CHICAGO – The Cubs avoided arbitration with three of their biggest stars, agreeing to one-year deals with third baseman Kris Bryant, shortstop Javier BŠez and catcher Willson Contreras on Friday.
Bryant, who struggled through injuries in his worst season, is set to earn $19.5†million. Baez is due $11.65†million and Contreras $6.65†million.
The Cubs also agreed to an $8.63†million deal for next season with pitcher Zach Davies, acquired in the trade that sent NL Cy Young Award runner-up Yu Darvish to San Diego.
The Cubs were unable to reach a deal with outfielder Ian Happ and are headed to arbitration for just the third time since 1993. They beat infielder Ryan Theriot in 2010 and pitcher Justin Grimm in 2018.
Chicago also made a move for the future, agreeing to a minor league contract with promising international prospect Cristian Hernandez, a person familiar with the situation said. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal with the 17-year-old shortstop from the Dominican Republic has not been announced. MLB.com first reported the move.
White Sox finalize deal with Hendriks
Chicago finalized a $54†million, three-year deal with former Oakland Athletics closer Liam Hendriks.
“At the end of the season, my wife and I sat down and made a list of teams,” Hendriks said. “On paper, the White Sox were the team that I wanted to go to.”
Hendriks debuted with Minnesota in 2011 and spent the past five seasons with Oakland. He made the All-Star team in a breakout season in 2019 and wound up with 25 saves and a 1.80 ERA. He dominated again last year, finishing second in the majors with 14 saves while posting a 1.78 ERA and averaging 96.5 mph with his fastball.†
The White Sox also landed the top international prospect, agreeing to a $2.05†million deal with Cuban outfielder Yoelqui Cťspedes. They also avoided arbitration with their remaining eligible players, agreeing to one-year contracts with ace Lucas Giolito ($4.15 million) and starter Reynaldo Lůpez ($2.1 million).
Tigers sign Boyd, seven others
The Detroit Tigers agreed to a $6.5 million contract with Matthew Boyd, avoiding arbitration with the left-hander after he struggled during last season.
Boyd went 3-7 with a 6.71 ERA in 12 starts.
The Tigers also agreed to deals with left-hander Daniel Norris ($3,475,000), infielder Jeimer Candelario ($2.85 million), outfielder JaCoby Jones ($2.65 million), utilityman Niko Goodrum, right-hander Buck Farmer, right-hander Joe Jimenez and right-hander Jose Cisnero ($970,000).
Yankees make deals with pair
The New York Yankees made a pair of big moves on the free agent market, reaching a deal with right-hander Corey Kluber worth $11 million for one year and agreeing to a $90 million, six-year contract to keep AL batting champion DJ LeMahieu.
Kluber, the 2014 and 2017 AL Cy Young Award winner†who turns 35 on April 10, is a three-time All-Star who is 98-58 with a 3.16 ERA in 10 seasons, the first nine with the Indians.
LeMahieu, who turns 33 in July, became the first player to win undisputed batting titles in both leagues. He won the NL championship with Colorado in 2016.