Chicago Cubs sign former top prospect Trevor Cahill to deal
By Jake Misener
The Chicago Cubs added pitching depth this week, signing former Oakland Athletics prospect Trevor Cahill to a minor-league deal.
Cahill, still just 27 years of age, recently opted out of his deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers and, at this point, is a buy-low, high-upside depth piece for Chicago down the stretch.
The biggest concerns with the Cubs’ rotation come in the form of Jason Hammel, who has battled in almost every start since returning from a hamstring injury mid-season, and the back end – that was shored up in the Dan Haren trade last month.
Kyle Hendricks has been much better in the past couple months for the Cubs, but should he or Hammel falter, the most popular choice waiting at Triple-A Iowa has been Dallas Beeler, who has been less-than-stellar for Chicago in his spot starts.
In steps Cahill.
The right-hander is still being paid by the Diamondbacks, who inked him to a four-year, $30 million deal that runs through this season with team options for each of the next two seasons. This contract came in the aftermath of Cahill winning 30 games over the course of the 2010-11 seasons with the Athletics.
To say this season has been a struggle would be largely accurate.
As Cubs Den pointed out earlier today, the right-hander’s fastball velocity is at a career-best this season, despite some shaky results. In 15 games, including three starts, with the Atlanta Braves earlier this year, Cahill posted an earned run average north of 7.50 to go along with a 1.785 WHIP and an unsightly 12.3 H/9 – a career-worst.
He most recently pitched for the Dodgers’ Triple-A club in Oklahoma City. He struggled there, as well, pitching to a 6.28 ERA in half-a-dozen starts.
This likely isn’t an impact move – although we’ve seen Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio work wonders before, helping turn around the careers of multiple young arms.
However, it does represent a nice insurance policy for a team that is in the thick of a playoff race for the first time in over half a decade. As the old adage goes, you can never have too much pitching.
If Cahill can revert back to his former self, a pitcher good for 10-to-12 wins and a mid-to-high 3.00 earned run average at the big league level, he’ll have inherent value to a team that is likely to be busy in the offseason.
And if not, there’s not much risk – either way, a solid move.