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Matt Garza, Cubs Avoid Arbitration With One-Year, $9.5M Deal

The Chicago Cubs and ace pitcher Matt Garza reached a one-year, $9.5 million deal with undisclosed performance bonuses to narrowly avoid the MLB arbitration process, as announced by Garza's agent on Twitter. The star pitcher was the last unsigned player on the Cubs' roster, and the two parties had submitted competing $12.5 million and $7.95 million bids for the arbitration process while preparing for a ruling from the MLB. Instead, the deal they reached marks a near mid-point compromise between the two offers that slightly favors the Cubs, but might end up favoring Garza if he hits those unspecified performance bonuses.

The deal marks a big upgrade over Garza's $5.95 million salary in 2011, but still comes in under his estimated value according to Fan Graphs -- he produced 5.0 Wins Above Replacement in 2011 for an estimated $22.7 million in value. The 28-year old right handed pitcher will serve as the number starter for the Cubs' staff in 2012. In two weeks the team's pitchers and catchers are due to report to Mesa, AZ to begin workouts.

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