The Cubs have added oft-injured reliever Shae Simmons on a one year, major-league deal, according to a tweet from our very own Chris Cotillo. The deal will pay Simmons at a $750K rate in the majors, per the same tweet. Simmons will earn at a rate of $120K in the minors via the contract’s split pay structure, per this tweet USA Today Sports' Bob Nightengale.
Simmons missed the entire 2015 season due to Tommy John surgery, and has thrown just 141⁄3 major league innings since then, due to a slow recovery from the surgery as well as a litany of minor injuries during and following his rehab process. After showing excellent upside in his debut in 2014, Simmons’s second go-round in the Majors hasn’t been as stellar, giving up seven earned runs in those fourteen-plus frames while striking out eleven batters and walking four. Notably, however, Simmons has given up just ten hits and one home run, producing an encouraging 3.36 FIP during his brief cameos in 2016 and 2017. Over his 291⁄3 minor league innings in the past two years, Simmons has struck out a much more encouraging (and indicative of his talent level) 35 batters, though he did walk nineteen.
There's certainly a large amount of rust for Simmons to pitch off, and his new team will be hoping for a healthy season out of the 27-year-old, at minimum. The team’s bullpen is full at present (even if the team elects to go with an eight-man ‘pen to start the season), but Simmons has two option years remaining, so in all likelihood he will join also-electric righty Dillon Maples in the back end of the bullpen for the AAA Iowa Cubs.
Simmons is under team control through 2020, via the arbitration process, if the Cubs elect to keep him beyond the 2018 season.