Report: Twins Are Nearing an Extension with Pablo López

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Report: Twins Are Nearing an Extension with Pablo López

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs aren’t the only team that can extend players after the season has started. According to Craig Mish, the Minnesota Twins are nearing an extension with recently acquired starter Pablo López. Given Mish’s connections to Miami (where López played for five years), I’d say he’s a pretty good source on this one. I’m sure this is just about to get done.

In case you forgot, the righty, Pablo López, was traded to the Twins from the Marlins back in January after another really solid season in Miami: 3.75 ERA over 32 starts and 180 innings pitched. And after an even better start to the season this year (1.73 ERA over his first four starts), the Twins are reportedly rewarding him with a four-year, $73.5M deal.

Oh, and of course he throws a sweeper. Who doesn’t these days?

Before this deal, López was going to be arbitration eligible one more time (2024) and then hit free agency ahead of the 2025 season at age-29. So this deal likely buys out next year (already controlled) and then three free agent years at an average annual value of $18.375M. Is it likely López would have out-earned that total/AAV if he kept pitching this way and hit free agency as a sub-30 year old pitcher? Yeah. Definitely. But he’s basically two full seasons from free agency and just locked down life-changing money. Nothing wrong with that.

Meanwhile, the Twins continue to pour resources into this version of the team, which certainly makes sense with Carlos Correa’s deal running the next six seasons (plus some options).

This far from free agency, there’s no real point in monitoring the potential market/Cubs impact. But I guess it is a good thing that the Cubs have Jameson Taillon locked up plus affordable pre-arb and arb contributions from at least Hayden Wesneski (controlled through 2028) and Justin Steele (controlled through 2027). To say nothing of the pitching prospects on the way.

As a reminder, Marcus Stroman can opt out of his deal at the end of the season, the Cubs can buy Kyle Hendricks out of 2024 ($1.5M), and Drew Smyly’s deal runs through 2024 (with a $10M mutual option and $2.5M buyout in 2025).

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami