Tyler Chatwood is signing with the Blue Jays on a one-year deal that guarantees him $3 million and has another $2.5 million in performance bonuses. That comes from Shi Davidi of Sportsnet, who also tweeted that Chatwood is expected to pitch out of the bullpen.
Deal pays him $3 million with incentives that can push it to $5.5m, per source. https://t.co/BzapAchZx5
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) January 19, 2021
The deal itself isn’t all that surprising, though it’s pretty interesting that it came so soon after Jon Lester signed with the Nationals. There’d been some thought that one or both pitchers could return to the Cubs on cheap deals, assuming Jed Hoyer had money in the budget to offer anything more than a minor league contract with a camp invite.
Chatwood had a disastrous 2018 season after joining the Cubs as a free agent and he was demoted to the bullpen late in the season. He was given an above-market deal by a front office that believed his elite spin rates would make his stuff play even better in Chicago than it had in Denver, but jumbled mechanics and terrible control doomed him.
The righty simplified his delivery prior to 2019 and his move to the ‘pen meant his velo ticked up near triple digits, making him an effective pitcher again. Though injuries derailed Chatwood’s 2020 campaign, the Jays are clearly confident that he will regain his form.
Even if you’re among those who didn’t believe in Chatwood’s potential and wanted him nowhere near the Cubs, it’s not fun seeing other teams sign their former pitchers while Hoyer remains handcuffed.