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.
In today’s column for The Athletic, Ken Rosenthal reports that the Phillies are “shopping the hell” out of first baseman Carlos Santana, according to a rival executive. Doing so would allow the Phillies to move Rhys Hoskins back to first base and open up a spot in the outfield for free agent Bryce Harper, with whom the Phillies have been commonly connected.
Santana, 32, is coming off of a mediocre season in which he hit .229/.352/.414 with 24 home runs and 86 RBI in 679 plate appearances. His 1.7 WAR, per Baseball Reference, was his lowest output since 2015. He has $35 million remaining on his contract. The Phillies would presumably eat a significant portion of that $35 million in order to make a trade work.
If the Phillies can’t move Santana but still end up signing Harper, Santana could share third base with Maikel Franco and first with Hoskins. Right now, the Phillies have a glut of outfielders with Hoskins, Odúbel Herrera, Nick Williams, and Aaron Altherr. Hoskins rated among the worst outfielders defensively in 2018, so moving him back to first base is likely one of the Phillies’ bigger priorities.