Dec. 16: The Cubs have announced the signing. Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports that the two-year deal is worth $13MM. Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish adds that the deal includes up to $1MM in performance escalators based on appearances.
Dec. 14: The Cubs have agreed to terms with righty Steve Cishek, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (via Twitter). Once he passes a physical, the Jet Sports Management client is expected to receive a two-year deal worth somewhere in the range of $12MM to $14MM, per ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick (via Twitter).
Cishek, 31, has had a few ups and downs at times in recent years and has played with four organizations in the past three seasons. For the most part, though, he has continued to function as a quality setup option.
In the 2017 campaign, Cishek opened with the Mariners and ended up moving to the Rays via mid-season trade. With an excellent push down the stretch in Tampa Bay, he ended the season with 44 2/3 innings of 2.01 ERA ball and 8.3 K/9 with 2.8 BB/9. As usual, Cishek was tough to square up; he permitted just 26 base hits and three total home runs on the season.
Those results came despite a notable velocity drop from Cishek, who delivered his two-seam fastball at less than 91 mph for the first time in his career. His slider came in eight ticks slower than it did in his debut season, continuing a trend, though it also gained horizontal movement.
The sidearming Cishek will offer a different look out of a re-worked Cubs pen. He joins Brandon Morrow as multi-year free agent additions for Chicago thus far. It still seems likely the organization will look for additional pieces over the coming weeks.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Wow these middle relievers are flying off the board like crazy while Davis still waits lol
i guess teams figure who wants to spend 16M a year for a reliever when you can get 2 guys at 8M/yr each
Building bullpen arms from your farm system is just as good as a tactic imo. Combine that with a free agent arm or two if needed
Couldn’t agree more! Dayton Moore proved what a good bullpen can do in 2014 and 2015, so the contenders wanted to follow, but they all forgot the most important part and that is building a dominant bullpen cheap! Davis, Holland, and Herrera were all failed starters who could throw a lot of great pitches, but not over 6+ innings. Madson, Blanton, and Chris Young were all at the end of their careers as starters if not retired and proved they can be effective if given just one inning. Now instead of following that formula teams are overpaying for relievers who by the time they hit free agency for a premiere deal they are past their prime. The Chapman deal already looks like a mistake in NY! Love Wade, but wouldn’t pay him more than 14 mil per year and not more than 2-3 years either!
Chapman came back to his beast mode self after he came back from injury. Only gave up 2 runs or so from September to the end of the post season. There was a slight concern on my behalf before he came offf the DL however
Great theory. Cubs may be doing this, but they can’t afford to do that within a year where they are competing for a World Series. When these 2 year deals run out, their minor league guys might be ready.
Makes sense a 2 for one salary wise? Only their agents would disagree:)
Brewers lose out on yet another RP..Hey Stearns you ever gonna start spending the 60+M you’re sitting on?
Brewers aren’t gonna compete this year anyway. Don’t be surprised if they try to unload Thames and Braun in July.
They were 1 game out of a WC spot last year. I’m confused as to how if we add a SP or two and a bullpen arm or two we wouldn’t compete?
They need alot more.help than one so and rp. They need 3rd baseman RF. 2nd. Thames is a dh playing 1st.
Travis Shaw at 3B and Domingo Santana (who hasn’t been traded yet) in RF? 2B I agree they need help in but bringing walker back or a trade for a 2B given our system is possible. While I wouldn’t mind an upgrade at 1B Aguilar/Thames platoon isn’t terrible. Not to mention you have to think Braun has a better year than last and our young kids continue to improve.
Yes, because Shaw was absolutely horrible at 3b last yr. Insert sarcasm now
Which SPs would Milwaukee have to sign in order to ensure that they compete?
Cobb has hinted that he’d like to reunite with Hickey and Maddon, Arrieta and Lynn probably won’t be worth the contracts they’ll land, and I haven’t seen Darvish linked with Milwaukee anywhere. What other starter has a realistic chance of replicating Jimmy Nelson’s performance?
Chris Archer is the only big name that’s been floated around for Milwaukee, if I remember correctly. And his numbers have NOT been ace-like over the past couple years.
You just asked what starter could replace Jimmy’s performance. Archer doesn’t fit that bill? We’ve been linked to Cole as well from Pitt. Also Odorizzi and Duffy would be possible given the brewers farm system. Plus Lynn and Arrieta might not be worth the contracts they get but WOULD replace Nelson’s numbers. There’s a list of about 6-7 I just gave you.
Lynn and Arrieta would likely replace Nelson’s numbers in 2018, but what they’ll do in 2019 and beyond is anybody’s guess. I don’t see them as good options unless the Brewers are going all in on 2018, and it’s safe to say that at this point that they’re not, or they would have made some moves already.
They’d only have Cole through 2019 unless they extended him, which is a similar problem. Pittsburgh would probably ask for extra for trading within the division too.
I know the Brewers have always been high on Odorizzi, but I still see him as a mid-rotation guy at best (now would be the time to ask about him, though, after putting up a +5.40 FIP last year.). And it doesn’t seem like Tampa Bay is that motivated to sell him or Archer just yet.
Duffy looks like the best option and Milwaukee really needs a lefty in the rotation. With an affordable contract and the Royals expected to rebuild over the next few years, that’s who I’d jump on.
I agree of everyone I would like to see Duffy in Milwaukee the most. A needed lefty who’s controllable for a few more years. Plus we have been tied to Merrfield at 2B. Package those two in the same deal for 2-3 top 100 prospects and you kill two birds with one stone.
As a long time Cubs fan, I have to agree with you. The Brewers are always a tough match for the Cubs. It’s a good, underrated rivalry.
They will compete.
I disagree. The problem for the brew crew is that the cards have improved. Do you think last seasons brewers was a fluke ?
The Cardinals did improve but keep in mind they lost Lynn, Nicasio and possibly Duke/Rosenthal. I don’t think the brewers were a fluke last season because they did it without the help of Braun. Hate on the guy all you want but he will be better this year. If you pair that with hopefully additions in the pitching staff they will compete with the Cardinals
They definitely weren’t a fluke but I expect a little regression. No Nelson in 2018, Thames came back down to earth after monster 1st half, etc.
Do they compete for a title this year? Of course not I’m realistic. But if they spend the 60M Stearns is sitting on for some reason they are squarely in the NL wild card race. Keep in mind the NL as a whole has gotten weaker this offseason so far.
they need a top of the rotation starter
Does adding a top flight SP through either free agency or a trade (been linked to Arrieta, Lynn, Archer..) change that though?
Give it 6 years before they are competing with Chicago , Pittsburgh and st Louis.
6 years? Do you not realize the Brewers finished ahead of both Pitt and STL last year? Not to mention we’re within 2 games of Chicago up until the last 3 weeks of the season.
The brewers in 2017 remind me of the 2015 Astros. Way ahead of schedule, however, with much more farm depth. I think the brewers are primed to compete in the central in 2018. Maybe trade some of that gluttonous OF depth in the minor league system for Archer, or Stroman.
I hope we do that too. Can’t play more than 3 OF so why hoard 7-8
Or you can look at it that they finished 12 games behind the Cubs in the second half of the season and my guess is that the Cubs aren’t under .500 at the all star break in 2018. Cubs still the class of the division as of today. Still a lot of time for teams to maneuver the next couple months.
You can also look at the cubs losing some major pieces this offseason. Not to mention their core is coming up to their FA Years. They are the class of the Central this though don’t get me wrong
Yeah they lost those guys, then they went out and got Ozuna and Gregerson and will likely get 2 to 3 more guys via trade or FA.
The brewers are really good. That offense is explosive and they can pitch. The division isn’t going to be easy for us. Cards and brew crew are for real.
I’m sorry but the Brewers have nowhere near the depth of the 2015 Astros and don’t have the multiple perennial mvp candidates either. Not saying they’re not a good young team. The Astros are just a very bold comparison.
Six years? The Brewers were very competitive last year with a bunch of young and hungry players. They aren’t far away from possibly being able to flirt with the playoffs annually over the next several years. Btw, what do the Pirates have in common with the ubs and Cardinals at this point, other than playing in the same division?
Why should anyone expect Braun to improve when he’s reaching the exact age where players tend to rapidly decline? That and he hasn’t played a full season since 2012.
The brewers were one of my favorite national league teams to watch in 2017 whenever the Yankees weren’t on tv on a given day. They had some brutal losses towards the end of the season
Steven St Croix
Houston was better in 2015 that Brewers were in 2017. Had Keuchel, Altuve, Springer, and Correa and a top 3 farm system in baseball. I see how you want to make that comparison, but Houston had a tremendous system.
So Braun puts up .268/17/52 again? Come on man. If you don’t expect at least some sort of uptick in numbers you’re foolish. If he gets 130 games in (still misses a month of the year of course) a .275/20/80 line is easily possible
The cubs won’t lose any of their core players. They have 4 and 5 years left. I’ve said this a few times before. The cubs should discuss an extension with kris Kris Bryant after the 2018 season. Get it a deal done at the 2018.winter meetings in Las Vegas. Start at 10/250. He’ll be entering his age 27 season in 2019. Anything less than 250 low ball. Hopefully he’ll have another world series ring when he does re up with Chicago.
Even if counting stats accurately depicted a player’s talent, the slash line you listed wouldn’t directly indicate much of an improvement. Depending on his slg% and obp% it could easily represent a decrease in overall production in which he was able to knock in slightly more runs due to having more opportunities to do so.
Agree unloading Braun but his declining skills toxic contract and past drug offense makes his market about as good as mine, NILL
You’re stuck with Braun, no one wants him – no matter his numbers.
Toxic contract? 3yr/53M left is incredibly reasonable in a day and age when middle inning relievers who throw 40-50 innings a year are getting 9-10M/yr. would I like the brewers to move him if they can? Yes. However last year was the ONLY season he didn’t outplay 16-18M a year he’s making.
Let’s go he is a good pitcher
Terms are not yet know indeed
Ok let’s sign Watson & Davis and maybe 1 more and move on to the starting pitching.
So does nobody want to sign a position player or what?
So where are the Giants in this picture? Almost no action on the bullpen front at all.
I feel your pain as a Crew fan.
Trevor Rosenthal or Addison Reed and Watson and Davis. Or all 4 that would be a good bullpen for this season.
Rosenthal is out after Tommy John surgery for all of 2018 and targeting a deal like Greg Holland signed last year for 2019 where he can rebuild his value. http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/winter-meetings-notebook-rosey-doubtful-for-mikolas-talks-lizards/article_6e5bdcef-4ca5-5798-b203-e27e6277f82f.html
Trevor Rosenthal is out for all of 2018. Plus this is not a video game, other teams will be vying for those guys harder than the Cubs when the market dries up even further.
They could maybe go after Oh. I’d rather see them re-sign Davis and then reed and Cobb or Davis, Cobb and trade for Kelvin Herrera.
That’s a pity.
I can only imagine the T-shirt sales around Wrigley with Cishek themes now.
what is an example of a Cishek theme?
Cishek is solid. As a Mariners fan would rather have him than erasmo ramirez.
It seems to me the Cubs aren’t going the traditional route in signing a full blown closer. Evidence is pointing towards a competition for closing role or closer by committee. Morrow, Cishek, Edwards and Strop all have at one point or another been considered closers or future closers.
You forgot Justin Wilson too. Closed last year for the Tigers.
To me the cubs actions tell me that we aren’t going to another post season with guys we don’t trust in the bullpen. I’m really excited with our offseason thus far.
Cishek appears to be on the decline so he’ll fit in well with the declining cubs.
Yep a 0.89 whip for sure shows decline.
Yes, all those core mid-20s Cubs sure are in the decline. Before you know it, Bryant, Rizzo, Schwarber, Heyward, Baez, Russell, Contreras, and Hendricks will all be retiring.
Declining Cubs? Rizzo is the oldest player in their core and he’s 28. Bryant, Contreras, Russell, Baez, and Almora haven’t even rbeen ached their prime years yet. Keep on believing the Cubs are in a decline though if it helps you sleep at night!
cubman15 Have you ever heard of a thing called sarcasm?
That’s not sarcasm, that’s a troll.
I don’t think I’d put Heyward
in with those other guys. Not Schwarber or Baez yet either!
I would. They’re all still young and have above-average skillsets in one form or another. They’re not elite like Bryant or Rizzo, but they’re still a part of the talented core. Add Happ in there as well.
Another move sanctioned by Jim Hickey.
Yep, another move to get a quality, at times elite guy is going to be coaching approved.
Are the Cubs going closer by committee, or are these recent additions set-up guys for the closer they’re yet to sign?
Pirates need a late inning closer, and they could have afforded a handful of these contracts.
tampa bay cubs or chicago devil rays?
Chicago Devil Cubs! I’d love to see that mascot!
I’d buy the shirt
Not a fan of what the Cubs are doing so far. Acting like a mid-market team.
You don’t spend money just to spend money though. The single largest weakness of the Cubs last season was their bullpen and so far they have done a good job addressing it. It’s still early in the offseason and the Cubs are now in a position to let the market play out in their favor. I don’t understand how Theo still hasn’t earned the trust of some people. Impatience is a terrible trait to have if you’re a GM.
Agreed. As far as I’m concerned, I don’t question anything Theo or Jed do. They’re arguably the best front office in all of sports.
Most overrated in all of sports more like it.
Yep, turning around franchises and winning titles is so passe..
Let me guess, Browns fan.
themed = Cardinals fan whose comments are majority anti-Cubs.
I’d think Cards fans would be optimistic now instead of trolling
and it only took 108 years! Magnificent !
Theo wasn’t in charge of the Cubs for 108 years, so no, it didn’t take them 108 years.
The Cub monetary situation is WAY more complex than you may know..one of the former owners (Zell) has a clause in the sale that they cannot go over the luxury tax thresh hold i believe until 2019..if they do he loses some big tax break.
They have also spent something like $600 mill on improvements to the ballpark and surrounding neighborhood….to me they are making value signs on pitchers–which has been a hallmark of this FO. Lester was the one guy they splurged on pitcher wise….they know exactly what they’re doing..and the gloves come off spend wise in 2019.
The true threat to sign free agents that no one is paying attention to is the angels. Will have close to 100 million to spend next year and 130 million in 2019. That already includes trout, upton and pujols.
Cubs paid luxury tax for 2016 payroll.
The Tribune company (not its name anymore) still owns 5% of the Cubs in order to save on taxes from the sale of the team. The partnership can dissolve after 2019.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Mid-market teams don’t fork over this much money to multiple middle relievers, and still pursue 2 starting pitchers.
Cubs are cheaping out on arms, injury prone and inconsitent pitchers for thift prices.
Worked for the Dodgers last season, well…mostly – until they ran into the Stros.
If this guy is inconsistent…oh never mind, you’re an idiot.
Another ex ray goes to the cubs, may as well just hand them our team
Well that officially takes the Cubs out of the pennant race.
They had the best winter meetings besides the Yankees. They got Stanton like a day before they started. It took two days to make it official. They signed 4 pitchers. 3 of them will be on the opening day roster 2018. They need one more relief pitcher preferably a closer and one more starter. Hopefullynits Alex Cobb. He’s a perfect fit.
I have no problem and like the Cishek, Morrow and Chatwood signings. Shyly signing is a bit perplexing, but whatever happened to the Cubs wanting to sign AlexCobb before Monday when the winter meetings start do they could focus on other things. What’s the problem? He wants to be here, his old pitching coach and manager are here. Now the winter meetings are almost over and we have heard nothing on this front. WTF is going on?
Wanting to, and actually getting it done are different things. It’s quite possible that Cobb’s agent intentionally waited through the winter meetings to get all the offers, so he can then play teams against each other for a higher price tag.
Heck, as a player I’d do that, as this is likely going to be the largest contract Cobb will get in his career.
I wouldn’t worry about Smyly, he’s out until probably August anyway.
Shyly should have. Even Smyly. I hate auto correction. Don’t know why it posted twice either.
We need a couple more great relievers and a good starter. If Joe doesn’t have a great bullpen he will either ride two or three guys until their arms are dragging, the opposition has seen them so much they know what’s coming or he won’t use a guy at all or play a terrible match up with first base open.
Am I the only one who has difficulty keeping track of Cishek, Neshek, and Swarzak?
dynamite drop in monty
Zack Attack was better than Jesse & the Rippers
I get Neshek and Cishek mixed up cuz both names rhyme and they’re both sidearmers
Nope! Neshek and cishek especially z aren’t they’re 2 of one of those
I’m surprised like many that Davis hasn’t been signed. Any chance for a Royals reunion?
Why would he go to a rebuilding team
Am I the only one that wants Addison Reed to complete this pen?