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Cubs Add SS Villar in Host of Moves

The Chicago Cubs stayed busy on Thursday, agreeing to contracts with infielder Jonathan Villar and pitchers Mychal Givens, Daniel Norris and Robert Gsellman.


The Cubs also finalized right-hander Chris Martin’s one-year deal and placed left-hander Brad Wieck on the 60-day injured list with a left elbow strain.


Villar’s $6 million, one-year deal is pending a physical. He is slated to make $4.5 million in salary in 2022, and there is a $10 million mutual option with a $1.5 million buyout. He earns a $500,000 performance bonus for reaching 500 plate appearances.


The 30-year-old Villar spent last year with the New York Mets, batting .249 with 18 homers and 42 RBIs in 142 games. He can play second, third and shortstop.


Givens’ one-year contract is worth $5 million. Givens also can earn $1.25 million in bonuses.


The 31-year-old Givens finished last season with Cincinnati, going 1-1 with a 4.22 ERA and eight saves. He could get the opportunity to pitch at the back end of Chicago’s bullpen.


Norris’ one-year contract is worth $1.75 million and the left-hander can earn up to $2 million in incentives. 


Gsellman is in Cubs camp on a non-roster contract.


Martin pitched for the World Series champion Braves last year, going 2-4 with a 3.95 ERA in 46 appearances. The 35-year-old right-hander also took the mound in five postseason games, allowing one run and four hits in 4 1/3 innings.


Wieck’s elbow issue popped up during a bullpen session this week. The 6-foot-8 Wieck pitched 17 scoreless innings over 15 appearances with the Cubs in 2021, but he missed much of the season because of a heart issue.


Norris played for Detroit and Milwaukee last year, going 2-3 with a 6.16 ERA in 56 games. Norris, who turns 29 on April 25, was selected by Toronto in the second round of the 2011 amateur draft and made his big league debut with the Blue Jays in 2014.


Norris is 20-34 with a 4.65 ERA in 167 major league games, including 83 starts.


Gsellman spent his first six seasons with the New York Mets, going 20-16 with a 4.59 ERA in 176 games. He went 0-1 with a 3.77 ERA in 17 appearances last year.


Thursday’s additions are the latest in a flurry of moves for the Cubs since they opened spring training — especially on the pitching side. There is concern across the majors about pitching depth with baseball’s adjusted schedule after the lockout.

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