The Chicago Cubs and right-handed pitcher Carlos Villanueva agreed to terms on a two-year $10 million contract.
To make room for Villanueva, right-handed pitcher Lendy Castillo was designated for assignment.
Villanueva, 29, joins the Cubs after pitching the last seven seasons with the Brewers (2006-10) and Blue Jays (2011-12). Villanueva has 56 starts and 245 relief appearances during his major league career, going 33-35 with six saves and a 4.26 ERA (311 ER/657.1 IP). In his most recent two seasons with Toronto, Villanueva made 29 starts and 42 relief appearances.
Last season, Villanueva went 7-4 with a 3.10 ERA in 33 appearances (11 starts) through the end of August before tanking during the season’s final month with a 0-3 record and an 8.10 ERA (24 ER/26.2 IP) in five starts in September. Overall in 2012, Villanueva went 7-7 with a 4.16 ERA in 38 appearances with the Blue Jays.
Villanueva made his major league debut with Milwaukee in 2006 and became a big league mainstay by the 2008 season. He set a career high with 64 appearances in 2009 and averaged a career-best 11.4 strikeouts per nine innings in 2010, his lone season pitching exclusively in relief, before joining the Blue Jays in 2011. Villanueva last season set career highs with 125.1 innings pitched, 16 starts and 122 strikeouts.
Overall in his career, Villanueva has limited opponents to a .248 batting average against and a .315 on-base percentage against. He has averaged 7.8 strikeouts and 3.1 walks per nine innings.
A native of Santiago, D.R., Villanueva originally signed with San Francisco as a non-drafted free agent in 2002. He was traded to Milwaukee just days prior to the 2004 season and was traded to Toronto during the 2010-11 offseason.
Castillo went 0-1 with a 7.88 ERA (14 ER/16.0 IP) in 13 relief outings for the Cubs last season.
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, a Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Chicago Tribune.com, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports
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