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Cubs Avoid Arbitration With Jeff Samardzija And James Russell

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The Cubs avoid arbitration with two pitchers, signing Samardzija to a $2.64 million deal and Russell to a $1.075 deal.

Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

As reported by various Twitter reports, the Cubs avoided arbitration with pitchers Jeff Samardzija and James Russell. Samardzija signed for $2.64 million plus 125 thousand in incentives, and Russell signed for $1.075 million.

Samardzija had a breakout season in 2012, going 9-13 with a 3.81 ERA in 28 starts. But more importantly, he was able to pitch 174 innings and strike out 180 batters before the Cubs shut him down in September. His control also improved greatly with his walk ratio dropping to a solid 2.9 per nine innings, easily a career high for him. With better run support, he likely would have won 14 or 15 games.

Russell emerged as the Cubs set-up man, going 7-1 with a 3.25 ERA over 69 innings. He also recorded two saves. All of those numbers were career highs for him.

Thus the Cubs have everyone under contract for next season that they're supposed to have under contract. Next step is spring training.