With Aroldis Chapman becoming a free agent, the Chicago Cubs needed a closer. They have found that closer in the form of a two-time All-Star from Kansas City.
It was announced that the Chicago Cubs have acquired RHP reliever Wade Davis from the Kansas City Royals, as reported by Ken Rosenthal.
Davis, 31, played a huge role in the Royals championship run in 2015. Since converting to a reliever in 2014, Davis has had three consecutive sub-2 ERA seasons and 47 career saves. The two-time All-Star was plagued by injuries in 2016.
However, he still managed to go 2-1 with a 1.87 ERA in 43.1 innings pitched. He would become the Cubs closer for 2017.
In his last three seasons, Davis is 19-4 with a 1.08 ERA in 207.2 IP. He has struck out 272 while walking just 64 and has surrendered just three home runs.
Davis is under contract for just $10 million in 2017, which makes him a free agent after 2017. Davis, a former starter, can easily pitch multiple innings in relief, which makes him an attractive reliever. This is Davis’ first time pitching in the National League. He spent four seasons with the Rays and four with the Royals.
In return, the Royals get four cost-controlled years of Cubs OF Jorge Soler. Soler, 24, slashed just .238/.333./.436 in 2016 in 86 games. He hit 12 home runs and drove in 31. Injuries shortened Soler’s season again in 2016.
Every Cubs fan remembers Soler’s hot start at the plate in the 2015 playoffs. However, 2016 was different. He went just 2-for-13 and struck out four times. He became expendable for the Cubs due to his lack of production so far and the crowded outfield.
With Schwarber destined for the outfield full time and the addition of Jon Jay, the Cubs outfield is crowded. Ben Zobrist is likely moving to the outfield full-time as Javier Baez slots into second base.
This likely isn’t the last of the pitching moves for the Cubs this offseason. They continue to search for cost-controlled starting pitching and will likely continue to bolster the bullpen. The Winter Meetings continue on Wednesday and conclude on Thursday with the Rule 5 Draft.