Chicago Cubs: Would they be willing and able to lock up Kyle Hendricks for the next five years?
While these signings might generally be a happy afterthought on the way to Spring Training, none of the deals were worth more than $45 million in guaranteed money- a fact that no doubt made more than a few eyebrows raise. Setting the labor strife and union issues aside for a second, this is pertinent as Cubs’ fans because the Cubs have a few players in their young core who fit right in with some of the players who just recently signed extensions.
Heading that list is the man who gets hitters out quite frequently while only rarely breaking 90 mph, Kyle Hendricks. While Hendricks is in his age 29 season and second year of arbitration, he is a guy who the Cubs could lock up with a five or six-year deal due to the fact he will most likely age very well. As a guy who isn’t reliant on velocity, it’s probably that Hendricks will continue to get hitters out well into his 30s while his peers struggle to adjust to lost “giddy-up” on their heaters.
While the Cubs would seem to benefit more than Hendricks would in this deal, as he is set to become a free agent in 2021, Hendricks could see the value in an extension that would pay him handsomely and guarantee he stays in a Cubs’ uniform through his prime and beyond. It’s also very possible some players would be willing to sign deals before the current CBA expires, fearing what might happen after 2021 or in an effort to stash money away in advance of a potential work stoppage.