The Chicago Cubs announced today that they have avoided arbitration with infielder Luis Valbuena. If he makes the team out of spring training, he’ll earn 930,000 for the season. However, if he does not make the team out of spring training, the Cubs don’t have to pay him anything.

Valbuena came over from the Cleveland Indians days before the start of the 2012 season. He was designated for assignment by them. Valbuena started in Triple A and was eventually called up to the majors. He took most of the playing at 3B when Ian Stewart went down with an injury.

I expect the Cubs to platoon Stewart and Valbuena at the hot corner. Both players have non-guarantee contracts, but I expect both players to make the team out of spring training and their contracts to become guaranteed.

The Cubs still have 3 players that are arbitration elgible and don’t have a deal yet … SP Matt Garza, SP Jeff Samardzija and RP James Russell.

The Cubs also announce 16 players whom received a spring training invitation (more are expected to come out at a later date.)

*Ex-White Sox IF Brett Lillibridge
*Ex-Houston Astro OF Brian Bogusevic
*Ex-Atlanta Brave C J.C. Boscan
*Ex-Seattle Mariner OF Johermyn Chavez
*Ex-Texas Ranger IF Alberto Gonzalez
*Ex-Cleveland Indian P Jensen Lewis
*Ex-Milwaukee Brewers IF Edwin Maysonet
*Ex-New York Yankee OF Darnell McDonald
*Ex-Milwaukee Brewer IF/OF Brad Nelson
*Ex-Pittsburgh Pirate P Hisanori Takahashi
*Ex-New York Yankee P Cory Wade
*P Jaye Chapman
*P Blake Parker
*P Andrew Carpenter
*P Dayan Diaz
*P Zack Putnam

**In my honest opinion, I think only pitchers Jaye Chapman and Cory Wade have a chance to make the team out of spring training. Chapman impressed me a lot last year as a September call-up. Everyone else I think is for depth in the minors and an injury insurance policy for players in the majors.

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