Cubs sign infielder Daniel Descalso to two-year contract that includes an option for the 2021 season
The Cubs and infielder Daniel Descalso have agreed to terms on a two-year contract with incentives and a club option for the 2021 season. The Cubs 40-man roster now stands at 37 players.
The Cubs did not announce the terms of Descalso’s contract. According to multiple reports, the Cubs will pay Descalso $5 million guaranteed over the next two seasons. Ken Rosenthal added Descalso can make a total of $8.25 million if he reaches the performance bonuses and the Cubs pick up the option on the third year. And according to Sahadev Sharma, Descalso will be paid $1.5 million in 2019 and $2.5 million in 2020. The third year option is for $3.5 million and includes a $1 million buyout.
Descalso, 32, turned in the strongest season of his career at the plate in 2018 when he posted a career-best .789 OPS thanks to a .353 on-base percentage and .436 slugging percentage, both of which were also single-season bests, in 138 games with Arizona, his most games in a season since 2012. Overall, Descalso saw 39 of his 83 hits go for extra bases (47 percent) and posted a career best 15.1 percent walk rate, which would have tied for fifth in the National League (just behind Kyle Schwarber’s 15.3 percentage) with enough plate appearances to qualify.
The versatile Descalso last year played 52 games at second base, 37 games at third base, 11 games at first base and five games in left field. Descalso batted .238 (83-for-349) with 22 doubles, four triples, 13 home runs and 57 RBI, setting career bests in homers, RBI, walks (64) and OPS+ (106) while recording his most doubles since his career-best 25 two-baggers in 2013. The left-handed batter hit .286 (18-for-63) with a .365 on-base percentage, .524 slugging and .889 OPS vs. left-handed pitching last season.
Descalso has played all or part of nine Major League seasons with St. Louis (2010-14), Colorado (2015-16) and Arizona (2017-18). He has a career .240 batting average (564-for-2,351) with 121 doubles, 46 homers and 279 RBI in 997 career big league games. Descalso has played every position except for center field and catcher, seeing time at second base (300 games), third base (261), shortstop (179), first base (62), left field (48) and right field (one) to go along with five relief appearances.
Descalso was originally selected by St. Louis in the third round of the 2007 Draft out of the University of California, Davis. He broke into the big leagues three years later in 2010 before setting a career high with 148 games played in 2011 in helping the Cardinals to a World Championship. Descalso has reached the postseason five times in his career, including four straight NLCS appearances and a pair of World Series showings (2011, 2013 runner-up) with St. Louis from 2011-14, and reaching the Division Series round in 2017 with Arizona.