The Chicago Cubs are looking to avoid last place, unless they want another high draft pick (not necessarily a bad thing) in their back pocket going into the 2015 season. As a Chicago Cubs fan myself, I would settle for fourth or third, but right now that seems like a long shot.
You can never really know what will happen until the regular season begins. This team could be full of (stop laughing) surprises and have themselves a great year. But before all that can happen, the team needs to be able to get through this arbitration period then onto Spring Training.
The Chicago Cubs have announced that they were able to avoid arbitration with outfielder Nate Schierholtz, left handed pitcher James Russell and infielder Luis Valbuena. Schierholtz is coming off a huge career year with the Cubs after launching 21 home runs, 68 RBI’s, drawing 29 walks, 32 doubles while hitting .251/.301/.470 across the line.
Chicago and Schierholtz were able to agree on a one year contract worth around $5 million. He’ll serve as Chicago’s everyday right fielder in 2014.
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) January 17, 2014
James Russell entered his second year of eligibility and was able to walk away with a one year, $1.77 million deal to avoid arbitration. He worked through 52 2/3 innings of work while posting a 3.59 ERA last year with the Cubs.
James Russell avoids arb as well. $1.77 for one yr
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) January 17, 2014
Infielder Luis Valbuena is coming off a year where he played 108 games but missed a little bit of time. He filled in for a spot that doesn’t have that much depth in the organization. Right now Valbuena will be keeping the hot corner warm while prospect Kris Bryant gets a little bit more time in Chicago’s farm system.
Luis hit 12 home runs, 37 RBI’s with a batting line of .218/.331/.378. Both home run and RBI’s were a career high for Valbuena.
#Cub and Luis Valbuena avoid arbitration. He gets $1.71M.
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) January 17, 2014