The Cubs and catcher Geovany Soto have avoided arbitration, reaching an agreement on a one-year contract worth $3MM, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times (Twitter link). Soto, who turns 28 next week, is represented by WMG.
Soto was the NL's Rookie of the Year in 2008, and bounced back from a sophomore slump in 2009 with an impressive .280/.393/.497 line in 397 plate appearances last season, though he was plagued with a shoulder injury that eventually required arthroscopic surgery in September. He earned $575K for that performance and obviously was in line for a big raise in his first year of arbitration eligibility. MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith looked at Soto as an extension candidate in September, but it appears as though Chicago wants to see if Soto can remain consistent before making a longer-term commitment to the catcher.
The Cubs have four remaining arb-eligible players — Matt Garza, Tom Gorzelanny, Carlos Marmol and Sean Marshall. You can follow their cases plus those of every other arbitration-eligible player this winter on MLBTR's Arb Tracker.