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.
Rangers GM Jon Daniels said he doesn’t expect the club to make a $17.9 million qualifying offer to free agent third baseman Adrián Beltré, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports. Daniels has been in touch with the 39-year-old, who may retire.
Beltré battled hip and hamstring issues throughout the past season, limiting him to 119 games. He hit .273/.328/.434 with 15 home runs and 65 RBI in 481 plate appearances. Going by adjusted OPS, his mark of 98 — 100 is average — was his lowest in a season since 2009 with the Mariners. Beltré’s career average is 116 and he put up a 132 in 2017 and 128 in ’16.
Beltré appears to have some stuff left in the tank. He may not be an All-Star-caliber player anymore, but he can still hit at an average level and he is still an above-average defender. It’s just a matter of his body holding up to allow him to do what he needs to do. If Beltré does decide to re-up with the Rangers for 2019, the club will be prepared to move Isiah Kiner-Falefa or Jurickson Profar over to the hot corner as they did in 2018 in the event Beltré gets bitten by the injury bug.