The Chicago Cubs have announced their first signing of the offseason, bringing on board pitcher Edwin Escobar. News of the deal broke on Monday night in Venezuela, where Escobar is currently pitching in the Winter Leagues. The signing was also reported by several outlets in Japan, where Escobar had pitched for the last six seasons.
Escobar, a former Top-100 prospect, last pitched in the big leagues in 2016 with the Arizona Diamondbacks, appearing in 25 games and posting a 7.23 ERA. He has spent the last seven seasons pitching in Japan, including the last six with the Yokohama Bay Stars. In 58 total appearances between the Japanese and Venezuelan Winter League, Escobar has a 4-2 record with a 3.33 ERA, striking out 46 batters in 51.1 innings of work.
The Cubs are expected to bring Escobar to spring training next season with an opportunity to compete for a spot in their bullpen. It remains to be seen what type of contract he signed, but his experience pitching overseas could prove valuable as he adjusts to life back in Major League Baseball.