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Cubs Avoid Arbitration With Justin Ruggiano

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That leaves just two arb-eligible Cubs who haven't signed.

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Joel Sherman of the New York Post has details:

Once again, just about at the midpoint of the request and the offer -- slightly to the Cubs' advantage this time, not that it really matters. $2 million is reasonable for someone of Ruggiano's experience and performance.

That leaves two Cubs who are arbitration-eligible who have not yet agreed to terms: Jeff Samardzija and Darwin Barney, both of whom had more distance between their salary request and the Cubs' salary offer. Thus, the fact that these two are the last to sign does not surprise me. Shark asked for $6.2 million and was offered $4.4 million; Barney requested $2.8 million and the Cubs countered with $1.8 million.

Arb hearings will begin Feb. 1 and conclude Feb. 21, and though I don't know when the hearings for Shark and Barney are scheduled, there's certainly still time for them both to sign without a hearing. The Cubs have had just one player go to an arb hearing in the last 20 years -- Ryan Theriot in 2010.