Before Friday, the Cubs had six arbitration-eligible players unsigned.
That number is now down to three:
La Stella avoids arbitration with $950,000 deal. #Cubs— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) January 12, 2018
If you are keeping track via my previous estimates of 2018 salaries, the Cubs saved $250,000 on the signing of Justin Wilson, $825,000 on the signing of Kyle Hendricks, and now another $50,000 below the $1 million estimate I’d made for TLS.
So, based on those previous estimates, the Cubs now have $1,125,000 “more” to spend on free agents, or put aside perhaps for the tougher signings to come (Kris Bryant and Addison Russell).
Tommy La Stella had a very good year for the Cubs in a bench role in 2017. He hit .288/.389/.472 with five home runs in 125 at-bats. That included going 9-for-30 with 10 walks as a pinch-hitter (.488 OBP as a PH, which is excellent). He seems well-suited to that role, and after his refusal to go to the minors in 2016, seems to have accepted and adapted to the role well.
In addition to Bryant and Russell, Justin Grimm is arb-eligible but still unsigned. I am guessing that signing might also come Friday.