1/18 Arbitration deadline day

Today is the deadline for all MLB clubs to exchange salary figures with their arbitration eligible players. With Matt Garza getting a new deal late Thursday, the Cubs have two arb eligible players remaining: Jeff Samardzija and James Russell. The two sides can continue to negotiate after today, but if no agreement is reached, they will each present their case before an independent arbitrator sometime between Feb. 4-20. This is the first year Samardzija and Russell are arbitration eligible. Samardzija, who was 9-13 with a 3.81 ERA in his first full season as a starter, made $2.64 million last season, while Russell, who appeared in a career-high 77 games, made $512,500. Theo Epstein said this week he prefers to avoid an arbitration hearing.

– Carrie Muskat

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