Chicago Cubs, Rex Brothers avoid arbitration with one-year deal
With arbitration hearings coming up in February, the Chicago Cubs President Theo Epstein is on a mission to tender the contracts of nine players including Jake Arrieta, Pedro Strop, and Hector Rondon.
Now according to the Chicago-Tribune, the Cubs and recently acquired 27-year-old southpaw Rex Brothers have agreed on a one-year deal worth $1.42 million, knocking their number down to just eight.
This signing is just one of many that will be announced throughout the day considering the Wednesday night deadline which is 11 p.m. central time. If the Cubs are unable to tender the contracts of the remaining eight, they’ll become free agents.
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Brothers made his big league debut with the Colorado Rockies back in early June of 2011 and has appeared in a combined 286 games since then. He carries a decent 3.42 earned run average through his first four years of major league service with a 278/140 K/BB ratio, 20 saves and 61 holds for the Rox.
The New York Mets were close to acquiring him last December in hopes of adding depth to their own bullpen despite him struggling through the 2014 campaign. There’s no doubt that he was one of the league’s toughest left-handed relievers prior to two seasons ago.
Last February, Brothers attempted to get things back on track by hitting up the gym. In an attempt to do so, Rex dropped around 12 pounds by working on agility exercises on top of lifting weights.
He started out the season with Colorado’s Triple-A affiliate, the Albuquerque Isotopes after falling apart during Cactus League play. He posted an 8.22 ERA across 7 2/3 innings and wouldn’t be called up until July 11 only to find himself back in the minors just 13 days later.
Brothers worked through only 2 2/3 frames in July, posting a 6.75 ERA behind two earned runs on four hits and as many walks. The Rockies wouldn’t call him up again until the beginning of September where he was used in 13 games.
Hopefully, he’s able to break through in his first year on the North Side of Chicago.
Epstein has been known to bring in players who have been on a decline, only to bounce back with a strong performance. Not all of them work out, but a handful such as Nate Schierholtz, Dioner Navarro, Luis Valbuena, Jake Arrieta, Pedro Strop, and Chris Coghlan are proof that it’s never too late or early.