The Chicago Cubs have reportedly made their first signing of the offseason, inking pitcher Edwin Escobar to a deal. This news was first reported by Luis Enrique Morales in Venezuela, where Escobar is currently pitching in the Winter Leagues.
According to reports from Japan, where Escobar had pitched for the last six seasons, he has a 4-2 record with a 3.33 ERA in 58 total appearances between the Japanese and Venezuelan Winter League. He struck out 46 batters in 51.1 innings of work.
Escobar was once considered a top prospect and last pitched in the big leagues with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2016, 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.
One interesting aspect of this signing is that Escobar has been a teammate of pitcher Shota Imanaga, who is expected to come to the big leagues in 2024 and has been repeatedly connected to the Cubs in free agency rumors. It remains unclear what type of contract Escobar signed, but he will likely come to spring training with an opportunity to compete for a spot in the Cubs’ bullpen.