Chicago Cubs Have Made Another Move At Winter Meetings

By Doug Preszler

With an eye to the 2019 season the Chicago Cubs agreed to a two year contract with left handed starter Drew Smyly.

Drew Smyly, 28, had to undergo Tommy John surgery last July. There is an outside chance he could return sometime in the second half of 2018 season. But this is really a pitching depth move for 2019.

The terms of the contract are 2 years and 10 million dollars with 6 million dollars of incentives for 2019.

In 2016 Smyly was 7–12 with a 4.88 ERA with the Rays before he was sent to the Seattle Mariners.

The Brandon Morrow deal was finally made official. All indications are that he will close in 2018 unless the Cubs are able to add another late-inning specialist.

Morrow’s deal is worth $9 million in 2018, $12 million in 2019, and a vesting option for 2020 with a $3 million opt-out.

Since 2015 Morrow is 9–0 with 2 saves and a 2.23 ERA. He made 68 appearances in that span.

When Ken Rosenthal tweeted out about Mike Montgomery last night, just before the Drew Smyly signing was announced, it caught pretty much everybody off guard.

Montgomery has been an important swing man on the pitching staff. His ability to move between the rotation and the bullpen was vital last year when the starting rotation had injury issues, primarily Kyle Hendricks.

His numbers have been significantly better as a reliever then they have as a starter. His flexibility is a trait that Joe Maddon loves.

With 4 more years of control, the Cubs have said that Montgomery has not said anything of this nature to them.

Other then the reliever signings, the free-agent market has been very slow to move thus far. To make things more interesting, the Tyler Chatwood signing by the Cubs is the most expensive free-agent signing thus far.

There are still big names on the market including Jake Arrieta, Wade Davis, Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb, JD Martinez, and Eric Hosmer.

It seems the Winter Meetings have been more of a meet and greet then it has been a chance for moves to be made. If the market doesn’t move much in the next 24 hours, expect it to be a slow final 2 weeks of 2017. Generally guys like to have a contract by Christmas but it doesn’t seem that there are going to be quite a few players still looking for their new team in January.

Doug Preszler is the type of person who can be a Cubs fan and an Iowa fan while living in South Dakota. He is a man who cares not for regional loyalty. He can be found on Twitter here, telling tales of the Dakotan Cubs fan’s existence.