As everyone knows by now, the Chicago Cubs got their closer for 2017 when they shipped the up and down Jorge Soler off to Kansas City for Wade Davis. Davis will take over the closer’s role for the Cubs next season, replacing Aroldis Chapman who returned to the New York Yankees this off-season. Let’s take a look at what Davis brings to the table for the Cubs.
Let’s face it. Trading for Chapman was a no brainer for the Cubs this past season if they wanted to go all the way and become World Series Champions. Well, they did it and we all know what happened. Following their World Series victory, Chapman was looking for his pay day. There were reports that he was looking for a contact in the $100 Million range, although he later claimed that was never said. Chapman got his money though when the Yankees signed him back – after trading him to the Cubs last season – to a 5 year, $86 Million Contract. Knowing that the closer wasn’t coming back, the Cubs went back on the search for their closer and they found him in Kansas City.
Wade Davis joins his third team in the MLB after stints with the Tampa Bay Rays and the Kansas City Royals, spending 4 seasons with both clubs. The Royals really brought out the best in the pitcher as he recorded his first saves (3) in the 2014 season and took over as the teams closer going into the 2015 season. Last season, he was out from late July to early September with a right flexor strain. But, even with all of that, the closer pitched in 45 games recording 43.1 innings pitches to go along with 2 wins and 27 saves.
There was some injury concern when it came to the Cubs trading for Davis, but they Cubs checked it out and were satisfied with what they saw to take the chance and bring in this coming season’s closer. Over the last 3 seasons, the pitcher owns an insane 1.18 ERA through 185 appearances.
The pitcher is going into his final year of team control, but with the situation he’s been handed and what he could do for this team if he stays healthy, could make for a long term deal down the stretch. With the Cubs having Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon setting up and Davis coming in for the save, the Cubs relief pitching is looking like a monster again heading into 2017.