It might not be the signing you wanted to hear about today, but the Cubs have signed a major league free agent:
Right-handed reliever Brad Boxberger and the Chicago Cubs are in agreement on a one-year contract, sources familiar with the deal tell ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 15, 2022
Brad Boxberger’s one-year deal with the Cubs is for $2.8 million, per source.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 15, 2022
This is a very good signing, in my view. While Jed Hoyer can be criticized for many things, he has always been very good at identifying and signing veteran relievers and getting good value out of them.
In 2022, Boxberger posted a 2.95 ERA and 1.234 WHIP in 70 appearances for the Brewers, mostly as a middle relief/setup guy. He had one save for Milwaukee this past season, though he has served as a closer in the past, including leading the American League in saves with 41 in 2015.
I would expect Boxberger to serve as a setup man who could close if needed. Here’s his pitch selection from 2022, heavy on offspeed stuff like sliders and changeups:
At $2.8 million, this signing is a good value, too. Boxberger turns 35 in May and was very good over the last two years in Milwaukee. Plus, he had what might be the best “nickname” ever on a Players Weekend jersey, icons of a box and a burger:
Good work on this one, Jed. Now do Dansby Swanson. (Note that this signing has not officially been announced by the Cubs and neither has the previously reported signing of Jameson Taillon.)
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