Jesse Rogers Reports That the Cubs Are Close to Re-Signing Drew Smyly

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Jesse Rogers Reports That the Cubs Are Close to Re-Signing Drew Smyly

Chicago Cubs

We’ve been waiting on this one since more or less the final week of the season, but it sounds like it is finally now happening: Drew Smyly will return to the Cubs.

Jesse Rogers just reported the news on ESPN 1000, indicating that a deal is expected to be finalized. Smyly has expressed a desire to return to the Cubs for a while now, and although he understandably declined his half of the $10 million option for 2023 ($1 million buyout), that never meant this partnership was over. Sounds like it could happen as soon as today. I love it. Just a good move. Wonder if it’s going to be a two-year deal.

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.

Having added Jameson Taillon, the Cubs’ stable of possible starting pitchers for 2023 is up to 10 on the 40-man roster: Taillon, Smyly, Marcus Stroman, Justin Steele, Kyle Hendricks, Keegan Thompson, Hayden Wesneski, Adrian Sampson, Caleb Kilian, and Javier Assad.

We all know that almost all of those guys will be needed to get SOME starts on the year, but you’re also going to want several of them to pitch out of the bullpen in the meantime. So that’s where a guy like Smyly, who has already shown he can bounce around like that without losing effectiveness in either role, is such a great complementary addition.

Also? The reality is that some of those guys will get hurt early on. Or will stink early on. Or will be sent to the minors early on. You just need so many arms that are capable of starting, even if they might be no better than league average. The Cubs are missing the “ace,” and that’s still a problem from where I sit, but they are loaded in these types. Other teams are envious of this kind of capable starting depth, I guarantee it.

More soon.

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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.