(670 The Score) The Cubs avoided arbitration with lefty reliever Justin Wilson, right-hander Kyle Hendricks and infielder Tommy La Stella by agreeing to terms for a 2018 contract Friday hours before the deadline.
Wilson and the Cubs reached a one-year, $4.25-million deal, the Sun-Times reported Friday. Hendricks will earn $4.125 million. La Stella and the Cubs settled at $950,000.
The Cubs and reliever Justin Grimm didn’t settle on a deal, so they’ll exchange salary figures. Third baseman Kris Bryant and shortstop Addison Russell are also arbitration-eligible.
Wilson, 30, was acquired by the Cubs just ahead of the trade deadline last July. After a quality performance in Detroit, he struggled mightily in Chicago, registering a 5.09 ERA and 2.09 WHIP in 23 appearances for the Cubs. For the season, Wilson had a 3.41 ERA in 65 appearances.
Wilson’s downfall included being left off the team’s National League Championship Series roster. This is the final year of contract control the Cubs have on him, and team brass has publicly acknowledged that fixing Wilson’s form will be one of the primary tasks they ask of new pitching coach Jim Hickey.
Hendricks, 28, has been a superb frontline starter for the Cubs for the last several years. He went 7-5 with a 3.03 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in 2017. This was the first time he was arbitration-eligible. He’s under team control through 2020.
La Stella, 28, hit .288 with an .861 OPS in 73 games last season.