In case anyone wasn’t sure, right-hander Tyler Chatwood made it clear Thursday that the Cubs’ latest addition to the rotation isn’t the guy who wants to start in the outfield on the days he doesn’t pitch.

“No, I’m good watching,” said Chatwood, the Rockies free agent who signed a three-year, $38 million deal to fill one of at least two Cubs starting rotation vacancies.

But even as Chatwood, 27, talked about how excited he was to play in Chicago and be part of a World Series contender, the specter of Japanese free agent Shohei Ohtani hung thick in the air of the second-floor conference room at the Cubs’ office building.

The Chatwood announcement came two days after the Cubs had their face-to-face meeting with Ohtani at his agency’s Los Angeles office – one of seven teams to make that cut.

Once considered a long shot to land the so-called Babe Ruth of Japan, the Cubs’ chances have improved enough that a Japanese reporter following the 23-year-old’s move to the major leagues flew into Chicago from L.A. after the seven meetings on the chance that Ohtani could show.

Team president Theo Epstein was emphatically tight-lipped when asked about the pursuit of Ohtani, who boasts a 100-mph fastball from the right side, a powerful bat from the left and excellent speed in the outfield and on the bases.

“That’s our choice, but I think we have a lot of respect for the player and the process,” said Epstein – who got asked by media about Ohtani before Chatwood. “We’ll let the information come from their side.”

The Cubs are allowed to offer only $300,000 in bonus money because of penalties for overspending their international bonus allotment last year. And the Mariners and Angels both traded for more international bonus money this week, pushing Seattle’s total it can offer to …read more

Source:: Chicago Sun-Times – Sports


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