Arbitration figures had to be exchanged between players and teams by 12 noon CT today.
This led to my Twitter timeline being overrun with tweets about arb-eligible players and teams settling contracts early this afternoon.
Now, we have news of a settlement involving a Cubs player:
Source: Ian Happ, Cubs settle at $6.85 million, avoiding arbitration.— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) March 22, 2022
This is slightly above the MLB Trade Rumors estimate of $6.5 million for Happ.
Happ got off to a terrible start in 2021 and, for a time, was benched. But after the selloff, playing every day, he finally began to hit. From August 13 through the end of the season, Happ hit .323/.400/.665 (51-for-158) with 14 home runs in 44 games. That’s a fairly small sample size, but if he can continue to hit like that he’s a solid everyday regular.
There are two arbitration-eligible Cubs for whom contract details are yet to be made public: Willson Contreras and Harold Ramirez. Ramirez is not yet in camp.
If teams and players do not agree, arbitration hearings will be scheduled. Some of them might happen during the 2022 season, which will be an odd way of doing things:
It’s still early but looks like we may be headed for lots of in-season arbitration hearings. Stats from 2022 are not supposed to affect awards but conceivably may change opinions. The real issue though is in-season negativity and distraction looming for players.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 22, 2022
As always, we await developments.