Maddon relishes reuniting with closer Davis

Maddon relishes reuniting with closer Davis

CHICAGO -- Manager Joe Maddon is excited about the prospect of being reunited with Wade Davis, who will be the Cubs' closer in 2017.

"This guy knows how to pitch," Maddon said of the right-hander during an interview Monday on MLB Network's "Hot Stove."

"It's not just about throwing one pitch and trying to blow people away," Maddon said of Davis. "He's got a great slider, a cutter that he came up with, and I love his curveball, and he knows how to compete on both sides of the plate."

Hot Stove: Joe Maddon

Davis, who was acquired from Kansas City in exchange for outfielder Jorge Soler, will replace Aroldis Chapman as Chicago's closer. Chapman, added in July from the Yankees, was a key piece for the Cubs in the postseason, helping them win the World Series.

"Having [Davis] at the end of our bullpen will make it very stern once again," Maddon said. "He's well. He's well -- there's no concerns going into the season. I'm really excited. I've had a great relationship with him and he's going to make us a really good bullpen again this year."

Maddon and Davis were together with Tampa Bay from 2009-12, although the right-hander was a starter in the first three seasons, then converted to a reliever in 2012.

Davis was on the disabled list twice in 2016 because of a right forearm strain. In 45 games this past season, he posted a 1.87 ERA and was successful in 27 of 30 opportunities.

Davis is one of a few new faces projected for the Cubs' bullpen, joining Brian Duensing, Koji Uehara and Caleb Smith.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.