Cubs announce deals with Joc Pederson, 2 pitchers

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CHICAGO — Joc Pederson joined the Chicago Cubs, finalizing a $7 million, one-year contract with the NL Central champions.

The Cubs also completed a $2.75 million, one-year deal for pitcher Andrew Chafin and a $2.5 million, one-year agreement for pitcher Trevor Williams on Friday. The contracts for Pederson and Chafin include a mutual option for 2022.

Pederson gets a $4.5 million salary this year, and the deal includes a $10 million mutual option with a $2.5 million buyout. He can earn $500,000 annually in performance bonuses for plate appearances: $125,000 each for 500, 525, 550 and 575. Pederson also gets a hotel suite on road trips.

Chicago had just three outfielders on its 40-man roster before the addition of Pederson, who hit .190 with seven homers and 16 RBIs last season for the World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Cubs let Kyle Schwarber go in December, and he signed a $10 million, one-year contract with Washington on Jan. 9. Pederson, another lefty bat with lots of power and some limitations at the plate, likely steps in for Schwarber in left.

For Pederson, who turns 29 in April, it’s a chance for regular playing time before possibly trying free agency again next year.

Pederson was selected by Los Angeles in the 11th round of the 2010 amateur draft and spent his first seven seasons with the Dodgers. He is a .230 hitter with 130 homers and 303 RBIs in 748 career games.

While Pederson struggled during the pandemic-shortened season, he set career highs with 36 homers, 74 RBIs and a .249 batting average in 149 games in 2019.

Pederson also appeared in 64 playoff games with Los Angeles, including three World Series. He hit .382 with two homers and eight RBIs during the 2020 postseason, helping the Dodgers win the championship for the first time since 1988. He earned $2,870,370 in prorated pay from a $7.75 million salary.

Williams can earn $1 million in performance bonuses for innings: $175,000 apiece for 50, 75, 100, 125 and 150, and $125,000 for 175.

The 28-year-old Williams was designated for assignment by Pittsburgh after he went 2-8 with a 6.18 ERA in 11 starts during the pandemic-shortened season. He earned $1,046,296 prorated from a $2,825,000 salary.

A second-round pick by Miami in the 2013 draft, Williams broke into the majors in 2016 and spent his first five seasons with the Pirates. The right-hander had his best year in 2018, going 14-10 with a 3.11 ERA in 31 starts.

He has a 31-37 record with a 4.43 ERA in 106 career games, including 94 starts.

Chicago’s rotation will have a different look next season after it traded Yu Darvish to San Diego in December and Jon Lester departed in free agency. Williams could compete for one of the last two spots behind Kyle Hendricks, Zach Davies and Alec Mills.

Chafin receives a $2.25 million salary this year, and his deal includes a $5.25 million option for 2022 with a $500,000 buyout. He can earn $500,000 annually in performance bonuses for games pitched: $125,000 each for 50, 55, 60 and 65.

Chafin finished last season with Chicago after he was acquired in an Aug. 31 trade with Arizona. The lefty reliever went 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA in four appearances with the Cubs, earning $1,127,778 prorated from a $3,045,000 salary.

The 30-year-old Chafin is 10-13 with a 3.67 ERA in 341 big league appearances. He has held lefties to a .230 batting average for his career.

The Cubs also claimed infielder Sergio Alcantara off waivers from the Tigers and designated infielder Max Schrock for assignment .

The 24-year-old Alcantara debuted with Detroit last season and appeared in 10 games. He hit .143 (3 for 21) with a home run, and saw time at second and third base. The Tigers designated him for assignment last week.

Pujols has 2 more RBIs, Cardinals beat Pirates 8-7 in 10

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PITTSBURGH – Albert Pujols drove in two more runs and the St. Louis Cardinals went on to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-7 in 10 innings Tuesday night.

Pujols hit a two-run single in the third inning to push his career total to 2,218 RBIs. That came a night after he broke a tie with Babe Ruth for second place on the career list. Hank Aaron holds the record with 2,287.

Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol then removed the 42-year-old Pujols at the end of the inning. St. Louis opens postseason play Friday when it hosts a best-of-three National League wild-card series.

Juan Yepez gave the Cardinals the win when he hit a tiebreaking single with one in the 10th inning off Chase De Jong (6-3) to score automatic runner Ben Deluzio.

“Tonight was interesting because you’re fairly scripted in who you want to use and who you don’t want to use and what you want tomorrow to look like so you can get ready for Friday,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. “It was a good one to still figure out a way to come out on top.”

The Cardinals threw out the potential tying run at home in the bottom of the 10th when automatic runner Kevin Newman tried to score from second base on Oneil Cruz‘s line single off the glove of first baseman Alec Burleson. The ball deflected to second baseman Brendon Donovan, who threw home to catcher Andrew Knizner.

The Pirates challenged the call, but it was upheld on video review.

“I thought we were going to get it overturned,” Newman said. “I just thought he didn’t tag me until he got higher up on the body.”

It was the Pirates’ 100th loss, the second year in a row they have reached that mark.

The Cardinals got two hits each from Donovan, Corey Dickerson, Knizner and Paul DeJong.

Cruz had three hits for the Pirates and Bryan Reynolds, Rodolfo Castro, Jack Suwinski, Ke'Bryan Hayes and Ji-Hwan Bae added two apiece. Miguel Andujar drove in two runs.

Chris Stratton (10-4) pitched two scoreless innings for the win.

“They weren’t the prettiest two innings I’ve ever pitched but I got a great play from the defense in the 10th inning to help me out,” Stratton said. “It was a good play all the way around.’

Pujols’ hit put the Cardinals ahead 3-1 but the Pirates answered with six runs in the bottom of the third. Andujar’s run-scoring double highlighted an inning that includes RBI singles by Castro, Suwinski, Ben Gamel and Bae.

The Cardinals then scored four runs in the seventh inning to tie the score at 7-all. Donovan hit an RBI single, Dickerson drove in two runs with a double and the tying run scored on a throwing error by Cruz, the rookie shortstop.

Both starting pitchers lasted just 2 2/3 innings. The Cardinals’ Dakota Hudson was rocked for seven runs and nine hits while the Pirates’ JT Brubaker allowed three runs on four hits.

Brubaker was activated from the injured list before the game. He had been out since Sept. 16 with right lat discomfort.

HELSLEY HURT

Reliever Ryan Helsley, the Cardinals’ closer, left in the eighth inning with a jammed right middle finger. Helsley was injured after catching a line drive by Bae and using his hands to brace himself while dodging a piece of a broken bat.

Helsley said he expects to be ready to pitch Friday.

“I don’t think there was anything super wrong with it,” Helsley said. `Just give it some rest and let it resolve itself.”

ROSTER MOVES

The Pirates optioned right-hander Roansy Contreras to Triple-A Indianapolis to clear a roster spot for Brubaker. They also recalled infielder/outfielder Tucapita Marcano from Indianapolis and optioned catcher Jose Godoy to the same club.

PIRATES AWARDS

Center fielder Bryan Reynolds was voted the winner of the Roberto Clemente Award, emblematic of the Pirates’ MVP, by the Pittsburgh chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Mitch Keller won the Steve Blass Award for best pitcher. Former infielder Michael Chavis was voted the Chuck Tanner Good Guy Award.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cardinals: OF Tyler O'Neill (strained right hamstring) has been ruled out for the wild-card series but St. Louis is hopeful he can play in the NLDS round if it advances. . 3B Nolan Arenado (left quadriceps tightness) missed his second straight game but could play Wednesday.

UP NEXT

Cardinals: Have not decided on a starter for Wednesday, though Marmol said LHP Matthew Liberatore (2-1, 5.46) and RHP Jake Woodford (4-0, 2.33) are possibilities.

Pirates: RHP Johan Oviedo (4-3, 3.12), who was acquired from the Cardinals on Aug. 1, gets the start.