Free agent right-hander Scott Feldman has agreed to a one-year, $6 million contract with the Cubs, the team announced. The deal also includes $1 million in potential incentives.
Feldman became a free agent when the Rangers declined his $9.25 million option for 2013. Texas was hesitant to stick with Feldman in the rotation even after a bunch of injuries depleted the starting pitching depth and his 5.09 ERA was ugly, but his secondary numbers were much stronger and included a 96/32 K/BB ratio in 124 innings.
Chicago previously signed Scott Baker to a one-year, $5.5 million deal with $1.5 million in incentives, so clearly Theo Epstein and company decided to strike quickly with mid-level targets and try to find some (relative) bargains with a little upside. In a market where Jeremy Guthrie got $25 million for three years committing $11.5 million to a pair of potential mid-rotation starters seems like a sound plan.
Update (7:00 PM ET): The MLBPA announces that the deadline has been extended 24 hours while MLB and NPB continue to negotiate a new agreement for the posting system. The new deadline is 8 PM ET on Tuesday.
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.