Cubs' Trade Rumors: Drew Smyly to Be Sent to Texas Rangers

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 2, 2018

MESA, AZ - FEBRUARY 20:  Drew Smyly #39 of the Chicago Cubs poses during Chicago Cubs Photo Day on February 20, 2018 in Mesa, Arizona.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Chicago Cubs are reportedly set to trade starting pitcher Drew Smyly, who missed the entire 2017 and 2018 seasons because of an elbow injury, to the Texas Rangers.

MLB insider Jerry Crasnick first reported the expected deal Friday. Details about the return package weren't immediately announced.

The Seattle Mariners acquired Smyly in a January 2017 trade with the Tampa Bay Rays. He left to sign with the Cubs as a free agent in December. He never played a game in the majors for either team.

Smyly made a single appearance for the South Bend Cubs, the organization's Single-A affiliate, on Aug. 30 as part of his rehab process. He pitched a perfect inning with three strikeouts, but he was shut down in early September since he didn't have a chance to return before season's end.

"I felt very good—pain-free, which is always my first concern," he told reporters after the one-off outing. "It's been 18 months since I've actually played in a game, out there competing. It was an exciting time for me, regardless of the level."

Chicago's decision to move him came in coordination with picking up a $20 million contract option on fellow starter Cole Hamels:

Ken Rosenthal @Ken_Rosenthal

Sources confirm: #Cubs picking up Hamels’ $20M option, trading LHP Drew Smyly to #Rangers. TEX would have paid Hamels’ $6M buyout if CHC declined option. First reported: @jcrasnick.

Smyly struggled for the Rays in 2016 with a 4.88 ERA across 30 starts. He owns a more reasonable 3.74 career ERA, however, including a 3.11 mark as a starter in 12 starts during the 2015 season.

The 29-year-old University of Arkansas product, who has one year left on his contract, will compete for a spot in the Rangers rotation during next year's spring training.