In theory, arbitration hearings can begin within the next week, but it remains unlikely that the Cubs will actually take any of their arbitration cases that far. You can cross another off the list today as the Cubs have agreed on a one-year deal with outfielder Justin Ruggiano, per Joel Sherman. Ruggiano gets $2 million for 2014 after requesting $2.45 million, and after the Cubs offered $1.6 million. This is Ruggiano’s first arbitration year.
Ruggiano, 31, was acquired in December for Brian Bogusevic in what was largely a salary dump for the Marlins. He’s expected to fill a platoon role in the outfield this year, but his overall ability is that of a borderline starter. He’ll probably see more starts than your average right-handed platoon guy.
Left on the arbitration docket: Darwin Barney (requested $2.8 million, offered $1.8 million) and Jeff Samardzija (requested $6.2 million, offered $4.4 million).