Cubs win Ryan Theriot arbitration case

Updated: February 20, 2010, 3:21 PM ET
By Bruce Levine | ESPNChicago.com

Chicago Cubs were informed this morning that they have won their arbitration case with shortstop Ryan Theriot.

The arbitrator decided for the $2.6 million the Cubs offered, rather than Theriot's price of $3.4 million.

General manager Jim Hendry returned to Mesa, Ariz., Friday evening after the case was heard on Friday morning. Theriot, slated to be the Cubs' leadoff hitter, showed up Saturday, two days before he was scheduled to report.

This completes the arbitration process for not only the Cubs, but for Major League Baseball.

Just eight of the 128 players who entered arbitration last month failed to settle before hearings. Owners beat players 5-3 this year and lead 285-210 since arbitration began in 1974.

It was the Cubs' first hearing since first baseman Mark Grace lost in 1993 and was awarded $3.1 million rather than his request for $4.1 million.

"It really wasn't like an adversarial-type case. It was more like a philosophical-type case," Hendry said.

"So really it was just a matter of how you wanted to look at the different type of players who were on the north and south of the midpoint."

He said there are no hard feelings and he actually chatted with Theriot before the hearing began.

"We've always paid players what is fair. ... I thought we'd already reached the point of the highest level of fairness. I'm not mad at Ryan for wanting to go. He has every right," Hendry said.

"I've known him for a long time, known him for 10 years. He's being compensated with what I thought was a fair number to begin with. It's not like there's any big loss here. He'll be fine. We're not worried about that."

Theriot agreed there were no hard feelings with Hendry and acknowledged that he still got a nice raise from last season.

"Everything is fine," Theriot said. "I think Jim has been fair to me for a long time. ... I never felt I'm owed anything. This is a privilege to be able to come in here and do this every day. There are millions of people who would love to do it. So from that point of view, whatever you get is great and you're happy with it and you go out there and play."

Bruce Levine covers baseball for ESPNChicago.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

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