Here are a couple articles that were good reads.

Question: If Barry Zito is worth $126 million for seven years on the open market, then what is the value of Mark Buehrle and Carlos Zambrano if they get to free agency in the fall?
Answer: More than the White Sox and Cubs care to know, albeit for different reasons.
For the Sox, whatever Buehrle’s worth—and it potentially could be more than Zito—is more than they care to pay.
For the Cubs, Zambrano’s future price—potentially above any pitcher in history—is something they would rather avoid by signing him soon.
The differing financial philosophies on the best young potential free agent pitchers is a continuing pattern this winter.
The White Sox are gobbling up inexpensive youth to stay good while the Cubs are spending gobs to get better.

For 12 years, under the presidency of Andy MacPhail, the Cubs never reached a salary-arbitration hearing with a player.
That streak appears to be in jeopardy this winter because of three tricky and interesting cases: Mark Prior, Carlos Zambrano and Will Ohman.
MacPhail and his charges were of a mind that it was better to settle on a compromise salary figure than go through the arbitration hearing, which can become contentious and leave bad feelings.

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail