Chicago Cubs News: Drew Smyly signs two-year deal

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs continue to bolster their pitching staff this winter as the team signed left-handed starting pitcher  Drew Smyly to a two-year contract on Tuesday.

Under Theo Epstein, the Chicago Cubs have not shied away from signing pitchers recovering from injuries with the hope that they can provide some value to the team in the long-term.

That is the case with the Cubs’ latest signing. On Tuesday night, the Cubs reportedly signed left-handed starting pitcher Drew Smyly to a two-year contract worth $10 million.

Smyly, who underwent Tommy John surgery in August of 2017, is not expected to be ready until the second half of the 2018 season at the earliest. He will spend the rest of the off-season and most of the 2018 season rehabbing with the possibility that he could the join the Major League team at some point during the second half of the season.

There certainly are reasons for the Cubs to have a long-term interest in Smyly.

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Smyly turned 28 this past June, and with Tommy John surgery no longer feared as it once was, the Cubs could view Smyly as a long-term project. The goal will be for Smyly rebuild his arm strength so the Cubs can pencil him into their starting rotation plans for the 2019 season.

Smyly is also familiar with new Cubs’ pitching coach Jim Hickey.

Hickey served as Smyly’s pitching coach while the two were a part of the Tampa Bay Rays’ organization. Smyly did not pitch during the 2017 season, but in 2016, the starter posted a 4.88 ERA, 4.51 xFIP, and 1.27 WHIP in 175.1 innings pitched.

After signing Tyler Chatwood earlier this off-season, the belief was that the Cubs would look to add at least one more starting pitcher. The assumption is that Chatwood will be replacing John Lackey‘s spot in the Cubs’ starting rotation. Also, the team is still looking for a replacement for Jake Arrieta‘s spot.

Smyly is not the Cubs’ answer to losing Arrieta this off-season, but he could be a wise long-term investment for the team.

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How have the Chicago Cubs fared in terms of addressing their pitching staff this winter? Sound off in the comments section below with your thoughts.