The Chicago Cubs will have nine players eligible to hit arbitration this winter, meaning the team will have to pay them more than the minimum MLB salary of $720,000.
Exactly how much each guy will make is on a case-by-case basis and will depend on multiple variables including service time, their performance this year, and how much the organization values them moving forward.
Here are two players who will cost the Cubs a decent chunk of change in arbitration and two who will not.
Costly: Justin Steele
Justin Steele took a massive step forward in 2023 and established himself as the most reliable starting pitcher in the rotation. A 3.06 ERA over 173.1 innings with 176 strikeouts are huge strides for a guy in his second full season as a starting pitcher. And the fruits of Steele's hard work will get him a nice pay bump in arbitration this winter.
In 2023, Steele made $740,000 according to Spotrac, which is now way below what he should be making. After his Cy Young contending performance, the projections from MLB trade rumors have Steele securing a $4.1 million contract for his first arbitration year in 2024.
This number doesn't surprise me at all since Steele will have significant bargaining leverage after his stellar year on the mound. Hopefully the 28-year-old can continue to give the Cubs great years in the future and keep increasing these salary projections.