(CBS) The Cubs have landed their first new starter this offseason in their effort to fortify a rotation that will see turnover.
Chicago has signed right-hander Tyler Chatwood to a three-year deal, the team announced Thursday afternoon. It’s worth $38 million, according to The Athletic’s Sahadev Sharma. Chatwood projects to fill a back-of-the-rotation slot as Jake Arrieta and John Lackey have hit free agency.
Chatwood, who turns 28 later this month, went 8-15 with a 4.69 ERA and 1.44 WHIP in 33 games, including 25 starts, for the Rockies in 2017. He struck out 120 batters in 147 2/3 innings and struggled with his control at times, walking 77 batters for a 4.7 walks-per-nine-innings rate. He’s spent his last six big league seasons in Colorado after debuting in 2011 with the Los Angeles Angels.
Chatwood has had stark home-road splits while calling hitter-friendly Coors Field his home. He registered a 6.01 ERA and allowed foes to hit .302 at Coors Field last season. On the road, he recorded a 3.49 ERA and held foes to a .200 batting average.
Part of the Cubs’ belief is that Chatwood will find more consistency away from Coors Field. Across the 2016 and 2017 seasons, Chatwood has a 2.57 ERA on the road, which tied for the second-best mark in the National League for those with a minimum of 10 starts.
Chatwood’s best season was 2013, when he had a 3.15 ERA in 20 starts. Chatwood missed much of 2014 and the entire 2015 after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Chatwood has a career 4.31 ERA and 1.49 WHIP. The Angels selected him in the second round of the 2008 amateur draft.
The Cubs have rotation slots filled by Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks and Jose Quintana. Mike Montgomery will once again prepare as a starter in spring training and fill a rotation role as needed.
The Cubs continue to be a leading suitor to land free-agent right-hander Alex Cobb, and they’re one of seven finalists for Shohei Ohtani, the 23-year-old Japanses phenom who pitches and plays outfield.