Earlier this week, there were reports that the Cubs would be bringing back Drew Smyly for 2023.
Today, the team officially announced the signing, which is a two-year deal with a mutual option for 2025.
Smyly was the Tigers’ second-round pick in 2010 out of the University of Arkansas. The Cubs originally signed him in December 2017, a few months after he had undergone Tommy John surgery. They had hoped to have him in the rotation by 2019, but instead wound up trading him to the Rangers at the end of the 2018 season in order to free up some money to keep Cole Hamels in 2019.
The Cubs front office must have really liked Smyly, signing him again before the 2022 season. Though Smyly went through some injuries last season, including an oblique in late May, he pitched very well over the last two months. Over that span — nine starts — he posted a 2.28 ERA and 1.014 WHIP and held opponents to a .205 batting average and .602 OPS.
Smyly will turn 34 in June and it seems as if the Cubs should be able to get a couple of decent seasons from him.
The Cubs don’t officially announce contract terms, but here are some numbers that have been reported:
Free-agent pitcher Drew Smyly and the Chicago Cubs are in agreement on a two-year, $19 million contract that includes a $10 million mutual option ($2.5 million buyout) for 2025, according to a source familiar with the deal. Smyly gets $8 million in 2023 and $8.5 million in 2024.— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) December 23, 2022
Mutual options are almost never exercised, so the two-year, $19 million deal includes all the guaranteed money.
To make room for Smyly on the 40-man roster, the Cubs designated righthanded reliever Erich Uelmen for assignment. As is the case for most DFAs of that nature, the Cubs are likely hoping Uelmen clears waivers and can be assigned to Triple-A Iowa.
As always, we await developments.