The Chicago Cubs made significant progress on Tuesday by trying to avoid arbitration with all their eligible players as Starting Pitchers Matt Garza and Tom Gorzelanny, as well as reliever Sean Marshall all agreed to new contracts.
While the Cubs did agree on a contract with Tom Gorzelanny for one year, $2.1 million, the Washington Nationals will be taking on all of that contract once they announce the trade for Gorzelanny. The deal was expected to be announced today, but due to the weather in Chicago, Gorzelanny has yet to take his physical for the Washington Nationals. Instead, the Gorzelanny will take his physical tomorrow, thus completing the trade that sends Gorzelanny to the Nationals for prospects Michael Burgess, A.J. Morris, and Graham Hicks.
Matt Garza agreed to a one year deal, worth $5.95 million. When the Cubs acquired Garza from the Rays, it was expected that he would make around $6 million for the upcoming season. I would imagine that the Cubs plan to sign Garza to a long term deal at some point. Last season, Garza,27, had his best year of his career as he went 15-10 with an ERA of 3.91.
Sean Marshall was the only player of all the Cubs eligible for arbitration to sign a multi-year deal. Marshall and the Cubs agreed to a two year deal, worth $4.7 million. Marshall had a solid season from the Cubs bullpen in 2010, as in 80 appearances he consummated an ERA of 2.65 with 90 strikeouts.
While closer Carlos Marmol did not agree to a new contract, the expectation is that the two sides will not go to arbitration. Marmol is coming off of a phenomenal season as he had an ERA of 2.55 with 38 saves and 138 strikeouts, which was a franchise record for a relief pitcher. The belief is Marmol could be seeking $5 million, and the Cubs may be offering as much as $4.5 million at this point. Needless to say, the Chicago Tribune reports that the two sides should reach an agreement on a two or three year deal, before the case goes to arbitration.
So, once again, it looks like Cubs General Manager Jim Hendry has worked his arbitration magic. Hendry throughout is tenure as Cubs General Manager, has a notorious reputation for avoiding arbitration with many of his players.