Drew Smyly Declines His Mutual Option, is Now a Free Agent

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Drew Smyly Declines His Mutual Option, is Now a Free Agent

Chicago Cubs

There was always a slim chance that Drew Smyly’s 2023 mutual option would be that one in a million that perfectly nailed a player’s future value a year in advance, where both sides agree it’s the PERFECT price tag.

But that did not happen:

Smyly instead gets a $1 million buyout instead of the $10 million option, believing – quite reasonably – that he can get a bigger guarantee in free agency. Officially, he now becomes the Cubs’ third outgoing free agent, together with Willson Contreras and Wade Miley.

Smyly hasn’t been shy about his interest in returning to the Cubs, and the Cubs are interested in a reunion as well. I’ve gotta believe there’s a two-year deal that could make sense for both sides, and I hope they come to an agreement. Smyly is a high-quality depth starter who can also swing in and out of the bullpen as necessary.

On the season, Smyly threw 106.1 innings across 22 starts, posting a 3.47 ERA and 4.23 FIP. The peripherals suggest there was some good luck baked into that ERA, but his performance was probably still a good bit better than league average. When healthy, he had the look of a very good back-of-the-rotation starter, or a guy who could swing in and out of the bullpen if needed. Not a bad guy to have around for future seasons – at 33, Smyly isn’t young, but he’s thrown relatively few innings in his career and the velocity this year seemed to indicate his arm isn’t at an immediate risk for physical decline.

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.