The Chicago Cubs have announced their first signing of the offseason, bringing on pitcher Edwin Escobar. The news was first reported by Venezuela’s Luis Enrique Morales on Monday night, who is currently covering Escobar’s performance in the Winter Leagues. The deal was also picked up by several Japanese outlets, where Escobar has been pitching for the past six seasons.
Escobar, a former Top-100 prospect, last pitched in the big leagues with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2016, appearing in 25 games and posting a 7.23 ERA. Over the past seven years, he has spent his time pitching in Japan 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.
According to Bleacher Nation’s note, there is an interesting connection between Escobar and another pitcher named Shota Imanaga. Imanaga is expected to make his way to the big leagues in 2024 and has repeatedly been linked to free agency rumors involving the Cubs. It remains unclear what type of contract Escobar signed, but it looks like he will come to spring training with an opportunity to compete for a spot in the Cubs’ bullpen. You can follow along with all of this news and more over at our Cubs Talk Podcast page here [link].