Cubs offer arbitration to Pena, Ramirez
Wood not offered arbitration, but Cubs expect him to resign
CHICAGO -- The Cubs offered arbitration to Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena but not Kerry Wood. All three were considered Type B free agents.
By offering Ramirez and Pena arbitration, the Cubs will receive a compensatory Draft pick between the first and second rounds if they sign with another team.
Even though the Cubs did not offer arbitration to Wood, 34, they were expected to try to re-sign the reliever. Wood has already had conversations with Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein, including a meeting at a Chicago bar. When asked about Wood last Friday, Epstein said, "we want him back."
Wood gave the team a hometown discount to return this past season, signing for $1.5 million. He was 3-5 with a 3.35 ERA in 55 games and has said he would retire rather than play for another club.
"He makes us a better team because of what he brings to the bullpen, and he makes us a better organization because of what he brings to the clubhouse, his leadership," Epstein said.
Ramirez, 33, won his first Silver Slugger award this season, batting .306 with 26 homers and 93 RBIs, and is considered the top free agent third baseman available. Ramirez's agent Paul Kinzer said last week at the General Manager Meetings that his client was looking for a multi-year contract.
In October, the Cubs had exercised their side of the $16 million option on his contract but the third baseman declined his side of the option. By doing so, the Cubs do not have to pay Ramirez the $2 million buyout.
Pena, 33, batted .225 with 28 homers, 27 doubles and 80 RBIs in his first season with the Cubs. He signed a one-year, $10 million deal last Dec. 8.
Teams had until midnight Wednesday to decide whether to offer ranked free agents arbitration. The players have until 11 p.m. CT on Dec. 6 to accept.
The Cubs did not offer arbitration to four other unranked free agents for whom no compensation applies, according to the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. That group includes John Grabow, Reed Johnson, Ramon Ortiz and Rodrigo Lopez.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter@CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.