Lefty Drew Smyly had a $10 million mutual option with the Cubs for the 2023 season, but the two sides were going to meet with the hope of working out a new deal that presumably paid Smyly a little more over a longer period. Maybe something like $12 million over two years to give Smyly a little more security. That might not seem like much, but we’re talking about an oft-injured pitcher entering his age-34 season.
As Jordan Bastian tweeted Tuesday night, Smyly has declined his portion of the option and the Cubs are still open to keeping him on board. His willingness to make that happen could depend on what he believes his role will be moving forward. Landing one starter in free agency pushes Smyly to the periphery of the rotation discussion, landing two makes him a full-time swingman or long reliever.
There are still two days left for free agents to negotiate exclusively with their current teams, so it’s possible we’ll get word of Smyly re-signing here soon. Though it’s not a sure bet that he’s gone if something isn’t done by the 10th, the chances go down a little.