The Cubs entered Friday, the final day teams had to settle 2021 contracts with players before they went to an arbitration hearing, with five arb-eligible players still unsigned: Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Willson Contreras, Zach Davies and Ian Happ.
The first announced signing was Javier Baez:
Cubs and Javy Baez settle for $11.65 mil for 2021— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) January 15, 2021
This figure is toward the high end of the MLB Trade Rumors estimates, meaning Javy’s bad 2020 season was likely discounted in the signing.
Baez can be a free agent after the 2021 season.
Salary figures were supposed to be exchanged by noon CT Friday, and that was the deadline to agree to a contract figure in order to avoid an arb hearing. As has been typical of the Cubs over the last few years, their arb agreements and dollar figures have often been among the last to be tweeted out. I’ll post figures for Bryant, Contreras, Davies and Happ when they’re available.
Below is some language I’m going to put in all the articles about Cubs 2021 arb player contracts, so bear with me, you’ll likely read it again.
Players and teams can still settle on a contract figure before going to an arb hearing. The last Cub to go to an arb hearing with the team was Justin Grimm in 2018. The Cubs “won” that when the arbitrator awarded Grimm the Cubs’ offer of $2.2 million instead of Grimm’s request of $2.475 million. Then the Cubs saved more money on Grimm by releasing him just before the date when they’d have had to pay him a larger portion of his contract.
“As always, we await developments.”