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Chicago Cubs: What a Wade Davis extension might look like

Jun 3, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras (40) and relief pitcher Wade Davis (71) celebrate the final out of the ninth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 3, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras (40) and relief pitcher Wade Davis (71) celebrate the final out of the ninth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /
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Last five, the Cubs let Aroldis Chapman walk and acquired Wade Davis to close games instead. Davis, like Chapman, is an impending free agent to be. However, the Cubs may look to keep Wade around after this season. What would the extension look like?

It’s well known that a dominant reliever can take you places in the playoffs. You know, like Chapman did for the Chicago Cubs, and Andrew Miller did for the Indians, etc. In this day and age, when these guys become free agents, they become hot commodities. Chapman got five years/$90 million with the Yankees. Miller got four years/$36 million with the Yankees three years ago. Kenley Jansen got five years/$80 million with the Dodgers. Dominant relievers get PAID. Davis has arguably been the single most dominant reliever in baseball over the past four years or so, therefore, he will get himself some money this year, too.

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Davis has a bit of a recent history of arm problems, so that’s something to be wary of. However, the Cubs’ brass did a thorough vetting of his arm, and everything checked out, and it has shown so far. Davis has been perfect on save opportunities, with an ERA under two while striking out 36% of hitters he has faced. Davis’ BABIP is a ridiculously low .260 while giving up just 22% hard contact, not bad.

Here for the long haul?

Wade doesn’t seem like the type of guy to go money-chasing, either, but we don’t know him personally, either. Should the Cubs look to extend Davis, they may go for three years/$60 million, but maybe that’s not quite enough.

Davis is going to be 32 with a minor history of arm troubles, so five years may be a little much. So, the logical extension is about 4 years/$75 million, or so. Not that age matters much with a reliever, they have longer arm lives, but the issue here is that Davis was, at one point, a starter, so there may not be as many bullets left that we think. But, for the time being, enjoy watching a guy just straight up dominate dudes, it’s been fun.

Next: Cubs clutch-ness comes back late in games.

Speaking of contract extensions, the Cubs should extend Koji Uehara for at least another year. At 42, Koji is still getting outs and making guys look stupid up there. Len Kasper said in a game earlier this year that Uehara’s goal was to play ten years in Japan, and ten years in the majors. Next year would be ten years in the majors, and, of course, he should finish his career with the Cubs.

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