Chicago Cubs avoid arbitration with Luis Valbuena, Travis Wood


The Chicago Cubs are working hard to settle the arbitration cases with most of the players eligible for that situation. The front office has made plenty of efforts and several players have been given contracts throughout the day.

Jake Arrieta, Chris Coghlan and Welington Castillo are some of the players that were granted one-year deals during the day. Two others can be added to the list as the front office led by Theo Epstein has reportedly finalized deals with Travis Wood and Luis Valbuena.

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Luis Valbuena is expected to start Spring Training as the team’s main option to play third base,  and he could move into a utility role once Kris Bryant arrives to the MLB club. Valbuena offers a left-handed bat with some pop – 16 HRs and a .435 SLG % – and he also offers versatility on defense as he can play shortstop, second and third. The Venezuelan infielder signed a one-year, $4.2M – per Bruce Miles – so that will make him a member of the Cubs for the entire season unless he’s traded at some point during the year.

As for Travis Wood, the lefty has been long rumored as a possible trade candidate but it seems like the Cubs will give him every chance to compete for either the fifth spot on the rotation or as a lefty coming off the bullpen. Wood didn’t have his best stuff in 2014 and while his numbers were quite poor, he’s not far removed from a 2013 year that saw him made the All-Star Game for the first time in his career.

ESPN’s Jesse Rogers reported that Wood signed a one-year, $5.6M deal.

With both Wood and Valbuena signed for another year, Pedro Strop is now the only player left to be signed among the ones that were arbitration eligible. Considering the kind of career Strop has had since joining the Cubs in 2013, there’s little question that the two can come to an agreement prior to a hearing date.

Next: Cubs avoid arbitration with Chris Coghlan and Welington Castillo