Cubs Friday: Arbitration, here we come?

Any chance I get to mention the Chicago Cubs last arbitration hearing is a good day. I know I’ve mentioned it at least once recently, but the last time the Cubs had to go to a hearing with a player was with Ryan Theriot in 2010, a hearing which the Cubs won. I don’t normally root for “the man”, but that time, it definitely felt like justice was served. That year, poor Ryan only got $2.6 million instead of the $3.4 million he was seeking. The Cubs are on the cusp of their first arbitration hearing of the Theo Epstein era, with Jeff Samardzija’s hearing scheduled for Monday in Florida. To rehash what everyone is saying publicly:shark

“Obviously, I’m hopeful,” Samardzija said during the Cubs Convention in January about the possibility of a long-term deal. “I think I’ve said that from day one. Ever since I signed my first contract here with the Cubs, I’ve wanted to be here. And a big reason for not playing football was to come here and play in Chicago. It obviously means a lot for me to be here.”

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein has never gone to arbitration with a player during his tenure with the Cubs or as general manager of the Red Sox.

“I’m a big fan of Jeff Samardzija,” Epstein said last month. “I think he has a great future. I think his best days are ahead of him. He’s under club control for the next two years, and hopefully we get a chance to extend that window. There’s been public speculation about a contract extension at times, a trade at times. I can’t tell you what’s going to happen, but I can tell you I’m really happy he’s a Cub, and [I] look forward to him getting the ball on Opening Day.”

Jeff’s hopeful and it means a lot for him to be in Chicago. It also requires a lot of money, more than what Theo is willing to currently pay, even though he’s a big fan. The Cubs’ offer is $4.4 million and Samardzija’s counter is $6.2 million. I don’t have as much emotion invested in this case as I did in Theriot’s, but maybe if the Cubs win they can get Samardzija to cut his hair.

As the lead-up to Spring Training continues, Kris Bryant is trying to ignore me talking about how handsome he is and the rest of the hype surrounding him.

After all this success, it would be easy for a young kid like Bryant to get caught up in the hype and assume his ticket to Wrigley has already been punched. But Bryant is keeping his head out of the clouds.

“When I was in college, we did a whole lot of the mental-training side of baseball and just staying in the moment,” he said. “Those tools have really carried over into professional baseball and they’ve helped me tremendously.

“I’m just falling back on the things I know. Those are the tools I have in my belt and I’ve been using them. So I’m just staying in the moment every day, focusing on getting better as a player and as a person.”

And staying super dreamy with those beautiful blue eyes.

10 thoughts on “Cubs Friday: Arbitration, here we come?

  1. Doc Blume says:

    Typically arbitration is avoided by agreeing to the mid point between the two salary numbers. In Samardzija’s case, his number is so high in comparison, it seems unlikely an agreement is going to be reached.

    Regardless, I think Samardzija is as good as gone at the trade deadline now…just like Theriot was after he lost his arbitration case.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I dunno Doc if we are paying Hammels 6 mill per year to be a 3-4 or 5 spot pitcher. The least we could do is pay our 1 slot guy 5-6 mill right???

  3. johnnywest333 says:

    I mean Hammel* whateves.

  4. Doc Blume says:

    You are assuming Samardzija is a better pitcher. (I’m not as high on Samardzija as some people.)

    But even if he is a better, Samardzija is also 2 years from being a free agent. Hammel was a free agent, and that is the going rate.

    And also, I think Travis Wood is more of our #1 slot guy right now. Over their careers, statistically, Wood has been superior to Samardzija and he only got $3.9 million this season.

  5. Doc Blume says:

    A-Rod has dropped his lawsuits and has accepted his suspension.

  6. johnnywest333 says:

    True I beleive that Wood is the better pitcher but Theo clearly stated that the ball will be in Sharks hands on opening day. Theo the guy who Shark is going to arbitration with and Theo the same guy who is paying 5-6 mill a year for Feldmans and Bakers and how much did Baker make last year for how many games??? I dunno I failed math bro but its just weird. Wood should make more. Wsnt he our All Star last year? Im just sayin Me Stinks at math lol

  7. Doc Blume says:

    You are comparing free agents to a player who is still under team control. For a better comparison, you need to look at other players who are in their second arbitration year and compare their stats.

  8. johnnywest333 says:

    True dat Doc. Have a good weekend.

  9. sloanpeterson2 says:

    Pitchers and catchers reporting today? Watching footage of the angels/ dodgers setting up camp…

  10. sloanpeterson2 says:

    Paul Maholm signed with the Dodgers, 1 year $1.5 million. Bargain?

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