Chicago Cubs: Pitcher Drew Smyly inks two-year deal

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Cubs add more pitching depth with the signing of veteran Drew Smyly, though he will begin the season rehabilitating from Tommy John surgery.

The Chicago Cubs have made another move, though this one is a bit smaller. Former Rays pitcher Drew Smyly has been signed to a two-year deal worth $10 million plus signing bonuses per Ken Rosenthal.

Smyly, 28, had Tommy John surgery last season and has a way to go before recovering. Last year he was with the Mariners but did not get a chance to pitch at all last season. The last appearance he made was in the Winter Baseball Classic before elbow issues sidelined him in the 2017 season. He did not have the surgery until mid-summer last year so he will spend most of the 2018 season recovering.

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The Cubs may not see Smyly pitch until 2019, so this move does not necessarily solidify anything in the rotation. So yes, there is still a reason to believe they are still perusing Alex Cobb.  This is a move that can pay off well if he comes back healthy and will be there as depth in 2019. Even if he does come back in the second half next year, it probably would be in a limited role late in the season.

Smyly’s resume

Smyly had a solid tenure in Detroit from 2012-2014, pitching to a 3.53 ERA, 3.51 FIP and 1.236 WHIP in 107 games. He went to Tampa Bay at the deadline in 2014 and had ups and downs. He started a career-high 30 games in 2016 but struggled with a 4.88 ERA, and 4.49 FIP in 175.1 innings.

Before his Tommy John surgery, Smyly had a fairly basic repertoire with a fastball, curve, changeup and cutter. Not an incredibly hard thrower as the fastball averaged around 89-90 MPH. How the elbow issues and surgery will affect his pitches will remain to be seen.

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The price for him is not big, so there is not much risk to this move. It is nice to see Theo and company load up on as many arms as possible, and see that they are looking at pitching depth beyond 2018. This move may not be overly exciting but it can end up being a nice addition for the Chicago Cubs future.