The Cubs avoided their biggest potential arbitration case Thursday by agreeing to a one-year, $10.25-million deal with starting pitcher Matt Garza.
Garza, who was nearly traded last July before an elbow injury sidelined him for the rest of the season, is eligible for free agency after this season. He made $9.5 million in 2012, when he went 5-7 with a 3.91 ERA in 18 starts.
Tweeted Garza Thursday night: ``Business side over! Hooray! Time to focus on what really matters ... 2013."
Garza has said repeatedly this off-season that he's fully recovered and on track to open the season on time at the front of the rotation, a sentiment team president Theo Epstein echoed this week:
``We expect [him] to be full-go in spring training and ready to start the year.''
Epstein said he anticipated no contentiousness with any of his remaining arbitration cases, which now include only starter Jeff Samardzija and reliever James Russell.