Projected Contracts For Cubs Free Agent Targets

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Jake Arrieta, Chicago Cubs

We’re at the early stages of the offseason, one that should be a lot of fun for Chicago Cubs fans. That is if you enjoy the plethora of trade rumors and connections to free agents. If you’re more interested on the value of the players the Cubs could be signing in free agency, FanGraphs is here to give fans an in-depth look at this year’s free agent class.

Dave Cameron has been doing this for years and in this offseason’s edition he has the top-50 free agents and their projected contracts on FanGraphs.

I’ve been doing this exercise for a few years, and last year, we combined my projected salaries and rankings with the results of our contract crowdsourcing series. We’re doing that again this year, presenting you both the average and median estimated salaries provided by our readers alongside my own guesses at what these guys will sign for.

Keep in mind that the crowdsourced values are generally a good bit lower than what players actually receive, because the player generally goes with the highest bidder, while the crowdsourced results are an average of what our readers think a player should get. My guesses are generally a bit higher than the crowd’s estimate, though that isn’t true for every player; in particular, I think a bit more will be spent on the guys perceived as the best few free agents and less will be spent on the role-player types at the bottom of the list.

So, let’s get into the Cubs free agent targets, which are basically all pitchers.

13Yu Darvish

Yu Darvish has been predicted to sign with the Cubs, but it really doesn’t seem like they’re going to go after him. It just doesn’t fit what they’ve done the last two years in free agency and the plan appears to focus more on trades to acquire young, controllable starting pitching. Nonetheless, the Cubs do need a few starters and Darvish is the number one starting pitcher in free agency. Here’s what the FanGraphs crowdsourcing article has and Dave Cameron’s projection as well.

Contract Estimate
Type Years AAV Total
Dave Cameron 6 $28.0 M $168.0 M
Median Crowdsource 5 $25.0 M $125.0 M
Avg Crowdsource 5.4 $24.0 M $130.7 M

 

12Jake Arrieta

Jake Arrieta turned his career around with the Cubs and now he has a chance to cash in big time on his 4.5-year run on the North Side. The pitcher as well as Theo Epstein have expressed interest in coming to an agreement, but the 2015 Cy Young Award winner is going to have several suitors in free agency. The Cubs did extend him the qualifying offer, assuring themselves a compensatory draft pick if Arrieta signs somewhere else.

Contract Estimate
Type Years AAV Total
Dave Cameron 4 $24.0 M $96.0 M
Median Crowdsource 5 $22.0 M $110.0 M
Avg Crowdsource 4.6 $22.2 M $102.5 M

 

11Wade Davis

Like Arrieta, the Cubs have publicly said they’ve love to have closer Wade Davis back in 2018. He only blew one save in 2017, but control issues hampered him throughout the season. The Cubs currently don’t have a go-to name to be their closer, so Davis remains a target in free agency. The Cubs also gave Davis a qualifying offer.

Contract Estimate
Type Years AAV Total
Dave Cameron 4 $17.0 M $68.0 M
Median Crowdsource 4 $15.0 M $60.0 M
Avg Crowdsource 3.6 $14.6 M $53.1 M

 

10Alex Cobb

Photo by Kim Klement of USA Today

Alex Cobb was essentially on his hands and knees, begging for the Cubs to sign him during a radio interview recently and it sure does seem like a natural fit. His pitching coach in Tamp Bay, Jim Hickey, is now the Cubs pitching coach and both have a high admiration for one another. Cobb is also a big fan of Joe Maddon and who knows, maybe he takes less money in free agency to come to Chicago? It wouldn’t be the first time that’s happened since 2015 with the Cubs.

Contract Estimate
Type Years AAV Total
Dave Cameron 4 $15.0 M $60.0 M
Median Crowdsource 4 $14.0 M $56.0 M
Avg Crowdsource 3.6 $14.5 M $52.6 M

 

9Lance Lynn

Lance Lynn is yet another option the Cubs could go after, fitting the mold of Cobb, as one of the second-tier, starting pitching free agents. The 30-year-old has a 3.38 career ERA in six seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals. He missed all of 2016, after having Tommy John Surgery.

Contract Estimate
Type Years AAV Total
Dave Cameron 3 $16.0 M $48.0 M
Median Crowdsource 4 $15.0 M $60.0 M
Avg Crowdsource 3.6 $14.7 M $53.2 M

 

8Brandon Morrow

Brandon Morrow started his career as a starting pitcher and as recently as 2015, he was still starting games for the San Diego Padres. However, injuries have plagued Morrow’s career and has set him back at times. Despite pitching no more than 54.1 innings since 2013, Morrow had an impressive 2017 season with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He had a 2.06 ERA and 0.92 WHIP in 43.2 innings. The Cubs need as many good arms as possible and Morrow certainly will be in the conversation.

Contract Estimate
Type Years AAV Total
Dave Cameron 2 $11.0 M $22.0 M
Median Crowdsource 2 $9.0 M $18.0 M
Avg Crowdsource 2.4 $9.2 M $22.4 M

 

7Tyler Chatwood

Another option for the back of the rotation is 27-year-old Tyler Chatwood. Yes, the 4.69 ERA in 2017, looks concerning at the surface, but remember he does pitch at Coors Field half the time. In 77.1 innings away from Colorado last year, Chatwood had a 3.49 ERA. Chatwood has had two Tommy John surgeries, but has shown some great flashes of success. In 2013, he had a 3.15 ERA in 20 starts for the Rockies. Could be an intriguing option for the Cubs.

Contract Estimate
Type Years AAV Total
Dave Cameron 3 $10.0 M $30.0 M

 

6Addison Reed

    Aug 1, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Addison Reed (43) pitches during the eighth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Sign him!

Contract Estimate
Type Years AAV Total
Dave Cameron 3 $10.0 M $30.0 M
Median Crowdsource 3 $9.0 M $27.0 M
Avg Crowdsource 3.1 $9.2 M $28.3 M

 

5Bryan Shaw

Well, all Cubs fans know who Bryan Shaw is, but hey, he’s put up some solid numbers and has been consistent from the start. At least 64 innings pitched in the last six years and a career 3.13 ERA.

Contract Estimate
Type Years AAV Total
Dave Cameron 3 $9.0 M $27.0 M
Median Crowdsource 3 $7.0 M $21.0 M
Avg Crowdsource 2.7 $7.7 M $20.5 M

 

4Jake McGee

Formally with the Tampa Bay Rays, so boom, good fit with Hickey and Maddon. Plus, the Cubs have been linked to Jake McGee since 2015 in trade talks.

Contract Estimate
Type Years AAV Total
Dave Cameron 2 $8.0 M $16.0 M
Median Crowdsource 3 $8.0 M $24.0 M
Avg Crowdsource 2.7 $8.3 M $22.1 M

 

3Jhoulys Chacin

Brendan Miller over at Cubs Insider has a great piece on Jhoulys Chacin and why he could be a great pick up. Check it out here.

Contract Estimate
Type Years AAV Total
Dave Cameron 2 $8.0 M $16.0 M
Median Crowdsource 2 $10.0 M $20.0 M
Avg Crowdsource 2.5 $10.0 M $24.7 M

 

2Alex Avila

I mean, the Cubs could use a backup catcher and Alex Avila did well enough after Willson Contreras had his hamstring injury.

Contract Estimate
Type Years AAV Total
Dave Cameron 1 $6.0 M $6.0 M
Median Crowdsource 2 $8.0 M $16.0 M
Avg Crowdsource 2.2 $8.2 M $17.9 M

 

1Jon Jay

A one-year deal for Jon Jay, sure why not.

Contract Estimate
Type Years AAV Total
Dave Cameron 1 $7.0 M $7.0 M
Median Crowdsource 1 $8.0 M $8.0 M
Avg Crowdsource 1.6 $8.1 M $12.6 M

 

Check out the entire FanGraphs list here.

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Aldo Soto
Just your every day fan who never had any athletic talent, but likes to talk about sports. History shows the Cubs are going to repeat as World Series champions in 2017. A lead writer at Sports Mockery.