New reliever Steve Cishek made it clear that he will do just about anything to help the Cubs win. His only concern was whether or not his dance moves would be up to par with the rest of the staff, but those are sure to come with time.
It is no secret the Cubs have a certain appeal many other teams would kill for. They have a long-standing tradition, a dedicated fan base and a recent trend as postseason contenders. Newly renovated facilities are just icing on the cake, according to Cishek.
“Who wouldn’t want to play for the Cubs?” Cishek said Thursday.
But what really drew Cishek to the Cubs was the family dynamic and, oddly enough, the day games, which allow him to eat breakfast and dinner with his family. Oh, and the bullpens located under the bleachers, which offer him rescue from the scorching sun in summer.
After a rocky 2017, the Cubs’ bullpen was a focal point during the offseason. Although the team was unable to re-sign closer Wade Davis — he took a megadeal worth $52 million with the Rockies last month — they added depth by signing Cishek and Brandon Morrow.
Morrow had a breakout season for the Dodgers last year when he went 6-0 with two saves and a 2.06 ERA in 45 games. He likely will be Davis’ primary replacement as closer.
Cishek said he will fill any role that the Cubs want.
“I’ll do whatever it takes to help the team win ballgames,” said Cishek, who was coming off of hip surgery last season and still managed a 2.01 ERA in 49 appearances for the Mariners and Rays.
“[Pitching coach Jim] Hickey saw me last year coming into a whole bunch of different situations. I’m comfortable doing whatever. I just love having the ball in my hand and getting out there.”
Cishek is even willing to lend his hand on the recruiting front. The Cubs, who still need to add another starter to their rotation, have been linked to right-hander Alex Cobb.
Cishek and Cobb were both with the Rays last season, along with Hickey. Cishek said he has reached out to Cobb during the offseason.
“It’d be nice to see him in a Cubs uniform,” Cishek said. “He’s a tremendous teammate, a good friend and obviously a tremendous competitor and someone you want on your team.”
Cishek’s opinion on Cobb agreed with what manager Joe Maddon said Wednesday.
“I love Alex Cobb,” Maddon said. “This is a man’s man, and he’s very highly accountable, and he’s really good.”
Cishek said he already feels a part of the Cubs despite only being in contact with a few of the players via Twitter and texting. He also said he sees the potential for success next season.
As for the dancing, well, that might take some time.
“I asked [Mike Montgomery] what his dance repertoire was and he said he only had two that he stuck with,” Cishek said. “So, I guess I have to come up with a couple.”
Follow me on Twitter