BOOM: The Cubs Have Signed Kyle Hendricks to a Four-Year Extension, Plus Option

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BOOM: The Cubs Have Signed Kyle Hendricks to a Four-Year Extension, Plus Option

Chicago Cubs

They did it! The Chicago Cubs joined the 2019 MLB Extension Party! Woo hoo!

With Kyle Hendricks being the first of the Cubs’ controlled talent projected to hit free agency, why wouldn’t he be the first to sign an extension? And with Kyle Hendricks being one of the most consistently successful starting pitchers of the Cubs’ current era, why wouldn’t they want to sign him to an extension?

Hendricks, 29, was set to make $7.41 million this year in his second-to-last year of team control. So, this deal buys out his final arbitration year, and then three more free agent years, plus a team option after that for 2024, when he will be 34.

A year out from free agency, and with a skill set that is pretty uniquely sensitive to velocity decline, I think this looks pretty fair. Smart for Hendricks to lock it in, and a good risk for the Cubs. It’ll be interesting to see if the Cubs incorporate this year as part of a new five-year contract, thus increasing the AAV for this year, but lowering it over the life of the deal.

If it’s five years and $63 million, in that case, the deal has an AAV of $12.6 million, which would be the number that matters for luxury tax purposes.

Acquired as “the other prospect” in the 2012 Ryan-Dempster-for-Christian-Villaneuva deadline trade, Hendricks rose steadily through the Cubs’ farm system and broke out in the big leagues thanks to superlative command, a killer changeup, and elite (useable!) baseball intelligence. Since he entered the big leagues in 2014, Hendricks’ 3.07 ERA is 9th best in baseball among pitchers with at least 700 innings.

UPDATE: The full year-by-year breakdown, plus incentives and option:

Never forget that Kyle Hendricks is already a Chicago Cubs legend:

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.