Even though he reportedly declared he wanted to sign somewhere where he could get a chance to compete for a rotation spot, Trevor Cahill decided to put back on his wish to be a starter and instead he has decided to return to the Chicago Cubs where he thrived as a bullpen arm since joining them late in the 2015 season.
A former second-round pick in the 2006 Draft, Cahill struggled badly in the past season. He started the year with the Atlanta Braves before being released and even though he shortly joined Los Angeles Dodgers in early July, he was a free-agent once again in August.
Chicago was Cahill's third team of the season and he yielded just four runs in 17 innings while also recording an outstanding 22-to-5 K/BB ratio to go along with an as-always excellent ground-ball rate: 61.8 percent. He also pitched 5 1/3 innings in the postseason, allowing two runs on seven hits and no walks with eight strikeouts (3.38 ERA).
He will undergo his eighth season in the Majors in 2016 and while he had more success in 2010 - where he was an All-Star and ended ninth in the Cy Young voting - he will look to re-capture his best form following all the improvements he showed as a late-season addition to the Cubs roster.
Considering his success last year, the 27-year-old is expected to pitch out of the bullpen to start the year, although he could be stretched out to work as a starter if the needed arises. Considering the Cubs already have Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, John Lackey, Jason Hammel and Kyle Hendricks on the rotation, however, Cahill might only work as a starter if there's either an injury or a below-average performance.
Cahill's new deal will be a one-year contract worth $4.25M.