The Chicago Cubs avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal with Jeff Samardzija. (Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
The Chicago Cubs and right-hander Jeff Samardzija avoided arbitration by signing a one-year deal for $5.3 million, according to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com.
Samardzija requested $6.2 million, and the Cubs offered $4.4 million, making his deal slightly above the midpoint between the two. There was an arbitration hearing set for Monday for Samardzija and the Cubs before the settlement was reached.
It would have been an unusual move for the Cubs, as the club's president of baseball operations Theo Epstein has never gone to arbitration with a player during his tenure with the Cubs. From Muskat's report:
"I'm a big fan of Jeff Samardzija," Epstein said last month. "I think he has a great future. I think his best days are ahead of him. He's under club control for the next two years, and hopefully we get a chance to extend that window. There's been public speculation about a contract extension at times, a trade at times. I can't tell you what's going to happen, but I can tell you I'm really happy he's a Cub, and [I] look forward to him getting the ball on Opening Day."
The 29-year-old had 33 starts last season for the Cubs in a slightly disappointing season, racking up a 214/78 K/BB ratio, 4.34 ERA and 1.35 WHIP.