Wade Davis will no longer wear a Chicago Cubs uniform after agreeing to a record-breaking 3-year $56 million contract with the Colorado Rockies.
It was questionable at best that star closer Wade Davis would re-sign with the Chicago Cubs after becoming a free agent in the 2017-18 offseason, as Cubs GM Theo Epstein historically has been reluctant to pay big bucks for closers, and there is no chance of that now after the Rockies and the Cubs finalized the deal sending Davis to Coors.
Wade Davis has established himself as one of the premier closers in the game and had the best year of his career in 2017. In 58.2 innings pitched, Davis put up a 2.30 ERA, with 32 saves (in 33 attempts), 79 strikeouts, while only giving up 6 home runs. Davis was given his third consecutive All-Star nod in 2017 as well.
Davis’ new contract will earn him an average of $17.3 million per year, which will break the record for the highest average annual salary for a closer in MLB history (surpassing Aroldis Chapman with $17.2). Multiple reports state that Wade Davis will be paid roughly $16 Million in 2018, $18 million in 2019, and $17 million in 2020. Along with a $15 million option for 2021 with a $1 million buyout.
The Rockies had a breakout season in 2017 and snuck into the Wild Card Game when no one thought they would be a contender in 2017. A large amount of their success came as a result of Greg Holland having a breakout season after coming off of an injury.
The Rockies will now have two top of the line closers and it is possible that they will let go of Holland. Holland made $15 million in 2017 but did not exercise his $15 million player option after the 2017 season came to a close.
The Chicago Cubs will now be in search of a new closer, as well as a new starting pitcher to replace Jake Arrieta when he makes his inevitable free agent departure. While the Rockies have strengthened their pitching staff, the Cubs have weakened their own.
It will be fascinating to see how the rest of the 2017-18 Offseason plays out. Hopefully, we are blessed by the baseball gods with more blockbuster deals such as this one to ignite Hot Stove once again.