From the Wire … Cubs Avoid Arbitration with Luis Valbuena

According to multiple reports, the Cubs avoided arbitration with Luis Valbuena on Thursday and inked the infielder to a one-year, $930,000 contract.

The Cubs have three players arbitration eligible for next year that they have not agreed to terms on a contracts for the upcoming season … Jeff Samardzija, James Russell and Matt Garza. The deadline to exchange arbitration numbers is Friday, January 18.


Luis Valbuena hit .219/.310/.340/.650 in 90 games last season for the Cubs with 20 doubles and four home runs. Valbuena nearly doubled his pay from last season ($480,000) in his first year of arbitration eligibility.

Luis Valbuena’s Page on Baseball-Reference

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  • paulcatanese

    Dosen’t play a full season, is below average as a hitter,
    and doubles his salary, ah America, the land of opportunity.

    • Tony_Hall

      Just shows you how valuable the 0-3 years are when players are not eligible for arbitration.

      It is good to control a player and not having to pay more than the league minimum of around $500,000.

      • paulcatanese

        You’re kidding, right Tony? Thats almost double of the league minimum. These signings are simply amazing, when do the Cubs figure he will have a breakout season?

        • Scott

          These signings happen all the time with every team in baseball. It is the nature of the beast. Tony is exactly right. Those first three years at the major league level can be an amazing deal for the club. Once players hit arbitration, salaries skyrocket.

        • Tony_Hall

          Paul – You are out of touch with how this works. 930K for a utility infielder is a good deal. On the FA market it would be 2-3M.

          I know you think Valbuena is not good, but he was a 0.4 WAR last year, so his market value would be $2M. By paying him “only” 930K, the Cubs are seeing just over $1M of surplus value, and that is based on last year. If he has a better year, he will be one of the better “values” on the team.

          I know people don’t like Valbuena, but he is 27 years old, controlled for 4 more seasons, plays good defense. He has had a very good winter season, and I expect him to be a useful player for the Cubs for awhile. He actually had a very good August last year 306/434/484 and may have been turning his offensive woes around before falling off in September.

          • Dorasaga

            Sold. Thank you for pointing out the NOT OBVIOUS. I can’t imagine one day my world is without baseball fans online.

            One other not obvious-don’t believe in one month wonder. I’ve tried that in fantasy baseball, and the Cubs tried that on Carlos Zambrano.

          • http://profiles.google.com/jchickenlegs paul john catanese

            I guess inflation just clouds my mind. When I saw players like Williams, Dimaggio and Ruth paid almost the same, well?

          • Dorasaga
          • http://profiles.google.com/jchickenlegs paul john catanese

            Thanks for the link, great story, I thought I read them all, but I missed that one.
            Ted Williams is John Wayne!!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs also signed Brent Lillibridge and Darnell McDonald to minor league contracts with big league invites. Working on the post, will have up asap

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