After Tom Ricketts reportedly increased the his budget, Chicago president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer has been a busy man, filling the void in left field and, now, adding a starting pitcher to the mix.
Of course, late last week, Hoyer brought in longtime Dodgers slugger Joc Pederson on a one-year, $7 million deal with a mutual option. It’s worth nothing the buy-out on that option counts toward that $7 million figure, so he’ll make less than that in 2021. Now, the Cubs have begun to address their pitching situation, signing former Pirates right-hander Trevor Williams to a one-year deal.
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The deal is worth $2.5 million and, according to Evan Altman of Cubs Insider, at least some of that money will be deferred. The 28-year-old is a former second-round pick of the Marlins and is coming off a pretty disappointing showing in 2020. The name of the game for Williams heading into 2021 is re-establishing his value.
Last season, Williams saw his numbers trend in the wrong direction pretty much across-the-board, finishing with a 6.18 ERA, 6.30 FIP and 1.572 WHIP – all marking full-season worsts. Really, his struggles date back to two years ago. Since the beginning of the 2019 campaign, the San Diego native hasn’t lived up to the billing, posting a 5.60 ERA and 5.45 FIP across 201 innings of work.
But prior to that, the right-hander put together a pair of quality campaigns in Pittsburgh. From 2017 to 2018, Williams made 56 starts and a half-dozen relief appearances, compiling a 3.56 ERA, 3.94 FIP and 1.240 WHIP. The Cubs, of course, are hoping for something along those lines rather than what he’s done the last two years.
A Cubs connection that dates back decades for Trevor Williams
There are likely very few people in the world more excited for Williams to come to the North Side than his father. Richard Williams posted this gem on Twitter this weekend:
You can bet that as soon as fans are allowed back in the Friendly Confines, Williams’ dad will be among them, looking to watch his son play for the Cubs. Imagine being a Cubs fan, being there for Ernie Banks’ 500th home run, having had worked as an usher – and, now, getting to watch your own son don the uniform you watched so many put on over the years.
Williams will likely figure into the middle of the Cubs rotation somewhere. He certainly won’t displace Kyle Hendricks atop the rotation, but will slot in amidst Zach Davies, Alec Mills and Adbert Alzolay. And let’s be clear. More guys will join that mix in the days and weeks to come.