The Chicago Cubs continue their pursuit of pitching as they added Alec Mills from Kansas City.
Mills, 25, made his big league debut with Kansas City last season, making a trio of appearances spanning just 3 1/3 innings. It was a rocky introduction to The Show for the righty, as he walked five, surrendering five runs to the tune of a 6.15 FIP and 2.400 WHIP.
Similar to the deal for Eddie Butler last week, this move indicates another insurance policy for the Chicago Cubs’ bullpen. Mills has put up solid numbers during his minor league career and will likely open the season alongside Butler at Triple-A Iowa. There seems to be an early consensus, though, that both will see time in Chicago at some point during the season.
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In portions of five seasons in the minors, Mills put up a 3.03 earned run average to go along with an impressive 4.44 strikeout-to-walk clip across nearly 400 innings worth of work. He struggled in the Pacific Coast League in 2016, making a dozen appearances for Omaha while battling command issues (as evidenced by his 2.84 K/BB mark).
At the Double-A level, however, he was as impressive as ever. His 9.0 strikeouts per nine ranked as the best mark in his career – and when combined with his Triple-A numbers, still painted a promising picture (3.22 ERA,3.94 SO/BB, 125 2/3 IP).
The former 22nd round pick of the Royals is projected as a starter, which only adds to his value for Chicago. The team has flirted with the possibility of a six-man rotation, especially later in the season, in 2017.
Kansas City designated Mills for assignment following the team’s signing of Jason Hammel earlier this week.
Meanwhile, to get the deal done, the Cubs dealt from a position of strength – the outfield.
Dewees is very much a speed and on-base threat, which fits the Royals’ MO. He appeared in action for the Class-A South Bend Cubs and the Class-A Advanced club in Myrtle Beach last season, swiping 31 bags to go along with a .284/.338/.416 slash-line last season.
Chicago designated left-hander David Rollins for assignment to clear a 40-man spot for Mills. Wednesday’s move marks the sixth time he’s been designated since Nov. 2016.