The Cubs have signed a pitcher, but not the one that's been dominating the last 11 news cycles (...yet?).
Right-handed pitcher Tyler Chatwood — not Shohei Ohtani — solidified his future by inking a three-year deal with the Cubs Thursday afternoon. The deal is worth a reported $38 million:
Cubs sign Tyler chatwood 38M 3 yrs— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 7, 2017
Chatwood doesn't turn 28 until next Saturday and has spent the last seven years pitching for the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Angels. He led the league with 15 losses in 2017, but went 12-9 with a 3.87 ERA with the Rockies in 2016.
The former second-round pick (2008) made his big-league debut as a 21-year-old in 2011 and was ranked the game's No. 76 prospect by Baseball America prior to that season.
Chatwood sported a 6.01 ERA and 1.68 WHIP at hitter-friendly Coors Field last year, but his numbers on the road indicate the Cubs may have acquired a nice under-the-radar starting pitcher: 3.49 ERA, 1.23 WHIP.
Here are Chatwood's career splits:
Coors Field (254 IP)
Away from Coors (393 IP)
For what it's worth, he also has an 0.69 ERA and 0.69 WHIP in two career starts at Wrigley Field.
That indicates clear room for improvement for Chatwood, a groundball pitcher who now has the benefit of pitching in front of one of the game's best infield defenses.
Chatwood would make roughly $12.67 million per season, which may seem high but with the skyrocketing price of pitching, $38 million guaranteed for a guy who is just entering his prime and is a legit breakout candidate could potentially be a steal.
The Chatwood signing gives the Cubs a 2018 Opening Day rotation of:
All four of those guys are also under team control through the 2020 season.
Then you have Mike Montgomery as a possible swingman/fifth starter option plus Eddie Butler, Alec Mills and Jen-Ho Tseng all as depth.
Chatwood's signing would seem to indicate that the Cubs won't be landing both Ohtani and Alex Cobb, however, which represented the dream scenario for most Cubs fans entering the offseason. The Cubs aren't committing nearly $40 million to Chatwood to have him become the right-handed version of Montgomery and there's no danger of Lester, Hendricks or Quintana losing their spot in the rotation.