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Cubs re-sign Brian Duensing to 2-year deal

The lefthander had one of the best years of his career in 2017.

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The Great 2017-18 Baseball Free Agent Logjam has broken for the Cubs, in a small way at least:

Brian Duensing had an excellent year for the Cubs in 2017, posting a 2.74 ERA, 1.219 WHIP and 1.4 bWAR in 68 appearances. His walk rate of 2.6 per nine innings was the best of any reliever on the Cubs staff last year.

Along with most observers, I thought the Cubs would thank Duensing for his fine year and let him walk. He’ll turn 35 next month and I suspected they might want to go with someone younger, and also with Duensing’s good year he would likely cash in from some other team willing to pay for past performance.

That didn’t happen. Duensing made $2 million from the Cubs in 2017, and the AAV of this new deal is only $3.5 million, quite reasonable for a reliever of Duensing’s talent. And for those who think players always take the most money, read this:

So, even though this pays for Duensing’s age-35 and age-36 seasons, it does so for a reasonable amount of cash, and doesn’t likely hamstring the team’s ability to sign a starting pitcher. This does likely complete the bullpen, which will probably look like this on Opening Day: Brandon Morrow, Steve Cishek, Pedro Strop, Carl Edwards Jr., Mike Montgomery, Justin Grimm, Justin Wilson and Duensing.

Good work, Theo & Co. With this signing the Cubs’ 40-man roster stands at 39, so there’s still room to add another player.


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