All seven of the Cubs who were eligible for salary arbitration signed 2019 contracts today:
Kris Bryant - $12.9M
Kyle Hendricks - $7.405M
Javier Baez - $5.2M
Addison Russell - $3.4M plus $600K roster bonus (see NOTE below)
Kyle Schwarber - $3.39M
Mike Montgomery - $2.44M
Carl Edwards - $1.5M ("Super Two")
NOTE: Addison Russell will forfeit salary (about $18,280 per day) for however many days of the 2019 MLB regular season he spends on the Cubs MLB Restricted List while serving the remaining 29 games of his 40-game MLB-MLBPA JDV suspension. If there are no rain-outs, Russell will be eligible to be reinstated to the Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) and MLB Active List (25-man roster) on Thursday May 2nd (which is an off-day) and his first game back would be Friday May 3rd vs STL at Wrigley Field, meaning he would forfeit at least 35 days' pay (or about $640K). Prior to being reinstated, Russell can spend up to twelve days (unpaid - BUT - he will receive MLB meal money and other benefits) on a minor league conditioning assignment (probably at AAA Iowa beginning on 4/20), and he will be able to participate in Spring Training (but cannot play in MLB Cactus League games) and Extended Spring Training (without pay) prior to starting his minor league conditioning assignment. The $600K roster bonus will effectively allow Russell to make back most of the salary he will forfeit while suspended, and it is based upon days spent on the Cubs MLB Reserve List or 60-day DL ($100K if at least 30 days, another $100K if at least 60 days, another $100K if at least 90 days, another $100K if at least 120 days, and the remaining $200K if at least 150 days). Since the 2019 MLB regular season is 186 days in length and there is no way the Cubs can play their first 29 scheduled games in fewer than 35 days, Russell will have to be reinstated from the Restricted List as soon as he is eligible to be reinstated in order to earn the final $200K and get the entire $600K.
1/8 ORIGINAL POST:
The MLB salary arbitration process begins today, with the MLBPA delivering requests for salary arbitration to the MLB Labor Relations Department, and then the MLB LRD forwards the requests received from the MLBPA to the individual clubs. The MLBPA (representing the players requesting salary arbitration) and the MLB LRD (representing the clubs who have received the requests) will exchange salary figures on Friday, and then the MLBPA and the MLB LRD will schedule arbitratiion hearings to be held during the first three weeks of February.
The Cubs have reportedly won their arbitration case with RHRP Justin Grimm, with the arbitration panel siding with the Cubs and awarding Grimm a 2018 contract with a $2.2M salary (the salary submitted by the Cubs). Grimm had requested $2.475M -- a difference of only $275K -- and it may seem curious why the two sides didn't just settle (perhaps at the mid-point) and avoid arbitration.
Here's a possible reason why the Cubs wanted to go to arbitration with Grimm (besides a 50/50 chance to save $275K):
1/12 UPDATE #2:
Kris Bryant ($10.85M) and Addison Russell ($3.2M) signed 2018 contracts Friday evening and so they will not be going to a salary arbitration hearing next month.
This leaves Justin Grimm as the only Cub who will be scheduled for a salary arbitration hearing next month (unless he signs a contract in the meantime). Since the Cubs offered Grimm $2.2M and Grimm requested $2.475M, an agreement could very well be reached long before the hearing (the mid-point would be $2,337,500).
1/12 UPDATE #1:
Kyle Hendricks ($4.175M), Tommy LaStella ($950K), and Justin Wilson ($4.25M) signed 2018 contracts prior to the 1 PM (Eastern) deadline, while Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, and Justin Grimm remain unsigned and (unless an agreement is reached in the meantime) are headed for salary arbitration hearings next month.
1/7 ORIGINAL POST:
1/13 UPDATE RHSP Jake Arrieta ($15,637,500), RHRP Hector Rondon ($5.8M), and RHRP Justin Grimm ($1.825M) have agreed to 2017 contracts, but the Cubs and RHRP Pedro Strop remain far apart (per Mark Gonzalez at the Chicago Tribune, the Cubs offered $4.6M, and Strop wants $6M).
It's not unusual for the two sides to agree to just "split the difference" ($5.3M would be the mid-point) and maybe they will do that at some point prior to a hearing, but a $1.4M gap is fairly signigficant.
Remember, if it does go to a hearing, the arbitration panel cannot "split the difference." The panel must choose either the Cubs offer or Strop's figure.
MLB SALARY ARBITRATION
When looking ahead at the Cubs likely post-2014 MLB Reserve List (40-man roster), whether a player presently on the 40-man roster is eligible to be an MLB Article XX-B free-agent or will be eligible for Salary Arbitration, or whether a player presently on a Cubs minor league roster is eligible to be a minor league free-agent post-2014 or is eligible for selection in the December 2014 Rule 5 Draft, will be determining factors.
An unsigned player under club control who has accrued at least three but less than six years of MLB Service Time is automatically eligible for salary arbitration. Also, any unsigned player with at least two years but less than three years of MLB Service Time who accrued at least 86 days of MLB Service Time the previous season can qualify for salary arbitration as a so-called "Super Two" if the player is among the top 22% in MLB Service Time of players in that group.
If a club and a player eligible for salary arbitration cannot agree on a contract, the player can request the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) to file for salary arbitration.
The Cubs MLB Reserve List (AKA "40-man roster") is presently full. Of the 40 players on the Cubs MLB Reserve List, eight (Starlin Castro, Kyuji Fujikawa, Edwin Jackson, Chang-Yong Lim, Anthony Rizzo, Jorge Soler, Ryan Sweeney, and Carlos Villanueva) are signed for 2014, and 32 (see list below) are under club control but are unsigned. The Cubs must decide by Monday (December 2nd) whether or not to tender a contract to each of the 32 unsigned players.