Cubs beat 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.''