Kohl Stewart Signs With Cubs (www.mlb.com)

CHICAGO — The Cubs are searching for pitchers who can offer depth for the rotation but are versatile enough to also serve as multi-inning relief options. Chicago believes it has found just that in right-hander Kohl Stewart.
On Thursday, the Cubs announced that they agreed to terms on a one-year

CHICAGO — The Cubs are searching for pitchers who can offer depth for the rotation but are versatile enough to also serve as multi-inning relief options. Chicago believes it has found just that in right-hander Kohl Stewart.

On Thursday, the Cubs announced that they agreed to terms on a one-year contract with Stewart for the 2021 season. Per a source, the deal is worth $700,000, but Stewart has only pitched in parts of two MLB seasons and comes with five years of club control.

File him into the category of pitchers whose specific role with the North Siders will be sorted out during Spring Training. The current plan is to stretch the 26-year-old Stewart out to handle multiple innings. Although he could wind up as a long man in the bullpen, Stewart will be given a chance to compete for rotation innings.

As things stand, the Cubs’ rotation includes Kyle Hendricks, Zach Davies and Alec Mills, with Adbert Alzolay next on the depth chart. Externally, Chicago is searching for a more experienced arm on the open market (Trevor Williams, Chris Archer, Carlos Rodón and Mike Foltynewicz are options).

The Cubs have a handful of prospects — including

, Brailyn Marquez, Tyson Miller and Justin Steele — who could impact the MLB staff at some point in 2021. Chicago will also look at Duane Underwood Jr. and Rule 5 Draft pick Gray Fenter as multi-inning candidates. Righty Shelby Miller was also added this offseason as depth via a Minor League deal.

Stewart signed with the Orioles ahead of last season, but then opted out of the 2020 campaign due to being high-risk with a previous health condition (Type 1 diabetes).

Picked with the fourth overall selection in the 2013 MLB Draft, Stewart reached the Majors with the Twins in ’18 and posted a 3.68 ERA in 36 2/3 innings. The righty had a 6.39 ERA in 25 1/3 innings in ’19. That equates to a 4.79 ERA in 17 games (six starts) with 34 strikeouts and 26 walks in 62 big league frames.

During the 2019 season, Stewart featured his sinker (48.3 percent) and slider (32 percent) the most, while mixing in a curve, changeup and four-seamer.

Stewart joins reliever Jonathan Holder (one year, $750,000) and catcher Austin Romine (one year, $1.5 million) as the Cubs’ Major League signings to date this offseason. Chicago also acquired Davies as part of a blockbuster trade that sent Yu Darvish and catcher Victor Caratini to the Padres.

Jordan Bastian covers the Cubs for MLB.com. He previously covered the Indians from 2011-18 and the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian.



Source link