It’s not Shohei Ohtani, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, or Shota Imanaga, but the Cubs have signed a pitcher out of Japan. Former DeNA Baystar Edwin Escobar is originally from Venezuela and was signed by the Rangers as a 17-year-old back in 2009 before being traded to the Giants organization a year later. He was traded to the Red Sox in 2014 as part of the Jake Peavy deal and made his MLB debut with Boston that same season.
Escobar tallied just two innings and was back in the minors the following season, then ended up with the Diamondbacks and got 23.2 innings in 2016. He struggled to miss bats and was walking too many batters, but found a new home in Japan and has been a bullpen mainstay in NPB for the last seven seasons. Now 31, Escobar offers bullpen depth in his stateside return.
— Yakyu Cosmopolitan (@yakyucosmo) November 21, 2023
We don’t know much about this deal yet, but it’s hard to imagine the Cubs would have been willing to use one of their three remaining 40-man spots on Escobar. Then again, maybe they’re preparing for a trade or three that will involve other members of the roster. More on this and some additional scouting info as it becomes available.