Chicago Cubs agree to one-year deals with several arbitration eligible players
Just a day after it was announced that the Chicago Cubs were going to bring back Hall of Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg back to the Windy City as an ambassador, the team locked in several players for 2016.
Following a huge 2015 campaign which was followed up by another memorable offseason that featured the signing’s of John Lackey, Ben Zobrist and outfielder Jason Heyward, the Cubs are predicted to have the best record in all of baseball.
This would leave the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates battling it out for the second and third spot in the N.L. Central as well as the N.L. Wild Card that could involve the New York Mets or Washington Nationals.
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Now according to the Chicago Tribune, the players who agreed to brand new deals are Travis Wood, Justin Grimm, Hector Rondon, Pedro Strop, and recently acquired Adam Warren.
The first four listed above stood out for the Cubs and played important roles throughout the regular and postseason up until they were eliminated by the Mets in the National League Championship Series.
Out of the five that avoided arbitration, veteran southpaw Wood received the highest salary, sitting at $6.17 million for the 2016 campaign. He’ll work out of the bullpen for the majority of the season with a few spot starts in between depending on the situation.
Both Strop and Rondon were handed the second and third highest of the group, bringing in $4.4 million for Pedro and $4.2 million for Joe Maddon‘s closer who turned in a fantastic campaign.
The Grimm Reaper, or Justin Grimm if you’re unfamiliar with the nickname, received the lowest of the group, reeling in a little over $1.2 million. I was expecting him to pick up, at least, $1.4 million at the least, but it appears the money was good enough to bring him back for another run.
Last but not least, you have the former New York Yankee in Warren. Warren was acquired by the Cubs in exchange for second baseman Starlin Castro, so there are some expectations there considering he is the only standing piece from that package.
He’ll make $1.7 million in 2016.
Next: Cubs Best Free Agent Bargains
Now we need to see what Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer plan on offering to N.L. Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta.
There’s no doubt that he’ll walk away with a record number after he dominated the league with his best season yet.
Hopefully, he’s able to carry over his regular season performance and can step it up when the Cubs make it to the postseason for the second consecutive season.