Rangers acquire Cory Burns from Padres for PTBNL

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Designated for assignment by the Padres last week, right-hander Cory Burns has been traded to the Rangers for a player to be named later.

Burns made his big-league debut this year with a 5.50 ERA in 17 appearances out of San Diego’s bullpen, but the 24-year-old has a very impressive minor-league track record that includes a 2.36 ERA and 266 strikeouts in 213 innings.

Burns works in the high-80s with his fastball, but as Carson Cistulli of Fan Graphs analyzed in September his changeup is incredibly good and he throws it as often as any pitcher in baseball. I’d like to see the Rangers give Burns an extended opportunity, if only because it’d be interesting to find out if such a changeup-driven approach could work like it did in the minors.

Cubs sign Drew Smyly to a two-year, $10 million contract

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The Cubs announced on Tuesday evening that the club signed pitcher Drew Smyly to a two-year contract. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports the contract is for $10 million total and allows Smyly to earn another $7 million with performance bonuses. Smyly was non-tendered by the Mariners at the beginning of the month and became a free agent.

Smyly, 28, underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery in late June. He’s expected to miss, at minimum, the first half of the 2018 season. The Cubs are hoping he can contribute to a playoff push in the latter half of the season as well as in 2019.

Smyly didn’t pitch at all in 2017. When he was healthy the season prior, he made 30 starts for the Rays and put up a 4.88 ERA and a 167/49 K/BB ratio in 175 1/3 innings.