MLB Winter Meetings: Cubs sign injured Drew Smyly for 2019 rotation depth

The Chicago Cubs are looking for ways to improve their 2018 rotation, but on Tuesday, the team took a step toward improving their 2019 rotation. 

The Cubbies announced they have signed left-hander Drew Smyly to a two-year contract. He spent time with manager Joe Maddon and pitching coach Jim Hickey with the Tampa Bay Rays a few years ago.

The 28-year-old Smyly had Tommy John surgery in late June, and since teams are giving players 14-16 months to rehab from Tommy John surgery these days rather than 12-14 months, it is unlikely Smyly will pitch much in 2018, if at all. This is a signing gearing toward 2019 for sure.

Smyly was traded from the Rays to the Mariners last offseason, and while he was able to pitch for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, nagging injuries never allowed him to take the mound for Seattle. They non-tendered him earlier this month, which is when the Cubs pounced.

At the moment the Cubs have Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Jose Quintana, and Tyler Chatwood penciled into their 2018 rotation. Mike Montgomery or another offseason pickup could get the fifth starter's spot.

CBS Sports Writer

Mike Axisa joined CBS Sports in 2013. He has been a member of the BBWAA since 2015 and has previously written about both fantasy baseball and real life baseball for MLBTradeRumors.com, FanGraphs.com, RotoAuthority.com,... Full Bio

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