The Cubs and Jon Lester agree to a six-year contract reportedly worth $155 million with a seventh year option worth $15 million, making him one of the highest paid players in baseball history. The multiyear deal, valued at about $25.8 million annually, is the richest ever given to a pitcher in free agency.
After refusing a $60 million, four-year extension from the Red Sox last winter, Nomar Garciaparra signs a one-year deal with the Cubs, the team he was traded to in July, for $8 million. The All-Star shortstop, who is coming off an injury-plagued season, can increase the value of the contract with bonus incentives based on performance and playing time to $11 million.
Ron Santo is elected to the Hall of Fame posthumously by the Golden Era Committee, receiving 15 of its possible 16 votes. The former Cubs’ third baseman, who played in the 1960s and early ‘70s, compiled a .277 lifetime batting average, won five Gold Gloves and was a member of nine All-Star teams during his 15-year tenure in Chicago, including a season on the South Side with the White Sox.
Ernie Banks (.304, 45, 143) wins his second consecutive MVP award. ‘Mr Cub’ garners 10 of the writers’ 21 first-place votes, with Eddie Mathews (5) and Hank Aaron (2) of the Braves and Dodger Wally Moon (4) found on top of the remaining ballots.