Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune is reporting that the Cubs are ready to go to arbitration with shortstop Ryan Theriot. Theriot requested 3.4 million dollars and the Cubs countered with 2.6 million dollars.
Here is the Daily Herald's take on the situation from the Cubs perspective:
From 2008 to 2009, Mr. Theriot’s offensive line went from .307/.387/.359 to .284/.343/.369. His wOBA (yeah we know what that is, too), went from .338 to .318. More alarmingly, his flyball percentage jumped from 20.2 percent to 30 percent, and we don’t pay Mr. Theriot to hit flyballs, no matter what our manager (and we love him, too) thinks. On top of it, Mr. Theriot’s walks total dropped from 73 to 51 while his strikeouts spiked from 58 to 93. Or, put another way, Mr. Theriot’s BB/K ratio went from 1.26 to 0.55 in a year’s time. We rest our case. Ryan Theriot as a long-term option. His future with the Cubs won't be at shortstop, and m
If this one goes to the arbitrator, the Cubs have a really good chance of winning. Theriot, in his situation, is not the type of player that makes 3.4 million dollars. He's a .288 career hitter who has never had more than 60 runs batted in or scored more than 100 runs. He has stolen at least 20 bases in the past three seasons, but what it comes down to is that Theriot is a singles hitter who turned 30 in December.
The Cubs' middle infield is certainly in a state of influx. They have been fielding numerous second basemen since Mark DeRosa's departure. The Cubs will give Jeff Baker a chance to win the job and there is a good feeling in Chicago that he can hold the position.
At short, the Cubs think very highly of prospect Starlin Castro and there is some talk that he could make the big league club. It is not likely, but it is worth noting that the Cubs did not dangle him to other clubs in their (brief) pursuits of Roy Halladay and Curtis Granderson.
Anyways... this is an unfortunate outcome in the arbitration process, but it is a part of the business and it is a fair way to make the decision.