A number of high profile Major Leaguers signed contract extensions recently. Many fans have been waiting to see if the Cubs would get in on the action as several core players inch toward free agency. Today, we found out at least one member of the team will be around for a while. Kyle Hendricks agreed to a four-year extension with a fifth-year option that will keep him in Chicago until at least 2023.
Hendricks, 29, was already signed to $7.41M salary for 2019 and then had one-year of arbitration eligibility in 2020 before being scheduled for free agency as a 31-year old. His 2019 salary remains in place before his four-year guaranteed extension kicks in beginning next season. So, this contract buys out at least three years of free agency.
There is also a $16M vesting option for 2024 ($1.5MM buyout) which becomes guaranteed based on his finish in the 2020 Cy Young voting. His 3rd place finish in the 2016 voting was a career best. In total, Hendricks is guaranteed $55.5M, with the potential to earn $60+M if his 2024 option is triggered, in addition there are escalators built in for $2 million in 2020 and as much as $3 million beyond that for top three finishes in Cy Young voting.
Hendricks has compiled a 52-33 record with a 3.07 ERA over 133 career games (132 starts). He's been even better, with a 2.98 ERA in 11 postseason appearances. Since his success does not rely on velocity his stuff should hold up well as he enters his thirties, making this a very team-friendly deal for the Cubs.
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