From previous reports, Tyler Chatwood ’s Cubs contract is supposed to call for $12.5 million each of the next two seasons and then either a $13 million payment in 2020, or a $3 million buyout.
Sounds straightforward, right? Not so fast, says Gordon Wittenmyer in the Sun-Times:
Because of escalator clauses in the $38 million deal based on receiving even single Cy Young votes in either 2018 or 2019, the Baseball Writers Association of America resolved on Tuesday to consider making him ineligible for its National League Cy Young Award if the language isn’t changed or removed.
It’s considered an issue of gross conflict of interest for writers who vote for the award.
Chatwood’s contract increases his 2020 salary from its $13 million base to $15 million if he receives even one Cy Young vote in either 2018 or ’19 – to $17 million if he receives even one vote in both years.
The article goes on to say that Theo Epstein gave a similar contract clause to Curt Schilling in 2007, and the BBWAA made Schilling ineligible for the Cy Young that year as a result (Schilling’s 2007 season, 9-8, 3.87 ERA, 1.245 WHIP in 24 starts, wasn’t anywhere near Cy Young quality).
According to Wittenmyer, the BBWAA voted Tuesday to sit down with MLB and the Players’ Association to resolve this issue.
Of course, we’d love it if Chatwood was good enough as a Cub to receive Cy Young consideration. Most likely, this is a minor kerfuffle that can be easily resolved between all parties involved.