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Cubs, Ruggiano avoid going to arbitration

CHICAGO -- Chicago Cubs outfielder Justin Ruggiano avoided arbitration on Thursday, agreeing to a one-year contract worth $2 million. Ruggiano, 31, had asked for $2.45 million in arbitration while the club submitted a figure of $1.6 million.

The Cubs have now signed six of eight arbitration-eligible players, including pitcher Travis Wood last week. Second baseman Darwin Barney and pitcher Jeff Samardzija remain unsigned and are scheduled for arbitration next month.

Barney is asking for $2.8 million while the Cubs are countering with $1.8 million. Samardzija wants $6.2 million while the club submitted a salary of $4.4 million.

Deals can be struck up until and even during the arbitration hearing. If the sides go through with arbitration the arbiter will choose one figure or the other and both sides are bound by it.