To call Albert Almora Jr.’s performance in 2019 disappointing would be an injustice. He posted -0.7 fWAR and simply wasn’t a reliable option in the lineup. Even his trademark solid defense was spotty, relegating him to a bench role. But the cash-strapped Cubs still believe he can contribute, so they tendered him a contract and agreed Friday on a $1.575 million salary for 2020.
Source: Almora and Cubs agree to $1.575m arbitration deal.
— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubMLB) January 10, 2020
That figure is slightly lower that the $1.8 million projection by MLB Trade Rumors, getting the Cubs a wee bit closer to the $208 million luxury tax threshold. There will undoubtedly be a little griping over this agreement, especially since it represents $1.575 million more than they’ve guaranteed any MLB free agents, but it’s hardy prohibitive. The Cubs have a need for outfield depth and won’t find a more capable center fielder for a comparable cost.