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Cubs, Pedro Strop Heading To Arbitration

The Cubs haven't had an arbitration hearing in five years.

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier Friday, the Cubs and newly-acquired outfielder Dexter Fowler agreed to a contract slightly below the midpoint of the team's offer (actually, the Astros' offer) and Fowler's request:

That left Pedro Strop as the only arb-eligible unsigned Cub, and he's still unsigned:

The Cubs have not had an arbitration hearing since 2010, when Ryan Theriot and the previous regime under Jim Hendry couldn't come to terms. Word was that management wasn't real happy with Theriot for taking them to a hearing. Theriot, already in decline from his "best" season in 2008, was traded to the Dodgers in midseason 2010, made superfluous after the debut of Starlin Castro that year.

Strop has asked for $3 million and the team has offered $2 million. You wouldn't think it would be that difficult to come to an agreement at the midpoint of those two figures, but with no agreement in sight, a hearing date will be scheduled, likely some time in the first week of February. Of course, the parties could still agree to a deal and avoid a hearing any time up to when the hearing actually starts -- the Cubs and Carlos Zambrano did this one year, to my recollection.

Strop made $1,325,000 in 2014, when he had a very good year as a setup man (2.21 ERA, 1.066 WHIP in 65 appearances).

The other arbitration hearings in Cubs history:

Bruce Sutter (1980), Leon Durham (1985), Andre Dawson (1988), Shawon Dunston (1990), Mark Grace (1993) and Theriot. Sutter and Dunston won their cases and the others lost. Sutter's, at the time, was the largest arb award in the young history of those cases -- $700,000, which was seen as an outrageous sum of money 35 years ago. Shows you how salaries have changed.