Before the Sheraton Grand Chicago erupted in cheers, news surfaced the Cubs and Jake Arrieta exchanged salary numbers after not agreeing to terms on a contract for the upcoming season.
The Cubs avoided arbitration with six more players prior to Friday’s deadline. And of the nine arbitration eligible players on the 40-man roster, only Jake Arrieta remains unsigned.
Travis Wood ($6.17 million), Justin Grimm ($1.275 million), Hector Rondon ($4.2 million), Adam Warren ($1.7 million), Pedro Strop ($4.4 million) and Chris Coghlan ($4.8 million) agreed to terms Friday on contracts for the 2016 season. Rex Brothers ($1.42 million) and Clayton Richard ($2 million, plus incentives) avoided arbitration last month.
Jake Arrieta made $3.63 million last season and is projected for between $10-11 million this year. Arrieta is coming off an historic season, one that ended with a Cy Young Award. And he submitted a rather large salary figure.
Arrieta is asking for $13 million. The Cubs submitted a $7.5 million figure, a difference of $5.5 million the largest gap in baseball this year.
Theo Epstein said he is not worried about the negotiations and feels the two sides will agree to a salary before an arbitration hearing. And Arrieta said Thursday he did not think there would be a problem in negotiations over the one-year contract.
If Jake Arrieta and the Cubs meet in the middle ($10.25 million), Arrieta would end up at his projected salary of between $10-11 million.
- Report from the Sun-Times
- Report from Carrie Muskat
- Report from ESPN Chicago
- Report from Comcast SportsNet
Theo Epstein was asked about his contract once again Friday. And Epstein responded the way he has over the last four months.
Epstein is not worried or focused on his own contract. Epstein reiterated he and Tom Ricketts are on the same page. And that the two just have not had a chance to hammer out the actual contract. Epstein said the only time he thinks about his contract is when he’s asked about it.
Epstein pointed out Friday that it was more important to him to get the players taken care of than to take the time to work out the details of his own extension.
As for a time frame, possibly before Spring Training? Epstein told Comcast SportsNet he has not thought about it. The players, he said, deserve to have their deals done first.
“It’s seriously not a concern at all. It’s going to take care of itself. Tom and I could not have a better relationship.”
News and Notes
• The Cubs took several players Friday morning to Wrigley to see the progress on the new clubhouse. Everyone Carrie Muskat talked to “was dazzled by the space.”
• Theo Epstein told the beat writers prior to Friday’s Opening Ceremony, there is a “slim chance he makes another significant move” before Spring Training.
• ESPN Chicago reported the buzz for 2016 already high as Cubs fan fest kicks off.
• According to the Sun-Times, Kris Bryant’s grievance against the Cubs over his service time last year is about supporting the players after him.
• When asked if he’s ever seen anything like the Cubs Convention, John Lackey told Tony Andracki that he had … when he played for the Red Sox.
• According to Comcast SportsNet, Jason Heyward took the high road in war of words with the Cardinals.
• ESPN Chicago reported the Cubs were surprised by former catcher Taylor Teagarden’s PED admission.
• Hardball Talk took on the tough job of summing up all of the action from Friday throughout baseball. Click here for a complete recap of the players around the game that avoided arbitration. There are 34 players, including Jake Arrieta, that are facing an arbitration hearing if they cannot agree on a contract with their team before walking into the room.
This Day in Cubstory
2009 – Cubs signed free agent Erick Almonte
2009 – Cubs signed free agent Matt Smith
2008 – Cubs signed free agent Jon Lieber for one-year and $3.5 million
2003 – Cubs signed free agent Tom Goodwin
2002 – Cubs signed free agent Alan Benes
2002 – Cubs signed free agent Anthony Shumaker
2001 – Cubs signed free agent Jeff Reed
1996 – Cubs signed free agent Bob Patterson
1978 – Alfredo Amezaga, born
1970 – Ron Villone, born
1916 – Chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr. became a minority stockholder in the Cubs for $50,000 when Charles Weeghman purchased the team from Charles P. Taft.
1910 – Dizzy Dean, born
1907 – Cubs traded Doc Gessler, Jack Harper and cash to the Reds for Chick Fraser