According to a report from Mark Gonzales, the Cubs signed Javier Baez and Kyle Hendricks to split major-minor league contracts.
The Cubs were expected to finalize contracts Tuesday for the remaining unsigned players for the upcoming season. The Cubs have 21 automatic renewal players (0-3 men) currently on the 40-man roster.
Players with less than three years of service time that did not reach Super Two status are considered automatic renewals and typically make the Major League minimum.
This year the Major League minimum is $507,500. Teams can pay players more than the minimum if the front office feels a player has earned the increase for past performance. For instance, last year the league minimum was $507,500 and the Cubs paid Hector Rondon ($544,000) and Justin Grimm ($532,000) more than the minimum.
Mark Gonzales reported Wednesday the Cubs agreed to terms with Javier Baez and Kyle Hendricks on split contract. The Cubs signed Baez for $521,000 and Hendricks to a $541,000 deal. A split contract calls for a player to make one rate when he’s in the majors and a lesser rate when he’s in the minors.
Javier Baez and Kyle Hendricks have minor league options left. Baez has two option years and Hendricks has three option years left. Both players are expected to break camp and spend the season in the majors. The Cubs view Baez as their super utility man and Hendricks as the fifth starter in the rotation.
The Cubs have Baez penciled in as the primary backup at all four infield positions, including first base, and center field. According to multiple reports, Baez will see time at every position this spring except pitcher and catcher. Baez has excellent instincts in the field and on the bases. And in 28 games last year the adjustments he made offensively produced a .289/.325/.408 line with six doubles and a home run for a .733 OPS.
Hendricks had an inconsistent first full season in the big leagues. Hendricks finished the year with an 8-7 record in 32 games with a 3.95 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 3.36 FIP. Hendricks allowed 82 runs, 79 earned, on 166 hits with 43 walks and 167 strikeouts in 180 innings.
Before the break, Hendricks was 4-3 in 17 starts with a 3.55 ERA and 1.12 WHIP that included a complete game shutout. In the second half, Hendricks was 4-3 in 15 starts with a 4.44 ERA and 1.21 WHIP.
The Cubs have not announced agreeing to terms with the 21 automatic renewal players. Reports have not surfaced yet on the 2016 salaries for the other 19 players.