From the Wire: Cubs Avoid Arbitration with Luis Valbuena

According to a report from Joel Sherman, the Cubs have avoided arbitration with infielder Luis Valbuena. The Cubs and Valbuena agreed to a one-year contract for $1.71 million. Sherman’s report did not indicated if the one-year deal with Valbuena includes an incentives package.

Luis Valbuena nearly doubled his 2013 salary of $930,000 in his second season with the Cubs. Valbuena hit .218/.331/.378/.708 with 15 doubles, one triple and a career-high 12 home runs in 108 games last year.

With the Cubs avoiding arbitration with Luis Valbuena, the team has avoided arbitration with three of the ten players on their roster arbitration eligible for the upcoming season. Donnie Murphy (one-year, $825,000 plus incentives) and George Kottaras (one-year, $1.075 million plus incentives) agreed to their contracts in December.

Friday at 12:00pm CST is the deadline for players and teams to exchange salary arbitration numbers. The Cubs have seven arbitration eligible players the front office still has to work out a deal with for next season:

Jeff Samardzija ($5-6 million; $2.64 million base in 2013, plus $125,000 bonus), Travis Wood ($3.2-4 million; $527,000 in 2013), Darwin Barney ($1.8-2.2 million; $562,000), James Russell ($1.6-1.95 million; $1.075 million in 2013), Justin Ruggiano ($825,000-$950,000; $494,500 in 2013), Pedro Strop ($1-1.2 million; $503,000 in 2013) and Nate Schierholtz ($5 million; $2.25 million base, $500,000 incentives in 2013).

The Cubs should agree to terms with several, if not all, of their salary arbitration eligible players on Friday.

Salary arbitration hearings take place from Feb. 1- Feb. 21 this year if they player and his team are not able to agree on a contract before entering the room. The team and the player can agree on a deal to avoid the hearings until they walk into the room. The Cubs have not gone to arbitration with a player under the Theo Epstein administration.

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  • cubtex

    Valbuena 1.71 mil per year?

    2013 .218
    2012 .219
    2011 .209
    2010 .193

    What a country!

    • daverj

      It’s amazing what Americans pay for sports as a source of entertainment (which in turn gets passed on the athletes like Valbuena). My brother (who was a huge sports fan as a kid) doesn’t watch any pro sports. He thinks the fact that we devote so much money, time and energy to a few very skilled athletes is ridiculous … sometimes I think he’s right.

      • cc002600

        It is true. Not only that there is a commercial on MLB network that sticks in my craw a little bit. If anybody watches MLB network I’m sure you have seen it. It’s actually a nice commercial that essentially thanks the fans for the past year. But the one line that drives me nuts is “the game wouldn’t be the same without the fans”. Really ? It wouldn’t be the same ? No, no, no. Let’s get straight to the point that maybe gets lost on some athletes today. There would be NO GAME without the fans. Literally. There would be no million dollar contracts, no beautiful stadiums, no fancy lifestyles…there would be NONE of that without the fans. I really believe some athletes don’t really get that. But it does happen. Look at all the pro sports leagues that never made it. USFL, XFL, etc. – no fans, no game. period.

        • 07GreyDigger

          I thought the XFL didn’t make it because it was terrible.

          • cc002600

            You got that right. :-)

      • Dorasaga

        So, we rather talk about Bill Gates, Clinton, and Warren Buffet for fun? Celebrate supermodels (a handful of them got that title nowadays, maybe a hundred and two?), Tom Cruise and Sandler paid more than 30 million per year for doing what?

        Show business is entertaining, even the critical pay we bash on for fun!

    • cc002600

      LOL.
      Was thinking the same thing.
      1.7M for this guy. Wow

      • mutantbeast

        Yoou and me would get fired if we sucked at our jobs that badly. Personally, while Clayton Kershaw is an excellent pitcher, hes not worth 32M/yr. No athlete is.

        • daverj

          It’s an outlandish figure, but if Kershaw can get 32 mil/yr, then the market says he is worth it. And as I pointed out earlier, it’s really the fans who are driving the market for these guys.

    • Ripsnorter1

      If Olt makes the team, I move Valbuena to 2B and you actually upgraded your offense with Mr. Valbuena!

      NOW say, “What a country!”
      LOL

    • Ripsnorter1

      He’s better than Ian Stewart (heard from that guy lately?) and Darwin Barney. UGH!

      I’ve actually seen some 2014 predictions saying that he suddenly will hit .270 with 20 taters this year.

      One more wonderful thought:
      He was a platoon player last year with Cody Ransom and Donnie Murphy. Think just how nice that BA would be without the help of a platoon.

  • 07GreyDigger

    Phew! I was so worried about this all season!

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    if he were a bench player I’d like him…and he wouldn’t make 1.7…

    • cubtex

      If he were on another team…I would like it… and let somebody else pay that stiff 1.7 mil

    • daverj

      I think Olt could replicate Valbuena’s 2013 seasons of .218 with 12 HR for much less money. And with Olt there would be chance for something more.

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        I believe Olt will do better than that. Closer to Rizzo’s stats from 2013.

      • Eugene Debs

        Olt hit less than .190 in AAA. We may not want to count on him quite yet.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Ricketts is not really paying his salary…its the fans and the money from those media contracts that pays these players salaries.

    • mutantbeast

      Cubs TV rights dont pay what say, the Stankees, the Dodgers, or the Angels pay. Cubs will have to get away from WGN and Comcast first.

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