My offseason has been so mucked up. From behind-the-scenes functional transitions to site issues (if you still can’t see new posts on the home page, make sure you go there, totally clear your cache, and refresh the page) to personal challenges … it just feels so unusual.
And that’s before we get to the unusually slow offseason, itself, which you’ve heard discussed ad nauseam. Don’t worry, I’m not going to belabor that part in this post. But it was necessary to mention, because we’re about to hit a critical signpost in the offseason: arbitration season. Normally, teams have their budgets more or less set down so that they can attack arbitration and extensions with a keener knowledge of how much flexibility they have. This year? It kinda seems like a lot of that might be flipped on its head.
A week from tomorrow, arbitration-eligible players and their teams will exchange arbitration figures – the players request a salary for 2018, and the teams offer a salary for 2018. The sides can negotiate a deal, or they can take their case to arbitration in February, at which an arbitrator will select one of those two figures.
The Cubs generally do not take players to arbitration, so the figures exchanged next week will instead set up the negotiations that will follow. And for the Cubs, you’d love to see a lot of those negotiations including not only the 2018 season, but cost-controlled seasons beyond. How easily can the Cubs do that right now, not knowing what their free agent plans are? Well, like I said, there’s a clear relationship there. Maybe instead of A informing B this year, B will inform A.
The Cubs’ arbitration-eligible players, together with their service time and projected 2018 arbitration salaries (per MLBTR) are:
- Justin Wilson (5.035) – $4.3MM (third of three arbitration years)
- Justin Grimm (4.162) – $2.4MM (third of four arbitration years)
- Kyle Hendricks (3.081) – $4.9MM (first of three arbitration years)
- Tommy La Stella (3.072) – $1.0MM (first of three arbitration years)
- Kris Bryant (2.171) – $8.9MM (first of four arbitration years)
- Addison Russell (2.167) – $2.3MM (first of four arbitration years)