Cubs shortstop Ryan Theriot entered Cubs camp on Saturday after being beaten in arbitration, but not bloodied or wounded.
Theriot talked about the process of arbitration, and called it “interesting” more than once. The Cubs’ shortstop, entering his fourth year as a regular, said that he was happy and it wasn’t an adversarial situation, but did say it was an educational one.
Theriot is the 21st Cub man off of the 25-man roster to report early for spring training after Kosuke Fukudome also reported on Saturday. Position players aren’t due to report until Monday, which leaves only four veterans left to report: Aramis Ramirez, Alfonso Soriano, Derrek Lee and Andres Blanco, none of whom will be considered late if they report by Tuesday.
Theriot didn’t seem any worse for wear from the long trip from Florida, where the arbitration process took place on Friday. Theriot said he was ready to go to make himself an even better player in 2010. An example of that was he stated that he worked in the offseason on gaining some weight and some strength, so he’d be strong throughout the entire season.
When asked about whether his relationship with Jim Hendry was affected by the arbitration process, Theriot was quick to say that his relationship was Hendry was too strong to be affected by one instance like an arbitration hearing. Theriot and Hendry have a relationship when the shortstop was a player at LSU, where the Cubs drafted him from.
Theriot also stated that he’s ready to continue playing shortstop for the Cubs, even though he knows young middle infielder Starlin Castro is the wave of the future.
“It’s my position, I’ve been playing there for three years,” Theriot said. “I expect to continue to play there.”
Theriot also said he would gladly help Castro become a better player, welcome his contributions to the cubs in the future.
Theriot’s salary went up more than five times the amount he made in 2009, represented by $2.6 million, which he’ll make in 2010, compared to 2005, when he made $500,000.
Cubs News and Notes:
Hendry, who himself got back to Arizona Friday night, said on “Talking Baseball” on Saturday that he will continue to look for pitching help in the bullpen.
The Cubs had two setbacks over the last couple of weeks, as both right-handed pitcher Jeff Grey and left-handed pitcher Angel Guzman came up with injuries. Both will be weeks behind the rest of the competition. Hendry has been pursuing a veteran bullpen pitcher for the last eight weeks. Those names include right-handed pitcher Jason Frasor and right-hander Luke Gregerson. Hendry was also interested in free agent pitcher Chan Ho Park. Park, represented by agent Scott Boras, is said to be looking for $3 million early on in free agency. With camps opening all over Florida and Arizona, it’s unclear whether the Cubs have enough money to be able to sign park. Hendry did save $800,000 in the arbitration process with Theriot. That money could be put toward paying a veteran reliever like Park.
Cubs owner Tom Ricketts and some of his family members will be coming to spring training on Tuesday. Ricketts will make several other trips to spring training starting March 4, when the team starts playing their Cactus League schedule.
Lou Piniella had a shortened workout on Saturday that ended at 11 a.m. local time due to inclement weather conditions in Mesa.