11:55am: Cahill will receive a one-year, $4.25MM contract from the Cubs, according to Olney (Twitter link). ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers adds that while Cahill is definitely in the bullpen for now, the Cubs told Cahill he could be stretched out for rotation work should the need arise (Twitter link).
11:46am: The Cubs have agreed to re-sign right-hander Trevor Cahill, reports ESPN’s Buster Olney (via Twitter). The John Boggs client was said within the past hour to be nearing a deal with an unreported club.
Still just 27 years of age (28 in March), Cahill enjoyed a renaissance in the bullpen after signing a minor league deal with the Cubs midway through the season. While the D-backs, Braves and Dodgers all seemingly gave up on him in various ways last season, Chicago received 17 brilliant innings of relief from the former starter in a relief role down the stretch. Cahill yielded just four runs in those 17 innings and recorded an outstanding 22-to-5 K/BB ratio to go along with an as-always excellent ground-ball rate: 61.8 percent. He also pitched 5 1/3 innings in the postseason, allowing two runs on seven hits and no walks with eight strikeouts (3.38 ERA).
While Boggs recently told Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe that Cahill’s preference was to return to a rotation, it seems likely that he’ll continue to be used out of manager Joe Maddon’s bullpen with the Cubs. Chicago already has Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, John Lackey, Kyle Hendricks and Jason Hammel as rotation options, and further additions to the starting mix shouldn’t be entirely ruled out. If the bullpen is indeed the landing spot for Cahill, he will re-join the likes of Hector Rondon, Pedro Strop, Justin Grimm, Neil Ramirez and Travis Wood in the team’s relief corps.