Cubs, Grimm can’t agree on contract

The Chicago Cubs reworked their bullpen this offseason. One mainstay has been Justin Grimm. However, the Cubs and Grimm have been unable to settle on a contract. Grimm wants $2.475 million while the Cubs are offering $2.2 million. Since the difference is only $250,000, many believed a deal would be reached. That no longer appears to be the case.

According to Jesse Rogers in a tweet, the Cubs will go to arbitration with Justin Grimm. This would be the first time Theo has ever gone to arbitration. The biggest surprise is that there is only a difference of $250,000 and Grimm had a very subpar season in 2017. The Cubs are trying to stay below the $195 million luxury tax cap so every little bit of savings can help.

In 2017, Grimm was 1–2 with a 5.53 ERA in 55.1 innings pitched. Grimm served up 12 homer runs, as his home run and walk rate went up, while his strikeout rate has gone done. Grimm is only 28 so he has time to work out his issues, but he has been trending in the wrong direction since a career year in 2015 when he had a 1.99 ERA. Grimm also has had some injury issues over the years. Grimm had a -0.5 WAR in 2017 and has a career -0.9 WAR, so it’s no surprise the Cubs don’t want to overpay for an unreliable reliever.

The good news for the Cubs is that Grimm’s contract is not guaranteed unless he makes the team. So even if they lose the arbitration case, he could be cut during spring and the Cubs would only owe him roughly $300,000. Of course, the two sides could still settle before they get to arbitration.

The last Cub to go to arbitration was Ryan Theriot in 2010 under Jim Hendry. The Cubs won that case paying Theriot $2.6 million instead of the $3.4 million he was requesting.