Here is the latest news from the past few days.
Cubs Extend Theo Epstein on Five-Year Deal
The Chicago Cubs announced that they have extended President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein on a five-year deal today.
Epstein, 42, has been with the Cubs since 2012, leading them through their rebuilding process. His current deal was set to expire after the end of this season, but there was no question on whether he was going to go elsewhere.
Now, the team rewarded him with a contract that will pay him $50 million, according to multiple reports, making him the highest-paid executive in the sport.
It appears, though, that Epstein deserves to be paid as such, taking the Cubs from a 61-win season in 2012 (when he inherited them) to a 101-win (and counting) season in 2016.
The Cubs, who have not won the World Series since 1908, are the odds-on favorite to do so this year. That appeared to have been Epstein's goal when coming to Chicago from the Boston Red Sox in the first place: to break the Cubs' World Series drought.
Marlins Extend Martin Prado
In another extension, the Miami Marlins have agreed to a three-year, $40 million contract with infielder Martin Prado, according to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald on Monday.
Prado set to become a free agent at the end of the offseason. Now, the 2016-17 free agent class--already notorious for being thin--becomes even weaker. Prado was one of the better position player free agents, but as a known clubhouse leader in Miami, it appears that both sides wanted him to stay put.
Prado has bounced around a bit in his 11-year MLB career, but his past two seasons with the Marlins have been two of his more successful campaigns overall.
His current contract, a four-year, $40 million deal, was signed with the Braves in the 2012-13 offseason, but he was immediately shipped to the Arizona Diamondbacks in a trade for Justin Upton. He was traded again in 2014 and headed to the Yankees, before landing with Miami in yet another trade that year.
He's been with the Marlins since, and all he has done is hit. In 2016, Prado is hitting .304/.359/.413 with seven home runs and 68 RBI over 647 plate appearances, walking 49 times and striking out 69. With solid defense at third base, Prado has been worth 3.0 Wins Above Replacement (fWAR), per FanGraphs.
Prado will now be a mainstay in Miami at least through the 2019 season.