The Chicago Cubs have agreed to a one-year contract with free agent starting pitcher Trevor Williams, adding an arm that will in all likelihood become a member of the team’s starting pitching rotation in the 2021 season.
The Cubs are very familiar with Williams, as the 28-year-old pitcher spent the past five seasons pitching for their NL Central rivals, the Pittsburgh Pirates. Williams was designated for assignment and opted for free agency earlier this offseason.
Williams’s new deal will reportedly pay him $3 million, making him a low-risk option for a Cubs rotation that appears thin after the departures of Jose Quintana and Jon Lester.
The San Diego native was a solid mid-rotation starter for the Buccos in 2017 and 2018, posting a 3.55 ERA over 321 innings during those two seasons.
He did, however, struggle in a 2019 season that saw his ERA balloon to 5.38. Those issues continued and even got worse in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, as Williams’s ERA jumped to 6.18 in 11 starts.
Chicago will now hope that they will be able to coax the good version of Williams back out after his struggles over the past two seasons and add a stabilizing, veteran presence to its rotation for the upcoming season.