Three Cubs pitchers file for arbitration

CHICAGO -- Chicago Cubs pitchers Matt Garza, Jeff Samardzija and James Russell filed for salary arbitration on Tuesday.

Garza, coming off an elbow injury and a season of trade speculation, just completed a one-year contract worth $9.5 million. He’s scheduled to become a free agent next summer unless he signs a multi-year deal before then.

Samardzija and Russell were arbitration eligible for the first time in their careers.

The players and the Cubs can reach an agreement on a deal before their cases are heard by an arbitrator. The hearings would take place in February.

Garza was 5-7 with a 3.91 ERA in 18 starts before being sidelined with the elbow problem. Samardzija was 9-13 with a 3.81 ERA in 28 starts while Russell was 7-1 in 77 games, all in relief.

With a few exceptions, players with a minimum of three years of service but less than six are eligible for arbitration. The deadline to file was Tuesday while both sides will exchange salary figures on Friday.