The Chicago Cubs have announced their first signing of the offseason, bringing in pitcher Edwin Escobar to a deal. The news was first reported by Venezuelan journalist Luis Enrique Morales on Monday night, while several outlets in Japan also confirmed the signing.
Escobar, a former Top-100 prospect, has spent the last seven seasons pitching in Japan, most recently with the Yokohama Bay Stars. In 58 total appearances between the Japanese and Venezuelan Winter League, he has a 4-2 record with a 3.33 ERA, striking out 46 batters in 51.1 innings of work. Last season in Japan, Escobar pitched to a 2.59 ERA and struck out 97 batters in 98 innings of work.
According to Bleacher Nation, Escobar is also notable for being a teammate of pitcher Shota Imanaga, who is expected to come to the big leagues in 2024 and has been repeatedly connected to the Cubs in free agency rumors. It is unclear what type of contract Escobar signed, but it’s likely that he will come to spring training with an opportunity to compete for a spot in the Cubs’ bullpen.