Before the 2022 season began, the Cubs and Willson Contreras could not agree on a contract figure for this year, Contreras’ last arb year.
The Cubs offered $9 million. Contreras asked for $10.25 million. Since the parties couldn’t agree, they were scheduled for an arbitration hearing, which because of the lockout had to take place during the season. That’s an oddity that won’t be repeated, for sure.
The hearing was scheduled for today, but before it could take place, Contreras and the Cubs settled:
Cubs, catcher Willson Contreras avoided arbitration today on a one-year, $9.625M deal, per sources. His hearing had been scheduled for today.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) June 9, 2022
That’s the exact midpoint of the offer and the request. Why this couldn’t have been done months ago, we’ll never know, but I’m very glad they were able to come to this deal.
Perhaps this hints that the Cubs and Contreras can work out a long-term deal. I wouldn’t be averse to, say, four years at $80 million with a fifth-year vesting option for the same. Would that work? We can hope.
Incidentally, the way Contreras’ pay works out is this: Since there was no agreement before the season began, the Cubs have been paying him up to now based on their offer of $9 million. They will begin paying him based on the $9.625 million agreement beginning today, and will also owe him back pay from Opening Day through today based on the larger figure.