Unable to trade Hector Rondon by deadline, Cubs non-tender ex-closer

SHARE Unable to trade Hector Rondon by deadline, Cubs non-tender ex-closer
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Hector Rondon

The Cubs are a long way from solving their bullpen issues for a chance at another playoff run in 2018, but some direction began taking shape Friday when they non-tendered former closer Hector Rondon and signed a depth-quality left-hander to a one-year deal.

The Cubs also tendered contracts to six of their seven arbitration-eligible players, including relievers Justin Grimm and Justin Wilson.

Rondon, 29, had regressed since the Cubs bumped him from the closer role with the acquisition of Aroldis Chapman in 2016. He struggled throughout 2017 after the offseason trade for Wade Davis in a continually reduced role. Injuries also played a role over that extended stretch.

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A Rule 5 draft pick before the 2013 season, Rondon earned 77 saves with a 1.96 ERA from the start of 2014 until the Chapman trade.

The Cubs made Rondon available in trade talks until the non-tender deadline. He was expected to make more than $6 million through the arbitration process.

The Cubs also announced the signing of left-hander Dario Alvarez to a one-year, big-league contract two months after the Rangers designated him for assignment.

Alvarez, 28, split time between the majors and Class AAA Round Rock last season. He had a 2.76 ERA in 20 games in the majors with 17 strikeouts in 16⅓ innings (2.33 ERA with 36 strikeouts in 27 innings for Round Rock). Alvarez spent all or parts of four seasons with the Mets, Braves and Rangers (5.06 ERA in 56 career appearances).

Other arbitration-eligible players tendered contracts by the Cubs: Starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks and infielders Kris Bryant, Addison Russell and Tommy La Stella.

Follow me on Twitter @GDubCub.

Email: gwittenmyer@suntimes.com


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