Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Cubs look to avoid arbitration with key players

Most times these situations rarely reach arbitration. That doesn’t mean the Chicago Cubs can take anything for granted this week as they look to sure things up with some key players, including their two best pitchers.

As Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports, Theo Epstein and the rest of the front office have their work cut out for them this week:

Specifically, salary-arbitration figures will be exchanged with eight players on Friday if no agreements have been reached. Pitcher Jeff Samardzija stands to receive the biggest salary…The biggest raise, however, could go to left-hander Travis Wood, who could earn an increase of more than $3 million after earning $527,500 in 2013. Wood, 26, posted a 3.11 ERA, threw 200 innings and was named to the National League All-Star team.”

Gonzales also notes that the Cubs have to decide what to do with outfielder Nate Schierholtz, who could be due a salary north of $4 million.

The Cubs are very much in the hunt for Masahiro Tanaka. Pending their decision with Samardzija, their starting rotation stands to be pretty stacked. The team will likely wait until the free agent market settles before deciding if they will consider trading their ace or not.

Wood was ridiculously good last season. Ignore his win-loss record (9-12) and focus on his 3.11 ERA and 3.89 FIP in 200 innings pitched. Some of his other peripherals are less favorable, but if he’s the third guy in your rotation? That’s the kind of pitching staff that can accelerate the rebuilding process.

Tags: Chicago Cubs Jeff Samardzija Travis Wood

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