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Cubs sign righty to one-year deal, infielder designated for assignment


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Givens is a solid bullpen piece for the Cubs (David Kohl - USA Today Sports)
Givens is a solid bullpen piece for the Cubs (David Kohl - USA Today Sports)

MESA – The Chicago Cubs today signed right-handed pitcher Mychal Givens to a one-year major league contract with a mutual option for 2023. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. To make room on the 40-man roster for Givens, infielder Sergio Alcántara was designated for assignment.

Givens, 31, owns a career 25-20 record with a 3.41 ERA (150 ER/396.1 IP), 77 holds and 29 saves in 360 major league relief appearances with Baltimore (2015-20), Colorado (2020-21) and Cincinnati (2021). Since 2016, Givens is tied for 10th among all major league relievers with 23 wins, 11th with 428 strikeouts and 15th with 338 appearances. The righthander has pitched in 50-plus games in every full season since 2016, including 60-or-more from 2016-18.

In 2021, Givens split the season between Colorado and Cincinnati, pitching to a 4-3 record with a 3.35 ERA (19 ER/51.0 IP), 11 holds and eight saves in 54 games. Although he did not join the Reds until July 29, he finished the campaign with a share of the club lead in saves (8). In his final 37 games beginning on May 22, Givens posted a 3.06 ERA (12 ER/35.1 IP) with 37 strikeouts.

Givens led Orioles relievers in strikeouts four-consecutive seasons from 2016-19, while his nine saves in 2018 and 11 saves in 2019 were also team-highs. In 2017, he finished second among A.L. relievers with eight wins, going 8-1 with a 2.75 ERA (24 ER/78.2 IP). Prior to the 2017 season, he won a gold medal with Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, appearing in three games in relief.

Since debuting in 2015, the six-foot Givens has held right-handed hitters to a .194 average (176-for-907), joining Aroldis Chapman (.183) and Raisel Iglesias (.186) as the lone major league relievers (min. 900 AB) to hold righties under a .200 average during that span.

A second-round pick in 2009 out of H.B. Plant High School in Tampa, Fla., Givens was selected by Baltimore as a shortstop and played three minor league seasons as a position player before converting to a pitcher before the 2013 season.

Alcántara, 25, was acquired off waivers from Detroit on February 5, 2021. He last season hit .205 (45-for-220) with six doubles, three triples, five home runs and 17 RBI in 89 games for the Cubs.

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