Cubs sign four, Jan. 16-18 WL recap

OF Nate Schierholtz, IF Luis Valbuena, LHP James Russell, and RHP Pedro Strop avoid arbitration and signed one-year deals with the Cubs, who also exchanged salary figures with four others.

The Cubs signed half of their arbitration eligible players while exchange salary figures with the other four.

Rightfielder Nate Schierholtz inked a one-year, $5 million deal while infielder Luis Valbuena signed for $1.71 million. Left-handed relief pitcher James Russell agreed to a $1.775 million contract and relief pitcher Pedro Strop signed for $1.325 million.

The Cubs continue to negotiate with four other arbitration eligible players including pitcher Jeff Samardzija. The right-hander is asking for $6.2 million and the team is offering $4.4. LHP Travis Wood wants $4.25 million , with a team offer of $3.5 million. The Cubs have also exchanged figures with 2B Darwin Barney, $2.8 vs. $1.8, and Justin Ruggiano, $2.45 vs. $1.6. Negotiations will continue and if an agreement can't be reached, arbitration hearings are set for Feb. 1-21.

Here's a look at the Jan.16-18 Cubs Winter League Recap. Only a few prospects remain as most have returned to Arizona for winter workouts.

Australian Baseball League

Jan. 18—Ryan Searle tossed his second straight complete game loss as Brisbane fell to Melbourne 5-3. The right-hander allowed five runs on eight hit and a walk, including a pair of homer. He fanned two in the 90-pitch effort. He is 3-4 in the ABL with a 3.12 ERA in seven starts (49 IP).

Venezuelan Winter League

Jan. 18—Yeiper Castillo tossed 2.1 innings of scoreless baseball, allowing a walk with a strikeout in Zulia's 11-6 loss to Magallanes. Jan. 17—No Cubs prospects saw action. Jan 16—Yeiper Castillo took the loss in Zulia's 12-11 defeat to Caracas. Castillo allowed three earned runs on a hit and two walks in an inning of work. He faced six hitters and threw 24 hitters.

Dominican Winter League

Jan 18—Licey Scored a run in the top of the 8th to tie and game added the game-winner in the top of the ninth to beat Gigantes 9-8. With the win, Licey moves into the finals against Escogido. No Cubs prospects saw action. Jan. 17—Aguilas' Frank Batista allowed two earned runs on three hits to Gigantes in the eighth inning and was charged with the loss in the 6-5 loss. Jan 16—No Cubs prospects saw action.

Mexican Pacific Winter League

No Cubs prospects are left in the playoffs.

Puerto Rican Winter League

Jan. 17—Jonathan Mota was 0-1 as he entered the game in the 8th inning. Ponce won 4-3 but it will be Mayaguez and Caguas in the finals with a trip to the series on the line. Jan 16—Jonathan Mota was 0-3 in Ponce's 5-0 loss.

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