Cubs, Hendricks agree to 4-year extension reportedly worth $55.5M
Jennifer Stewart / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Chicago Cubs and starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks have agreed to a four-year contract extension that includes a fifth-year vesting option for 2024.

The righty will earn $55.5 million from 2020-23, a source told Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, after making $7.405 million in 2019 under his existing contract.

Contract breakdown

Year Salary
2019* $7.405M
2020 $12M
2021 $14M
2022 $14M
2023 $14M
2024** $16M

* Final year of existing contract
** Vesting option or $1.5-million buyout

Breakdown courtesy: Rosenthal

The option will vest if he finishes among the top three in Cy Young voting in 2020. The deal also includes annual Cy Young-related escalators that can max the contract out at $79.8 million.

Hendricks, 29, is coming off a campaign in which he cemented his status as one of the Cubs' most reliable arms. He went 14-11 with a 3.44 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP while tossing a career-high and team-leading 199 innings.

He did so while averaging less than 90 mph on his fastball, according to FanGraphs, in an era that routinely sees pitchers hit triple digits on the radar gun. With that in mind, Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said Hendricks earned the extension by pitching better than anticipated since being drafted 264th overall by the Texas Rangers in 2011.

"Early on it's easy to put ceilings on guys, based mostly on velocity ... he's far exceeded that ceiling," Epstein said Tuesday, according to Pedro Gomez of ESPN. "We love the process that he uses to get to where he is. He's always working."

Meanwhile, Hendricks echoed the sentiment that pitching success is about much more than velocity.

"Hopefully, watching the way I pitch and get guys out will relate to a lot of younger pitchers," he said, according to Gomez. "It's not always about velocity but about the way you go about getting guys out at the major-league level."

Hendricks has certainly found ways to get outs since he joined the Cubs in 2014. Over parts of five seasons, he's gone 52-33 with a 3.07 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP across 789 innings despite a pedestrian 7.6 K/9 rate.

Comments
Cubs, Hendricks agree to 4-year extension reportedly worth $55.5M
  Got something to say? Leave a comment below!
Daily Newsletter
Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox