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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