The Chicago Cubs made their first acquisition of the offseason this evening after we saw a couple of other moves across the league as well as some significant movement on the Giancarlo Stanton front between the Miami Marlins and the San Francisco Giants this evening.
The Marlins and the Stanton trade talks are stalling the free-agent market, but hopefully with word that Giants front office personnel are in Los Angeles tonight meeting with Stanton’s representatives, the market will begin to flow in the coming days if a deal is reached.
Reports are surfacing that the Cubs have signed their first free agent of the offseason, left-handed reliever Dario Álvarez. With the Colorado Rockies rumored to be interested in former Cubs closer Wade Davis this afternoon, the Cubs made an addition to their bullpen, an area of concern this offseason.
Álvarez was considered to be a highly sought after minor league pitcher, but the Cubs lured him to Chicago with a major league contract that many didn’t expect him to receive.
The 28-year-old has only spent brief parts of the past four seasons at the major-league level, with a career ERA of 5.06. His 2017 season, however, provides reason for optimism, as Álvarez posted a career best ERA of 2.76 across 20 appearances with the Texas Rangers.
Despite the big-league contract, the majority of his time has been spent in Triple-A to this point in his career, where he’s seen more success (career 3.89 ERA, 1.385 WHIP, 2017 2.33 ERA, 1.259 WHIP).
Álvarez is most likely just bullpen depth for now, but could become a key player at some point during the 2018 season, especially if the Cubs whiff on other free agents later in the offseason, or lose Wade Davis’ services to another suitor.