Cubs beat Ryan Theriot in salary arbitration

The Chicago Cubs beat Ryan Theriot in salary arbitration, and

the shortstop will be paid $2.6 million this season instead of his

request for a raise from $500,000 to $3.4 million.

John Kagel, Margaret Brogan and Elliott Shriftman made the

decision Saturday, a day after hearing the last arbitration case of

the offseason in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Just eight of the 128 players who entered arbitration last month

failed to settle before hearings. Owners beat players 5-3 this year

and lead 285-210 since arbitration began in 1974.

The 30-year-old Theriot batted .284 last season with seven

homers, 54 RBIs and 21 steals in 30 tries.

It was the Cubs’ first hearing since first baseman Mark Grace

lost in 1993 and was awarded $3.1 million rather than his request

for $4.1 million.

“It really wasn’t like an adversarial-type case. It was more

like a philosophical-type case,” said Cubs general manager Jim

Hendry, who attended the four-hour hearing.

“So really it was just a matter of how you wanted to look at

the different type of players who were on the north and south of

the midpoint.”

The Cubs had eight arbitration-eligible players this year and

this was the first one to go to a hearing in Hendry’s run as

general manager that began in 2002.

“I just assumed sooner or later as a general manager we would

be going. It’s just part of the process,” Hendry said.

He said there are no hard feelings and he actually chatted with

Theriot before the hearing began.

“We’ve always paid players what is fair. … I thought we’d

already reached the point of the highest level of fairness. I’m not

mad at Ryan for wanting to go. He has every right,” Hendry

said.

“I’ve known him for a long time, known him for 10 years. He’s

being compensated with what I thought was a fair number to begin

with. It’s not like there’s any big loss here. He’ll be fine. We’re

not worried about that.”

Theriot, slated to be the Cubs’ leadoff hitter, showed up

Saturday, two days before he was scheduled to report.

He called the arbitration informative and interesting.

“It’s a different look at everything, kind of how the numbers

go. Long, boring. But it’s over now. I’m glad it’s over,” Theriot

said.

He agreed there were no hard feelings with Hendry and

acknowledged that he still got a nice raise from last season.

“Everything is fine,” Theriot said. “I think Jim has been

fair to me for a long time. … I never felt I’m owed anything.

This is a privilege to be able to come in here and do this every

day. There are millions of people who would love to do it. So from

that point of view, whatever you get is great and you’re happy with

it and you go out there and play.”