Continuing my series on pending Cubs free agents, let’s take a look at righthanded reliever Steve Cishek.
At first glance, the numbers look pretty good: 70 appearances, 64 innings, 2.95 ERA, 1.203 WHIP, 1.8 bWAR (but only 0.2 fWAR). His FIP and xFIP were up significantly this year over last.
On the other hand, Cishek spent some time on the injured list this season with left hip inflammation. On the other other hand, he was pretty effective after he returned from the injury: 16 appearances, 13⅔ innings, 0.66 ERA. But... in those 13⅔ innings, he issued 11 walks, and his walk rate for the season was 4.1 per nine innings, his worst since 2015 and his K rate was down from 10 per nine innings in 2018 to 8 per nine innings in 2019.
Looking at his overall numbers, he has been a reasonably effective middle reliever for pretty much his entire career. He will turn 34 next June, which isn’t old for a pitcher who throws the way he does. That hip injury, though, could be a red flag. Cishek had a tear in his hip labrum that had him miss time in 2016 and 2017. It seems like an injury waiting to happen again.
The Cubs paid Cishek $6.5 million for each of the last two seasons. If they want to keep him around, I wouldn’t pay him anything close to that kind of money. A one-year, $3.5 million deal with a team option for 2021 might be about as far as I’d go. Otherwise the Cubs should thank him and move on.
Cishek might not be remembered for any specific game he threw as a Cub, but as a Seattle Mariner he was responsible for this play [VIDEO] which tied up one of the most memorable games of 2016.
What say you about the sidearming righthander?
This poll is closed
... a one-year deal at $3.5 million with a team option for 2021 would be fine
... thank him and move on
... something else (leave in comments)