Of that group, Marmol, Marshall and Soto are due substantial raises. Marmol and his agent will come in at the highest figure of any of the arbitration-eligible players. The Cubs closer set a franchise record for strikeouts by a relief pitcher in 2010. Marmol made $2.25 million last season. Now among the game’s elite closers, his arbitration number may be as high as $5 million this time. The Cubs may come in at $4 million or $4.5 million.
Infielder Jeff Baker signed a one-year, $1.175 million contract on Thursday.
Marshall, in his second year of arbitration, made $950,000 last season. Although not as sensational as Marmol, he was as effective as a set-up man. It would be hard to point out a left-handed reliever who had a better year. Marshall struck out 90 batters in 74 2/3 innings. Only eight inherited runners scored on Marshall. His arbitration number will be somewhere between $2.3 million and $2.5 million.
Soto, who caught only 104 games dues to injury at the end of the season, enjoyed a resurgent year in 2010. The Cubs’ starting catcher hit .280 with 17 home runs and 53 RBIs. His .393 on-base percentage led the team. It will be Soto’s first year of arbitration, and his agents may come in as high as $3 million. The Cubs may go between $2 million and $2.5 million.
Gorzelanny and Hill probably will get marginal raises through arbitration.
With six arbitration players who will make close to $13 million, the Cubs already will be committed in the area of $121 million for just 15 players. Somehow, general manager Jim Hendry will have to find a way to pay 10 other players on his 25-man roster, and 15 more in the minor leagues with $12 million-$14 million. The guess here is the Cubs’ payroll will be between $135-$138 million, down from $144 million in 2010.