The Rundown–12/23/16: Nova to Pirates, Encarnacion to Indians, Logan Watkins Leaves Cubs

Here are headlines from around the league and for the Cubs:

  1. The Pirates signed Ivan Nova to a 3 year deal worth $26M with an additional $2M per year available in incentives.
    • Nova was traded to the Pirates mid-season and did very well while loving the atmosphere in Pittsburgh.
    • It’s a solid deal for the Pirates because Nova entered the offseason with a rumored price tag of $70M over 5 years, so they did really well to wait out the market here and make a deal they were comfortable with.
    • Nova won his only start against the Cubs in a rain-shortened 5.1 inning game in which he gave up just 1 run on 4 hits.
  2. The Indians signed Edwin Encarnacion to a 3 year deal worth a guaranteed $65M, with a club option for a 4th year ($5M buyout).
    • This is a great for the Tribe, as they got a better hitter than Mike Napoli at a rate that doesn’t seem too expensive over too long a period. Good for them.
    • I would love to see a rematch next October between the Cubs and Indians in the World Series.
  3. The Braves extended Ender Inciarte for 5 years and $30.5M with an option for 2022; the deal does not include a no-trade clause.
    • Inciarte was traded to the Braves in the Shelby Miller deal and is an average hitter, but provides his value on the bases and in center, where is considered one of the best defensive players in all of baseball.
    • He’s just 26 years old and the terms of this deal are not terrible at all; if anything, they give him even more value if the Braves want to trade him later.
  4. Cubs re-signed shortstop Elliot Soto to a minor league deal as organizational depth.
    • The 27-year-old was traded to the Marlins in 2015 in the Dan Haren deal, so the Cubs welcome the light-hitting (.628 OPS), glove-first player back into the organization.
  5. 2012 Cubs Minor League Player of the Year, Logan Watkins, has left the organization to sign with the Detroit Tigers.
    • Watkins spent the past 8 years in the Cubs organization and reached the big leagues in 2014, but only hit .246 in 65 AB’s before missing the entire 2015 season with an Achilles injury.
    • He was getting a little long in the tooth when it comes to prospects and there isn’t a whole lot of need for middle infielders in Chicago these days.

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