3:53pm: The Cubs have announced the signing.
3:31pm: The Cubs have agreed to a Major League contract with free-agent left-hander Kyle Ryan, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (on Twitter). The 27-year-old southpaw, who is represented by Frontline, spent the 2014-17 seasons with the Tigers and was with the Cubs’ Triple-A affiliate in 2018.
Ryan amassed 128 innings of Major League experience in his four-year run with the Tigers, working to a 3.87 ERA with 4.9 K/9, 3.1 BB/9, 0.77 HR/9 and a strong 54 percent ground-ball rate. Ryan didn’t excel against either lefties or righties but was similarly effective against both (.725 OPS against righties, .728 for lefties). He’s averaged just 88.9 mph on his fastball in the Majors and managed only a 7.9 percent swinging-strike rate, however.
This past season with the Cubs’ affiliate in Iowa, Ryan thrived in a bullpen role. Through 66 innings, he put together a 2.86 ERA with 8.3 K/9, 2.5 BB/9, 1.23 HR/9 and a whopping 61 percent ground-ball rate. The Chicago organization presently has Mike Montgomery, Brian Duensing and Randy Rosario as lefty relief options, but Ryan will add to that mix in affordable fashion. Though Ryan has seen action in parts of four big league seasons, the up-and-down nature of his time with the Tigers led him to accrue just under two years of MLB service time. As such, he could be controlled for another five seasons, though he’d be arbitration-eligible as a Super Two player next winter if he finishes out the season on the 40-man roster.