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Cubs, Arrieta close to agreement as arb guys prepare to exchange salary figures with clubs

By GORDON WITTENMYER

Right-hander Jake Arrieta, who might have been the Cubs’ top performer regardless of position last season, said Thursday he expected his 2015 contract to be resolved in the next day or so.

Arrieta, the highest-profile player among the Cubs eligible for arbitration, is expected to settle on a one-year deal.

Teams and unsigned arbitration-eligible players will exchange salary figures Friday. Hearings will be scheduled during the first three weeks of February.

The Cubs on Thursday agreed to terms with left-hander Felix Doubront on a one-year, $1.925 million deal, leaving them with six players eligible for arbitration.

Several more signings might be announced during the Cubs Convention this weekend, which starts at 6 p.m. Friday. No cases are expected to reach a hearing.

In with the new

Manager Joe Maddon and nearly every member of the projected 25-man roster, including newcomers Jon Lester and Miguel Montero, are expected to be at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers for the Cubs Convention. More than two dozen Cubs alumni also are expected to attend.

One panel during the weekend will focus on the 2007-08 teams, the last Cubs playoff teams. Among the players from those teams scheduled to attend are Ted Lilly, Ryan Dempster, Kerry Wood, Jacque Jones, Mark DeRosa and Bob Howry.

Sammy Sosa is still missing from the invitation list.

No. 2 OK with Jake

Until the Cubs landed Lester last month, Arrieta was a near-lock to make his first Opening Day start for the team and the second of his career. But he seemed more than happy about sliding to the second rotation slot with Lester aboard.

‘‘It’s hard to not want to give it up to a guy like that,’’ Arrieta said. ‘‘He’s well-deserving. He’s a leader. He’s a guy that all of us can look to for advice and ways to build and grow and learn as players. Yeah, no problem with that at all.’’