Ridings, 23, was an 8th round draft pick of the Cubs in 2016. Last season for the Eugene Emeralds, the Cubs short season A-ball club, he went 3-3 with a 4.15 ERA in 34 2/3 innings across 22 relief appearances. In his short professional career, the 6’8″ product of Haverford College has shown the classic power-pitcher profile, missing bats (11.4 K/9) while struggling with command at times (3.9 BB/9).
The Royals originally acquired Dewees from the Cubs in February of 2017 in exchange for right-hander Alec Mills. Currently competing for a spot in the Cubs bullpen, Mills produced solid small-sample results for the Cubs in a swing role last season, a role he’s angling to reprise in 2019 – though he’s likely ticketed for the Triple-A rotation at least to start the season. In two starts and five relief appearances for the Cubs in 2018, Mills, 27, earned a 4.00 ERA in 18 innings at the big league level.
Dewees returns to for his second stint with the Cubs after struggling to hit for much power in the Royals system. The lefty outfielder hit .258/.310/.383 in Double-A and Triple-A last season. The Cubs selected him in the 2nd round in the 2015 draft, topping out in Single-A with a strong .282/.337/.414 with 15 doubles, 12 triples, and 3 home runs in the season before the Cubs sent him to KC.
He can capably handle all three outfield positions, though without a standout offensive skill, the 25-year-old lefty will probably begin the year in Triple-A. He’ll have a chance to crack the 25-man roster, as the Cubs don’t have a natural 5th outfielder on the roster. They are, however, flush with outfield options, as Kyle Schwarber, Ian Happ, Jason Heyward, Albert Almora Jr., Ben Zobrist, Kris Bryant, David Bote, and Daniel Descalso have all seen time in the outfield. Johnny Field, Mark Zagunis, Jacob Hannemann, and Jim Adduci fill out the next tier of outfielders that will compete with Dewees in his second stint with the Cubs.