The Cubs tendered a contract to Justin Grimm at the non-tender deadline last December, which surprised many.
At the time contract figures were due to be submitted to arbitration, the team and Grimm had not come to an agreement. The Cubs offered $2.2 million, Grimm asked for $2.475 million.
The last Cub to go all the way to an actual arbitration hearing was Ryan Theriot, who lost his bid in 2010. Jake Arrieta in 2015 and Pedro Strop in 2016 had hearings scheduled, but settled before the hearing time.
Today, it was announced that Grimm lost his arb bid:
Justin Grimm lost arb case— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 8, 2018
So, that means Grimm will be paid $2,200,000 this year — if he isn’t released midway through spring training. Teams can release players for “failure to exhibit sufficient skill or competitive ability” (per the CBA) and pay only 30 days’ termination pay, if they do so 16 days before the beginning of the season. This year that would be March 13. Players can also be released after that date but before the end of spring training and get 45 days’ termination pay.
Thus, I’d expect Grimm to get a lot of time in early spring games so he can either prove himself worthy of a spot on the 25-man roster, or the Cubs can make a case that he simply didn’t measure up and can be let go.
Which, again, comes back to the question: Why did the Cubs tender him a contract in the first place?