The Cubs have signed their final arbitration eligible player on the day he was set to go in front of the arbitrator. Matt Garza will earn $9.5 million next season, which was the midway point between what the two sides had offered. The deal also includes performance bonuses, which seems kind of odd for me for arbitration eligible players. It's likely the Cubs agreed to the midway point knowing he was worth more and the only way Garza would accept is if they included the possibility to earn more. Not sure what those bonuses are, but my guess is he reaches at least a couple of them and earns more than the $9.5 million they agreed upon. We had written several articles about Garza over the last few months and at least two of them were specifically talking about arbitration.
My opinion was that Garza would have won if it had gone to the arbitrator. Based on the performance bonuses it appears the Cubs thought there was at least a decent chance of that happening. Garza also thought there was a decent chance he'd lose or he'd not have signed this contract. Then again, it's possible the performance bonuses are easy to reach and he ends up making the $12.5 million he initially requested.