#Cubs in agreement with free-agent right-hander Steve Cishek, pending physical, sources tell The Athletic.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 14, 2017
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) December 14, 2017
Steve Cishek Signs With the Chicago Cubs
Known for his submarine delivery, Cishek was drafted by the Florida Marlins in the fifth round of the 2007 MLB draft. Cishek pitched well in the minors, before being a September call-up in 2010. The right-handed reliever would play in just three games in 2010, but would allow no earned runs and collect three strikeouts in 4.1 innings pitched.
After briefly being called up in 2010, Cishek returned to the minors in 2011, pitching for the Triple-A New Orleans Zephyrs. In 15 games with the Zephyrs, Cishek pitched outstanding, gaining a 2.35 ERA while collecting 19 strikeouts. His performance was good enough to get called up again, this time as a permanent member of the Marlins’ bullpen.
In 2011, Cishek excelled with the Marlins, pitching in 54.2 innings with a 2.63 ERA and 55 strikeouts. Cishek’s performance in the bullpen was so good that he was promoted to be the team’s closer after the former closer, Heath Bell, was demoted late in the season. 2013 would become a special year in Cishek’s career as it was his first full year as the Marlins’ closer. As the new full-time closer, Cishek would have 34 saves with a 2.33 ERA and a 1.077 WHIP.
After spending six years with the Marlins, Cishek would become somewhat of a journeymen, pitching for several different teams. In 2015, Cishek was traded mid-season to the St. Louis Cardinals for Kyle Barraclough. Cishek would pitch the remainder of the 2015 season with the Cardinals, after which he became a free agent. St. Louis would choose not to resign Cishek and he would sign a two-year deal with the Seattle Mariners in the off-season. In 2017, the Mariners decided to trade Cishek to the Tampa Bay Rays for right handed pitcher Erasmo Ramírez.
The Cubs will be gaining a very reliable relief pitcher that they can slip into the closer role. Cishek has 121 career saves, with a career 2.73 ERA and a 1.162 WHIP. His unusual sidearm delivery will make him a great addition to the Cubs bullpen.
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