Amongst the big-spending offseason the White Sox have had, a deal that falls below the radar was the acquisition of 33-year-old righty Steve Cishek. Signed to a one year $6 million deal, Cishek is expected to be a set-up man used potentially in the 7th or 8th along with Bummer.
On the surface, this seems like an acquisition made to fill out the bullpen considering the one year deal that was made. The return could be a lot more than expected. In 10 years of relief pitching, he has held a phenomenal 2.69 ERA. But a 10-year career could skew how that 2.69 is perceived. The best way to know what type of player 2020 Cishek will be is to take a look at how he did the year before.
With the Cubs, Cishek showed no signs of slowing down despite it being his 10th year at age 33. In 64 innings, he posted a 2.95 ERA and struck out 57. The walks were high, allowing 29 free passes, but he does have an average of about 20-30 walks per year so it is not like he has been degrading.
Recalling back his 10 years of relief pitching, Cishek has successfully closed 132 games, lead by his 39 save 2014 season with Miami. If again, Colomé is not the closer of 2021, then Cishek’s experience definitely bodes well for him to take the job. Holding a sub 3 ERA in the past three years shows that Cishek is an undervalued reliever that can do wonders for this young and transitioning White Sox team.