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Tyler Chatwood signs with Cubs for 3 years, $38 million

The Cubs found one needed addition to their rotation.

Colorado Rockies v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

The Cubs have announced that they’ve signed Tyler Chatwood to a three-year deal, worth $38 million, according to The Athletic’s Sahadev Sharma.

The deal will keep Chatwood at Wrigley Field until the next decade, which is a good move for Chicago since they’re certainly losing Jake Arrieta to free agency and needed to replace him with someone of the same caliber.

The money might be a little pricey for what they’ll get from Chatwood, but with Mike Minor off the market at three years for $28 million and his ability to start, it’s not that much of an overpay and the Cubs would have ponied up far more to keep Arrieta.

Now, Chatwood is no Arrieta. But when you look at his numbers away from Coors Field, he’s not too much of a step down. At home in 2017, Chatwood pitched 70.1 innings and had a 6.01 ERA, a 1.678 WHIP, and a .355 BABIP. But in away games, he went 77.1 innings with a far more attractive 3.49 ERA, a 1.228 WHIP, and a .218 BABIP.

Compare that to Arrieta’s 3.53 ERA with a 1.218 WHIP this season and ... there are worse fits in the world.

As USA Today’s Bob Nightengale points out, Chatwood is up there with Clayton Kershaw and Stephen Strasburg when it comes to away ERA for NL pitchers over the last two seasons. That stat takes some stretching to reach if you’re going to rely on it as a metric of his upside, but there’s no way the Cubs weren’t also stretching a little for a similar rationalization before handing out that contract.

Those away numbers are what the Cubs are paying for, and if the disparity between Chatwood’s home and away splits isn’t only because of Coors Field and its environmental vendetta against otherwise fine pitchers, then they may regret cutting such a big check before these three years are up.

But if it’s as it looks, and Chatwood will take a step up when he’s not shackled to the toughest pitcher’s field in the league, then the Cubs found a new starter for their rotation (with another one quite possibly on the way ... maybe).

When you add in that Chatwood will only 28 years old next season and Arrieta was no gem before going to Chicago either, he could turn out very well for the Cubs indeed.