Even as cries that the Cubs are cheap and broke and such bounce around the web, they do continue to do at least one thing more expensively than many of their rivals: they pay their pre-arbitration players well.
Recall, players on the 40-man roster who do not yet have enough service time to qualify for arbitration are subject to having their contracts “renewed” – i.e., the team gets to keep you, and they can pay you whatever they want for the coming season, as long as it is at least the big league minimum ($555,000). It’s alway nicer if you can get the player to agree to the contract, though, from a relational standpoint.
The Cubs, under the current front office, have always paid their guys more than the minimum, and relatively speaking, usually quite a bit more than the minimum. This year is no different.
The Cubs officially announced that they’ve signed their 17 pre-arb players to contracts for 2019, and described it as “agreed to terms,” which means they didn’t have to “renew” anyone:
- Right-handed pitchers Adbert Alzolay, Oscar De La Cruz, Dillon Maples, Alec Mills, James Norwood, Jen-Ho Tseng, Duane Underwood Jr. and Rowan Wick.
- Left-handed pitchers Randy Rosario and Justin Steele.
- Catchers Victor Caratini, Willson Contreras and Taylor Davis.
- Infielder David Bote.
- Outfielders Albert Almora Jr., Ian Happ and Mark Zagunis.
Although the official release did not disclose terms, we did get a few of the notable ones:
Cubs have signed their 0-3 players (17 total). Notables: Willson Contreras gets $684,000, Albert Almora Jr. gets $615,500 and Ian Happ earns $603,500.
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) March 3, 2019