The Chicago Cubs have reportedly made their first signing of the offseason, bringing on board pitcher Edwin Escobar. The news was first broken Monday night in Venezuela, where Escobar is currently playing in the Winter League. The deal was also reported by several media outlets in Japan, where Escobar spent the last six seasons.
Escobar, a former top 100 prospect, has had a successful career in Japan since leaving the big leagues in 2016 with the Arizona Diamondbacks. In 58 total appearances between the Japanese and Venezuelan Winter Leagues, Escobar is 4-2 with a 3.33 ERA, striking out 46 batters in 51.1 innings of work. He spent the last seven seasons with the Yokohama Bay Stars and is expected to bring his skills and experience to the Cubs as they look to strengthen their bullpen for next season.
According to a Bleacher Nation note, Escobar was also a teammate of pitcher Shota Imanaga, who is expected to hit the big leagues in 2024 and has been linked to the Cubs multiple times in free agency rumors. It is unclear what contract Escobar signed, but he will likely come to spring training with the possibility of competing for a spot in the Cubs bullpen.