The deadline for avoiding arbitration has passed, and five of the seven eligible Chicago Cubs are signed to new contracts. Two players, Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta and outfielder/utility player Chris Coghlan will continue into arbitration. The Cubs have hinted at offering Arrieta a long-term deal, but until the numbers are in and the negotiations are finished, it’s anyone’s guess what will happen before he hits free agency after the 2017 season. He’s projected to get around a ten million dollar raise in 2016.
Coghlan, who is going to be something of a fifth wheel in the lineup this year, will enter arbitration with the team as well. If Jason Heyward is in center field, and Jorge Soler remains in right, it’s not likely Coghlan will bump the power bat of Kyle Schwarber out of left field all that often unless Schwarber spends more time behind the plate. The uncertainty of his place on the roster may have contributed to the lack of a pre-arbitration contract.
Travis Wood, who stepped from the rotation into the bullpen and put up some great numbers last year, got a raise from his $5.685 million 2015 to $6.17 million. Pedro Strop, the team’s fiery set-up pitcher, jumped from $2.525 million in 2015 to a contract good for $4.4 million in 2016.
Justin Grimm, who Joe Maddon called his middle closer once or twice this year, is up for arbitration for the first time and signed a one-year, $1.275 million dollar contract. Also in his first year of arbitration, closer Hector Rondon, who earned $544,000 last year, inked a contract for $4.2 million in 2016.
The last Cub to sign, Adam Warren, was acquired earlier this winter in a trade with the New York Yankees. It’s uncertain if he will start, or pitch from the bullpen. His contract is one year for $1.7 million.
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