comps were for a guy like Hendricks, whose traditional numbers are a mix of incredible (ERA) and just ok (W/L, strikeouts), and who missed a lot of time in his platform year. In any case, he has two more years of arbitration left, and if he puts up a good and healthy 2018 season, that price tag is going to rocket up next year.

UPDATE 2: And Tommy La Stella joins the group:

La Stella was projected for an even million, so the Cubs are coming in slightly under across the board so far. Now we wait on Bryant, Russell, and Grimm.


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UPDATES 3 and 4: Kris Bryant and Addison Russell join the party!

Bryant, you’ll recall, was projected to earn $8.9 million in his first trip through arbitration, but after we took a closer look at his case yesterday, we figured he might get more than that. And, as it turns out, he did in fact beat Ryan Howard’s first-year arb-eligible record-setting $10M deal from 2008 … by nearly one million dollars! Good for Bryant and good on the Cubs for paying him what he deserves (in the context of the current market/rules/labor environment).

Meanwhile, Addison Russell beat his projection, as well:

MLB Trade Rumors predicted a $2.3M deal for Russell, but he and the Cubs were able to come to an agreement and avoid the arbitration process altogether. Given his upside (and floor), this is a perfectly reasonable deal, even if it means he may soon get pretty expensive (ditto Bryant).


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In case you forgot, both players were SuperTwo eligible, which means they’ll get four trips through arbitration, as opposed to the standard three, which inherently means they’re bound to cost a bit more.

In any case, Justin Grimm is the one remaining hold out.


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Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation.