The Chicago Cubs Have Reportedly Won Their Arbitration Case with Reliever Justin Grimm

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The Chicago Cubs Have Reportedly Won Their Arbitration Case with Reliever Justin Grimm

Chicago Cubs

For the first time ever, this Chicago Cubs front office took one of their players, right-handed reliever Justin Grimm, all the way to arbitration, and according to Jon Heyman, they won:

The salary gap wasn’t enormous – Grimm requested $2.475M and the Cubs countered with $2.2M – but the two sides couldn’t come together and decided to leave it up to an arbitrator. The arbitrator, it seems, has sided with the Cubs and the rest is history.

As for why the front office decided to let this go to arbitration over such a relatively small amount of money … well, it’s possible that some players have decided they were going to go to arbitration no matter what (given the current climate). There’s also been some whispers that a huge volume of teams were switching to file-and-trial (i.e., if no settlement before the exchange of salary figures back in January, the case is going to arbitration), so it’s possible that’s what happened here too.

In any case, the Cubs have won and will pay Justin Grimm $2.2 million in 2018. Well, if he makes it through Spring Training to the regular season, that is. Keep in mind that arbitration-level contracts are not fully guaranteed until Spring Training is over. If Grimm is released before then, he receives only termination pay (30 or 45 days worth, depending on when he’s released). So the Cubs are on the hook here for only about $300,000 to $400,000 if they decide Grimm is not going to make the roster.

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

As for his chances, well, perhaps that’s a broader discussion for another day (and it certainly depends on whether the Cubs can land another starter in order to push Mike Montgomery into the bullpen), but for now, the Cubs bullpen is pretty full:

  1. Brandon Morrow
  2. Pedro Strop
  3. Carl Edwards Jr.
  4. Steve Cishek
  5. Brian Duensing
  6. Justin Wilson
  7. Mike Montgomery

If the Cubs decide to roll with eight arms in their bullpen (a pretty common practice in recent years), Justin Grimm is probably your leading candidate for the final spot. As Brett put it recently, “When Grimm is right, his stuff is as nasty as any reliever the Cubs have available. But when he’s wrong, as we have seen, he isn’t too much help out there in the bullpen.”

In any case, I’m glad this arbitration decision is behind us and Grimm is fully in the fold for now, because it’s one less hurdle this offseason needed.

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami