Right-hander Tyler Chatwood agreed to a three-year, $38 million deal with the Chicago Cubs, the team announced Thursday. He projects as a back-of-the-rotation starter for the Cubs, who lost Jake Arietta and John Lackey to free agency.
The Cubs will be banking on Chatwood to take advantage of his abilities as a groundball pitcher, as he had a 58.1 percent groundball rate last season with the Rockies.
Chatwood spent the 2017 season with the Colorado Rockies and though his 15 losses led the NL (compared to eight wins) and he posted a 4.87 ERA, he had a better year than the bare bones stats would suggest. Chatwood has been fantastic on the road in the past two seasons. He has a 4.31 ERA (310 earned runs in 647 2/3 innings) in 130 major-league appearances, including 113 starts. He missed all of 2015 after undergoing Tommy John surgery and hasn't yet truly established himself as an innings eater.
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Part of the Cubs' belief is that Chatwood will find more consistency away from Coors Field. For his career, which included his first season with the Angels, Chatwood is 40-46 with a 4.31 ERA. The Angels selected him in the second round of the 2008 amateur draft. He figures to slot into the rotation behind Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks and Jose Quintana.
The 27-year-old Chatwood was one of the youngest and most intriguing free agents on the market. Mike Montgomery will once again prepare as a starter in spring training and fill a rotation role as needed.