The Cubs made their first free-agent signing of the offseason on Thursday, signing right-handed pitcher Jonathan Holder to a one-year, non-guaranteed contract. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Holder, 27, has been a member of the Yankees bullpen for the last five seasons. The right-hander was 3-0 with a 4.98 ERA in 18 appearances for the Yankees and has a career 4.38 ERA over 176 2/3 innings.
Holder becomes another under-the-radar move for the Cubs, who have had success taking pitchers who have specific strengths and adjusting their arsenal with the hopes of making them better pitchers. The team’s hope is that Holder and recent waiver addition Robert Stock can be the next wave of bullpen success stories.
“I think we’ve done a good job over the last couple of years of being able to take some guys with some ideas of changes that we wanted to go after,” president Jed Hoyer said last week. ‘‘I think that’s part of the process, and any team goes through that, and we do, as well. You try to identify different areas that you can focus on.”
“We feel very comfortable being able to do that. We’re not going to succeed all the time. There will be guys that we try to give a certain pitch or make a certain change that doesn’t work, and we know that. But we feel like we have the infrastructure in place to be able to try it, and we’ve had some success in some areas that give us more confidence.”