The Cubs agreed to contracts for the 2019 season with all seven arbitration-eligible players on Friday, avoiding any hearings and hurt feelings in February. And in the process of signing those players, the Cubs saved a little bit of money.
The biggest surprise was Javier Baez only getting $5.2 million from the Cubs. The National League MVP runner-up is still getting a healthy raise from his $657,000 salary from 2018, but he was projected to earn about $7.1 million.
Javier Baez settles at 5.2M #cubs
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 11, 2019
Baez still has two more years left of arbitration before he can become a free agent.
Meanwhile, Addison Russell agreed to a $3.4 million salary that includes roster incentives that would earn him $4 million if he remains on the active roster for 150 days after coming back from his suspension for domestic violence.
*Re-did the math (this time accounting for the difference between 'days' re contract and 'games' re suspension).
Russell would lose exactly $600,000 of $3.4m during suspension.
He would have 154 days left to accrue 150 to max out bonuses.
(He made $3.2m last year) https://t.co/rKdMACI05l
— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) January 11, 2019
And that’s pretty much how the Cubs saved some money if you go by the MLB Trade Rumors arbitration projections.
Looking at MLBTR's arb projections, the Cubs came $2.665M under with a total of $36.235M base for their 7 players (though it's about $570,000 or so under that due to Russell not receiving pay for first month).
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) January 11, 2019
The Cubs also settled salaries with Kris Bryant, Kyle Hendricks, Kyle Schwarber, Mike Montgomery and Carl Edwards Jr.
All right, so Cubs avoid arbitration with all 7 players.
Bryant: $12.9 million
Hendricks: $7.405 million
Baez: $5.2 million
Russell: $3.4 million
Schwarber: $3.39 million
Montgomery: $2.44 million
Edwards: $1.5 million
— Aldo Soto (@AldoSoto21) January 11, 2019
The salaries are set for 2019, and the Cubs still need to add at least one reliever. At this point the team is right at the second tier of the luxury tax and with a few other additions needed and making room for any in-season moves, they’re going to be close to the $246 million luxury payroll, so why not just OK a move for Bryce Harper???
Looking at you, Ricketts.