The Cubs had a week in which many that follow the team will not soon forget.
Within seven days, the Cubs signed RHP John Lackey for two years and $32 million, RHP Trevor Cahill for one year and $4.25 million, INF/OF Ben Zobrist for four years and $56 million and OF Jason Heyward agreed to terms on an eight-year, $184 million deal. And the front office traded INF Starlin Castro and his remaining $38 million guaranteed to the Yankees for RHP Adam Warren and a PTBNL.
While winning the winter typically does not equate to wins during the season, within a one-week time period last December the Cubs signed RHP Jason Hammel and LHP Jon Lester and traded for C Miguel Montero. And each of those three acquisitions were factors on a team that won 97 games during the regular season.
Questions are always asked about a player’s contract, how it breaks down and what the player will cost his team per season. Details surfaced rather quickly on the contracts John Lackey and Ben Zobrist signed with the Cubs.
Ben Zobrist signed a four-year, $56 million contract. Zobrist received a $2 million signing bonus. Zobrist’s contract calls for a $10 million salary in 2016, $16 million in both 2017 and 2018 and $12 million in 2019.
Zobrist’s contract includes a full no-trade clause the first three years. In the fourth year in which he will be paid $12 million, Zobrist can designate eight teams he can block a trade.
John Lackey signed a two-year, $32 million contract. Lackey received a full no-trade clause and a $7 million signing bonus. Lackey will be paid $12.5 million in each of the two years. The Cubs split the $7 million bonus in two payments. Lackey received $2 million upfront that the Cubs paid out of the surplus from the 2015 budget. The remaining $5 million is due in 2017 in the form of a bonus, not part of his salary.
By signing John Lackey, the Cubs forfeited the 26th overall pick in the draft. The Cardinals received a compensation pick, which is currently the 31st overall pick.
The Cubs did not surrender a draft pick for landing Ben Zobrist. The Royals could not make him a qualifying offer at the end of the year because of the in-season trade from Oakland to Kansas City.
For signing Jason Heyward, the Cubs will forfeit their next highest available pick. The Cubs would currently lose their second round pick, but if Dexter Fowler signs with another team, the Cubs would forfeit the compensation pick they receive for Fowler. The compensation pick is not protected.