The Chicago Cubs went into the offseason needing to replace Jake Arrieta and John Lackey in their starting rotation and on Thursday they added one arm. The Cubs came to an agreement on a 3 year/$38MM deal with RHP Tyler Chatwood. Chatwood may never be that ace that some teams may want, but he doesn’t need to be with the Cubs as he’ll be joining Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks and Jose Quintana in the Cubs rotation.
The 27 year old Chatwood is 2 years removed from his second Tommy John Surgery and put together a decent 2017 season. In 33 games, 25 starts, Chatwood threw 147.2 innings, with a 4.94 ERA and a 7.3K/9. That ERA may seem high, but we need to remember that he pitched his home games at Coors Field. His home/road splits are what Cubs fans should be excited about as he had a 6.01 ERA at home, but a solid 3.49 ERA on the road. In his 2 years since his latest TJ surgery he has a 6.07 home ERA, but an outstanding 2.57 road ERA. A few other things that Chatwood does very well is get a ton of ground balls and limits the hard contact. Last season he had a GB rate of 58.1% and a HC rate of 29.5% and in his career a GB rate of 54.7% and a HC rate of 28.7%. Those are some outstanding numbers to go with those home/road splits that should leave some Cubs fans feeling good about a future 4th or 5th starter in their rotation.
This is only step one for the Cubs. Many believe they are already out on Arrieta, but they are on of the 7 finalists for Shohei Ohtani. If they could Ohtani (even though the Mariners and Padres are the favorites), that would be an outstanding starting 5 going into the 2018 season.