© 2008 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

01/21/08 3:17 PM EST

Cubs avoid arbitration with Wuertz

Dependable reliever agrees to one-year, $860,000 contract

CHICAGO -- The Cubs and reliever Michael Wuertz agreed Monday to a one-year, $860,000 contract, thus avoiding arbitration.

Wuertz was the only player on the Cubs' roster who was arbitration-eligible. The right-hander had asked for $975,000 in figures submitted Friday while the Cubs have countered with an offer of $750,000.

The Cubs now have not gone to arbitration since 1993, when Mark Grace filed for $4.1 million and the Cubs offered $3.1 million. Carlos Zambrano and his agent were steps away from an arbitration hearing last February when an agreement was reached.

Wuertz, 29, stranded 33 of 38 inherited runners, which ranked second best in the National League behind teammate Carlos Marmol. Wuertz was 2-3 with a 3.48 ERA in 73 relief appearances, second-most on the club behind Bob Howry (78 appearances).

Cubs pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training on Feb. 13, with the first workout scheduled at Fitch Park in Mesa, Ariz., for the next day.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.