Cubs sign LHP Drew Smyly to two-year deal
With an eye on the future, the Cubs added a starting pitcher to the roster Tuesday night. The team announced signing free agent lefty Drew Smyly to a two-year contract. Smyly had Tommy John surgery last June and could pitch in the majors by the second half of the 2018 season. The Cubs are not planning on Smyly to be ready before the 2019 season.
According to multiple reports, Smyly will be paid $10 million over the next two seasons and his contract is loaded with incentives. Smyly will receive $3 million in 2018 and $7 million in 2019. His deal includes $7 million in incentives … $6 million if he is in the Cubs’ rotation in 2019 and $1 million if he pitches in relief role in 2019.
With the additions of Brandon Morrow and Drew Smyly, the Cubs’ 40-man roster stands at 37 players
Drew Smyly, 28, is 31-27 with two saves and a 3.74 ERA (237 earned runs in 570 1/3 innings) in 156 Major League appearances, 85 as a starter, covering all or part of five major league seasons with the Detroit Tigers (2012-14) and Tampa Bay Rays (2014-16). He was acquired by the Seattle Mariners prior to the 2017 campaign but suffered an elbow injury in March that led to Tommy John surgery in June, and he missed the entire season. Smyly was non-tendered by the Mariners earlier this month.
The southpaw has averaged nearly a strikeout per inning in his career (552 strikeouts in 570 1/3 innings) while limiting foes to a .243 batting average, including a .202 batting average, .243 on-base percentage and .334 slugging percentage to left-handed hitters. Overall, he has turned in a 1.20 career WHIP and a 3.4 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Smyly was originally selected by the Tigers in the second round of the 2010 Draft out of the University of Arkansas and made his Major League debut with Detroit less than two years later at the age of 22, going 4-3 with 3.99 ERA (44 earned runs in 99 1/3 innings) in 23 outings (18 starts) in 2012. He pitched exclusively in relief in 2013 (6-0, two saves, 2.37 ERA in 63 outings) before making 67 of his 70 outings from 2014-16 as a starter.
The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Smyly was acquired by Tampa Bay as part of the trade that sent David Price to Detroit on July 31, 2014, and Smyly went 15-15 with a 3.95 ERA (127 earned runs in 289 2/3 innings) in 49 starts during his time with the Rays through the end of the 2016 season.