CHICAGO – The Cubs knew their search for rotation assistance this winter would include casting a net for comeback candidates. Right-handed Trevor Williams fits into this form and has a chance to prove himself for a team with starter innings. On Saturday the cubs
CHICAGO – The Cubs knew their search for rotation assistance this winter would include casting a net for comeback candidates. Right handed
On Saturday, the Cubs agreed to a one-year contract with Williams pending a physical contract, sources told MLB.com. The terms of the contract were not immediately known and the Cubs did not confirm the deal.
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Once the pact is official, it will conveniently position Williams to join a rotation led by
The path to a straight second division title would be a challenge for the Cubs, who traded Ace Yu Darvish for the Padres in December as part of a blockbuster package that included Davies and four prospects. But Chicago is trying a balancing act to stay competitive in 2021 and plan for the future.
This approach from the new Cubs president to baseball operations, Jed Hoyer, has resulted in actions that have shaved payroll and actions that have addressed needs in a cost-effective manner. Williams fits in with the latter approach, as does the reported agreement between the Cubs and the outfielder
The 28-year-old Williams won 14 games and turned a 3.11 ERA in 31 starts in 2018 for the Pirates, who scored a solid 1.29 ERA in their last 13 games this season. From ’19-20, however, Williams turned an ERA of 5.60 in 201 innings, which dealt with a right angle issue in ’19 and continued to be inconsistent in ’20 (6.18 ERA in 11 starts).
Williams was designated for action by Pittsburgh on November 20 when the team had to make room on the 40-man roster prior to rule 5 being drafted. This ended a five-year run with the Pirates for Williams, who went in 106 games in the major leagues with 4.43 ERA between 31 and 37. Williams mainly relies on a four-seam fastball (averaging 91.5 mph in 2020 per statcast), a slider, and a switch, but he also has a sinker and curve in his arsenal.
In need of depth of rotation, the Cubs could still target some medium-sized free-agent weapons. Names like Chris Archer, Mike Foltynewicz, Jake Arrieta and Jeff Samardzija have been mentioned in various reports regarding the North Siders in the past few days.
The need for rotation assistance arises after cubs Tyler Chatwood (Blue Jays) and José Quintana (Angels) lost to a free hand this off-season. Chicago also turned down Jon Lester’s option for 2021, and the veteran leftist signed as a free agent with the Nationals and reunited with former Cubs bully Kyle Schwarber (not advertised in December).
Internally, the cubs also have right-handers
The cubs have too
The rotation isn’t an overwhelming unit, but the Cubs believe it can still be effective.
Hendricks has a wealth of post-season experience, has won an ERA title and is a respected leader with a strong 2020 performance (2.88 ERA in 12 starts). Davies has one of the better changes in the game, having an ERA of 2.73 in a dozen rounds in ’20. Last season, Mills threw a no-hitter at the Brewers on Sept. 13, and Alzolay impressed as a rotary fill-in (2.95 ERA in six games).
Williams will try to fit right into the rotation as he can get closer to his 2017-18 form.
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