Hey, look! The Cubs signed a free agent!
Oh, wait. Not the one you probably wanted:
The Cubs are close to signing pitcher Kendall Graveman. 78 career starts, 4.38 ERA. Been with Oakland the last 4 years— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) December 22, 2018
Jon Heyman says it’s a done deal:
Kendall Graveman is going to the Cubs. Good bounce back candidate.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 22, 2018
Kendall Graveman is 28, and as noted by Jesse Rogers, made 78 starts for the Athletics over the last four seasons. That included seven in 2018 with a 7.60 ERA and 1.660 WHIP before he was shut down right after the start against the Yankees depicted in the photo at the top of this post.
After that it was learned he’d need Tommy John surgery, which he had last July. That article indicates he’d be out “12 to 14 months” after the surgery, so the very earliest we could possibly see him would be in September 2019. More likely this signing is to give some starting pitching depth for 2020.
Consider this signing the equivalent of getting a righthanded version of Drew Smyly. It’s not clear yet whether this is a major-league signing or a minor-league deal. If it’s a major-league deal he’d be placed on the 40-man roster, for now, and then put on the 60-day disabled list at the earliest date possible for that.
Right now this has to be a big “meh” until we see how well he comes back from the TJS.
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