Cubs avoid arbitration with six of seven eligible players
While Jake Arrieta's arbitration has been making the headlines for the Chicago Cubs, the team was able to reach one-year deals with six of its seven arbitration-eligible players Friday, according to MLB.com.
Only Cy Young award winner Arrieta remains as the lone player unsigned for the Cubs, likely heading to an arbitration hearing in February for a second-straight year.
Right-hand pitcher Hector Rondon agreed to a one-year, $4.2 million deal. The Cubs closer converted 30 saves in 2015 with a 1.687 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. He is expect to reprise his role as the finisher for Chicago in 2016.
Lefty reliever Travis Wood agreed to a $6.17 million deal, and righty bullpen arm Justin Grimm agreed to a $1.275 million deal. The two are expected to be middle reliever arms out of the bullpen in 2016 once again. Wood, a former All Star, threw 100 innings in 2015 with a 3.84 ERA, he made nine starts for the Cubs as well. Grimm had an 1.99 ERA, appearing in 62 games with 49.2 innings.
Right-hander Adam Warren, who was acquired from the New York Yankees in the trade dealing Starlin Castro, settled with the Cubs for $1.7 million. He is expected to be used as an end-of-the-rotation starter or start the season as a late inning bullpen arm. In 2015 for New York, he appeared in 43 games, 17 starts, throwing 131.1 innings with a 3.29 ERA and 1.165 WHIP.
Outfielder Chris Coghlan, who lost some playing time due to the emergence of rookie Kyle Schwarber making a transition to the outfield, batted .250, played in a career-high 148 games with 16 home runs. He reached an agreement for $4.8 million, according to MLB.com
Filling out the pre-arbitration settlements, right-handed reliever Pedro Strop settled for $4.4 million. He was an effective bullpen arm for the Cubs in 2015, pitching 68 innings with a 1.00 WHIP and 2.91 ERA.
While Friday was the deadline for teams to agree to deals with players before having to send in monetary terms for arbitration hearings, Arrieta and Coghlan could still exchange salary figures with the Cubs to avoid the hearing, and signing potentially longer-term deals.