Opening Day is here and teams like the Guardians, Braves and Cubs are working hard toward finalizing last-minute contract extensions before the first pitch.
Opening Day is here. Finally.
And that means teams — and players — are working on contract extensions with the first pitch on Thursday being a hard deadline for most. That applies to the Pittsburgh Pirates and star Bryan Reynolds, who have “major hurdles” to clear as they hope to reach a long-term extension, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.
But in some cases, deals are getting done — and no team has been more aggressive than the Cleveland Guardians, who have signed star shortstop Andres Gimenez to a mega-deal and reliever Trevor Stephan to a four-year contract. The Cubs and Braves have been active as well, with Nico Hoerner’s and Orlando Arcia’s extensions.
Here’s a breakdown of each deal for the Cubs, Braves and Guardians
Andres Gimenez, Cleveland Guardians
Star second baseman Andres Gimenez and the Cleveland Guardians agreed to a massive seven-year, $106.5 million contract extension, according to sources familiar with the deal. Here’s a full breakdown of the deal:
- 2023: $1 million.
- 2024: $5 million.
- 2025: $10 million.
- 2026: 15 million.
- 2027-2029: $23 million.
- 2030: $23 million club option ($2.5 million buyout).
Gimenez, 24, posted 7.4 Wins Above Replacement and made his first All-Star team in 2022. The contract buys out his three remaining seasons of arbitration and at least four years of free agency, keeping the key part of the Francisco Lindor trade in Cleveland through at least his age-31 season.
Nico Hoerner, Chicago Cubs
Second baseman Nico Hoerner and the Chicago Cubs agreed to a three-year, $35 million contract extension, according to sources.
- 2024: $11.5 million.
- 2025: $11.5 million.
- 2026: $12 million.
The deal also includes $1 million each time that Hoerner is traded.
The Cubs envision Hoerner and new shortstop Dansby Swanson creating the best infield defensive duo in baseball. They were unable to come to an agreement with Ian Happ, but locking in the 25-year-old Hoerner was a priority — especially since he is coming off a strong season defensively and also hit .281/.327/.410 with a .736 OPS, 10 home runs and 55 RBI.
Orlando Arcia, Atlanta Braves
Shortstop Orlando Arcia and the Atlanta Braves are in agreement on a three-year, $7.3 million contract extension that includes a club option for 2026, according to sources familiar with the deal.
- 2023: $2.3 million.
- 2024: $2 million.
- 2025: $2 million.
- 2026: $2 million club option ($1 million buyout).
No, this deal does not mean that Arcia is the Braves’ long-term answer at shortstop. The job is still Vaughn Grissom’s to lose in the long haul. But this deal locks up a player that the organization is high on and provides versatility throughout the infield for years to come at a very reasonable price.
Trevor Stephan, Cleveland Guardians
Reliever Trevor Stephan and the Cleveland Guardians are in agreement on a four-year, $10 million contract extension that includes two club options, according to sources familiar with the deal.
- 2023: $1.35 million.
- 2024: $1.6 million.
- 2025: $2.3 million.
- 2026: $3.5 million.
- 2027: $7.25 million club option ($1.25 million buyout).
- 2028: $7.5 million club option.
After locking up Gimenez, there were strong rumblings that the Guardians were finalizing an agreement with Stephan. Hours later, the two sides agreed to terms and gives the team a late-inning duo of Stephan and Emmanuel Clase that’s signed long-term — and also to very team-friendly deals.