The Cubs make a sneaky move today, siging RHP Tyler Chatwood to a three year deal worth $38 million. The 27-year-old had been identified as a target earlier this offseason, but I don’t think many expected the Cubs to make like this prior to Shohei Ohtani making a decision.
Cubs have signed Tyler Chatwood to a 3-year deal.
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) December 7, 2017
Three years and $38 million for Chatwood. https://t.co/Z1VIC7vyCt
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) December 7, 2017
The right-handers ERA last year is slightly inflated, after having to pitch half his games in the thin Denver air of Coors Field, but his splits tell another story. His 4.69 ERA in 2017 looks bad on the surface, but looking at his home/away splits you see his 3.49 road ERA tells you another story.
#Cubs are banking on Chatwood away from Coors Field will become a consistently strong starter. Over last 2 yrs at Coors: 7-16, 6.07 ERA .303/.384/.493. On the road: 13-8, 2.57 .195/.292/.334. Also a big-time groundball pitcher. #Rockies
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 7, 2017
He throws five different pitches and his fastball has gotten faster as he’s progressed through his career. But what likely drew him to the Cubs was his 58.1% ground ball rate, his ability to induce soft contact follows suit with the rest of the Cubs staff.
Chatwood likely slides right into the 4th position of the Cubs rotation, behind Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, and Jose Quintana. And while the Cubs signing Chatwood could be sign they are out on Alex Cobb or even Shohei Ohtani, the team needed at least two-three more arms.
Don’t expect the Cubs to be waving the white flag on Ohtani quite yet, but adding Chatwood to the back end of this rotation over the next three years gives the Cubs the depth they have been searching for.