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Cubs sign righthanded reliever Steve Cishek

Another addition to the bullpen.

Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The Cubs, always looking to upgrade the bullpen, have reportedly signed former Rays reliever Steve Cishek:

Here’s further info on Cishek’s contract:

Cishek is 31 and had a very good year in 2017, split between the Mariners and Rays. He posted a 2.01 ERA and 0.896 WHIP in 49 appearances covering 44⅔ innings. He allowed only 26 hits and had a very good walk rate of 2.8 per nine innings.

In his eight-year career with the Mariners, Rays, Marlins and Cardinals, Cishek has posted a 2.73 ERA and 1.162 WHIP in 473⅔ innings, with a 3.3 per nine innings walk rate.

If you’re not familiar with him, he’s got a distinctive sidearm pitching motion. Here’s some video from his Cardinals debut in 2015 (and you can see Jason Heyward making a catch in right field):

Cishek is likely to take over some of the middle-relief work that Hector Rondon was doing last season. It’s also possible Cishek could wind up pushing Justin Grimm out of the bullpen mix.

This is a good, fairly low-cost signing. At that price, I would assume this probably puts the Cubs out of the running for Addison Reed and likely means Wade Davis also goes elsewhere.

With the signing of Cishek, the Cubs’ 40-man roster now stands at 38 players.


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