The Cubs on Thursday agreed to terms on a one-year, $930,000 contract with infielder Luis Valbuena, avoiding salary arbitration.
With the opening of spring training less than a month away, the Cubs also announced they have invited 16 players to big-league camp as nonroster players.
Valbuena, 27, played in 90 games for the Cubs last year, putting up a hitting line of .219/.292/.343 with 4 home runs and 28 RBI. He also played in 58 games at Class AAA Iowa.
Most of Valbuena’s playing time came at third base, where he played 82 games, making 72 starts. He took over as the primary third baseman after Ian Stewart went out with a wrist injury in June. In the second half, Valbuena shared time at third with rookie Josh Vitters.
The Cubs still need to agree to terms with arbitration-eligible pitchers Matt Garza, James Russell and Jeff Samardzija.
Pitchers and catchers report to Mesa, Ariz., for spring training Feb. 10. Among the nonroster invitees are former White Sox infielder Brent Lillibridge. The 29-year-old Lillibridge played for the White Sox, Red Sox and Indians last season, appearing in 102 games and putting up a line of .195/.250/.274 with 3 homers.
Reliever Jaye Chapman, who appeared in 14 games for the Cubs last season after being acquired from Atlanta, also is a nonroster invitee. The Cubs took him off the 40-man roster this offseason.
Among the other notable nonrosters are outfielders Brian Bogusevic and Darnell McDonald and infielder Edwin Maysonet.
Former Marlins star pitcher and onetime Cubs draftee Dontrelle Willis also signed a minor league deal with the Cubs recently, but he does not have a big-league invite to spring training.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.