Major league arbitration-eligible players and team owners must submit their requests and offers for 2018 salaries by this Friday, January 12.
We’ve got little else to talk about in the desert that this offseason has become, so let’s talk money.
As of Tuesday, none of the six Cubs who are arb-eligible has signed for 2018. It’s possible that one or more will sign by the deadline. The Cubs have not had a player go to an actual arb hearing since 2010 (Ryan Theriot), and it seems this management team wants to continue that. Hearings had been scheduled for Jake Arrieta (2016) and Pedro Strop (2016), but both players agreed to terms before the hearing date.
Last October, MLB Trade Rumors estimated arb figures for all eligible players; here is what they had guessed for Cubs players:
Justin Wilson (5.035) – $4.3MM
Justin Grimm (4.153) – $2.4MM
Kyle Hendricks (3.081) – $4.9MM
Tommy La Stella (3.057) – $1.0MM
Kris Bryant (2.171) – $8.9MM
Addison Russell (2.167) – $2.3MM
The numbers in parentheses are years and days of major-league service.
Last month, when I wrote about the Cubs payroll and luxury tax implications, I made these estimates for those six players:
Justin Wilson: $4,500,000
Justin Grimm: $2,500,000
Kyle Hendricks: $5,000,000
Tommy La Stella: $1,000,000
Kris Bryant: $9,000,000
Addison Russell: $2,500,000
As you can see, my estimates are slightly higher than MLBTR’s.
In my view, these numbers are pretty reasonable and would help keep the Cubs under the luxury tax limits. These would be final figures; players might ask for more, and teams might initially offer somewhat less. I’d guess that TLS, Wilson, Grimm and Russell would likely be the first to settle, with Bryant and Russell possibly holding out for higher figures.
Again... this offseason is moving at the pace of the glaciers receding in the last Ice Age. So, to warm things up, feel free to agree or disagree with my take.