Cubs signed Jeff Samardzija and James Russell

It was reported yesterday that the Cubs signed Jeff Samardzija and James Russell to avoid arbitration. The Cubs signed Matt Garza yesterday and earlier this week they signed Luis Valbuena. Those were the only four players the Cubs had eligible for arbitration.

The Jeff Samardzija contract is worth $2.64 million and they signed James Russell for $1.075 million. Totals for arbitraiton eligible players are below, along with their projected WAR.

Player Contract WAR
Matt Garza $10.25 2.6
Jeff Samardzija $2.64 1.5
James Russell $1.075 0.9
Luis Valbuena $0.930 1.0

CAIRO still projects Samardzija to have some innings in relief due to him being a reliever as recently as 2011 so you can adjust those numbers however you'd like.

My first thought about the James Russell contract was that it was a slight overpay, but that's a fairly good projection for him. I'll have to look more into that in the near future. Also surprised by the Luis Valbuena projected WAR. You can tell how little I've paid attention to the details so far.

In other news, the Cubs expect to complete the signing of Carlos Villanueva soon. Dale Sveum mentioned today, but Bruce Miles suggested otherwise.

MLBTR also notes that Jed Hoyer said that Darwin Barney is part of their long term plans. I figured as much since it's unlikely a team would be willing to give up what a light hitting, great fielding 2nd baseman is worth the Cubs.

Paul Sullivan is apparently surprised enough to tweet that Theo Epstein said the Cubs would essentially take the best player available when they pick 2nd in this year's draft. Sullivan doesn't own a thinking cap.

Rice Cube has a blog up about the Cubs Convention and the Cubs plans to renovate Wrigley Field. Brett has some pics up over on Bleacher Nation.

A couple of stars passed away over the last couple days. Earl Fucking Weaver died of a fucking heart attack at the fucking age of 82. Robert F. Chew passed away on Thursday. Chew played Proposition Joe on The Wire.

Joe will be missed. Very missed. We liked Joe. A hard man not to like.