Jim Hendry fired as Cubs GM

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So much for that vote of confidence last week, huh?

Jim Hendry has been fired as the Cubs general manager, reports David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com.  The termination is effective immediately. Kaplan reports that Hendry is currently meeting with the Cubs in the clubhouse, presumably being thanked by the players for all of those ridiculous contracts he handed out like so much candy.  Randy Bush is the interim GM.

Hendry has been on board since 2002. It has been a surprisingly long tenure for someone with such a poor track record.  The Cubs under his watch managed a decent season here or there, but they are currently hamstrung by bad contracts and poor roster construction.  With $30 million coming off the payroll after this season, it’s a fine time to give someone else a shot.  And that’s what Tom Ricketts is doing.

UPDATE: Hendry is currently speaking to the press, which you can see at CSNChicago.com.  Some crazy stuff going down. Hendry says that he was actually fired on July 22nd, but that he was held on to get through the trade deadline and the signing of draft picks.  If you’ll recall, the Cubs had a profoundly quiet deadline, moving no one of the many players many of us thought they would or at least should move.  Hendry just touched on that saying that “those moves are for the next guy.” Certainly explains a lot.

Also worth noting that Hendry is really, really emotional, crying through the presser. Ugh. I know a lot of Cubs fans were waiting for this day, but there isn’t much joy to be had here.

RHP Fairbanks, Rays agree to 3-year, $12 million contract

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Dave Nelson/USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Reliever Pete Fairbanks and the Tampa Bay Rays avoided arbitration when they agreed Friday to a three-year, $12 million contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons.

The deal includes salaries of $3,666,666 this year and $3,666,667 in each of the next two seasons. The Rays have a $7 million option for 2026 with a $1 million buyout.

His 2024 and 2025 salaries could increase by $300,000 each based on games finished in the previous season: $150,000 each for 35 and 40.

Tampa Bay’s option price could increase by up to $6 million, including $4 million for appearances: $1 million each for 60 and 70 in 2025; $500,000 for 125 from 2023-25 and $1 million each for 135, 150 and 165 from 2023-25. The option price could increase by $2 million for games finished in 2025: $500,000 each for 25, 30, 35 and 40.

Fairbanks also has a $500,000 award bonus for winning the Hoffman/Rivera reliever of the year award and $200,000 for finishing second or third.

The 29-year-old right-hander is 11-10 with a 2.98 ERA and 15 saves in 111 appearances, with all but two of the outings coming out of the bullpen since being acquired by the Rays from the Texas Rangers in July 2019.

Fairbanks was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Fairbanks made his 2022 debut on July 17 and tied for the team lead with eight saves despite being sidelined more than three months. In addition, he is 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA in 12 career postseason appearances, all with Tampa Bay.

He had asked for a raise from $714,400 to $1.9 million when proposed arbitration salaries were exchanged Jan. 13, and the Rays had offered for $1.5 million.

Fairbanks’ agreement was announced two days after left-hander Jeffrey Springs agreed to a $31 million, four-year contract with Tampa Bay that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, third baseman Yandy Diaz and outfielder Harold Ramirez.