Cubs, LHP Drew Smyly agree to 2-year contract: AP sources

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - MAY 30: Drew Smyly #11 of the Chicago Cubs pitches in the first inning of game two of a doubleheader against the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field on May 30, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)

Drew Smyly is staying with the Chicago Cubs, agreeing to a $19 million, two-year contract.

Two people familiar with the negotiations confirmed the deal to The Associated Press on Friday on condition of anonymity because the contract was pending a successful physical.

Smyly has an opt out after the 2023 season. The left-hander will make $8 million next year and $8.5 million in 2024. There is a $10 million mutual option for 2025 with a $2.5 million buyout.

The 33-year-old Smyly went 7-8 with a 3.47 ERA in 22 starts for Chicago this year.

Smyly joins a group of potential starters that includes Marcus Stroman, Jameson Taillon and Kyle Hendricks. The Cubs also have Justin Steele, Adrian Sampson and Keegan Thompson in the mix.

Chicago went 74-88 this year and finished third in the NL Central. But it went 40-31 in its last 71 games. The rotation had a 2.89 ERA after the All-Star break, third in the majors behind the Astros (2.70) and Dodgers (2.73).

Smyly’s deal is part of a flurry of moves by Chicago. It has finalized contracts with All-Star shortstop Dansby Swanson, 2019 NL MVP Cody Bellinger and Taillon. It also has agreed to terms with Gold Glove-winning catcher Tucker Barnhart, pending a physical.

Smyly broke into the majors in 2012 with Detroit. He is 53-47 with a 4.10 ERA in 239 big league appearances, including 156 starts.

Smyly went 11-4 with a 4.48 ERA in 29 games, 23 starts, for the World Series champion Braves in 2021. He agreed to a one-year deal with Chicago in March that included a $10 million option for 2023, but he turned down that option last month.

Smyly also signed a $10 million, two-year contract with the Cubs in December 2017, but he never pitched for Chicago during that deal. Working his way back from Tommy John surgery, he ran out of time to get into a big league game in 2018 and was traded to Texas that November.

The Cubs announced Friday that they had claimed left-hander Anthony Kay off waivers from Toronto. Infielder Alfonso Rivas was designated for assignment.

Kay pitched in one big league game with the Blue Jays this season, allowing one run in two innings in a 4-0 loss at the New York Yankees on April 12.