MESA, Ariz. - Regardless of the length of the proposed deal, Trevor Cahill was offered a guaranteed chance to be a starting pitcher and turned it down to return to the Cubs.
After Cahill signed a one-year, $4.25 million deal with the Cubs, reports surfaced that he turned down a two-year offer from the Pittsburgh Pirates to be a full-time starter.
After making his Cactus League debut and tossing two shutout innings, Cahill said he was never aware of a two-year offer, but did confirm he passed on role as a starter for another team.
"I just felt more comfortable here," he said. "I think last year I pitched well because I just had fun and was comfortable. I felt like this would give me the best chance to succeed."
Cahill also said his wife's pregnancy was a factor, as she had the baby in mid-February and he wanted to ensure he was close to their home in Arizona (Pirates camp is in the Grapefruit League in Florida).
As far as starting goes, Cahill is fine with having at least an opportunity to get back to his roots as a guy who made 128 starts over his first four years in the big leagues.
Cahill didn't sign with the Cubs until Aug. 18 last year, but wound up finding success in a big way as a reliever.
In 11 games down the stretch, he was 1-0 with a 2.12 ERA, 0.77 WHIP and 22 strikeouts in 17.2 innings. He also went 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA, 1.31 WHIP and 13.5 K/9 in six postseason games.
Cahill still envisions himself a starter, just like his peers down in the bullpen who are also looking like projected swingmen - Travis Wood, Adam Warren and Clayton Richard.
Those guys understand it's easier to get stretched out in the spring and then move to the bullpen than it is the other way around.
But if healthy, Jason Hammel and Kyle Hendricks are likely going to fill out the rest of the Cubs' rotation after Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester and John Lackey.
"We've got five quality arms already kinda slotted in," Cahill said. "But we're ready for anything. It's easier to transition from starting to relieving, so I think we're all gonna try to have the mindset that they might need us to start the year or here or there or whatever.
"We're just gonna try and go out there and pitch the best we can. That's all you can really do. All the other stuff is just not important."
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For Cahill, it all comes back to the comfort level.
He likes playing with guys he knows, including Jake Arrieta and Dexter Fowler (whom he played with in the Olympics) and former Arizona Diamondbacks teammate Miguel Montero.
Cahill also likes the culture Joe Maddon and the Cubs have created.
"It's a fun atmosphere," Cahill said. "I think everybody wants to be a part of something special. It's different. It's fun coming to the ballpark.
"I'm not saying other teams are boring. I just think guys play here and they have a good time.
"The comfort level, too, as far as how you're gonna perform on the field and how comfortable you are off the field - I think that matters just as much."