Smyly could earn up to $41.5M over 3 years in Cubs contract

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CHICAGO — Left-hander Drew Smyly could earn up to $41.5 million over three years from his contract with the Chicago Cubs if he pitches 150 innings annually, and catcher Tucker Barnhart could raise earnings to $9.5 million under his two-year contract if he becomes a regular starter.

Smyly is guaranteed $19 million as part of a two-year contract announced Dec. 24 that calls for salaries of $8 million this year and $8.5 million in 2023. The deal includes a $10 million mutual option for 2025 with a $2.5 million buyout.

His salaries for 2024 and 2025 could increase by up to $3 million based on innings in the previous season: $250,000 each for 110 and 120, $750,000 apiece for 130 and 140, and $1 million for 150. He can earn annual performance bonuses for the same amounts at the same levels.

Smyly has a conditional right out of the contract after this season to become a free agent if he pitches at least 100 innings this year. The 33-year-old went 7-8 with a 3.47 ERA in 22 starts for Chicago last season.

Smyly joins a group of potential starters that includes Marcus Stroman, Jameson Taillon and Kyle Hendricks. The Cubs also have Justin Steele, Adrian Sampson and Keegan Thompson.

Barnhart was guaranteed $6.5 million as part of a deal announced Dec. 29, getting salaries of $3.25 million in each of the next two seasons.

His 2024 salary could increase by $1 million based on starts at catcher this year: $250,000 each for 91 and 101, and $500,000 for 111. Barnhart could also earn $1 million in performance bonuses annually for starts at catcher, with the same thresholds and amounts.

He has the right to opt out of the deal after the 2023 season and become a free agent.

Barnhart, who turns 32 on Jan. 7, is expected to back up Yan Gomes. Willson Contreras was the starting catcher for Chicago last season, but he signed an $87.5 million, five-year contract with St. Louis during free agency.

Barnhart returns to the NL Central after struggling in his only season with Detroit. He spent his first eight seasons with Cincinnati, winning Gold Gloves in 2017 and 2020.

He became the third Gold Glove winner to sign with the Cubs this offseason. All-Star shortstop Dansby Swanson, who won his first Gold Glove last season with Atlanta, signed a $177 million, seven-year contract. The Cubs also brought in Gold Glove-winning center fielder Cody Bellinger on a $17.5 million, one-year deal.

Chicago also agreed last month to a $2.8 million, one-year deal with right-handed reliever Brad Boxberger. He gets a $2 million salary this year as part of a deal that includes a $5 million mutual option for 2024 with an $800,000 buyout.

Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC.

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