Chicago Cubs Rumors: Mike Clevinger's White Sox deal provides clues

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With news of the Chicago White Sox having a strong interest in free-agent starting pitcher Mike Clevinger breaking on Saturday, there was a chance that the two sides would reach an agreement by the end of the weekend as the Chicago Cubs and the rest of Major League Baseball wait for the free-agent starting pitching market to set. That expectation turned to reality for Clevinger and the White Sox as the two sides reportedly reached an agreement on Sunday.

Though we don't have the final number that Clevinger will receive in 2023, based on Morosi's phrasing, it would seem that Clevinger's deal with the White Sox will be between the $8MM-$9MM range. Clevinger was never on the Cubs' radar this offseason and rightfully so considering the drop in velocity and inability to miss bats that he has experienced since returning from Tommy John surgery but there was a reason for the Cubs to be monitoring his market.

Clevinger was projected to receive an AAV in the $8MM-$9MM range so thus far, the pitching market is developing as teams and agents may have anticipated. Wade Miley, a reclamation project in his own right considering the injuries he sustained while with the Cubs last season, likely will be in the range for a similar deal and there may be some benefit for the Cubs to get something done on that front.

Mike Clevinger's deal with the Chicago White Sox will help the Chicago Cubs with their targets.

Clevinger's deal with the White Sox also appears to be jumpstarting pitching market this offseason. Boston Red Sox beat reporter Rob Bradford reported on Sunday that markets for Red Sox free agent pitchers Nathan Eovaldi and Matt Strahm are gaining momentum.

Eovaldi fits the profile of the type of starting pitcher that the Cubs are targeting this offseason and the team has been predicted as landing spot for the starting pitcher by some experts. In 2022 with the Red Sox, Eovaldi posted a 3.87 ERA (4.30 FIP) in a tick over 109 innings pitched.

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Strahm has not been connected to the Cubs but also fits the profile of the type of pitcher they are targeting this offseason. Strahm pitched exclusively out of the bullpen for the Red Sox in 2022 and posted a 3.83 ERA (3.72 FIP) in 50 appearances. Strahm does have experience as a starting pitcher but for the Cubs, he could provide value as a multi-inning left-handed relief pitcher out of the bullpen.