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Why haven’t the Cubs signed this guy yet, Part 5: Trevor Williams

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Dumpster-diving? Maybe. But there’s a possible high reward here.

Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

The Cubs hit Trevor Williams hard throughout his entire career with the Pirates: 5.67 ERA, 1.674 WHIP, 11 home runs in 60⅓ innings.

Plus, he had a particularly bad year in 2020 — 11 starts, 6.18 ERA, led MLB in home runs allowed (15).

So why sign him?

Because he’s still relatively young — turns 29 in April — and per Fangraphs he hasn’t lost velocity, still throwing his fastball around 91 miles per hour.

Williams was slowed in 2019 with an oblique injury, but he was healthy in 2020 and as far as I know, has not had any arm trouble in his career.

I wouldn’t sign him to a deal much different from the one the Cubs just gave Shelby Miller. At that price he’d be a low-risk, possible high-reward signing. Williams had a 4.0 bWAR season in 2018 and the talent appears to still be there, uninjured.

Yes, we would all like to be discussing signings of top free agents by the Cubs. That’s not likely to happen this winter, so why not try to identify guys like this, who might return to their previous level of performance? Williams was once a second-round draft pick (2013, by the Marlins, the same round where Victor Caratini was chosen).

Minor-league deal, major-league contract for somewhere around $800,000 if he makes the Opening Day roster with incentives. Who says no?

Poll

Trevor Williams...

This poll is closed

  • 38%
    ... should be signed by the Cubs for the terms laid out in the article
    (74 votes)
  • 8%
    ... should be signed by the Cubs for a different amount
    (17 votes)
  • 50%
    ... should not be signed by the Cubs
    (97 votes)
  • 2%
    Something else (leave in comments)
    (5 votes)
193 votes total Vote Now