Cubs bring back lefty Drew Smyly on two-year deal

Drew Smyly was clear during the season how much he enjoyed his time with the Cubs.

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The Cubs are set to bring back lefty Drew Smyly, agreeing to a two-year deal worth $19 million plus incentives, a source confirmed Thursday.

Last month, Smyly declined his $10 million mutual option for 2023, but he was clear how much he enjoyed his time with the Cubs during the season.

“I want to stay,” he told the Sun-Times in late September. “I think they would like me to stay. There’s definitely a role on this team for me next year, in the coming years.”

Smyly posted a 3.47 ERA with the Cubs last season, and when healthy, he was one of the team’s most consistent starters. He spent just shy of six weeks on the injured list with a strained right oblique in June and July. He missed a couple of starts in September for fatigue in his left shoulder.

Depending on how the Cubs fill out their pitching staff, Smyly could provide stability in the rotation or as a multi-inning reliever next year.

Last season was Smyly’s second stint in the organization, but he never pitched for the Cubs during the first while rehabbing from Tommy John surgery in 2018. Smyly has played for seven teams in his career — five in the last four seasons.

He valued the stability a multiyear contract in Chicago would give him and his family. With the Cubs, he had a good rapport with the pitching coaches. Even after winning a World Series with the Braves in 2021, Smyly spoke highly of the Cubs’ clubhouse during a 74-88 season.

“I know that they want to get to the top once again, and I don’t think they’re very far from it at all,” Smyly said. “If they can just bring in a few of the right pieces and mix it with all the young guys and talent that they have now, that’s usually how teams get built.”

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