Arbitration Eligibles: Chicago Cubs

The Cubs are next in our arbitration eligibles series.

Hill is the most likely non-tender in this group.  However, he'd only get a mild raise to $850K, and it's quite possible the Cubs keep him around due to defense, familiarity with the pitching staff, and other intangibles.  

Wells ($2.2MM), Soto ($4MM), and Baker ($1.4MM) had disappointing seasons, but should be part of the 2012 club.  DeWitt showed enough promise to be worth $1.2MM.  Garza represents the Cubs' headline arbitration case, and we project $8.7MM for him.  Jeremy Guthrie and John Danks will be current comparables for Garza.  There is not much recent precedent for a pitcher with this type of track record to make it to his third arbitration year.

If the Cubs retain all six of their arbitration eligibles, we project $18.4MM in total salary.  Assuming Ryan Dempster exercises his player option and Aramis Ramirez doesn't get a new contract prior to his option decision, the Cubs have around $91MM in 2012 commitments before accounting for minimum salary players.  If payroll remains in the $134MM range, the Cubs would have around $40MM to spend in 2012 salaries.

Matt Swartz contributed to this post.