The Chicago Cubs announced a series of moves Wednesday night, which included agreeing to deals with three pitchers and thus avoiding arbitration with the trio. Right-handed pitchers Dan Winkler and Colin Rea as well as left-handed pitcher Kyle Ryan all came to terms on 2021 contracts with the Cubs.

Although the three pitchers are officially signed through 2021, the details of their deals were not released by the team. However, Jordan Bastian, who covers the club for, later did reveal the contracts details.

All three figures are below each pitcher’s projected 2021 salaries calculated by MLB Trade Rumors.

2021 salary vs. projected salary

Rea: $702,500 – $1 million – $1.6 million
Ryan: $800,000 – $1.2 million – $1.5 million
Winkler: $900,000 – $1 million – $1.2 million

So hey, the Cubs saved anywhere between $800k and $1.8 million. Good for the Ricketts I guess.

The big non-tenders

Obviously the two biggest names let go by the Cubs on Wednesday were Albert Almora Jr. and Kyle Schwarber. Almora was Theo Epstein’s first draft pick with the Cubs back in 2012, while Schwarber had always been his most coveted player taken in the draft. Schwarber going fourth overall in the 2014 draft surprised many baseball experts at the time, as the left-handed hitting catcher was seen as a reach going in the top-five.

Obviously disappointing that the Cubs had to non-tender both of those guys, who each played important roles in 2016, when the team won the World Series. Unfortunately, Almora’s performance took a steady decline and Schwarber just hasn’t taken his hitting to the next level.

That isn’t to say that Schwarber has been bad, because he hasn’t, but it’s become fairly obvious that the team is trying to head in a different direction in the way they construct the lineup. Unless, you know, an extension happens with Schwarber?

Hmm, tough to see that happening unless Schwarber’s market in free agency doesn’t fully develop and the Cubs end up offering him the best deal.

The other non-tenders

Along with Schwarber and Almora, the Cubs also non-tendered right-handed reliever Ryan Tepera and right-handed hitter Jose Martinez.

So, out of the four relievers who were arbitration eligible for 2021, the Cubs chose to bring back Rea, Winkler and Ryan, while Tepera was the odd-man out.

I was a big fan of Tepera early on in 2020, and how could you not be? He was out there throwing absolutely nasty stuff, using his cutter to mow down opposing hitters. That led to 31 strikeouts in 20.2 innings, but as the season continued Tepera wasn’t the dominant force he was to begin the year.

Who knows, maybe Tepera didn’t want to take a lower deal like Rea, Winkler and Ryan did. And Martinez? With no guarantee that the DH will return to the National League in 2021, there was really no space for him on the roster for a few million dollars.

Tenders and arbitration projections

The Cubs also tendered contracts to five players; Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Ian Happ, Willson Contreras and Victor Caratini. Bryant and Baez are both in their final years of arbitration, while Happ and Caratini have three years of arbitration remaining and Contreras has two.

2021 projected salaries

Bryant: $18.6 million
Baez: $10 million – $11.9 million
Contreras: $5 million – $7.4 million
Happ: $2.5 million – $4.6 million
Caratini: $1.2 million – $1.6 million

Those players still have to agree to a 2021 salary or go to an arbitration hearing to settle how much they’ll earn next season.