Cubs hold official groundbreaking for Wrigley Field renovation project

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The Cubs held an official groundbreaking today for renovations at Wrigley Field. It’s being called the “1060 Project” in reference to the stadium’s address at 1060 West Addison Street. Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel and MLB commissioner Bud Selig were both on-hand for the festivities.

The Cubs hope to have the $575 million Wrigleyville renovation completed by Opening Day in 2018. The first of four phases will take place this winter, including plans for seven new outfield signs and a massive jumbotron above the left field bleachers. The Cubs have 177 days to get the work done before Opening Day next season.

There’s a long way to go in the process, but Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts told Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com that he hopes the new-look Wrigley Field will host an All-Star Game once renovations are completed.

“Obviously, we’d love to host an All-Star Game when the renovations are done,” Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts said. “It’s been about 30 years since our last All-Star Game. I’ll leave the rest of that to private conversations with the commissioner.

“But hopefully we’ll have an announcement at some point that brings an All-Star Game to Wrigley Field.”

You can look at details of the project 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.