So should the Cubs bring Rich Harden back next year?
Rich Hardens stats:
Positives: Harden is only 27 years old and is the youngest player in the up coming free agent class. Not to mention the only one younger than 30 years old. Harden is a strikeout pitcher that averages 1+ a inning and opponents are hitting well under .300 against him. Another good thing is Harden did go on the DL this year (not good) but not due to his arm, his back was the issue and he just went on the DL for precautionary reasons.
Negatives: Harden is injury prone, going on the DL about once a year with arm injuries and arm injuries are with you for the rest of your baseball career. He might want to much money in the off season because there were reports out of Chicago yesterday that he can get from 50-60 million after the season.
What they should do if they don't resign him: The Cubs should at least offer him arbitration, and if he declines, and a team picks him up, the Cubs will get 2 compensation picks as he will be a class A free agent. Another reason could be if they are afraid of his recent injuries, offer him a 2 year deal worth about 14 million. So if he does get injured he isn't making a lot of money and not on contract for a long time (unlike Soriano and Bradley).
Verdict: I say sign him to a 2 year deal worth 14 million like I said above, plus incentives and a club option for 9 million for the third season. Then if he likes playing for Chicago, he should sign that deal. I think Jim Hendry will be cautious of signing him to a long term contract because of his passing signings with players that are injury prone.
Incentives: 1 million for 30+ starts a season (first 2 seasons), 300K for 200+ strikeouts (first 2 seasons), 1 million for making it to the all-star (first 2 seasons) and 3 million for winning CY Award (all seasons). Third season incentives, 5 million for being in the top 3 of all pitching categories, 2.5 million for being in the top 3 in half of the pitching categories.