On Thursday, Chicago took a big step toward improving their rotation by agreeing to a three-year contract with free agent righty Tyler Chatwood.
This is a good signing for the Cubs on the whole, but far from ideal.
Chatwood, who turns 28 next week, is 40-46 with two saves. He led the league with 15 losses in 2017, but went 12-9 with a 3.87 ERA with the Rockies in 2016.
Not only that, but Chatwood is moving from a team on the up-and-up to one ready to win now.
The signing of Chatwood does not remove the Cubs from the free agent market.
Carrie Muskat of MLB.com passed along word of the free-agent signing. Chatwood isn't the definite missing piece nor the X-factor, particularly since the Cubs ranked seventh in Major League Baseball with a staff ERA of 3.95 last season, but he definitely improves the rotation enough that the lineup will have more confidence in producing runs with a reliable arm on the mound. Since returning from his second career Tommy John surgery in 2016, he threw 305 2/3 innings with a 4.27 ERA (115 ERA+) for the Rockies.
Chatwood, 27, will make $38 million over the course of the deal with the Cubs.
Part of the Cubs' belief is that Chatwood will find more consistency away from Coors Field. They still likely need one more arm to be added prior to Spring Training.