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Cubs sign RHP Trevor Williams

Here’s a guy with some upside.

Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

About two weeks ago, I wrote an article here headlined “Why haven’t the Cubs signed this guy yet, Part 5: Trevor Williams.”

It took 12 days after that article was published for my wish to come true:

Here are the reasons I gave in my January 18 article for signing Williams:

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.

Williams actually had a pretty bad year in 2020, posting a 6.18 ERA and 1.572 WHIP and leading the major leagues in home runs allowed with 15 in only 55⅓ innings. He’s only two years past a 4.0 bWAR season for the Pirates in 2018 where he posted a 3.11 ERA and 1.178 WHIP, and obviously the Cubs hope he’ll regain that form.

It’s a low-risk, high-reward signing. There are some reports that this one-year deal includes some deferred money, though at this writing there has been no specific dollar figure reported. When there is, I’ll update this post.

Jesse Rogers also reports:

I find myself hoping it’s Jake Arrieta. Arrieta is coming off a bad year where he had a hamstring injury that ended his season in early September, but his arm should be healthy and the hamstring ought to be 100 percent by spring training.

The Williams signing is a good one. Teams are going to need starting pitching depth this year and the Cubs are putting a deep, if somewhat “hopeful,” staff together. With this signing, the Cubs’ 40-man roster stands at 39.

UPDATE: The signing is apparently for $2.5 million:

One last question: Will he wear that No. 34, or will they leave it open for a couple years in respect to Jon Lester?


Trevor Williams!

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